Top advice from 7 global VCs on how to raise venture capital

It has been a year of many challenges for entrepreneurs. The global economy had to recover in every way and small companies also had to adapt to difficult conditions. But for good strategists, startups were the stars for taking advantage of unusual circumstances to find original solutions to consumers’ and businesses’ problems.

The world didn’t stop and neither did you. Companies used the lockdown period to prepare better and stronger products and services, and now their teams are preparing to expand globally. Now you’re probably thinking that your business is ready to take off and conquer open markets. All you need is funding to kick-start your expansion plan.

Luckily, during the first half of the year, our team has met seven major investors interested in a wide range of technologies, sectors and stages of startups. This is the top investor catalog for founders searching innovative minds to pitch.

If you’re looking to connect with any of them, we’re your personal manager to make it real. Share with us your idea and pitch deck here. We will reach out to you and invite you to meet relevant investors.

Get Japanese inspiration

A young, ambitious and innovative tech-savvy was our first guest of the year 2021. Tatsuro Shimada started his career as an entrepreneur with big ideas using technology for the benefit of society.

As co-founder and CTO of Connehito, Inc., Tatsuro developed Mamari, an app that connects mothers in Japan and helps them create a supportive community for each other. With over 7 million users, the company was acquired by KDDI, a giant telecom enterprise. After his exit, he traveled around the world to get a deep international startup understanding.

While visiting +40 countries, he met and dived into the startup community learning how to master the entrepreneurial journey. As part of his experience, he became an Angel Investor, with a keen interest in helping pre-revenue stage startups and investing in pre-seed or seed rounds.

During his fireside chat, we looked into his experiences and learnings investing in +20 companies. These are the three key takeaways:

First, choose wisely your team. Ideas are important, but what makes the best companies stand out is the people behind those ideas. Ideas can fail, but entrepreneurs are the ones making lasting connections and infusing their passion into projects.

Second, follow your own pace. Although all startups go through the same stages in general, each project is different and it will take time to meet the right investor. There must be an adequate match with the company, the idea, the team, and the vision for the future.

Check out the blog and video of this interesting discussion here.

Analyzing the future of IoT from a British perspective

All the way from London, the experienced investor Matthew Scherba starred in an insightful fireside chat. For over 25 years he has founded, run, scaled, and invested in companies across the Internet of Things (IoT), software, hardware, mobile, AI, machine learning, among many other growing tech areas.

As the investment director at Tern Plc, a Venture Capital firm investing in European IoT software companies, he has developed a wide portfolio of successful and strong companies around the globe.

Matthew gave the participants relevant guidelines to analyze the market, technology in development, management teams, risk sectors, among others. Among the most important learnings we must highlight:

First, think in a global perspective. Scaling up an enterprise requires more than a good product. It is important to create a strategic solution that is expandable and adaptable to various markets in different parts of the world. Remember that future performance is measured according to strategic and managerial mindset.

Second, customer validation is key. It is essential to test the products and services with the users because they determine the interest in the business proposal. Thus, a more suitable path for the enterprise can be developed to reach larger audiences.

If you are interested in learning even more about his vision here.

Nordic intakes for early-stage startups

An in-depth encounter was featured by the highly skilled Investment Manager at Telia Ventures, YingYing Huang. This female entrepreneur has a remarkable career in evaluating and investing in consumer tech startups. For 3 years she was a Senior Investment Analyst for NFT Ventures, where she managed the deal flow of 600+ fintech companies.

As part of the Telia Ventures’ team, the venture capital arm of the largest telecom operator in Northern Europe, YingYing has been involved in the investment of Nordic tech startups such as Iotcomms, Challengermode, and Varjo.

Her large experience investing in startups across the Nordic and Baltic regions steered the fireside chat into useful tactics for founders, from how to negotiate with VCs and how to connect with the right investor to build a beneficial relationship. These are some of the most relevant reflections that emerged at the meeting:

First, stay focused on developing your product. It is normal for early-stage startups to be eager to grow and expand. But it is important at the beginning to focus on developing a good product that offers a real solution. Then it will be more beneficial to seek capital, connect with investors and add value.

Second, think carefully about your cap table. It is important you can understand the long-run overview and see if you have enough ownership for the future to attract great talents for your team.

Check out the blog and video of this interesting discussion here.

Tips and tricks for digital companies

Leon Ge is a great mind in the investment industry who, due to his talent and ambition, has scaled notable tech startups across Europe and Asia. Leon is the Principal & Head of Asia Initiatives at Partech Partners, a leading global venture capital firm with $2bn AUM and a record of +200 investments in 5 years.

He was previously a member and AVP at ID Capital in Singapore, a founding team member of Future Food Asia innovation platform, as well as an early team member at Google. With a comprehensive enterprise journey, Leon stands out as a business strategist with a long list of highly successful startups and scale-up investments. During our conversation, he gave the participants enriching insights:

First, careful valuation. Be aware that if you raise a Seed round at a very high valuation, the potential harm can be quite tremendous. For future rounds, there’s the risk to not be able to raise money if the high valuation doesn’t continue. If your traction or your promise is not being delivered or it’s slower than you have promised, you might have a down-round. Remember that depreciation can put the company’s reputation at risk.

Second, prepare all your data. Planning data beyond your startup is important before meeting with investors. While you reach out to get funding, it’s important to get to know investors beforehand, identifying which metrics they are usually interested in. If you enrich your data tracking based on what VCs want to see, you’ll be better prepared to close the round fast.

Don’t miss a second of this interesting chat here.

Open possibilities for early-stage transformative ventures

Rebecka Löthman Rydå's thriving career has made her a successful Investment Director at Industrifonden, one of the most prosperous VCs in the Nordics. With a fund size of $850M, they have an expanding portfolio of +50 prosperous companies, such as Arcam, QlikTech, Cellavision, and Oatly.

Rebecka has gathered extensive experience in the business world and has directed relevant investment projects in companies such as Zenith Group and Ernst & Young Sweden. Due to her great talent at foreseeing golden opportunities, she left us deep insights for founders who are looking for funding:

First, be a forward-thinking entrepreneur. One of the key aspects that grasp investors’ attention is the possibility to create an enterprise with a cutting-edge product or service. It is almost like having the ability to predict the future and understand the needs of consumers in advance. Anticipating the future needs of markets and consumers is essential to excel in business.

Second, look for uniqueness. It’s a very competitive market out there and that makes it more relevant to develop a distinctive product that stands out from the competition. Investors tend to look for competitive advantages based on your innovative and problem-solving ideas.

Dig deeper into her wisdom here.

Funding for bold ideas at any stage

Great acumen for thriving businesses is one of the characteristics that Sofia Dolfe has proven. This shrewd business mind has succeeded as the Principal at Index Ventures for over 3 years. This capital venture firm is interested in investing in revolutionary ideas and great teamworks. Since 1996, she has excelled in the business game with 947 investments and 208 exits.

As part of the team, Sofia has focused on the Nordic countries and the Netherlands and strengthened her portfolio, among which BeautyPie, Nexthink and Swile stand out. Prior to Index, Dolfe worked on large Commercial Due Diligence projects for Parthenon-EY in London and Paris, and spent time at the European Union Delegation to the OECD. During the fireside chat, she guided us through meaningful discussion points:

First, keep potential investors in the loop. The truth is that, if your product and company are growing, investors will notice you. So, if you focus on developing a good product that is loved by the customers, your team is growing, and you’re sharing that momentum with the community then all you need to do is briefly update the most relevant investor for you with straight and to-the-point news on your developments.

Second, identify who to turn to and for what. When you have a poll of investors you should be aware of their individual strengths and weaknesses, and their unique value proposition offer. Understand which value you can get from each and how you can build your project with a complimentary board as much as possible. That way you’ll get all the advantage points from a collaborative perspective. Optimize your investors in the best possible way.

If you want to learn more about her, check out the whole event here.

Pointers form a German Growth Equity firm

The importance of a strong analytical perspective was the prevailing takeaway of the talk with Michael Rager, Manager Director of Growth Equity at DTCP. This investment firm was founded in 2015 and so far has raised more than $1.0bn from corporate and institutional investors.

After successfully working with major firms, such as Bauer Venture Partners and Otto Group, Michael is recognized in the industry for helping to develop exciting products and thrive companies. Together with Michael, the founders explored the quirks to reach investors’ interest even without being in the biggest tech hubs. These are his tips:

First, network at every chance you get. Meet people interested outside your region, look for people related to relevant topics for your startup, build relationships with people that can give you interesting insights on that. It’s also a good idea to participate in seminars, conferences, and events that help you to connect with people throughout Europe.

Second, Prepare a detailed investor diligence. Search for a potential investor match and check if you are close to their interests in terms of stage, business model, investment size, etc. You should also keep in mind the general criteria that 99% of investors are looking for: build a great team because they mainly invest in people; understand how your product can differentiate in the crowd, and be aware of the potential of the market.

Get inspiration with the detailed discussion here.

Now that you have a comprehensive list of global investors and VCs interested in quick-witted and bold founders (just like you!), let us help you to connect with them.

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