So, you think you want to raise? Navigating VC: A Series by Smedvig Capital

Attend a start-up event and you probably wouldn’t have to look too hard to find one entrepreneur that will tell you raising money from VCs is a critical enabler to success and another who would rather stick red hot needles in their eyes than have a VC involved in their business. What is it really like? How much should you raise? Do the VCs differ much? What is the secret to an enjoyable and lucrative relationship? I suspect us industry insiders are sometimes guilty of assuming those who aren’t have a deep understanding of how it works. Why should they?! General osmosis? Sensationalist media and press?

When VCs are looking to invest in a new company, the first part of that process is to gain a deep understanding of the prospective business, its market and its competitors and unpick any ‘black boxes’ of information; believe it or not a lot of work goes on at our end outside of the coffees and fire-side chats! In my experience, entrepreneurs are also working hard to gain insight into their black boxes of information — in their case about raising venture money and the VCs that they are considering partnering with. And they should be.

There are many questions that require serious thought; first as to if it is the right time to raise capital from VCs and then from whom and how to be in the luxurious position of having that choice. All venture capitalist firms are not created equal — some not better or worse, just different — and some very definitely better or worse! You are busy running a company and the process of raising capital looks distracting enough, but you should commit real time to deciding the “who,” it is just as important as the “if” and the “how”.

We at Smedvig [sadly] can’t stop that process needing real commitment of time or tell you how to fund your business, but we are going to do our best to share our 20+ years of knowledge and experience in the industry by shining a light “behind the scenes”. Be ready for a series of honest and fair advice — no gimmicks, no agenda — and take a look with us at some key elements of the fundraising journey.

Johnny

CEO, Smedvig Capital

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