Source | LinkedIn : By Shashi Bhushan
“We like the team, the market space and the traction. However, you are too early for us”. This is one of the most common ways angels/investors politely decline the next step.
The other most used phrases are
- “Let’s connect 6 months from now..”
- “Keep me posted on your progress.. “
@Entrepreneur: Get ready to hear the above multiple times in your journey. You have focused on the 3 important things, (Team, Market Size, traction). You believe you have got everything right. Still you are not able to raise funds.
It’s a Catch-22 situation. Angels expect traction to fund. If you already had that traction, you would not need their funds.
This is a very tough phase.
- Day in & day out you read articles of some startup or other raising funds sometimes even without a product and you wonder what’s wrong with you.
- You register in portals that promise you connection with investors. Some of them do not even bother to reply to your mails.
- You attend events by angels that talk of what angels look for in startup. None of these mantras seems to work for you ;(
- You are continually asked by friends/family. “Have you raised funds?” as though raising funds is a validation of your success.
- You meet wrong angels, who waste your time, with no serious intent to invest or knowledge of the ecosystem.
- You meet some angel(s) who want a large stake in your company for a very small investment.
What to do?
- Learn from each of these angel/investor meetings. Sometimes there are some good ideas that they might provide.
- If there are ideas to pivot, explore and validate.
- Improve your pitch.
During my low days, I took solace in the popular struggling entrepreneur quote“Raising funds does not guarantee success”.