As a startup founder, you will quickly find yourself in the endless cycle of chasing cash; you need cash to secure revenue, but you need MRR to secure funding.
Unless you are building incredibly deep tech, securing customers must be your focal point. Above and beyond the stress of running your startup, you need to consider engaging in all activities that make you attractive to investors, which any startup founder will tell you is a full-time job in itself. MRR/CAC/Churn are fundraising fundamentals.
Whether you have MRR or not, step 1 is getting your company on investors’ radars. Aside from nailing down a solid business plan, networking, choosing a board of advisors, navigating financials, etc., add to your list building an investor-friendly web presence from the ground up.
So what does having a strong web presence look like?
In the simplest terms: investors won’t take you seriously if your web presence sucks.
Your website must make you look bigger than you are. You should have jobs posted whether you are recruiting or not. As soon as you have customer names, get them on your website. You need to ensure your key profiles in all the right places. Accessibility is key. Message precision is critical. Avoid marketing speak buzzwords and articulate your value proposition clearly. Test your message with non technical friends and family to see if they understand it. No one has the patience to read a long message.
Get to the point – with value and precision. As an investor, I want to know more about the brains behind the idea. This means showcasing your team, illustrating your why and ensuring your long-term vision can be felt throughout your messaging.
Crunchbase and AngelList are a must as you build your startup’s online presence. Why? Investors are constantly browsing these resources as they search for the latest and greatest startups to invest in; get serious about creating and optimizing profiles on both platforms.
Amp Up Your Site
If you want to convince investors that they should take you seriously, you’d better make sure your website shows it. Your website is like a first date…the first 60 seconds is critical. Having a solid website enables a two-way relationship where you can establish thought leadership and credibility, while potential investors can spark thoughtful discussion and get answers to any questions they may have.
Show who you are: Build out a meet the team page. Investors want to see the people behind your company before working with you. Share information about your team’s education, expertise and experience to lend credibility to what it is you’re building.
Accessibility: Attracting investors means having a website that actually works and is accessible to them both on mobile and desktop. Investors are like most of us – busy – so they’ll be accessing information on the fly and generally in-between other meetings. Ensure that they have access to this information easily.
Specificity: Don’t make investors stick around longer than they have to or guess what you’re about. Tell investors exactly what your company does, how you accomplish it and who the key players are. If they can figure out your value proposition quickly, you’ll have an easier time getting their attention.
Contact Info: Put your contact info at the forefront of your website and provide easy ways for them to do just that. Remember that not everyone likes filling out a contact form – provide your direct email address or phone number to facilitate an easy connection.
What are these tools anyway?
If you already know the ins and outs of AngelList and Crunchbase, skip this. If you don’t, here is the low down:
AngelList is a tool for startups. The goal of this platform is to level the investment playing field by facilitating connections – matching investors with startups and startups to job seekers. This being said, it makes sense for you to have a presence both as a founder and a startup to maximize exposure.
Tip: You can sync your AngelList and Crunchbase accounts to automatically sync your data to both platforms.
CrunchBase is a crowdsourced platform for finding information about private and public companies including investments and funding information, founding members and the leadership team, mergers and acquisitions, and industry trends. Similar to AngelList, create a page for both your company and your founders.
Tip: Write a concise business description that includes important details that would be of interest to your investors (i.e. founding date, estimated revenue, etc). Update these details as they change. Prioritize connectivity by ensuring each of your team member profiles are linked back to the company page.