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2 min read

3 Fundraising Insights from the Experience of a Veteran Founder

Like many founders before me, I’ve learned many (and often hard!) lessons about getting ready for fundraising. In this article I’m going to share the three that have been of recurring importance and benefit to me and that I wish I had known when I first started on the fundraising process.

These insights have helped shape my approach to fundraising and have been instrumental in driving growth along the way and hopefully come as useful hindsight for another founder’s foresight. 


Top Three Fundraising Insights

  1. Build Relationships Early and Often
  2. Know Your Numbers Insight and Out
  3. Be Prepared for Rejection

#1: Build Relationships Early and Often

When I first started fundraising, I underestimated the importance of building relationships with investors well in advance of needing capital. I quickly realized that fundraising is not just about pitching your idea; it's about cultivating meaningful connections with potential investors over time.

I see so many founders get caught up in having the perfect product first before approaching investors and miss out on having a champion early. Building relationships early allows investors to get to know you, your team, and your vision for the company. It’s still a transactional relationship but investors can often be so much more than a financial lever including being a conduit to more connections and a sounding board for product and team development. 

Reach out and connect with investors early. Use the relationship as an opportunity to demonstrate progress and to build credibility before asking for investment. By nurturing these relationships, you'll not only increase your chances of securing funding but also get valuable insights and mentorship along the way.

#2: Know Your Numbers Inside and Out

One of the most critical aspects of fundraising is having a deep understanding of your financials and key metrics. When I first started pitching to investors, I focused primarily on the big-picture vision and the market opportunity, neglecting the nitty-gritty details of our financials. However, I quickly learned that investors want to see concrete evidence of traction, growth potential, and a clear path to profitability.

This is why I believe in the value of equity management tools like WE.VESTR and why I want more founders to know about tools like Forecastr. I know from experience how important it is to get your numbers right, not just for fundraising but looking beyond that and creating a sustainable equity infrastructure for the future of your business.

It's essential to know your numbers inside and out, including revenue projections, customer acquisition costs, churn rates, and unit economics. Being able to articulate these metrics confidently (ideally using tools like Forecastr) demonstrates your financial maturity and gives investors clarity on where you are and confidence in where you want to go.

#3: Be Prepared for Rejection

Fundraising is inherently challenging, and rejection is an inevitable part of the process. This in its own way is also a numbers game and every additional “no” brings you closer to a “yes”.

When you first start fundraising, especially if you’re seeing an evident product-market fit, it’s easy to be seduced by the idea that your proposition is so compelling investors will be lining up to invest. Reality is slightly more sobering and trust me when I say, even the most successful entrepreneurs have known rejection intimately! And even the best ideas will have met with some adversity along the way.

I had to learn that rejection is just part of the course, and not to take it personally because not every investor will see the same potential in your venture. The more resilient you can be in these times, learning from feedback and persevering your vision; the stronger the chance you have of creating the right conditions for success. Remember, investors are just people like you and me in the end, and just like us, they too will inevitably have a soft spot for the resilient underdog chasing a vision.

Stay focused, stay resilient, and never lose sight of your vision.

Hear more from Floris van Hoogenhuyze from WE.VESTR  in our upcoming webinar on Fundraising, Forecasting & Financials: How to impress Investors

Floris van Hoogenhuyze
Co-Founder & CEO

Floris is a serial entrepreneur and the Co-Founder and CEO of WE.VESTR, the shareholder management platform that helps founders and investors create a simplified and single source of truth when it comes to managing their startup equity.

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