Term sheets can be intimidating as a first time founder. As it is likely the first time you’ve seen a term sheet, the intricacies of the deal can be difficult to…
Get Funded: The Fundraise Tracking Tool
We’ve talked with a lot of founders who have raised money, and we continue to hear the same things: Fundraising is a difficult and time-consuming process, one that is often unstructured and chaotic. Done poorly,…
We’ve talked with a lot of founders who have raised money, and we continue to hear the same things: Fundraising is a difficult and time-consuming process, one that is often unstructured and chaotic. Done poorly, it can cost startup leaders countless hours of valuable time—not to mention their valuable sanity.
One of the key challenges of the fundraising process is it is non-linear. Seasoned founders will tell you that fundraising is essentially a sales process, requiring a founder to prospect, nurture and move potential investors through a “pipeline.” While this is true, it doesn’t tell the full story.
Most sales interactions have a natural order to them, an order that both sides generally understand. The fundraise process? Not so much. There is no proven playbook for getting funded, because every company is different, and so is every investor. Often, these interactions need to be managed on a case-by-case basis.
When managing a fundraise, a little structure goes a long way. We’ve built the Fundraise Tracking Tool to help founders track their fundraise simply, but effectively. Use it properly, and you’ll be on well your way to completing your round.
How the Sheet Works
The sheet is broken into 3 tabs: “Instructions”, “CRM”, and “Total – For Visible.” Instructions should be pretty straightforward. Below, we’ll take a deeper dive into the CRM and Total – For Visible tabs to make sure you’re getting the most of our fundraising tracking tool.
As you might expect, the CRM tab starts with basic contact information and demographics.
Next to the contact information, you’ll see “Contact Stage.” We’ve included what we have found to be the most common stages for an investor:
- New – Any new investor that you’re prospecting, or has contacted you, but has yet to discuss potential investment.
- Call/Email – Any investor that you’ve emailed or called to discuss the opportunity to invest in your business.
- In-Person – Any investor that you’ve met in person, but have yet to formally pitch.
- Pitched – Any investor that has escalated past email and phone calls to a formal pitch or presentation.
- Due Diligence – Any investor that has expressed serious interest in your business and has started to perform due diligence on your company.
- Yes/No/Not Now – Any investor that has given you a decision on investment.
In the Totals – For Visible tab, we’ll automatically calculate a count of investors at each stage so you can quickly understand and visualize your fundraising funnel.
A crucial part of the fundraising process is keeping your eyes on communication and making sure you’re nurturing investors through the funnel, especially if you have a lengthy fundraising cycle. The next columns you’ll see are “Subscribed to Updates?” and “Last Interaction Date.”
Subscribed to Updates? is a simple Yes/No field to determine if you’ve added the investor to a list in Visible to send them quick, nurture Updates. Last Interaction Date should be updated each time you interact with an investor.
The last columns you’ll see are “Potential Commitment” and “Potential to Close.” Potential Commitment is the check size—the dollar value of a potential investment amount you’ve discussed with an investor. Potential to Close is your guess at the firm’s likelihood to close, represented by a percentage.
From the “Totals – For Visible” tab, we’ll automatically calculate a total pipeline value by summing all of the potential commitment values as well as a weighted pipeline value that sums the potential commitment multiplied by potential to close %. If you have a Visible Account, you can integrate this sheet and create charts and updates that visualize the progress of your raise.
We hope this tool will help simplify your fundraising process and get funded faster. You can download the tool below: