How much capital should I raise?
This is something I am asked in most of my conversations with founders. Unfortunately, there is no magic formula, there are only trade-offs to consider
Here are my thoughts:
- You will end up spending it all. How much ever you raise, you'll end up spending it within 18-24 months
- How much you raise determines your dilution. Early-stage investing is not based on valuation but on dilution. If you want to raise a large round, be ready to part with lots of equity. Cue issues in the future when you dont have enough skin in the game
- Larger the round, more explosive the growth required to clear the hurdle. Let's face it, for you to give an exit to your early investors you'll need to be able to provide at least 3-5x. This is easier to provide in a smaller raise than a larger one
- Larger fundraise take longer to close, and takes that much time off your bandwidth. You do risk losing an eye on the prize
- Constraints give birth to creativity! This is a no brainer!
There is no right answer. Only trade-offs! Often a winner takes all race makes everyone lose