The first episode is about how to fundraise. My guest, Brendan Baker, worked at Greylock Partners and was the
I’ve had my own experiences with fundraising, raising $27 million across three startups. My most recent startup, Breakthrough, raised $6 million from Social Capital, First Round Capital, and angel investors before being acquired.
My talk with Brendan covers how to contact potential investors, create a fundraising narrative, run a pitch meeting, and close investors. I hope you enjoy it.
[2:31] How do you decide which investors to target?
[4:31] How many investors should you target and how long does fundraising take?
[5:14] How do you decide which investors to approach first?
[6:55] How do you contact investors?
[8:11] What success rate should you expect from pitch meetings?
[9:01] What percent of pitches on AngelList were fundable?
[10:59] What defines a great fundraising narrative?
[11:33] How understanding the idea maze can improve your fundraising.
[14:12] Why to make your pitch specific.
[15:14] How investors think about your competition.
[17:17] How do you get good feedback on your pitch?
[19:28] What common mistakes do founders make in pitch decks?
[21:25] Why you shouldn’t bury your pitch’s lead.
[22:27] How do you convey traction?
[25:29] Tips on pitch delivery.
[27:16] How do you handle hard questions?
[28:48] Why it’s critical to maintain your credibility.
[29:56] How do you know it’s not working vs. you just haven’t met the right investors yet?
[30:38] How do you
[32:14] How do you determine a fair evaluation?
[34:08] Details about Brendan’s latest project, Fabric.
● Focus on investors who can invest at your stage, in your market, and have invested in the last 3-6 months.
● Rank the investors you plan on targeting as your first, second, and third choices. Pitch your second-choice investors first. You don’t want to deliver a rough pitch to your top choice.
● Be as narrow as you can while still targeting a roughly $1 billion market. You’ll show discipline and credibility and reduce the number of direct competitors.
● Build a strong network of founders who can help you personally and professionally.
● Investors have a short attention span — hook them in the first few minutes.
● Maintain your credibility. Admit what you don’t know, don’t overstate, definitely don’t lie.
● A key tool in closing investors is offering better terms for closing early.