How to get introductions to investors?


6

All over the internet, the consensus seems to be that when you are looking for funding it is important to approach angels or VCs through an introduction from someone they know, rather than cold.

I'm looking for funding for a technology company (a bit over $1 mil) and am based in Australia. Although I am quite willing to be funded by investors from the US, Europe or Asia, I can't go and hang out in a cafe in Silicon Valley.

I'm sure there are people on the forum who have done this successfully. How did you go about the funding process and get those introductions?

Just to clarify: the other founders are in the US and Finland - so we are truly a global business!

Funding Venture Capital Angel Investors

asked Feb 10 '11 at 09:40
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Susan Jones
4,128 points
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4 Answers


5

Here is what I would do:

  1. Figure out which international VCs have backed businesses that originated in Oz in the last 3 years.
  2. Use LinkedIn to network to the entrepreneurs who started those businesses.
  3. Ask them to connect you with their VC if they think your business could fit their investment approach.

Your best bet will be to approach VCs who have had some success backing businesses and teams that originated in Australia. Additionally, if they have investments that are still based or partially-based there, they will be happy to consider other investments that could allow them to leverage their travel and time there.

answered Feb 21 '11 at 04:22
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Zippy
871 points
  • I like the way you think!! I'm here, the other founders are in the US and Finland, so we could possibly use your strategy to come up with a whole network of connections. – Susan Jones 9 years ago
  • Glad you thought it was helpful! – Zippy 9 years ago

2

Though i did not get funding for my own application but lot of them are interested in my app after first phase of release and i got interacted with them through b-plan competitions and also through linkedin and other few social networking sites.

If you'r idea is worth enough you don need to wait for some one who will introduce you to them. I have seen this even with my friends who got funding from angel investors and they contacted them directly. Investors see only teams profile and idea .

Other things doesn't really matter while going to investors

answered Feb 10 '11 at 11:13
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Bhanu Prasad
209 points
  • That's an interesting perspective Bhanu. Thanks for sharing. Were your friends looking for a small or large amount of money? – Susan Jones 9 years ago
  • some of them are looking for some millions of dollors and some are looking for seed funding :) – Bhanu Prasad 9 years ago
  • That's interesting. Where abouts are they? US? India? elsewhere? – Susan Jones 9 years ago
  • INdia and anyways i have sent you an email also :) – Bhanu Prasad 9 years ago

2

Unfortunately, it's all who you know or may know. Investors only want to be introduced -- you will rarely get anywhere with a cold call, etc.

I would take a look at Venture Hack's Angel List or go to a Meetup in your area. Australia is going to be tough since there is not a lot of VC money down there.

Also, see if you can meet local entrepreneurs in your area or even a "quick" flight away. The more you interact with the local business people, the more contact you can get.

answered Feb 11 '11 at 00:25
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Jarie Bolander
11,421 points
  • Thanks Jarie. I had Angel List on my definite to-dos. This will be a global business with offices (and founders) in US, Europe and Asia so really funding can come from anywhere as long as we get the word out effectively. – Susan Jones 9 years ago
  • It's always good to find a local source of capital or a co-lead. Lots of VC only like to deal with companies they can go see quickly. Another option is strategic investment from an existing company. That might be a good way to get started. – Jarie Bolander 9 years ago
  • Thanks for your thoughts Jarie. Getting investment from an existing company is not out of the question but may be tricky because this is a disruptive technology and we would probably have to put together a consortium of companies. I wonder why VCs prefer to invest in 'local' companies when it is so easy to do business and connect with anyone anywhere in the world these days. That kind of bias must limit their investment opportunities. – Susan Jones 9 years ago
  • @Susan. It's pretty simple really -- VC's think they add value by attending board meetings and "dropping by". In reality, the value they add is the money. Sure, they have contacts but in the end, they give you the money and you go make something. Don't get frustrated by that -- you can still get remote money, it just takes more time. – Jarie Bolander 9 years ago
  • Thanks for your perspective Jarie! :-) – Susan Jones 9 years ago

1

Find an event that can get you a lot of exposure in the US, then it will be worth coming out for it. Obviously taking a trip without any contacts is risky, so:

  1. Make sure you have your product/pitch ready.
  2. Get in touch with a podcast like This Week In Startups and ask to pitch Jason
  3. Ask him if you are good enough to come to the Lauch conference or Open Angel Forum
  4. He will give you "ok" or feedback for improvement. If you do come people will see extra effort in travel and try to help you.

Again, the foundation to all this is having something of value to show.
Good luck

answered Feb 16 '11 at 06:03
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Tim Nikolaev
176 points

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