Everything you need to secure funding and make your next fundraise a success.
It’s the question on every founder’s lips. Yours, too. It’s the answer every SME is looking for. How can I secure funding? Well, if you’ve been around the block, which you no doubt have, it’s likely you’ll have picked up a few little tricks. Thing is, there’s no harm in admitting you need a little extra help. In fact, even if you’re new to the game, that’s exactly what we at Diadem Capital are here for.
Straight talk: there’s no magic wand. No secret sauce. No winning formula. Just honest, good old fashioned advice. If you’re ready, then so are we.
Focus on what you need
Don’t keep up with the Joneses. Even if X, Y, and Z managed to raise however many millions, that doesn’t mean you have to—even if you think your startup blows them out of the water. To successfully secure funding rounds happen when founders know exactly how much capital they need and why.
To secure funding, it isn’t about grabbing as much cash as you can get your hands on, neither is it for simply extending your runway just to survive. It’s about objectively meeting milestones and hitting key targets. Metrics will tell you exactly where you are. Knowing and respecting that means you know exactly where you want to be and how long it’s realistically going to take, as well as running a good process.
A good process? Track everything and anything, because the information in your head, P&L statement, and pitch deck is vital to getting a deal over the line.
Your materials matter to secure funding
Reading between the lines, if your previous attempts to secure funding haven’t gone so well, chances are your investors will know. Probably straight away. That’s not because they’re sharing messages in a private VC WhatsApp group, it’s much more likely that your data is out of date.
This is where that good process really makes a difference. If your numbers aren’t fresh, you can guarantee that investors will quickly pick up the scent. Off numbers usually mean rejection—past, present, and future. They also mean that you’ve likely bounced from meeting to meeting with the same old deck.
Keeping that information updated and accurate cannot be overstated enough. Sounds simple, right? Wrong. It’s a common mistake that founders are still falling foul of day in, day out. Think of it like this: new numbers, new pitch, new raise. That’s the mindset. That’s the goal. If things still aren’t working out, have you considered whether it’s time to pivot? Maybe it’s not the raise, but the type of capital you’re trying to source. The right data means you can analyze opportunities and, for example, switch your approach from VC to venture debt, or to bootstrapping.
That being said, a no is never forever.
Unsuccessful rounds are never a hard no
VC is a strange game. There’s no sugar coating it, either. Venture capitalists back founders to make money. You might get on really well at a personal level and have lots of things in common, but, fundamentally, this is a cold, hard transaction and investors are expecting a more than decent return.
That’s why a “no” is really only a “no for now”. Investors have specific criteria in terms of what they’re looking for; it’s why they often only invest in one out of 100 pitches. But that doesn’t mean things can’t change in the future. A “no” today may very well be a “yes” tomorrow, but founders often struggle when it comes to following on because they’re too busy trying to run a business, as well as finding a financial future.
Building relationships, staying in touch, and following up unsuccessful pitches with meaningful updates keeps you active and in the thoughts of potential investors—and leaves the door open for future opportunities across the negotiating table.
Cards on the table
VC’s are always on the lookout for diamonds in the rough. Founders come and go, pitches blend together. Opportunities pass by, but measured data doesn’t. While successful founders know their numbers, they’re also great at playing cards.
Okay, we aren’t talking about Blackjack here. Sticking with the same analogy though, investors don’t often play their hand early. By that, we mean they’ll likely let you make the first move, sit tight, and wait to hear everything you’ve got to say. For founders, picture an upside down card in the middle of the table. That’s your Ace.
This card contains everything and anything your investor wants to see; a perfect founder checklist, so to speak. Flipping that card and getting it in play, will make it easier to secure funding. All you have to do then is prove your credibility.
Easier said than done? True, but charismatic CEOs who talk about how their capital is going to be used have more chance of being successful than those who don’t. Don’t forget, your own performance, in terms of likeability and story, is also in play here and can both positively and negatively impact a pitch. That being said, measured data speaks for itself, which is why knowing what you need, running a good process, as well as nurturing long term relationships is crucial to any founder looking to secure funding and start growing.
Secure funding and venture together
At Diadem Capital, we do fundraising differently. Connecting founders with data-matched investors and curated deaflow, we’re saying goodbye to Silicon Valley zip codes and hello to a new age of Venture Capital. Join us, and register as a founder or an investor on our platform today.