How To Fundraise With Pipedrive

admin | Friday, January 30th, 2015

Back in 2012, all of us at Pipedrive CRM system were working hard to fundraise for our seed round. In the end we succeeded, and along the way we learned some valuable lessons on the steps you need to take in order to successfully raise funds, as well as how to use tools to manage the process.

 

Because we used Pipedrive for fundraising I thought I’d share what we did and what were the results – perhaps useful for anyone raising funds for their startup, favourite charity or cause.

We started fundraising actively mid-April 2012. One of the first things to do was defining stages in our pipeline:

Idea – this stage contained all investors we wanted to connect with for this round. Main goal in this stage was to get some kind of response. We declared a deal lost when we got no response within two weeks from our follow-up e-mail. By the way, around half of prospects had contacted us through AngelList at some point, the rest came through AngelPad, our existing networks and actively asking for intros.

Connected – deals got moved to this stage once we got a reply other than “No, thanks” from an investor. Main goal in this stage was to schedule a call, if investor showed interest.

Call/meeting done – A 30-minute call was a deciding factor for both us and investors about the decision to move forward. Main objective here was to identify mutual fit and serious interest (or move the deal to Lost.)

Considers investment – deals got to this stage if we found fit and serious interest from investors; in most cases, a number of e-mails were exchanged to answer additional questions.

Asked/received terms – At this stage we negotiated a lot, as not all interested investors agreed with our terms at first.

Documents signed – speaks for itself.

We declared the deal “Won” once money had been wired to our account. I’m obviously biased, but I must say Pipedrive was great for managing the fundraising process. It was a team effort, and each of us knew what was going on by just glancing at the pipeline. Because we used the email dropbox feature, and added notes from calls to Pipedrive, almost all detail was easily accessible as well.

pipeDrive

What comes to results, this is what our fundraising process and numbers looks like in hindsight, expressed as a pipeline.

5 closed out of 93 – what happened to the remaining 95%?
We tend to be pretty analytical about pipelines, and naturally we’ve done a bit of a post mortem to our fundraising efforts. We got no response from 37 investors, so we don’t know why we were not an appealing investment target for them.

For the rest, this is what we learned:

“Drop the ball” means stopping to respond to emails, without giving a clear reason. Needless to say that in most cases, it was not us that dropped the ball.

We could do very little to overcome some of the objections, for example in cases where someone had already invested in a competing company. But it was encouraging to see that “Too early, let’s talk at series A” was the number one reason for not investing in us. We know what to do about overcoming this objection in the future!

If you have something similar ahead of you, perhaps the following is useful.

  1. Make sure YOU are managing the process. Don’t be afraid to declare a deal “lost” if you don’t hear back from someone in reasonable time. This frees up your time to look for other opportunities.
  2. Be confident. Perhaps it’s too obvious but confidence in what you’re building and how well it serves the market is more important than prettiness of your slides or AngelList profile.
  3. Reach out to more investors you think is necessary. This may give you the luxury to choose who you’ll be working with.

If you have any comments or questions on fundraising, or using Pipedrive for that, please get in touch or write a comment below.

This is a guest post by Timo Rein from Pipedrive. The post was first published in 2012 in Pipedrive’s blog.

 

PS:

“The graduating class of MEST are currently using Pipedrive to keep track of sales deals and contacts during the formation of their ventures. Upon graduation these companies apply to join the MEST Incubator.”

– Fredrik Andersson, Business teaching fellow, MEST