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How the Fundraising Lore Can Help

The Fundraising Lore will be most helpful for startups that are a good fit for VC but are not a slam dunk investing-wise. Think about it like this:

  • The vast majority of companies are not a good fit for VC and therefore can’t benefit from the Fundraising Lore.

  • A very small percentage of companies are a good fit for VCs as explained in Company /VC Fit. Paul Graham has an eloquent essay (backup) that explains why we use the word “startup” for such ventures .

  • Of such startups, some percentage are stuck. That can happen for a variety of reasons including not being at a fundable point and bad / no planning. Whatever the cause, such companies probably can’t fundraise regardless of how they approach the process (although you should still try if you are not ready to give up yet!).

  • Another, much smaller percentage of startups have nailed their product-market fit and all their metrics are pointed in the right direction. They can raise at any point on any terms. Such companies don’t need the Fundraising Lore - they should just go and partner with the best investors that offer them a compelling term sheet - and then resume building the business.

  • That leaves one category: the middle between “stuck” and “crushing it.” The majority of early-stage startups are somewhere in that middle. They have some things going for them, but not everything has quite come together just yet.

That middle is where having a coherent framework for fundraising can make the difference between a successful and a failed fundraise. I believe that the founders of startups in such a position will benefit the most from the Fundraising Lore. Even more so if said founders are first-timers and/or haven’t spent much time in Silicon Valley yet want to raise capital from investors based there.

Naturally, no process can guarantee success (see Disclaimers). But for founders that are willing to put in the time and work required, the Fundraising Lore offers a way to organize the fundraising effort in such a way as to maximize the chances of a successful fundraise.