The Hard truth about raising capital

There is but one truth that over shadows all others when it comes to raising money for your company.

The answer will be “no” until it is a “yes”.

There is nothing in between.

There may be long, great conversations that make it seem as though there is progress but the answer is still “no”.

There is a process that you will go through — introduction to the team, the pitch, the weekly investment committee meetings — but there is no investment “stage” that a founder will progress through. You won’t be able to measure it or give a closing % rate.

It is 0% until it is 100%.

My best advice is to be bold and ask the question that most founders do not want the answer to:

“Can you see your fund investing in us?”

You are looking for a fast “no” to this question. You are looking to squash any lingering hope so you can simply move on. Be insistent. If the answer is “no”, be thankful that you have been released but be curious as to why. Ask where you lost them and listen.

Raising money is not a given. Playbooks and benchmarks move overnight and the process from start to (hopefully) close will take 4X longer than you need it to. To manage your sanity you will need to pitch like an optimist but instinctively know the hard hard hard truth.

It’s a “no” until it is a “yes”.