Startups, This Is How Your Website Can Help You Raise Funding
Covid-19 has had an impact on how startups raise funding, many of them moving to online meetings or to launching a campaign on a crowdfunding website. Due to this, investors are more inclined to look at a startup’s website when they get to know them.
The startups’ scenario is as follows: Startups need funding from investors, investors want to help them grow their company, but they seek a good reason to offer a slice of the cake.
A website is more important than you think it is. It helps you to exteriorize your company’s culture, introduce your team, and the most important aspect, it helps you differentiate your product and position it in their mind away from other competitors they might think of.
You have to think about your website the same way you do about your pitch deck because this is exactly the kind of information investors want to see.
“In a study conducted by Cision in 2017 (Shareholder Confidence 365 Study), approximately 50% of institutional investors said they would not invest in a company that did not have an IR website, and close to 60% of individual investors felt the same.” — Jessica Bornn, Principal
According to David Bradshaw, investors don’t want to see in your company just the typical strengths a startup must have, such as passion, traction, or competitive advantage, but they’re also looking for ‘intangibles’ and info about your team.
“Investors find comfort in a business that has a team in place, where team members have expertise and have been given enough authority to oversee their area of operation.” — David Bradshaw, Finance Expert
Here, the most important things investors seek to see on your website.
1. Your value differentiator
Your website should have a very clear copy and images with your product for investors to understand very clearly why they should invest in your idea.
- What do you focus on: Don’t make them think too much, you should have a short and concise sentence that represents an overview of your business. There it is your Value Differentiator they must see in the first 5-seconds on your homepage.
- What kind of problem do you solve: Share which are your goals with your product and how do you want to bring aid to customers’ lives. Highlight the empty spaces in the industry that your product can fill. Example from Spotify:
“Listening is everything. Millions of songs and podcasts. No credit card needed.” — Spotify
- What differentiates you: Showcase what benefits your product brings vs your competitors’ product. Why the investors should choose you instead of them? For example, Twist compares themselves to Slack. They present their product’s benefits by making a clear comparison between the two products.
2. Info about you & your team
Even though there should be enough context related to your product on the homepage, usually, the most interesting page for your partners or investors is the ‘About’ page. So, here’s what you should include on these 2 significant pages:
- The heads of the company: Show some professional images with the CEO & CO-Founders, highlight the key team members. Also, write about your success and the expertise that you bring from the past companies that you’ve worked in.
- The employees’ total number: It is very important for your potential partners to know your availability of staff, and if you’re able to grow the company with the current team number.
- The year you’ve been funded: It’s good for them to know from where did you start and how much you have grown until now.
- Links to every member’s LinkedIn profile: Some companies don’t realize that not doing so could erase an opportunity in being contacted by an investor or receiving a good offer.
- The investors who helped you until now: A few images with your past investors should be a must, there’s a good chance for them to be contacted by your potential partners, to find out more about your business.
- Your customers’ number: It’s essential to show that you keep evidence of how many people use your product, that you have some statistics on how many people continued to bring monthly revenue to your company.
3. Brand culture
Brand Culture includes all the ideas, values, and social behavior of a particular company, that help them to attract brand advocates, the right talent, or allies.
“Brand Culture can be defined as the inherent DNA of the brand and its values that governs every brand experience, brand expression, interaction with the customers, employees, and other stakeholders of the company along with every touch point.” — Hitesh Bhasin, in marketing91
- How do you all spend your time together: Show what kind of experiences you all share inside the company, and why other people should join your company for reaching out the same goal.
- Your values as a company: Every company relies on its own values, ones that represent founders’ & employees’ moral code as individuals inside an institution. For example, Webflow called them ‘behaviors’:
“We don’t have core values, because values mean nothing without action.” — Webflow
4. IR website section
Investors Relations (IR) is one of the main components of a corporate website or a separate page where investors could research your current investments.
- Corporate Strategy: Write about your overall goals that will be achieved with strategic management activities.
- Annual Meeting: Share a Zoom link for the future participants, in order for them to make a free space in their calendar for the event.
- Financials: Include your latest news, that way you’ll keep the investors engaged alongside your current investors.
- Analyst Coverage: Show a list that includes opinions, estimates, or forecasts regarding your product’s performance made by different analysts for information purposes.
5. Social proof
Show in what way your product has solved other people’s problems through videos, testimonials, or case studies. A well-structured website will point them directly to the pot of honey that will increase the chances for you to be contacted.
- Testimonials from real customers: Investors are interested in what your customers have to say about the product, so don’t neglect this part. The testimonials should be on your homepage, better use videos if it’s possible.
- Logos in the news section: If you’ve been mentioned in some big publications or news, don’t hesitate to show them.
- The current clients’ logos: Don’t use outdated logos from companies that don’t use your product any longer, instead use logos from your current customers, and place them on the hero section to raise awareness. This is what Ryan Hoover, the founder of Product Hunt says:
Lastly, your website could increase your chances of a significant partnership, so focus on showing relevant evidence that your investors are truly interested in.