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Founders: When Fundraising, Ask for More Than You Think You'll Need

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This story appears in the September 2014 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

When come to me for advice on fundraising, I always tell them to raise twice what they need and to plan on it taking twice as long as they expect. When I hear comments like "We don't need that much money," or "We're waiting to hit this milestone, and then we'll just raise again," I try not to roll my eyes.

One of the questions my firm always asks prospective companies is the rationale behind the specific amounts they're after, whether it's $1 million or $10 million. In many cases, the answer gives us a quick snapshot into a founder's startup experience. While we all appreciate capital efficiency, thinking small or staging rounds to preserve ownership is a huge mistake, and here's why.

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