How to raise Venture Capital for your Startup

Know the landscape

When looking to raise money for your startup, it helps to have an understanding of the different types of investor so you can find the one that best fits your circumstances. VCs will usually have sectors of particular expertise — for example Fintech or Ecommerce- but it’s also crucial to consider the stage your company is at before making an approach. It might be tempting to try to secure investment from a big-brand name VC, but at the outset your company might be too early for them.

Build your network

Human networks are just as important as technological ones in the world of Venture Capital. This isn’t always a good thing — indeed, our aim with Access All is to break some of these networks open and help more people in — but Mason pointed out that while networks can work against you in the beginning, successful founders must eventually find a way to build their own.

Get to know your investor

Research is critical before pitching an investor. The due diligence process is in-depth and can be time-consuming, so it’s important to make sure you target the right investors. We covered pre-pitch research in our piece on pitching to corporates [link], but there are some considerations worth highlighting that are specific to VCs.

Learn what they look for

Of course, it’s impossible to judge cultural fit if you never get in the room. VCs receive countless pitches every day, so in order to stand out its crucial to understand what they are looking for. For Ayangar, the first thing he tries to gauge when receiving a pitch is the size of the problem it is solving.

Getting the pitch right

Sunner recommends startups create two pitch decks for approaching investors with: one that is sent via email, designed to anticipate and answer the questions a VC might have prior to meeting with a company (such as those covered above). The aim of this first pitch deck is to give the VC enough information to want to book a meeting.

Nail down the legal side

Fundraising isn’t all about pitching. Founders must also be familiar with the legal side of the process to ensure their interests are aligned with their investor’s. Nicholas Richards, Head of Investor Partnerships at SeedLegals, has broken down the key things founders need to know:

Conclusion

VCs strive to be ‘value-add’ investors — beyond investing money, they want to invest time and expertise to help you on your journey to building an incredible company. But, different VCs have different areas of expertise, so it’s crucial to find the team that fits best with yours, then do everything you can to ensure your pitch has the best possible chance of success. Follow the advice from our experts, however, and you’ll be well on your way. Good luck!

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