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It may come as a surprise to some, but not every startup is clamoring to raise venture capital.
The reasons some founders shun the process of raising institutional funding vary based on individual circumstances. There are founders who don’t like the idea of giving up equity. Others don’t want to give up control of their operations and/or strategy. And there are many who want to hold on to both equity and control. Then there are those for whom raising venture capital is simply not as accessible, such as founders in emerging markets like Latin America.
There is no right or wrong way to grow a company. While some companies may stay bootstrapped forever, others decide after years of being in operation that maybe raising outside capital is not such a bad idea after all — especially if they are experiencing rapid growth.
Below are the stories of startups that were bootstrapped for years before going the M&A or venture route, as well as one that remains bootstrapped by choice: