By Guest Contributor Chantelle Arneaud
When internet dating first started it was met with a lot of scepticism. If you took the plunge your friends probably treated this as a joke.
Then everything changed in 2012.The growth of smart phones, social media and the huge success of apps like Tinder knocked ‘meeting through friends’ off the top spot for ways to find your perfect match. Suddenly, it became the way to find that special someone, it was fun and it worked. So what does that mean for raising capital?
WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH RAISING CAPITAL?
Facilitated by the lockdown, the once slow adoption of digital by the industry has been spurred on rapidly. Just like online dating, online investing will be the new normal.
The investment industry is now having its ‘Tinder’ moment.
Online dating took off because technology made it easier to find that special someone. Searching singles could access the dating pool from their phone, vastly increasing the chances of making that special connection.
The same is true for online investing. Invite-only pitching events, closed networks and a reliance on personal connections all mean a limited exposure to investors, who have to work hard to find out about deals. Now, with technology, they access the entire pool of investment opportunities from their phone. For entrepreneurs, that means a greater chance that you’ll catch their eye, get that first date and potentially seal the deal.
TINDER FOR EARLY-STAGE INVESTING
Like Tinder, online investment platforms, like Envestors, allow fundraising companies to have a deal profile. Not dissimilar to a dating profile, this is the place where you tell potential investors all about your investment opportunity. Unlike Tinder, the balance here is on words over photos. A good profile will include a deal summary with videos, team profiles and market information – effectively everything an investor will need to decide if you’re the one.
The market-leading platforms also include a chat feature where investors can break the ice by asking you about yourself. No softball questions here, you’re most likely to get asked to justify your sales forecast or explain how you’ve sized the market. If your profile piques their interest, but doesn’t win them over straight away, investors can follow you and receive automatic updates on your progress, so if they don’t swipe right the first time, you just might get a second chance.
Those lucky enough to find a match will be able to track their progress towards their investment target automatically, as platforms allow investors to pledge and invest online. And once you’ve got that commitment, you can keep in touch with in-built investor relations tools.
There’s plenty of competition out there. So, to give you a chance to shine, here are our top tips for finding that special someone(s).
- A compelling profile
A top tip for your dating profile is to describe yourself in a way that provokes a question. But for your investment profile, you ideally want to leave no questions unanswered. Having a robust profile is key. If you want a potential investor to move things to the next stage, full disclosure is imperative.
Use video to capture attention. A succinct video overview of your investment opportunity will do wonders for arousing interest. Beyond that, ensure you have all your assets on display. At a minimum, you’ll need:
- A market overview: What problem are you solving and how big is the addressable market?
- Explanation of your product or service
- Revenue model: how do you make money?
- Traction: How many clients do you have, what shape is your pipeline in?
- Introduction to the management team: track record, sector knowledge & previous exits
- Competition: How are you different (and better!) to your competitors
- Financial projections: How much money are you going to make over what time period?
- Investment Offer: How much investment are you seeking? What is your valuation? What will the money be used for?
- Exit strategy: What is it and what are some examples of recent exits in your market.
Even this detail isn’t enough. Like a first date box of chocolates, you need all your documents ready to hand over. A good investment platform will allow you to control access to your documents so you can share your most intimate secrets with select suitors whilst keeping your details out of the hands of your competitors.
2. Keeping it fresh
In the same way that a savvy online dater will ensure their photos are current, you need to keep your profile up to date and fresh as investors may be keeping an eye on you from a distance. Add regular (weekly is a good idea) updates on new customer wins, new hires, new partnerships, and sales results. Keep giving investors reasons to come back and take another look. Maybe they weren’t sure the first time, so keep showing them you deserve a second look.
2. Finding the chemistry
Once you’ve that first date in the diary, get ready to wow them. First meetings are as crucial as first dates. Chemistry is always at play, so you need to ensure you’re prepared so you can relax and be yourself when you finally meet.
We always recommending researching your ‘date’ before you meet them. Find out what else they’ve invested in or what boards they sit on. Ensure you can show them you’ve taken the time to learn a bit about them.
This will make it easier to break the ice and also to find out why they decided to make previous investments, so that you can tailor your pitch to them.
You also need to dress the part – we’re all getting so comfortable with video calls that it’s becoming the norm to be at least half clad in your pjs, but some studies show that your clothing choice can affect your performance, so take a bit of time to put on your Sunday best – it might just be the difference between a good pitch and a great pitch.
The final preparation point is to know your numbers. Don’t just rely on your charm, make sure you know your numbers because you’re very likely to be asked about them and, in many cases, to justify them. It’s worth ensuring they roll off the tip of your tongue and are justifiable.
OUR LAST TIP IS TO CONSIDER THE INVESTOR’S PERSPECTIVE.
Keep in mind their goal is to get their money back, so they need to believe you are capable of delivering the growth you are promising and that your exit strategy —where they get their money back — is sound. Like savvy singles who have friends ready to make an ‘emergency get out of date phone call’ investors walk into a room backwards, they are looking for reasons not to invest but if you listen well to what they ask you and say, and respond clearly and transparently, you might get that second date.
Online investing has huge benefits. It makes it easier for investors to find and vet deals and for entrepreneurs, it means more people looking at your profile. Get this new way of doing things right and your perfect match could be a click away.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chantelle Arneaud is from Envestors. Envestors’ digital investment platform brings together entrepreneurs and investors across geographies, communities and sectors – creating the single marketplace for early stage investment in the UK. Envestors partners with accelerators, incubators and angel networks to provide a white-label platform empowering them to promote deals, engage investors and connect to other networks. Founded in 2004, Envestors has helped more than 200 high growth businesses raise more than £100m through our own private investment club. Envestors is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
LEARN MORE ABOUT FINANCE
In the Combat Zone on Finance by Svein Harald Øygard
The 2008 financial crisis was among the worst in history, yet nevertheless offers invaluable lessons. Recorded as the third largest bankruptcy in history, it caused Iceland to experience an instant collapse. Iceland defied the rules of finance; no bailout was attempted, capital movements were restricted, bankers jailed, and creditors fought. Amazingly, although Iceland was hit hardest, it recovered fastest.
In The Combat Zone of Finance is an insider’s account told through anecdotes, dialogues and personal stories. The author, Svein Harald Øygard, was offered the job of Central Bank Governor of Iceland just as the crisis struck. He saw how institutions and leaders behaved from inside the system in its deepest crisis. Some made billions; others got burned. Their behaviour, strengths and weaknesses were revealed as in no other country. Øygard analyses these events in the context of financial risks facing the world in 2020; knowledge of which is becoming increasingly relevant.
The Financial Wellbeing Book by Chris Budd
One of the biggest enemies of our general wellbeing is stress; and one of the biggest causes of stress is concern about money. This book provides a simple and practical guide to planning your daily and long-term finances by understanding your objectives and motivations. In doing so, it offers respite from the anxiety and stress caused by money problems. The author, an experienced financial adviser, argues that the key to financial wellbeing is to “know thyself” in order to allow decisions to be made, and to ensure those decisions are the rights ones for you. This is underpinned by having control of your daily finances, the ability to cope with a financial shock, to be able to have options in life, to have identifiable goals and a clear path to achieve them, and to ensure clarity and security for those we leave behind.
The New Local Economy by Nils Elmark
Apple, Starbucks, Zara, McDonald’s – these are some of the brands and companies that are at the forefront of today’s global economy. They are embedded in virtually every city and town. But when the global economy goes wrong (as in 2008), it can leave local communities vulnerable in the form of unemployment and bankruptcy.
This forward-looking book argues for the creation of local economies as a means of resisting the seismic changes that globalization often brings, especially in times of crisis. Moreover, research shows that for every £100 spent in a local shop, 45% will remain in the community (compared with only 15% if spent in retail chains such as Tesco or Aldi). As part of the design of the future, Elmark argues for the need to break up the global economy into local economies, so that communities can regain their independence and be less exposed to the tide of globalization.
Comments are closed