Published on January 25, 2016
Powered by WHAT TO KNOW BEFORERAISING CAPITALwith Micah Rosenbloom
This presentation consists of insights inspired by 33voices® interviews with Jenna Abdou.
FEATURING Micah Rosenbloom @fcollective Managing Partner at Founder Collective @micahjay1
Chapter 1 Contextualize Your Investors’ Motivations
As a founder, you’re responsible for contextualizing who you’re taking money from and how they’re going to think about your future and the company’s future.
Answer these questions before approaching investors to raise your next round of capital:
Answer these questions before approaching investors to raise your next round of capital: How does this investor’s fund size work?
Answer these questions before approaching investors to raise your next round of capital: How does it impact the way they think?
Answer these questions before approaching investors to raise your next round of capital: What is their investing strategy?
Answer these questions before approaching investors to raise your next round of capital: What is their LP base like? How do they influence their decisions?
Answer these questions before approaching investors to raise your next round of capital: How many partners do they have? Where do they stand in the partnership?
Chapter 2 Get to Know Your Investors Outside of the Office
“There’s something about getting outside of the office in the diligence process that is disarming for you to understand: What is this person really like?”
You want to be able to answer: “What is this investor like when they aren’t surrounded by their partners or associates?”
Do your diligence. Gain insight from other founders in an investor’s portfolio to determine his or her involvement.
It’s most telling to speak to founders whose companies have faced challenges, pivoted, or folded. These conversations will enable you to unveil a VC’s long-term commitment, availability, and feedback style.
“You see a big disparity of VCs who only focus on their top 10%.”
Remember: Every company struggles at some point. You need to grasp a VC’s involvement throughout the lifecycle of your company, not the press worthy milestones.
Chapter 3 Understand the Realities of Raising Capital
Optionality is the difference between “asking for permission and proactively making decisions” at your startup.
“There’s a temptation to raise money, especially now when there’s a lot of capital in the market, as almost a validation of your business. Yet, as a founder, your options get fewer.”
Whether it’s a decision to pivot, sell the company, or even move your business, your options become complicated when you raise outside funding. You have to justify your decisions, manage expectations, and maintain your credibility.
“People underestimate how much freedom you lose when you raise capital. The more you can bootstrap, the more flexibility you have to make decisions.”
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