Considering bringing on a 4th person on for the founding team, and I’d like some advice

Edit: Please excuse the redundant title text haha

Hi, everyone! I hope you all have enjoyed your holidays so far, and I’m hoping you all here could help me out with seeing things from a different point of view or reassuring my current one. Up front, I’m sorry because this will be rather long.

Currently, we are a team of 3 developing a B2B2C tourism & travel marketplace application, and we are just 1 month away from the launch of our MVP. We have already received a nice amount of investor interest at our stage, and our market traction with businesses so far has been very good. Our potential customer validation has been quite exceptional as well, so we’re doing pretty solid with where we are.

With all of this said, one of my partners has raised the idea of bringing on the owner of one of our early business adopters as a member of the founding team. As it stands, this person would bring over 20 years of experience in the industry with him, someone who has successfully built 3 strong companies and helped establish many others (though, these companies weren’t companies to the scale of a startup’s potential), and he has quite a lot of connections in industry especially with other businesses. He’s already helped us out quite a bit with connecting us with other businesses, helping us test our features, and more, and I myself have even become decent friends with him from a professional standpoint. He has even offered to help us market our startup through his businesses, which we were simply dumbfounded and honored for that. Currently, I am indifferent on it. I believe with all the help he is already giving us that it may not be necessary to bring him on board the team as a full on partner with equity, but with him already doing so much, it may simply just be right to do so. My partner disagrees on the former in that the investor pros and industry knowledge could be a possible big benefit to us if we brought him on the founding team, but you all may have differing opinions than us on this matter. I’d love to hear what you all think, and I’ve listed out what I think might be a nice pro/con list. Though admittedly, some of them may be made in ignorance, so do correct me if anything comes across as ill-informed.


  • A very experienced individual in the industry, someone with experience growing 3 businesses very successfully
  • Having an experienced professional on our team can help us in marketing, budgeting, and can make the team look much more promising to our investors (that said, his business experience is in businesses that don’t scale)
  • Someone with connections in the industry. Perhaps not monetary connections, but business connections, which can allow us to gain either more businesses or more legitimacy in the domain. Perhaps even both.
  • From what we have gathered, he has similar ideals as us in the founding team


  • We would be bringing on a 4th member of the founding team, a nontechnical one at that
  • It will require us to give up more equity, possibly as much as 4-10% unless we can negotiate smaller terms
  • There may be baggage due to possible quarrels with other businesses that we don’t know about.
  • Investors that we have already talked to may get uneasy if they see we’ve brought on a 4th cofounder

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