Investors Should Respect Fundraising Founders’ Time

I spent the first three years of my career on the investor side, but having now been able to support fundraising efforts on the startup side has given me a lot of perspective on what is important especially during early investment discussions. This short post summarizes my top 6 learnings for investors and on “investor etiquette” in fundraising discussions.

1. Give a clear timeline

2. Know your limits (timing is everything)

3. Répondez s’il vous plait

This holds true especially if you’ve decided not to invest — it helps the founder to focus his/her efforts, and sometimes, every day matters. And if you weren’t able to communicate the rejection within one day of the decision, do it whenever you can make the time (even if it’s three weeks later). There is nothing worse than ghosting a startup. If this seems like a ridiculous tip: I have already experienced it several times that investors simply stopped replying without giving any feedback, even after one or two follow-up emails from the startup side. While already not a great behavior in a private setting, this should especially not happen in a professional setting.

4. More data will not change your mind

Relationship between amount requested and probably of VC investment. Source: https://twitter.com/ericstromberg/status/1121171413317013504

5. Be straight-forward

6. Reject efficiently

I’m hoping at least one investor will read this blog post and acknowledge how important a founder’s time is. And for founders: understand that the discussions you have with an investor during the investment process are a sign of how your founder-investor relationship will turn out to be in the future (and read this blog post on how to choose an investor).

Passionate about understanding things and changing them for the better. Here: writing about my experiences in the European VC/start-up world