Strange, I answered this question a few days ago here: but this seems to be a repost of the exact same question.

Andrew's comments are spot-on about building a waiting list while you build your product. You want to be able to point to a meaningful uptake of customers and transactions early after launch. The challenge of raising VC with a product that is already launched is that the data available to investors has to be compelling enough to believe you've got all the pieces more or less in-place for significant growth with their investment. Depending on if you have a strong enough team, you might be best to not build and launch the product but get enough customer validation of the demand for you to try and raise pre-launch. Because they can always "wait" to see if in 3-6 months, you're much better than you were or if you're still at the same level.

To be absolutely clear, once you launch, the burden will be on your data to show exceptionally strong and significant metrics in order for you to raise a seed round of $750,000 or more from any VC firm or fund.

Dan is missing one key point in his investor analysis scorecard and it's the most important when VCs evaluate new investments, even at seed and that's TAM. Total Addressable Market. Put another way, it's "can this business become a billion dollar business?"

If a VC firm doesn't believe with conviction that your business can achieve that, then you're not going to get an investment except in the rarest case where you're a proven team with enough great traction that they'll consider the seed bet a "blind to see the flop." But this is extremely rare and shouldn't be considered a possibility for most entrepreneurs.

I'm happy to talk to you in a call about the realities of fundraising for startups.

Answered 8 years ago

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