Originally published on LinkedIn: https://bit.ly/3jLgf3L
At Cyclica, over the past 7+ years, we’ve secured close to CAD$38M in total funding. When I reflect back to when we were raising funds during our seed, Series A, or Series B, at no point did we ever think: “oh, this will be a breeze, someone will throw a term sheet to us!”. No, it took patience, tenacity, diligence, and hard work.
Below are 8 things that come to mind. What comes to your mind?
- Spend time building and maintaining great, deeply personal relationships, over an extended time, with the investor community. Know who is who and what their investment thesis is, and learn what excites and motivates them.
- Your story is more than the technology your company has built. Knowledge and clear articulation of our market, competitors, business model, and vision is crucial.
- Be confident and visionary. Don’t be arrogant and delusional. There's a fine balance and it needs to be struck.
- Ensure that your story is air tight and that it delivers on all the key points consistently. This allows you to manage and direct the discussion.
- Invest in a thoughtfully organized, clean and informative data room. This will go a long way to adding more colour to your story. View your data room as a reflection of your company - the more professional it is, the more professional you are going to be viewed.
- Engage senior leadership in the entire process and expose them and other team members to prospective investors. Trust your colleagues to represent the company with excellence, and rely on them as a sanity check that the investors are people who will work well with the culture you’ve all built.
- Practice active listening, ask a lot of questions, and be open to being challenged. One of your aims should be to be rated high on the coachability index (genuinely).
- Spend a lot of time talking about the future to ensure your interests and visions are all aligned.
Do any of these resonate with you? What have you learned raising capital for your business?
If you'd like to see some of this in action, please read the recent @StartUp Health article regarding our recently announced Series B: