Tuesday, November 22, 2022
HomeStartup5 minutes with Andy Davis, co-founder of 10x10 Capital

5 minutes with Andy Davis, co-founder of 10×10 Capital

This week I had the good privilege of sitting down with Andy Davis, serial investor and co-founder of 10×10 Capital, a fund that invests in early-stage black founders within the UK. Andy took us by way of some key questions founders ought to think about when fundraising.

How a lot fairness do you have to give away early on?

There are some things it’s best to know in the event you’re a founder concerned in fundraising as we speak. Firstly, how a lot fairness do you have to give away? For my part it’s best to give away not more than 10-15% of your fairness within the first spherical of funding. After you develop, you’ll be able to doubtlessly give away a bit extra. You want to give away smaller quantities earlier to protect your fairness to have extra in a while.
It places traders off after we see corporations as they’re rising, and so they’ve already given away a major quantity of fairness of their enterprise. It makes us consider that they gained’t have sufficient left to be motivated to continue to grow their enterprise long run.

What sort of validation does your organization want?

Validation is tremendous essential, nevertheless it shouldn’t be quantified by vainness metrics – for instance the variety of downloads for a cell app. Validation means precise engagement with customers. I don’t wish to hear that you’ve 15,000 downloads and solely 200 customers. I’m not apprehensive in regards to the numbers. I wish to hear about how a lot these 200 customers love your product, and the way they’re spending their time with you. I wish to know who these customers are and the way you’re planning to succeed in extra of them. That’s tremendous wholesome and optimistic for you in these early days.

Should you’re a B2B firm, validation ought to be a pipeline of pilot clients or precise signed and paying clients. Having individuals simply on a waitlist, who could also be is simply not sufficient these days as a result of the world is so aggressive and it’s comparatively simple to launch merchandise, particularly with no-code instruments and lots of issues you should utilize to validate your merchandise.

So, for validation, in the event you’re B2C, you wish to have engaged customers, whatever the state of the product. Should you’re B2B, you wish to have some paid pilots ideally.

What questions do you have to ask a possible investor?

Once you speak to an investor, you wish to ask what stage they spend money on sometimes. Pre-seed? Seed? Pre-product? Pre-revenue? Discover out the place they’re comfy. You want to ask them how a lot they often make investments, how a lot they invested in the previous couple of corporations. You wish to perceive what their timeframe is to make a brand new funding. In the event that they see you as we speak, do they want just a few extra conferences with you? Do they like to speculate over a three-month timeline or are they completely happy to decide in a day or every week?

Additionally ask them what they count on as a return. That’s a essential piece, particularly in the event you’re speaking to a fund. The fund could love you and obsess over the issue you might be fixing, but when they see how your resolution will work economically and allow them to see the sorts of return they want then they won’t be able to do the deal. Asking potential traders what sort of return they count on will inform you whether or not or not the deal is viable.

Find out how to make the suitable introduction to an investor

Everybody says you want a heat introduction and that it’s best to by no means name somebody chilly, however that’s not precisely true. There are some actually good methods to chilly DM or chilly electronic mail potential traders. If I open an electronic mail and it seems to be like a ebook, I’m going to “come again to it later”. Who is aware of when “later” is? You wish to make your electronic mail tremendous succinct. It ought to be clear and I ought to be capable to learn it on my cell phone, with out scrolling. It ought to have a hyperlink or an attachment to your deck. Maintain it easy: one line about what the enterprise does, how a lot you’re elevating and in case you have any cash dedicated. Then put in three to 5 highlights in regards to the enterprise and one of the best ways to contact you. Good and easy. Belief me, that’s the e-mail to ship.

The identical factor with DMs. Should you’re DMing somebody, additionally hold it tremendous succinct and take up perhaps half a cell phone display screen. Inform them what your enterprise does in two and a half strains with a hyperlink to your web site and a hyperlink to your deck. Even be very particular about what you want. Inform them, “I want half an hour with you to debate A, B, and C.”

Chilly emails and DMs can work, you simply must know tips on how to leverage them.

For extra suggestions and recommendation on fundraising and constructing a profitable startup, join Microsoft for Startups Founder Hub as we speak.

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