Bootstrapping which means building a company without external help or capital is not the best way to start a new business because the process is slow and requires a lot of work on the part of the founder(s). In the meantime raising funds from investors and VC firms via offering equity in your company for funding can bring growth to your business in a short time. You will have extra funds to spend on different growth activities:

  • invest in innovation
  • hire new employees
  • improve products and services
  • boost sales
  • launch effective marketing campaigns

Place of Series A in Funding Stages 

Funding rounds are series of investments that raise capital for business. As your business expands and becomes successful, every funding round ensures greater growth. There are several startup funding stages:

  • Pre-seed funding
  • Seed funding
  • Series A
  • Series B
  • Series C

Series A round is the first stage of venture capital financing. Before every funding round begins, business analysts evaluate the company that is seeking funding. They take into account different factors, including proven track record, management, market size, and risk.

Before Series A Funding: Pre-seed and Seed Investments

During the pre-seed stage, startup owners use their own existing resources to get their operation off the ground, develop a business model, and build a working product prototype.

Seed funding is the first of the startup funding stages which helps the early stage startup to finance such steps as product development, product launch, and market research. There are many potential first stage investors who provide seed funding: family, friends, crowdfunding, accelerator ventures, incubators, first investors funds, and angel investors. Wondering how to find angel investors that will want to seed invest in your business? There are different angel investors networks that connect entrepreneurs and investors.

Series A funding

A company may opt for series A funding when they have a working business model, an established user base, and consistent revenue figures. At this stage, investors are looking for startups with great ideas and a strong strategy that can turn this idea into successful business that makes a lot of money.

 It is hard to get the first series A investor but after you secure one, the others will be more eager to join the pack. At series A funding stage, it is essential to develop a comprehensive business model and to ensure that it is reliable and easy to understand because investors are looking for higher ROI. Lean Case provides all the necessary functionality to provide the investors with data that proves you are a trustworthy partner who is capable of turning their investments into long-term-growth and your business is reliable and sustainable.

How To Create your Business Plan without Excel


by: Eckhard Ortwein, CEO and Founder of Lean-Case 

After Series A: Series B and Further

Series B funding is appropriate for startups who have successfully gone through seed and series A funding. Investors help startups transition into well-established companies, outlive competitors, and expand their market reach. At this stage, the risk is lower so the amount of funding is larger than in series A. This round propels your company into the Major League.

Series C funding is necessary when a company is a success on the market and looks for acquisitions, greater market share or developing new products and services. The funding is focused on growing a business as quickly as possible. Most companies use series C funding as an exit strategy to boost IPO (Initial Public Offering).

Where to Get Your Series A Funding

When you are looking for capital for your business, you can choose between different options. Let’s compare venture capitalist vs angel investor. These are the two major types of investors that provide venture capital to startup companies and small businesses. How does venture capital work?

Angel investors are typically wealthy individuals who invest their own funds in early stage startups and face higher risk. A venture capitalist is a person or a firm that uses funds pooled from large corporations, investment companies, and pension funds. In a venture capital deal, a company is divided into large ownership chunks which are sold to several investors through limited partnerships. From a startup perspective, they give stock in the company to the venture capital investor that also gets some control over the business affairs of the company. Some investors can also offer more than just money, for example, business experience and insights or business contacts.

Different funding rounds allow entrepreneurs to scale their business at different stages. But your company must be mature enough to qualify for each funding round. A sustainable business model is one of the core factors investors will look at. Use Lean Case for business model development to boost your chances with Series A funding.

Before you pitch for Series A, you’ll need these three things

1. Metrics

Understand the specific, quantifiable and historic performance metrics that align with the standard in your vertical and with Series A investor expectations.

For example, if yours is a SaaS model, investors will expect to see trailing year and current KPIs, including churn rate*, MRR, CMRR, CAC, CLTV and so on. These are all indicators of core business growth and provide a means to predict near-term trends and potential.

2. Team

Series A investors place a high priority on the team. Seed investors may back a single founder on the basis of technical or subject matter expertise, or his/her track record, and expect gaps in your team. But Series A investors are different.

They expect you to have filled those gaps and recruited the core functional team required to scale your company. This might include senior managers for areas such as tech/R&D, finance, operations, product development, and sales and marketing. Many investors with whom I have worked will invest in a high-performing team and overlook shortcomings in product development and sales traction.

3. Customer validation

If you have burned through your angel and seed round capital, and still can’t demonstrate customer validation, you’ve got a problem. While the level of customer validation required differs among investors, there are some general rules of thumb.

If you have ramped to $5 million in annualized revenue (e.g., bookings, MRR, contracts), I’d say you’re well positioned to pitch for a Series A round. Depending on your growth rate and sales pipeline, you might attract investment with as low as a $1 million in trailing revenue. If I were pitched on the basis of $1 million trailing, and clear visibility to $5 million in projected year-end revenue, I’d definitely lean in and continue the conversation.

Now you may be wondering and asking a question!

Even if you are convinced that your financial model is guaranteed to be wrong, still why do you need one at all?

Communicate with investors.

Your financial model is your business plan in numerical form. Experienced VCs prefer Excel over Word and can jump into the "numbers" to understand your business better and faster than when reading a written business plan. A good model shows them that you pay attention to their investment and that you have a good handle on the levers that drive your business. It shows that you know your goods - that you have thought through a protection plan and that you understand your business from a bottom up perspective. It helps investors feel comfortable with the risk when displaying a real ROI chart.

Tell you how much you need to raise

How did you come up with an amount that you think you need for your seed cycle as an A-series? What level do you really need to make the next milestone? Raise too low, miss your milestones, and you're in big trouble. Expanding that job will be expensive. Increase too much, give too much balance, and maybe risk down for the next increase. That way, ouch. A good financial model, with a lot of thought and effort, will make you comfortable with choosing the right amount.

Help transform your idea or product into a real business

That you have a good idea as a product, but do you have a good company here? There is a big difference. Businesses make money. There is a lot of pressure on investors to get the maximum return for their own investors and partners. Show her the money. If you are an engineer expecting spreadsheets and figures, think of it as a challenging engineering problem and design the company that will make real money and lasting value.

Find holes, test your hypotheses, explore some of the content

A very good model should clearly show you the key Key Performance Indicators to focus on. What levers should you pull to achieve maximum growth? Which switches do you need to adjust to get the best edges? KPI measurement indicates the health of your startup against industry standards and provides real-time feedback on your performance.

Set up your KPIs

A very good model should clearly show you the key Key Performance Indicators to focus on. What levers should you pull to achieve maximum growth? Which switches do you need to adjust to get the best edges? KPI measurement indicates the health of your startup against industry standards and provides real-time feedback on your performance.

Provide the structure for ongoing reporting and measurement

Speaking of KPIs ... they need to provide you with an editorial program that you constantly monitor to steer the ship. KPIs are popular with investors and board members. Get to know your interior and exterior. Your financial model is not just a one-time planning document; it will be a living document that will help you to measure and make changes every month. At Keating, we take the financial model every month, replace the projections with the facts, describe the deltas (what went well, what went wrong?), Report on the decisions, and change as necessary. It is an important part of our process.

Serve as a reference point for correct decisions

In the hectic and emotional world at the beginning, it's easy to distract or slip off the beaten track. Shining Goods, Competitive Threats, Productive Problems, Human Problems - 100 Things Will Decide to Keep You Away and Detach Your Progress. At some point, you have decided that if you can reach the milestones in your financial model, your business would be successful. Follow that up if necessary. Check your model often as a way to find a center and remind yourself of what you have achieved this month, this week and today.

Check your runway

Blood money is the beginning of your life, and at some point, you may find that managing cash flow is the hardest and weakest part of your job as a founder - especially as you move on to the next round of fundraising. How much money do we have and how many months of work do we look forward to? If we add that new VP of sales to the payroll, and we keep this stock market in New York, and we pay attention to all the upcoming APs, how does that decrease? affect the job? Cash flow is complex, and your financial model is not necessary enough to manage the cash flow alone, but it can help you to get a high level view of how comfortable or uncomfortable you should be. to be. Do not exit the runway.

What Key Metrics you really need to stay focused on your goal from Pre-seed funding to Growth Funding?

Following infographics summaries it all and also answers most important questions investors will be asking at each stage of your fund-raising process.


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