232. Bootstrapping Your Investor Network with LinkedIn

VC Minute
Despite not having a network of wealthy people that could invest in his startup, Tom built that network himself, leveraging service providers, LinkedIn, and highly customized emails.

VC Minute – quick advice to help startup founders fundraise better

Click below to listen. 3m 03s duration.

Subscribe to your podcast platform of choice.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify
Listen on Google Podcasts
Listen on Amazon Music
Listen on Pocket Casts
Listen on Stitcher

Rich Maloy:

This is Rich Maloy with SpringTime Ventures, bringing you the VC Minute, quick advice to help startup founders fundraise better. Welcome back, everybody. We’re diving back in, having founders share their fundraising advice. As I’m sure by now, you’re probably sick of hearing me talk about the startup markets. First up, we’ve got Tom McGrath from iink Payments. Iink is a SpringTime portfolio company and is a digital payments network that helps restoration professionals manage the insurance claims process, getting paid faster.

First up, I want to thank AVL growth partners for supporting the VC Minute. Outsourcing your finance and accounting function is a no-brainer for startups. And you need to work with a firm that specializes in high-growth companies. Founded in 2009, AVL has fueled the success of over 1200 early-stage companies. Specializing in raising capital, M&A, financial modeling, scaling, and bringing financial transparency and a disciplined approach to the companies they work with. Head to AVLgrowth.com and explore how they can be pivotal to your growth. Take it away, Tom.

Tom McGrath:

Hi, everyone. My name is Tom McGrath. I’m a CEO and co-founder of iink. We are a Series A startup. We’ve done several rounds: Pre-Seed, seed, seed plus now the Series A raise some debt as well. When you start at the beginning, I’ve often heard that referred to as the FFF round: Family, Fools, and Friends, people close to you who will invest.

If you’re like myself, I don’t really know a bunch of investors or wealthy or affluent people. And so I found that one of the best channels was actually to leverage accountants and attorneys. A lot of them are working with high-net-worth individuals who are looking for investment opportunities. And I think that that creates a solid foundation of individuals who are also well-networked.

I’ve started to notice, at least within my fundraising efforts, is that it starts to snowball. These high-net-worth individuals, a lot of them are often LPs in funds. And most people will tell you that the best way to get investment is to get that warm introduction from somebody within their network or an investor. I will tell you from personal experience, in the absence of that, I leverage LinkedIn pretty heavily. I would look in particular areas and I would Google, for example, Denver venture capital. And I would find all of the VC firms like SpringTime Ventures and I would see who all the partners were. What were the different investments that they made? And then I would find them on LinkedIn and I paid for the 70-dollar-a-month sales navigator. I would make sure that I would send a very custom message to them.

“Hey, I just moved to Denver, Colorado. I saw you invested in these 3 companies. I think that my company has similarities. And there’s overlap in terms of your investment thesis.” And to that extent, understanding the different thematics of which they invest in. Are they very verticalized? Do they have a broad thesis? And again, just knowing what is the operational expertise and history of the individual investors there? And I think that those will yield high results. As much as you can reference from what says on their LinkedIn and their focuses or thematics on their website is important.

About iink

iink is the best way for home restorations professionals to get paid after a property claim. They’ve processed over $250M in property damage insurance claims and helped thousands of property owners navigate this to get their property fixed more efficiently. Learn more at iink.com

About AVL Growth Partners
AVL Growth Partners, founded in 2009, is the leading fractional Finance and Accounting firm supporting organizations in pivoting from growth to scale. AVL brings an experienced team of CFOs, Controllers, and Accountants to your organization, delivering transparent, strategic actions for short and long-term success. Transform your financial approach affordably with AVL, supporting companies coast to coast – get to know AVL Growth Partners at avlgrowth.com. (Sponsored)

Visit the VC Minute homepage for more episodes and more ways to subscribe.

Picture of VCMinute

About Us

We are in the business of helping young companies grow through seed investment and access to our network of leaders and industry experts.  People first. 

Recent Posts

Sign up for our Newsletter