021. Finding Investors

VC Minute
A fundraise process starts with knowing who to target. Here's my list of VC lists—all free.

VC Minute – quick advice to help startup founders fundraise better.

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Let’s talk about finding investors to target. 

I said earlier that fundraising needs to be treated like a sales process. You need to know who you’re going after, why them, and how to approach them. But it starts with knowing who you’re targeting. So here’s my list of VC lists that you can search, all free.  

Signal.nfx.com is where I send most startups. It’s a free online platform for VCs to list themselves and for startups to find them. And while you’re at it, you should visit another NFX site, The Company Brief and make a company brief that you can forward along. These are all free resources and great products. 

Visible.vc is an investor relationship hub, so it’s only fitting that they have a searchable database. Head over to connect.visible.vc to search for free. 

OmniValley.co is a great resource, and again, a searchable database, but this one is focused on investors outside of the bay area. You will find bay area investors in there, but this was built specifically for the startups between the coasts. 

And next up lastly, OpenVC.app. This is an up and coming platform, pretty heavily focused on the European market, but still has plenty of US-based investors.  They offer great resources for founders as well, including pitch, deck examples, and other great blog posts. 

Generally speaking, you want to cast a wide net, and start with the smaller investors first. If you go to your big name target investors too early, you haven’t honed in your pitch and you don’t know the questions you’re going to get because most investors, including myself, tend to ask the same questions. So dial that in before you go to those big name investors. 

However, if you wait too long and you wait until the pool’s nearly filled. That big investor may not be able to get their ownership that they need, and so you boxed them out before they can even go and look at it. 

I heard it an investor on the 20 minute VC talking about this, how she had to pass on a couple of rounds because they had already nearly filled out their round, and then they came to her because they wanted to bring all of this interest to her. 

 Like all things in life, it’s nuanced, practice your pitch, then get out into the market and get after those investors. When you feel like you’ve got your pitch dialed in, then you go after those big name investors that you’re targeting.

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