8 Ways to Find Investors for your Startup
By James Martin
May 11th, 2021
8 Ways to Find Investors for your Startup
Find the right investor for you using online platforms, such as Angels Partners and other sophisticated verticals
Looking to secure financial leverage to fund your Startup? Using sophisticated online platforms, social media channels and effective emailing to find and engage with investors, finding the right investor for your Startup can now be achieved in more ways than one.
1. Using Tech to Find Investors
The number of online fundraising platforms over the past few years has exploded and, combined with the global pandemic (Covid-19) causing major disruption to face-to-face business, finding investors online is becoming ever more sophisticated and effective.
With a plethora of platforms to choose from, getting to grips with the services offered by each one is going to save you valuable time. Platforms, such as LinkedIn, with its practical LinkedIn Sales Navigator tool, allows you to quickly locate large numbers of business professionals online, but without necessarily targeting investors. Other platforms, such as SeedInvest, Start Engine and Wefunder, have large online networks, yet operate on a crowdfunding basis, where entrepreneurs are expected to have already secured 50-80% of their round in order to attract investment.
Angelist, a boasting platform, similar to LinkedIn, for Startups, can act as a company visiting card for interested investors, providing your profile is up to date. This platform focuses on being a valuable source and reassurance tool for investors, where curious investors can search for collaborations and deals and check out a Startup's profile. Alternatively, for entrepreneurs looking to find capital on a loan basis, CircleUp is the platform for you.
2. Find Investors on Social Media
A powerful, inexpensive, yet, underrated tool for finding investors online is through social media channels. From gaining traction and attracting investors to examining and testing the market, these platforms can provide Startups with a means of finding investors.
Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, have evolved dramatically since their conception, into powerhouses of networking databases, giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to reach out and remain connected to investors.
For individuals able to get hold of an investor’s profile handle, direct messaging could be the answer to raising capital for your startup. Otherwise, posting, collaborating and paying for sponsored posts and influencers could provide visibility and gain the necessary traction. Twitter can provide value through means of fruitful and pertinent conversations between investors and founders, but the lengthy and time consuming process involved is something to be considered.
3. Finding Investors through Blogging
Have you considered checking the blogs of active investors? One way to connect and find investors that fit your company profile is through engaging in conversation via a blog. Whether it be your own professional blog, detailing the thought process through each round of fundraising and telling the up-to-date story of your company, or, targeting appropriate investors’ blogs, instigating a discussion might just get you noticed, better yet, a response.
The capacity for blogging to remain a valuable tool for finding investors is apparent, but entrepreneurs ought to consider how to interact with potential investors. Start by reading an investor’s blog to get a feel for who they are and what type of business they tend to go for.
Some investors have high visibility and are in the public eye, so use this to try to understand how they perform business so that you can tailor your message for a personalized approach and engage effectively. Alternatively, guest posting on popular blogs or paying for a feature blog article, although may set you back financially, could be the golden ticket to getting you noticed.
4. Emailing Investors
A classic, yet, practical tool for finding capital is through effective emailing. Well-designed email templates can speed up the process of seeking investors and help entrepreneurs raise millions.
Like with any method of reaching out, being mindful and personal can help individuals form a more authentic connection with an investor. So, while well-designed email templates are a time savvy and energy saving tool, personalized emails could improve your chances of connecting with investors. Want our advice? Well, start by looking up an investor (you can try using platforms like Crunchbase) to understand if your interests are aligned and see what they find appealing.
Then, when it comes to writing that all important first email, make sure you’re only giving them a teaser, no mention of signing NDAs and keep it short and sweet. Double and triple check that you’ve presented a clean, professional piece of writing, with pristine spelling and grammar, well structured and reads well.
5. Applying to Accelerators
Startup accelerator programs have traditionally been a great method to help find investors, expand professional networks and receive sound advice on building a successful business.
Different accelerators operate under different terms, so, when browsing and applying, it's important to consider their terms and conditions, check their success stories and examine their track record. In some cases, the reality of accelerator programs can fall shy of expectation, with access to resources and the capacity to network being reduced.
With the emergence of Covid-19, not only are co-working spaces and accelerators inapplicable at the time of writing, but working space models are evolving, bringing into question the efficacy of such setups and programs for the future. Alternatively, entrepreneurs could invest time into building up their network, with the view of creating an active board of advisors, who, in term, will bring in their network, contacts and potential investors.
Contact former colleagues, teachers, mentors, family members and any other individuals you can trust to help guide you through the process.
6. Sharing your Product to Attract Investors
Time and time again, entrepreneurs are making the error of finding investors before they are able to showcase a product. Most investors are not going to be interested in funding an idea, they want to see traction, engagement and product use on different verticals and platforms.
If a Startup can demonstrate they have successfully acquired a customer base, not only does this spark interest for a potential investor but it could allow you to negotiate better terms from more appealing investors. Generate buzz, then, generate the funding.
7. Hire Professional Fundraisers and Brokers
If you have been fortunate to receive part of your education and training at a business school, it is likely this route to seeking investors is not for you. On the other hand, for founders who don’t have the skills, contacts or the know-how to talk the language of business, hiring professional fundraisers could increase your chances of raising capital.
Generally, these individuals are former founders themselves, financially well-connected, with a vast network and reputable name, they not only act as translators between inexperienced founders and potential investors, they have an invested interest in choosing good projects, in the hope of upholding their stats and metrics. By delegating much of the work to these fundraisers and brokers, ultimately the control falls into their hands.
Put simply, there's little room for choice when it comes to selecting an investor - you take what you’re offered as many will ask for upfront payment and take a commission as equity. These one trick ponies cater to specific rounds and stages, so founders will have to use different fundraisers for different stages of the fundraising process. A generally stressful strategy, but perhaps necessary for amateur founders lacking a network and an aptitude for business.
8. Subscribe to Angels Partners’ Startup & Investor Matchmaking Service
Fundraising in the digital era, using online platforms and technology, is an effective way to find and connect with active investors. At Angels Partners, we have streamlined the fundraising process, reducing the time it takes to raise capital, by helping founders connect with the right investors for their business. With access to over 40,000 investors, we are leading the way in helping Startups access capital. To ensure your business has the best chance of succeeding, take a look at our top 5 criteria for success:
- The business has to attract investors. Investors are looking to invest in companies that are incorporated in stable countries, with solid economical, social and political incentives. Without authorisation to own and eventually sell shares of a company, potential businesses are not appealing, meaning, incorporation in the right country is paramount.
- Have your financial documents in order. An actionable business plan that has a realistic financial and an appropriate contingency plan is going to impress an investor. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs grossly underestimate the cost and impact of a delay, resulting in a fundamentally inaccurate business plan.
- Be efficient with time. When interacting with a potential investor for the first time, the time spent pitching your idea should be less than 5 minutes, seamless and eloquent, with a touch of mystery. Aim for just enough mysticism to create positive questions in the mind of the investor and entice them to come back for more, allowing you to secure that all important second, longer meeting.
- Build trust and confidence with your investors. Every investor is going to want to know you can be trusted, after all, they are entrusting you with (hopefully) large sums of money. Build credibility by sending emails in a timely manner, following through with actions promptly and proving that you can back up what you say with the goods. Use statistics and data to demonstrate your reliability.
- Think Big. Ultimately, the stakes are higher for investors than entrepreneurs, with their capital and reputation on the line. No investor worth their word is going to invest in small projects with low financial gain. Approximately 9/10 investors lose all their investment, so it’s not surprising to learn that most of them are just looking for the next Uber, Facebook and Amazon. Go Big or go home.
Finding and connecting with the right investors for your Startup is your ticket to taking business to the next level. If you believe you meet the above criteria to start up the next big thing, head over to https://angelspartners.com/register to sign up today and start your fundraising journey on one of the world’s leading fundraising platforms.