A startup CEO has a lot of jobs. If forming a team and setting the vision for the company is considered his or her job then an even more important job is being able to raise money. Because that’s important for the most essential goal of a startup, survival.
I have met more than 100 investors in my life. Raised more than 8M$ for three different startups and got a very small exit at the age of 23. So what’s actual process of raising money?
There is no process. The first time I got an offer for angel investment, I was in college. It was two days after I had met Aakrit in a college event. It took ten for us to close a Series A with Nexus Venture Partners. And I had 30 seconds when I was pitching to Rajan Anandan. Every case was very different than the other. And I can safely say there is no process. At least not till Series A.
Also Read: How to Become an Entrepreneur in India
Don’t approach anyone without referrals unless Shah Rukh Khan. What this means is that if you don’t have a proven track record and are not famous for something or the other, please go via references. They always help. We got a meeting with Sachin Bansal because we had Sujeet as an investor. We got a meeting with Sujeet because we had Sumit Jain as an investor.
If you’re doing well, you won’t need to approach. If you arrange enough capital for the first version of the product and gain traction organically – which is not that difficult if your product and idea are good – then you won’t need to approach investors for the first round. They will come to you. And that’s a great thing if it happens.
Story. Story. Story. What’s your story? What’s the story of what you’re building? What’s your vision? What will it take for you to make your vision possible? Can you give next 5 years of your life to this? Ten? Twenty? Investors like genuine people who can think big and have the guts to make things happen. They love a good story. Ask yourself, what’s your story? Pitch that. It’s more important than anything else – at least in the first round.
Persistence. Remember, if you give up then maybe you were not worth it in the first place. Don’t give up. It took me 100s of meetings with investors to reach this stage. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. When your creation sees the light of the day, it’s the greatest feeling in the world.
This article was shared by Gaurav Munjal, Co-Founder & CEO at Unacademy at on Quora.