Questions

How do I raise seed-stage funding with an MVP?

I have built an online commercial real estate platform. Our website is developed and now we need funding to launch the site. How should I approach investors?

3answers

It sounds like you already have an MVP, awesome.
Now you need some evidence that people want to pay for it. Make a landing page from your MVP which shows visitors its main exciting features. Have a link called 'Learn More', which leads to a form asking for user info (name, email, etc.). To make it even more attractive, you could tell them their first month's free, or 75% off when they 'sign up'. Data from this will give you a form of validation that will be useful for investors, it will give you a list of first clients, and it will give you some training in how to get the site into search results. Once you've got this, or some other form of evidence that it will work, start talking with investors.

You should start by 'pitching' to just friends first. They don't have to be potential investors, it's just to get feedback. Then pitch it to strangers (maybe your neighbor, people from relevant Meetup groups, whatever), then to investors you're closest to (maybe you're connected to some on linkedin?), then to investors you don't know, etc. At each of these stages you'll be getting more and more confident about how to effectively promote your product, you'll be working out bugs, and you'll be perfecting your pitch to get the most interest. By doing it in steps you're not putting all your eggs in one basket, and you'll instead be increasing your chance of getting investment as your approach bigger and bigger investors.

Some seed stage funds include First Round, Freestyle, Boldstart, Homebrew, etc. Send me a message for a more thorough list. To save time, find investors with portfolios that do not include any failed products similar to yours. Otherwise you'll be wasting time, and it's actually important to do all your fundraising in as short a time period as possible (it looks bad if it's drawn out too much). Also to save time, get in contact with the Partners at these funds. You can try going through companies that they've previously invested in.

Best of luck, and let me know if you have any other questions,

Lee


Answered 5 years ago

If the startup is going to disrupt the industry then you can easily raise funds through the MVP. Please run a survey and ask your potential customers to fill in their consent whether they will buy your products/services or not and what price they will prefer? This will serve as the proof of future traction that will help the investors in deciding about investment. If you don't know how to prepare a deck then you must approach a professional.

I can help you in all the areas, let us discuss over a call.


Answered 3 years ago

Theres so many ways that I could answer this question but it would depend on knowing more about the situation.

There are many ways to find seed investors, mostly depending on your experience and network, (eg do you already have an existing network of investors?). If no, then you will be starting to build that from scratch. The good news is thats totally doable with tools like Angellist, Linkedin, etc.

Then you need a strategy on how to approach people especially if you are doing it cold. Some tips

1) Try to get referrals through common friends (linkedin is great for this). Investors get turned off by cold pitches so try to start strong if you can.

2) Have your pitch deck ready. Around 10 pages of attractive content to sell the dream. What problem are you solving? How? Size of market? Team? Product/traction so far? Why ou need the cash, etc. Happy to share a real deck one of my startups used (EcoMarket) that raised around 1M USD in total.

3) Hustle and sell like crazy. If you're going without an exiting investor network to tap into one strategy is to play the numbers. You are going to get a lot of no's: Dont be put off by that, but each time ask 1 thing you could improve on and most investors will take the time to reply if you are direct. Use that feedback to revise your pitch and rinse and repeat. Again, raised 1M USD+ this way myself.

Happy to share more details in a call.


Answered 8 months ago

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