“I want to close my €3 M round by the end of the month.”

Let us come down from Bubble Gum land and take a proper look at how things are really done in Europe when raising early-stage equity. I am regularly astounded by young startups who contact us 5EIT Health Investor Network) for their fundraising and when asked what their timeline to closing is, they answer without doubt or humour ‘’at the end of the month”. Dilutive funding doesn’t come easy. The process is tedious, long, and more often than not, you will find investors that have more reason to say no than yes. So get ready for a challenging process that can take anywhere from 3 to 12 months.

Know your 5 Ws & H

If you can summarize all your attributes & goals and demonstrate your added value, market fit and efficacy data, all in a compelling presentation with clear financials than you are set for the next step. It all comes down to knowing your 5 Ws : who, what, when where, why and how and dressing it so investors will appreciate you speaking their language : Exits, ROI , valuation etc.

Do your homework

If you are an early-stage start-up raising dilutive funding, you may have to contact Angels Groups, family offices, early-stage venture funds or even corporate venture funds in your own country and most probably beyond borders.

Each will have an investment thesis that may be restrictive regarding:

  • Geographical location
  • Stage of development
  • Ticket size
  • Time to exit
  • Vertical
  • Fund size and cycle

No need to waste your bullets, time and energy contacting the wrong investors. So be very thorough when doing your homework or get professionals to help you identify the ones you wish to attract to the table.

Let ‘s now suppose you’ve aligned your ducks and are now ready to send out your great deck to the identified investors, what happens next? You wait and hope for an email that will either ask you further questions or invite you to a pitch. That is the best scenario that does not require, two or three reminders just to see if they’ve received your precious message while you wait in vain.

Let’s be positive and fast forward to your “pitch” tour where said investors are enthusiastic about your project and want to deep dive into all the hidden corners of your company/ project/ product/ market.

 The Data Room

Connections are made, networks are activated, and the investigation is on-going. Prepare your contracts, IPs, your KOL contacts, financial statements, Cap table, certificates, assets etc . Make it quickly available in an organised, transparent manner that will not only induce trust and professionalism but also speed up this whole Due Diligence process.

Then, according to the amount being raised and number of investors involved, a lead will come forth,  legal advisors will join in and discussions with all interested parties will hopefully lead to a Letter of Intent  or Term sheet  and finally CASH in your bank.

So imagine doing all that in 30 days! Not probable

From my own experience as head of the EIT Health Investor Network, the more you are raising, the more parties involved, the longer it takes.  My advice? Though this is hardly an exact science, plan ahead, get support and expect to add 2/ 3 months to your initial timeline. Last but not least, cash is key, don’t be too conservative in your assessment of cash flow needs . Hail to you, entrepreneur, for your enthusiasm and energy to bring your project to life and to nurture it towards growth.

If you have any feedback or questions, please get in touch at investors@eithealth-investornetwork.eu


Caroline Saï

Head of the EIT Health Investor Network ( operated by Angels Santé)

& COO of Angels Santé (Angels for health- France)- proud member of EBAN

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