4:03 - Is my company VC-backable?
7:04 - How to find investors
22:48 - What makes a good pitch deck
28:26 - Picking a bad VC
36:45 - Raising funds is getting harder
Arijana Walcott is a co-founder and managing partner at DART Labs, together with former Swisspreneur guest Sophie Lamparter. DART invests in early stage startups from Switzerland and Europe and helps them test and scale their ideas in San Francisco. Arijana holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in General Management from HSO and previously worked as VP Innovation & Technology at Swisscom.
At DART Labs, she interacts with dozens of startups on a weekly basis, and during her chat with us she summarized some of the lessons she’s learned so far.
Is your startup VC-backable?
That depends on how fast you’re willing to go. The question in any investor’s mind, when deliberating whether or not to invest, is “Can this investment provide a return for the entirety of the money this fund has invested thus far?” If you’re not willing/able to grow your valuation 3x every 12 to 18 months, VC money is probably not the right choice for you. Growing at this rate is not the right option for every startup necessarily, but it is very much the type of thing VCs want. For instance, at DART Labs, Arijana and Sophie ask startups whether within 5 years they will be able to reach 50M in revenue, or be acquired for 50M.
Should you go for VC money or business angels?
That depends on the stage of your company. If you’re at a pre-seed stage, you’ll probably only be able to convince business angels. At seed stage, your investor pool might look like a mixed bag. From Series A onwards, you’re much more likely to captivate VCs, and may perhaps start relying more on them than on angel money.
How should you best approach a venture capitalist?
Arijana recommends that you structure your fundraising timeline around upcoming milestones which impact your valuation. She also urges you to make sure you have enough runway. 6 months for fundraising and 7 months of runway… is a recipe for disaster.
What are VCs thinking about during the first intro call?
In future calls, you’ll discuss things like the business model, your sales pipeline, etc.
What makes a good pitch deck?
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