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March 12, 2021

Founder VS Investor POV - answering the same questions from different perspectives. By Val Gui and Brittany Yoon.

Founder VS Investor POV - answering the same questions from different perspectives. By Val Gui and Brittany Yoon.

Val Gui, VP of Automotive Lending at Upstart and Brittany Yoon, Principal at NFX talk about investor outreach, company valuation and early fundraising from two different perspectives - Val from the founder perspective, Brittany from the investor perspective. See how much overlap there is!


They as guest speakers will have 2 people Val guy, vice president at upstart, and Brittany you, the principal ads and effects. And this episode is not quite a standard. 1 today we'll have both perspectives.

So, the founder perspective and the investor perspective, and they will be answering pretty much the same exact questions. So, today we'll compare how those 2 different sides of table look at the same exact topics.

So blessed by you giving us some background on yourself and on upstart. And then we'll move on to Brittany.

Absolutely, so like you said, my name is Val guy. I'm vice president of automotive lending at upstart before that I was 1 of the founders of a company called Insta motor worked on that for about 5 years.

We raised about 10M dollars for that company before selling it. So I have a little bit of experience and have been a.

Sort of a multi time founder, um, having raised a couple of times for different companies. Nice so now, Brittany, can you tell us a little bit more about yourself and all about and effects.

Yeah, my name's Brittany. I am an operator turned investors, so I invest in a in seat stage at a fund called and effects. We focus on stage. We focus on the companies that focused on network effects.

We're kind of halfway split between B2. B, and B, to C we have about 475M a M, which makes us 1 of the biggest funds out there. And prior to being an investor, I was an operator. So is that.

For early stage startups and kind of grew I'm sorry, I was an early employee of 4 startups that grew in, um, valuation about 24 X. so had been on multiple sides of, you know, being an operator.

And then also being an investor, and perhaps most importantly, I am Val guys wife.

True I forgot to mention that part of it. And Brittany are literally in the same space seeing from the same exact count. So, this is another unique part of this episode.

So, 1st question was jump straight into the discussion of the major topic of this whole podcast, which is fundraising. So, 1st question is going to Val what traction do you think is needed to successfully refund race then you show rounds.

So let's pretend we're talking about seed round. Yeah, this is a great question because it's 1 that we.

We definitely felt when i1st came out to the Bay area, and this was 6, 7 years ago to raise for my 1st company it was pretty tough in terms of what traction do you need to have?

I think it kind of depends a little bit on.
I hate to say it,
but but potentially the network that you have, if you're a multi time founder,
you raised before and investors,
and nbc's know you,

you can oftentimes raise just on a deck or just on a product or a product idea and you can especially in today's market,

you can raise 1M or a 1M.

Plus if you're 1st time founder, it's generally a little bit tougher. And so you need to put in a little bit of additional work to actually get that fundraise going. You generally need to have at least a sort of MVP, minimum viable product or something.

That's actually in the market that has a set of users that are using it and depending on if you're going for a scale are you going for monetization?

You need to show that some key metric of what you think is required for the company succeed is working. So if you're charging users from the beginning, you're maybe it'd be company. You'd have a handful of paying users.

If you're a VC company,

and maybe not yet charging users,

because you're some sort of marketplaces,

something like that if they show some sort of significant growth in the number of users that are using you generally you need to show,


maybe double digit month over month growth over call it 6 months or so before I think,

as the 1st time founder that doesn't have a great network will be able to get a VC interested.

So now go into the.

They see this. What do you think? I feel bad saying this but I am going to say a cop out answer and say that it depends on many things like sector market who you are as a founder.

I think that a good framework that we think about. And investing is.

You're investing to, or sorry traction is a way to mitigate the risk, you see, in an investment. So, you can have a market risk that you see, you know, you don't even know if there is a market for this product or, you don't know, There'll be enough. People who'd be interested in this.

And that can be mitigated. If they're if it's a competitive market. That you've seen lots of other companies raised in the space, that kind of mitigate the risk a little bit. The execution risk is kind of like the 2nd fold.

And that can be mitigated if a founder has experience, you know, if they have already been leading, you know, big divisions within companies that are kind of adjacent, if they've already been working in that space or if they have a technical advantage. So.

Based on those 2 kind of factors, I think different levels of traction kind of signal. When you are ready to raise.

I've seen both on opposite ends of people raising with literally an idea and a deck like.
This is what I'm going to do my profile speaks for myself. I've led, you know, I've been product at a

company that went from a startup to I know that I can execute. And people believe that. That person can execute.

So, therefore, they're they feel confident investing and when they have.

Really? No traction to to invest on. Whereas 1st, time founders may be in a market or a product. That's kind of counter intuitive for investors to understand. I, I find that.

It's it's much harder for them to fundraise and they have much more to prove and that's when you see. Okay. I have so much of GMV and we've seen 30% month over month growth and it's still a bit difficult for investors to get over.

Um, you know, get over the hump to believe that okay, that's enough traction to raise. So. I hope it's not too much of a cop out.
I think it depends a lot on what's what's funny about what Britney said is that when, when we're starting install motor,

we had 2 or 3 competitors,


that were sort of doing things that were similar to us and we,

as founders are,



as competitors.

It's going to make it harder to fundraise because.

Um, you know, people are going to look at us and say, well, why would your competitor do this and all that kind of stuff? But like, what you said, in some cases.

Having other people in the space actually helps validate the space in the sector and vc's will sometimes look at or investors will sometimes look at. Well.

You know, if these guys raise money and they're able to do something interesting, then potentially, you know, the company I'm looking at now and that's pitching me.

I might be able to do something similar and, you know, there's either multiple space for multiple companies in the sector, or it's potentially a sort of a winner take all sort of scenario.

But, you know, the investor feels like they have to have a bet in the space and so they'll, you know, they actually might be more likely to investing you just because they need to have that that.

Is that that's right Brittany? Absolutely. And I think 1 thing that we as a fund and artifacts talk about often is a concept called crowded market fallacy. That's for some reason. People think.

Oh, well, this already has been competitive because of ABC companies that have raised. Therefore, you know, it's not a good space.

That's not how we see that that competition and the crowd market to be.

We're very cognizant that Google was the search engine when it came up and just because there's already competition doesn't mean that it's not gonna be.

A breakout, so I guess, you know, sometimes competition can be helpful to say, okay, if there's multiple people kind of trying to build in this space, something must be going on here. Right?

This space must be hot either, because there's a big systemic change in the customer's profile. Maybe there's a big kind of why now movement that's pushing for maybe auto marketplaces to exist.

Because online transactions are on the rise like, something like that. Where hot market doesn't mean that competitive market with enough competition doesn't mean that it's a bad idea.

It could actually be a good signal that this is the space to go after. Sure.

I have just 1 more follow up question on what Brittany said and it's this abbreviation that I've never heard before I've heard it, but I quickly forgot about GMV. What does it stand for.

Gross merchandise value it's generally the for a lot of companies that aren't charging money, right away. The gross margin is value is the value of all the transactions that happen on that company platform or marketplace.

So, for example, for instance, motor, we were a marketplace and the way that we made money is we actually offered financing to the people in the marketplace that were buying selling, used cars.

A large portion of users never actually took our financing, but they still transacted on our platform that transaction was free and that that candidate as part of our value that was the vehicles transacting on a monthly basis.

The reason we track that is because for something like a marketplace, for example, GMV is super important in understanding sort of the life blood of the marketplace in general. If there's transactions happening, even if you're not monetizing on them.

It represents an opportunity to monetize on them at some point in the future. Nice. That's really cool. I.

Never heard that abbreviation before. Thanks for explaining. So now that we've covered that, let's move on to the next question and let's pretend that the founder already has this traction to fund raise their seed rounds. Now they're figuring out how much to raise and what valuation.

So 1st Val, what do you think about this.

As much as you can as a no, I'm kidding. That's actually not always good advice. So, take that and throw it away. But this is this is an interesting 1.

so when we 1st fundraised for instant motor.

The 1st, angel check that we got, the guy said were raising.

I mean, okay, so we're from the Midwest, right? We came out here to the San Francisco Bay area, and we're like, dude, you know, if we raise a little bit of money, we can make it last forever and, you know, we'll make this into a multi 1B dollar company. No problem.

We were very young and cocky, and we did not go and so really wanted to raise 250000 dollars as a 1st seed round today. 20000 dollars is like, it's a joke because seed rounds are much much larger it seems like.

But back, then it was like, you know, a decent amount of money. Our 1st, angel investors said, listen.

Take what you guys have now and double it because everything that you want to do is going to be twice as hard and take twice.

As long as what you think it's waiting, it's going to look like and so we ended up raising just under 600000 dollars, which is almost double of what we more than doubled into what we had initially planned because of that advice.

And I'm so happy that we took that advice the way we thought about how much to raises we sort of.

Looked at our, our, our costs and what we wanted to hire what we wanted to pick ourselves if anything.

Um, and sort of projected that out, it turns out those things are just way more expensive than than we had initially.

Uh, initially thought, and so we're Super happy that we did that and in terms of valuation, um, we took a, uh, you know, quote, unquote the market will tell us what valuation uh, we should raise that.

So, the way that we approached our, our pitch meetings was, hey, we're raising this amount of money. We didn't talk about valuation at all if someone asked us,
you know,
what valuation we wanted to raise that we'd say,

you know,

we believe in letting the market determine what the valuation is and we're taking a market approach and that was sort of the way to deflect that,

until we found an investor with enough condition to give us a term sheet that had some sort of valuation in there.

And if we thought it was fair, uh, you know, we'd sort of take it if not, we negotiated it negotiated a little bit on ours.

I think our 1st fundraise was at a 150 K at a 7M dollar, uh, on a, on a convertible no.

That's actually a really, really good fundraising respect for that. So, Brittany, what do you think about this? How should founders approach you? How should they justify their delegation that they chose or maybe just like, validates come to you asking for you basically to price around?

What's the best way there?

Yeah, I think deciding how much you should raise is key, but there's anything there's a trade off there. If you, if you want to be scrappy, because everything comes out of cost. Right?

If you raise too much, that obviously implies you're going to dilute your own equity. And your upside,

founders have the, what was saying,

founders have the instinctive desire to raise little to keep ownership but sometimes that actually signals for lack of ambition.

I think that everything good has a price, right? If you want to hire top talent, then you need to compensate them and it takes a lot of money.

So, sometimes you find that and also keep in mind that we talked about competitive markets. There are competitors out there raising at the same time that you're raising.

So, if you can pull resource and say, okay, I raised 2M I'm able to hire the best engineers out there to execute fast. That is that much faster that you can get ahead on a, on a competitor.

So, I think when you're deciding on how much you raise, there's a flip kind of trade off between being scrappy and keeping ownership and being same, same hungry.

But also on the flip side, not not not being trapped by early on by raising too little. And then. 1, more piece on valuation, I think is just like any other type of negotiation.

I think it's a very, uh, if if anyone's done a compensation negotiation, you know, it's much easier to leverage your your way. If you have multiple offers.

If you have multiple companies that want to hire you, and similarly,
if you're if you're a founder and,


you know,

multiple funds kind of looking at you and being really interested,

nothing moves faster than a term sheet from another fund to say oh,


I have another term sheet,


do you guys wanna expedite your process or this?

You know, this other fun just giving me what do you think about that? And sometimes that that is effective at raising valuation.

So, it is very fungible, kind of, um, I dunno game of making people compete against each other. But, um, I have 2 things to say. The 1st, 1 is if you do get multiple term sheets.

Definitely use them, like, you know, use them to get better evaluation and and deal for for you as a

founder. But don't tell the firms who the other term sheet is from.
Because then they will back channel and potentially sort of work against you to keep evaluation.

Where it is, so just as a small tidbit, the 2nd, 1 is bringing, didn't mention it did not mentioned in her and her boss intro bio is that she was at.

At the company that that may be defined the idea of raising quickly to hire and scale and expand to be your competitors, which was over 12 years and and launched 1 of their markets and Korea.

She's seen that 1st hand, and there's, there's different ways to approach a fundraising. We had in similar to a much more consumer approach at where they took. Maybe a more aggressive approach, worked out pretty well. True. True, true.

So, next concern that's a.

Founders, usually face, especially early stage, especially 1st time founders, for, at early stages is how much should they pay themselves?

So that's the question I've been asked a lot and that's 1 of the few questions that I just can't answer it. Really? So, the question is, how much should a founder paid themselves after they raise the seed round?

So, when it comes to when they come to investors, and they're like, okay, so Here's how much we're raising. Here's the traction that we got. Here's our evaluation. So, we got all that, but here is how much I'm going to pay myself. So that what do you think? How much should that be?

We so I'll see it in similar. We probably made a mistake in that. We paid ourselves too little, or didn't pay ourselves. So.

We're living in the Bay area, we 1st year would impair cells at all despite having having raised money the 2nd year we paid ourselves 30000 the 30 or 60000 annually.

Um, which is a, those numbers are really tough to sort of spray by in the Bay area and I look back and I think we probably made a mistake. My, my sort of recommendation to founders is.

Pay yourself as little as possible.

So that you don't have to take on any sort of additional debt.

As you're building the company,

you don't need the additional stress of of debt,

you know,

when you're trying to build something,

you want to preserve the capital that you've raised on things like external hires and scaling and marketing and product work development work.

But don't put yourself in debt for going into the company. And, and that is sort of like the panel where you're starting from. That could be a relatively slow month. It could be relatively large amount.

And I would say if, if you have to figure out what that amount is, and an investor pushes back. You know, stand firm and or maybe maybe that's not the right investor for you. Sure. True. True. I

highly agree with Val here. I feel like if you have debt growing while you're billing this team, the.

Chance that you will burn out 10 times faster is 10 times higher than without that. So, yeah, I mean, it's just like it's already hard enough to build a company. It's so incredibly challenging. I remember we had.

Like, massive challenges at motor twice in the life of the company we had single digit bank account for the company, and we had employees that. And so it was just like, the amount of stress was was insane.

There's like additional stress on, you know, I'm having debt.

Would not have motivated us, or 1 of made us will work harder. I would have just been more stress. And so it's just sort of it's just sort of on things where it's like, it's, it's not worth.

Put yourself in a in a poor financial decision situation, because the fact of the matter is, in the end as optimistic as we all are as founders, most companies don't end up working home.

And so if you find yourself at the end of the 3, 4, 5 years, we're kind of company and and being in debt and it not working out then you really are just you're yourself father behind from starting the next company.

Very true, very true. Good call. So Brittany, what do you think about it and I also have a follow up question for you right? After this 1 have you ever seen founders coming to you with, like, ridiculous requests for their salaries sets?

Made you pass on this investment just because of this horrible request for a salary. Yeah,

so I joke without that he's the type of founder that I wish I had met as an investor so I could back because I think especially in today's environment,

and in high cost of living area,

like San Francisco,

where I'm based,

you will very rarely find people who are not paying themselves anything after having raised.

It's 1 thing to be, not paying yourself anything. Why bootstrapped but as soon as people raise, they start for the most part, I think, start paying themselves. And I think 1 thing that Val said that's true.

Is it really depends on who you have as a partner I mean, we're joking about the investor and founder being married, but it is you're getting into bed for 5 plus 10 years and.

that person that you have as an investor understands your situation, and no,

1 would want you to be distracted in company building by trying to make sure that your student debt payments are being made and all this unnecessary cost on your attention span when you should be focused,

100% on company building,

so I can't think of any respectable investor who would be against paying a livable cost of living for a founder after having waste seed round.

That said, I have seen people push it to the limit on what we way they can have in them themselves and, you know, being a little bit imprudent with, with funding that they've gotten.

And I don't this isn't a direct.

Question on salary, but it's a contentious issue, I guess is is secondary sales of of equity after having raised.

People have different stances on it and so secondary sales for, for references you know, I'm founder selling back their shares and, um, you know, to get some pretty.

And it's, it's something many people have different opinions.

My stance is that if it allows for the founder to focus on what they want to do, like, I've, I've heard of founders who wanted to pay for their parents medical bills, and, you know, allowing to do that.

Having that allowing of course, we would want them to have a secondary sales so that they can help their parents out. So that they can focus 100% on company building without this additional stress of more things to take care of paying off student loans.

These are all things that we have accommodated in the past, and I think that's look it's a human to human relationship. If you want your business partner, that happens to be a founder, right?

It's a partnership. If you want your founder to.

Work on what you're if you have aligned incentives, which is for the company to succeed, wouldn't you want to do anything in your power to help the founder be able to succeed in that? So that they don't have to worry about some of these things. So, I think it's a, there's no.

Founders should pay X amount. There's no, like, rule of thumb, but it's the 1st, principle of supporting founders to be able to make the best decision for the company.

It's kind of our operating principle. Sure. Good, good point. Good points for both of you. So, now that we've covered that.

Moving on to the next question, which is.

Probably 1 of the not 1. all right 1 of the most important questions for this episode. So, how do you make an investor actually pay attention to what you're working on to? How do you send out from the crowd of other startups that are.

Applying to the same exact investor, their paying their email, their.

Checking in with your LinkedIn, Twitter and what not how do you stand out from that crowd out? You go 1st beg.

The fundraising is so incredibly hard. We, we did it a number of times.

We raised, like, the 1st, the 1st round was 5 and a half 1M. The 2nd 1 was 4M then the last round was a little over 5M. Um, it was every single time we get easier every single time.

It was just as hard, just hard and different ways for the 1st round. I hate to say it but but we, we

basically got lucky. Um.
1st, for for angel and seed rounds.
In many many cases investors.
Are essentially betting on an individual or team.
Because there's just so little to look at even early tracking that we talked about earlier.

Is usually so early that it, you know, it could cap out soon it could be like, you know, um, uh, something that happens just because, like, uh, there's some sort of seasonality. There's all sorts of reasons why a company doesn't continuing the trajectory that it starts with.

And many, many companies, including in some order, where there had some sort of major pivot in, in sort of what they were doing and what they were working on after we raised that 1st round.

And so investors oftentimes just are just coming in and, uh,
and investing just based on the team and because of that, having some sort of warm intro or networked intro.

Is is super important because it it with that intro, it gives you a, a level of. Um, familiarity to that investor where they can say, oh, if you know.

Joe Schmo knows these guys and I know I've known Joe Schmo for many years and he says that, you know, I should take a look at this deal. I will take a look at this deal.

And so you have to sort of dig into your network to see who can you really be persistent about and asking for some sort of.

A warm intro, and then if you don't have that, and in many cases you don't and that's okay. That's when things like, you know, cold intros.

Or sorry, cold, cold outreach with really interesting numbers and metrics that an investor can get excited about.

Is is important. Um, and so, you know, in that 1st question, I said, you know, how much can you raise? Um, it kinda depends if you're multi time founder your 1st, time founder if you're 1st, time founder, you have to, and you don't have a network at all and you're doing cold outreach.

You have to write just a really tight.
Email or a LinkedIn note, or even like Twitter note.

To an investor with just the absolute most important thing that they need to know about your business, especially around traction. So that they can so that they can, you know, take take a look at it in 30 seconds and quickly decide if they want to be here or not.

And this is especially true. If you're going.
And trying to find investors on mediums that aren't really as popular. So, for example.

You should be doing email for sure but everyone's doing email.

Is there an investor that you really like that's on? You know, maybe on Twitter or can you get to them on LinkedIn or now there's the new the new hot thing right now is clubhouse. You know, how can you find investors where.

There's just less noise so that you can have an opportunity to at least give them that quick elevator pitch that you've already developed.

Or that quick note, you know, 5, 6, 7 sentence note that lets them know what your business is about. It's a tale of 2 cities going on right now if you are from the network.

This is a founder's environment there's so much money going in. It's so easy. Um, as soon as you start saying, oh, I'm starting a company or you change or linked into working on something.

You you'll get inbounds from people who are scoring for deals, you know, at at associates at big funds, just scrolling crawling through LinkedIn, looking for that's, you know, working on self company that that linked in profiles.

So that's 1 kind of.

Tail that's going on right now for people within the network, but if people were asking the question of how do you get the investor to pay attention? Chances are it's probably not in. That's that's not the tale that they're living in.

They're living in a situation where it's harder to get attention from an investor and I think all the things I've said,

in terms of having a very strategic outreach of reaching out to funds 1st of all looking at the type of funds,

who would be your fit the,
I probably get at least 20 inbound emails a day cold from founders,

trying to get me to pay attention to their companies and some of them definitely get my attention and I set up a meeting right away and sell my politely say,

this is not a fit,
because of X Y,
Z and the more you can minimize that latter bucket so that you focus on.

Oh, what is the sector that that fun? Just focusing on? What is the stage that they focused on? Um, you know, do they have competitive companies. So that when you're reaching out to them, it's, it has the highest likelihood of actually resulting in an investment.

So, as a, as a fun and affects develop products that could hopefully help.

Founders do that we have a thing called signal where you can kind of like, a direct true investors that you can look through to see oh, okay. I'm building a marketplace. So, I should really talk to these people who always are writing about marketplaces saying they're looking for marketplaces.

So targeting an investor to outreach is 1, finding the right investors to reach out to 2nd, is the approach of outreaching.

And this is, I think I can be a little bit liberal on I don't mind when people text me or Tweet me or LinkedIn.

Me, it's just that I don't necessarily get to them, because there's a lot of signal to noise. There's a lot of noise and some of these platforms so, cold outreaches don't work.


with me,

but if it was a network referral of,

they have a friend who can who I know who reaches out on behalf and say,

I think this person is interesting because of X Y,

Z along with why the founder things what they're building is interesting.

I'll probably be more likely to take a look at it as opposed to a cold email and sorry was no good. 1 more thing is.

I think, you know, persistency. I joke about, I joke about Val in my encounter, we met on updating app.

I think that I could kind of tell that he was a really, you know, he was really good at sales from just how we met not because he was filling.

That sounds kind of that had conversations that he was really good about being persistent and, you know, being front of mind. And I think.

You know,

that that's such a simple thing that you can do as a founder to make sure that you stay in front of mind sometimes especially when,

when and put your,

if you're a founder,

put yourself on the shoes of an investor,

you're getting 20 inbounds a day and you're meeting I probably meet with at least 5 to 10 founders or maybe more on the 5 5 founders a day on average.

Sometimes. I'm not as good at following up with them. Even if I found them. Interesting. So, when the founder reaches back out and say, hey, was great meeting you, what did you think? Or? Hey, I sent you an email.

I didn't get anything back or hey, we connected at this event. I've made progress since.

You know, you said that it wasn't quite ready then, but I've made these progress since then and you keep me on investor update, like, all those efforts. Definitely. Catch my attention again. So I think, I don't know how to I think it's the hustle.

Like, yeah, you have to have also it's like, I would say, like.

Don't take it personally, if they don't respond, you know, you can continue being persistent and and following up with them. And if they say like, hey, I'm interested, please stop then of course, you stop.

Uh, but then if you want me what you said, it's very interesting where.
You know, if you, if you meet with an investor 1 of the things that you should be doing.

Is you should be doing this anyways is, you know, you should be sending out monthly a company updates.

And every time you meet with an investor, if you like them, and you want to potentially work with them later down the road, ask them hey, can I add you, to my company update list, almost all of them will say yes, because investors want, you want more data want more information.

And what could happen is in, you know, potentially in this current round 2 or 3 or 4. Uh, months later, and sometimes it takes that long to to raise.

They might fall back and say, oh, I love the progress. You've made. Like, let's reconnect or that might happen. Fear later around your series, a series B, or whatever the case might be.

So so definitely again, the habit of, like, building and, like you said, keeping thing on the on the forefront of their mind.

Some of investors to go back to your sort of original question of, like.

You know, what is the line of reaching out to people on things like Facebook? That's a little more personal versus LinkedIn. That's all business.

It's just, it comes down to looking at that, you know, looking at that invested using a little bit of your your own judgment.

And looking at, like, you know, does the investor under Facebook post about companies all the time? If they do then yeah, absolutely. If all they have are pictures of their kids.

Maybe not maybe not the right place to, uh, to to try and reach out to them. Um, so I think it, it just takes a little bit of of research and.

That's sort of Richard while it, it feels challenging and hard will pay off because if you do a sort of spray and pray approach.

You're going to end up burning all those investors and very likely. You won't you won't get anyone that's super interested. Higher percent. I didn't think I ever saw spray and pray approach actually work so very good points for both of you.

And I really want to these guys how you guys met on that day, but they promised these did not discuss any topics besides fundraising or fundraising related.

So, that's that part of discussion is, for the time, when we hit the stop recording button and for now we're moving on to a last question of today's episode and it's a standard question to ask every single speaker of mind, which is a call to action.

So 1st fell, would you want to listen to as soon as the episode is over? I mean, as soon as the episode is over, like.

If you're if you're fundraising go through the list of the investors that you've talked to already, and if you,
if you've made progress on your your product or your company,
put together an investor update and email them,

I think you'll be surprised how many of them end up end up engaging with that email. The call to action, Brittany same exact question to you.

This is a call to action for the audience for what did you find that 95% of our audience are actually early stage founders figuring out how to raise money.

Yeah, I mean, I would, how do I say this without being a personal plug for my promotion is 100% allows. So go for it.

I would say if you're working on something that's interesting. 1st, find your target investor and find the type of people that you want to work with both because of maybe the spaces they've been writing about.

Or you think that they're really smart, or have operating experience in somewhat Jason places that you think would be just helpful to have as a strategic partner to, to think things through. And then.

Target them and think of a way to get to them as efficiently and as warmly as possible to start reaching out and get their attention and focus on kind of narratives

catered towards them.

Why do you want to partner with them? Is it because they've written pieces similar around the space or is it because they have experiences in something? Or is it because their fund has a thesis that's focused on something? Find commonalities to get to them?

So it's not it's more of a personalized approach.

And I would be remiss, not mention our product that I mentioned signal effects dot com. We've made a product primarily to help founders fundraise.

It's a free tool for investment founders to find the right investors based on their target sizes and sectors that they focus on.

So that they can have a easier time connecting with these investors even if they don't come from kind of that inner circle of having been a founder or having known, then we're having gone to the same communities.

Cool things about signal and I use it in my mind. It isn't as an angel investor.

Is that it allows you to connect your LinkedIn? So it shows you of the people that you're connected to.

Who have actually done deals with the investor that you're interested in.

So, oftentimes those connections are a lot stronger because they know each other from, from having invested in similar deals. So you can ask that person.

Help make that intro and it'll be much more likely. That will be a nice warm intro, a friendly intro from

someone that they know.

Sure, and yes, I was about to promote signal and effects myself, because I personally use it especially in the beginning when I had 0T connection to this field helped me a lot back in the day. So, great till, I'll make sure to leave a link to in the description of this episode.

So if you feel like, you could use it. Definitely check out the description. Also I'll leave the LinkedIns of Val and Brittany in the same exact description. So, if you want to follow them, see what they're up to definitely make sure to check it out.

1 more question. You mentioned angel investing. Silence.
Can you hear us.

And my back. Okay, you're back. All right. All right. I dropped off. Which moment did my Internet die?

You said, because I mentioned angel investing. Oh, last question and then you drop, right? Right, right, right. And because you mentioned angel investing, I just have to ask this question. Would you like to invest in.

We invest in a burn I both invest together as angels as well as her own investments and effects. We invest in pretty much everything.

Actually, I hate to say it, but a lot of our investments are companies that come in from, from other other founders that we know.

That whose friends are fundraising. Um, we, the only thing we don't really invest in is biotech is because we don't know anything about it.

Uh, but otherwise we're open to looking at most things. Perfect and that's just wonderful here. We're going to wrap it up. My, if someone forgot it is gonna be check out the description of.

A lot of useful links are going to be there and as you usually have a good day.