Should we continue growing organically or raise a round to accelerate the process?

14 months of bootstrapping; selling and making money; no debt but I’m impatient

  • Will raising a round actually accelerate the process for your company, or just put you under more pressure and new partial ownership with new demands?

  • Raise if you want to, just don’t forget it means:

    i) Reduced control, unless your co. is in such great shape and/or can command high valuation that you only need to sell a tiny minority stake that leaves you still in control.

    ii) Devoting a huge amount of time and energy to preparing for and chasing funding. Do you have enough staff so that while founder(s) are chasing money, someone is running the business? Worst result is to have stopped/slowed business while fundraising for X months, only to not get funded and have less revenue/traction at the end of it.

    iii) It will always take longer than expected to actually get funding, so multiply all time estimates by at least 2X (esp if 1st timer). This is assuming you actually have good chances, in a world today where even seed funding is harder than ever because you have startups with mighty traction crowding the space (vs before where it wasn’t needed to get $).

    • So true- not to mention added pressure on the partnership – which is working well for us. We’re in a niche market which will probably make a fundraising process even slower.

      • Consider yourself very lucky to at least have cofounder + enough traction. If my startup could get going and at least generate enough to pay my monthly bills, I’d be so happy, because it would mean that I can concentrate on doing nothing but building the company.

  • It all depends if getting investments will REALLY accelerate the company. Do you have a repeatable process/strategy that just by applying money will automatically give you a boost or are you trying to get money in the hope of hiring someone who can give you that expertise?

    Sometimes investments give you the luxury to pivot and find your footing (ie. Burbn to Instagram) but more often than not, it adds stress, pressure and doesn’t get you much more if you don’t already know how the money will directly impact your business.

  • You mention in a follow up post that you operate in a niche market. Institutional VCs (e.g. not angels) aren’t in the business of niche investments. They tend to look for something that has the potential of being very big in terms of returns. Pursuing VC if you’re not a good candidate for it is an enormous waste of time. There are other financing paths that may be available to you (unsecured bank debt with warrant coverage) as a profitable company. Regardless of the path you go down, as others have mentioned make sure you have a really good sense for how additional capital will help you scale faster.

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