Over the past few months we’ve enjoyed running our first ever Investment Series in partnership with the Department for International Trade. As part of our Virtual Pitch Day we heard from a panel moderated by Anthemis Group offering advice and insights into fundraising at Series B and beyond. Here are some highlights from the panellists.
On how much to raise…
“One tries to raise to milestones, so you can optimise the valuation,” says Mike Laven, CEO of CurrencyCloud. “So you only take what you need to get you to the next milestone… but I ran out of money anyway!”
Laven says it was at Series C that he started to expand his outlook. “I also used the round for lead generation, so I didn’t mind a massive amount of pitching. When pitching, I would know within 30 seconds of walking in the door whether my time was worthwhile or not – but it’s important to remember that in the venture world, everybody talks to everybody. You have to assume whatever you’re giving to anyone is going everywhere.”
On choosing investors
If you are in a fortunate position of having the option, it’s important to ask not just what you can do for your investor, but what they can do for you.
“At B stage we were looking at how we hire and grow our talent base, so network was very important,” recalls Shefali Roy, COO and CCO at TrueLayer. “When you’re a small company, you’re still relying on referrals and on people you know and trust. We were also looking at what advice our investors could give us from a business perspective because we’re a very young company.”
For Oliver Prill, CEO of Tide, it’s worthwhile knowing who will really be investing in your business. “An important one for us was that the fund had a good reputation. We insist on knowing who the investors are by name, and we want to know how that fund interacts. You will spend a lot of time with them, and they will have a critical role in the success or non success of the venture.”