Your Feedback: Fund Raising Survey

survey

Just under a month ago I put some simple questions together focused on fund raising and asked you, the people who read this blog, to respond.  Thanks to all the people that took the “45 Seconds Survey”.

I thought it would be useful to go through some of the data and comments and if you have not yet taken the survey – I’ll put a link at the end of this posting.

1. Do you think you will be raising funds for a business in the next 6 months?

50% Yes
16.7% Maybe
33.3% No

2. If you will be raising funds for a business – where do you think you will focus?

80% Angel Investors
20% VCs or loans

3: How hard do you think it will be to raise funds for a business? Why?

80% Super Hard because…(A few representative comments)

“Economy is tight. “

“Never done it; not part of my network”

“Few contacts, poor economic climate”

4. What help or information would be critical in the next six months – either for funding or your Startup / business? (A few representative comments)

“What do I need to present to potential Angel funders? How do I find potential funders?”

“Connecting with interested investors…”

5. If you could have a magic button that would do ANYTHING for your Startup or growth business – What would that button do? (A few representative comments)

“Marketing. We don’t have the funds to spread the word.”

“Deliver my marketing message to a million people in a credible, trusted manner.”

 ++

There are a few elements that particularly stood out – I was surprised at the number of people who would actually be going out to investors in the next six months – more than 50%. Now that could be a factor of the people who read this blog (if so – you’ve come to the right place and thanks for reading…) – however, 50% + still seems high to me – what do you guys think?

Second, the overwhelming majority of people believe that Angels are the route to go to get the necessary capital to take their business to the next level – I found that extremely surprising – especially as Angels tend to get used earlier in the funding life cycle of a company. I would be shocked if 80% of the people who read this blog are just at those earliest stages. Assuming for a moment that there are readers with more mature growth companies – why is Venture Capital not more represented as a likely route for those to raise capital?

A few ideas –

1)     Is there a belief the VC industry has slowed down or is no longer lending?

2)     Are VCs tougher investors?

3)     Is it tougher to get through the door of a VC than an angel?

If you have a view – please add your comments.

And lastly – despite their being multiple websites and blogs out there – there still seems to be a lack of clarity around what VCs and Angels need to see as part of the investment evaluation process.  Well, interestingly enough – I’ve been working on some tools that could help with that process and as soon as they’re ready for prime time, I’ll let all those on the mailing list know more.

If you would like to add your views to the survey – I’ll keep it open for a short while longer.

Click Here to take survey

Any comments or thoughts – please attach them and I’ll do my best to respond.

Andrew

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Comments

  • Jim Ronay
    August 4, 2009

    VCs have trended toward operating businesses with sales, good margins, and existing profit. They tend to want a “proven” business. However, some VCs are trending back toward earlier stage businesses in the “clean energy”, bio, and nano sectors. VCs and angels have been in duck and cover for perhaps 3 yrs. Just now beginning to peak out from under the blanket in 2009.

    VCs are a business thus need profit and return to their investors. The play with fear, greed & creditability. The larger potential within 6 yrs the greater the greed. Balance that with their fear & creditability levels and you find the percent they will demand. Could be anywhere from 30 to 90%. Not uncommon to see $3 mil invested for $50 mil market potential over/in 6 yrs. Angels tend not to be under that pressure. They can delude themselves in many more ways than can VCs.

    VCs tend to provide larger chucks of money. VCs tend to want a higher % ownership, board positions, more control than Angels.

    Many VC sites will tell you a lot about what they want to see.

    VC investors expect an annual return of 30% – 40% or more. As the table below (1999 #s) shows, the percentage investment a venture capitalist would need to realize to support a 30% return on investment at various estimated market values.

    Estimated Future Market Value of a Company in Six Years
    (in millions of $)

    $20 $40 $60 $80 $100
    Millions 2 48% 24% 16% 12% 10%
    of Dollars 4 96% 48% 32% 24% 19%
    Invested 6 N/A 72% 48% 36% 29%
    8 N/A 96% 64% 48% 38%
    10 N/A N/A 80% 60% 48%
    N/A = investment would not be made if the present value of the company’s estimated future market value is less than the investment requested.

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