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How to create urgency during a fundraising process

Guest article by Alexej Pikovsky

With September fast approaching, the fundraising season will be back again, and that means getting everything ready to make your raise as efficient and successful as possible.

 

It's not just about presenting an attractive business model. The how of the process often influences the outcome just as much as the what.

 

Here are the steps I followed when I raised my $4m+ round.

 

1. Lay the Groundwork with Solid Preparation

Finalise your narrative and gather your materials: Your pitch deck should be more than just numbers and graphs. It should tell a compelling story. Pair this with a detailed financial model and a well prepared dataroom well in advance of you going out there. 

Build your list of prospects. Tools such as shipshape.vc are a great help, you should also add existing investor lists to your database and reach out to other founders for suggestions. 

2. Set Clear Timelines

Define clear start and end dates for your fundraising phase. This creates a natural sense of urgency. Do not say you are fundraising or tell potential investors you are fundraising until you really have everything ready to make it a sprint.

 

You want to allocate the majority of your time to the fundraising process which is why its so important to not drag it out for a long period of time as that will harm your business in other ways. 

Stagger your initial investor meetings. Start with angels, build up momentum and commitments before you start reaching out to VCs. This approach also gives you a chance to refine your pitch based on early feedback and continue to improve the story along the way.

 

3. The Art of Creating Scarcity

Categorise your investors into investor personas and allocate a fixed number of slots per investor persona on your cap table. Instead of an open invitation, inform potential investors that there are only a few available slots. This approach can make your startup appear as a coveted opportunity.

When scheduling calls, try to line up most investor calls over a dense 3-4 week period. Investors talk to each other, and if they know other investors in their network are also talking to you, that will create even more FOMO. 

These are the three steps I used to create urgency and momentum in my process. In my free fundraising accelerator on the 17th and 24th of August,


In the first session, I will show examples of how to create a clear and concise narrative and how to appeal to various investor personas.

 

In the second session, I will talk more about how to build investor lists and how to approach investors, as well as dealing with ghosting and rejections.

 

Finally, I will be covering the most common mistakes to avoid before and during your fundraise. 

 

Link to fundraising accelerator: alexejpikovsky.com 

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