The Fundraising Checklist: How to raise a Series A
No matter how scalable your business, securing Series A is a difficult task that requires a lot of work, planning and determination. While there’s no magic formula, there are steps you can take to ensure you acquire the funds that will take your business to the next level.
To make sure you’re ticking the right boxes, we’ve put together this checklist of things you can do to make sure your Series A round goes as smoothly as possible.
The business plan and pitch deck
The easiest way to raise a Series A is to nail your pitch. To be able to do that, you need a comprehensive business plan and a compelling story. Keep in mind the story you told people when your business was just an idea, and retell it.
- Check your business plan with mentors, co-founders or just anyone that will listen
- Look for holes, and prepare for as many scenarios as possible
- Plan your timeline and be realistic while aiming high
- Add short term/long term goals and aspirational milestones
- Practice your pitch and be ready for questions
The legal stuff
Series A is a big challenge to take on. You’ll have to agree on a valuation, prepare term sheets, and negotiate contracts. None of this is possible without a legal team. Legal fees during Series A can reach up to 10K — and with 99% of founders having little to no legal experience, it’s clear why a quality legal team is a crucial part of your raise.
- Get your files in order, and in an easily accessible format, so when it comes to bringing on a lawyer, they’re ready to go
- Research a firm or individual that shares your goals, resonates with your mission and understands your industry
- You’ll be working closely together, so it’s important to be on the same wavelength
- Keep your lawyer in the loop, as they can help you avoid serious pitfalls you may have overlooked. Make sure they know where you want to be, and can advise you exactly how to get there
You may remember an old university lecturer telling you that networking is key. Well, they weren’t wrong. It may appear obvious, but keeping a strong relationship with your network, while also growing it, will help you complete a successful Series A round.
- Make, and most importantly, maintain good relationships
- Aim to meet at least every 6 weeks with prominent investors
- Ensure you’re networking with the right VCs for your industry, goals and vision
- Remember — a good match is better than a big name
- Don’t be afraid to say no if you feel the investor doesn’t align with your mission
A little dose of healthy competition never hurt anybody, and it’s important to be transparent with your investors. Once you’ve narrowed down the VCs you want to target, don’t be afraid to show them you mean business.
- Give a deadline for your term sheet and the T&Cs of your investment offer.
- Be honest. Let your investors know who else you’re speaking with and considering.
- Build hype around your startup, and demonstrate that your business is worth their time.
- Having multiple investors interested at once can push them to secure an investment, so don’t be afraid to tell the truth about where you are right now.
- Don’t overdo this tactic however. Through your research, and testing the waters, you should know whether this will work with your desired VC.
“Generating gossip and FOMO isn’t 100% of successful fundraising, but it is often the difference between a fast process or a long death march.” – Finn Murphy, Frontline Ventures
All ticked off?
OneMSP works with SMEs at all stages of their business lifecycle, and are determined to act as the wind beneath your wings. To find out how OneMSP can help you win your Series A funding round, get in touch.