always a consequence, not the root cause. You work – you get paid. You sell –
customer pays. You roll the dice and get lucky – you get rich. You have a
business (plan) that works – you get funding.
funding is not the end goal, not even for a startup. The end goal is to be able
to pay all that funding back, and some more. To reach that you need to have a
business that works. For getting there, you need the right strategy. The
strategy should be all about your business: who is your customer, what is your
offering, how you plan to win etc.
from where you are today to where you need to be one day is typically so long
that you may need to top up some fuel on the way. Funding is your fuel, helping
you to get where you need to go. But it’s just a means to an end, not the
reason your startup exists and definitely not your Northern Star. It should not
be the driver for your thinking and activities, do not let “what do I need to do to get funded” to
buyer is willing to buy you at reasonable terms. The most critical element of
this is the motivation of the buyer, and that is out of your control. The “open
to buy” window is created when their strategy shows a need they need to address
and do it yourself doesn’t really cut it. That’s when they start looking, and
you need to make sure you show in their radar screen when they do. And that is
the part which you CAN control. Sometimes this happens earlier than you would
have liked, sometimes later. Timing is not in your hands. Accept it, and act
time is when you start the company. The second best time is now. But the
preparation does not mean hiring an advisor etc, it is about doing the
groundwork that will increase the probability of an exit, when the time for
that is right.
No, but this is still more of an “exception” rather than “the norm”. Some investors who have a similar kind of basic philosophy (model is more of a “scalable Angel” rather than “VC”)
https://www.kimaventures.com/ (the only European on this list)
http://rightsidecapital.com/ (we owe a lot to these guys for setting up a role model we have taken full advantage of. Big thanks to Kevin & al for the inspiration and openly sharing their thinking)
https://svangel.com/ (building on the heritage of the original SuperAngel Ron Conway, they have the longest track record to demonstrate the strategy works)
https://500.co/ (the most vocal on this list. For them investing is just one of the things they do)
There certainly are more but most investors with this strategy tend to prefer a low public profile, they focus on their business rather than PR.