Continue bootstrapping? Giving up? Moving to SF?

I coded a MVP one year ago, launched, great co-founder joined, MVP was successful, user base growing and users love the product and keep coming back often. On the other hand, we are trying to raise a seed round in europe for the past 7 months now. Some people say they would like to invest, though we still haven’t found a lead investor. Most investors say “You should go to the US with this idea – it’s tough to raise money for startups that don’t have a revenue stream early on if you’re in europe”. But I’m running out of saving and I wouldn’t survive even a month with my savings in SF.

I don’t want to give up… but all this circumstances… I have no idea what to do…

      • I am based in the US and have little familiarity with the funding environment in Europe. At least here, the $13k need would be hard because that really isn’t worth the time for any serious angel or larger investor. Here you would be better off looking for $50k-$100k.

        If I were in your shoes, I would press hard at friends, family and anyone in your broader broader network for that amount of money. Much better than incurring the costs to move to the US.

        good luck.

  • It’s tough. We’re on the same boat… I got traction but not enough money. I too is almost running out of my savings. I’ve been doing my startup for almost 2 years now.

    If you move to SF, you’re not gonna survive, unless you already have connections. Why don’t you try KickStarter and other similar sites?

    In my case, I might end up going back to my consulting job until my startup grow a lot bigger to make enough money.

  • You don’t give enough precision for a clear answer. Where are you in Europe ? It is different if you are in a big country (England, France, Germany…) or a small one (Greece, Portugal…).

    Don’t believe your investors who say you could find money in USA. They probably don’t know much about fundraising in US. And generally speaking, don’t believe people who imagine money is easy to find elsewhere, they are dreamers.

    If you can make reliable connections with well known VCs in the US (not bullshitters), it may be worth a plane ticket to meet them. But obviously, your chances to raise in US if you didn’t already raise money in your own country are very near zero. There are thousands of american entrepreneurs knocking at VC’s doors, they would consider funding you only if you are much better than all of them. If your product is a time machine or can move faster than light, or if you can turn water into oil for free, you will get funded in the US even if you are a foreigner. But in most cases, you should forget about it.

    You have to find a way to get the money you need near you, or find a way to sell your product. If you have no idea how to create a revenue stream, you should give up. Your goal should be to produce revenue, not only a MVP you can show to investors and take their money.

  • If you can’t figure out how to make money now, how

    are you going to be able to figure out how to make money

    when you have funding ?

  • Figure out a way. Don’t give up. As an entrepreneur, that is the role. We need to figure out a way against all odds.

    Good luck!

  • OP: You say you need 13k meaning (founders, especially 1st timers underestimate by 1.5-3x, and everything takes 2-3x longer) you probably need ~30k.

    – So, get on AngelList and pimp your profile. Look at the most popular/well funded profiles for examples.

    – Follow and add followers to boost your visibility. Contact all founders you know to follow you in return for your follow.

    – Contact your target list of investors via their blogs, sites, twitter, etc and point them to your AL profile.

    – If you have the traction you say, then you can find one or a few investors willing to invest in Europe and have no problem with that size of check.

    – Plus you will discover new European investors that you didn’t know of before on AngelList.

  • If you’re looking for just $13K – there’s no point whatsoever to move to SF. Shake down your family/friends as noted above.

    However, I would note that most real businesses need more than that tiny number. With $13K – you cannot do any form of real marketing. Maybe what you have is one of those magical ideas that propagates virally, but all of the so called “viral” expansions were liberally fueled by millions, or even tens of millions of investment capital.

    Operationally – getting angel or VC money takes many months. You’ll spend more than $13K just in rent. VCs won’t even look at you if you want that little, and most angels will wonder why you’re even bothering. More importantly, if your product has real potential, why you’re not asking for more so that you can truly scale.

    To give you an idea – my 1st year budget is over $1M already – of which 1/3 is marketing/branding, 1/3 is salaries, 1/5th is product dev, and the remainder is operational crap like legal services, hosting etc etc.

  • $13k!? If I only needed $13k… Don’t crowdfund!!! Get customers to pay you. Hire a salesperson to work on 100% commission with you. Get a real one too. Not some novice. If I weren’t so busy with my own company, I’d fly out and raise you $50k in sales in a month.

  • Sorry guys, I was heads down working and didn’t come back to this thread since the question wasn’t approved on the same day…

    I HAVE GOOD NEWS: 2 weeks ago we closed our round 🙂 Perseverance pays off!

    By the way, that anonymous guy pretending that we need $13k in the post above is of course not true.

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