By techweek Techweek
31 May 2021
As the saying goes, you need to spend money to make money. And if you’re a high-growth start-up looking to get off the ground or expand, it’s likely you’ll need an injection of capital to do that.
For investors, capital raises provide an opportunity to invest in a company’s ambitions. However, as with all investments, there’s a risk to reward trade-off. That’s why it’s important for founders to understand that the clearer you can articulate the opportunity and its potential risks – and proposed mitigations – the better equipped investors will be to assess your business as a viable investment.
You know you need financial support, but how do you go about getting it? Let’s take a quick look at the capital raise process.
In the early days, investors invest in you more than your business, so relationship-building should take precedence. Be sure to share your story and vision with people ahead of pitching to investors.
Prepare a high-level summary that focuses on your business journey, future milestones - and your ultimate vision. This will help you find potential investors who buy into your vision and are best aligned to assist you moving forward.
Often, the first thing potential investors will be looking for is a pitch deck. These are presentation slides which briefly summarise you and your business. You want to create enough interest for a follow-up meeting, so its important to provide just enough detail for them to make an assessment.
Depending on the type of investor, you might receive an invitation to present your pitch deck. Again, use this as an opportunity to pique their interest – and ultimately, land follow-up meetings or enter due diligence.
At this stage, a thorough Information Memorandum (IM) and complete Data Room will be needed for potential investors to get a deeper understanding of your business.
The IM and Data Room give an indication of your ability to organise and simplify large amounts of interrelated info. You’ll need to find a balance between providing the necessary level of detail and keeping things simple. Outline any known risks, concerns and abnormalities. Investors don’t like surprises so complete transparency is critical here.
Be prepared to answer questions or requests for further explanation. If something can’t be facilitated quickly, explain the cause, and outline an expected timeframe.
Now that you’ve got investors undergoing due diligence, you must secure a lead investor. Typically, lead investors take up a significant portion of an investment round, and act as a signal to other investors that the round is getting traction.
Those investors interested in becoming lead will issue what’s called a term sheet – this details the terms they’re willing to invest on.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate with investors on their terms, but make sure you understand the thought that’s gone into each item – you don’t want the negotiations to back-fire.
Once signed, you’re well on your way to securing the necessary funding to take your business to the next level. Unless an interesting proposition comes along, try and stick to the terms on the term sheet. This keeps things smooth, keeps your lead investor happy, and should see the round filled quicker.
With the round hopefully nearing completion, pulling together the legal documents to allow commitments to start being banked takes priority. These can take some time - the New Zealand Angel Association has templates on their website which can help you get the ball rolling. Once the documents are completed, it’s time for signatures - and to start banking funds!
Keep investors up to date regularly with your progress – the good and the bad - and make sure you ask them for help if you need it.
Come next round, your existing investors will be excited to take up their pro-rata rights, and you can focus your efforts on finding new investors to address your latest challenges.
Find out how NZGCP can connect you with the right investors and support your capital raising journey.
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