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Shanti Mohan

Shanti Mohan is a cofounder of LetsVenture, an online funding platform that enables startups looking to raise seed capital to create investment ready profiles online, and connect to accredited investors.

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LetsVenture's Shanti Teaches You How To Raise Angel Funds

“I have seen only very few startups with PowerPoint ideas who have generated a lot of angel interest.”

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As I look back on my journey and the learning I have had working with startup founders trying to raise an angel round – I see myself repeating the same points to entrepreneurs.

Founding your own startup should be a journey you need to commit for a long haul – entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint. As an entrepreneur myself who also happened to have raised an angel round, the most important question I would urge you as a founder to ask is:

“Why does my startup need angel funding?”

Don’t raise angel funding because your friend raised a round for his startup, or because startup pitching in events is now becoming the most happening topic in town. Raising capital cannot be a goal by itself – it is only an enabler to the goal. There is so much news and PR around funding that it could appear as a goal by itself – but remember, once you have raised angel money, as a founder you are on the treadmill and you can’t get off the treadmill for a very long time.

As a startup, when should I raise Angel funding?

At LetsVenture, we meet at an average of 10 startup founders every week – just reviewing the startup details and the fund raise requirements. As a trend, startups who are in beta or closer to product market fit, with enough traction and product validation are able to raise angel funding at reasonable valuations.

I have seen only very few startups with PowerPoint ideas who have generated a lot of angel interest. The chaff does get filtered out and the market place dynamics continues to drive validation around business plans and business models. Before you raise angel funding, ask yourself the following:

1. What stage would you categorize your startup in?

Idea stage: You have the next big idea which you think will disrupt the world. An idea of what you want to do for the next 3 years of your life.

Beta / POC stage: You worked on the idea to create a POC. You can use the POC to validate some of the assumptions you made while ideating – on solving a customer problem, on creating a disruption or on just ensuring customers are excited about what you are offering.

Revenue stage (early revenue or steady revenue): You now have a product that customers are willing to pay for. For some products which are more web enabled or are B2C, this metric could be easily replace traction or number of users using the product.

2. How do I determine how much I should raise?

Typically it is good to raise angel funding that will help you build your startup for the next 2 years without having to raise capital again. At LetsVenture, we use a simple excel sheet to help you calculate this. Divide your spend and revenues into 8 quarters, and find the lowest negative and add a 25 percent to this, to account for margin errors. This will help you determine how much you should raise in your angel round.

There are several other ways you could calculate, but we have seen this simple approach helps you quickly know if the ask is reasonable for your venture.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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