时间:2021-06-20 15:05:02来源:搜狐


As the founder of a new startup, you’ll face countless hurdles -- from developing a business plan to building a team -- to acquiring customers and so on. One challenge, however, stands out among the rest: raising money.作为新创业公司的创始人,你会面对无数的障碍--从发展一个商业计划到建立一个团队--再到获取客户等等。然而,有一个挑战,也从中脱颖而出:融资。As CEO of Placester, I’ve been through a few funding rounds, and I’ve experienced firsthand how difficult the process can be. While I’ve certainly learned a lot along the way, there are more than a few things I wish I’d known beforehand. With that in mind, here are my top pieces of advice for raising your first (or next) round of funding.作为Placester(2008年成立获6轮融资的房地产营销平台)的首席执行官, 我已经经历过了几轮融资,并且我也已经亲身经历了这个过程会有多艰难。虽然一路上我确实学到了很多,但有更多事情我还挺希望能预先知道。考虑到这一点,这里是一些筹集你第一(或下一)轮融资 的我的首要建议。1. Gut check.审视内心Before you take the plunge, double, triple and quadruple check that this is what you want. If you’re not ready to be in it for the long haul, raising money could be a major misstep for your business. The first question to ask yourself shouldn’t be, “Do I need money to take the next step?” That may be true, but raising money isn’t just about funding your business -- it also means making commitments to investors, employees and customers. Instead, ask yourself, “Am I ready to grow or possibly even force growth unnaturally? And am I ready to commit to this growth for the foreseeable future?”在你采取决定性步骤之前,两遍,三遍,四遍地检查这是你所想要的。如果你没有准备长远投身在这项事业,融资会是你业务的一个重大错误。第一个问你自己的问题不应该是,“我需要钱去迈出下一步么?”那可能是事实,但是融资不仅仅是关于为你的业务提供资金--它也意味着向投资者,员工和顾客做出承诺。相反, 问问自己,“我准备好发展或甚至可能不按常规的强制发展么?并且我准备好为这种可预见的未来投身于这种发展么?”2. Seek advisers, not investors.寻求顾问,而不是投资者Once you commit to raising, it’s typically all you can focus on. When raising, It’s easy to become shortsighted and only cultivate relationships that will directly lead to a check. In reality, it’s important to remember that there are more indirect paths to money than direct ones. There’s a wide variety of potential seed investors out there, and very few of them hang a sign broadcasting it. Because of this, it’s important to think about fundraising not in terms of pure cash but rather in terms of relationships and value.一旦你致力于筹集资金,通常它是所有你会关注的。当筹资时,会很容易变得目光短浅并且只培养关系会直接导致一次检验。事实上,记住间接获取资金的方式比直接更多是很重要的。有很多各种各样的潜在种子投资者在那里,并且他们中很少一部分人会去挂标传播。因为这个,所以重要的是,考虑融资不仅完全在现金方面,相反更要在关系和价值方面。With that in mind, set your sights on finding advisers, not investors. There are two reasons for this. First, once you choose an investor, he or she is inevitably going to be weighing in on your business decisions. By implementing this person’s advice before their investment, you can test out your relationship and get a sense of what he or she brings to the table as a business partner.考虑到这一点,你就要把眼光放在寻找顾问,而不是投资人。对此有两个原因。第一,一旦你选择了一个投资人,他或她必然会参与到你的商业决策中。在他们投资前通过执行这个人的建议,你会测试出你们的关系并且了解她或他作为一个商业伙伴所带来的东西。Second, finding investors often means playing the long game. Most non-professional investors (i.e., those who don’t do it for a living) won’t open up until they’ve built a working relationship with you. By asking for advice, you can start building that relationship quickly. Plus, just because someone isn’t prepared to invest in your business now doesn’t mean they won’t invest down the line (or introduce you to someone who will). By seeking advisors, you can cultivate long-term relationships that blossom into something more.第二,寻找投资者通常意味着要打一场持久战。大多数非专业的投资者(例如,那些不靠做这个为生的)不会开口直到他们已经建立一个工作关系。通过寻求建议,你可以开始很快的建立那种关系。另外,正因为一些人现在没有准备去投资你的业务不意味他们完全不会投资(或将你介绍给有些愿意投的)。通过寻求顾问,你可以培养长期关系从而成长出更多结果。When seeking out these advisers, don’t just pursue CEOs. Instead, look for experienced professionals in operational roles like head of engineering, sales or marketing. These people have a wealth of knowledge to help you with the particulars of running a business. Plus, in many cases, such folks have money to invest or are just as engaged and connected with investors as CEOs. Finally, endorsements from expert advisers will signal other, established investors that you know what you’re doing.当寻找这些顾问时,不要只关注CEO。相反地,寻找一些在运作角色中经验丰富的专业人士,像工程主管,销售主管,或市场主管。这些人都有很多知识在运行业务的细节方面帮助你。另外,在许多情况下,这样的人有钱去投资或作为CEO 有与投资者接洽和 联系。最终,来自专业顾问的推荐将向其他已经建立的投资者发出信号,你也知道你在做什么。3. Talk to founders who have done it before.和那些已经做过的创始人谈话As you’re building your network of advisers, be sure to include other founders who have not only been through the process, but have done so recently. When it comes to startups and fundraising, every city is different, so concentrate on finding folks in your community -- or the community you want to be in. Above all, get to know founders who are just one step ahead of you (about 9 to18 months).作为你正在建立的顾问网络,一定要包括其他还是那些不仅通过了这个过程,而且还是最近完成的创始人。当谈到创业和募资,每个城市都是不一样的,所以集中精力在你的社群寻找这样的人--或者你想要进入的这样的社群。以上所有,要了解那些在你前一步的创始人(大约8到9个月)。Trying to raise a seed round? Talk to someone who just did it. Looking for a chief technology officer? Try to find someone who just made a similar C-suite hire. The players, the environment, the market -- all of it will be fresh in their mind. Don’t talk to your uncle who raised money 10 years ago in a different city or the guy who just raised an eight-figure Series D.尝试去筹集一个种子轮?和那些刚做过的人谈一谈。寻找一位首席技术官?试着找那些刚做了类似最高管理层雇佣的人。参与者,环境,市场—所有的在他们脑海中都会是最新的。不要和在不同城市十年以前融资了的叔叔辈人或只筹资了一个八位数D级别的人谈话。Finally, be transparent about what you want and where you are, and don’t be afraid to say that you don’t know what you’re doing. We’ve all felt the same way at some point.最后,对你所想要的和你在的位置保持透明,不要担心去说你不知道你在做什么。在某种情况下我们都有这种感觉。4. Choose the right type of investor for your business.为你的企业选择正确类型的投资者Founders looking to raise money tend to focus on the biggest and richest sources of funding. But there are actually many different kinds of seed investors, each with its pros and cons. While there are tons different definitions out there (and some will disagree with mine), I’ve distilled seed investors into three basic categories.创始人寻求融资更趋向专注于最大和最富有的的资金来源。但是事实上有很多不同种类的种子投资者,每个都有利有弊。虽然有很多不同的定义在那(并且一些不同意我的),我将这些种子投资者总结为三个基本类别。Angels are individuals who invest their own money. Their investments are typically relatively small, anywhere from a few thousand to a couple hundred thousand dollars.天使是那些投资他们自己的钱的个人。他们的投资一般相对较小,几千到几十万美元都有。Pros: It’s possible to raise angel investments in as little as a few weeks -- far faster than other investor types. Angels also tend to be collaborative, forgiving, and flexible, and like advisers, they provide guidance, adding value beyond the cash.优点:只要几周就能筹集到天使资金—比其他投资类型要快的多。天使也倾向于合作,宽容,和灵活,并且像顾问,他们提供指引,现金后的增加价值。Cons: Angels often want to be heavily involved in a company’s business decisions. If you’re scraping together investments from several angels, that may mean a lot of cooks in the kitchen. This isn’t always the case, however. Some angels may be completely disengaged, making lots of modest investments and paying attention to very few of them.缺点:天使通常想要较深地涉及一个公司的商业决策。如果你从几个天使那里拿来投资,那可能意味着像很多厨师在厨房里一样。并非总是如此,然而,一些天使可能会完全脱离,做大量适度投资并且关注很少。Super angels are similar to angels but typically have a fund with anywhere from a million to 50 million dollars. They’re often investing other people’s money and treat this as a full-time job -- two factors which make for a slightly more formal relationship.特级天使很像天使,但是典型地拥有从1百万到5千万美元的基金。他们经常投其他人的钱,并且将这个作为一份全职工作--两个因素造成了一个稍微正式的关系。Pros: Like angels, super angels often want to spend time with you and provide guidance. Plus, because they offer more money, you can get away with having fewer investors and thus fewer voices to listen to.优点:像天使,特级天使常常想要和你花时间并且提供指导。另外,因为他们提供更多的钱,因此你可以离开那些钱少点的投资者并且听到更少的声音。Cons: A super angel may expect involvement in your company in proportion to the amount of money they contribute, which can be just as disruptive as having several angel investors.缺点:一个特级天使会希望按他们贡献公司的比例介入你的公司,会和有几个天使投资人一样的破坏性。Venture Capitalists (VCs) have the most cash in the venture community and come from firms that may invest in dozens of companies in markets all over the world.风险投资家(VCs)在企业群体中有最多的现金,并且来自可能在全世界市场中投资了几十家公司的企业。Pros: Deep pockets aside, VCs can bring brand-name prestige that will help you attract great talent and add some external hype to your company. Plus, if you’re doing well, a VC will likely lead your next round of funding. Unlike angels, most VCs aren’t interested in getting deeply involved in your business operations, with the bulk of their contribution devoted to serving on your board. (The exception is a VC who has experience in operations and, as a bonus, can be a great resource for operational advice.) Finally, VCs bring more formality to the negotiating table. While this may not sound like a benefit, formality is a good thing because it forces you to develop and codify the processes that drive your business -- a crucial step for any company getting ready to grow.优点:除了财力雄厚,风险投资家会带来品牌效益,会帮助你吸引人才和附带一些对你公司的外部宣传。另外,如果你做得很好,一个风险投资很可能导致你下一轮融资。不像天使,大多数风险投资家对深度参与你的公司运作不感兴趣,他们的贡献大多数用于你的董事会。(例外的是,在运营上有经验的风险投资,作为奖励,能成为一个运营建议的好的来源)Cons: VCs typically take the longest to win over -- we’re talking months, not weeks. There are always exceptions, and those exceptions are frequently written about, but expect at least a month or two of work to go from zero relationship to term sheet.缺点:风险投资人典型的需要花费最长的时间去争取--我们谈了几个月,而不是几个星期。总是会有列外,并且那些例外经常有写到,但是预计至少一到两个月的工作从零的关系发展到签署协议。5. Ignore the naysayers, but watch out for the “yes” men.忽略否定者,只留意“肯定”的人In your quest to grow your company and raise money, you’re going to hear the word “no” over and over again, in countless ways. Dozens of people, if not hundreds, will simply ignore you. Others will tell you, as politely as possible, that your idea sucks. I had one investor tell me that literally all of our customers -- namely, real-estate professionals -- would be out of business within five years. Listen to their concerns and thank them for their time, then do your best to ignore the negativity and persevere. Even the best ideas face rejection.在你寻求公司发展和融资时,你会一遍遍的听到“不”这个词,以无数种方式。几十人,不然,成百上千人,会直接忘记你。其他人会对你尽可能有礼貌的说,你的主意很糟糕。我曾经有一位投资者告诉我,甚至我所有的客户—换句话说,房地产专业人员--会在五年内倒闭。听他们的关注点并且感谢他们花费时间,然后尽你所能忽视消极并且坚持。即使最好的想法也会面对拒绝。While a “no” is certainly disheartening, potential investors who never say “no” are even worse. These are people who string you along for months with assurances that they love what you’re doing and are interested in investing in your business, only to change their minds at the last minute or disappear without warning. “Yes men” can be especially disastrous if you allow them to dictate how you spend money you already have (or don’t have, as the case may be) in hopes of winning their investment. If you’ve asked someone to invest multiple times, and they still haven’t given a firm “yes” or “no,” it may be time to draw the line.虽然一个“NO”确实令人沮丧,但潜在投资者即使更糟也决不说“NO”. 有很多人喜欢你正在做的事情并且对投资你的业务很感兴趣,他们会有把握的支持你几个月,唯一让他们改变主意的是最后一分钟或毫无征兆的消失。‘Yes man’会是灾难性的,如果你允许他们去命令你怎样花你已经拥有的钱(或没有拥有的, 根据具体情况) 希望赢回他们的投资。如果你已经问了某人投资许多次,并且他们仍没有回复“是”或是“不是”。那也是是时候划清界限了。6. Be prepared to give yourself over to the process.准备让你自己越过这个过程Once you start raising money, you’re effectively on your investors’ schedules, which means you need to be ready to relinquish control of your own. I call this the wrecking ball effect. At some point, for instance, you’ll have an important meeting that was scheduled weeks in advance. An investor will call you and say, “I’m booked for the next two months. I can only meet tomorrow at 2 p.m. Is that okay?” Naturally, you’ll say yes. Then, once you’ve rescheduled everything else around that meeting, the investor will come back and say, “Actually, can you do 9 a.m.?”一旦你开始融资,你实际上是在你的投资者日常表上的,意味着你需要准备放弃控制你自己。我称这为破碎球效应。在某一时候,例如,在原计划提前几周你会有重要的会议。一个投资者会打电话给你说,“接下来两个月我被预定了。我只能在明天下午两点开会。可以么?”自然而然你会说好的。然后,一旦你重新安排了关于那个会议的所有事情,投资者会回来说,“事实上,你能早上9点做么?”Apart from its mental and emotional toll, the wrecking ball effect can be a serious obstacle to running a team and getting things done. To mitigate its impact on your business, make sure that the people around you understand that this may happen often, and that you’ve built a team you can trust to pick up the slack in your absence.除了精神和情感代价,破碎球效应对运行一个团队和把事情做好来说是一个很严重的障碍。为了减轻它对于你业务的影响,确保你周围的人理解这可能会经常发生,并且你已经建立了一个你可以信任的团队,在你不在的时候收拾残局。While it’s certainly no picnic, raising funding can be a game-changing moment for your company as long as you’re ready for it. Be sure to stay positive, surround yourself with the right people, and remember: It only takes one yes.虽然它确实是不容易的,只要你准备好,对你的公司来说融资会是一个游戏改变的时刻。一定要保持积极地,与正确的人为伍,并且记住:只需要一个 Yes。