3. 融资是一个锦上添花的过程。最困难的部分是争取到“基础”投资者。此类投资者或投资机构往往承诺提供相当的资本(>10万美元) ，并在科技界或你的目标行业内享有盛誉 (例如，成功的时尚人士投资一家与时尚界相关的初创企业)。
• 阐述市场规模多用描述性语言，而不是数字 (更多)
11. 联合创始人：他们提供的精神支持非常重要。找到与你互补的人。尽早确定职责、分股等问题，并记录在案 (法律文件不会损害友谊——只会令友谊长存)。
Last night I taught a class via Skillshare (disclosure: Founder Collective is an investor) about how to raise a seed round. After a long day I wasn't particularly looking forward to it, but it turned out to be a lot of fun and I stayed well past the scheduled end time. I think it worked well because the audience was full of people actually starting companies, and they came well prepared (they were all avid readers of tech blogs and had seemed to have done a lot of research).
I sketched some notes for the class which I'm posting below. I've written ad nausea about venture financing so hadn't planned to blog more on the topic. But since I wrote up these notes already, here they are:
1. Best thing is to either never needto raise money or to raise money after you have a product, users, or customers. Also helps a lot if you've started a successful business before or came from a senior position at a successful company.
2. Assuming that's not the case,it is very difficult to raise money, even when people (e.g. press) are saying it's easy and "everyone is getting funded."
3. Fundraising is a momentum-based process.Hardest part is getting "anchor" investors. These are people or institutions who commit significant capital (>$100K) and are respected in the tech community or in the specific industry you are going after (e.g., successful fashion people investing in a fashion-related startup).
4. Investors like to wait("flip another card over") while you want to hurry. Lots of investors like to wait until other investors they respect commit. Hence a sort of Catch-22. As Paul Graham says:
By far the biggest influence on investors' opinions of a startup is the opinion of other investors. There are very, very few who simply decide for themselves. Any startup founder can tell you the most common question they hear from investors is not about the founders or the product, but "who else is investing?"
5. Network like crazy:
• Make sure you have good Google results (this is your first impression in tech). Have a good bio page (on your blog, LinkedIn and About.me) and blog/tweet to get Google juice.
• Get involved in your local tech community. Join meet-ups. Help organize events. Become a hub in the local tech social graph.
• Meet every entrepreneur and investor you can. Entrepreneurs tend to be more accessible and sympathetic, plus can often make warm intros to investors.
• Avoid anyone asks you to pay for intros (even indirectly like committing to a law firm in exchange for intros).
• Don't be afraid to (politely) overreach and get rejected.
6. Get smart on the industry:
• Read TechCrunch, Business Insider, GigaOm, Techmeme, Fred Wilson's blog, Mark Suster's blog, etc (and go back and read the archives). Follow investor/startup people on Twitter (Sulia has some good lists to get you started here and here).
• Research every investor and entrepreneur extensively before you meet them. Entrepreneurs love it when you've used their product and give them constructive feedback. It's like bringing a new parent a kid's toy. Investors like it when you are smart about their portfolio and interests.
7. How much to raise?Enough to hit an accretive milestone plus some buffer. (more)
8. What terms should you look for?Here are ideal terms. You need to understand all these terms and also the difference between convertible notes and equity. More generally, it's a good idea to spend a few days getting smart about startup-related law – this is a good book to start with.
9. Types of capital:Strategic angels (industry experts), non-strategic angels (not industry experts, not tech investors), tech angels, seed funds, VCs.
• VCs can be less valuation sensitive and have deep pockets but are sometimes buying options so come with some risks. (more)
• Industry experts can be really nice complements to tech investors (especially in b2b companies). (more)
• Non-strategic angels (rich people with no relevant expertise) might not help as much but might be more patient and ok with "lifestyle businesses."
• Tech angels and seed funds tend to be most valuation sensitive but can sometimes make up for it by helping in later financing rounds.
• Have a short slide deck, not a business plan. (more)
• Pitch yourself first, idea second. (more)
• Pitch the upside, not the mean. (more)
• Size markets using narratives, not numbers. (more)
11. Cofounders:They are good if for no other reason than moral support. Find ones that complement you. Decide on responsibilities, equity split etc early and document it (legal documents don't hurt friendships – they preserve them).
12. Incubators like YC and Techstars can be great.99% of the people I know who participated in them say it was worth it.
13. To investors,the sexiest word in the English language is "oversubscribed." Sometimes it makes tactical sense to start out raising a smaller round than you actually want end up with.
Chris Dixon is co-founder of Hunch, and is an active angel investor.