Fundraising is not monolithic event, but rather a series of encounters and pleasantries, each with its own atmosphere and nuance. Still, a lot of fundraising advice to founders paints the process with a broad brush.
We heard from three londonbusinessblog.com Disrupt founders last week: Amanda DoAmaral, co-founder and CEO of Fiveable; Arman Hezarkhani, founder of Parthean; and Sarah Du, co-founder of Alloy Automation, each of which has soared into the extreme highs and lows of the past 18 months. They talked about navigating the process, what worked (and what didn’t), and how to adjust your pitch to navigate the many subtleties of fundraising.
For DoAmaral, it was important to spend time researching which investors can actually support her company. She said she had investors meet with her because of a warm intro, despite not really planning to invest.
“My co-founder and I got in a car and drove to Tennessee thinking we were going to get this check. And this man didn’t even trust me nice, to be a participant in this event. They don’t write the check,” DoAmaral recalls. “People won’t take me seriously if they don’t come to see me as their equal.”
Du added that conducting due diligence on potential lenders beforehand is helpful not only in finding out if they can actually invest in the company, but also if they are good to work with. This is especially true for founders who are growing up in the early stages and have a long relationship ahead of them.