Get Funded Without Venture Capital Money

Photo by Jan Genge on Unsplash

FOMO

Everyone around you seems to be busy raising funds and humble bragging on Linkedin or the bluebird app, about having their oversubscribed round with a few big name VCs onboard. People seem to be flooding them with congratulations, so you start thinking companies that have raised a significant amount of money as successful ones. The self-doubt kicks in, the FOMO is real…

The Answer ✅

The answer is simple — raise money if you want to build a product that cannot be built without raising a significant amount of capital. If you’re raising money just because you can/everybody else is doing, then you’re better off focusing on building a great product, proving your PMF and getting early traction.

Traditional VC Path Compatibility Checklist ✔️

The very first thing to clear out is whether the VC model fits your personal aspirations as an entrepreneur or not:

  • Is your aim to build and scale a very fast growing company at the cost of giving up some control along the way?
  • Or do you value more building a company which might not be as fast growing but which destiny is controlled 100% by you and your other co-founders?
  • Are you sufficiently aware of what it means to work with VCs?
  • Do you have the ability to monetize soon enough from your first users with early versions of your product?
  • Do you lots of upfront capital to build your MVP? i.e. heavy tech
  • Do you have a high CAC? e.g. you target the corporate segment from day one or you are penetrating a market that needs lots of product education.
  • Is your product in a crowded category? If so, do you have an unfair advantage to break out at scale?
Photo by Nikola Đuza on Unsplash

Alternatives

In fact, we are aware that an increasing number of amazing startups coming our way don’t necessarily fit/don’t want to walk the traditional VC funding path.

  1. Bootstrapping ⚙️

No One-size-Fits-all 👚

The bottom line?

Our rule of thumb as a venture investor is to make sure our goals are aligned with the team we work with.

If the entrepreneur’s aim is to build companies which grows and scales rapidly with the help of venture money, ready for acquisition or going public in, say, 5 years — then injecting money in exchange for equity is a good alignment. But if they prefer to do so by financing their business solely with the revenue they manage to generate from their customers — that’s fantastic too!

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WNJ Ventures

WNJ Ventures

Investing in how Millennials and Gen-Z's Live, Work and Play.