The Brief: Sustainable consumer electronics, outcome optimization, converting to employee ownership, commercial solar in West Africa, coral adaptation ImpactAlpha
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News
I’ve been working on building an online networking platform for professionals over the past 1.5 years. I’m getting closer to finishing it and now refocusing my energy on how to bring it to market. I know, I know, probably should have focused on this from the beginning. I’ve just been consumed with the development side of things.
I’m not a marketing person and know how important having the right marketing strategy / positioning is to drive customer acquisition. I’ve been thinking about hiring an independent marketer / growth hacker to do this for me. I have no idea where to even start to look and how to vet the right person for the job.
My idea is to find someone with experience doing this who would be willing to accept an outcome based fee structure ie. their fee is based on tangible customer acquisition growth targets.
Has anyone had any experience doing this or something similar? How did you go about it? I would really appreciate any advice. Please. And thanks.
I was reading a lot of posts and comments on how difficult it is to raise capital for a startup during the recession. Well, since the beginning of the lockdown my friends from InnMind accelerator were talking with globally recognized VCs from Silicon Valley and Europe, trying to clarify what is expected to happen on the VC market in general and how do investors themselves react and behave during the crisis.
The detailed report with the outcomes will be published soon. But before I summarized a few insights from the interviews with investors which differ significantly from the dust circulating in media.
1. Investors' money didn't disappear
Majority of big VCs (especially seed & early stage) continue seeking for and considering new investment opportunities. Nothing has changed in this regards: investors are still interested in good projects. Some of them who got used to meet with founders personally have troubles in switching to online communications and decision making, but those which previously practised international investments without personal meetings have switched to 100% online mode very fast and now are communicating with founders in zoom, listening to pitches and making investment committees online.
2. Investment deal origination process moved online
Usually, a huge part of investment deals comes from the trusted sources/referrals, and here nothing actually changed. But also part of the deals was originated from the offline events: startup competitions, demo days, accelerators, etc. Since the lockdown started and events are over, many investors started to use dedicated online platforms more proactively and participate in online demo days (YC demo day last month had more investors watching online pitches than ever). Among commonly used platforms they mentioned Crunchbase, Angel list and InnMind.
3. There is NO lack of investors / money. There is a lack of good projects and sane ideas pitches.
Speaking about the investment decision and startup assessment process, all investors shared the same problem they are facing: lack of quality deal flow. For late-stage VCs it is more or less obvious: not easy to find good startups, which found product-market fit and generated impressive traction which proves their business model. But early and seed stage investors, who are used to act in the framework with many unknowns and uncertainties, the biggest issue was… the inability of startups to deliver clear message and value proposition in their pitch deck.
For example, both Silicon Valley billionaire Tim Draper, the founder of Altair Capital Igor Ryabenkiy and many other interviewed VCs said, that in the majority of startup pitches they receive they simply fail to understand WHAT this startup is doing and HOW are they going to make money or change the world (what is often claimed).
Investors say that so many startup founders are sending decks with fancy slides and complicated wordy descriptions which move the whole thing away from the focus and the sense. Meanwhile, in the early stage when there is no proven traction and financial income yet, what is really valuable for investors is to see the clear picture of the business idea and its market potential. If the founders can't communicate it even to investors, they will most probably fail to communicate it to potential users and customers.
These were my 5 cents to the topic of "how to raise money during the recession". Hope it will help some of you to gain more confidence during fundraising and (hope) more understanding on how to approach investors during the crisis. If you have other insights on this topic, please don't hesitate to share in the comments.