A Close Encounter with a Pay-to-Pitch Investor

Oh, the people you’ll meet raising money

Bernie Yoo

There’s a rotating cast of bullshit artists encountered while building a company. Vendor New Biz Guy promises seamless API integration, but he doesn’t know what API stands for. SEO Expert Bot thought you might like to know some reasons why you are not getting enough Social Media and Organic search engine traffic, but … you’re not really replying to those emails, are you?

Perhaps most dangerous though, is the Investor who boasts of big checks and high-level connections, but … you have to pony up if you want to talk. What follows is a peek at an actual encounter we had with one such investor while raising our seed round for Bombfell last year.

Quick context: we meet PayMeFirst Investor, who says he represents a club of wealthy investors and celebrities, at a trade show. On a call, he tells us that as part of their investment process, we would pay $2,500 to host a party for these wealthy investors and celebs so that we can talk to them. Wait, what?

We decide to end discussions there, sending what we think to be a pretty polite email:

Shortly thereafter, PayMeFirst replies:

“Everybody,” take “cover”!

    Bernie Yoo

    Written by

    Co-founder @Bombfell (@500Startups ‘12). Lacking in smarts, making up for it with false humility.

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