TL;DR: This is a presentation I gave to founders at Startup Next in Malaysia on ‘How to get funded’ from venture capitalists and Angel investors.
The startups are all in this pre-accelerator, so mainly looking for angel rounds to get things going, or in some cases, a proper seed round.
The slides are mainly talked to, but founders should still be able to absorb the high-level takeaways.
Simply put, founders know they need to raise investment from venture capital and angel investors, but the how to go about it is unknown. This is a high-level walkthrough of how a founder needs to prepare, go through the process and avoid silly mistakes (Such as asking for an NDA).
The key topics of the get funded presentation discussed are:
- Requirements – what investors care about (AKA the basics)
- What you need to prepare before raising
- How to approach investors
- How to manage the process
- How to close the round
- And ‘no nos’ that founders should not do (Silly mistakes)
Throughout the deck on how to get funded, I have provided links to templates and blog articles I have written to absorb further content on specific topics. I highly recommend founders to do some reading and there is so much content available on the internet. Also, reach out to founders who have just raised cash, or ideally done it a few times. They will be able to give you invaluable insight on how to get things done.
Be smart, but mainly, work really hard
There are no shortcuts in raising other than to put in hard work and take the whole process seriously. Some founders think raising will just happen and they ‘have better things to do.’ Trust me. if you need to make payroll and you aren’t profitable, I can’t think of a bigger priority than keeping the lights on.
Take it from the Unicorn that almost wasn’t
I talked to a founder of a Unicorn last week who said:
The early days were hard. When we were raising Seed, we weren’t able to make payroll that month. If X hadn’t invested just then, we would have shut down the business…
So strap yourself in for the ride, get funded and make it happen!
Get in the game
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Your slide deck really helps. This personally will help me to reshape things. I am sure I was not doing right. Thanks Alex.
Thank you Alex, for sharing!
I felt nowadays that the top-talented founders and their startups have no need to market themselves as hard as they used to, because it’s working the other way around — investors go out and find the best deals and persuade the top talents to take their money. Would you agree?
And if so, could you share your experiences on how to find the right deals that don’t market themselves for someone like me who is very new to the VC space (just started as an associate)? Thanks!!!
Kimi- Thanks for the question.
It’s always been that way. The VCs look for the great startups and they will even be tracking people at the big companies like Google who might be thinking of starting something. Top talent tend to know other talent, so a skip to VCs is pretty easy.
It’s just a balls for everyone else 😉
Congrats on getting in the game. It’s a bit harder than you thought, i’m guessing!
It’s all about networking (you can add me on linkedin 😉 ). So you need to get out of the office or get on the phone. You need to prioritise your targets based also on your stature (Top partners will prob ignore you till you matter).
– Investors who invest less than you. Hit up angels or seed funds and learn about their portfolio. Ask them who they think are interesting people. Always ask for intros
– Get to know the best founders you can like the ones that exited. They will get pitched a lot and know quality people. That will take time for you to work your way into. Make FRIENDS with them. Do drinks etc. Organise poker, events etc. Add value
– Find out if you have ‘young VC’ dinners. Get to know all the other analysts/associates. Everyone moves around so get to know people when they don’t matter. Do favors
– Take every meeting with founders at the start and add value. you want to get to know people and for them to know about you. At the start you waste time, but you need to start somewhere. Key is to add value so you have a high NPS. Over time your network will get better and you can be more particular about who you spend time with, but at the start go nuts.
– Go to events and organise ‘free investor advise session.’ I used to do this. I would meet like 50 people in a day. you give them like 10 mins each. I would have a massive line of founders.
– You know very little, so it takes meeting hundreds of founders and wasting a lot of time to internalise what a good deal actually is (when you come across one). Everyone just has to put in the work. The more companies you look at the faster you will learn and the more ‘value add’ you will generate
– Every time you read about a fundraise, add the founders on linkedin and say congrats. If you have a small network you will be ignored, but once you have 50+ shared connections with people you get a 95% conversion
– Over time people will recommend you to their friends. You won’t really get the top top deals from famous founders unless you are at a top firm though. But you might find interesting deals with founders who aren’t famous yet. Figure out your boxing weight and punch around your weight until you can get into a new class. But you have to earn your way there and that means adding value to each founder, not just mind raping them for info. Make intros, give them honest feedback on the pitch deck. Figure out what you have to really offer (and then study more to add value- metrics, what their valuation might be etc are always useful to founders)
– Start a blog. Be very niche. Write high value blogs worth reading. Nothing news related, make it evergreen
– DON’T be a generalist. Pick one area and become an expert. That also makes you useful at the firm as the “go to person on foodtech.” You also can nerd out with founders in foodtech. Once you have a handle on one area, add another. You’ll be totally lost if you pick too many areas. I for example purposefully decided never to learn a thing on adtech. I sent every deal to another person. Pick areas you can be a boss in. Study your ass off.
Thank you for sharing these increadible slides! Is there anywhere I can see them being presented?
Please can you connect me with angels who would be interested in a revolutionary dating app?
Slideshare no longer available.
Revolut shut down my entire slideshare account for resharing the seed pitch deck that the CEO himself posted on slideshare.
So they are basically dicks.
I’ve spent days converting hundred of my slideshare docs that I posted to natively on my site. Everything should have been converted now. If I’ve missed something, please let me know.