Raising First Capital isn't easy - especially when you have just started up.
But it is not an impossible task.
All you need is to have the will-power, right connects and right-time.
I'm writing this blog post and sharing some approaches on how you can raise your Fist Capital or Acquire Seed or Angel Funding.
PS: The most important suggestion (I have learned based on my experience raising funds) is listed in the bottom of this post - so please go ahead and read it carefully. (Also attaching my 5 slider pitch deck)
- LinkedIn - The very first in my to-do or on How to raise capital is LinkedIn. Build a reliable LinkedIn Profile and engage urself with Community Users from your domain and or market. There are many people on LinkedIn which have 5000+ connections, but only less than 5 % of the connections actually do come to your rescue/help when you need them. Also, If you are running a startup say from Technology domain, and you have connections from Content Writing or SEO or CEOs of Top-Notch Companies (who keep adding people to increase their reach) somewhere from the US that is not going to help you a lot. Prepare a strategy, connect with people from your local markets and experts in your market or domain. Even if they are NOT investors, they might know can surely connect with the right people. And don't forget to build a rapport. LinkedIn is about farming relations and it takes time to build relationships.
- Use of Excel or Google Sheets - Prepare an Excel file and list details of your contacts like, First Name, Last Name, Title, Company, Mobile, Email ID, Website, Their market, Last funding, Funding Company or involvement in the recent deal (You can get all this information from VCCircle and the internet). After maintaining the data, you can start writing them Cold Email (Now writing a Cold Email is a new topic - I will write about it sometime later).
- Real-Life Networking - Although virtual networking is over-hyped these days, the human-touch of real-life networking is even more important. Connecting someone on LinkedIn gives you an opportunity to create a bridge between you and the prospect, but real-life networking will help you gain more value.
- Be a Contributor - When people or company invest, they not only look at your Multi-Million Dollar Business or an Idea but also see What Value you yourself are bringing on to the table. So be a Contributor, it can be anything related to your domain/market or concept. (Also, Writing is also Contributing - So go ahead and create accounts on Quora and Medium)
- Pitch/Decks and Documentation - I've seen founders writing a Lengthy Pitch Decks, 20 slides, 30 slides, and even more. If you cannot put your idea in one single document, its time you should re-think about it. In fact, when I was in the US, I visited this event called One-Liner Pitch. You get 1 min, and you have to tell your business idea in 1 single line. So keep it simple, keep it light, assume that most of the investors check their email via mobile so keep your PDF or Document light as possible it can be.
- Never ask for Money: Never ever ask for money in your first visit or first email or first interaction. If you ask for money, the only thing you will get back is Advice (Free-Wali-Advice) but if you ask for an Advice, there are high chances that you might get funded ;) (if not at-least you will get an appointment for sure).
Attached below is my 5 slider pitch deck for my concept iLocal which got good reception from Angel Investors back in 2016. But I could not work on it because of immediate needs and failure from the previous startup along with the financial burden.
Link here: https://forms.gle/nz78iVHkgKY7Uq2KA
So these were some of my learnings chasing to raise my first capital aka Seed/Angel. If you would like to share your experiences/thoughts, please do so in the comments section below.
Stay hungry, Stay foolish!