Startups need capital and often raise capital from investors. This requires pitch, numbers, stats and a story. And the time must be exact. The key to timing is easy, according to this CEO: Raise funds when your confidence is high.
Every week on TechCrunch Live, investors and entrepreneurs share lessons learned from personal experiences. And Front CEO and co-founder Mathilde Collin knows about fundraising. She raised $138 million in venture capital across multiple fundraising rounds, including from Frederic Kerrest, Okta’s COO, and venture capitalist. They talked about a number of topics, and the entire TechCrunch Live event is available on YouTube or through a audio files.
Time can make or break a fundraising, and Collin recommends looking for outside investment when you feel great — just like you, the founder, feel great. Unfortunately, sometimes this doesn’t correlate with your company’s numbers.
“It could be that you hired a great person,” she said. “You just signed a very large client—anything that makes you super confident in the future of this company.”
Why? According to Collin, investors are good at gauging whether a founder is honest with their motives, which revolve around confidence and interest in the company. This means she always starts presentations with why she’s doing something, even if it gets more complicated as it scales.
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Frederic Kerrest agrees, noting that as an investor, he wants to spend his time with people who are interested and motivated as well as interested.
Collin said that every time she raises capital, she evaluates investors based on the company’s needs. Then, when it came to Front’s later-stage Series C, she turned to several executives who could provide capital and an insider to guide the industry and company.
Previously switched to Sequoia for its Series B, which Collin said continues to be helpful. However, as her company was growing, she said, she felt the need “to reinvent the wheel. She turns to people she feels have been in a similar situation before and can give her guidance. This turned out to be a host of industry leaders like Michael Cannon-Brookes from Atlassian, Eric Yan from Zoom and Jared Smith from Qualtrics – and yes, Frederic Kerrest.
These are all people that Kerrest laughed and said they had a hand in the operation and construction and growth of businesses.
“There is a lot of great value that you can get from institutional investors,” says Kerrest. “At Okta, we are fortunate to be supported by some well-known companies – Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia and Greylock. They will bring a lot of network. They will bring a lot of ideas on how to develop. They will give a lot of ideas about advisors. “
But there’s more to building a company, Kerrest said. He points to building a sales team or when to scale internationally. Like the CEO of a similar, much larger business, the executives can assist with important steps.
And it also doesn’t get any more predictable as the rounds unfold. Collin feels the founders were wrong, saying that as the company grew, it became more difficult to raise funds.
“You need good reasons to [fundraise],” she said. you and others. So it certainly couldn’t be easier.”