Maria’s advice for keeping your fundraising organised
Your Fundraising Tech Stack
In this series of blogs we’ve been taking a close look at pre-seed fundraising. We’ve explored some of the things to consider before your pre-seed round, and we’ve taken a look at the top ten things to include in your data room. Organisation is key to a successful fundraise: it says a lot about you as a founder, and can be instrumental in bringing potential investors towards a close.
Speaking with a lot of investors at the same time can get messy, fast, so in this blog we’re going to explore some of the best tech tools to keep the workflow steady — and your process easier to manage. While all founders will have their own preferred tools and techniques for keeping things organised, these are a few we’ve seen some of our successful founders use — and which you could consider as you structure your funding round.
Investor Pipeline Management
A fundraising process is a lot like a sales process. You want a strong pipeline of qualified leads (investors) and high conversion (strong pitch, and organised process) to close the investor. A strong investor pipeline is important and the more investors you have to manage, the more you will need a tool as a personal CRM (customer relationship management) so that things don’t slip. For this, in my opinion, the simpler the better. Google Sheets, Airtable, or Streak are options that have worked well.
Here’s an airtable template that might be useful. Not everyone has a robust network to find sufficient qualified investor leads, so if you’re trying to find investors who might be a fit for your fund, this might help www.openvc.app and https://brdg.app/ makes it easier to request and facilitate intros from your existing network.
When you’re setting out to raise money at the pre-seed stage, chances are you’ll be working off an investor pipeline list. Hopefully, it shouldn’t be too long before you start to get offered introductions or receive responses to cold emails you’ve sent out to potential investors.
If one thing is guaranteed, it’s that the investors you’re hearing back from will be busy — and so will you. More than that, you might be trying to coordinate with people spread across time zones in different geographies. Calendly and Vimcal are both great tools that help streamline the process of finding a suitable time to schedule a meeting.
For Calendly, the free versions allow you to sync your existing calendar, to offer only open or preferred slots to potential investors as you secure a meeting with them. With paid plans you can include things like an automatically generated zoom link and a joint calendar with your co-founders.
Pitch Deck and product demos
Even at the pre-seed stage, you probably have a pitch deck, a product demo, or perhaps relevant market research that you’d like investors to see. When it comes to sharing these things, a few useful tools stand out.
Both Docsend and Pitch allow you to host the PDFs of your pitch documents online. They come with a unique URL and, importantly, help you track who’s opened the document. This is particularly useful when it comes to following up with investors.
Product demos are a useful way of visually communicating what makes your product so special. They can help educate investors on your product and communicate a tangible sense of the value it’s bringing. Loom allows you to record your screen and camera simultaneously and offers a great platform to record a walkthrough of your product in an engaging way.
We’ve looked at this in depth in another blog, but there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to organising a data room. It’s a lot of information to manage, and any tool you use will need to be both secure and user friendly. There are different options out there. Google Drive, Notion and Docsend all work well — but it’s worth trying a few out to see which best meets your needs.
Legal Agreements and Signatures
The days of a handshake and a hand-penned signature are behind us, and investment agreements are increasingly moving to digital equivalents that allow for online signatures. These are quick, and legally enforceable.
Between these different platforms, you should have the tools you need to make sure your workflow and process are as streamlined as they need to be to give you the best possible chance of success in your pre-seed fundraising efforts.
If you think your idea is ready — and has the world-changing potential we’re looking for — we’d like to hear from you. You can get in touch to tell us about what you’re building here