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Top Creator Economy Startups and the VCs That Fund Them in 2024
The creator economy is rapidly transforming the global economy, driving billions of dollars in value as it reshapes how content is created, distributed, and monetized. At the intersection of technology and creativity, startups within the creator economy are pioneering innovative platforms and tools that empower individuals to turn their passions into professions. This rapidly growing sector not only offers vast opportunities for creators but also attracts significant attention and investment from venture capitalists keen to support the next wave of digital innovation. What is the creator economy? In today's digital age, the "creator" embodies a broad and dynamic role, reflecting the vast opportunities for individual creativity and entrepreneurship online. A creator is anyone who produces content across various platforms to engage, entertain, or educate an audience, leveraging digital tools and social media to monetize their skills and passions. This definition spans from writers, artists, and musicians to influencers, vloggers, and podcasters, among others, who utilize platforms like YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Twitch to share their work and generate revenue through ad shares, sponsorships, merchandise sales, and more​​​​​​. The creator economy has democratized content production and distribution, enabling individuals to turn their passions into professions without the traditional barriers of entry like access to large capital or institutional gatekeepers. With just a smartphone and internet access, creators can reach a global audience, exemplified by individuals who have gained fame and financial success through platforms like TikTok and YouTube with minimal initial investment​​. In the evolving landscape of the creator economy, founders, content creators, and VCs are witnessing a dynamic shift towards diversified revenue streams beyond traditional brand partnerships. The spotlight has increasingly turned towards direct audience monetization strategies, including digital product sales, affiliate marketing, ad revenues, and brand deals. This shift underscores the importance for stakeholders in the creator economy to innovate and adapt. For creators, it's about embracing new technologies and platforms to engage with audiences and monetize their content effectively. For founders and VCs, the emphasis is on investing in and developing tools that support creators in these endeavors, recognizing the value of direct audience relationships and the growing independence of creators from traditional advertising models. It's not just about creating content but also about understanding the ecosystem's business models, audience engagement strategies, and monetization mechanisms. As the creator economy continues to evolve, staying informed and adaptable will be key to leveraging its potential for individual growth and investment opportunities. Related Resource: 18 Pitch Deck Examples for Any Startup Creator Economy Areas of Investment VCs are investing in tools to help influencers operate and monetize. Here are some examples of the areas of focus that we gathered from SignalFire’s Creator Economy Market Map. Related Resource: 14 Gaming and Esports Investors You Should Know Content Creation Tools Video Photography / Graphic Design Motion Photos Music Podcast Influencer Marketing Specialized Influencer Marketing Agencies. Influencer Marketing Platforms and Marketplaces: CRM Tools Patronage Platforms Ad Hoc Project-Based Funding Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and GoFundMe Subscription-Based Funding Patreon Tip Jar Concept Ko-fi and Buy Me a Coffee Other Opportunities Community Engagement Tools Finance Management Tools Key Insights for Founders in the Creator Economy Space We pulled some key insights from ConverKits State of the Creator Economy 2024 Report: Shift in Preferred Content Formats Written Content Dominates: Contrary to previous predictions, written content such as emails, newsletters, articles, blog posts, and books has emerged as the most popular and lucrative form of content. In 2023, 58% of creators produced emails or newsletters, and 51% focused on articles, blog posts, or books​​​​. Decline in Short-Form Videos: The percentage of creators making short-form videos decreased significantly, dropping from 45% in 2022 to 23% in 2023. This trend suggests a pivot away from platforms like TikTok towards more substantial, written content​​​​. Gender Pay Gap Progress Closing Income Disparity: The creator economy is witnessing a positive trend towards earning equality. The percentage of female creators earning six figures or more has increased, reflecting a closing gender pay gap​​. Notable Female Creators: Examples of successful female creators include Bonnie Christine, Nisha Vora, XayLi Barclay, and Chaitra Radhakrishna, who have built substantial businesses and incomes in the creator space​​​​. Transition from Traditional Jobs Leaving 9-5 Jobs: A significant number of creators are leaving traditional salaried jobs to focus on their creator businesses. Economic uncertainty and layoffs have spurred this shift, with creators seeking more control over their income and career​​. Income Expectations and Speed: Many creators expect to earn more from their creator businesses in 2024 compared to 2023, with full-time creators often starting to make money within their first year of operation​​​​. Diverse Income Streams Multiple Revenue Sources: Full-time creators typically have six or more income streams, compared to hobbyists and part-timers who have fewer. This diversification is key to their financial stability and growth​​​​. Top Income Sources: Professional services (36%), digital products (18%), advertising (11%), and affiliate marketing/links (10%) are among the top ways creators earn their income​​. Generational Differences in the Creator Economy Cultural Differences Between Generations: Generational differences are evident in the creator space. Gen-Z, known as the side-hustle generation, accounts for the largest share of hobbyists and part-time creators. While 87% of Gen-Z creators earn under $10,000 a year, there are positive trends for this group. Initially, around 3% of Gen-Z respondents were full-time creators; now, about a quarter of all Gen-Z creators make a full-time living from their business. Actionable Insights for Startup Founders Focus on Written Content: Prioritize developing solutions for written content, as this format has proven to be both popular and profitable for creators. Facilitate Career Transitions: Provide resources and guidance for creators looking to transition from traditional jobs to full-time creator roles. Diverse Revenue Models: Help creators develop multiple income streams to enhance their financial resilience and growth potential. Top 8 VCs Actively Investing in the Creator Economy Venture capitalists play a crucial role in fueling the growth of the creator economy by providing the necessary capital and resources for startups to thrive. Here are eight leading VCs that are making significant investments in this sector: 1. SignalFire Location: San Francisco, California, United States About: SignalFire is a venture capital firm that invests in seed-stage companies and breakout companies. Investment Stages: Seed, Series A, Series B Popular Investments: OneSignal Ledger Investing Join Check out SignalFire’s Visible Connect Profile, to learn more! 2. Antler About: Antler is a global startup generator and early-stage VC that is building the next big wave of tech. With the mission to turn exceptional individuals into great founders, Antler aims to create thousands of companies globally. Thesis: We identify and invest in exceptional people Investment Stages: Pre-Seed, Seed Popular Investments: Mast Technologies Upflowy Appboxxo Check out Antler’s Visible Connect Profile, to learn more! 3. Harlem Capital Location: New York, United States About: Harlem Capital is an early-stage venture firm that invests in post-revenue tech-enabled startups, focused on minority and women founders. Thesis: Women or POC founders (no deep tech, bio, crypto, hardware) Investment Stages: Seed, Series A, Series B, Growth Popular Investments: Lami Gander The House of LR&C Check out Harlem Capital’s Visible Connect Profile, to learn more! 4. Night Ventures Location: Texas, United States Thesis: Our LPs are 50+ of the top creators in the world across YouTube, TikTok, Twitch and elsewhere. Together, we specialize in influence – understanding what’s popular, what’s trending and how to acquire more customers/fans of your product. Popular Investments: Moonpay Pearpop Beacons Check out Night Ventures’ Visible Connect Profile, to learn more! 5. Slow Ventures Location: San Francisco, California, United States About: Slow Ventures invests in companies central to the technology industry and those on the edges of science, society, and culture. Thesis: Slow Ventures invests in companies central to the technology industry and those on the edges of science, society, and culture. Investment Stages: Seed, Series A Popular Investments: Juice Stem Human Check out Slow Ventures’ Visible Connect Profile, to learn more! 6. Behind Genius Ventures (BGV) Location: Los Angeles, California, United States About: Behind Genius Ventures invests in pre-seed/seed stage companies centered around product-led growth. Co-Founded by two Gen Z investors: Joshua Schlisserman and Paige Doherty. Investment Stages: Pre-Seed, Seed Popular Investments: Decaf Impulse Maca Payments Check out BGV’s Visible Connect Profile, to learn more! 7. Crush Ventures Location: LA and NYC About: We formed Crush Ventures to focus on early stage investing at the intersection of media, culture, and commerce. To founders, we bring to bear our capital, operating expertise and powerful relationship network earned from two decades spent building Crush Music into a global powerhouse. Thesis: We invest in founders building the future of how talent will discover, engage, and monetize fans. Investment Stages: Pre-Seed, Seed RPopular Investments: Beacons Create O/S Splice Check out Crush Venture’s Visible Connect Profile, to learn more! 8. Freestyle Capital Location: California, United States About: Freestyle is an early-stage VC with $565M+ AUM & investments in 150+ tech co’s like Airtable, Intercom, Patreon, BetterUp and Snapdocs. Thesis: We are high-conviction, low-volume investors and invest in only 10-12 companies each year. This gives us the freedom to work closely with founders, and holistically support our companies. We typically lead Seed rounds with a $1.5M — $3M check. We make decisions efficiently and are 100% transparent with you along the way. We invest in founders building soon-to-be massive tech companies across many verticals. Investment Stages: Pre-Seed, Seed Popular Investments: Spot Change Grain Check out Freestyle’s Visible Connect Profile, to learn more! 9. Seven Seen Six Location: They are a remote-first company with locations in Miami and Los Angeles About: Seven Seven Six is a venture capital firm founded by Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, with a mission to invest in bold and ambitious startups that have the potential to significantly impact their industries and communities. Established in 2020, Seven Seven Six focuses on early-stage investments, providing not only capital but also strategic guidance and support to help founders scale their businesses effectively. Thesis: The firm has a strong focus on the creator economy, supporting platforms and tools that enable creators to monetize their work and engage with their audiences. Additionally, Seven Seven Six invests in sectors such as consumer technology, blockchain, and fintech, always looking for disruptive innovations that can redefine industries. Investment Stages: Seed Popular Investments: Dispo Pearpop Simulate Check out Seven Seven Six’s Visible Connect Profile to learn more! 10. Creandum Location: Stockholm, Berlin, and San Francisco About: Creandum is a leading European early-stage venture capital firm investing in innovative and fast-growing technology companies. Thesis: We are a venture capital advisory firm powering innovation from Stockholm, Berlin, and San Francisco. Investment Stages: Pre-Seed, Seed, Series A, Series B Popular Investments: Depop Kahoot! Spotify Check out Creandum’s Visible Connect Profile to learn more! 11. R/GA Ventures Location: New York, USA About: R/GA Ventures is a venture capital firm that partners with startups to build and scale their businesses. It leverages the resources of R/GA, a globally recognized innovation consultancy, to provide startups with strategic guidance, mentorship, and access to a vast network of industry experts. R/GA Ventures focuses on fostering innovation in various industries by helping startups develop transformative products and services. Thesis: Focusing on companies that are at the intersection of technology, design, and digital innovation. Their thesis revolves around backing startups that leverage technology to disrupt traditional industries and create new market opportunities. R/GA Ventures aims to support startups that are developing cutting-edge solutions in areas such as AI, IoT, digital media, and the creator economy. Investment Stages: Early-stage startups, including Seed and Series A rounds Popular Investments: Cameo Teachable SuperPhone Check out R/GA Ventures’ Visible Connect Profile to learn more! Alternative Funding for Creator Economy Founders Along with VC, accelerators and incubators, you can consider Gumroad’s new innovative funding model. Gumroad’s Creator Investing Play: Gumroad, an ecommerce platform helping creators sell digital products, offers a unique funding alternative to traditional venture capital. Instead of pursuing equity, Gumroad buys a 10% stake in creator-led businesses, providing checks ranging from $100K to $500K directly to creators. This approach allows creators to maintain full control over their business while Gumroad receives regular dividends on the business’s earnings​​. Benefits of Gumroad’s Model: This funding model aligns with creators' needs and goals, emphasizing sustainability and revenue growth over exits or liquidity events. Sahil Lavingia, Gumroad’s founder, highlights that creators have a competitive advantage due to their deep audience connection, quick adaptability, and authenticity as founders and business leaders​​. Addressing Growth Challenges: Despite the growth of creator-led startups, there remains a lack of clear blueprints for scaling while maintaining brand integrity. Lavingia points out that aspects like hiring teams, managing expenses, and balancing growth with creativity are still uncharted territory. However, initiatives like Gumroad's funding model aim to address these challenges and provide a path forward for creators​​​​. Top 8 Content Creation and Creator Economy Startups As venture capital continues to flow into the creator economy, numerous startups have emerged as leaders in facilitating content creation, distribution, and monetization. These companies are at the forefront of innovation, providing creators with the tools and platforms they need to succeed in a digital-first world. Related Resource: 7 Startup Growth Strategies 1. Caffeine Caffeine is a live-streaming platform that focuses on gaming, sports, and entertainment content. Founded by Ben Keighran and Sam Roberts, it went live in early 2018 and has quickly gained traction among users and creators alike. Caffeine distinguishes itself by emphasizing interactive and real-time engagement between broadcasters and their audiences, aiming to create a more dynamic and engaging experience than traditional broadcasting platforms. Location: Redwood City, California. Funding Rounds and Amount Raised: Caffeine has successfully raised significant funds through various rounds. In September 2018, it secured a $100 million investment from 21st Century Fox. As of 2019, the company had raised $146 million from investors across three rounds, including prominent names like 21st Century Fox, Andreessen Horowitz, and Greylock Partners​​. 2. Spotter Spotter is an innovative startup that has carved a unique niche within the creator economy, focusing on YouTube content creators. It offers a financial model that provides creators with upfront cash for licensing their existing or upcoming content. This approach is designed to assist creators in scaling their brands, funding ambitious projects, and growing their businesses more efficiently. Spotter’s model is likened to a venture capital investment but for the digital content creation space, aiming to secure a stake in the future success of these creators by investing in their content libraries​​​​​​. Location: Los Angeles, California. Funding Rounds and Amount Raised: A significant milestone was a $200 million Series D funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, part of a combined $755 million raised across this and other undisclosed rounds. This influx of capital has elevated Spotter's valuation to $1.7 billion. The company plans to invest $1 billion directly into its YouTuber partners to assist in their business growth. Spotter's total funding has reached $240.6 million, underscoring its robust financial backing and confidence from investors​​​​​​. 3. Jellysmack Jellysmack leverages machine-learning technology and data analytics to create and optimize video content for social media platforms. Founded in 2016, it aims to identify social video trends, optimize video performance, and uncover niche audience segments to build vibrant communities around content creators. Jellysmack is known for its innovative approach to the creator economy, helping creators amplify their reach and monetization across multiple platforms​​. Location: New York with additional offices in Los Angeles, Corte, Corsica, Paris, and London​​. Funding Rounds and Amount Raised: Jellysmack has secured $16 million in total funding. 4. Passionfroot Passionfroot provides a unified no-code platform for creators, focusing on simplifying their business operations. It offers tools for storefront management, CRM, collaborations, and cash flow, targeting younger millennial & GenZ creators and small media brands, particularly those involved in B2B monetization like sponsorships and ad placements. Location: Berlin, Germany. Funding Rounds and Amount Raised: Raised €3.4 million in a pre-seed funding round. 5. Stir Stir is a platform designed to help digital creators manage their revenue streams, analytics, and collaborations. It facilitates the sharing of funds among collaborators, aiming to streamline the financial aspects of content creation. The startup has introduced tools like Collectives for shared financial management among creators. Location: San Francisco, California. Funding Rounds and Amount Raised: Stir raised $4 million in a seed funding round with contributions from notable investors including Casey Neistat, YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley, and others​​. 6. Kajabi Kajabi, founded in 2010 by Kenny Rueter, is a SaaS platform designed for creators and entrepreneurs to create, market, and sell digital content. It has quickly risen to prominence as a tech unicorn, valued at $2 billion. The platform supports creators across various niches, offering tools for online courses, membership sites, and more, emphasizing its role in the booming creator economy. With a mission to empower digital entrepreneurs, Kajabi has facilitated over $3 billion in sales, serving thousands of users worldwide. Location: Irvine, California. Funding Rounds and Amount Raised: In November 2019, Kajabi received its first outside investment from Spectrum Equity Partners. A significant funding milestone was reached in May 2021 with a $550 million round led by Tiger Global, along with TPG Capital, Tidemark Capital, Owl Rock, Meritech Capital, and Spectrum Equity, catapulting Kajabi to a $2 billion valuation. 7. Linktree Linktree, launched in 2016 by co-founders Alex Zaccaria, Anthony Zaccaria, and Nick Humphreys, revolutionized the way individuals and businesses manage their online presence. Conceived as a solution to the limited link options on social media platforms, Linktree enables users to share multiple content links through one bio link, facilitating a centralized online presence. This technology startup quickly became a staple tool for influencers, creators, publishers, and brands, seeking to streamline their digital footprint. The platform's user-friendly interface and versatile application across various social media sites have propelled its growth, making it a critical tool in the digital arsenal of the modern internet user. Location: Melbourne, Australia, with additional operations in Darlinghurst, NSW, Australia​​. Funding Rounds and Amount Raised: Linktree has raised over a series of 4 rounds with a total of $176.2 million invested. 8. Sagespot SageSpot, established in 2020, emerges as a transformative player within the creator economy, offering a subscription-based social media platform. This innovative platform distinguishes itself by empowering creators to foster interest-based communities, enabling a direct monetization path through engaged and dedicated followers. By focusing on this model, SageSpot aims to rectify the monetization challenges creators face on legacy platforms, providing a more sustainable and creator-focused alternative for monetizing content and personal brands. The platform's focus on subscription-based models offers a promising alternative to ad-revenue dependency, potentially leading to a more sustainable and fulfilling creator-follower relationship. Location: New York. Funding Rounds and Amount Raised: $5.6 million led by Khosla Ventures. Related Resource: 7 Essential Business Startup Resources Looking for Funding? Visible Can Help- Start Your Next Round with Visible We believe great outcomes happen when founders forge relationships with investors and potential investors. We created our Connect Investor Database to help you in the first step of this journey. Instead of wasting time trying to figure out investor fit and profile for their given stage and industry, we created filters allowing you to find VC’s and accelerators who are looking to invest in companies like you. Check out all our investors here and filter as needed. After learning more about them with the profile information and resources given you can reach out to them with a tailored email. To help craft that first email check out 5 Strategies for Cold Emailing Potential Investors and How to Cold Email Investors: A Video by Michael Seibel of YC. After finding the right Investor you can create a personalized investor database with Visible. Combine qualified investors from Visible Connect with your own investor lists to share targeted Updates, decks, and dashboards. Start your free trial here and check out Visibles Fundraising page: https://visible.vc/fundraising Related resources: Valuing Startups: 10 Popular Methods Seed Funding for Startups 101: A Complete Guide The Ultimate Guide to Startup Funding Stages
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Fundraising
Our Guide to Building a Seed Round Pitch Deck: Tips & Templates
Imagine stepping into a boardroom, facing a panel of seasoned investors, knowing you have a secret weapon to turn their interest into commitment. A compelling seed round pitch deck can do just that, transforming an idea into an irresistible investment opportunity. With the right slides, you can captivate investors, clearly communicate your vision, and demonstrate why your startup is poised for success. Investors will want to see various assets and data points throughout the fundraising seed stage. One thing that founders can expect most if not all, investors to see is a seed round pitch deck. This guide will walk you through creating a pitch deck that stands out and effectively wins over investors. What is a Seed Round Pitch Deck? A seed round pitch deck is a carefully crafted presentation that communicates your startup's vision, business plan, metrics, and other critical insights to potential investors. It is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of your business, highlighting its potential and viability in the market. The primary goal of a pitch deck is to engage investors, moving them further down your fundraising funnel and increasing your chances of securing the capital you need to grow. By effectively presenting your story, team, product, market opportunity, and financial projections, you can make a compelling case for why investors should support your startup. Related resource: How To Build a Pitch Deck, Step by Step What Investors Want To See in Seed Round Pitch Decks Companies raising funds for the first time need a seed round pitch deck to share their story with investors effectively. In a seed round, it’s common to raise funds from angel investors, startup accelerators, and early-stage VCs. With the growing number of pre-seed and seed-stage investors, venture capital has also become more accessible for early-stage startups. Regardless of the investor type, there are certain key elements that every early-stage startup should include in their pitch deck. Founders should tailor their pitches based on their audience, but successful seed round pitches generally include a succinct and exciting story, an exceptional team, product potential or traction, and a clear growth plan. Related resource: Tips for Creating an Investor Pitch Deck A Succinct but Exciting Story Your pitch deck needs a compelling narrative outlining your vision and future plans. Since your company is still developing, it's crucial to inspire and excite your audience about your mission and potential. Make your story engaging and relatable, showing why your company’s purpose is important and why you are the right team to execute this vision. The goal is to make investors want to be part of your journey and invest in not just your company, but also in your vision and the impact it aims to create. An Exceptional Team Having a top-notch team is one of the most critical factors for many venture capitalists. In this slide, you need to establish credibility, demonstrate expertise, and build trust in both your idea and your company. Highlight the relevant experience, unique skills, and past successes of your team members to show why they are the best people to execute this vision. This builds confidence in investors that your team can navigate challenges and drive the company to success. Product Potential or Traction If you have achieved product-market fit, gathered user/customer metrics, or generated revenue, make sure to share these as proof of concept. Highlight any key metrics that demonstrate traction, such as user growth, engagement rates, or revenue figures. This evidence helps build investor confidence in your product’s potential and market demand. However, if you’re in the early stages and have limited or no data, be transparent about it. Investors understand that early-stage startups might not have extensive metrics yet. Focus on showcasing your product’s potential, the problem it solves, and the market opportunity. Use qualitative data, pilot program results, or early user feedback to support your claims. A Growth Plan Even if your product is still in development or you haven't finalized your business model, it’s essential to demonstrate a thorough understanding of your market, customers, and scalability. Present a well-thought-out growth plan that highlights your strategy for reaching and expanding your customer base, penetrating the market, and scaling your business. Your growth plan should be data-driven to lend credibility to your projections. Use market research, customer insights, and relevant data points to support your strategy. This approach shows investors that you have a realistic and actionable plan for growth. For more detailed guidance on modeling your company's future, check out our guide, “Building A Startup Financial Model That Works.” Our 10-Step Guide to Building a Seed Round Pitch Deck (+ A Free Template) Seed-stage startups should approach their first pitch deck differently than they would in later rounds because they typically won’t have extensive stats or user data to rely on. This is why storytelling is crucial. Focus on elements such as the team, competitive advantages, and the market opportunity to help investors understand the future value of your company. These elements can paint a compelling picture of your startup’s potential, even if there isn’t much data available at this stage. For a more detailed breakdown of successful pitch deck examples check out Visible’s guide here and download our free pitch deck template here. Step One: Create The Cover/Title Slide Your cover slide is the first impression investors will have of your pitch, so make it count. It should be visually appealing and include your startup’s name, logo, and a tagline that encapsulates your mission. This slide sets the tone for the rest of your presentation and should immediately grab attention. An example of a successful title slide includes: Startup Name: Clearly displayed at the top Logo: Positioned near the name for brand recognition Tagline: A short, compelling statement about your mission or value proposition Visuals: High-quality images or graphics that align with your brand Create your own by downloading our free pitch deck template here. Step Two: Introduce The Team The team is one of the most critical factors for seed investors when considering a seed round investment. A strong team is often seen as a key to a company's success. Highlight how each team member brings a unique and beneficial aspect to the company, including their roles, relevant experience, and contributions to the company’s mission, the problem being solved, or competitive advantage. This establishes a solid foundation for the rest of the presentation, allowing investors to understand who they are engaging with and lending credibility to your pitch. An example of a successful team slide includes: Photos: High-quality images of each team member Names and Titles: Clearly displayed for each person Brief Bios: Highlighting relevant experience and expertise Unique Contributions: How each member's skills and background benefit the startup Create your own by downloading our free pitch deck template here. Step Three: Diagnose The Problem Clearly articulate the problem your startup aims to solve. Help investors understand the significance of the issue and its impact on the world or specific groups of people. Explain why this problem needs to be addressed and why existing solutions are inadequate or nonexistent. Your goal is to make the problem relatable and compelling, showing that there is a genuine need for a solution. This sets the stage for introducing your product as the ideal answer. An example of a successful problem slide includes: Clear Problem Statement: Concisely describe the problem. Impact: Explain how the problem affects individuals or industries. Data and Examples: Use statistics or real-world examples to illustrate the problem's significance. Create your own by downloading our free pitch deck template here. Step Four: Propose The Solution State that the right solution to this problem hasn't been solved yet or can be significantly improved upon. Explain how your startup has innovatively developed a way to address the problem, why this solution will benefit customers, and why your company is uniquely positioned to execute it. This is essentially your elevator pitch and should be short, compelling, and to the point—aim for around 30 seconds. An example of a successful solution slide includes: Clear Solution Statement: Concisely describe your innovative solution. Customer Benefits: Highlight how your solution benefits customers and addresses their needs. Unique Positioning: Explain why your company is best suited to deliver this solution. Create your own by downloading our free pitch deck template here. Step Five: Prove Your Product Has Traction Use this slide to demonstrate the traction your product has gained so far. If you haven't collected any metrics yet, focus on showcasing your product's development and any qualitative feedback you've received. However, if you have data and are tracking key performance indicators (KPIs), this is where you should highlight them. Metrics that prove traction could include user growth, revenue, engagement rates, customer testimonials, or any other relevant data points that validate your product's market acceptance and potential. With Visible, you can track and automate your startup’s key metrics and build beautiful charts and dashboards for your seed-round pitches. This can help you present your data in a clear and visually appealing way. An example of a successful traction slide includes: Key Metrics: Display relevant data such as user numbers, revenue, or other KPIs. Growth Charts: Use charts and graphs to visualize your growth. Qualitative Feedback: Include customer testimonials or quotes if quantitative data is limited. Create your own by downloading our free pitch deck template here. Step Six: Define Market Size and Opportunity In this section, include all relevant information about the opportunity you’re aiming to seize and the size of that market. It’s crucial to highlight why this market is attractive and how your startup plans to dominate it. Investors often appreciate a strategy that starts with targeting a niche market before expanding. They value the potential for growth and scalability over the initial market size. “Sequencing markets correctly is underrated, and it takes discipline to expand gradually. The most successful companies make the core progression—to first dominate a specific niche and then scale to adjacent markets—a part of their founding narrative.” – Peter Thiel, Zero to One To effectively define your market size and opportunity, consider the following: Total Addressable Market (TAM): Estimate the total market demand for your product or service. This is the broadest measure of your market opportunity. Serviceable Available Market (SAM): Narrow down the TAM to the portion of the market you can realistically target. Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM): Further narrow the SAM to the market segment you can capture in the short term. Check out our detailed guide on How to Model Total Addressable Market (Template Included). The guide covers: What is Total Addressable Market (TAM)? How to Calculate TAM The Free Visible Total Addressable Market Template and Evaluation Model Where Does Your Total Addressable Market Start (and End)? Why Knowing Your Total Addressable Market is Important Building Your Total Addressable Market Model An example of a successful slide includes: Market Segmentation: Breakdown of TAM, SAM, and SOM. Visual Data: Charts or graphs to illustrate market size and growth potential. Strategic Insights: Explanation of how you will capture and expand your market share. Create your own by downloading our free pitch deck template here. Step Seven: Conduct a Competition Analysis Having competitors in your space doesn’t mean your business idea isn’t viable; in fact, it can validate the need for your solution. However, you must clearly understand and articulate what sets you apart from the competition. Investors and customers need to know why your product or service is the better choice. In your competition analysis slide, focus on the following elements: Identify Competitors: List your main competitors and provide a brief overview of each. Highlight Differentiators: Clearly state your unique value proposition and competitive advantages. Explain why your solution is superior or more effective than existing options. Market Positioning: Use a visual representation, such as a competitive matrix, to show where you stand in relation to your competitors. Highlight the areas where you excel. By presenting a well-thought-out competition analysis, you demonstrate to investors that you have a strategic understanding of the market and a plan to capture and defend your market share. An example of a successful competition analysis slide includes: Competitor Overview: Brief descriptions of key competitors. Competitive Matrix: A visual chart comparing features, pricing, market share, etc. Unique Value Proposition: Clear articulation of what makes your product unique and better. Create your own by downloading our free pitch deck template here. Step Eight: Prove Profitability With Financials/Metrics In this section, you need to provide evidence of your startup's potential profitability and share projections for the next 3-4 years. At the seed stage, this information will be more high-level and based on assumptions, but it's crucial to include revenue and user/customer projections to give investors a sense of your financial outlook. Here's what to include in your financials/metrics slide: Revenue Projections: Outline your expected revenue growth over the next few years. Use realistic assumptions based on your market research and business model. User/Customer Projections: Estimate the growth in your user or customer base. This helps demonstrate the potential demand for your product. Key Metrics: Highlight other important financial metrics such as customer acquisition cost (CAC), lifetime value (LTV), gross margin, and burn rate. These metrics provide insight into the financial health and efficiency of your business. Break-Even Analysis: Show when you expect to become profitable. This gives investors a timeline for when they can expect returns on their investment. An example of a successful financials/metrics slide includes: Revenue Graph: Visual representation of projected revenue growth. User Growth Chart: Projected increase in users or customers. Financial Metrics: Key metrics displayed in an easy-to-understand format. Break-Even Point: Highlight the timeline for reaching profitability. Create your own by downloading our free pitch deck template here. Step Nine: Answer The Question: “Why Now? Why Me?” This section is another opportunity to pitch yourself, your team’s expertise, and your company's unique advantages. Emphasize what makes your team and solution the perfect combination for success. Here's how to craft a compelling “Why Now? Why Me?” slide: Team Expertise and Competitive Advantage Team Expertise: Reiterate the strengths and relevant experience of your team. Highlight specific achievements and skills that make your team uniquely qualified to solve the problem and succeed in the market. Unique Value Proposition: Clearly articulate your “secret sauce” — what makes your product or service unique and better than existing solutions. Explain your competitive advantage and strategy for maintaining it. Timing and Market Entry Timing is a crucial factor that can significantly influence the success of a startup. Here's how to justify your market entry: Market Conditions: Explain any trends, technological advancements, or changes in consumer behavior that make this the ideal time for your product. Use data and market research to support your points. Early Entry: If you’re entering the market early, highlight the benefits of being a first-mover. Emphasize how this allows you to establish a strong brand presence and capture market share before competitors. Late Entry: If you’re entering a more mature market, detail your competitive advantage. Explain how you can leverage existing market data, customer feedback, and technological advancements to create a superior product. Discuss how you can avoid the pitfalls encountered by earlier entrants and use their learnings to your advantage. Every potential disadvantage can be turned into an advantage with the right strategy. You can convince investors that your startup is poised for success by addressing timing and your competitive edge. An example of a successful slide includes: Team Highlights: Key achievements and relevant experience. Competitive Advantage: Clear articulation of your unique value proposition. Market Timing: Justification for entering the market now, with supporting data. Create your own by downloading our free pitch deck template here. Step Ten: Wrap Things Up With The Ask Slide The ask can often be an underutilized section in investor updates, and founders might not realize it’s also essential to include in a pitch deck. Investors should not only be seen as capital resources but also as sources of knowledge and connections. Clearly stating your ask shows investors where you need help and allows them (and you) to determine if they are in a position to provide that support. When they decide to invest, it is in their best interest to contribute to the success of your business in any way they can. Key Elements of a Successful Ask Slide Funding Request: Clearly state the amount of capital you are seeking. Provide a breakdown of how you plan to use the funds, such as product development, marketing, hiring, etc. Additional Support: Mention other forms of support you are looking for, such as mentorship, industry connections, or specific expertise. This shows that you value the investor's experience and network. Milestones: Outline the key milestones you aim to achieve with the requested funds. This gives investors a clear picture of your goals and how their investment will be utilized. An example of a successful ask slide includes: Clear Funding Amount: Specify the total amount you are raising. Detailed Use of Funds: Breakdown of how the funds will be allocated. Support Requests: Mention any additional support needed beyond capital. Milestones: Key objectives to be achieved with the funding. Create your own by downloading our free pitch deck template here. The Best Seed Funding Pitch Deck Examples Many successful founders and startups have shared the pitch decks they used to raise their seed rounds. Studying these examples can provide valuable insights and inspiration for your own pitch. Here are a few of our favorite pitch deck examples: Airbnb Pitch Deck Before becoming a publicly traded company, Airbnb (originally AirBed&Breakfast) used a pitch deck to raise $600k to get things off the ground. The Airbnb seed round deck is an excellent example of effective storytelling and hooking potential investors with a compelling narrative. Uber's Original Pitch Deck Uber, initially named UberCab, started with a humble pitch deck that emphasizes the importance of clarity and brevity. Their original deck focuses on facts and data, avoiding unnecessary fluff, and clearly presenting their value proposition and market potential. Buffer's Seed Round Pitch Deck Buffer, a social media management toolkit for small businesses, raised a $500k seed round and shared their deck on their blog. The Buffer seed round deck is notable for its focus on traction, showcasing the product's early success and growth potential. The Buffer team reached out to over 200 investors, conducted 50 meetings, and ultimately secured 18 investors. Sequoia Capital Pitch Deck Template Sequoia Capital, one of the leading venture capital firms, has also shared a pitch deck template that outlines key elements of a successful pitch. This template is designed to help startups communicate their vision and value proposition effectively. You can view Sequoia’s pitch deck template here. For more detailed breakdowns and to download our free pitch deck template, check out Visible’s guide here. Related resource: 18 Pitch Deck Examples for Any Startup How to Pitch Seed Stage Investors Once your pitch deck is complete, the pitching process begins. Here are some best practices for pitching seed stage investors: Best Practices for Pitching Seed Stage Investors Target the Right Investors: Save time by only reaching out to investors who match crucial factors such as industry, funding amount, stage, and geography. Use tools like our Connect Investor Database to find suitable matches. For tips on emailing your first investors, check out 5 Strategies for Cold Emailing Potential Investors. Incorporate Feedback: Treat feedback as a gift. When you start receiving feedback from your pitches, implement it back into your deck immediately. Notice which slides grab investors’ attention and consider moving those to the beginning or integrating their elements into other slides. Be a Confident Storyteller: Confidence and good storytelling are key to delivering a compelling pitch. Ensure investors feel your passion, energy, and ability to drive the company forward. Consider taking a stand-up comedy or public speaking class to enhance these qualities. Researching what makes good storytelling can also be advantageous. Prepare Thoroughly: Know your pitch deck inside out. Be ready to answer any questions investors might have about your business, market, financials, and growth plans. The more prepared you are, the more confident you’ll appear. Leverage Your Network: Whenever possible, seek warm introductions to investors. A recommendation from a mutual connection can significantly increase your chances of getting a meeting and receiving serious consideration. For more inspiration and resources on creating a compelling pitch, check out our free pitch deck template here. How Visible Helps Startups Raise Capital There is no one-size-fits-all pitch deck solution these points are meant to help guide the process but you should also see what makes sense for your company. Fundraising can be boiled down to storytelling. We believe a VC fundraise mirrors a B2B sales motion. The fundraising process starts by finding qualified investors (top of the funnel) and building relationships (middle of the funnel) with the goal of them writing a check (bottom of the funnel). Just as a sales team has dedicated tools for their day-to-day, founders need dedicated tools for managing the most expensive asset they have, equity. Our community can now find investors, track a fundraise, and share a pitch deck, directly from Visible. Easily upload your deck, set your permissions, and share your deck with potential investors via a unique link (check out an example deck here). In return, we’ll surface the analytics that matter most so you can better your odds of closing a new investor. Try Visible here.
founders
Fundraising
Pros and Cons of Crowdfunding for Your Startup
Crowdfunding has become a popular way for startups to raise capital, offering an alternative to traditional funding methods. While it promises various benefits like community engagement and validation of your concept, it also comes with its own challenges. This article will delve into why some founders choose crowdfunding, explore the different types of crowdfunding, and outline the key pros and cons to help you decide if this path is right for your startup. Why Do Some Founders Choose to Crowdfund? Crowdfunding can be an attractive option for many startup founders due to its unique benefits and flexibility. Unlike traditional funding methods, crowdfunding allows founders to raise capital without giving up significant equity or taking on debt. This approach mainly benefits startups with innovative ideas but limited access to traditional financial resources. Crowdfunding enables founders to test the market and validate their product concepts by engaging directly with potential customers and investors​​​​. Crowdfunding campaigns can significantly enhance a startup's visibility. By showcasing their ideas on popular crowdfunding platforms, founders can reach a broader audience and build a community of early adopters and brand advocates. This exposure can lead to valuable marketing opportunities and further fundraising potential​​​​. Additionally, the democratization of funding allows everyday people to invest in startups they believe in, aligning their interests with the success of the business. This not only diversifies the funding sources but also turns backers into passionate supporters who promote the startup's vision​​. Crowdfunding also offers flexibility in how funds can be used, often with fewer restrictions compared to traditional loans or venture capital investments. This can be crucial for startups needing agility in their early stages​​. For many founders, the ability to maintain control over their company while still accessing necessary funds makes crowdfunding an appealing option. Types of Crowdfunding Crowdfunding is not a one-size-fits-all solution; various types cater to different needs and goals. Each type has its own unique characteristics and benefits, making it important to choose the one that aligns best with your startup's objectives. The main types of crowdfunding include reward-based, equity, peer-to-peer lending, and donation-based. Understanding these options can help you determine the best approach for raising capital for your startup​​​​. Related resource: Types of Crowdfunding Reward-Based Crowdfunding Reward-based crowdfunding is a popular method where backers contribute funds to a project in exchange for rewards. These rewards can vary widely but often include early access to the product, special editions, or exclusive merchandise. This type of crowdfunding is particularly appealing for creative projects, new product launches, and innovative ideas that can excite a broad audience. Platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are leading examples of reward-based crowdfunding sites. Kickstarter is known for its all-or-nothing funding model, where projects must reach their funding goal to receive any money, ensuring that backers' contributions go towards fully realized projects​​​​. Indiegogo offers more flexible funding options, allowing projects to keep the funds raised even if they don't reach their target, which can be beneficial for creators with ongoing development needs​​​​. Reward-based crowdfunding not only provides necessary capital but also helps in building a community around the product. Backers often become early adopters and advocates, spreading the word about the project through their networks. This engagement can create a strong foundation of support and interest, vital for the long-term success of the startup​​. Equity Crowdfunding Equity crowdfunding is a method where startups raise capital by offering shares of their company to investors in exchange for funding. Unlike reward-based crowdfunding, where backers receive tangible rewards, equity crowdfunding allows investors to become partial owners of the company, potentially earning a return on their investment if the company succeeds. This type of crowdfunding is ideal for startups looking to raise larger sums of money and willing to share ownership to achieve their goals​​​​. Platforms like SeedInvest and Crowdcube specialize in equity crowdfunding. SeedInvest connects startups with accredited investors and provides a streamlined process for raising capital. The platform has helped numerous companies secure significant funding while offering investors the opportunity to be part of innovative ventures​​. Crowdcube, based in the UK, is another prominent platform that allows businesses to raise funds from a large pool of investors, including both accredited and non-accredited investors. This democratizes the investment process and enables a wider range of people to support and benefit from startup growth​​​​. Equity crowdfunding not only provides the financial resources needed for growth but also helps in building a strong base of invested supporters who are financially and emotionally committed to the startup's success. This type of crowdfunding can be a powerful tool for startups looking to scale rapidly and access a broader investor base​​​​. Related resource: Advantages and Disadvantages of Venture Capital Peer-to-Peer Lending Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is a form of crowdfunding where startups and small businesses can obtain loans directly from individual investors, bypassing traditional financial institutions. This model connects borrowers with lenders through online platforms, allowing startups to access necessary funds more quickly and often at more favorable rates than those offered by banks​​​​. LendingClub and Prosper are two of the most well-known P2P lending platforms. LendingClub allows borrowers to apply for personal and small business loans, which are then funded by individual investors who choose to invest in the loan based on the borrower's profile and creditworthiness. Prosper operates similarly, providing a marketplace where borrowers can list loan requests and investors can fund these loans in exchange for interest payments​​​​. P2P lending offers several advantages for startups. It can provide access to capital without the need for extensive credit history, and the application process is typically faster and more straightforward than traditional bank loans. Additionally, P2P lending can offer more competitive interest rates and flexible terms, making it an attractive option for startups looking to manage their cash flow effectively​​​​. However, it is important for startups to carefully consider the terms and ensure they can meet repayment obligations, as defaulting on a P2P loan can impact their credit rating and investor relations​​​​. Donation-Based Crowdfunding Donation-based crowdfunding is a method where individuals contribute money to support a cause, project, or individual without expecting any financial return or tangible reward. This type of crowdfunding is often used for charitable projects, personal emergencies, community initiatives, and other ventures that rely on the goodwill of supporters. Donors contribute purely out of a desire to support the mission or cause presented. GoFundMe is one of the most popular platforms for donation-based crowdfunding. It allows individuals to create fundraising campaigns for a wide range of purposes, from medical expenses to educational endeavors, and even community projects. Donors can easily contribute to these campaigns and share them within their networks to increase visibility and support​​​​. Donation-based crowdfunding can be incredibly effective for raising funds quickly, especially when the cause resonates with a large audience. It also allows for the creation of a supportive community around the project or cause, fostering a sense of shared purpose and engagement among donors​​. However, this type of crowdfunding does not provide financial returns to donors, which can limit the amount of funds raised compared to equity or reward-based crowdfunding. Additionally, campaign creators must communicate transparently and regularly with their supporters to maintain trust and credibility​​. Pros of Crowdfunding Crowdfunding offers a range of benefits that can be particularly advantageous for startups. However, it's crucial to assess these advantages in the context of your specific business needs and future plans to determine if this funding path is the right choice for you. Here’s a brief overview of the main pros of crowdfunding: Build Community Around the Product By fostering a dedicated community through crowdfunding, you create a network of engaged supporters who are financially invested and emotionally committed to your product and mission. This community can be a powerful asset for your startup, driving sustained growth and success. Early Adopters and Advocates: Crowdfunding campaigns attract early adopters who are passionate about innovation and new products. These individuals are not just backers; they become advocates who promote your product within their networks, amplifying your reach and credibility​​​​. Direct Feedback and Involvement: Engaging with backers during the crowdfunding campaign allows for direct feedback and involvement in the product development process. Supporters feel valued when their opinions are considered, creating a stronger connection to the product and its success. This interaction helps refine the product to better meet market demands​​​​. Shared Mission and Vision: A successful crowdfunding campaign effectively communicates the mission and vision behind the product. This narrative resonates with backers who share similar values and goals, fostering a community united by a common purpose. This alignment can result in long-term loyalty and ongoing support beyond the initial campaign​​​​. Enhanced Trust and Loyalty: Regular updates and transparent communication throughout the campaign build trust and loyalty among backers. When supporters are kept informed about progress and challenges, they feel more connected and invested in the journey, which strengthens their commitment to your brand​​​​. Co-Creation Opportunities: Involving the community in decisions, such as product features or design choices, transforms backers into co-creators. This collaborative approach not only enhances the product but also deepens the emotional investment of the community in its success​​​​. Validates the Concept Crowdfunding not only raises funds but also validates your product concept by proving market demand, gathering real-time feedback, attracting additional investors, and identifying early adopters. This validation is crucial for refining your product and ensuring its success in the marketplace. Market Demand: A successful crowdfunding campaign indicates strong market demand. When backers contribute to your project, they are essentially voting with their wallets, showing that there is genuine interest and willingness to pay for your product​​​​. Real-Time Feedback: Throughout the campaign, you receive real-time feedback from backers. This input helps you understand customer preferences, make necessary adjustments, and improve your product before a full-scale launch. Positive feedback reinforces that your product is meeting market needs​​​​. Proof of Concept for Investors: Demonstrating successful crowdfunding can attract additional investors. It provides tangible proof that your product resonates with consumers and has the potential for broader market success, making it easier to secure further investment​​​​. Early Adoption Indicators: Early adopters who support your campaign are likely to become repeat customers and advocates. Their enthusiasm and initial support can be a strong indicator that your product is positioned correctly and poised for market acceptance​​​​. Allows Access to Finance Without Loans Crowdfunding enables you to raise capital without the need for traditional loans, which means you can avoid interest payments and the pressure of debt repayment, thereby maintaining better cash flow​​​​. Increases Visibility of the Company Crowdfunding can greatly enhance your startup's visibility through media coverage, social media engagement, customer interaction, improved SEO, and sustained marketing momentum. These benefits are crucial for building brand awareness and attracting further investment. Media Attention: Successful crowdfunding campaigns often attract media coverage. This exposure can help your startup gain attention from journalists, bloggers, and influencers who can further amplify your reach. Media coverage not only increases brand awareness but also adds credibility to your venture​​​​. Social Media Buzz: Crowdfunding platforms are inherently social, encouraging backers to share campaigns with their networks. This organic sharing can create a viral effect, dramatically expanding your audience and increasing engagement on social media channels​​​​. Customer Engagement: Engaging directly with backers through updates, comments, and feedback during the campaign fosters a sense of community and loyalty. This interaction helps build a strong brand identity and a base of enthusiastic supporters who can become long-term customers​​​​. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Crowdfunding campaigns often generate a lot of online content, including blog posts, news articles, and social media mentions. This content can improve your startup's SEO, making it easier for potential customers and investors to find you online​​​​. Marketing Momentum: The excitement generated by a crowdfunding campaign can carry over into subsequent marketing efforts. The initial buzz helps build momentum for product launches, promotional events, and future funding rounds​​​​. Allows You to Retain Equity One of the key benefits of certain types of crowdfunding, such as reward-based or donation-based models, is that they allow founders to raise capital without giving up equity in their company. Here’s why this is important: Maintaining Control: By not giving away equity, founders retain full control over their company's decisions and direction. This autonomy is crucial for maintaining the original vision and executing long-term strategies without external interference​​​​. Future Valuation: Keeping more equity in the early stages can be beneficial when seeking future funding. Retaining equity means founders can offer a larger share of ownership in later funding rounds, potentially attracting larger investments at higher valuations​​​​. Financial Benefits: Retaining equity allows founders to reap more financial benefits if the company becomes successful. Founders can maintain a significant stake in the company, ensuring they benefit proportionally from the company’s growth and profitability​​​​. Investor Appeal: Having a larger equity stake can make the company more attractive to future investors, as it shows confidence and commitment from the founders. It also leaves more room to negotiate with potential investors in subsequent funding rounds​​​​. Related resource: Seed Funding Cons of Crowdfunding While crowdfunding can offer many advantages, it also comes with its own set of challenges and drawbacks. It's crucial to weigh these cons against your business's specific needs and future plans before deciding to pursue this funding route. Here’s a brief overview of the main cons of crowdfunding: Success is Not Guaranteed An unsuccessful crowdfunding campaign can have several serious implications for a startup. Firstly, it results in a significant loss of time and resources spent on planning, marketing, and engaging with potential backers​​​​. Failure can also harm your startup's reputation, as potential investors and customers might see it as a lack of market interest or viability, making future funding harder to secure​​. An unsuccessful campaign means missing out on valuable market validation and feedback, which are crucial for product development and refinement​​​​. Lastly, on some platforms, not meeting the funding goal means pledged funds are returned to backers, leaving the startup without any capital despite the effort invested​​​​. Your Intellectual Property Could Be at Risk If people "steal" your idea after you've shared it on a crowdfunding platform, it can have several detrimental effects. Competitors might copy your concept and bring similar products to market faster, undermining your unique selling proposition and competitive advantage​​​​. This can result in lost potential revenue, market share, and increased competition. Without proper intellectual property protections like patents, trademarks, or copyrights, you may have little legal recourse to stop others from using your ideas​​. This situation can also damage your reputation if backers perceive your idea is not original or sufficiently protected, potentially affecting future funding opportunities​​​​. Protecting your intellectual property before launching a crowdfunding campaign is crucial to protecting your business from these risks. Social and Legal Pressure to Deliver to Fundees on Promise When you launch a crowdfunding campaign and receive backing, you enter into a commitment to fulfill the promises made to your supporters. Here are the key obligations you have towards your backers: Delivering Promised Rewards: For reward-based crowdfunding, you must provide the specific rewards promised to your backers, such as products, services, or exclusive content. Failure to deliver these rewards can lead to dissatisfaction, negative reviews, and damage to your reputation​​​​. Regular Updates and Communication: Transparency is crucial in maintaining trust with your backers. This means providing regular updates on the progress of the project, addressing any delays or issues, and being honest about challenges and timelines. Effective communication helps manage backers’ expectations and can mitigate negative reactions if problems arise​​​​. Financial Accountability: Backers expect that the funds they contribute will be used as outlined in the campaign. Mismanagement of funds or deviation from the stated use can lead to loss of trust and potential legal issues. Keeping accurate financial records and being transparent about expenditures is essential​​​​. Legal Compliance: Depending on the platform and the nature of the crowdfunding, there may be legal obligations regarding the fulfillment of promises and the management of funds. Failure to comply with these legal requirements can result in lawsuits or other legal actions from backers​​​​. Managing Expectations: Backers are often passionate and vocal about the projects they support. Managing their expectations involves not only delivering on promises but also engaging with them constructively and respectfully, even when facing criticism or setbacks​​​​. Exposure and Public Scrutiny Crowdfunding campaigns inherently place your startup in the spotlight, significantly increasing both visibility and scrutiny. Here’s how this exposure can put your company under a microscope: Public Feedback and Criticism: Crowdfunding platforms allow backers and the general public to comment on your project. This means you can receive both positive feedback and harsh criticism. Negative comments or reviews can quickly spread, affecting public perception and potentially deterring future backers and customers​​​​. Transparency Requirements: To maintain trust, you must provide regular updates on your project's progress. This level of transparency means any delays, challenges, or changes are exposed to public view. If you face setbacks, you must explain these openly, which can amplify the pressure to meet your commitments​​​​. Performance Pressure: The success or failure of your crowdfunding campaign is publicly visible. This visibility can amplify the impact of both achievements and failures, making any missteps or unmet goals more damaging to your reputation and future fundraising efforts​​​​. Competitor Awareness: Publicly sharing detailed information about your business idea and progress alerts competitors, who might replicate or improve upon your concept. This can increase competition and pressure you to innovate continuously and protect your intellectual property​​​​. It’s Not Free, in Fact, It Can Be Costly Crowdfunding can require significant upfront investment and ongoing costs that startups need to consider carefully. Here are the key ways in which crowdfunding can be costly: Marketing and Promotion: A successful crowdfunding campaign requires extensive marketing to reach potential backers. This includes creating promotional videos, running social media ads, and possibly hiring PR firms to generate buzz. These marketing efforts can quickly add up, often running into thousands of dollars​​​​. Platform Fees: Most crowdfunding platforms charge a percentage of the funds raised as a fee. For example, Kickstarter and Indiegogo typically take around 5% of the total amount raised, plus additional payment processing fees of around 3-5%. These fees can significantly reduce the net funds received from a campaign​​​​. Production Costs: For reward-based crowdfunding, the costs of producing and shipping the rewards can be substantial. This includes manufacturing the products, packaging, and logistics. Misestimating these costs can lead to financial shortfalls and the inability to deliver promised rewards, further impacting the startup’s reputation and finances​​​​. Professional Services: To ensure the campaign is professionally managed, startups might need to hire various professionals, such as graphic designers, videographers, and copywriters. Additionally, legal and accounting services might be required to navigate the complexities of managing funds and ensuring compliance with financial regulations​​​​. Time and Resource Allocation: Running a crowdfunding campaign demands significant time and effort from the startup team. This can divert resources from other critical business operations, potentially slowing down other areas of growth and development​​​​. Key Things to Consider When evaluating crowdfunding as a funding option, there are crucial factors beyond just the basic pros and cons that you need to consider. These elements can significantly impact the success of your campaign and the overall health of your startup. Choose the Right Crowdfunding Platform Selecting the appropriate crowdfunding platform is crucial to the success of your campaign. Different platforms cater to various types of projects and audiences, each with unique features, fee structures, and support systems. Here are some of the major crowdfunding platforms and their differences: Kickstarter Kickstarter is one of the most well-known reward-based crowdfunding platforms. It operates on an all-or-nothing funding model, meaning projects must reach their funding goal to receive any money. This platform is ideal for creative projects, including art, music, film, and technology innovations. It has a large, active community of backers who are enthusiastic about supporting new and innovative ideas. However, the all-or-nothing approach can be risky if the campaign does not meet its target​​​​. Indiegogo Indiegogo also focuses on reward-based crowdfunding but offers more flexibility than Kickstarter. It provides both fixed and flexible funding options. With flexible funding, you can keep the funds raised even if you do not meet your goal, making it a safer option for projects that need any amount of funding to proceed. Indiegogo supports a wide range of projects, from tech gadgets to community initiatives, and offers additional services such as InDemand, which allows successful campaigns to continue raising funds after the initial campaign ends​​​​. SeedInvest SeedInvest is a leading equity crowdfunding platform, where backers invest in exchange for equity in the company. It targets startups looking to raise significant capital from accredited investors. SeedInvest provides extensive vetting and support, ensuring that only high-quality, vetted startups are presented to potential investors. This platform is suitable for startups ready to scale and attract serious investors who are looking for a return on their investment​​​​. Crowdcube Crowdcube, based in the UK, also specializes in equity crowdfunding. It allows both accredited and everyday investors to invest in startups in exchange for equity. Crowdcube has a large and diverse investor base, making it an excellent choice for startups looking to raise funds from a wide audience. It provides a comprehensive platform for managing investments and maintaining ongoing communication with investors​​​​. GoFundMe GoFundMe is a donation-based crowdfunding platform commonly used for personal causes, charitable projects, and community initiatives. It does not offer tangible rewards or equity in exchange for contributions. Instead, donors give money to support a cause they believe in. GoFundMe is ideal for non-profit organizations, individuals seeking help with medical expenses, or community projects that need financial support​​​​. Set a Strategy and Goals Ahead of Time Setting a strategy and goals ahead of time ensures that your crowdfunding campaign is well-organized, efficiently run, and more likely to succeed. It also helps align efforts, manage resources, and effectively engage with your target audience, all of which are critical for achieving your funding goals. Clarity and Direction: Having a well-defined strategy provides a clear roadmap for your campaign. It helps you outline the steps you need to take, the resources required, and the timeline to follow. This clarity ensures that everyone involved in the campaign is on the same page and working towards the same objectives​​​​. Target Setting: Specific goals allow you to set realistic funding targets. These targets not only help in measuring success but also in planning the allocation of funds. Knowing exactly how much money you need and for what purpose enables you to communicate this effectively to potential backers, increasing their confidence in your project​​​​. Resource Allocation: A strategic plan helps in identifying and allocating the necessary resources, such as marketing efforts, team roles, and financial investment. By understanding what resources you need and planning their use, you can optimize efficiency and avoid last-minute scrambles that could derail your campaign​​​​. Marketing and Promotion: Effective marketing is essential for a successful crowdfunding campaign. A pre-defined strategy helps you plan your promotional activities, such as social media campaigns, email newsletters, and press releases. It ensures that you reach your target audience effectively and create the necessary buzz around your campaign​​​​. Risk Management: By setting goals and planning ahead, you can identify potential risks and challenges that might arise during the campaign. This foresight allows you to develop contingency plans to address these issues, reducing the likelihood of unexpected setbacks​​​​. Backer Engagement: A clear strategy includes plans for engaging with backers throughout the campaign. Regular updates, prompt responses to inquiries, and transparent communication help build trust and maintain backer interest. Knowing how and when to interact with your supporters can significantly impact the campaign's success​​​​. Decide What Type of Funding Is Right for Your Startup with Visible.vc Crowdfunding offers both significant benefits and notable challenges for startups. While it can build a supportive community, validate your product, and provide necessary capital without loans, it also requires careful planning, transparency, and the management of public scrutiny. As you weigh these factors, consider your specific needs and future plans to determine if crowdfunding is the right path for your startup. To effectively track and manage your crowdfunding efforts and overall startup growth, create your Visible account today and give it a free try for 14 days here.
founders
Fundraising
Chicago’s Best Venture Capital Firms: A List of 10+ Firms Investing in 2024
Chicago boasts a rich history as a major industrial hub. As of 2023, it ranked second in the U.S. for the concentration of Fortune 500 companies, with 31 headquartered in the city. This industrial legacy has created a fertile ground for innovation and entrepreneurship, making Chicago an attractive location for startups and established businesses alike. Benefits of Starting Up in Chicago Starting a business in Chicago comes with several key advantages: Access to Talent: Chicago is a top tech talent hub, attracting professionals from diverse backgrounds. The city's educational institutions produce a steady stream of skilled graduates, and programs like the Illinois Department of Innovation & Technology's trainee program help build a pipeline of tech talent​​. Cost of Living: Compared to other major tech cities like San Francisco and New York, Chicago offers a more affordable cost of living. This allows startups to allocate more resources towards growth and innovation rather than exorbitant living expenses. Supportive Community: Chicago has a strong and collaborative startup community. Numerous events, meetups, and organizations like Hyde Park Angels and P33 foster a supportive environment for entrepreneurs. The city is also noted for its efforts to create an equitable business environment, particularly for minority and women founders​​​​. Robust Infrastructure: Chicago's infrastructure supports business growth with its extensive transportation network, including two major international airports, major highways, and railroads. This connectivity facilitates easy access to national and global markets​​. Key Innovation Hubs and Facilities Chicago's founders benefit from a robust network of startup accelerators and incubators that provide essential support and resources. Notable among these are Techstars Chicago and the Chicago Innovation Exchange, which have been pivotal in nurturing early-stage ventures. Innovation hub 1871 continues to be a cornerstone of Chicago’s tech ecosystem, hosting the AI Innovation Lab in June, which fosters industry innovation and networking opportunities​​​​. Educational and Research Strengths Chicago's startup growth is significantly driven by its abundance of top-tier universities and research institutions, including Northwestern University, The University of Chicago, and the Illinois Institute of Technology. These institutions supply a steady stream of talent and foster innovation through dedicated programs and funding initiatives. The UChicago Startup Investment Program is a $25 million fund that invests in startups led by UChicago faculty, students, staff, and alumni, thereby fueling the city’s entrepreneurial spirit. Additionally, the City Colleges’ Digital Scholars summer pipeline program connects high school and first-year college students to startup opportunities, further enhancing the ecosystem's talent pipeline​​​​. Related Resource: How to Find Venture Capital to Fund Your Startup: 5 Methods Chicago VCs Actively Investing in Startups At Visible, we often compare a startup fundraising process to a traditional B2B sales and marketing funnel. At the top of your funnel, you are adding qualified investors. Nurturing them in the middle of the funnel with email, meetings, pitches, etc. And ideally closing them as a new investor at the bottom of a funnel. Just like a sales and marketing funnel, a fundraising funnel needs to start with the right investors for your business (e.g. qualified lead or qualified investor). One of the aspects founders will want to research is the geography of the investor and where they invest. Check out a few popular venture capital firms located in Chicago below: 1. Hyde Park Venture Partners According to the team at Hyde Park Venture Partners, “We’re an early-stage venture capital firm focused on high-growth, mid-continent technology startups. We seek companies with an exceptional founding team and fast-growth potential, looking to raise a first or second round of capital. With offices in Chicago and Indianapolis, our team is tenacious, responsive, and committed to adding value to each investment.” Learn more about Hyde Park Venture Partners and check out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range The team at Hyde Park invest in early-stage companies — pre-seed to series A. According to their Visible Connect Profile, the team at Hyde Park Venture Partners generally writes checks anywhere between $250k and $4M. Industries Hyde Park Venture Partners primarily invests in SaaS, marketplace, and tech-enabled companies. Popular Investments Some of Hyde Park Venture Partners most noteable investments include: G2 Avant High Alpha Terminus 2. Chicago Ventures As the team at Chicago Ventures put on their website, “We lead seed rounds before it’s obvious, and serve as active, operationally-involved partners during a company’s earliest days.” The team at Chicago Ventures pinpoints 4 areas where they are best suited to help their portfolio companies: Talent: Build your company Community: Skill up Customers: Identify + connect Communication: Tell your story Learn more about Chicago Ventures and check out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range The team at Chicago Ventures has a focus on leading seed rounds. According to their Visible Connect Profile, this can range in checksizes from $500k to $5M. Industries The team at Chicago Ventures is agnostic in their industries and look to invest in “overlooked teams.” Popular Investments Some of Chicago Ventures most noteable investments include: Logicgate Project44 Tock 3. LongJump According to their website, “LongJump is an investment fund, run by founders and operators. We invest in high potential founders and help them turn their ideas into fast-growing businesses. In addition to capital, we also provide connections and community to our portfolio, helping to connect you with other investors, employees, and advisors.” The team at LongJump is full of founders and operators which offers portfolio companies the opportunity to lean on their experience and networks. Learn more about LongJump and check out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range The team at LongJump is focused on seed investments (particularly writing the first check in a company). They typically write checks anywhere between $50k and $100k. Industries The team at LongJump is agnostic in their investment industries. You can learn more in their thesis below: “The population of founders in Chicago (and everywhere else, too) should mirror the community around them. But we don’t see that. Instead we see deep bias towards certain people, certain industries, and certain backgrounds — none of which are predictive of success. And we see this opportunity gap widening over time, creating a chasm that prevents many from starting companies and getting them to the next level. That’s why we’re creating LongJump. To help founders of all backgrounds, all races, all genders, and all socio-economic conditions to get their start. This isn't a charity; this is an opportunity.” Popular Investments Some of LongJump’s most noteable investments include: Stabl STIGMA Anjoy 4. Origin Ventures According to their website, “Origin Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm investing in software, consumer, and marketplace businesses in the Digital Native economy.” Learn more about Origin Ventures and check out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range According to their Visible Connect Profile, the team at Origin Ventures typically writes checks anywhere between $500k and $5M. Industries The team at Origin Ventures has an intense focus on software, marketplace, and consumer apps. You can learn more in their thesis below: “We believe businesses built for Digital Natives have an outsized growth advantage. The Digital Native Economy is powered by 140M Millennials and Gen Z between the ages of 10 and 40. They’re the first generations to have a smart phone, pervasive high speed internet, and social media from a young age. Digital Natives grew up with a cell phone in their hand, and they do things differently than prior generations as a result. We’ve identified themes driven by these behavioral changes and use them to drive our investment strategy.” Popular Investments Some of Origin Venture’s most noteable investments include: GrubHub Cameo Tock 5. Energy Foundry According to their website, “Energy Foundry invests venture capital in today’s most promising energy innovators, and we work with the world’s leading energy companies to build and scale new ventures. Our approach merges venture capital with the perks of partnership, and includes an arsenal of essential tools and relationships to help bring great ideas to market.” Learn more about Energy Foundry and check out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range According to their Visible Connect Profile, the team at Energy Foundry typically writes checks anywhere from $750k to $10M. Industries The team at Energy Foundry has a focus on disruptive energy and cleantech startups. You can learn more about their approach below: “We invest early-stage venture capital in energy start-ups with transformational technologies, an eye towards growth, and ridiculously talented teams. Technology advancements are disrupting the energy industry and creating new venture opportunities. Those who understand this dynamic landscape can unlock value. That’s why we focus exclusively on energy. Energy Foundry effectively deploys capital and leverages strategic tools to de-risk investments and accelerate time to market for the most promising ventures.” Popular Investments Some of Energy Foundry’s most noteable investments include: Azumo Bractlet e-Zinc 6. Starting Line According to the team at Starting Line, “Starting Line invests in founders who are willing to take on substantial personal risks, out of fear of living a life of regret. That fear of wondering what life might have looked like if you’d just gone for it.” Learn more about Starting Line in our interview with Ezra Galston of Staring Line below: Investment Range The team at Starting Line directly lays out their investment range below: “We are a first check venture capital fund, meaning that we aim to anchor true seed rounds with check sizes ranging from $750,000 – $2,000,000 in rounds ranging from $1 – $6M. Our sweet spot within that range is leading $1-1.25M into a $2.5M seed round. We typically write our largest check in a Company’s first round, though we do retain reserves for all portfolio investments.” The Starting Line team is extremely transparent and offers countless opportunities to learn about their investment process on their website here. Industries As put on their website, “Starting Line is a thematic early stage venture capital fund focused on investing in consumer marketplaces, services and products that are cheaper and better, improve access for the 99% + as well as the software infrastructure that enables it.” Popular Investments Some of Starting Line’s most noteable investments include: Substack Made in Spothero 7. Jump Capital According to the team at Jump Capital, “Jump provides series A and B capital to data-driven tech companies within the FinTech, IT & Data Infrastructure, B2B SaaS and Media sectors. We back entrepreneurs with bold vision seeking a business partner and not just a financial investor.” Learn more about Jump Capital and check out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range The team at Jump Capital typically writes checks somewhere between $1M and $10M. Learn more below: Industries The team at Jump Capital is primarily focused on the following industries: Fintech IT and Data Infrastructure Media B2B SaaS Popular Investments Some of Jump Capital’s most noteable investments include: 4C Insights Fast Radius Lumere 8. MATH Venture Partners As put by the team at MATH, “We believe companies that have an unfair advantage in customer acquisition will outperform. This advantage is usually inherent in the business model – leveraged sales, channel partners, compliance triggers, network effects, expansion opportunities or some other element creating urgency in the market.” Learn more about MATH Venture Partners and check out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range The team at MATH Venture Partners typically writes checks anywhere between $1M and $2M. You can learn more abou their investment criteria below: Industries As put by the team at MATH, “Our portfolio includes software, data analytics, marketplaces and e-commerce companies across industries. We invest in both B2B and B2C businesses. We do not invest in medical device, life sciences or capital-intensive businesses.” Popular Investments Some of MATH Venture Partners most noteable investments include: 86 Repairs Spothero Acorns 9. New Stack Ventures As put by the team at New Stack, “At New Stack, we invest in outsiders. Our startups don’t look like what’s commonly funded in Silicon Valley. The standard formula of Stanford educated, Google trained, Bay Area-located is not what we’re looking for. We believe in mission-driven founders with an irrational commitment to their cause –regardless of location or circumstance.” Learn more about New Stack Ventures and check out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range The team at New Stack Ventures typically writes checks between $500k and $1.5M. Industries As put on their website, “New Stack invests broadly across sectors and categories with an emphasis on B2B SaaS, Fintech, Supply Chain, Cyber, Proptech, Healthcare, and eCommerce.” New Stack also has themes they look for in their companies below: “TRACTABLE: Tools that give non-experts, expert capabilities UGV: Platforms that empower users to generate value ACCESS TO IDLE SUPPLY: Activating idle capacity TROJAN HORSE: Targeted beachhead provides access to broader opportunity NETWORK EFFECTS: Value increases as users increase BD INNOVATION: Customer acquisition strategy is as novel as the product COMPETING W/ NON-CONSUMPTION: Turning non-consumers into consumers MOUNTING LOSS: As individual usage increases, switching costs increase” Popular Investments Some of New Stack Ventures most noteable investments include: Hologram Fixer WithMe 10. Cultivian Sandbox Ventures As put by the team at Cultivian Sanbox Ventures, “Cultivian Sandbox is a venture capital firm focused on building next-generation food and agriculture technology companies capable of generating superior returns. As early investors and active board members, we employ a hands-on approach to building companies and are often directly involved in setting company strategy, recruiting key executives, and raising additional capital.” Investment Range According to their website, “Cultivian Sandbox makes equity investments of $1-10M and participates in follow-on financings of high-performing companies. We generally focus initial investments on early-stage companies and invest selectively at later stages.” Industries Cultivian Sandbox Ventures has a focus on next-generation food and agriculture technology. Related Resource: VCs Investing In Food & Bev Startups Popular Investments Some of Cultivian Sandbox Venture’s most noteable investments include: Copper Cow Coffee Full Harvest Culture 11. CMT Digital CMT Digital is a venture capital firm engaging in the crypto asset and Blockchain technology industry. The firm focuses on asset trading, blockchain technology investments, and legal and policy. It was founded in 2017 and is based in Chicago, Illinois. Learn more about CMT Digital and check out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range: CMT Digital typically invests in pre-seed companies but they have also been known to invest in mid-stage companies, with investment amounts ranging from $500,000 to $5 million. Industries: SaaS Crypto Fintech Financial Services Blockchain Software Consumer Goods Popular Investments: BlockFi: A leading provider of crypto-backed loans and interest-bearing accounts for cryptocurrency holders, aimed at making crypto assets more accessible and useful. Brave: The privacy-focused web browser that rewards users with cryptocurrency for viewing privacy-respecting ads, enhancing online privacy and monetization. Synthetix: A decentralized finance protocol that enables the creation of synthetic assets, providing new avenues for trading and investment in digital assets. 12. Sandbox Industries Sandbox Industries is at the forefront of fostering transformative change in crucial sectors such as healthcare, insurance, and sustainability. The firm is dedicated to creating meaningful impacts on people's lives by challenging and improving existing systems. What sets Sandbox Industries apart is its hybrid approach to investing, blending traditional and corporate strategies. The firm collaborates closely with industry stakeholders to ensure that their portfolio companies receive strategic guidance and support. By engaging industry leaders as strategic limited partners, Sandbox Industries creates a unique ecosystem that bridges the gap between strategic investors, financial backers, and innovative startups, facilitating a collaborative environment that drives growth and innovation. Learn more about Sandbox Industries and check out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range: Sandbox Industries typically invests in early to mid-stage companies, with investment amounts varying based on the needs and potential of the startup. While specific investment ranges are not publicly detailed, the firm’s involvement often includes substantial financial backing coupled with strategic support to ensure the growth and success of its portfolio companies. Industries: Sandbox Industries focuses on three main sectors: Healthcare: Investing in innovative solutions that improve patient outcomes and streamline healthcare delivery. Insurance: Supporting startups that bring new technologies and business models to the insurance industry, enhancing efficiency and customer experience. Sustainability: Funding companies that develop sustainable technologies and practices, aiming to address environmental challenges and promote long-term ecological health. Popular Investments: GoHealth: A leading health insurance marketplace that simplifies the process of finding and enrolling in health insurance plans. Tempus: A technology company focused on collecting and analyzing clinical and molecular data to enhance precision medicine. Bloomscape: An online plant retailer that delivers healthy plants directly to customers’ homes, accompanied by expert advice and care tips. 13. M25 Early-stage VC investing in startups headquartered in the Midwest across a wide variety of industries. Learn more about M25 and check out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range: $ 250K - $ 500K with a sweet spot check size of $ 350K Industries: SaaS E-commerce Consumer and Consumer Goods Marketplaces B2B and B2C Mobile Enterprise Popular Investments: Continuum: a ConnectWise company, is the proactive platform for what’s next. With technologies and integrated services spanning security to backup to monitoring, the Continuum platform anticipates and tackles MSPs’ next challenges—enabling them to grow confidently. Redi Health: Redi puts more simplified tools in the hands of patients than ever before and creates novel pathways of connectivity to the support and resources patients wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Authenticx: Authenticx provides a single source of conversational data for customer insight analytics to inform business decisions. 14. Arch Venture Partners ARCH Venture Partners invests primarily in companies co-founded with leading scientists and entrepreneurs, concentrating on bringing to market innovations in information technology, life sciences, and physical sciences. ARCH currently manages five funds totaling over $700 million and has invested in the earliest venture capital rounds for more than 90 companies. ARCH investors include major corporations, financial institutions, and private investors. Learn more about ARCH Venture Partners and check out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range: $ 50K - $ 150M Industries: Biotechnology Health Care Life Sciences Energy Finance Consumer Goods Popular Investments: FogPharma: The company is pioneering the discovery, development and commercialization of HeliconTM peptides, a new drug modality that uniquely combines the broad targeting power of monoclonal antibodies with the cell-penetrating ability of small molecules. Moonwalk Biosciences: Moonwalk Biosciences operates a genomic medicine company that aims to provide a new class of precision epigenetic medications. Accompany Health: Accompany Health provides comprehensive in-home care to patients who live in sometimes underserved regions. 15. Pritzker Group Pritzker Group, the investment firm founded by Tony and J.B. Pritzker, comprises three professional investment teams: middle-market acquisitions, technology venture capital and asset management. Unlike private equity and venture capital firms with traditional limited partner structures, Pritzker Group’s permanent capital base brings significant advantages, including alignment with management teams, efficient decision-making and flexible transaction structures. The Pritzkers’ history and the firm’s success give their companies access to an unparalleled network of advisors, strategic partners and customers. Learn more about Pritzker Group and check out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range: $ 500K - $ 5M Industries: SaaS Software E-Commerce Consumer Goods Popular Investments: Fuel Me: Fuel Me simplifies the fuel procurement process while enabling customers to manage all purchases on a single platform, optimizing operations and administrative procedures while providing extensive cost savings. Machinery Partner: We are experts in industrial machinery who help companies that use heavy equipment make more money, by growing their operation. CarbonBuilt: CarbonBuilt's Carbon XPrize-winning technology enables the production of ultra low-carbon concrete products, driving gigatonne-scale greenhouse gas reductions through the cost-effective mineralization of carbon dioxide. Alternative Funding in Chicago Chicago's local government actively supports startups through various initiatives, grants, and programs. Illinois Department of Innovation & Technology (DoIT): This state department offers programs aimed at building a pipeline of tech talent and supporting innovation across the state, including initiatives for underserved communities​​. P33 TechRise: This nonprofit received significant funding to support underserved founders in scaling their startups. The initiative focuses on creating an inclusive business environment and providing resources to minority entrepreneurs​​. Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE): OMEE works to create equitable business opportunities for Black entrepreneurs and other minority groups, offering various grants and support programs to foster diversity in the startup ecosystem​​. Connect With Investors Today At Visible, we oftentimes compare a fundraise to a B2B sales and marketing funnel. At the top of your funnel, you are finding new investors. In the middle, you are nurturing and pitching potential investors. At the bottom of the funnel, you are working through diligence and ideally closing new investors. Related Resource: The 12 Best VC Funds You Should Know About With the introduction of data rooms, you can now manage every aspect of your fundraising funnel with Visible. Find investors at the top of your funnel with our free investor database, Visible Connect Track your conversations and move them through your funnel with our Fundraising CRM Share your pitch deck and monthly updates with potential investors Organize and share your most vital fundraising documents with data rooms Manage your fundraise from start to finish with Visible. Give it a free try for 14 days here. Related Read: Private Equity vs Venture Capital: Critical Differences
founders
Customer Stories
Fundraising
How Jessica Long from Maad Leveraged Visible to Raise a Seed Round
Jessica is the co-founder and president of Maad, francophone Africa’s fastest-growing B2B e-commerce player. Jessica and her team adopted Visible in December 2021 to start sending out investor updates for the first time after closing a pre-seed round. Since then the team at Maad has continued to leverage Visible’s suite of fundraising tools such as data rooms and pitch decks. Maad successfully closed its seed round led by Ventures Platform in late 2023. Read more about their recent coverage in TechCrunch here. This case study details why Maad chose Visible and the specific solutions they leveraged to support the successful raise of their seed round. Jessica's Founder Journey—From Airbnb to Empowering Retail Owners in Africa Maad was co-founded by Jessica Long in 2021. Jessica has a demonstrated passion for creating software that adds value operationally. She fostered this passion in her previous work as a software engineer at Airbnb, building systems to support novel machine learning and crowdsourcing technology at Idibon in San Francisco, and leading the development of national digital health platforms in West Africa as the Director of Global Services at Dimagi. Jessica started Maad because she believed that better data tools could transform the business landscape of Senegal and other developing West African countries. After spending two years building out a generalizable tech platform to track field operations of all kinds, she and her cofounders zeroed in on the informal retail market. With 100,000s of small shops sourcing the same products from a patchwork supply network, Jessica saw a big opportunity to connect small shops directly to the agribusinesses supplying them. Maad is now Francophone Africa's fastest-growing B2B e-commerce player. Maad supplies food, beverages, and everyday household products to thousands of small shops. The company is dedicated to empowering traditional retailers in Francophone West Africa. Their product offerings provide traditional retailers with a mobile app that’s a one-stop shop for all their supply needs and Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) brands with a complete picture of the fragmented consumer market. The Need to Professionalize Investor Communications After Raising a Pre-seed Round Maad closed a pre-seed round in 2021 led by Launch Africa, Oui Capital, and Alumni Ventures. This was the first time Jessica and her cofounders had ever sent out monthly investor updates. Their first attempt included a few bullet points in an email to which her investors gave her feedback: “You could be doing this more professionally.” Jessica’s early investors explained that monthly updates are often the first thing that new investors will look at to understand the trajectory of a company. “Writing crisp, effective updates was one of the best ways to showcase our company’s growth and development,” - Jessica Long, Co-Founder and President of Maad The team at Maad took this feedback to heart and evaluated several tools for the job. In response to why Jessica chose Visible she shared, “Visible struck us as the best choice, with its emphasis on high-quality email reports.” Jessica highlighted specific features that made Visible stand out: Filterable contact lists that make it easy to manage the email’s audience The ability to add charts and graphs inline The optional live data integration The ability to add photos and GIFs Recipient engagement tracking Maad’s Growing Need for Visible’s Fundraising Solutions Originally Maad’s primary use case for Visible was sending out monthly updates to investors. When Maad started its second fundraise, Visible became its centralized fundraising solution where they also hosted their pitch decks and data rooms as well. “It truly became a home for sharing information with investors about our company.” - Jessica Long, Co-Founder and President of Maad Since first leveraging Visible in December 2021 to update current investors, Maad utilized Visible’s more advanced fundraising solutions and successfully closed their Seed round of $2.3M (in equity) in late 2023. The round was led by Ventures Platform. Read more about the announcement of Maad’s recent financing in TechCrunch here. Visible Impact on Maad’s Investor Engagements Visible has equipped Maad to send high-quality investor updates every month since December 2021. Visible's update engagement tracking allowed Jessica to see how closely prospective investors were following her company, which helped their team prioritize their timespend during the seed stage fundraise. Increasingly, the team at Maad kept all investor-related information assets on the Visible platform including monthly investor updates, pitch decks, and data rooms. This created a clean and consistent place for sharing information and tracking engagement. “Every month we get compliments on the quality of the investor updates we are able to generate with Visible’s platform.” Maad’s Top Four Visible Solutions Jessica shared the key advantages of using the Visible platform are: The beautiful and polished investor updates Thoughtful collaboration and versioning features Engagement tracking Consolidation of all major sources of investor information onto a single platform Below are some examples of some of Maad’s favorite solutions in Visible. 1) The ability to store investor updates all in one place. This makes it easy to review previous updates, track engagement rates, and resend the updates if needed. 2) Fun features like directly embedded GIFs in newsletters allow us to connect with Maad’s supporters with more immediacy. 3) Uploading different pitch decks to the same link is an incredible feature for us. We love the versioning and collaboration this allows us internally, while presenting a unified experience to external collaborators 4) Beautiful graphs, directly configurable on the platform, are one of the most popular features of our monthly updates:
founders
Fundraising
10 Required Slides in a Pitch Deck
Creating a pitch deck that captivates investors is crucial for any startup founder looking to secure funding. But what slides should you include to make the strongest impression? In this article, we'll walk you through the ten essential slides every pitch deck needs. From outlining your problem statement to showcasing your financials, we'll provide you with a roadmap to crafting a compelling narrative that captures investor interest and sets the stage for successful fundraising. Get ready to transform your pitch deck and elevate your startup's potential. Related resource: Our Teaser Pitch Deck Template Why Are Pitch Decks Important? Pitch decks are crucial because they offer a concise, visually appealing format to present a startup's business plan to potential investors. They are the preferred format for several reasons: Clarity and Focus: A well-structured pitch deck highlights the most critical aspects of your business, such as the problem, solution, market opportunity, and financial projections. This ensures that investors quickly grasp the essence of your startup. Engagement: Visual elements like graphs, charts, and images make the presentation more engaging and easier to follow. This helps maintain the attention of investors, who often review numerous pitches. Efficiency: Pitch decks allow founders to convey essential information succinctly. By adhering to guidelines like the 10/20/30 rule, presentations remain brief and impactful, respecting the time constraints of busy investors. Storytelling: They provide a narrative structure that helps tell your startup's story compellingly. This narrative approach helps build a connection with investors, making your pitch more memorable. Related resource: Seed Round Pitch Deck The 10/20/30 Rule The 10/20/30 Rule, introduced by venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki, is a guideline designed to help create effective and engaging pitch decks. According to this rule, a pitch deck should adhere to three key principles: Ten Slides: Limit your presentation to ten slides. This constraint forces you to focus on the most essential information, ensuring clarity and preventing information overload for your audience. Twenty Minutes: Aim to deliver your presentation within twenty minutes. This time frame is optimal for maintaining investors' attention while providing enough time for discussion and questions. Thirty-Point Font: Use a minimum font size of thirty points for your text. This ensures that your slides are easily readable from a distance and encourages you to be concise, using only the most important points. Adhering to the 10/20/30 Rule is crucial for several reasons. Keeping the presentation short and engaging helps maintain the audience's interest. It also ensures that your key messages are communicated clearly and effectively, making it easier for investors to understand and remember the critical aspects of your business. By following this rule, you can create a pitch deck that is both powerful and persuasive. Related resource: Slides in a Pitch Deck Slides to Include in Your Pitch Deck When it comes to pitch decks, less is more. A concise and focused presentation allows you to communicate your startup’s value proposition effectively without overwhelming your audience. Including only the most essential slides ensures your message is clear and impactful. Here are the ten key slides you should include in your pitch deck: Related resource: Pitch Deck Design Title Slide The title slide is your first impression and sets the stage for the entire pitch. It should be clean, professional, and include the following key elements: Company Name: Clearly state the name of your startup to establish brand identity. Your Name and Title: Include your name and title to personalize the presentation and establish credibility. Contact Information: Provide your email address and phone number so investors can easily reach out for follow-ups. Company Logo: Display your logo to reinforce brand recognition and professionalism. Tagline or Mission Statement: A brief, compelling tagline or mission statement can succinctly convey your company’s purpose and vision. The title slide is important because it sets the tone for the rest of your presentation. It provides essential information at a glance and makes it easy for investors to remember who you are and how to contact you. Example Airbnb: Airbnb's pitch deck title slide prominently features their logo, the company name, and a tagline: "Book rooms with locals, rather than hotels." This immediately communicates their unique value proposition. Problem Statement The problem statement slide is critical because it sets the stage for why your startup exists. It should clearly define the problem your product or service aims to solve, making it relatable and compelling to potential investors. To make a strong introductory statement, include the following metrics: Market Size: Quantify the problem by highlighting the size of the market affected. This shows the potential scope and impact of your solution. Prevalence: Use statistics to illustrate how widespread the problem is. For instance, stating that "70% of small businesses struggle with cash flow management" makes the problem tangible and urgent. Financial Impact: Provide data on the financial consequences of the problem. For example, "Businesses lose $100 billion annually due to inefficient inventory management" underscores the economic significance. User Pain Points: Highlight specific pain points experienced by your target audience. This helps investors understand the real-world challenges and frustrations that your solution addresses. Importance These metrics are important because they: Establish Relevance: Demonstrate that the problem is significant and affects a large number of people or businesses. Quantify Opportunity: Show investors the potential market size and financial opportunity if the problem is solved. Create Urgency: Emphasize the immediate need for a solution, making your startup's mission compelling and timely. Examples Airbnb: In their pitch deck, Airbnb highlighted the problem by stating, "Price is an important concern for customers booking travel online." They supported this with data on the cost of hotel stays and the growing trend of people seeking more affordable options. LinkedIn: LinkedIn’s pitch deck focused on the problem of professionals struggling to maintain effective networking. They presented data on the limitations of existing solutions like traditional resumes and business cards, highlighting the need for a modern professional networking platform. Solution or Product Description The solution or product description slide is your opportunity to showcase how your startup addresses the problem identified in the previous slide. To capture the attention of investors, your product needs to be conveyed clearly, compellingly, and convincingly. Here’s how to do it: Clear Description: Provide a concise and clear description of your product or service. Avoid jargon and ensure that even someone unfamiliar with your industry can understand the solution. Value Proposition: Highlight the unique value proposition of your product. Explain what sets it apart from existing solutions and why it is better or more effective. Key Features: Showcase the main features and functionalities that solve the problem. Use bullet points or visuals to make these features easily digestible. Benefits: Focus on the benefits your product provides to users. Explain how it improves their lives or businesses, making it indispensable. Visuals and Demos: Use images, screenshots, or short video demos to demonstrate your product in action visually. This helps investors see the product’s potential and functionality. Importance Conveying your product effectively is crucial because: Demonstrates Feasibility: Shows that you have a viable solution to the problem. Builds Credibility: Demonstrates your understanding of the market and user needs. Engages Investors: A compelling presentation captures interest and encourages investors to learn more. Examples Mint: Mint’s pitch deck described their personal finance tool by emphasizing how it simplifies money management. They highlighted key features such as budget tracking and financial goal setting, supported by screenshots of the app interface, making the value proposition clear and compelling. Market Opportunity The market opportunity slide is crucial in demonstrating your startup's potential for growth and profitability. Investors need to see that there is a significant and growing market for your product or service. Here’s how to effectively present this information: Market Size: Show the total addressable market (TAM), serviceable available market (SAM), and serviceable obtainable market (SOM). These figures illustrate the overall market size and the portion your startup aims to capture. Growth Trends: Highlight industry trends that indicate market growth. This could include increasing adoption rates, technological advancements, or shifts in consumer behavior that favor your solution. Customer Segments: Identify and describe your target customer segments. Provide data on their demographics, needs, and purchasing behaviors. Competitive Landscape: Show the current state of the market, including major competitors and gaps that your startup can exploit. Use charts or graphs to illustrate market share distribution. Economic Indicators: Include relevant economic indicators, such as market growth rates, average customer spending, and profitability margins. These data points help quantify the opportunity. Importance The market opportunity slide is important because: Validates Potential: Demonstrates that there is a real and significant demand for your product. Attracts Investors: Investors are likelier to invest in startups operating in large and growing markets. Guides Strategy: This helps investors understand your strategic positioning and market entry plans. Examples WeWork: WeWork’s pitch deck presented the growing demand for flexible workspaces. They included data on the rise of freelancers, remote work trends, and the shift away from traditional office spaces, demonstrating a significant market opportunity. Business Model The business model slide is crucial for showing investors how your startup plans to generate revenue and achieve profitability. It provides a clear picture of the financial mechanics of your business, demonstrating that your venture is viable and potentially lucrative. Here’s what you should include: Revenue Streams: Detail the different ways your business will make money. This could include direct sales, subscription fees, licensing, advertising, or other revenue models. Pricing Strategy: Explain your pricing model and how it aligns with your revenue streams. Include any tiered pricing, freemium models, or volume discounts. Cost Structure: Outline your key costs, including fixed and variable expenses. This helps investors understand your cost base and how it scales with growth. Profit Margins: Provide data on expected profit margins. This shows how much of your revenue translates into profit after expenses. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): Present the cost of acquiring a new customer. This metric is crucial for understanding the efficiency of your sales and marketing efforts. Lifetime Value (LTV): Estimate the average revenue generated from a customer over the lifespan of their engagement with your business. LTV helps investors gauge long-term profitability. Break-even Analysis: Show when your startup is expected to become profitable. This includes the break-even point where total revenues equal total costs. Importance These data points are important because: Demonstrate Viability: Show that you have a realistic and thought-out plan for generating revenue. Build Credibility: Provide concrete financial metrics that back up your business strategy. Attract Investment: Help investors understand the financial potential and risk associated with your startup, making it easier for them to commit funds. Examples YouTube: In their early pitch decks, YouTube highlighted their ad-supported revenue model. They explained how they planned to monetize user-generated content through targeted advertising, showcasing potential ad revenue projections based on user engagement metrics. Go-to-Market Plan The go-to-market (GTM) plan slide outlines your strategy for launching your product and achieving market penetration. It's crucial because it shows investors how you plan to convert your vision into reality, driving adoption and growth. Here’s what you should include: Market Segmentation: Identify the specific segments of the market you will target first. Explain why these segments are your initial focus and how they will help you build momentum. Marketing Strategy: Describe your marketing tactics and channels, such as digital marketing, social media, content marketing, partnerships, and PR. Highlight how you will reach and attract your target audience. Sales Strategy: Explain your sales approach, including direct sales, online sales, channel partnerships, or a combination. Detail your sales process and how you will convert leads into customers. Distribution Channels: Outline the channels through which your product will be delivered to customers. This could include online platforms, retail partnerships, or direct shipping. Customer Acquisition: Provide a plan for acquiring and onboarding new customers. Include customer acquisition costs (CAC) and expected customer acquisition methods. Timeline and Milestones: Present a timeline of key milestones, such as product launch dates, marketing campaigns, and sales targets. This helps investors see your progress and plan for scaling. Importance The go-to-market plan is important because: Shows Preparedness: Demonstrates that you have a clear and actionable strategy for entering the market. Reduces Risk: Provides investors with confidence that you have thought through how to gain market traction, reducing perceived investment risk. Highlights Growth Path: Maps out how you will achieve growth, helping investors understand the potential return on investment. Examples Dropbox: Dropbox’s GTM plan focused on a viral growth strategy through their referral program, where users received additional storage for referring new users. This strategy effectively lowered customer acquisition costs and accelerated user adoption. Known Competitors Understanding your competitors is crucial for positioning your startup effectively in the market. This slide should provide an overview of the competitive landscape, showing investors that you are aware of existing alternatives and have a clear strategy to differentiate your product. Here’s what to include: Competitor Overview: List your main competitors, including direct and indirect ones. Briefly describe each, focusing on their strengths and market position. Competitive Analysis: Use a comparative table or chart to highlight key features, pricing, market share, and other relevant metrics. This visual aid helps investors quickly grasp how their competitors operate. Unique Value Proposition: Clearly articulate what sets your product apart. Highlight your unique features, benefits, or technological advancements that give you a competitive edge. Market Positioning: Explain how you position your product in the market relative to your competitors. Discuss your target audience and how your product better meets their needs. Barriers to Entry: Identify any barriers to entry you have established, such as patents, proprietary technology, or exclusive partnerships, which protect your market position from competitors. Importance Understanding your competitors and highlighting your unique advantages is important because: Informs Strategy: Demonstrates that you deeply understand the market and have strategically positioned your product to stand out. Builds Credibility: This shows investors that you are well-prepared and have completed your competitive landscape homework. Reduces Risk: This helps investors see that you have a plan to overcome competition, reducing perceived investment risk. Examples Uber: Uber’s pitch deck provided a clear overview of the transportation market, comparing its service to traditional taxis and other ride-sharing platforms. It emphasized its superior user experience, ease of use, and innovative pricing model. Financials and Exit Strategy The financials and exit strategy slide is vital for demonstrating the potential return on investment (ROI) to investors. This slide should detail your financial projections, funding requirements, and exit strategy. Here’s what to include: Financial Projections: Provide detailed forecasts of your revenue, expenses, and profits for the next 3-5 years. Include key financial metrics such as gross margin, net profit, and EBITDA. Funding Requirements: Specify how much funding you seek, what it will be used for, and how it will drive growth. Break down the use of funds into categories like product development, marketing, and operations. Break-even Analysis: Show when your startup is expected to break even and start generating profit. This helps investors understand the timeline for financial viability. Exit Strategy: Outline potential exit strategies, such as acquisition, merger, or IPO. Explain how and when you plan to "buy out" investors, providing them with a return on their investment. Importance Showing how you plan to buy out investors in the future is important because: Demonstrates ROI: Investors want to know how and when they will see a return on their investment. An exit strategy provides a clear path to achieving this. Reduces Risk: A well-defined exit strategy reduces the perceived risk by showing that you have thought through the end game and have realistic plans for achieving it. Builds Confidence: Financial projections and a clear exit strategy build confidence in your business acumen and the long-term viability of your startup. The Team The team slide is one of the most critical components of your pitch deck because it highlights the people behind the startup. Investors often invest in teams as much as they invest in ideas, believing that a strong, experienced, and capable team is more likely to execute the business plan successfully. Here’s what to include: Key Team Members: Introduce your core team members, including their names, titles, and roles within the company. Relevant Experience: Highlight each team member's relevant experience and expertise. Include past achievements, previous startups, industry experience, and any notable accomplishments. Complementary Skills: Show how the team’s skills complement each other. This demonstrates that your team can address various aspects of the business. Advisors and Board Members: If applicable, include key advisors and board members who bring additional expertise and credibility to the team. Importance Showing how your team is uniquely qualified to solve the problem is important because: Builds Credibility: Demonstrates that your team has the expertise and experience to execute the business plan and overcome challenges. Instills Confidence: Investors gain confidence knowing that the team can deliver on the vision and achieve the startup’s goals. Highlights Leadership: Emphasizes the leadership and strategic thinking behind the startup, making it more attractive to investors. Mitigates Risk: A strong, competent team reduces the perceived risk of the investment, as investors trust that experienced professionals are steering the company. Why Now The "Why Now" slide is essential for conveying the urgency and timeliness of your investment opportunity. This slide should explain why the current moment is the perfect time for your startup to succeed and why investors should act quickly to seize this opportunity. Here’s what to include: Market Trends: Highlight current market trends that favor adopting your product or service. This could include technological advancements, regulatory changes, or shifts in consumer behavior. Industry Growth: Provide data on your industry's rapid growth, demonstrating that now is the time to enter the market. Competitive Landscape: Explain how the competitive landscape is evolving and why your startup is uniquely positioned to capitalize on this moment. Urgency Factors: Identify any factors that make immediate action crucial, such as a limited window of opportunity, first-mover advantage, or a pressing market need. Recent Developments: Mention recent developments or milestones your startup has achieved that indicate readiness for rapid growth, such as product launches, strategic partnerships, or pilot program successes. Importance Showing that the investment is timely and the right choice is important because: Creates Urgency: Investors are more likely to act quickly if they see a time-sensitive opportunity. Demonstrating urgency helps accelerate the decision-making process. Enhances Relevance: Proving that your startup is aligned with current trends and market needs makes your business proposition more relevant and compelling. Reduces Risk: Investors feel more confident investing in a startup that is positioned to take advantage of current market conditions, reducing perceived risk. Capitalizes on Momentum: Highlighting why now is the ideal time to invest shows that your startup is poised for growth, leveraging momentum to drive success. Examples Slack: Slack’s pitch deck showcased the shift towards remote work and the growing need for effective team communication tools, demonstrating the immediate relevance and necessity of their product. Connect, Fundraise, and Update Your Investors with Visible Putting together a pitch deck is only the start of a successful fundraise. You need to find the right investors, manage conversations, and distribute your pitch deck. To get started with your next fundraise check out our investor database to help you find your investors. Looking for best practices for sharing your pitch deck? Check out our template for sharing your pitch deck here. Related resource: Tips for Creating an Investor Pitch Deck
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Fundraising
20+ VCs Investing in E-commerce and Consumer Products
Current Investment Landscape in 2024 The investment landscape for e-commerce startups in 2024 remains robust, albeit more competitive than in previous years. VCs continue to invest heavily in the sector, but the selection criteria have become more stringent due to evolving market dynamics and economic conditions. Key Trends and Changes 1. Economic Factors The global venture capital market saw a significant downturn in 2023, with a 35% year-over-year investment decrease​​. Although the market is gradually recovering, the total venture funding for Q1 2024 reached $66 billion, a 6% increase from the previous quarter but still a 20% decrease from the same period last year​​. Economic uncertainties, including geopolitical tensions and inflation, continue to impact investor confidence, leading to a more cautious investment approach​​​​. 2. Selectivity and Profitability With the maturing of the e-commerce market, easy growth opportunities have diminished. Startups need a clear path to profitability to attract VC attention. Investors increasingly favor startups that demonstrate strong financial health and sustainable business models​​​​. 3. Market Concentration Major players like Amazon and Alibaba continue to dominate the global e-commerce landscape. This concentration makes it challenging for new startups to compete unless they offer unique value propositions or operate in niche markets​​​​. 4. Emerging Opportunities Despite these challenges, significant opportunities remain, especially in emerging areas such as social commerce, live commerce, and B2B e-commerce. These segments are drawing considerable interest due to their potential for growth and innovation​​​​. 5. Patterns Guiding VC Investments Omnichannel Retail: Integrating online and offline shopping experiences remains a strong focus. VCs are investing in startups that enhance customer experiences through seamless omnichannel strategies. International Expansion: Startups with plans to expand into emerging markets like Asia and Latin America are attractive to VCs. These regions offer substantial growth potential due to increasing internet penetration and digital adoption​​. Direct-to-consumer (D2C) Brands: D2C brands that leverage social media and direct marketing channels continue to be prime candidates for funding. The ability to build direct customer relationships and generate data-driven insights makes these startups particularly appealing​​. Subscription Models: The stability of recurring revenue models remains attractive. Companies that successfully implement subscription services, offering consistent value to consumers, are likely to draw VC interest​​. 6. What Investors Want Consistent Growth: Investors seek startups with well-defined strategies that show clear scalability and robust revenue pathways. Powerful Teams: The focus is not just on the ideas but on the execution. Startups with solid and experienced teams are more likely to secure funding. Market Analysis: It is crucial to have a deep understanding of the market, competitors, and a unique selling point. To attract investors, startups must demonstrate thorough market research and a clear competitive advantage. Evolving E-commerce The future of e-commerce is set to combine the spontaneity and excitement of offline shopping with the convenience and personalization of online platforms. By leveraging AI, AR, and blockchain technologies, retailers aim to create more engaging, efficient, and sustainable shopping experiences. Offline Discovery and Online Options Recent advancements in AI and technology are significantly enhancing the offline-to-online shopping experience. Retailers are now leveraging AI to create personalized shopping experiences that mimic the serendipity of in-store discovery. AI algorithms analyze past purchases and browsing behaviors to offer tailored product recommendations, making online shopping more intuitive and engaging​​​​. One notable development is the use of augmented reality (AR) to bridge the gap between offline and online shopping. For instance, AR apps allow customers to visualize how products like furniture or clothing will look in their homes or on their bodies before making a purchase. This technology enhances the shopping experience and reduces the likelihood of returns​​. Future of E-commerce (Three Phases) the future of e-commerce is set to combine the spontaneity and excitement of offline shopping with the convenience and personalization of online platforms. By leveraging AI, AR, and blockchain technologies, retailers aim to create more engaging, efficient, and sustainable shopping experiences. 1. Discovery In 2024, new platforms and methods are revolutionizing product discovery. Social media channels like TikTok and Instagram are at the forefront, utilizing short-form videos and influencer marketing to introduce products to consumers. These platforms are essential for brands to reach new audiences and drive engagement through entertaining and informative content​​​​. Additionally, AI-driven recommendation engines are becoming more sophisticated. E-commerce sites like Amazon and Alibaba use AI to suggest products based on real-time data, such as trending items and customer preferences, enhancing the discovery phase​​. 2. Conversion Live shopping has emerged as a powerful tool for converting interest into sales. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and dedicated live shopping apps enable real-time interactions between sellers and buyers. This format allows customers to ask questions, see products in action, and make purchases instantly, creating a sense of urgency and trust​​. Innovations in virtual fitting rooms and chatbots also play a crucial role in the conversion phase. Virtual fitting rooms use AR to help customers see how clothes fit without trying them on physically. AI-powered chatbots provide instant customer support, guiding shoppers through their purchasing journey and promptly addressing any concerns​​. 3. Returns & Resale Improving return management and promoting sustainable shopping are critical in 2024. AI is now used to predict return patterns and optimize inventory management, ensuring returned products are restocked efficiently. Some companies are integrating blockchain technology to enhance transparency in the returns process, providing customers real-time updates on their return status​​​​. The resale market is also gaining traction, with major brands like Target and Gucci entering the space. These companies use tech-powered platforms to facilitate the sale of secondhand goods, appealing to environmentally conscious consumers and promoting a circular economy​​. AI-driven platforms assess the condition of returned items and determine their resale value, making the process seamless and efficient​​. VCs Investing in E-commerce and Marketplaces FJ Labs As put by the team at FJ Labs, “Marketplaces are the tool by which we achieve our purpose, the means to our end. We believe in entrepreneurs as solutionists to the world’s greatest challenges and VCs as the means to enabling all the amazing founders addressing the challenges of our time. At FJ Labs, we believe in human ingenuity and back it with the full weight of our resources and knowhow. This is our ultimate mission and the reason we invest in so many companies. Location: New York, United States About: FJ Labs is a stage-agnostic New York-based investment firm with a global focus. FJ Labs focuses on marketplaces and consumer-facing startups. Thesis: FJ Labs is a stage-agnostic New York-based investment firm with global focus. FJ Labs focuses on marketplaces and consumer facing startups. Investment Stages: Seed, Series A, Series B, Series C, Growth To learn more about FJ Labs, check out their Visible Connect Profile. DN Capital About: DN Capital is a global early-stage venture firm, founded in 2000 and based in London, Berlin and San Francisco. We focus on Seed, Series A and select Series B opportunities in Europe and North America. We believe great tech companies can emerge across any vertical, but we focus our attention on four: Software, Fintech, Marketplaces and Consumer Internet. We have consistently backed category leaders in these verticals such as Shazam, Auto1, HomeToGo, Purplebricks, Endeca and Remitly. We use our extensive global network and financial expertise to give portfolio companies the best possible platform for growth. We are always excited to receive business plans from entrepreneurs seeking capital. So, if you have a business we need to know about, then send us your materials here. Thesis: We invest in Seed, Series A and growth-stage businesses and can support companies with up to €20m of capital. Location: Menlo Park, California Investment Stages: Pre-Seed, Seed, Series A To learn more about DN Capital check out their Visible Connect Profile. Commerce Ventures About: E-commerce Ventures is a venture capital firm focusing on investments in the e-commerce, retail, FinTech and Insurance sectors. Thesis: We invest across a range of sub-sectors that we refer to collectively as the Commerce Continuum. These sub-sectors include retail technology, payment technology, banking technology, and insurance technology. Location: San Francisco, California Investment Stages: Seed, Series A, Series B, Growth To learn more about Commerce Ventures check out their Visible Connect Profile. Greenoaks About: Greenoaks is a global internet investment firm that operates in the commercial services, health tech, and B2B sectors. Location: San Francisco, California Investment Stages: Seed, Series A, Series B, Series C, Growth To learn more about Greenoaks check out their Visible Connect Profile. Adevinta Ventures About: Adevinta Ventures is the corporate VC leg within Adevinta (formerly Schibsted Marketplaces) Thesis: At Adevinta, we believe everything and everyone has a purpose in life. Our portfolio of digital brands unlock the full value in every person, place and thing by creating perfect matches on the world’s most trusted marketplaces. Location: Barcelona, Spain Investment Stages: Seed, Series A, Series B To learn more about Adevinta Ventures check out their Visible Connect Profile. Cabra VC About: Adevinta Ventures is the corporate VC leg within Adevinta (formerly Schibsted Marketplaces) Thesis: At Adevinta, we believe everything and everyone has a purpose in life. Our portfolio of digital brands unlock the full value in every person, place and thing by creating perfect matches on the world’s most trusted marketplaces. Location: Barcelona, Spain Investment Stages: Seed, Series A, Series B To learn more about Cabra VC check out their Visible Connect Profile. Piton Capital About: Founded in 2010, Piton Capital is a venture capital and growth equity firm headquartered in London and investing in businesses with network effects. We make investments ranging from €200k to €20m and since inception have invested in over 50 businesses, primarily in Europe. Piton focuses exclusively on network effects businesses as this provide one of the few moats or forms of defensibility to achieve dominance. Thesis: Investing in companies with network effects. Location: London, England, United Kingdom Investment Stages: Series A, Series B, Early Stage To learn more about Piton Capital check out their Visible Connect Profile. Dutch Founders Fund About: The Dutch Founders Fund (DFF) is an early-stage VC that primarily invests in marketplaces and network effects across Europe. Our fund is founded by founders, for founders. We look beyond spreadsheets and resolve early-stage growth-pains with lightning speed. Ready to scale together? Submit your pitch deck to basrieter@dutchfoundersfund.com Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands Investment Stages: Early Stage, Pre-Seed, Seed To learn more about Dutch Founders Fund check out their Visible Connect Profile. GGV Capital As put by their team, “GGV Capital is a global venture capital firm focused on multi-stage, sector-focused investments. Recognizing that the talent to build great companies can come from anywhere, the firm invests in founders building category-leading companies around the world.” Location: Menlo Park, California, United States About: GGV Capital is a multi-stage venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley, Shanghai, and Beijing. We have been partnering with leading technology entrepreneurs for the last 18 years from seed to pre-IPO. With $3.8 billion in capital under management across eight funds, GGV invests in globally minded entrepreneurs in social/internet, commerce/new retail, frontier tech, and enterprise/SaaS. GGV has invested in over 280 companies with more than 30 companies valued at more than $1 billion. Investment Stages: Series A, Series B To learn more about GGV Capital, check out their Visible Connect Profile. Kleiner Perkins As put by the team at Kleiner Perkins, “For five decades we have partnered with intrepid founders to build iconic companies that made history. Today, Kleiner Perkins continues that legacy, investing in founders with bold ideas that span industries and continents, partnering with them from inception to IPO and beyond to maximize the potential of their ideas… and make history.” Location: Menlo Park, California, United States About: Kleiner Perkins is a venture capital firm specializing in investing in early-stage, incubation, and growth companies. Thesis: To be the first call for founders who want to make history and to partner with them as company builders in pursuit of that goal. Investment Stages: Series A, Series B, Growth To learn more about Kleiner Perkins, check out their Visible Connect Profile. Lyra Ventures As put by the team at Lyra Ventures, “We are venture capitalists investing in companies that use innovative technology to reinvent the business of fashion and retail. Our team and network of advisors have deep domain expertise in our industries of focus. We channel this knowledge into each of our investments, working alongside our founders, particularly early on in their company’s lifecycle.” Location: Singapore, SG About: We are venture capitalists investing in companies that use innovative technology to reinvent the business of fashion and retail. Our team and network of advisors have deep domain expertise in our industries of focus. We channel this knowledge into each of our investments, working alongside our founders, particularly early on in their company’s lifecycle. Thesis: We support visionary and disciplined entrepreneurs who are transforming the industries of fashion and retail via the creation of high growth and resilient businesses. Investment Stages: Seed, Series A To learn more about Lyra Ventures check out their Visible Connect Profile. 14W As put by the 14W Team, “Founded in 2010, 14W is a global venture capital firm with offices located in New York, London, and Madrid. The firm seeks to invest in the consumer internet, e-commerce, consumer packaged goods, marketplace, and media sectors.” Location: New York, New York, United States About: 14W is a venture capital firm specializing in consumer internet, marketplace, ecommerce, CPG, and media. Investment Stages: Seed To learn more about 14W check out their Visible Connect Profile. PayU Location: Poznań, Wielkopolskie, Poland About: PayU is a leading financial services provider in global growth markets. We enable billions of people to buy and sell online. Thesis: One of the leading fintech investors globally, combining the expertise of high growth companies with our own unique local knowledge and technology to ensure that our customers have access to the best financial services. Investment Stages: Seed, Series A, Series B To learn more about PayU check out their Visible Connect Profile. Act Venture Capital As put by the team at Act, “We believe great companies are built by great founders, not investors. We have never been the loudest venture firm. We don’t want to add to the noise of VCs making it about them – it is about the founders and the problems they are trying to solve.” Location: Dublin, Ireland About: ACT is Ireland’s leading independent venture capital company and they have a very experienced and successful investment team. They provide capital to growth-oriented private companies in the range of €750K to €15M. Larger sums can be provided in syndication with their institutional investors. In December 2002, ACT closed its third fund at €170 million. ACT now manages €350 million through a number of venture capital funds. Thesis: Investing in people, markets and technology. Investment Stages: Seed, Series A, Series B, Series C, Growth To learn more about Act Venture Capital check out their Visible Connect Profile. Activant Capital As put by their team, “We typically invest when two things come together. First, the company has the potential to achieve escape velocity and transform an entire industry. Second, we believe the founders can lead the company through hyper growth, and our support can significantly increase the probability of this success.” Location: Connecticut, United States About: Act VC is an early-stage venture capital firm that partners with founders starting out, and established teams scaling their growth. We have raised €487m across multiple funds to support this goal. We look for innovative, category-defining companies in large markets. We help founders build and scale these leveraging the experience of backing over 200 founders before. We work closely with them in this process. Over the past 25 years, we have invested in over 120 companies and built a broad global network. Investment Stages: Series A, Series B, Series C To learn more about Activant Capital, check out their Visible Connect Profile. Ascend Location: Washington, United States About: Pre-seed investor in marketplace, e-commerce/D2C, and B2B software startups in the Pacific Northwest. Investment Stages: Pre-Seed To learn more about Ascend, check out their Visible Connect Profile. A.Capital As put by their team, “Unlike traditional VCs, we do not have ownership thresholds. We work with entrepreneurs to determine how much to invest, and at what valuation, based on what their company needs, not based on historical VC financial models. This reduces overall dilution while still leaving room for value-added partners.” Location: Menlo Park, California, United States About: a_capital provides resources and counsel to the creators, inventors and entrepreneurs who are building a new future. Thesis: Investing in consumer and enterprise technology companies. Investment Stages: Seed, Series A, Series B, Series C, Growth To learn more about A.Capital, check out their Visible Connect Profile. Lerer Hippeau As put by their team, “Lerer Hippeau is an early-stage venture capital fund founded and operated in New York City. We invest in good people with great ideas who redefine categories — and create new ones entirely.” Location: New York About: Lerer Hippeau is a seed and early-stage venture capital fund based in New York City. Investment Stages: Lerer Hippeau invests in companies from seed to Series C To learn more about Lerer Hippeau, check out their Visible Connect Profile. Tandem Capital About: Tandem Capital is a seed-stage venture fund and studio helping drive go-to-market innovation. Our studio helps companies craft business strategies, build brands, acquire customers and extend distribution channels. Our dedicated studio team engages deeply with a company’s business, to help find product-market fit and accelerate early growth. The studio provides support primarily to businesses selling products and services directly to individuals, including: connected devices, consumer packaged goods and subscription services. Thesis: Our fund backs stellar teams whose innovation extends beyond their products into how they acquire their customers, develop their distribution channels and build their overall brands. Tandem leads and co-leads rounds with up to $500K in pre-seed and up to $2M in seed funding. We reserve a significant amount of capital in order to support our founder long-term through follow-on funding. Location: San Mateo, California Investment Stages: Pre-Seed, Seed To learn more about Tandem Capital check out their Visible Connect Profile. Launch Location: San Francisco, California, United States About: We are on a mission here at LAUNCH to support founders and inspire innovation. Our small team of rebels put on the largest startup conference in the world, the LAUNCH festival, the podcast This Week In Startups and we run the LAUNCH Incubator. We invest millions of dollars into 40 promising founders a year, some of which go on to change the world. Most of these founders spend 12 weeks in our very intense -- but fabulously fun -- accelerator. Investment Stage: Accelerator To learn more about Launch, check out their Visible Connect Profile here. Imag/nary Ventures Location: New York, United States About: Founded by Natalie Massenet and Nick Brown, Imaginary Ventures is venture capital firm that invests in early–stage opportunities at the intersection of retail and technology in Europe and the US. Investment Stage: Seed, Series A, Series B To learn more about Imag/nary Ventures, check out their Visible Connect Profile here. Act One Ventures Location: Seattle, Washington, United States About: Seed stage fund focused on enterprise software and research from LA Universities. We believe in community, diversity, and Los Angeles. Thesis: Investing in capital-efficient companies with excellent founder-market fit Investment Stage: Pre-Seed, Seed To learn more about Act One Ventures, check out their Visible Connect Profile here. Acequia Capital Location: Seattle, Washington, United States About: Acequia Capital is focused on advising early stage founders and teams that have passion and conviction about the power of software. Investment Stage: Pre-Seed, Seed To learn more about Acequia Capital, check out their Visible Connect Profile here. Arbor Ventures Location: Singapore About: Founded in 2013, Arbor Ventures is a global investment firm focused on companies that leverage advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, composable service offerings and blockchain applications to facilitate, broaden or fundamentally change the way financial services are served, consumed, and managed. Arbor uses its global vantage point, extensive network and deep sector knowledge to identify key trends and partner closely with leading entrepreneurs to build transformational companies. Investment Stage: Seed, Series A, Series B, Series C To learn more about Arbor Ventures, check out their Visible Connect Profile here. BECO Capital Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates About: BECO Capital provides growth capital and hands-on operational support for early-stage technology companies. Investment Stage: Seed, Series A, Series B To learn more about BECO Capital, check out their Visible Connect Profile here. Additional Resources 4 trends that will define e-commerce in 2022 Personalization and zero-party data become critical. E-commerce embraces web3 and NFTs, but what will that look like? Live shopping goes mainstream. Slow but gradual improvement to the supply chain. Jungle Scout is an eCommerce platform that helps entrepreneurs leverage Amazon to sell products. Their platform offers customers solutions to manage inventory, conduct product research, find suppliers, and more. Though the company is mainly Amazon-centric now, they are eyeing expansion to cover solutions for other online retail platforms, such as Walmart.com. Consumer Trends Report | Q1 2022 The State of the Amazon Seller Society Brands– Society Brands embraces the entrepreneur and provides them with a network of support and a rich pool of industry-leading resources to help them take their brands to the next level and create real value for a great exit. Elevate Brands– A New York- and Austin-based startup that acquires and runs third-party Amazon merchants. Berlin Brands Group (BBG)- One of the new wave of e-commerce startups hoping to build lucrative economies of scale around buying up smaller brands that sell on marketplaces like Amazon and using technology to run and scale them more efficiently. 20 Fast-Growing Ecommerce Startups (2022) Our Guide to E-Commerce Metrics (with Google Sheet Template) Key Metrics to Track and Measure In the eCommerce World Video: Shopify Ecommerce Dashboard Start Your Next Round with Visible We believe great outcomes happen when founders forge relationships with investors and potential investors. We created our Connect Investor Database to help you in the first step of this journey. Instead of wasting time trying to figure out investor fit and profile for their given stage and industry, we created filters allowing you to find VC’s and accelerators who are looking to invest in companies like you. Check out all our investors here and filter as needed. After learning more about them with the profile information and resources given you can reach out to them with a tailored email. To help craft that first email check out 5 Strategies for Cold Emailing Potential Investors and How to Cold Email Investors: A Video by Michael Seibel of YC. After finding the right Investor you can create a personalized investor database with Visible. Combine qualified investors from Visible Connect with your own investor lists to share targeted Updates, decks, and dashboards. Start your free trial here. Related resource: 14 FinTech Startups Shaping the Future of Finance
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Fundraising
Business Plan vs Pitch Deck: The Differences and When You Need Them
Starting a new venture involves navigating numerous challenges, one of which is effectively communicating your business vision. Two essential tools in this process are the business plan and the pitch deck. While both are crucial, they serve different purposes and are used at different stages of your startup journey. In this article, we'll explore the key differences between business plans and pitch decks, what each includes, the level of detail required, the creation process, and specific use cases. Understanding these distinctions will help you use each tool to your advantage, ensuring you’re well-prepared to impress investors and guide your business to success. Business Plans vs Pitch Decks - An Overview When raising capital for your startup, both business plans and pitch decks are essential tools, each serving distinct purposes. A business plan is a detailed document outlining your business’s objectives, strategies, market analysis, and financial projections. It provides a comprehensive roadmap for your business, guiding long-term strategic decisions and demonstrating viability to stakeholders such as banks and grant providers. In contrast, a pitch deck is a concise, visually-driven presentation designed to quickly capture the interest of potential investors. It typically includes key highlights of your business, such as the problem you’re solving, your solution, market opportunity, business model, and team. The goal is to secure meetings and generate interest from venture capitalists, angel investors, and during startup competitions. Both tools are crucial in fundraising, but they are used at different stages and for different audiences. Business Plan A business plan is a comprehensive document that outlines your business's objectives, strategies, market analysis, organizational structure, and financial projections. Its primary purpose is to serve as a detailed roadmap for your business, guiding strategic decisions and demonstrating the viability and potential of your venture to various stakeholders. The business plan is essential for several key reasons: Securing Funding: It provides potential investors, banks, and grant providers with an in-depth understanding of your business model, financial forecasts, and strategic plans, helping to secure necessary funding. Strategic Planning: It acts as a guide for internal decision-making, helping founders and management teams align on goals and strategies. Attracting Talent: A well-articulated business plan can attract co-founders, key hires, and partners by clearly outlining the business's vision and potential. Use cases for a business plan include applying for loans, pitching to investors, and guiding internal strategy development. Each of these scenarios relies on the detailed and structured information that a business plan provides, making it an indispensable tool for startup founders. Related resource: Startup Business Plan Pitch Deck A pitch deck is a concise, visually-driven presentation designed to quickly capture the interest of potential investors. It typically consists of around 10-20 slides that highlight the key aspects of your business, such as the problem you’re solving, your solution, market opportunity, business model, and team. The primary purpose of a pitch deck is to provide a snapshot of your business that is engaging and easy to understand, aiming to secure meetings and generate interest from potential investors. Unlike the comprehensive nature of a business plan, a pitch deck is meant to be high-level and visually appealing, making it an effective tool for initial presentations. Use cases for a pitch deck include: Investor Meetings: Pitching to venture capitalists and angel investors to secure funding. Startup Competitions: Presenting at demo days and competitions to gain exposure and interest. Partnership Discussions: Engaging potential partners and stakeholders by providing a clear and compelling overview of your business. The pitch deck serves several important functions: Generating Interest: It is designed to grab the attention of venture capitalists, angel investors, and other stakeholders, encouraging them to seek more detailed information. Communicating Vision: The pitch deck helps convey your business idea succinctly, showcasing the problem you’re solving, your solution, and your unique selling points. Facilitating Meetings: A compelling pitch deck can lead to follow-up meetings, providing opportunities to delve deeper into your business plan and financials. Related resource: Building Your Pitch Deck What is Included in Each One Understanding the structure and key components of business plans and pitch decks is crucial for effectively using each tool in your fundraising efforts. A detailed and comprehensive business plan covers elements such as market analysis, financial projections, and strategic planning. In contrast, a pitch deck is concise and visually engaging, highlighting key aspects like the problem you’re solving, your solution, and your business model. This section will provide an overview of what to include in each, highlighting the differences to help you tailor them to your needs. Business Plan A business plan is a detailed and comprehensive document that covers various aspects of your business. Key components typically include: Executive Summary: A brief overview of your business, including your mission statement, product or service offering, and basic information about your company’s leadership, employees, and location. Company Description: Detailed information about your business, including the problems you’re solving, your target market, and what makes your business unique. Market Analysis: An examination of your industry, market size, expected growth, and competitive landscape. Organization and Management: An outline of your business’s organizational structure, details about the ownership, and profiles of your management team. Products or Services Line: Detailed descriptions of your products or services, including the lifecycle of each product, and how they benefit your customers. Marketing and Sales Strategy: Your plan for reaching your target market, including pricing, advertising, and sales strategies. Funding Request: If you’re seeking funding, this section outlines your current funding requirements, future funding requirements over the next five years, and how you intend to use the funds you receive. Financial Projections: Detailed financial forecasts, including income statements, cash flow statements, and balance sheets for the next three to five years. Appendix: An optional section that includes resumes, permits, lease agreements, legal documentation, and other pertinent information. Pitch Deck A pitch deck is a more concise and visual presentation focusing on highlighting your business's key aspects. Key components typically include: Title Slide: The name of your business and a tagline or short mission statement. Problem Statement: A description of the problem your business aims to solve. Solution: An overview of your product or service and how it addresses the problem. Market Opportunity: Information on your target market and the potential market size. Business Model: An explanation of how your business will make money. Traction: Evidence of your business’s progress and momentum, such as sales figures, customer testimonials, or user growth metrics. Competition: An analysis of your competitors and your competitive advantages. Go-to-Market Strategy: Your plan for attracting and retaining customers. Financials: High-level financial projections and key metrics. Team: Information about your founding team and key advisors. Use of Funds: How you plan to use the investment you’re seeking. Closing Slide: A summary of your pitch and a call to action, often including your contact information. Related resource: Key Slides In Your Pitch Deck Each of these components plays a crucial role in communicating the essential aspects of your business to different audiences. While the business plan is thorough and detailed, the pitch deck is designed to be engaging and to the point, helping you quickly capture the interest of potential investors. What Level of Detail is Needed for Each One? Business plans and pitch decks differ significantly in the level of detail they require. Business plans are comprehensive and detailed, covering strategic projections and in-depth analyses. In contrast, pitch decks are high-level, focusing on engaging visuals and key highlights to quickly capture investor interest. Business Plan A business plan requires a high level of detail to comprehensively outline your business’s strategic vision, operational structure, and financial projections. Each component must be thoroughly developed to provide a clear roadmap for the business and demonstrate its potential to stakeholders. Here's a breakdown of the required level of detail for each key component: Executive Summary: This section should offer a concise yet comprehensive snapshot of your business, including your mission statement, the products or services you offer, and basic company information such as leadership, employees, and location. While brief, it should be compelling enough to attract further interest. Company Description: This part should delve deeply into your business, explaining the problems you're solving, your target market, and what makes your business unique. It should provide a clear picture of your business’s purpose and the value it offers to customers. Market Analysis: This section should include in-depth research on your industry, including market size, expected growth, and trends. A detailed competitive analysis is also crucial, highlighting your competitors' strengths and weaknesses and how you plan to differentiate your business. Organization and Management: Provide detailed profiles of your management team, including their backgrounds, expertise, and roles within the company. An organizational structure chart can be helpful here, showing how different roles and departments interrelate. Products or Services Line: Offer detailed descriptions of your products or services, including their lifecycle, development stages, and benefits to customers. Explain how your offerings meet the needs of your target market and any plans for future development or expansion. Marketing and Sales Strategy: This section should outline your strategies for reaching your target market, including pricing models, advertising plans, sales tactics, and distribution channels. Be specific about how you will attract and retain customers, including any partnerships or collaborations. Funding Request: If you are seeking funding, clearly outline your current and future funding needs, specifying how much you need, how you plan to use the funds, and any future funding requirements over the next five years. Provide a clear plan for how the funds will help achieve your business goals. Financial Projections: Provide detailed financial forecasts, including income statements, cash flow projections, and balance sheets for at least the next three to five years. This section should demonstrate your business’s financial viability and growth potential, with assumptions clearly stated. Appendix: Include any additional documents that support your business plan, such as resumes, permits, legal documentation, market research data, and any other relevant materials. The appendix should provide supporting evidence for the claims and projections made in your business plan. Each of these components should be well-researched and thoroughly explained, offering a clear and detailed picture of your business and its potential. A comprehensive business plan not only helps in securing funding but also guides strategic decision-making and helps attract key partners and talent. Pitch Deck A pitch deck requires a concise yet engaging level of detail to capture the interest of potential investors and stakeholders effectively. Each component should be clear, visually appealing, and focus on the key highlights of your business. Here’s an outline of the necessary components and the level of detail required: Title Slide: Include your business name, logo, and a brief tagline or mission statement. This slide should set the tone and provide a quick grasp of your business identity. Problem Statement: Clearly and succinctly describe the problem your business aims to solve. Use visuals or anecdotes to illustrate the problem’s significance and relevance to your target market. Solution: Provide an overview of your product or service and explain how it addresses the problem. Highlight the unique aspects of your solution and how it stands out from existing alternatives. Market Opportunity: Present key information about your target market, including market size, growth potential, and trends. Use charts or graphs to make the data visually compelling and easy to understand. Business Model: Explain how your business will make money. Include details on your revenue streams, pricing strategy, and any monetization plans. Keep it straightforward but comprehensive enough to show viability. Traction: Highlight your business’s progress and milestones. This could include sales figures, user growth, partnerships, or any significant achievements. Use visuals like charts or graphs to showcase your momentum. Competition: Provide a brief analysis of your competitors and articulate your competitive advantages. Use a comparison chart to highlight how your business outperforms or differentiates from others in the market. Go-to-Market Strategy: Outline your plan for attracting and retaining customers. Include marketing and sales strategies, distribution channels, and any partnerships that will help you reach your target market effectively. Financials: Summarize your key financial projections and metrics. Include revenue forecasts, profit margins, and break-even analysis. Use simple charts or graphs to make the data accessible and impactful. Team: Introduce your founding team and key advisors. Highlight their relevant experience and roles within the company. Use photos and brief bios to humanize your team and build credibility. Use of Funds: Explain how you plan to use the investment you’re seeking. Provide a clear and specific breakdown of how the funds will be allocated to drive growth and achieve your business goals. Closing Slide: Summarize your pitch and include a call to action. Provide your contact information and invite investors to follow up for more detailed discussions. Each component should be crafted to deliver maximum impact with minimal text, using visuals to convey key points effectively. The goal is to engage your audience, provide a compelling snapshot of your business, and secure further interest or meetings. What Does It Take to Create Each One? Creating a business plan and a pitch deck requires different approaches due to their distinct design, data, and storytelling requirements. Understanding the process for building each will help you allocate the necessary resources and time effectively. Business Plan Building a business plan is a detailed and collaborative effort that involves: Extensive Research: In-depth market analysis, competitive landscape assessment, and financial forecasting. Cross-Department Collaboration: Input from finance, marketing, operations, and management teams to ensure accuracy and comprehensiveness. Detailed Documentation: Crafting a thorough narrative with strategic projections and detailed analyses. The process is time-intensive, typically taking several weeks to a few months, depending on the business complexity and data availability. Pitch Deck Creating a pitch deck is a more streamlined process that emphasizes: High-Level Research: Gathering essential data on market size, competition, and key financial metrics. Visual Design: Collaborating with designers to create engaging and visually appealing slides or using templates that make designing easier such as canva or pitch. Concise Storytelling: Developing a compelling, succinct narrative highlighting the business’s value proposition and growth potential. This process is quicker, usually taking a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on the need for iterations and design work. Understanding these differences ensures you allocate the right resources and time for each document, aligning with their specific purposes and audiences. Use Cases for Business Plans and Pitch Decks Understanding when to use a business plan versus a pitch deck is crucial for effectively communicating your business vision and securing stakeholder support. Here are specific situations where each document would be most effective. Business Plan Securing Bank Loans: A detailed business plan is essential when applying for a bank loan. It provides lenders with comprehensive information about your business model, financial projections, and market analysis, demonstrating your ability to repay the loan and manage financial responsibilities effectively. Internal Strategic Planning: A business plan guides internal decision-making and strategic planning. It helps align the management team on long-term goals, operational strategies, and resource allocation, ensuring everyone is working towards the same objectives. Attracting Key Hires and Partners: A well-structured business plan can attract top talent and potential business partners by clearly outlining the business’s vision, growth potential, and strategic direction. It provides a detailed understanding of the company’s mission and future prospects, making it an attractive opportunity for skilled professionals and collaborators. Pitch Deck Investor Meetings: A pitch deck is perfect for pitching to venture capitalists and angel investors. Its concise, visually engaging format quickly captures the interest of potential investors, providing an overview of your business, the problem you’re solving, and your market opportunity, leading to follow-up meetings and deeper discussions. Startup Competitions: During startup competitions and demo days, a pitch deck is essential. It succinctly presents your business idea, traction, and competitive edge, helping you stand out in a crowded field and attract potential investors or partners who attend these events. Initial Partnership Discussions: When initiating discussions with potential partners, a pitch deck effectively communicates your business’s value proposition and strategic fit. It offers a compelling snapshot of your business, encouraging partners to explore collaboration opportunities further. By understanding these use cases, you can strategically utilize business plans and pitch decks to engage different audiences and achieve your business objectives effectively. Tailor Your Business Plan and Pitch Decks to Your Needs with Visible Both business plans and pitch decks are essential tools for startup founders, each serving distinct purposes and requiring different levels of detail. A business plan provides a comprehensive roadmap for strategic planning and securing funding, while a pitch deck is a concise, visually engaging presentation designed to capture investor interest quickly. Share your pitch deck confidently with Visible, a purpose-built platform for fundraising. Our pitch deck sharing tool is completely integrated with our fundraising CRM and investor updates platform. Founders can also leverage their brand by hosting decks from their own domain and highlighting brand colors. Try Visible free for 14 days and start strengthening your investor connections.
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6 Types of Pitch Decks and When You’ll Need Them
Mastering the art of the pitch is crucial for any startup founder. Whether seeking investment, landing new customers, or forming strategic partnerships, having the right pitch deck can make all the difference. In this article, we'll explore six essential types of pitch decks every startup needs, each tailored to different audiences and situations. Discover how to craft compelling decks that resonate and drive results, from elevator pitches to detailed investor presentations. Prepare to elevate your pitching game and ensure you're always prepared to impress. Reasons to Have Multiple Pitch Decks As a startup founder, you’ll find yourself pitching your business to various audiences with unique interests and needs. Relying on a single pitch deck for all these situations can be a major drawback. Here’s why having multiple pitch decks is crucial for your success: Tailoring Your Message: Different audiences care about different aspects of your business. Investors want to see your financials, market opportunity, and growth strategy. Potential partners are interested in synergies and shared goals, while customers focus on how your product solves their problems. A one-size-fits-all approach dilutes your message, making it less impactful. By creating tailored decks, you can emphasize the most relevant information for each audience. Maximizing Engagement: When your pitch resonates with the audience's specific concerns, you’re more likely to keep their attention and spark interest. A well-targeted pitch shows that you understand their priorities and have taken the time to address them directly. This level of personalization can significantly increase your chances of securing investment, partnerships, or sales. Building Credibility: A customized pitch deck demonstrates professionalism and preparedness. It signals your audience that you’re serious about your business and have done your homework. This can build trust and credibility, essential factors when persuading investors or partners to commit to your venture. Adapting to Different Scenarios: Pitching is not a one-time event. You’ll need to present your business in various contexts, from quick elevator pitches to detailed investor meetings and product demos. Each scenario requires a different approach. Multiple pitch decks allow you to be agile and adaptable, ready to impress no matter the situation. Related resource: Board Deck Types of Pitch Decks Your Team Should Prepare To navigate the diverse landscape of pitching scenarios, your startup needs a suite of specialized pitch decks. Each deck serves a unique purpose and is tailored to resonate with specific audiences. Tailoring your pitch is crucial because different stakeholders have different priorities and concerns. Preparing specific decks for various situations ensures that your message is always relevant, compelling, and impactful. Each pitch deck allows you to focus on the aspects that matter most to your audience, making your presentation more effective and persuasive. Here’s a brief introduction to the types of pitch decks your team should prepare: Elevator Pitch Deck: This concise deck is designed for quick, impromptu pitches, where you need to grab attention and spark interest within a few minutes. Investor Pitch Deck: Tailored for potential investors, this deck delves deep into your business model, market opportunity, financial projections, and growth strategy. Sales Pitch Deck: Created to persuade potential customers or clients, this deck highlights the benefits and features of your product or service. Partnership Pitch Deck: This deck focuses on forming strategic alliances by highlighting mutual benefits, synergies, and shared goals. Demo Pitch Deck: A highly visual and interactive deck, used to showcase your product in action, emphasizing its functionality and user experience. Customer Pitch Deck: Aimed at converting leads into customers, this deck addresses customer pain points and presents your solution convincingly. In the following sections, we’ll dive deeper into each type of pitch deck, exploring their purposes, key components, and when to use them. Elevator Pitch Deck Definition: An elevator pitch deck is a concise and highly focused presentation designed to quickly communicate the essence of your startup. It typically consists of a few slides and can be delivered in the time it takes to ride an elevator—around 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Purpose: The primary purpose of the elevator pitch deck is to grab the audience's attention and spark their interest in your startup. It serves as an introduction to your business, providing just enough information to make the listener want to learn more. Key Components: Introduction: A brief introduction to your startup, including the name and tagline. Problem Statement: A clear and concise explanation of the problem your startup addresses. Solution: An overview of your product or service and how it solves the problem. Value Proposition: A summary of the unique value your startup offers. Call to Action: A prompt for the next steps, such as setting up a meeting or requesting further information. When to Use It: The elevator pitch deck is ideal for impromptu or brief interactions where you have limited time to make an impression. This includes: Networking events Casual conversations with potential investors or partners Initial introductions at conferences or trade shows Any situation where you need to quickly convey the essence of your startup and pique interest By having a well-crafted elevator pitch deck ready, you can ensure that you’re always prepared to make a strong first impression, no matter how spontaneous the opportunity may be. Related resource: Teaser Deck Investor Pitch Deck Definition: An investor pitch deck is a detailed presentation designed to provide potential investors with a comprehensive overview of your startup. This deck delves into the critical aspects of your business, including your market opportunity, financial projections, and growth strategy. Purpose: The main purpose of the investor pitch deck is to secure funding from venture capitalists, angel investors, or other financial backers. It aims to convince investors that your startup is a viable and lucrative investment opportunity. Key Components: Introduction: Briefly introduce your startup, including its name and a compelling tagline. Problem Statement: Clearly articulate the problem your startup addresses and why it matters. Solution: Provide a detailed explanation of your product or service and how it solves the identified problem. Market Opportunity: Present data on the size of your target market, growth potential, and market trends. Business Model: Explain how your startup plans to make money, including revenue streams and pricing strategy. Traction: Showcase any early successes, such as user growth, sales figures, partnerships, or pilot projects. Competitive Analysis: Identify your main competitors and highlight your competitive advantages. Financial Projections: Provide detailed financial forecasts, including projected revenue, expenses, and profitability. Team: Introduce your core team members, emphasizing their expertise and relevant experience. Funding Requirements: Specify how much funding you are seeking and how you plan to use the capital. Call to Action: Encourage investors to take the next step, such as scheduling a follow-up meeting or conducting due diligence. When to Use It: The investor pitch deck is used during formal presentations to potential investors. This can occur in various settings, including: Venture capital pitch meetings Angel investor gatherings Startup accelerators and incubators Investment competitions and demo days By preparing a well-structured and persuasive investor pitch deck, you can effectively communicate the potential of your startup and attract the funding needed to scale and grow your business. Related resource: Seed Round Pitch Deck Sales Pitch Deck Definition: A sales pitch deck is a presentation designed to persuade potential customers or clients to purchase your product or service. It focuses on highlighting the value and benefits your offering brings to the customer, showcasing how it solves their specific problems. Purpose: The primary purpose of the sales pitch deck is to convert leads into paying customers by demonstrating the value and effectiveness of your product or service. It aims to build trust and convince the audience that your solution is the best fit for their needs. Key Components: Introduction: Briefly introduce your startup and what you offer, including a compelling tagline. Problem Statement: Clearly articulate the customer's pain points and the problems they are facing. Solution: Explain how your product or service addresses these pain points and solves the problem effectively. Value Proposition: Highlight the unique benefits and value your solution provides to the customer. Product Features: Provide a detailed overview of the key features and functionalities of your product or service. Customer Testimonials: Include testimonials or case studies from satisfied customers to build credibility and trust. Use Cases: Demonstrate how different customers or industries use your product to achieve specific outcomes. Pricing: Outline your pricing model and any available packages or options. Call to Action: Encourage the audience to take the next step, such as signing up for a demo, starting a trial, or making a purchase. When to Use It: The sales pitch deck is used during interactions with potential customers or clients. This includes: Sales meetings and presentations Product demonstrations Follow-up meetings after initial interest Trade shows and industry conferences By having a well-prepared sales pitch deck, you can effectively communicate the value of your product, address any concerns, and persuade potential customers to take action and make a purchase. Partnership Pitch Deck Definition: A partnership pitch deck is a presentation designed to secure strategic alliances with other businesses. It focuses on highlighting the mutual benefits of a partnership, emphasizing how collaboration can drive growth and achieve shared objectives. Purpose: The primary purpose of the partnership pitch deck is to persuade potential partners that a collaboration will be mutually beneficial. It aims to demonstrate how working together can create synergies, unlock new opportunities, and deliver value to both parties. Key Components: Introduction: Briefly introduce your startup and what you offer, including a compelling tagline. Partnership Opportunity: Clearly articulate the rationale for the partnership and the specific goals you aim to achieve together. Mutual Benefits: Highlight the key benefits for both parties, such as increased market reach, shared resources, and enhanced product offerings. Market Opportunity: Present data on the market size, growth potential, and how the partnership can capitalize on these opportunities. Value Proposition: Explain the unique value each partner brings to the table and how combining strengths can create a competitive advantage. Synergies: Identify areas where the partnership can create synergies, such as technology integration, distribution channels, or customer base expansion. Case Studies: Include examples of successful partnerships or collaborations that have yielded positive results. Implementation Plan: Outline a high-level plan for how the partnership will be executed, including key milestones and responsibilities. Call to Action: Encourage the potential partner to take the next step, such as setting up a detailed discussion or signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU). When to Use It: The partnership pitch deck is used during meetings with potential partners. This includes: Initial discussions with companies you want to collaborate with Negotiations to finalize partnership terms Presentations at industry events where strategic alliances are sought Follow-up meetings to refine partnership details By preparing a well-structured partnership pitch deck, you can effectively communicate the potential of the collaboration, address any concerns, and persuade potential partners to move forward with the partnership. Demo Pitch Deck Definition: A demo pitch deck is a highly visual and interactive presentation designed to showcase your product in action. It emphasizes the functionality, features, and user experience of your product through live demonstrations or detailed walkthroughs. Purpose: The primary purpose of the demo pitch deck is to demonstrate the capabilities and benefits of your product firsthand. It aims to give the audience a clear understanding of how the product works and how it can solve their specific problems or enhance their operations. Key Components: Introduction: Briefly introduce your startup and what you offer, setting the stage for the demo. Product Overview: Provide a high-level overview of your product, highlighting its main features and functionalities. Live Demonstration: Conduct a live demo or show a video walkthrough of your product in action, focusing on key use cases. User Interface: Highlight the user interface and user experience, demonstrating how intuitive and easy-to-use your product is. Key Features: Dive deeper into the standout features of your product and explain how they address specific customer needs. Use Cases: Present real-world examples or scenarios where your product has been successfully used to solve problems or improve processes. Customer Testimonials: Include testimonials or case studies from satisfied customers who have benefited from using your product. Call to Action: Encourage the audience to take the next step, such as signing up for a trial, requesting a personalized demo, or making a purchase. When to Use It: The demo pitch deck is used during product demonstrations and interactive presentations. This includes: Product demo meetings with potential customers or clients Trade shows and industry conferences where live demos are expected Sales presentations where the audience needs to see the product in action Webinars or online demos conducted for a broader audience By preparing a compelling demo pitch deck, you can effectively showcase the strengths of your product, engage your audience, and persuade potential customers of its value. Customer Pitch Deck Definition: A customer pitch deck is a presentation aimed at converting leads into paying customers. It focuses on addressing the specific pain points of potential customers and presenting your product or service as the ideal solution to their problems. Purpose: The primary purpose of the customer pitch deck is to persuade potential customers to purchase your product or service. It aims to build a strong case for why your offering is the best fit for their needs, highlighting the benefits and unique value propositions. Key Components: Introduction: Briefly introduce your startup and what you offer, setting the context for the presentation. Problem Statement: Clearly articulate the pain points and challenges faced by the customer that your product or service addresses. Solution: Explain how your product or service effectively solves these problems, highlighting its unique features and benefits. Value Proposition: Emphasize the unique value your product or service brings to the customer, differentiating it from competitors. Product Features: Provide a detailed overview of the key features and functionalities of your product or service. Customer Testimonials: Include testimonials or case studies from satisfied customers who have benefited from your offering. Use Cases: Present real-world examples or scenarios where your product has been successfully used to solve problems or improve processes. Pricing: Outline your pricing model and any available packages or options, making it easy for the customer to understand the cost. Call to Action: Encourage the audience to take the next step, such as signing up for a trial, requesting a demo, or making a purchase. When to Use It: The customer pitch deck is used during interactions with potential customers who are in the decision-making phase. This includes: Sales meetings and presentations Follow-up meetings after initial interest has been shown Product demonstrations tailored to specific customer needs Webinars or online presentations aimed at converting leads By preparing a compelling customer pitch deck, you can effectively communicate the value of your product, address any concerns, and persuade potential customers to take action and make a purchase. Get Templates, Tips, and Connect with Potential Investors with Visible Mastering the art of the pitch is essential for any startup founder. You can ensure your message resonates with each audience by preparing multiple tailored pitch decks—such as elevator, investor, sales, partnership, demo, and customer decks. This targeted approach maximizes engagement, builds credibility, and enhances your chances of achieving your business goals. Share your pitch deck confidently with Visible, a purpose-built platform for fundraising. Our pitch deck sharing tool is completely integrated with our fundraising CRM and investor updates platform. Founders can also leverage their brand by hosting decks from their own domain and highlighting brand colors. Try Visible free for 14 days and start strengthening your investor connections.
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17 Travel & Tourism VC Investors Who Can Fund Your Startup in 2024
Evolving Travel Trends and Market Analysis The pandemic not only gave rise to a new way of traveling but also changed how people want to travel, providing them with new opportunities. Investments in alternative accommodation startups and other businesses in this area have been on the rise, and this trend will continue. With remote work now an option for most people, new growth opportunities for coworking, coliving, and traveling have emerged. There are also new alternatives to Airbnb, such as Kindred, which offers travelers a members-only home exchange network where the community can swap or share their homes to travel for a fraction of the cost. Market Size and Growth The global travel and tourism market is showing robust growth post-pandemic. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the sector is projected to grow by 5.8% annually over the next decade, reaching $8.6 trillion in 2024. This recovery is driven by pent-up demand, easing travel restrictions, and a growing middle class in emerging markets. Current Trends and Consumer Behavior The pandemic has significantly reshaped how people approach travel, leading to new preferences and expectations. As travel begins to rebound, businesses must adapt to these changes to effectively meet consumer demands and capitalize on emerging opportunities. Here’s a look at the key trends that are currently influencing consumer behavior in the travel and tourism industry. Flexible Booking Policies: The uncertainty caused by the pandemic has led to a high demand for flexible booking options. Travelers prefer refundable bookings and the ability to change travel plans without penalties. According to Expedia’s Travel Trends Report, flexible booking options are a top priority for 78% of travelers. Remote Work and Digital Nomadism: The shift to remote work has led to a surge in digital nomadism, with more people combining work and travel giving rise to “flexcations”. Combining work and leisure, travelers are choosing destinations where they can work remotely while enjoying a vacation. This trend has led to an increase in demand for long-term rentals and accommodations with work-friendly amenities. Experiential Travel: There’s a growing preference for experiential travel, where travelers seek unique, immersive experiences rather than traditional sightseeing. This includes activities like culinary tours, cultural workshops, and adventure travel. Skift’s Megatrends 2023 report highlights that travelers increasingly seek personalized and authentic experiences that allow them to connect with local cultures and communities. Personalized Travel: Travelers are also looking for personalized travel experiences that cater to their individual preferences and interests. This includes tailored itineraries, unique accommodations, and bespoke tours. Technology-Driven Travel: The use of technology to enhance the travel experience is on the rise. This includes mobile check-ins, digital payment options, and virtual tours. Travelers rely heavily on apps and online platforms for booking, navigating destinations, and accessing travel information. The integration of AI and machine learning in these platforms helps in providing personalized recommendations and seamless travel planning. Sustainable Tourism: Sustainable tourism has gained significant traction as travelers become more environmentally conscious. Eco-friendly accommodations, carbon offset programs, and sustainable travel practices are in high demand. According to a report by Booking.com, 83% of global travelers think sustainable travel is vital, and 61% say the pandemic has made them want to travel more sustainably in the future. Future Outlook: Technological Advancements Shaping the Travel and Tourism Industry Rapid technological advancements and evolving consumer preferences will shape the future of the travel and tourism industry. For startups in this space, staying ahead of these changes is key to maintaining a competitive edge and meeting the needs of modern travelers. Here’s a look at what’s on the horizon. Blockchain Technology Enhanced Security and Transparency Blockchain can revolutionize travel by providing secure and transparent transactions. It can improve the accuracy of booking systems, reduce fraud, and enhance data security. For example, blockchain can be used for secure identity verification and streamlining payments and loyalty programs. Decentralized Travel Platforms Startups can leverage blockchain to create decentralized travel platforms, reducing reliance on intermediaries and lowering costs for travelers. Companies like Winding Tree are already pioneering decentralized travel marketplaces, allowing direct transactions between suppliers and consumers . Artificial Intelligence (AI) Personalized Travel Experiences AI can analyze vast amounts of data to provide personalized travel recommendations and experiences. Chatbots and virtual assistants powered by AI can offer 24/7 customer service, helping travelers with bookings, itinerary changes, and travel advice. Operational Efficiency AI can optimize operations for travel businesses by predicting demand, managing inventory, and automating repetitive tasks. For instance, AI-driven analytics can help airlines and hotels forecast occupancy rates and adjust pricing strategies in real-time. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) Immersive Pre-Travel Experiences VR and AR technologies can offer immersive previews of travel destinations, helping travelers make informed decisions. VR tours of hotels, attractions, and destinations can enhance the booking process. Enhanced On-Site Experiences AR can enhance travelers’ experiences at destinations by providing interactive guides, real-time language translation, and augmented reality tours. For example, AR apps can overlay historical information and directions onto real-world environments, enriching the travel experience. Internet of Things (IoT) Connected Travel IoT can create a seamless travel experience by connecting various devices and services. Smart luggage that tracks its location, hotel rooms that adjust settings based on guest preferences, and connected transportation systems are some examples. Operational Improvements IoT can help travel businesses monitor equipment performance, manage energy usage, and enhance guest safety and convenience. For instance, airports can use IoT to track baggage and improve security systems. Journey Ventures Location: Israel About: Journey Ventures is a multi-stage VC dedicated to the booming Travel Tech industry. Travel is one of the world’s fastest-growing sectors. Travel startups of the last few years have already disrupted some of the largest sectors in our industry, a momentum we expect to continue. This large market of ever-increasing Travel Tech offerings is ready for smart investments, and Journey Ventures is an expert in the field. Thesis: Our goal is to develop a portfolio of Israeli and international companies specializing in the fields of tourism, travel Tech and the hotel industry that have reached an advanced stage of technological development. Investment Stages: Pre-seed, Seed, Series A, Series B, Series C Recent Investments: Wenrix UpStay Roomerang LTD To learn more about Journey Ventures, check out their Visible Connect Profile. Related Resource: 9 Active Venture Capital Firms in Israel MairDuMont Ventures Location: Stuttgart, Germany About: MAIRDUMONT VENTURES is the venture capital arm of the MAIRDUMONT Group and has been supporting digital travel companies in their future growth since 2015. MAIRDUMONT VENTURES uses its unique sector focus “Travel” to dive deeply into different business models and to evaluate potentials together with our portfolio companies. We have extensive know-how and can leverage the huge network of the MAIRDUMONT Group – with well-known brands such as Marco Polo, DuMont, Baedeker, Kompass or Falk – to offer our portfolio companies not only financial resources, but also strategic and operational support. We invest in fast-growing, early-stage and innovative companies that revolutionize travel. These can be solutions for end customers (B2C) as well as business customers (B2B). Recent Investments: zizoo holidu Paul Camper To learn more about MairDuMont Ventures, check out their Visible Connect Profile. Related Resource: 8 Active Venture Capital Firms in Germany JetBlue Technology Ventures Location: San Carlos, California, United States About: JetBlue Technology Ventures invests in and partners with early stage technology startups improving the future of travel and hospitality. Thesis: We invest in and partner with early stage startups improving travel and hospitality. Investment Stages: Seed, Series A, Series B, Growth Recent Investments: NLX FLYR Labs Bizly To learn more about JetBlue Technology Ventures, check out their Visible Connect Profile. 500 Startups Location: Mountain View, California, United States About: 500 Startups is a global venture capital firm with a network of startup programs headquartered in Silicon Valley. Thesis: Uplifting people and economies through entrepreneurship Investment Stages: Seed, Series A Recent Investments: Tripoto Wandero Flightfox To learn more about 500 Startups, check out their Visible Connect Profile. Fifth Wall Location: Venice, California, United States About: At Fifth Wall we are pioneering an advisory-based approach to venture capital. Full-service, integrated, operationally aligned. We are the first and largest venture capital firm advising corporates on and investing in Built World technology. Our strategic focus, multidisciplinary expertise, and global network provide unique insights and unparalleled access to transformational opportunities. Investment Stages: Seed, Series A, Series B Recent Investments: Loft Flyhomes Smart Rent To learn more about Fifth Wall, check out their Visible Connect Profile. Thayer Ventures Location: Valencia, California, United States About: Thayer Ventures invests in Travel Technology. Thesis: We invest in early-stage travel and transportation technology. Investment Stages: Seed, Series A Recent Investments: Beekeeper Snapcommerce Swiftmile To learn more about Thayer Ventures, check out their Visible Connect Profile. Structure Capital Location: San Francisco, California, United States About: Structure Capital help passionate teams build great companies by investing seed-stage capital, time, experience and relationships. Investment Stages: Seed, Series A, Series B, Growth Recent Investments: Sonder CANOPY Unbabel To learn more about Structure Capital, check out their Visible Connect Profile. Portugal Ventures Location: Porto, Lisboa, Portugal About: Portugal Ventures is a venture capital firm that invests in seed rounds of Portuguese startups in tech, life sciences, and tourism. Thesis: We invest in companies in the seed and early stages operating in the digital, engineering & manufacturing, life sciences and tourism sectors. Investment Stages: Pre-Seed, Seed, Series A Recent Investments: DefinedCrowd Relive Sleep & Nature To learn more about Portugal Ventures, check out their Visible Connect Profile. aws Gründerfonds Location: Vienna, Wien, Austria About: Venture Capital for Ideas and Innovations aws Founders Fund invests venture capital during the start-up and early growth phase of Austrian start-ups. We offer support for your future (financial) plans as a long-term investor and partner and believe in the additional value of co-investments. Investment Stages: Seed, Series A, Series B Recent Investments: Innerspace Rendity CheckYeti.com To learn more about aws Gründerfonds, check out their Visible Connect Profile. VentureFriends Location: Athens, Attiki, Greece About: VC fund based in Athens but investing across Europe, we focus on FinTech, Travel, PropTech, B2C & Marketplaces. We are entrepreneurial investors, with strong experience, network and track record. We have been entrepreneurs, founders, worked at startups or angel investors in early stages and have a founder first & value driven approach Thesis: We are entrepreneurial investors who love to support startups and help them become impactful companies with a worldwide presence. Investment Stages: Seed, Series A, Series B, Series C, Growth Recent Investments: Blueground Home Made Welcome Pickups To learn more about VentureFriends, check out their Visible Connect Profile. Travel Impact Lab Location: Utrecht, Netherlands About: Travel Impact Lab helps start-ups to get started and sets existing travel organizations in motion. Investment Stages: Accelerator To learn more about Travel Impact Lab, check out their Visible Connect Profile. Travel Capitalist Ventures Location: Irvine, California, United States About: Travel focused Venture Capital and Private Equity Investor. Thesis: We identify, invest and help travel companies rapidly and sustainably expand. Investment Stages: Seed, Series A, Growth Recent Investments: Jetsmart Voopter Guiddoo To learn more about Travel Capitalist Ventures, check out their Visible Connect Profile. Alstin Capital Location: Munich, Bayern, Germany About: Alstin Capital is an independent venture capital fund based in Munich. We invest in rapidly growing technology companies that have the potential to leverage the significant market potential of the future and become market leaders. We not only invest in convincing technology, but above all in the entrepreneurs behind the technology. We support our entrepreneurs with capital and know-how so that they can grow faster and more successfully. Our investment is based on the conviction that entrepreneurial know-how, many years of transaction experience, international networks and sales excellence are the success factors for sustainable growth. Our team brings a variety of complementary strengths to help make any investment a success. Investment Stages: Seed, Series A, Series B Recent Investments: Pilant Neodigital Circula To learn more about Alstin Capital, check out their Visible Connect Profile. TruVenturo Location: Hamburg, Germany About: We believe venture capital will make the best returns if you invest in the big future markets. Therefore we are strong believers in Tech (managed by Norbert Beck), Brain Computer Interface (managed by Florian Haupt) and pharma to prevent age related disease and prolong healthy human lifespan managed by Nils Regge with the investment vehicle Apollo.vc. Investment Stages: Seed, Series A, Series B Recent Investments: Dreamlines HAPPYCAR DreamCheaper To learn more about TruVenturo, check out their Visible Connect Profile. Howzat Partners Location: London, England, United Kingdom About: We are looking to invest in and build internet businesses that have a “HOWZAT” factor. This may sound a little trite; but we see major changes caused by the internet and the opportunities are genuinely exciting. The right idea; the right business; the right time; should generate the “HOWZAT” feeling. David felt it when he came across Cheapflights and was involved in acquiring the Company in 2000. We are seeking the same feeling again in the investments we make. Investment Stages: Seed, Series A Recent Investments: Trivago LODGIFY otelz.com To learn more about Howzat Partners, check out their Visible Connect Profile. Slow Ventures Location: San Francisco, California, United States About :Slow Ventures invests in companies central to the technology industry and those on the edges of science, society, and culture. Thesis: Slow Ventures invests in companies central to the technology industry and those on the edges of science, society, and culture. Investment Stages: Seed, Series A Recent Investments: Scout Vamo Hipcamp To learn more about Slow Ventures, check out their Visible Connect Profile. Hangar 51 Location: London, England, United Kingdom About: We are the innovation team at International Airlines Group, one of the world’s largest airline groups and home to iconic brands in the UK, Spain and Ireland. We are on a mission to transform aviation, helping test and scale high impact emerging technologies across our group. We scout for and partner with leading entrepreneurs to fund, support and scale solutions with the potential to transform the way we do things. Investment Stages: Pre-Seed, Seed, Series A, Series B Recent Investments: ZeroAvia Monese Esplorio To learn more about Hangar 51, check out their Visible Connect Profile. Start Your Next Round with Visible We believe great outcomes happen when founders forge relationships with investors and potential investors. We created our Connect Investor Database to help you in the first step of this journey. Instead of wasting time trying to figure out investor fit and profile for their given stage and industry, we created filters allowing you to find VC’s and accelerators who are looking to invest in companies like you. Check out all our D2C investors here and e-commerce here. After learning more about them with the profile information and resources given you can reach out to them with a tailored email. To help craft that first email check out 5 Strategies for Cold Emailing Potential Investors and How to Cold Email Investors: A Video by Michael Seibel of YC. After finding the right Investor you can create a personalized investor database with Visible. Combine qualified investors from Visible Connect with your own investor lists to share targeted Updates, decks, and dashboards. Start your free trial here.
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Fundraising
16+ Top Venture Capital Firms in Boston in 2024
Boston has long been a powerhouse for innovation and entrepreneurship, making it a prime location for startups and venture capital. Renowned for its prestigious universities and research institutions, the city fosters a rich intellectual capital and cutting-edge technology environment. The startup scene in Boston is vibrant and diverse, supported by a strong network of venture capital firms that provide essential funding and mentorship. This thriving ecosystem offers founders access to a wealth of resources, including accelerators, incubators, and a collaborative community of entrepreneurs and investors, making Boston an ideal place for launching and growing new ventures. At Visible, we often compare a venture capital fundraise to a traditional B2B sales and marketing funnel. At the top of your funnel, you are looking for qualified investors. In the middle of your funnel, you are nurturing potential investors with pitch decks, meetings, and email updates. At the bottom of your funnel, you are hopefully closing new investors. Related Resource: The 12 Best VC Funds You Should Know About Just as a sales and marketing funnel starts by finding qualified leads, the same is true for a venture fundraise. For some, this might start by finding investors (or leads) that are in a certain geography. For founders located in Boston, check out a list of our favorite VC funds in Boston below: 1. General Catalyst Partners As put by the team at General Catalyst Partners, “We work with companies through their entire lifecycle—from the earliest stages through growth and beyond. Our team has expertise in all phases of company building and can add real value at every inflection point. No matter where they are in their journey, we always aspire to be a founder’s first call—connecting them to the relationships that matter most.” Focus and industry: General Catalyst invests across every sector. They specifically mention consumer, enterprise, fintech & crypto, and health assurance on their website. Funding stage: General Catalyst invests across every stage — “from creation to IPO.” General Catalyst is on of the biggest names in the venture industry. They’ve raised 15 funds dating back to 2001. The team invests in companies across every sector, in every stage, across the globe. A few of their most popular investments include: Stripe Warby Parker Hubspot Airbnb Location: Cambridge, MA – New York – London – San Francisco Related Resource: Exploring the Top 10 Venture Capital Firms in New York City Learn more about General Catalyst by checking out their Visible Connect profile → 2. Battery Ventures As put by the team at Battery Ventures, “We back founders and talented teams at all stages of growth, from startups to established market leaders. We are currently investing from our 14th flagship fund, Battery Ventures XIV, and companion fund Select Fund II, together capitalized at a combined $3.8 billion.” Focus and industry: Battery Ventures invests in many sectors but specifically mentions application software, infrastructure software, consumer, and industrial tech on their website. Funding stage: The team at Battery Ventures invests in companies across all stages Battery Ventures has been investing since 1983. Over their 40 years of investing, they’ve funded 450+ companies. Battery Ventures will invest in companies across all stages across the globe. Check out a few of their most popular investments below: Affirm Amplitude Invision Location: Boston – San Francisco – Menlo Park – Tel Aviv – London – New York City Related Resource: 15 Venture Capital Firms in London Fueling Startup Growth Learn more about Battery Ventures by checking out their Visible Connect profile → 3. Polaris Partners As put by the team at Polaris Partners, “Since 1996, Polaris has been guided by the fundamental beliefs that people come first and true partnerships make all the difference. Rooted in mutual respect and a shared passion for innovation, our relationships with outstanding visionaries principally in technology and healthcare have helped to change the world for the better.” Focus and industry: The team at Polaris is focused on healthcare and life science/biotechnology companies Related Resource: The Top VCs Investing in BioTech (plus the metrics they want to see) Funding stage: The team at Polaris Partners does not publicly stage their stage focus. Polaris Partners has been funding healthcare businesses for 20+ years. Polaris has raised 10 funds focused on funding companies in healthcare and technology. A few of their most popular investments include: Syros SimplyInsured Amunix Location: Boston – New York – San Francisco Learn more about Polaris Partners by checking out their Visible Connect profile → 4. Summit Partners As put by their team, “Summit Partners was founded in 1984 with a commitment to find and partner with exceptional entrepreneurs to help them accelerate their growth and achieve dramatic results. Since then, Summit has become the investment partner of choice for many of the best growth companies in the world. We’ve grown to a team of more than 115 investment professionals, led by Managing Directors and Partners whose tenures average more than 16 years with Summit. We have the capital and team to support your growth initiatives.” Focus and industry: Summit Partners is focused on technology, healthcare & life science, and growth products Funding stage: The team at Summit Partners is focused on growth-stage companies and typically writes checks between $10M and $500M As put by their team, “We invest around the world and have portfolio companies in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa. Based from offices in North America and Europe, our team travels the globe in search of growing companies and the resources to support them.” A few of their most popular investments include: WebEx Uber Reverb Location: Boston, MA 5. .406 Ventures As put by the team at .406 Ventures, “We invest in opportunities where we understand the need and your company’s technology solution; where we have deep, relevant networks; and where we believe we can add disproportionate value as a partner, investor, and board member. Our initial investments are typically between $2 and $5 million with substantial additional capital reserved for follow-on investment.” Focus and industry: The team at .406 Ventures focuses on cybersecurity, digital health, and data & cloud companies. Funding stage: .406 Ventures is focused on early-stage companies and typically writes checks between $2M and $5M. As put by their team, “When we were building our own entrepreneurial companies, we found that it was often our independent board members, not the VC board members, who contributed the most value. Invariably, it was the independent board members who had the deep experience and strong operational networks—and who had been in our shoes. At .406, we aim to bring these qualities, in addition to capital, to every one of our portfolio companies. It is our goal to be the most valuable member on your board.” Some of their most popular investments include: Compass Nomad Health Randori Location: Boston, MA 6. OpenView According to their team, “OpenView, the expansion stage venture firm, helps build software companies into market leaders. Through our Expansion Platform, we help companies hire the best talent, acquire and retain the right customers and partner with industry leaders so they can dominate their markets. Our focus on the expansion stage makes us uniquely suited to provide truly tailored operational support to our portfolio companies.” Focus and industry: OpenView Partners is focused on companies that are “changing the future of work.” Related Resource: 15+ VCs Investing in the Future of Work Funding stage: OpenView Partners is focused on expansion-stage companies. OpenView is largely associated with “product-led growth” and has backed some of the most prolific and successful SaaS companies. With their focus on the future of work companies + expansion stage companies, OpenView offers resources to help companies tackle all aspects of expansion stage growth. A few of their most popular investments include: Calendly Lessonly Datadog Location: Boston, MA Learn more about OpenView Partners by checking out their Visible Connect profile → 7. 1414 Ventures As put by their team, “1414 Ventures is focused solely on the digital identity space which supports functions such as payments, cybersecurity, and data privacy & trust. Given the exponential surge in virtual and digital transactions/interactions over the last year combined with increased security, fraud prevention, and privacy needs, there is a huge opportunity for next-generation digital identity startups.” Focus and industry: 1414 Ventures invests in companies that are “focused on creating innovative digital identity solutions.” Funding stage: Pre-seed and seed-stage companies 1414 Ventures has an intense focus on companies that are developing the future of digital identity. Some of 1414 Ventures’ most popular investments are: SingularKey Tautuk SwiftConnect Location: Boston, MA 8. Mendoza Ventures As put by their team, “Mendoza Ventures is an early and growth stage Fintech, AI, and Cybersecurity venture fund that provides an actively managed approach to VC. We invest in areas where we have deep domain expertise, companies with early revenue, a clear value proposition, and use a proven due diligence model. We focus on diversity as playing an important role in our investment decisions, as roughly 75% of our portfolio consists of start-ups led by immigrants, people of color, and women.” Focus and industry: Mendoza is focused on Fintech, AI, and Cybersecurity companies. Funding stage: Mendoza Ventures is focused on early and growth-stage companies On their website, Mendoza further explains their background and foundation, “Based in Boston, Mendoza Ventures is women-owned and the first LatinX-owned venture fund on the East Coast. The firm is run by husband and wife Adrian and Senofer Mendoza, entrepreneurs and prior operators who are veterans of the Boston start-up ecosystem.” Some of their most popular investments include: Canvas Senso Daylight Location: Boston – San Francisco Learn more about Mendoza Ventures by checking out their Visible Connect profile → 9. HLM Venture Partners As put by their team, “HLM provides venture capital to early- to mid-stage health care information technology, health care services, and medical device companies. HLM has helped over 75 privately-held health care companies turn innovative ideas into market-leading businesses. The Company’s investment professionals have over 125 years of collective expertise in the health care industry, an accumulation of knowledge and experience that is invaluable to the leadership of its portfolio companies.” Focus and industry: HLM Venture Partners are focused on healthcare services and companies. Funding stage: HLM offers early to mid-stage capital. HLM Venture Partners has invested in 75+ companies. Some of their most popular investments are: Able To Blue Rabbit Tebra Location: Waltham, MA 10. Venrock As put by the team at Venrock, “Originally established as the venture capital arm of the Rockefeller family in 1969, Venrock partners with entrepreneurs to build some of the world’s most disruptive, successful companies. With a primary focus on technology and healthcare.” Focus and industry: The team at Venrock is focused on investing in technology and healthcare companies Funding stage: Venrock invests across all stages Venrock is an original player in the venture capital space. Over their history, they have invested in 700 companies and have raised 10 funds. They’ve invested in some of the most prolific companies such as: Apple Nest Zoominfo Location: New York – Palo Alto 11. Third Rock Ventures As put by the team at Third Rock Ventures, “To achieve what hadn’t been done before, we created a process that hadn’t been done before. By starting with big ideas and fostering collaboration among brilliant people with expertise in science, medicine, business, and strategy, we set out to do more than fund startups – we aim to build sustainable, innovative companies that can transform the lives of patients.” Focus and industry: Third Rock Ventures focuses on biotechnology companies Funding stage: Third Rock Ventures does not publicly list a specific stage or check size As put by their team, “We build our companies on a solid foundation, instilling core values and a commitment to a great culture. Our companies are based on bold ideas that meet at the intersection of science, business, medicine, and strategy – where transformational science meets operational rigor – providing the best opportunity to make a dramatic difference in patient’s lives.” Some of their most popular investments include: Celsius Faze Medicines Moma Location: Boston – San Francisco Learn more about Third Rock Ventures by checking out their Visible Connect profile → 12. Boston Seed Capital Boston Seed Capital is a well-established venture capital firm dedicated to investing in early-stage technology companies. With a focus on fostering innovation and growth, Boston Seed Capital provides not only financial support but also strategic guidance and resources to help startups thrive. Founders working with Boston Seed Capital benefit from the firm’s extensive network, expertise, and commitment to building successful businesses. Focus and industry: Boston Seed Capital primarily focuses on technology-driven industries. They invest in sectors such as software, digital media, e-commerce, and internet services. The firm is particularly interested in companies that leverage innovative technologies to disrupt traditional markets and create new opportunities. Funding stage: They typically invest in early-stage companies, including pre-seed and seed rounds. Their investment amounts generally range from $250,000 to $2.5 million in seed rounds. Location: Located in the heart of Boston on Atlantic Avenue. Learn more about Boston Seed Capital by checking out their Visible Connect profile here → 13. Boston Millenia Partners Boston Millenia Partners is a distinguished venture capital firm known for its strategic investments in innovative companies. With a strong track record of identifying and nurturing high-potential businesses, Boston Millenia Partners is dedicated to providing both financial support and strategic expertise. Founders partnering with this firm benefit from their deep industry knowledge, extensive network, and a collaborative approach to building successful enterprises. Focus and industry: Boston Millenia Partners primarily focuses on industries such as healthcare, life sciences, and technology. They are particularly interested in companies that are at the forefront of medical innovations, digital health solutions, and advanced technological developments. Funding stage: Boston Millenia Partners typically invests in later-stage companies, including growth and expansion stages but they also invest in seed rounds. They provide substantial financial backing, with investment amounts generally ranging from $1 million to $15 million. Location: Located in the bustling financial district of Boston on Federal Street. Learn more about Boston Millenia Partners by checking out their Visible Connect profile → 14. Beacon Angels Beacon Angels is a Boston-based angel investment group dedicated to supporting early-stage, fast-growing companies in New England. Founded in 2006, Beacon Angels brings together experienced investors who provide not only financial support but also strategic advice and mentorship to help startups succeed. The group is known for its collaborative approach, leveraging the collective expertise and networks of its members to foster innovation and growth in the companies they back. Focus and industry: Beacon Angels primarily focuses on a diverse range of industries, including technology, software, IT, health care, biotechnology, consumer goods Funding stage: Beacon Angels typically invests in early-stage companies, providing seed and early-round funding. Their investment amounts usually range from $50,000 to $400,000 per company. Location: Located in the heart of Boston, offering easy access to the city’s vibrant startup ecosystem, their office is situated on Federal Street. Learn more about Beacon Angels by checking out their Visible Connect profile → 15. Underscore VC Underscore VC is a Boston-based venture capital firm founded in 2015. The firm is committed to backing bold entrepreneurs at the early stages, particularly in the B2B software sector. With a focus on creating a supportive community, Underscore VC connects founders with experienced operators, executives, and entrepreneurs to provide strategic guidance and resources. Their approach is designed to help startups navigate the challenges of growth and scale effectively. Focus and industry: Underscore VC primarily focuses on B2B software companies. Their investment interests span various sectors, including SaaS, fintech, AI, cloud computing, and logistics. Companies in their portfolio often originate from top academic institutions such as Harvard and MIT, reflecting their strong ties to the academic and tech communities in Boston​​​​. Funding stage: Underscore VC invests in pre-seed, seed, Series A, Series B, and Series C companies. Their sweet spot check size is $4 million but will also invest up to $10 million. Their investment strategy is aimed at helping startups achieve key milestones, such as product development, market validation, and early customer acquisition, which are crucial for attracting further investment and scaling the business​​​​. Location: Underscore VC is headquartered in the historic Old City Hall on School Street. Learn more about Underscore VC by checking out their Visible Connect profile → 16. Volition Capital Volition Capital is a Boston-based growth equity firm that principally invests in high-growth, founder-owned companies across the software, Internet, and consumer sectors. Founded in 2010, Volition has over $1.1 billion in assets under management and has invested in over 30 companies in the United States and Canada. The firm selectively partners with founders to help them achieve their fullest aspirations for their businesses. Focus and industry: Volition Capital focuses on several high growth key industries, including software, internet services, and consumer sectors. The firm has a strong emphasis on technology-driven businesses, particularly those in SaaS , fintech, cybersecurity, digital health, and e-commerce. Funding stage: Volition Capital typically invests in growth-stage companies, providing capital in the range of $10 million to $20 million per investment. Their funding is aimed at accelerating growth, expanding market presence, and enabling shareholder liquidity. The firm seeks to take meaningful minority ownership stakes and often secures board positions to actively participate in the strategic direction of the companies they back​​​​. Location: Volition Capital is headquartered on Huntington Avenue, Boston. Learn more about Volition Capital by checking out their Visible Connect profile → Find investors in Boston with Visible As we previously mentioned, a venture fundraise oftentimes mirrors a traditional B2B sales and marketing funnel. Just as sales and marketing teams have dedicated tools to track their funnel, shouldn’t founders have dedicated tools to manage their most important asset – equity? With Visible, you can track and manage every part of your fundraising funnel. Find investors at the top of your funnel with Visible Connect, our free investor database Add them directly to your fundraising pipeline directly in Visible Share your pitch deck and data room with investors in your pipeline Send Updates to current and potential investors to keep them engaged with the progress of your business. Take your investor relations to the next level with Visible. Give Visible a free try for 14 days here.
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Fundraising
The Rise of Venture Capital in Utah: A Look at Utah’s Top 14 VC Firms
Utah has rapidly emerged as a thriving hub for startups and venture capital, offering a fertile ground for entrepreneurial innovation and investment. The state's robust tech ecosystem, often referred to as the "Silicon Slopes," is home to a dynamic community of founders and investors driving significant growth and innovation. Venture capital in Utah has seen remarkable expansion, with a growing number of VC firms providing critical funding and support to early-stage companies. This vibrant startup scene is supported by a strong network of accelerators, incubators, and resources that make Utah an attractive destination for entrepreneurs seeking to launch and scale their ventures . Venture Capital in Utah At Visible, we often compare venture capital fundraise to a traditional B2B sales and marketing funnel. At the top of your fundraising funnel, you are bringing in qualified investors via warm and cold outreach. In the middle of your fundraising funnel, you are nurturing potential investors with pitch decks, meetings, and email updates. At the bottom of your fundraising funnel, you are hopefully closing new investors (and delighting them with regular updates). Related Resource: How to Find Venture Capital to Fund Your Startup: 5 Methods Just as a sales and marketing funnel starts with qualified leads, so should a fundraising funnel. For some companies, this might mean looking for local investors — for founders in Utah, check out a list of venture capitalists in the area below: 1. Park City Angels As put by their team, “The Park City Angels are a group of 40+ accredited investors located in Park City, Utah. We look to invest in promising opportunities that can produce significant shareholder return. The active lifestyle of Park City has attracted many dynamic and successful business leaders that have deep experience in building world class businesses. We facilitate unique, high-caliber networking and development forums for angel investors and mentors involved in early-stage investment.” Focus and industry: The Park City Angels team lays out their focus directly on their website, “We are most interested in companies that have valuations from $4MM to $6MM, have a reasonable likelihood of reaching $30MM in sales within 5 years, and can get to cash flow break-even within the next year or two.” Funding stage: Park City Angels is focused on companies with valuations between $4M and $6M The team at Park City Angels generally focuses on companies in Utah but is open to investing in companies across the country. Some of their most popular investments include: Lula High West Distillery Allgood Provisions Related Resource: VCs Investing In Food & Bev Startups Location: Park City, UT 2. EPIC Ventures As put by their team, “EPIC Ventures is a premier early-stage software and Internet infrastructure venture firm whose mission is to back entrepreneurs and companies positioned to lead the information economy of tomorrow. We bring the collective operational and financial experience of our partnership, our world-class advisors, and our extensive network of technology industry contacts to engage and ensure our portfolio’s success.” Focus and industry: The team at EPIC Ventures does not state an industry focus. Funding stage: The team at EPIC Ventures is focused on early-stage investments. EPIC Ventures invests in companies in Utah and the greater northwest in the United States. EPIC Ventures has invested across four funds. Some of their most popular investments include: Ancestory Manscaped Zenefits Location: Salt Lake City, UT Learn more about EPIC Ventures by checking out their Visible Connect profile → Related Resource: A Quick Overview on VC Fund Structure 3. RenewableTech Ventures As put by their team, “RenewableTech Ventures is committed to creating exceptional returns for both the entrepreneurs we invest in and our fund investors. These exceptional returns are achieved by investing in early-stage innovations in energy, clean technology, green materials, and other clean technologies. Our investment activity is focused in Canada and the United States, with a specific focus on regions that are underserved by venture capital.” Focus and industry: The team at RenewableTech is focused on companies’ innovation in the energy, clean technology, and green technology space. Funding stage: RenewableTech Ventures is focused on early-stage investments. As put by their team, “​​RenewableTech Ventures provides capital, market intelligence, active board representation and an exceptional international network of industry contacts, technology leaders and co-investors.” They are focused on investing in the US/Canada, particularly in regions that are traditionally underserved by venture capital. Check out a few of their most popular investments below: Solid Carbon Products Consolidated Energy Systems Voila Mattress Location: Salt Lake City – Vancouver Learn more about RenewableTech Ventures by checking out their Visible Connect profile → 4. Kickstart Fund Kickstart Fund is a seed-stage venture capital firm based in Salt Lake City, UT. Kickstart’s mission is to fuel the best companies in the Mountain West by providing smart capital, a connected community, and expert guidance. Since raising its first fund in 2008, Kickstart has invested in more than 150 companies. Focus and industry: As put by their team, “We’re industry agnostic and have invested in SaaS, consumer, marketplace, and healthcare startups.” Funding stage: Kickstart is focused on seed investing The team at Kickstart has invested in 150+ companies and has become synonymous with seed investing in the western US. Kickstart traditionally writes checks between $250k and $2M. The team is largely focused on investing in companies located in Utah, Colorado, and the Mountain West. Check out a few of their most popular investments below: Stance CloudApp Cotopaxi Location: Cottonwood Heights, Utah Learn more about Kickstart Fund by checking out their Visible Connect Profile → 5. Banyan Ventures As put by their team, “Banyan Ventures partners with entrepreneurs to build businesses. Our methodology helps early-stage companies grow into valuable and sustainable enterprises. On the other end of the spectrum, we also help owners of established companies continue their legacies as they seek to transition out of a business.” Focus and industry: As put by their team, “Banyan Ventures primarily focuses on business opportunities with significant revenue traction in traditional industries like manufacturing, business services, construction, and other industrial sectors.” Funding stage: Banyan is focused on early-stage investments. The team at Banyan has launched 4 funds and led investments in 23 companies. Some of their most popular investments include: Intermountain Nutrition Belle Havens Restore Location: Holladay, UT 6. Pelion As put by their team, “Since 1986, Pelion Venture Partners has been helping entrepreneurs turn early-stage concepts into tomorrow’s industry-leading companies. The Pelion team has deep and diverse industry and investment experience. We are hands-on in our approach and work collaboratively on each portfolio company over the life of an investment.” Focus and industry: Pelion is agnostic in their investment focus Funding stage: Pelion is focused on early-stage investments The team at Pelion has been investing since 1986 so it is fair to say that they know their way around the Utah venture capital space. Some of their most popular investments include: BigPanda Owlet Divvy Location: Salt Lake City, UT Learn more about Pelion by checking out their Visible Connect profile → 7. Mercato As put by their team, “Mercato has built its success by providing entrepreneurs with the capital and resources they require to effectively scale their businesses. Over time, we have become expert growth investors with firsthand knowledge of what organizations really need to be successful.” Focus and industry: The team at Mercato invests across 4 funds — each with a different focus and stage as shown below: Funding stage: Mercato invests across many stages depending on the fund As mentioned above, Mercato has 4 specific funds. Each fund gives them the opportunity to invest in different stages or markets. For the sake of this post we will take a look at their “Prelude Venture Fund.” As they put it, ‘Prelude companies have demonstrated product-market-fit and have deep customer relations obtained through product leadership and nimble execution.” A few of Prelude’s most popular investments include: Cotopaxi Blip Bluematador Location: Cottonwood Heights, UT Learn more about Mercato by checking out their Visible Connect profile → 8. Zetta Venture Partners As put by their team, “At Zetta Venture Partners, it’s our mission to help technical founders turn machine learning models into market-leading companies. We were the first VC firm exclusively focused on identifying and supporting AI-driven, B2B businesses.” Focus and industry: Zetta Venture Partners is focused on AI-first startups Related Resource: How AI Can Support Startups & Investors + VCs Investing in AI Funding stage: The team at Zetta Venture Partners leads pre-seed and seed rounds. Zetta Venture Partners launched their first fund in 2015 and has been hyper-focused on AI startups since. Zetta believes that AI startups are different than traditional software companies and are well-suited to help technical founders in the space. Some of their most popular investments include: Clearbit Domo Tractable Location: New York – San Francisco – Utah Learn more about Zetta Venture Partners by checking out their Visible Connect profile → 9. Signal Peak Ventures As put by their team, “Signal Peak is a private equity and venture capital firm with more than $500 million of committed capital under management. The firm focuses on making equity investments in early-stage technology companies in emerging markets. Signal Peak is typically a SaaS investor targeting companies with differentiated and disruptive business models, exceptional management teams, and large addressable markets.” Focus and industry: Signal Peak typically targets SaaS companies Funding stage: Signal Peak is focused on early-stage companies Signal Peak is focused on investing in technology companies across the United States. Some of their most popular investments include: Degreed Slate Hivewire Location: Salt Lake City, UT Learn more about Signal Peak Ventures by checking out their Visible Connect profile → 10. Peterson Ventures As put by the team at Peterson Ventures, “We get it, building a business is hard. With us you get a dedicated partner you can trust, no matter what. And when you need it, we’re a counselor without a co-pay. We help you go from Seed to Series A by investing in your seed round, introducing you to our network of CEO’s and advisors, improving your metrics, focusing your strategy when the time is right, introducing you to some of the best investors around for your next round of funding.” Focus and industry: Peterson Ventures is focused on companies in digital commerce and SaaS Funding stage: Peterson Ventures is focused on seed and early-stage startups The team at Peterson invests in the people behind a business. They believe in building long-lasting relationships with their entrepreneurs. A few of their most popular investments include: Allbirds Bonobos Cotopaxi Location: Salt Lake City, UT Learn more about Peterson Ventures by checking out their Visible Connect profile → 11. Album VC Album VC, originally known as Peak Ventures, is a well-regarded venture capital firm based in Utah that focuses on investing in early-stage technology companies. Established by seasoned entrepreneurs John Mayfield and Curt Roberts, Album VC rebranded in 2019 to better reflect its mission of amplifying the stories of the companies they back. The firm is known for its founder-friendly approach, providing not only capital but also extensive mentorship and strategic support. Album VC has a strong track record of helping startups achieve significant growth and success, making it a valuable partner for entrepreneurs looking to scale their businesses. Focus and industry: The primarily focus is on early-stage investments across a wide range of industries. They have a particular interest in sectors such as software, consumer internet, and enterprise technology. Their portfolio includes companies that are pushing the boundaries of innovation and transforming their respective industries. Founders in these sectors can expect Album VC to bring not only capital but also strategic guidance and valuable industry connections. Funding stage: Album VC typically invests in Seed and Series A rounds, offering initial checks ranging from $500,000 to $5 million. They aim to support startups from their earliest stages of development, providing the necessary resources to scale and succeed. Album VC’s investment strategy is tailored to help companies navigate the critical phases of growth, ensuring they have the support needed to achieve their milestones. Location: Lehi, Utah Learn more about Album VC by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → 12. Tamarak Capital Tamarak Capital is a dynamic venture capital firm dedicated to nurturing early-stage startups with high growth potential. With a mission to accelerate the development of innovative companies, Tamarak Capital combines financial investment with strategic mentorship to help founders build successful businesses. The firm prides itself on its collaborative approach, working closely with entrepreneurs to provide the guidance and resources needed to achieve their goals. Focus and industry: Tamarak Capital primarily focuses on investing in technology-driven industries. Their areas of interest include software, hardware, consumer products, and healthcare technology. Funding stage: Tamarak typically invests in Seed and Series A rounds, with initial investments ranging from $500,000 to $2 million. Their goal is to support startups at the early stages of their development, providing the capital and expertise necessary to help them scale. Location: Springville, Utah Learn more about Tamarak by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → 13. StartStudio StartStudio is an innovative venture capital firm based in Utah, dedicated to transforming early-stage startups into successful, scalable businesses. With a unique approach that blends investment with hands-on incubation, StartStudio works closely with founders to develop their ideas and bring them to market. Their team of experienced entrepreneurs and investors provides comprehensive support, including mentorship, strategic guidance, and operational assistance, making StartStudio a valuable partner for ambitious startups looking to accelerate their growth. Focus and industry: StartStudio primarily focuses on technology-driven industries, with a strong emphasis on software, mobile applications, and digital platforms. Funding stage: StartStudio typically invests in pre-seed and seed-stage companies, with an initial investment of $100,000. Their investment strategy is designed to provide early-stage startups with the critical funding they need to develop their products, validate their business models, and prepare for subsequent funding rounds. Location: Provo, Utah Learn more about StartStudio by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → 14. Royal Street Ventures Royal Street Ventures' philosophy is centered on collaboration and long-term partnership. It offers both financial backing and strategic mentorship to early-stage companies. The team comprises seasoned investors and industry experts who work closely with founders to provide the resources and guidance necessary for scaling their businesses and achieving market success. Focus and industry: They invest in companies focused on creating scalable, tech-enabled solutions to real-world problems from the Midwest to the Pacific U.S. Funding stage: Typically, they invest in early-stage and seed rounds, with initial investments ranging from $250,000 to $2 million. Location: Park City, Utah Learn more about Royal Street Ventures by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Find investors in Utah with Visible As we mentioned at the start of this post, we often compare a venture capital fundraise to a traditional sales and marketing funnel. Just as a sales and marketing team has dedicated tools, shouldn’t a founder manage their investors? With Visible you can manage every part of your fundraising funnel: Find investors with Visible Connect, our free investor database, at the top of your funnel Track your conversations with our Fundraising CRM Nurture them with our Pitch Deck sharing tool Work through due diligence with our Data Room tool Delight them with regular investor Updates Give Visible a free try for 14 days here →
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Exploring the Top 10 Venture Capital Firms in New York City in 2024
New York City has firmly established itself as a premier destination for startups and venture capital, offering an unparalleled ecosystem of innovation and investment opportunities. The city's diverse and vibrant entrepreneurial landscape is bolstered by a wealth of resources, including a dense concentration of venture capital firms, accelerators, and incubators. As a global financial hub, New York provides startups with access to significant funding, strategic partnerships, and a rich talent pool, making it an ideal location for founders looking to launch and scale their businesses. This dynamic environment fosters continuous growth and innovation, positioning New York as a leader in the startup and venture capital scene. At Visible, we often compare a startup fundraising process to a traditional B2B sales and marketing funnel. At the top of your funnel, you are adding qualified investors. Nurturing them in the middle of the funnel with email, meetings, pitches, etc. And ideally closing them as a new investor at the bottom of a funnel. Related Resource: How to Find Venture Capital to Fund Your Startup: 5 Methods Just like a sales and marketing funnel, a fundraising funnel needs to start with the right investors for your business (e.g. qualified lead or qualified investor). One of the aspects founders will want to research is the geography of the investor and where they invest. Check out a few popular venture capital firms located in New York below: 1. Union Square Ventures According to their website, “Union Square Ventures is a venture capital firm focused on early-stage, growth-capital, late stage, and startup financing.” Learn more about Union Square Ventures by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range Union Square Ventures invests in a large range of companies. Looking at their website and you’ll find that they invest in anywhere between Series A and Series D stages. Industries Union Square is self-described as a “thesis-driven” investor. They are currently investing off of their Thesis 3.0: “Enabling trusted brands that broaden access to knowledge, capital, and well-being by leveraging networks, platforms, and protocols.” Check out more about their Thesis 3.0, recent investments, and key ideas below: 2. Insight Partners According to the Insight Partners website, “Insight accelerates revenue and profit in software companies. Our obsession with software has produced a habit of success. We recognize industry patterns, emerging tech markets and software trends. We’ve accumulated the knowledge to understand the strategies needed to win.” Learn more about Insight Partners by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range Insight Partners will invest across every stage but their bread and butter are “scale-up” companies. Insight will invest anywhere from pre-seed to series C and beyond stages — generally with a check size between $10M and $350M. Industries Insight is focused on software companies. However, they invest in a number of different sectors that you can find here (or below): 3. Scout Ventures According to the Scout Ventures website, “Scout Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in frontier and dual-use technologies built by veterans, intelligence leaders, and premier research labs. By leveraging our network of professional investors, operators, and experienced entrepreneurs, Scout can effectively execute every aspect of our investment thesis. We’re also paving the way for military veterans and intelligence professionals to access hundreds of millions in government grants and non-dilutive capital. The firm has three locations: Austin, New York City, Washington, DC.” Learn more about Scout Ventures by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range Scout Ventures writes checks anywhere between $100,000 and $3M. According to their website, “We lead Seed rounds with $1-2M initial checks and reserve capital for follow-on investments up to Series B.” Industries According to the Scout website, “We focus on sectors aligned to our experience serving in defense and building multi-billion dollar companies: AI/ML, quantum computing, robotics, advanced materials science, security, space & aerospace, and advanced energy.” 4. Greycroft According to their website, “Greycroft is a venture capital firm that focuses on technology start-ups and investments in the Internet and mobile markets.” Learn more about Greycroft by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range According to the team at Greycroft, “Greycroft typically makes initial investments from $500,000 at the seed stage to up to $30 million from the growth stage. We are an active Series A investor and typically invest between $1 million and $10 million. The growth fund targets investing $10 to $30 million on an initial basis and may reserve up to double that amount over time. The growth fund focuses on later-stage companies with proven unit economics, annual revenue growth in excess of 50%, and a management team that is prepared to scale.” Industries On the Greycroft website, you’ll find that they invest in a number of different industries — ”We invest across a broad range of Internet sectors. We currently group our portfolio into four verticals: Consumer Internet, Fintech, Healthcare, and Enterprise Software.” 5. RRE Ventures RRE Ventures has been funding software startups since the 90s. According to their website, “RRE Ventures is a New York-based venture capital firm that offers early-stage funding to software, internet, and communications companies.” Learn more about RRE Ventures by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range The team at RRE invests in a variety of early-stage tech and software companies. According to their Visible Connect profile, they invest in Series A and B companies with an average check size between $4M and $15M. Industries According to their website, “RRE invests in early-stage, technology-enabled companies across all sectors and across the country. We back credible teams executing against incredible ideas to build category-defining businesses.” Check it out here or learn more below: 6. Lerer Hippeau According to their website, “Lerer Hippeau is an early-stage venture capital fund founded and operated in New York City. We invest in good people with great ideas who redefine categories — and create new ones entirely.” Learn more about Lerer Hippeau by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range The team at Lerer Hippeau has 3 funds that invest in pre-seed to Series C and beyond companies. Industries The team at Lerer Hippeau is industry-agnostic and will invest in any company — including enterprise and consumer landscapes. 7. Starta According to their website, “​​Starta is a venture ecosystem to find, foster, and fund early-stage talent in tech. Our mission is to provide opportunities to: International startups who want to scale globally and raise capital Aspiring industry leaders, seeking professional training Investors who believe in long-term growth potential and a strong connection with the community Starta values inclusivity and diversity. Having worked with over 200 startups from all over the world, we intensively focus on bringing equal opportunities and support to the ecosystem.” Learn more about Starta by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range Like many of the other firms on this list, Starta has multiple funds that invest in many stages. Starta operates both an accelerator and early-stage fund intended for seed and series A companies: Industries The Starta team has a focus on international startups that are looking to expand and scale their US presence. 8. FirstMark FirstMark is an early-stage venture capital firm headquartered in New York City. As put by their team, “We are proud to back the ambitious founders of the most iconic companies in the world.” Learn more about FirstMark by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range According to their Visible Connect profile, the team at FirstMark writes checks anywhere between $500k and $15M. Industries The team at FirstMark invests in companies of a variety of industries and sectors. They have major focus areas of Enterprise, Consumer, and Frontier companies. 9. Hypothesis According to the Hypothesis website, “We build and fund companies. We’re a startup studio and seed fund that launches, funds, and scales exceptional companies.” Learn more about Hypothesis by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range As a startup studio, Hypothesis focuses on finding successful founders and co-founders and helps them launch and scale businesses. In addition to capital, Hypothesis portfolio companies receive resources and help with sales and marketing, hiring, product development, follow-up funding, etc. Industries The team at Hypothesis will invest in companies across many industries and are focused on “mission-driven” companies and founders. 10. Interlace Ventures According to the team at Interlace Ventures, “Investing in early-stage commerce- and retail-technology companies gives us unparalleled access to the latest technological innovations and trends across commerce and retail. We leverage this access by partnering with global brands and retailers to support their innovation efforts. We do this through a variety of methods, all of with are tailored after each partner’s individual needs and priorities.” Learn more about Interlace Ventures by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range The team at Interlace invests in pre-seed to series A-stage companies. According to their Visible Connect Profile, they will write checks anywhere between $150k and $600k. Industries Interlace has a focus on commerce and retail companies. 11. FJ Labs FJ Labs is a prominent venture capital firm based in New York City, renowned for its extensive network and hands-on approach to investing. Founded by experienced entrepreneurs Fabrice Grinda and Jose Marin, FJ Labs focuses on creating value for founders and investors. The firm leverages its deep industry expertise and global connections to support startups in achieving their growth potential. FJ Labs is particularly noted for its collaborative ethos, working closely with portfolio companies to navigate the complexities of scaling and market expansion. Learn more about FJ Labs by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range FJ Labs typically invests in pre-seed to Series A rounds, with investment amounts ranging from $50,000 to $500,000. Focusing on early-stage investments, FJ Labs provides critical funding enabling startups to develop their products, gain market traction, and prepare for subsequent funding rounds. Their flexible investment strategy allows them to tailor their support to the unique needs of each startup, ensuring that founders receive the resources necessary to succeed. Industries FJ Labs has a diverse investment portfolio, strongly emphasizing marketplaces and network effects businesses. They are particularly interested in industries such as e-commerce, real estate tech, fintech, and mobility. FJ Labs seeks out startups that leverage technology to disrupt traditional markets and create new growth opportunities. Their broad industry focus enables them to identify innovative business models and support visionary entrepreneurs across various sectors. 12. VentureOut VentureOut is a unique venture capital firm and accelerator based dedicated to bridging the gap between international startups and the US market. With a focus on helping startups expand globally, VentureOut offers a comprehensive suite of services designed to support international entrepreneurs in scaling their businesses in the US. The firm combines investment with an accelerator program that provides mentorship, networking opportunities, and strategic guidance, making it an ideal partner for startups looking to make a significant impact in the American market. Investment Range VentureOut typically invests in early-stage companies, with investment amounts ranging from $50,000 to $250,000. Their funding is often coupled with participation in their accelerator programs, which offer startups additional resources to refine their business models, develop go-to-market strategies, and establish a presence in the US. This dual approach of investment and acceleration helps startups gain the momentum they need to succeed in a competitive market. Learn more about VentureOut by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Industries VentureOut focuses on various industries, with a particular emphasis on technology-driven sectors. They are especially interested in software, fintech, health tech, and enterprise tech startups. By concentrating on these high-growth areas, VentureOut aims to support innovative companies that have the potential to transform industries and drive technological advancements. Their industry focus and international expertise position VentureOut as a valuable partner for startups seeking to expand their reach and impact in the US market. 13. FirstMark FirstMark is a distinguished venture capital firm known for its commitment to backing visionary entrepreneurs. With a track record of successful investments, FirstMark partners with startups that have the potential to revolutionize their industries. The firm is dedicated to providing not only capital but also strategic support and access to an extensive network of industry leaders. By fostering close relationships with their portfolio companies, FirstMark helps founders navigate the challenges of scaling their businesses and achieving long-term success. Learn more about FirstMark by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range FirstMark typically invests in seed and early-stage companies, with investment amounts ranging from $500,000 to $10 million. This substantial range allows FirstMark to support startups at various stages of their development, from initial product launches to significant growth phases. Their flexible investment approach ensures that each startup receives the appropriate level of funding to meet its unique needs and objectives. Industries FirstMark has a broad investment focus with a strong emphasis on technology and innovation. They are particularly interested in sectors such as enterprise software, consumer technology, fintech, healthcare, and emerging technologies like AI and blockchain. FirstMark seeks out startups that are poised to disrupt traditional markets and create new growth opportunities. By investing in a diverse array of industries, FirstMark aims to support the next generation of transformative companies and help shape the future of technology and innovation. 14. New York Angels New York Angels is a prominent angel investment group based in New York City, dedicated to providing early-stage funding and mentorship to innovative startups. Comprising a diverse network of seasoned entrepreneurs and business leaders, New York Angels offers a wealth of experience and strategic insight to help young companies grow and succeed. The organization is known for its collaborative approach, working closely with founders to refine their business models, develop market strategies, and connect with additional resources and expertise. Learn more about New York Angels by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range New York Angels typically invests in seed and early-stage companies, with investment amounts ranging from $250,000 to $1 million. By focusing on the crucial early stages of a startup's development, New York Angels provides the necessary capital to help companies validate their business ideas, build their initial products, and gain market traction. Their investment approach is designed to offer startups the financial support they need to reach critical milestones and prepare for subsequent funding rounds. Industries New York Angels has a broad investment focus, with a particular interest in technology-driven sectors. They frequently invest in industries such as software, fintech, health tech, consumer products, and media. This diverse industry focus allows New York Angels to support a wide array of innovative startups, fostering growth and innovation across multiple sectors. By backing companies that leverage technology to create new solutions and disrupt existing markets, New York Angels aims to contribute to the advancement of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in New York City and beyond. 15. New York Venture Partners New York Venture Partners (NYVP) is a leading venture capital firm based in New York City, focused on supporting early-stage startups with a combination of capital, mentorship, and strategic resources. Known for its hands-on approach, NYVP aims to help founders build scalable businesses by providing more than just funding. The firm's extensive network and industry expertise enable it to offer valuable insights and connections, making NYVP a vital partner for startups looking to navigate the complexities of growth and market entry. Learn more about New York Venture Partners by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range New York Venture Partners typically invests in seed and early-stage companies, with investment amounts ranging from $100,000 to $1 million. This investment range is designed to provide startups with the essential funding required to develop their products, refine their business models, and achieve early market traction. NYVP's focus on early-stage investments ensures that startups receive the support they need during the critical phases of their development. Industries NYVP has a diverse investment focus, particularly on technology and innovation-driven sectors. They are especially interested in industries such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, digital media, consumer internet, and enterprise software. By targeting these high-growth areas, New York Venture Partners aims to back startups that have the potential to disrupt traditional markets and introduce groundbreaking technologies. Their broad industry focus allows them to identify and support promising startups across a wide range of fields, fostering innovation and entrepreneurial success in the New York City area and beyond. 16. Primary Primary is a prominent venture capital firm based in New York. It is dedicated to investing in early-stage startups and helping them grow into market leaders. Known for its data-driven approach and hands-on involvement, Primary provides comprehensive support to its portfolio companies. The firm leverages its deep industry knowledge and extensive network to offer strategic guidance, operational expertise, and valuable resources. Primary's commitment to building long-term partnerships with founders makes it a trusted ally for startups navigating the challenges of scaling and achieving sustainable growth. Learn more about Primary by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range Primary typically invests in seed and Series A rounds, with investment amounts ranging from $1 million to $5 million. This substantial investment range allows Primary to provide the necessary capital for startups to develop their products, expand their teams, and accelerate their go-to-market strategies. By focusing on early-stage investments, Primary ensures that founders receive the financial support they need during the critical phases of their company's development. Industries Primary has a strong focus on technology-driven sectors, particularly those with the potential for significant market disruption. They are especially interested in industries such as SaaS, e-commerce, fintech, health tech, and proptech. Primary seeks out startups that leverage innovative technologies to solve complex problems and create new market opportunities. Their industry focus allows them to identify and support high-potential startups across various fields, fostering innovation and driving growth in the New York City startup ecosystem. Get Connected With Investors Today At Visible, we oftentimes compare a fundraise to a B2B sales and marketing funnel. At the top of your funnel, you are finding new investors. In the middle, you are nurturing and pitching potential investors. At the bottom of the funnel, you are working through diligence and ideally closing new investors. Related Resource: The 12 Best VC Funds You Should Know About With the introduction of data rooms, you can now manage every aspect of your fundraising funnel with Visible. Find investors at the top of your funnel with our free investor database, Visible Connect Track your conversations and move them through your funnel with our Fundraising CRM Share your pitch deck and monthly updates with potential investors Organize and share your most vital fundraising documents with data rooms Manage your fundraise from start to finish with Visible. Give it a free try for 14 days here. Related Read: Private Equity vs Venture Capital: Critical Differences Related Resource: 11 Top Venture Capital Firms in Boston
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12+ Cannabis Venture Capital Investors to Know in 2024
Cannabis Legal Landscape in 2024 Staying informed about legal developments is crucial for cannabis founders as they navigate the complex and rapidly changing landscape. Understanding the legal environment will help them make strategic decisions, ensure compliance, and capitalize on new opportunities as they arise. Current State of Cannabis Legalization in the U.S. As of 2024, the legal landscape for cannabis in the United States continues to evolve rapidly. Over 20 states have fully legalized cannabis for both medicinal and recreational use, reflecting a growing acceptance and normalization of cannabis across the country. Notably, states such as New York, Virginia, and Connecticut have recently implemented adult-use cannabis programs, adding to the momentum. Federal Status: Cannabis remains illegal at the federal level, classified as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act. However, there have been significant legislative efforts to change this. The MORE Act (Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act) and the SAFE Banking Act (Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act) have gained traction in Congress, aiming to decriminalize cannabis and provide a safer, more accessible financial environment for cannabis businesses. State-by-State Variation: Despite federal prohibition, individual states have continued to pass their own cannabis laws. This patchwork of regulations creates a complex legal environment for cannabis businesses operating across state lines. Entrepreneurs must navigate varying requirements for licensing, taxation, and compliance. Global Cannabis Legalization Internationally, the movement toward cannabis legalization is gaining significant ground. Several countries have either decriminalized cannabis or established legal frameworks for its medicinal and recreational use. Canada: As one of the first countries to legalize recreational cannabis nationwide in 2018, Canada continues to lead in both market development and regulatory structure. Europe: European countries like Germany and Luxembourg are in the process of implementing comprehensive cannabis legalization measures. Germany, in particular, is poised to become the largest legal cannabis market in Europe. Latin America: Countries such as Mexico and Colombia have made strides in legalizing and regulating cannabis, with Mexico expected to finalize its legalization framework soon. Asia: While most Asian countries maintain strict cannabis laws, Thailand has emerged as a regional pioneer by legalizing medical cannabis and considering broader reforms. Significant Changes and Expected Upcoming Legislation U.S. Federal Reform: The potential for federal cannabis reform in the U.S. remains a key area of focus. The passage of bills like the MORE Act and SAFE Banking Act could significantly alter the landscape, offering greater protections and opportunities for cannabis businesses. Interstate Commerce: As more states legalize cannabis, the conversation around interstate commerce is heating up. Allowing cannabis products to move freely between states could open up new markets and reduce costs, but it would require significant regulatory adjustments. Social Equity Programs: There is a growing emphasis on social equity in cannabis legislation. Many states are implementing or enhancing programs designed to ensure that communities disproportionately affected by the War on Drugs have access to opportunities in the legal cannabis market. Global Harmonization: On the global stage, there is an increasing push towards harmonizing cannabis regulations to facilitate international trade and research. This could lead to more consistent standards and practices across countries, benefiting businesses that operate internationally. Cannabis Market Growth and Projections The cannabis industry continues to experience rapid growth, driven by increasing legalization, evolving consumer preferences, and technological advancements. As of 2024, the global cannabis market is projected to reach significant milestones, with substantial growth expected in the coming years. Related Resources: 8 Cannabis Startups With High Growth Potential Market Size and Growth Projections Global Market: The global cannabis market was valued at approximately $43.72 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow to $57.18 billion in 2023. By 2030, the market is projected to reach $444.34 billion, reflecting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34.03%​​. U.S. Market: In the United States, the cannabis market is anticipated to grow from $13.2 billion in 2022 to around $40.1 billion by 2030, with a CAGR of 14.2%​​. Retail cannabis sales in the U.S. could reach $53.5 billion by 2027​​. Key Trends Shaping the Industry Technological Advancements: Integrating blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) is expected to revolutionize supply chain management and compliance tracking in the cannabis industry​​. Additionally, personalized cannabis products are gaining traction as consumers seek tailored experiences and products that meet their specific needs. Product Innovation: The trend toward innovative and diverse cannabis products continues to grow. Products such as pre-rolls, edibles, oils, and topicals are becoming increasingly popular. The market for CBD-infused products, including beverages and skincare items, is also expanding rapidly​​​​. Price Compression: Competitive pricing among cannabis brands and retailers has led to significant price declines since 2021. This trend has forced brands to consolidate and adapt to maintain profitability in a highly competitive market​​. Consumer Demographics: Millennials are currently the largest demographic of cannabis consumers in the U.S., capturing nearly 46.2% of all cannabis sales. However, Gen Z is the fastest-growing group, indicating a shift in consumer dynamics and preferences​​. Medical and Recreational Use: The medical marijuana segment continues to dominate the market, accounting for a significant share of revenue due to its acceptance for treating chronic conditions such as cancer, epilepsy, and anxiety. The recreational cannabis segment is also growing rapidly, driven by increased legalization and consumer acceptance​​. Future Outlook The cannabis industry is poised for continued growth and evolution in the coming years. Key factors influencing this growth include: Legalization Trends: More U.S. states and countries worldwide are expected to legalize cannabis for both medical and recreational use, contributing to market expansion and increased consumer access​​. Social Equity Initiatives: There is a growing emphasis on social equity programs designed to support marginalized communities and promote diversity within the cannabis industry​​. Sustainability: Environmental sustainability is becoming a critical focus, with many cannabis companies adopting eco-friendly practices to meet consumer demand and regulatory requirements​​. Emerging Investment Trends in Cannabis As the cannabis industry continues to expand, several emerging investment trends are shaping its future. Investors are increasingly focusing on technological advancements that enhance efficiency and transparency, innovative health and wellness products that cater to growing consumer demand, and sustainable practices that ensure environmental responsibility. Tech Integration Technology is increasingly vital in the cannabis industry, driving advancements across various segments, including cultivation, processing, distribution, and retail. Cultivation: Advanced technologies such as precision agriculture, including sensors and drones, are optimizing cannabis cultivation. These technologies help monitor soil health, moisture levels, and plant growth, allowing for better crop management and higher yields​​. Processing: Innovations in extraction techniques, such as supercritical CO2 extraction, are enhancing the efficiency and quality of cannabinoid extraction processes. This results in purer products and reduces the use of harmful solvents​​. Distribution: Blockchain technology is being implemented to enhance transparency and traceability in the supply chain. Tracking each stage, from seed to sale​​​​, ensures product authenticity and safety. Retail: AI and machine learning are transforming the retail landscape by enabling personalized customer experiences. Predictive analytics help retailers stock the right products and offer personalized recommendations, enhancing customer satisfaction​​. Health and Wellness The health and wellness sector is witnessing a significant rise in the use of cannabis products, driven by growing consumer awareness and acceptance of their medicinal benefits. CBD Products: CBD, known for its non-psychoactive properties, is increasingly being used to treat conditions such as anxiety, epilepsy, and chronic pain. The FDA-approved drug Epidiolex, which contains CBD, is used to treat seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome​​​​. THC and Other Cannabinoids: THC, although psychoactive, is recognized for its therapeutic benefits, including pain relief and appetite stimulation. The development of THC-based products, such as Sativex, is aimed at treating multiple sclerosis and other conditions​​​​. Wellness Products: The integration of cannabis into wellness products such as topicals, tinctures, and edibles is growing. These products are marketed for their potential to provide relief from muscle soreness, inflammation, and stress, contributing to overall wellness​​​​. Sustainability Sustainability is becoming a critical focus in the cannabis industry as companies and consumers prioritize environmentally friendly practices. Eco-Friendly Cultivation: Sustainable cultivation practices include organic growing methods, water recycling systems, and energy-efficient lighting. These practices reduce the environmental impact of cannabis farming​​. Packaging Innovations: There is a growing trend towards sustainable packaging solutions to reduce waste. Companies are adopting biodegradable and recyclable packaging materials to minimize their carbon footprint​​. Corporate Responsibility: Many cannabis companies are implementing corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives focusing on sustainability. These initiatives include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, supporting local communities, and promoting social equity in the industry​​​​. Venture Capital Firms Making Cannabis Investments When fundraising, it is crucial that founders spend time communicating with and pitching the right investors. To help founders get a start with finding cannabis investors, we used our free investor database, Visible Connect, to find 12+ investors below: KEY Investment Partners KEY is a Denver-based capital venture firm positioned in the most established market of US cannabis. In addition to their +38 years of investing experience, KEY Investment Partners also produces a cannabis-focused blog (found HERE), which gives insight into current events impacting the legal cannabis industry. To learn more about KEY Investment Partners check out their Visible Connect profile HERE. Base Ventures Base Ventures is a Berkeley, CA-based venture fund led by Erik Moore. Base Ventures is a seed-stage fund that invests across all verticals of tech companies — with a % of those being in cannabis companies. Erik and his team have made over 100 venture investments with the most recent cannabis investment being in late 2019. To learn more about Base Ventures check out their Visible Connect profile HERE. Entourage Effect Capital Entourage Effect is one of the largest players in the cannabis industry. They have allocated over $200M into 65+ companies since 2014. Their three managing partners, Matt Hawkins, Andy Sturner, and Dov Szapiro, have a combined 65+ years of venture experience and are not planning on slowing down anytime soon. To learn more about Entourage Effect Capital check out their Visible Connect profile HERE. HALLEY Venture Partners HALLEY Venture Partners has been focused on the cannabis sector for the past five years. The San Francisco-based firm is led by Steve Schuman, who has over 17 years of private and public equity experience, ranging across agriculture, technology, and manufacturing. HALLEY is heavily geared toward the technology sector of cannabis and is looking to build highly-scalable businesses. To learn more about Base Ventures check out their Visible Connect profile HERE. Related Resource: 14 Venture Capital Firms in Silicon Valley Driving Startup Growth Green Lion Partners Green Lion Partners looks to invest in early-stage ventures throughout the entire cannabis industry. The Denver-based business, founded by Jeffrey Zucker and Michael Bologna, looks to “elevate public perception of the cannabis industry.” To learn more about Green Lion Partners check out their Visible Connect profile HERE. Salveo Capital Salveo Capital is focused on creating long term cannabis companies and focuses on empowering the entrepreneurs in charge. Michael Gruber (managing partner) has been involved in the early stage investing environment for 25 years, focusing on tech, finance, and agriculture. Jeffrey Howard (managing partner) has spent 21 years on Wall Street and has become both an advisor and investor of cannabis-based firms. To learn more about Salveo Capital check out their Visible Connect profile HERE. Phyto Psyche Phyto Partners invests in a plethora of different cannabis-based businesses, including SaaS, Data, Biotech, Advertising, and more. The investing firm is led by Larry Schnurmacher, who has invested in 25 private, cannabis businesses over the past five years. Phyto invests more than just capital into the 30+ businesses they have lent help to. To learn more about Phyto Partners check out their Visible Connect profile HERE. McGovern Capital McGovern Capital LLC, based in New York City and Boca Raton, Florida, is a leading private investment firm and Intellectual Property Rights Strategist that originates, funds, structures and implements capital formation, joint ventures and business alliances. Mcgovem Capital LLC invests early-stage capital and provides facilitative services to its investment companies. They provide access to a network of Angel investors comprised of high net-worth individuals, approximately 50% of which are located in the metropolitan New York area, with the rest ranging from the West Coast of the US to several overseas countries. To learn more about McGovern Capital check out their Visible Connect profile HERE. Altitude Investment Management About: Altitude is a New York-based venture capital fund manager focused on the global cannabis industry. The manager's strategy is to invest in a range of early-to-growth stage companies in North America and Europe that support this rapidly growing industry. Our principals have spent their careers launching and managing alternative investment funds, including distressed debt and leveraged credit strategies. We have been involved in highly-regulated industries for decades, and this experience makes our leadership team uniquely qualified to face the regulatory and funding challenges within the cannabis industry. Having invested in the cannabis industry for more than three years, Altitude has deep relationships with legal and regulatory professionals, CEOs of cannabis companies, industry organizations, and consultants. To learn more about Altitude Investment Management, check out their Visible Connect profile HERE. Tuatara Tuatara is a sector-focused private equity firm dedicated to helping great companies realize their vision in the burgeoning cannabis industry. To learn more about Tuatara, check out their Visible Connect profile HERE. Arcview Capital The Arcview Group is a vertically integrated company servicing the cannabis and hemp industry, built with social justice and responsibility at its core. Arcview has been a trusted global leader for over ten years and nexus for investors, companies, entrepreneurs, and community, providing a broad spectrum of programs and services. To learn more about Arcview Capital, check out their Visible Connect profile HERE. Casa Verde Capital Casa Verde was one of the first funds established to focus on the cannabis industry. We believe this industry represents one of the most compelling investment opportunities of our generation. Since 2015, we’ve evaluated thousands of opportunities and invested in a select few. Our goal is to leverage our robust relationships to assist portfolio companies in solving complex issues facing this nascent market. Casa Verde can participate in all stages of the financing cycle, with a focus on investing in scalable, capital-efficient businesses, led by world-class entrepreneurs. Given the natural overlap across the value chain, our portfolio companies frequently work together to help solve operational issues and also create significant value for the businesses involved. To learn more about Casa Verde Capital, check out their Visible Connect profile HERE. Poseidon Poseidon is one of the oldest and most active private equity firms in the cannabis space. They invest in both private and public cannabis companies across various sectors, including technology, cultivation, and ancillary services. To learn more about Poseidon, check out their Visible Connect profile HERE. Other Funding Strategies and Resources Securing funding is a critical step for cannabis startups aiming to scale their operations and succeed in a competitive market. In addition to traditional venture capital, there are various alternative funding options, grant opportunities, and support programs that can provide valuable resources to cannabis entrepreneurs. Alternative Funding Options Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding platforms have become popular for cannabis startups to raise capital from many small investors. Sites like SeedInvest and StartEngine allow cannabis businesses to reach a broad audience and secure funding without relying solely on venture capitalists​​​​. These platforms allow startups to validate their business ideas and build a community of supporters. Private Equity: Private equity firms are increasingly interested in the cannabis sector, recognizing the long-term growth potential. These firms provide substantial capital investments in exchange for equity stakes, often taking an active role in the company's strategic direction​​. Private equity can benefit established cannabis businesses looking to expand rapidly. Strategic Partnerships: Forming strategic partnerships with established companies in related industries can provide funding and valuable resources. These partnerships can include joint ventures, co-branding opportunities, and supply chain collaborations. Such alliances can help cannabis startups leverage their partners' expertise and networks to accelerate growth​​​​. Grant Opportunities While federal grants for cannabis businesses are limited due to its classification as a Schedule I substance, several states and private organizations offer grants to support cannabis research and business development. State Grants: Some states with legalized cannabis markets, like California and Colorado, offer grants to support cannabis research, social equity programs, and business development initiatives​​​​. For example, the California Cannabis Equity Grants Program provides funding to help individuals from communities disproportionately affected by the War on Drugs to enter the cannabis industry. Examples: California Cannabis Equity Grants Program Overview: Administered by the Department of Cannabis Control and the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), this program provides funding to support local jurisdictions in promoting social equity in the cannabis industry. Eligibility: Designed to assist individuals from communities disproportionately affected by the War on Drugs. Details: Grants can be used for technical assistance, loans, grants, and regulatory compliance support. Colorado Cannabis Business Grant Overview: This program provides grants to support innovative cannabis business models, focusing on social equity applicants. Eligibility: Social equity licensees in Colorado, particularly those who demonstrate a commitment to creating jobs and supporting community development. Details: Grants can be used for business development, regulatory compliance, and operational support. Massachusetts Social Equity Program Overview: The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission offers grants to help entrepreneurs from communities disproportionately impacted by previous marijuana prohibition. Eligibility: Applicants must meet specific social equity criteria outlined by the state. Details: Funding is available for business training, technical assistance, and startup capital. Private Grants: Organizations like the Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA) and private foundations also offer grants to support diversity and inclusion within the cannabis industry. These grants aim to reduce barriers to entry and provide resources to underrepresented groups​​. Example: Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA) Grants Overview: MCBA provides grants to minority-owned cannabis businesses to promote diversity and inclusion within the industry. Eligibility: Minority-owned cannabis businesses with a focus on social equity. Details: Grants can be used for business development, marketing, and operational expenses. What Do Cannabis Investors Want to See in a Potential Investment? Finding the right investors to pitch to is a small part, yet crucial, part of a fundraise. Before building a list of potential investors, founders need to understand what potential investors are looking for in an investment. Check out a few of the most common attributes cannabis VCs look for below: ROI Potential A VC fund’s job is to generate returns for its investors (LPs). In order to do this, they need to build a portfolio that has the ability to generate outsized returns. This means that VCs are looking for portfolio companies that have huge ROI potential and can return the fund to their investors. Related Resource: A Quick Overview on VC Fund Structure Scalability Going hand in hand with ROI potential is the potential for scalability. By having a clear vision for scalability and growth, startups can stand out in the eyes of investors. The potential for growth is a signal to investors that they have the ability to generate huge returns. High Barriers to Entry Another aspect potential investors look for in a potential investment are barriers to entry. In competitive spaces, like the cannabis industry, investors want to see portfolio companies that have built high barriers to compete and take their market share. Branding and Vision Investors will also want to see strong branding and vision from a cannabis startup. This is relevant for any startup but especially important for consumer-facing cannabis startups. Related Resources: Private Equity vs Venture Capital: Critical Differences Find Cannabis Venture Capital Investors with Visible As we mentioned above, finding the right investors to pitch to for a fundraise is crucial to success. Founders need to make sure they are spending their time on the right investors. In order to best help founders filter and find the right investors for their business we built Visible Connect, our free investor database. Give Visible Connect a try here. View here a filtered list of cannabis-based VCs or check out over 18,000 other global VCs at Visible Connect. Related Resources: 10 Angel Investors to Know in Los Angeles The Understandable Guide to Startup Funding Stages
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Fundraising
8 Cannabis Startups With High Growth Potential
The cannabis industry is experiencing explosive growth following legalization across various regions. Startups are redefining how cannabis businesses operate by introducing innovative solutions to streamline supply chains, improve retail management, and enhance consumer products. Companies like LeafLink have revolutionized B2B cannabis commerce, while firms like Dutchie, Pax Labs, and others bring advanced e-commerce and retail management platforms to the fore. With robust investor backing and increasing acceptance, these startups are spearheading a new era of cannabis entrepreneurship, creating opportunities for founders, cultivators, and investors alike​​​​. Related resource: 12+ Cannabis Venture Capital Investors to Know in 2024 1) LeafLink LeafLink is a pioneering startup in the cannabis industry, providing a wholesale marketplace that connects retailers with over 1,800 cannabis brands and distributors. This platform facilitates streamlined business operations, making it easier for companies to manage orders and grow their businesses efficiently​​​​. Headquarters Location: LeafLink is based in New York City, with additional regional hubs in Los Angeles and Austin. As a remote-first company, it also boasts a broad presence across the United States, ensuring accessibility and connectivity in various cannabis markets​​. Current Funding: LeafLink has raised substantial funding to fuel its growth, including a $40 million Series C round led by Founders Fund, reflecting significant investor confidence. Overall, the company has secured a total of $479M in funding over 9 rounds. Their latest funding was raised on Feb 1, 2023 from a Series D round. Years in Operation: LeafLink was founded in 2015, during which it has significantly impacted the cannabis supply chain and B2B commerce​​. Founders: Ryan G. Smith serves as the CEO, and Zach Silverman is the Co-Founder and Senior Advisor of LeafLink. They founded the company with the vision of simplifying the cannabis supply chain, leveraging their backgrounds in technology and e-commerce to pioneer new standards in the industry​​. 2) Dutchie Dutchie is a prominent player in the cannabis industry, providing an integrated technology platform that powers online ordering for cannabis dispensaries. It helps dispensaries create and manage their websites, process orders, and ensure efficient operations through its suite of e-commerce and point of sale solutions​​​​. Headquarters Location: Dutchie is headquartered in Bend, Oregon, which is also where it was founded. This location supports its operations across the United States and Canada​​​​. Current Funding: Dutchie has raised significant funding, totaling $603 million. This includes a substantial $350 million in a Series D round that valued the company at $3.75 billion, highlighting the strong investor confidence in its business model and growth potential​​​​. Years in Operation: Founded in 201, Dutchie has quickly become a leader in its field, experiencing rapid growth and expansion​​​​. Founders: Founded by brothers Ross Lipson and Zach Lipson. Both no longer run the company. 3) Pax Labs, Inc Pax, originally known as Ploom, is a leader in the vaporization industry, specializing in the development and manufacturing of premium vaporizers for cannabis and nicotine. These devices are known for their sleek design and smart technology, allowing connectivity with mobile devices for enhanced user experience. Headquarters Location: Pax Labs is based in San Francisco, California. Current Funding: The company has raised significant funds, notably securing $492.2 million in funding over 4 rounds, reflecting a strong investor confidence in its technology and market approach​​. Years in Operation: Pax Labs was founded in 2007 and has been operational for over a decade, evolving its product line and expanding its market reach during this time. Founders: The company was founded by James Monsees and Adam Bowen, who aimed to innovate and improve the personal vaporization market. Neither is still with the company. 4) Green Thumb Industries Green Thumb Industries (GTI) operates as a national cannabis consumer packaged goods company and retailer. The company is known for manufacturing and distributing a diverse portfolio of branded cannabis products such as &Shine, Beboe, Dogwalkers, Doctor Solomon’s, Good Green, incredibles, and RYTHM. Additionally, GTI owns and operates a rapidly growing chain of national retail cannabis stores named RISE​​​​. Headquarters Location: Green Thumb Industries is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois​​​​. Current Funding: Green Thumb Industries has raised a total of $79.2M in funding over 4 rounds. Their latest funding was raised on Apr 30, 2021 from a Post-IPO Equity round. Years in Operation: Green Thumb Industries was founded in 2014 and has since grown into a significant player in the cannabis industry in the United States​​​​. Founders: The company was founded by Ben Kovler who serves as the CEO, Chairman, and key visionary behind the company's growth and strategic direction​​. 5) FlowHub Flowhub is a Denver-based cannabis technology company that specializes in compliance, inventory management, and point-of-sale (POS) software solutions designed specifically for the cannabis industry. Their platform aims to streamline dispensary operations, making regulatory compliance easier and improving the overall efficiency of cannabis retail management​​​​. Headquarters Location: Flowhub is headquartered in Denver, Colorado​​. Current Funding: Flowhub has raised significant funding over the years totalling $45.8M over 4 rounds. Years in Operation: Founded in 2015, Flowhub has been operational for several years, focusing on providing technological solutions to cannabis dispensaries to help them navigate the complex regulatory environment​​. Founders: Kyle Sherman is the founder of Flowhub. He started the company with the vision to create a more efficient and compliant cannabis retail environment through innovative technology​​. 6) Tokyo Smoke Tokyo Smoke is a lifestyle brand and cannabis retailer focused on creating an immersive experience centered around cannabis, coffee, and clothing. Their vision aims to shape a sophisticated and inclusive brand that transcends typical cannabis culture. Headquarters: Located in Toronto, Canada. Founding Year: Established in 2015. Founders: Founder and Chairman Lorne Gertner and Co-founder and CEO Alan Gertner. Funding: Raised $7.7 million over 2 rounds, the last closing in October, 2017 in a series B round. Ownership: Acquired by OEG Retail Cannabis in 2023, which expanded the brand's reach and capabilities​​. 7) Jushi Holdings Jushi Holdings Inc. is a multi-state cannabis operator involved in the retail, cultivation, manufacturing, and processing of cannabis products in both medical and adult-use markets. The company is dedicated to building a diverse portfolio through strategic acquisitions and investments in the cannabis sector. Headquarters Location: Boca Raton, Florida, USA. Current Funding: Jushi has raised a total of $490.5M in funding over 12 rounds. Their latest funding was raised on Apr 6, 2023 from a Post-IPO Debt round. Years in Operation: Founded in 2007. Founders: Erich Mauff, Jim Cacioppo, and Jon Barack. 8) Cannabist Company The Cannabist Company, previously known as Columbia Care,stands out as a leading cultivator, manufacturer, and retailer of cannabis products and services in the United States. As one of the initial medical cannabis providers in the country, it established a patient-focused operation that has successfully transitioned into a dominant player in the adult-use market. Their product portfolio includes various forms such as flower, oils, edibles, and tablets. Notably, they are the producers behind popular brands like Classix, Seed & Strain, and Hedy. Headquarters Location: The company is based in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. Current Funding: They have raised a total of $530.6M in funding over 9 rounds. Their latest funding was raised in Marxh, 2024 from a Post-IPO Debt round. Years in Operation: The Cannabist Company has been operational since 2012. Founders: The company was co-founded by Nicholas Vita and Michael Abbott. Connect With Cannabis Investors Today In the rapidly evolving cannabis industry, startups are leveraging technology to streamline operations and expand their reach. Companies like the ones we covered, among others, are pioneering new standards in retail management, supply chain efficiency, and customer experience. As these innovative companies continue to grow, investment opportunities in the cannabis sector have become increasingly attractive to venture capitalists. To effectively manage your fundraise from start to finish, showcase your business's value, track progress, and manage relationships with Visible. Give it a free try for 14 days here. Find investors at the top of your funnel with our free investor database, Visible Connect, also check out our pre-filtered list of cannabis VCs here. Some Cannabis VCs from our database include KEY Investment Partners, Entourage Effect Capital, and HALLEY Venture Partners. Track your conversations and move them through your funnel with our Fundraising CRM. Share your pitch deck and monthly updates with potential investors. Organize and share your most vital fundraising documents with data rooms.
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