How to attract investors — 7 Tips | Предприниматель

How to attract investors — 7 Tips

Founder of Internet service, “My warehouse” tells the story of how he was able to attract investments in the business founder, “1C” and Skype.

Before developing the project “My warehouse” to the level of an independent business, we had a chance to go through a long and difficult road. I had to learn a lot and even abandon the original idea. My colleague in this case was Oleg Alekseev, who is also, like me, was a specialist in the creation of products for the oil industry. Back in 2007, we decided to try his luck in creating your own business. We served as a model for the company 37signals, which sold a web based business applications. We have set ourselves the task of creating something like this company.

In creating the project really helped us keep track of the habit of the Western market, and even then we are all aware of the popularity of applications SaaS. Over the choice of areas for biznema we also long speculated as to both of us trade is of great interest. As it turned out, a program created exclusively for sladskogo accounting was not particularly in demand. The then market conditions needed for such a program that will manage all the processes of trade. Thus, we were able to turn the “My store” in rich application that would be able to manage the trade in shops and small retailers.

Run this kind of service has proved very difficult, as the provision of B2B services require special trust from potential customers, and very development and launch of service proved to be quite an expensive affair. In addition, the scope of investment in Russia in 2007 was assimilated very weak, and we had to address not only over all possible contacts, but also to many investment funds. And then we got the first and quite unexpected for us feedback – our first investors became Ambient Sound Investments, the Estonian Fund, which was the developer and founder of Skype. They agreed to invest in the project $ 200,000, provided that we will give them a possession of 30% of our company. The premise of this transaction was our participation in one of the discussions in the network LinkedIn, where we have seen. Yes, the geographical location of our new investors was very helpful, as Estonia at that time was quite advanced country in the field of IT. Though intelligent Estonian market was small, but viewed a keen interest in global trends, and the project “My warehouse”, focused on the Western market conditions represent a considerable interest for the fund.

In 2011, the second wave of investment due to the fact that the company “1C” is part of a package of shares repurchased Ambient Sound Investments. Today in my portfolio pervoispytatelya has good experience in startups and software development, so let me give some advice to those who are just beginning to move on this interesting and difficult path.

Answer yourself first

In developing your project, you first should answer the following questions:

  • What problem can be solved?
  • Exactly how can I solve this problem?
  • How to get revenue?

If you were able to answer these questions, you can begin to develop a business plan. It is best to look for ideas in the experience of Western companies market – the path of least risky.

Another tip – if you start to develop your project, first create a test version, or beta version and run it for two to three months. Let your service initially contains only the most basic functions. Already at this stage, you will be able to determine how popular it will become. Sludet not spend the time and effort to develop the service with extra features.

Go where there are investors

These days, finding an investor has become much easier than in the days when we started our business. In addition to investment funds, now there are many investors who are willing to invest in youth projects. Also regularly held many events where budding entrepreneurs can not only communicate with experienced entrepreneurs and large investors, but also to acquire useful links and contacts. Do not forget about the various competitions, designed to help the most talented developers to put their projects into reality. Once upon a time we took part in the contest Web Ready, and when it came to the finals, we had already seen the company “1C”.

Less documents

As a general rule, the question of gathering the necessary documentation is for “beginners” most difficult. As a rule, when he saw the news list of documents that are required to present the investor, they start to panic. But it is not worth doing. Investors – are experienced, they are enough to provide a detailed presentation in which he outlined the essence of the project and a map of expenses and income. They know how to soberly assess all the ideas and figures, so often all the rosy forecasts newcomers are immediately divided into ten.

How to be when a team with no experience

One of the main keys to success is a strong team, especially if you try yourself in IT, where professionalism, or lack of skill on the contrary, can play a decisive role. You have to assemble a team whose members will virtually burn the general idea, and do not give up at the first failure. It is also very important that the team members are evenly distributed between the directions of your project, performing all the necessary improvements.
As a rule, investors abundantly if the team has previously worked with similar projects. But if no such experience, then proceed as we once – prepare a quality prototype of your product.

Distribute the money properly

In the matter of the use of investment funds should primarily be guided by what stage of development is your project. If it is only the initial stage, then by all means better directed to the development of the project. It is better to start as early as possible the beta version, because it will form a small audience of users, and gain the trust of not only available, but also potential customers. If the project is already running, you need to focus on finding and developing the most appropriate financial model for you, and after you can send money on advertising and promotion.

Will help you perseverance and flexibility

Of course, since the creation of the business, very few people of the importance of this step. Not every startup teams can assess how his life will change with this step, and therefore no mental preparation is necessary. As you know, many projects have survived only through perseverance and steadfast faith of their founders. Therefore, you should, first of all, be prepared for significant changes and instability, and also financial. For me, the lack of boredom has always been one of the main advantages of a startup, because the constant movement forward, new experiences, the growth of the company – it’s the best incentive is committed to continuous development. It is very important to have two mutually exclusive qualities, namely, flexibility, and perseverance.

Be objective

If you decide to open a business, first look at the idea from the side. Will your project to solve a specific problem. Most startups are passionate about their idea of ??how they can ignore all of its uselessness. Of course, to objectively evaluate your idea of ??the very difficult, but it will greatly help you in achieving success in the future.

Do not know how to persuade investors to invest in your business? You can help just the facts. The fact that investors are firmly on the ground just because they see all the benefits of the case, they are able to myslt categories. Therefore, use only the actual business performance. You will be useful not only general information and forecasts for the market, but the statistics confirming an increase in the customer base and the development of the company as a whole.

It should be noted that the opening of business – this is an area which is the most difficult to plan and predict. Perhaps this is its main advantage.

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