Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

This Founder Raised $68.1 Million Last Year, But Only After Admitting to Investors: 'It's a Crazy Situation… I Don't Have Great Options'

At the beginning of 2020, John Berkowitz was determined to acquire a much bigger company, and it wasn't going well. Then the pandemic set in. But chaos worked in his favor.

This story appears in the June 2021 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

John Berkowitz grabbed a surfboard, paddled out into open water, and let loose nearly a year’s worth of anxiety. “I just screamed,” he says. “At the top of my lungs. It was the most incredible PTSD scream I’ve ever done.”

Courtesy of OJO Labs

Berkowitz had begun 2020 trying to acquire a larger company, which was already stressful. Then the pandemic set in, causing chaos. Investors were scared. Travel was impossible. But he pulled it off —­ raising $68.1 million, outlasting competitors, navigating cultural barriers, and transforming his business as a result.

4th of July Subscription Sale - Unlock this subscriber exclusive article and more for 20% off today.

Access all Entrepreneur content with no ads, unlock discounts, and get exclusive advice only available to our subscribers. Plus, our magazine delivered straight to your door.

Get 20% off an annual subscription today. Just use code SAVE20 at checkout.

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks