Few Key Factors to Consider Before Raising Startup Capital "To understand the amount Capital required to start a business, one needs to clearly define the uses of Capital"

By Sahil Vora

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


Stakeholder Management is one of the most important roles of a founder. Employees, Clients, and Investors form the 3 key stakeholders for any startup. In my opinion, each one is equally important. This will help shed some light on raising capital and working with one of the stakeholders, the Investor.

How much to Raise:

To understand the amount Capital required to start a business, one needs to clearly define the uses of Capital, and ascertain the operating cash flows once this Capital is infused. Often people raise money because "it's available' (2015-2016 in India) - this leads to complacency with costs and also tends to have startups throwing money at solving problems which are not a sustainable strategy. A clearly defined source and uses of the Capital is a starting point. Usually, it is a good idea to keep a 20% contingency for unforeseen situations; most people underestimate this contingency number and overestimate their revenue forecasts, leading to a painful cash crunch. When you're figuring out the amount to raise, it's a good idea to raise money that will sustain the company for at least 2 years. Raising Capital is very time consuming for the management team, and it always takes longer than expected for the money to hit your account!

Who to raise from:

One of the most important decisions is picking you're Investors. Today, capital is available for good ideas and strong management teams. If you are unable to get in front of Investors, that's probably the first sign of a chink in your business. Few other points to keep in mind,

1. Don't only focus on financial valuation, figure out how the Investor could add value besides the money they bring to the table

2. Make sure the Investors investment time horizon and your business plan match. If you are raising Institutional Capital, try and gauge the life cycle of the Fund that it is investing from. If the Fund is in its 4th or 5th year of a 7-year tenure, the Investor will likely put you under pressure to exit sooner than you anticipated

3. Make sure the Investor and you are on the same page with regards to their level of involvement in the company. Investor involvement can be productive for the business, but clear lines should be drawn so that the management team has freedom to build on their vision

4. If you have a choice, fewer investors on the Capital table is always better than having a large number of small investors

5. If your business has strong visible cash flows, then using a measured amount of leverage, and going the Debt route is also something you should not disregard

Closing the Deal:

Many entrepreneurs get lost with only the negotiating on valuation, however, the boundary conditions are equally important to keep in mind when stitching the deal. Few critical points/clauses to keep in mind, and understanding the repercussions of,

1. Voting Rights

2. Board Control

3. Liquidation Preference

4. Tag and Drag Clauses

5. Anti-Dilution

6. Non-Compete

7. Employee Stock Options: Investors will usually want fully diluted shares, which make it harder to institute an ESOP pool, clarify this upfront

A good idea to prepare for this is to get a sample Share Holder Agreement and review the different clauses. It is also helpful to go through the due diligence checklist of a reputed law firm. These documents and checklists will not only help prepare the data you will need to provide the Investors legal advisors but also get you thinking about all the points you will need to negotiate and agree upon.

Shareholder Management:

Lastly, once you have raised money from your investors, it is very important to have a transparent relationship and periodic reporting structure with them. Remember, they are a key stakeholder and have an important role to play in the success of your business. It is also useful to pick their brains casually once in a while, get access to their network or just bounce off ideas. If there is a good rapport and transparency in your relationship with your investors, you will find it easier to deliver the bad news when it does need to be delivered. Be rest assured, there will be bad news to be delivered at some point!

Good luck, and remember – good things happen to people who hustle!

Wavy Line
Sahil Vora

Founder and Managing Director, SILA

Sahil Vora is the founder and Managing Director of SILA. 

Related Topics

News and Trends

Bollywood Actor Suniel Shetty Invests In Klassroom Edutech

Suniel Shetty's direct engagement is projected to boost the startup's social initiatives aimed at bridging the education gap for underprivileged students in India


World Environment Day 2023: 4 Companies Working For a Greener Planet

With climate-related issues affecting the world, and the built environment being one of the most impactful causes of carbon emissions, sustainability must be integrated into all growth strategies. Even the corporate sector needs to channel its resources for a greener and more sustainable way of living.

News and Trends

Bitcoin Blockchain's Average Transaction Fees Surged 900% To Stand At $15.65

The primary reason behind this drastic increase is said to be the introduction of Ordinals onto the Bitcoin Network

Growing a Business

Subscribers Exclusive Event: Discover How These 2 Founders Turned Their Side Hustle into a Million-Dollar Lifestyle Brand

Learn how you can transform your personal brand into a thriving business empire with co-founders of The Skinny Confidential


Apple to Unveil its Mixed Reality Headset at Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) 2023, Kicking Off Tonight: Here's What To Expect

In the making for a few years now, the mixed-reality headset will place its users between the virtual and real world. The launch would be the most significant one by the iPhone maker.

News and Trends

KL Rahul Invests In Sequoia-Backed Hyugalife.com

KL Rahul, who is currently recovering from a sports injury has joined hands with HyugaLife.com to inspire every Indian to be their healthiest and best self with its all-encompassing platform