Over the past years of doing business, let me tell you that one of the toughest situations I’ve ever experienced is to raise funds. It is not easy to raise funds if you’re one of the following;
- Lack of business experience.
- No connection in the society.
- No rich parents or family to connect you with wealthy people.
- You didn’t study in IVY schools that have network of people who can invest.
- You come from third world country where your nationality will be discriminated.
Have you ever wondered why some people seem to get funded easily, while others are destined for a life of financial struggle? Is the difference found in their background, connection, education, skills, intelligence, luck, work experience or passport?
The truth is: none of the above.
In this article, I’m going to break a big news to you on how to get funded easily. This article will be your blueprint to start your success and I AM NOT KIDDING.
You’re welcome. 😉
There are many platforms that offer fundraising for startup and business.
Let me share with you a few;
- Angel Investment Network
My favourite platforms:
- Angel Investment Network
If you’re a female entrepreneur like me, the platform iFundwomen is helpful and rewarding. It focus on women-led business, it is open for any industry, the funding fees are only 5%, the payment is 2.9% + $ 0.30 per transaction which is reasonable. Startup locations available in 23 countries.
If you’re a startup looking for accelerator programs, the Fs6 platform is a good choice. There are many accelerator firms on this platform that welcome startups from different industries, locations and stages. There are no fees to sign-up it’s free but the chance to be selected is 1 out of 1,000. It’s challenging but you will never know until you try.
If you’re looking for small scale investment to large funding, I suggest to sign-up on angel investment network where they have thousands of investors and entrepreneurs in their database from all over the world. If you need funding, this is the right platform for you. All you have to do is to sign up for free, upload your pitch deck and wait until the investors will come to you to ask you questions regarding your business. If you are an investor and looking for talented startups to fund, sign-up on this platform and you will discover thousands of entrepreneurs who have excellent business ideas that have potential to scale.
How you win in this platform depends on the following;
- The quality of your pitch deck.
- Financial plan and presentation.
- Traction: database + existing customers.
- Profile of the founding team.
I mentioned location because not all countries have good database of local investors. For example, in the Philippines the local investors may only offer PHP 50,000 funding which is consider very small if you intend to build a tech company. On the other hand, if you sign-up and target the locations in Singapore, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, the U.K. and the U.S. there are thousands of investors that can afford to invest up to $2M-$5M funding. The database of angel investment network consist of angel, accelerators, equity firms and some are bankers looking for investment security.
But again your chance of winning depends on the quality of your pitch, how you deliver your pitch, your willingness to go through due diligence, and personal interviews. I highly suggest to work on that and prepare your documents and data before uploading your pitch on the site.
Angel Investment Network isn’t like crowdfunding type of platform. The users will not donate the money to you and there are no funding fees to deduct from you.
How it works is simple.
- Sign-up for free and fill-out the form.
- Upload your pitch deck: PDF format or powerpoint.
- Showcase your best profile to attract investors.
- Upload videos or images, if you have any.
- Fill-out the pitch questions accordingly.
If you wish your page to be visible to more investors, you will be required to upgrade. The upgrade fee is from $199 to $499, depending on the package that you like. I suggest to start low-key and grow big as you go.
How Angel Investment Network is different amongst similar platforms is the fact their customer service people are the friendliest (hi, Lee! :)). They are responsive, professional, helpful and they will give you options that are suitable for your startup needs. They literally will spend time to answer your questions because the goal of their company is for the startups to win.
What’s the database of Angel Investment Network?
- I believe about 90% success rate for competitive pitch decks.
- You can possibly get funded within 3 months.
- You will have access to thousands of legit investors.
Of course, not all users have verified profiles and this is your responsibility to make due diligence to check the background of people you are meeting.
How to know if the users are real or fake?
Well, I could be wrong but this a no brainer type of investigation. Allow me to share my opinion.
- If an investor download your pitch, immediately write to him or her and ask if there is any question. Typically the response can drag up to 3-days (depends on the timezone of the users) and if after 3-days there are no response, you may need to follow up why he or she downloaded your pitch. If the “investor” is not responsive, I suggest to delete the message or disconnect. There is no point to chase people who are not really interested and are just signing up on investment platforms to browse people with no legitimate interest to invest. In short – move on! 😉
- Ask an investor to provide you reference link of his background such as Linkedin or company website. To build a business it doesn’t work in one-way street. If the investor is being too difficult to provide information, I suggest to drop it.
- If an investor reply to your questions and is willing to interview you on video call or in person, this is a positive sign. Go for it and make sure you prepare before the pitch.
- If an investor keeps dragging the meet up schedule, drop it! A legitimate investor will invest within 2 to 3 months. If an investor is really interested in your business but he said, he will invest in 6 months later the reason behind it could be he doesn’t really have the financial capacity to invest.
- If you’re an investor and you discovered an interesting pitch, ask the founder for complete pitch deck from financial analysis to the profile of the founding team.
Startup journey is fun and exciting so enjoy it! Don’t worry about people who said it is depressing or you will be bankrupt within a year. That’s enough of warning! The truth is if you have strong mentality, you have emotionally stable, you are hungry for success, you are tough, you are determined to break all the barrier to be successful and you are calculative risk taker, boy, oh boy you can make it! Other people’s negative experience may not be relevant to your situation so I suggest to stay focused and understand the game.
Enjoy, hustle hard and be rewarded later. This is your moment to shine! 🙂
Tip for aspiring startup founders:
When you do business, it is important to network but this doesn’t mean you will just anyhow attend networking parties, giveaway your business card to anyone and hope to “connect”. That’s not how it works. The strategy in networking is first find your niche. Look for small networking parties or startup events of your interest. When you attend a party, talk to small group of people and have a low-key chat. Listen to what they say and be engaging. Remember you’re one of the guests and not the host! Just because you’re in a big party doesn’t mean you have to brag about your achievements in order to shine. Stay low-key, be humble and listen. The goal is to find your people and connect with them for long-term.
Another note: to connect and to flirt are two different things. To flirt people isn’t a smart strategy in business, especially if the people you are meeting are in a committed relationship. Set your boundaries, work professionally and stay focused. The DNA of most successful startup founders are always about focus, loyalty and winning. If you put your priorities in order, you put your relationship or family above all the temptations, you will definitely make it. But if your intention is only to play, the probability of risk to fail is high.
Best of luck!