096. Filling The Pool After The First Investor Is In

VC Minute
Dama explains how she used "unbiased" opinions (of her strategic investors) to help new investors reach conviction.

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

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Dama Dipayana

How do you get that first person to conviction?

Because I think that’s the hardest part, is you need to get that first person to jump in the pool.

I now have learned to really kinda force that timeline too. And with us it was easy cuz we had a convertible note, so I was like, I am gonna close this convertible note so get in now.

I do think that you have to be persuasive, giving the sense of, Hey, there’s a lot of people here, so you’re in or you’re out.

And then we had a strategic Blue Cross Blue Shield who came in with 1.5 million. They’re like, ” we’re down. This is amazing.” And then actually things started really rolling that forced a decision for a lot of , other funds. So I think getting him was really around like conviction and like giving him and forcing that decision. What do you need to get to conviction?

So that was the first one. And then how I leveraged Blue Cross Blue Shield, I would say communicating that obviously there’s a strategic in there. When there’s a strategic, it does two things. One, it’s like, great, now you’re capitalized, which also reduces the risk. They’re like, okay, the chance of me losing my money now if I invest is less cuz she has at least 2 million dollars in the bank, right?

And then the second thing is it validates the need for my services within the market because of Blue Cross Blue Shield.

I really leveraged that, but I also just called the partner. I was like, Yo, it’s a win-win situation. If you’re gonna get more money in, that’s in your interest too, so talk to these other investors.

I would just set up calls between the partner from Blue Cross Blue Shield and other investors to really talk about the clinical value.

It’s really around partnering and getting them to speak about the things that they have a lot of insight into.

And I do this with all my investors, right? Like if there’s a perspective investor that says like, oh, I’m just not so sure about the market. I’m like, great, I have one of the lead partners, the only thing he invests in is mental health. He can give you a lowdown of the market, might be really good educational piece. If they’re like, oh, I’m not sure about the clinical outcome, it’s like, awesome, here I’m gonna give you your chief clinical officer of X.

I’m not necessarily gonna speak to it because I think it’s more valuable to get that quote unquote unbiased, but also very biased because they’re an investor, but unbiased opinion to bring that to the table.

About Manatee

Dama Dipayana is the CEO & Co-Founder of Manatee. Manatee is a family-first, virtual mental health clinic, designed for kids living in the modern world. We’ve put our heads together to create the best mental health care for families.

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