1:50 - Bridging the gap between different ecosystems
11:40 - How the pandemic changed the VC world
24:35 - Building an eye-catching pitch deck
31:06 - Dealing with investors who don’t follow through
40:40 - Hitting inflection points
As founder and managing partner at DART labs, Sophie is a Silicon Valley VC with Swiss roots. She and her team focus on finding the best European technology startups and turning them into global players. Prior to becoming a venture capitalist, she worked in media relations. In a livestream with Swisspreneur host Silvan, she answered some of the most common fundraising questions, like:
Is your company VC-backable?
- First things first: if you can scale your startup by bootstrapping it, don’t take investors in. How scalable is your company? And how scalable would you like it to be? VC money only goes to the most scalable companies. The goal of every VC is to have an investment be an entire fund returner — that’s how they look at startups.
Should you choose a VC fund or a business angel?
- Both can work: it really depends on your case. Look for the person with the most insider knowledge/network in your industry. If that person happens to be a business angel, great. If it’s a VC fund, that’s great too.
How many investors should you talk to?
- As many as you can handle. Your goal as a fundraising startup is to create FOMO (fear of missing out) in investors. If you’re only talking to one, he or she will feel perfectly at ease to drag things out, but if you’re talking to several investors simultaneously, each of them will be afraid that you’ll close a deal with someone else. Doing this in a condensed timeframe will allow you to really build up momentum.
What’s an inflection point?
- An inflection point is anything that validates your business in the eyes of an investor.
- Examples: Entering a new market, launching the next version of your product, acquiring a big customer, reaching time milestones, sheer growth, etc.
"The goal of every VC is to have an investment be an entire fund returner. That’s how they look at startups."
"Getting into Y Combinator can mean the difference between being valued at 6 million or 15 million."