Should You Seek Investment From Others For Your Startup


We answer the question should you seek investment from others for your startup. Typically, high-valued and venture capital technology enterprises are associated with start-up investment. In actuality, only a small number of businesses are funded by venture capital. Instead, traditional bank loans, investments from family and friends, and personal debt are used to fund many more businesses. The range of funding types available might make it difficult to decide how to support a firm. For the enterprise and its business professionals, each credit score of finance comes with its own set of risks and rewards.

The most prevalent types of investments will be discussed in this article. It will also illustrate which business practices and business models are most suited for external finance, as well as the motivations for seeking — or avoiding — outside funding. Finally, we'll discuss some of the concerns entrepreneurs should consider before accepting financial statements from investors and where a startup consultant can help you evaluated the pros and cons.

statup investor riding an increasing profit trend

The Different Types of Startup Investments

There are four different types of start-up funding. Loan and personal savings or pension funds are the first and most common. Businesses incur the second type of debt in the form of loans and lines of credit. Business acquaintances, family, and friends are the third source of funding. Venture capitalists and angel investors are the fourth types of funding. These are the elite types of investors that provide you with an investment opportunity.

Debt and Personal Savings

The majority of entrepreneurs and startup founders start their enterprises with personal savings. These funds could be in the form of cash, retirement accounts, or investments. From the entrepreneur's standpoint, personal savings implies reducing the interest rates connected with loans.

However, only a small percentage of entrepreneurs can sustain successful startups with their own money. Therefore, another source of funding is personal credit cards and bank loans. The disadvantage of utilizing bank loans and personal credit cards is that the owner is personally liable for repayment if the firm fails.

Traditional Loan for a Business

Business loan for startup business

In the form of lines of credit loans or lines of credit, debt accounts for about 40% of new firm capital. Business loans are available for certain amounts of money, at a specific interest rate, and with specific repayment periods. Business loans are typically used to fund beginning costs, but lines of credit for regular running expenses are also prevalent. This area is dominated by small banks specializing in analyzing soft information such as company plans and market research. In addition, because the entrepreneur's private possessions are not utilized as security, business debt offers the entrepreneur additional protection in bankruptcy.

However, this may not be the case in third-world countries with insufficient credit infrastructure. In such instances, the entrepreneur's guarantee may be required to back up the business loan.

Friends and family

friends and family investing in a startup business together and everyone is excited

Friends and family of the founder are frequently used to fund new firms. This funding can be arranged as a loan, with the lender being paid back with interest unless the company fails and is forced to file for bankruptcy.

The money can also be constituted as an investment, with the funder receiving a portion of the company's upside if it succeeds. Family and friends typically do not want control over business decisions when providing external finance.

Angel Investor

angel investor flying in to help lift up a startup founder

Angel Investors are individuals who invest in small businesses. One can say angel investors are rich individuals who invest in a start-up in exchange for a share of the company's ownership. They typically invest tiny sums of money. They may provide mentorship and guidance to budding entrepreneurs in addition to the investment, or they may expect some control over corporate decisions.

Traditionally, angel investors have supported less than 3% of all new businesses and 7% of the fastest-growing businesses. On the other hand, Business Angel investing grew at an exponential rate in 2014-15. The success of IT companies' initial public offerings has resulted in a slew of billionaires who have transformed into competitive angel investors. For some, angel investment has become a sociological status symbol, and these investors frequently participate in "party rounds," or funding rolls with no principal investor and very little due diligence. Because each investor gives a small amount, such rounds can culminate in a firm with many angel investors.

If each angel intends to "guide" the founder, there may be too many chefs in the kitchen. Moreover, even offering a respectful ear to their counsel (frequently contradicting or insignificant) can take up a lot of your time. As a result, if you're seeking angel investors, you should limit your number to a few.

Venture Capital Firm


Venture capitalists are people who invest in businesses.

Business venture funds finance less than 1% of all new businesses. Instead, many people put their business funding into a business concept, which then invests it in a range of businesses in exchange for shares. Khosla Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, and Sequoia Capital are some of the three venture capital firms that have made significant investments in Asia.

Venture capital firms, like angel investors, may provide mentoring and counseling in exchange for a portion of the company's control.

Cons of External Funding For Startups

man walking to go meet with an investor to seek funding for his startup

Tim Berry is one of the well-known angel investors, and the shocking fact about him is despite being an angel investor, he does not support the idea of seeking investments from others for your start-ups. Here are 10 arguments he debated to convince an entrepreneur not to seek external funding.

Investors at start-ups are co-owners, partners, and bosses at times.

  • It's no longer yours after the investment. When you hire potential investors, your goal of starting your own business comes to an end. You now have partners. People with a claim to ownership, shares, and a say in critical decisions are present as the board of directors. You are no longer in charge of your objectives, strategy, milestones, or speed; in short, every business plan is now open to all. You have a stake in a company as a business owner, but it isn't your own. Investors write checks to possess a significant share of your company. People treat sponsors as if they were some government agency.
  • Investors aren't all the same. Some people become collaborators and mentors, while others become nagging, insensitive critics. Some of them are doppelgängers. Some are helpful, while others are not. (Hint: be selective while approaching investors.)
all employees standing around a boss
  • Investors can be bosses. When you have investors, you're not on your own; you're part of a team. You can't decide everything by yourself. Politics are important. Investor relations are important. If you make a mistake, you do so in front of others, and it hurts them.
  • Just being funded by an investment firm or an angel investor doesn't signify diddly. When you get the check, you haven't won the race.
  • Investors have the ability to take your company away from you. Well-known strategy expert Sramana Mitra spends a few eloquent minutes on a two-minute video on them. Although she appears to be speaking about India, she is well-known in Silicon Valley, as well as what she speaks is equally applicable here.
  • For both them and you, valuation is crucial. Simply put, valuation refers to the cost of something. So if you simply want to give 10% of your company to $100,000 investors, you're suggesting your business is worth $1 million. And so forth. It's simple math, but gosh, it's not so easy to negotiate.
  • Until there is a liquidity event, investors do not make money. That is why we discuss exit strategies so frequently. You can be the healthiest, happiest, most cash-independent company on the planet, but your investors won't be satisfied until you return their money. The victory is obtaining money from the firm. Dividends are attractive to some large corporation stock buyers. Start-up investors, on the other hand, do not work like this. With their investment, start-up investors effectively purchase a piece of your company. They put money down in exchange for equity, which includes a share of the company's ownership and rights to future revenues.

Aside from that, finding start-up investors is difficult.

  • Getting funding for your first venture is nearly impossible. So if you lack start-up expertise, enlist the help of someone on your squad who does. Either you've launched a firm, or you haven't, as Chris Dixon put it. And if you haven't, and no one else on your team has, it will be extremely difficult.
  • If it's not scalable, it's a waste of time. The genuine growth opportunities are scalable. It seems to be all about products, but there are now some accessible services, such as web services. However, investors are unlikely to be interested if doubling revenue entails doubling manpower (known as a body shop).
  • It isn't easy at best to defend something that isn't defensible. Don't trust patents as a defense, but trade secrets, momentum, a mix of trade secrets and patents to have capital in exchange, plus a substantial intellectual property defense budget... Investors aren't interested if anyone can do it.

Start-Up Using a Lean Approach

group of words with lean as the focus

A Method of Avoiding or Deferring The Requirement for Outside Funding

The lean start-up philosophy focuses on creating a minimal viable product and efficiently utilizing corporate resources. Lean start-ups can support their expansion through customer sales, avoiding the need for outside capital. Building a product rapidly, monitoring consumer response, and applying these results to enhance the product swiftly or business idea are all part of the lean start-up process. As a result, the company creates a customer base early on and can support expansion through sales.

The benefits of avoiding or postponing external finance through the bootstrapping or lean start-up philosophy are numerous. First, entrepreneurs have more control over their business decisions and are not required to chase investors. Second, they can keep a bigger share of ownership inside their own company because their ownership share isn't diminished in early funding rounds. Third, they can make every business decision on their own.

Bootstrapping is a strategy used by entrepreneurs who are concerned about these difficulties. These lean start-ups, also known as bootstrapped businesses, do not seek outside capital until they have a viable product. The three-step method of lean development is as follows:

  • Ideation/discovery of customers.
  • Validation of the customer
  • Customer-made products

A lean start-up focuses on capital conservation and profit maximization throughout the first and second steps. Some lean firms seek outside investment during the third phase. These lean firms are ideal candidates for crowdsourcing funding, especially if they create physical goods.

The first step in this business strategy is to come up with a business idea or a custom solution. Next, the concept is prototyped, sold, and fine-tuned. Finally, customers' revenues fund the company, which is reinvested to expand and enhance the product. Once a company has a successful product, angel investors or venture capital are sought to fund expansion.

A more conventional start-up model, on the other hand, starts with a business plan. After that, the entrepreneur looks for finance. Product development usually does not begin until the company has received funding. Then, instead of being reinvested in the company, profits from client sales are distributed among several investors.

Pros of Seeking External Funding

group of investors talking about a startup

Angel investors are a fantastic alternative funding option for a business that might not be able to receive a small business loan, whether it's because it's too new or because it's in a higher-risk field. The following are seven reasons why angel investors can be a good fit for your start-up.

  • Start-Ups Aren't An Issue Angel investors make good backers for new enterprises because angel finance is more flexible and less formal than other sources of start-up funding. On the other hand, Angel investors will want to see that the business develops and projects rapid growth before investing.
  • All locations and Industries Are Welcome to Apply

While many successful start-ups emerge from large cities such as Boston, San Francisco, and New York, successful firms can also be found in every tiny town in between. As a result, Angel investors are looking for those companies all around North America. According to a study from the Angel Capital Association (ACA), in 2021, the ACA will have about 8,500 members in 30 states and two Canadian provinces.

Furthermore, because angel investors only fund enterprises they are interested in, practically any industry can obtain funding. Technology, health care, financial, consumer product, government, education, and energy were among the industries funded by angel investors, according to the same 2021 research.

Angel investors are also prepared to commit to higher-risk businesses or industries if they offer a good return on investment.

Minimal Paperwork

pile of papers stacked very high

The amount of paperwork required is minimal. While you'll need a financial projection, pitch, and a business plan to complete an angel investment, you won't require nearly as much paperwork as you would for a business loan. The investment is usually completed with the use of a convertible note, which is a short-term debt with an interest or discount rate, a valuation cap, and a maturity date. Investors can convert a flexible note into preferred shares on a certain date or event.

No Monthly Payments Required

Angel funding does not need monthly payments because it is not a loan. Because you won't be making a monthly loan payment, this can aid your short-term cash flow. In addition, Angel investors are compensated when a business is acquired or raised additional capital.

Support and Guidance

You're not only getting money from an angel investor, but you're also learning from them. This is important for a company since it allows you to rely on the investor's expertise when making investment decisions, resulting in higher success.

Networking Opportunities

networking group of angel investors

Angel investors can connect you with potential clients, assisting in your company's growth. Investors can also put you in touch with other firms they've backed, which can help you build strategic alliances. Some of those other companies might be interested in making a strategic investment in your company, which could lead to an acquisition later on.

Final Thoughts On Seeking Investment For Your Startup

Conventional startups and lifestyle enterprises are better suited to bootstrapping since they grow slowly and are geared to support the entrepreneur. Businesses with a unique business plan and a vast prospective target market, on the other hand, are likely to receive venture capital funding. However, external investment for these enterprises comes with its own set of risks: the owner's equity is eroded, and the entrepreneur loses some control over the company's future. These risks can be reduced by obtaining a good deal through enhanced transparency or minimizing the capital required through lean start-up approaches.

Before approaching an angel investor for funding, several things to think about. There are numerous advantages, including developing experience to help your company grow. Angel investors are less concerned with risky businesses and industries, and you may use them to network for future investors.

You are, however, giving up some of your company's stock and, as a result, some of your judgment power. Investors will expect a quick financial return and use their clout to ensure it. Furthermore, you might not be able to find an early investor at all.

While moving forth with angel investments in your business, consider all of the reasons listed above, as well as communicate with your legal and financial counsel. You can utilize startup consulting services to ensure you are making the appropriate decision. Now you can identify should you seek investment from others for your startup.

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