So you want to raise money for your start-up?
Firstly, go to the “Funding” section of our website which has a host of articles and podcasts all related to raising investment.
Once you’ve been through all of that, you’re ready to start on your voyage.
Step 1: Get your collateral together
You need a data room. What is a data room? Well here is an example. This example is for Series A financing but whether you’re at the pre-seed or Series A stage, you’re going to need to have all of your documentation in one place. If investors see that you’re taking the process seriously, they are much more likely to engage.
Step 2: Check your deck & refine your pitch
When you start raising funds you’ll be pitching constantly and you’ll be pitching to different audiences. You need to make sure you know your content inside and out. Having said that, don’t assume that your audience will be as up to speed on the latest acronyms and jargon as you are. Make sure you tailor your deck to your audience and never assume they know everything that you do.
Step 3: Identify your investors
Whether you’re aiming for high-net worths or VCs, you need to identify your key investors. Find those people that can not only provide you with money but who can also provide you with the connections that you need for your business to thrive – as we said in this article, its not all about the money.
Once you have identified your potential investors then put together a plan of action to target them – find out what events they’ll be attending, see if you have anyone in your network that can make a warm introduction, get their contact details so you can contact them directly.
Investors always say that they are very busy and get “pitch deck fatigue” but they have targets to hit too. This is why it is so important to keep your communication and deck clear and simple.
Step 4: Get on the road
Unless you have had successful exits before, investors aren’t going to come to you, so you need to get out there and spread your name as much as possible. Enter pitch competitions, go to events, find where the investors congregate and make sure you talk to them but remember to be human, these are people too and you need to cultivate a relationship, you have to get them to be interested in what you have to say.
Step 5: Identify time-wasters quickly
Unfortunately there are investors out there that will string you along, some do it as a tactic, some do it for no obvious reason. Do not be afraid to walk away from an investor that keeps stringing you along with promises that they seemingly always break. Your time is precious too and you can’t burn through your businesses cash whilst waiting for an offer that never comes.
Step 6: Make sure you get a good lawyer
If you are in the fortunate position to have an investor that wants to invest then make sure you get good legal counsel that will help you negotiate good terms. Yes, you should be negotiating too but you also need to ensure that the paperwork is correct and that you consider all of the things that can go wrong in a relationship with a new investor. Don’t think that getting the money is the end of it, it is just the beginning.
Finally – don’t forget to have fun. Raising funds is stressful and can be very disheartening but try to have fun along the way, that’s the whole reason you decided to start a business in the first place – it can’t just be all about money….