Sunday, January 13, 2008

Fund Raising

This is going to be a long, hard 1Q. In addition to all the usual fun associated with running a smaller company, we need to close an additional round of funding in order to keep moving ahead. Although our existing investors believe strongly in what we are doing (and we've moved the business forwards a long way over the past three years) it's always hard to find investors who really "get" what it is we do and why they should care.

To try and accelerate the process, we're looking at outside companies to support the process. In the Valley, most of the large banking companies have departments who act as brokers and agents for these kinds of deals and there are a plethora of independent boutique companies offering very similar services.

After looking at a few options, the one we favoured actually declined to work with us in the first instance, with a message that said, in effect, "this will be too hard"! By various means (mostly fair) we got a second meeting and figured out that they had taken a very narrow view of what the company does and had stuck us into a bucket marked "not interesting". Anyway, long story short, we now at least have a proposal letter to review and all things being equal we'll move forwards with them.

Ultimately, unless you are in a space that the Silicon Valley money-men immediately recognise and what to get in on the action, then this whole process is long, painful and so hit and miss that sometimes you still come up broke even after many months of doing the rounds and countless meetings on Sand Hill and downwards.

There has to be a better way, but I'm not sure robbing a betting shop with a vibrator would get the job done either, so perhaps I'll stick to the more tried-and-tested approach, despite its shortcomings. Plus, 600 quid won't get us very far.

No comments: