Is it possible for a venture-funded startup to go into hibernation without dying?

My startup is too early to market. We are targeting a new and growing segment but the growth is too slow to sustain anyone’s salary. We already have a seed round and it looks like no additional investment or acquisition is forthcoming.

It seems like the story is once you take on VC money, you go hard until you get bought or get huge. Is it possible for me to basically turn this business back into a side project while I wait for the market, or is shutting it down inevitable with a $1M raise into it already?

  • Is it possible for a running champion to take a little siesta in the middle of a race, then wake up and win ?

    A startup is a race. You can’t stop in the middle. Once you start, you win or you lose, but you can’t postpone victory. If you wait for the market, the market will never wait for you. A competitor will take it. And all the stuff and experience you accumulated will become irrelevant as soon as you stop running.

  • I think you can. I was involved in a startup in the late 90’s, ahead of it’s time. The company went “stale” for a few years, and when the market was ready, blossom’d in to a thriving company. Your challenge, justifying to investors there’s a reason you are waiting, and not pouring more money in to a no win situation, until the time is right.

  • The obvious question is…whose $1M seed investment are we talking about here? Family/friends…Angel/VC?

    The next question would be, how do THEY feel about you wanting to turn this back into a side project?

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