Insights from my conversations with 20+ VC’s – PART 5

Following on from my previous blog, let’s dive into what an outreach strategy could look like.

Now that you have a target list of investors, you should be strategic about the order in which you approach them. If you’re just starting your fundraising journey, the obvious answer may be to approach the investors that are the most suited to your type of business and the ones that are highly likely to invest. I would actually recommend the opposite (if time allows).

Your Concentric Circles for Outreaching

I had taken a concentric approach to my investor outreach strategy. What I mean by this is to first target the outer circles, the people who are more likely to pass on you, they are probably not entirely in your domain, but there is a lukewarm possibility of a potential match.  Then you work towards the centre of the circle, getting hotter with regards to the ideal investors you want to target. The innermost rings are the highly relevant set of investors for you. 

Benefits of this Strategy

The reason for this is that you want to have enough practice runs so you can get it absolutely right when it counts the most.  The other benefit to this strategy is that when you are meeting with these investors, more times than not, they will want to be helpful even if the opportunity is not for them.  The investor will likely know another firm that may be more suited to your company, and sometimes they will even make that introduction for you (if you have managed to impress them enough). This happened to me, and the introduction led to a VC firm making an investment into my business.

The other benefit to this strategy is that when you are beating the fundraising path, word gets around and sometimes you will even get an interested investor approach you if they know you are in the process of raising capital. 

Should you send cold emails?

There is a lot said about not sending a cold mail to a VC investor. Some VC’s have commented that if a founder can’t figure out a way to get a warm introduction, how are they going to work through other more difficult challenges of building a successful start-up. Whether you agree or not with this statement, unfortunately this mindset does exist amongst some.  

While VC’s will take meetings from cold emails, you may just be hurting the odds.  Always try and find or create a connection to your targeted VC first.  If you find a mutual link, arm that person with the right material and how to make the case for you with a strong recommendation.

You will have to be resourceful, but there are plenty of ways to find those connections. See my previous blog on targeting the right investors.

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