Learning from Entrepreneurs' Experiences: What Investors Want?
Entrepreneurs share their most important learnings and experiences when it comes to convincing investors to invest and show faith in your business model
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Sitting across an investor thinking what the outcome would be is one of the most nerve-wracking moments in the life of an entrepreneur. however, easier said than done, convincing an investor requires a series of well-thought steps that can bring the investor totally in rhythm with your vision. Some entrepreneurs share from their experiences what it takes to convince an investor!
Tejbir Singh, Co-founder and CEO of AffordPlan, shares that investors typically want to see very large problems being solved such that those can translate into large and meaningful businesses. AffordPlan raised $13 million in three rounds of funding. He shares key learnings that led him to raise funding successfully.
Passion driven purpose
Singh says that investors are barraged with a galore of ideas, however it is the grit and passion packed narrative that makes an investor choose one over the other. “You must address questions such as the origin of the idea, and where you’re planning to take it; the business needs it’s going to meet? How will it change the world?”
Unique Differentiating Proposition
Investors are keen to invest their time and money on offerings that can be clearly differentiated in a much-cluttered market. Hence, the offering must be very sharply defined and it should be put across in a simple to understand manner.
Sampad Swain, CEO and Co-founder of Instamojo, feels that being realistic and pitching your vision to the investors in the exact accord is a win-win for entrepreneurs. Instamojo recently bagged $7 million in Series B round of funding in January. Swain shares from his learnings-
Don’t Forget The Protagonist of The Tale
Swain says that while descriptions of the company’s future plans, dream team and growth projections may seem too exciting to talk about, entrepreneurs should never lose focus on the market opportunities. “Remember, your investors are more interested in the monetary value of your solution to the market’s problem, rather your company’s growth in specific.” He adds that facts and figures that depict the current market state and future projections of the rise and fall of the market should be the base of the discussion or pitch put forward by the entrepreneur.
Build a Rapport
Swain shares that entrepreneurs must remember that their pitch should not be a presentation, but a conversation. “Investors agree to believe in your business when they are on the same page as you. The ideal hack is to bring them to be on the same page as you, through the power of a good conversation.” He also adds that one needs to be realistic about his needs, “Sky-high projections and excess money indicate long-term responsibilities which investors would not want to indulge in.”
Shashank Kumar, CTO and Co-Founder, Razorpay says that starting a start-up or business is something every other person has longed for at some point or the other. And pitching to an investor is like giving an interview for a job which you’ve always wanted. However, Kumar advises entrepreneurs to keep in mind that every investor is different, and each investor has their own set of criteria that they use to make decisions.
Kumar shares some points about what worked for them-
Do Your Homework, be a Great Storyteller
Kumar says, “Make sure you have done your research in place about the investors before you approach them. It often helps to learn about their personal and professional interests.” He adds that an entrepreneur’s pitch should have grit and resilience, and be able to show growth, demand and traction. “And once you are able to convincingly narrate a story, you will also realize that your pitch and the way you deliver your pitch can persuade stakeholders/ investors in a way that your growth charts never will.”
It’s About The Team!
He adds that it is important to show to the investors the team you have and how you will connect with your consumers. “It’s important to show them how you’ve got the best team at hand to do the job. The strength of your team is as important as the meat in your idea.”