It’s a confusing world for tech companies. Especially for new tech startups looking for venture capital.
How do you set yourself apart from the rest of the tech companies out there? How do you make your company stand apart so that you ensure that you get that crucial injection of venture capital?
Thankfully it’s not quite as much of a mystery as it may seem.
On a recent episode of the B2B Revenue Acceleration podcast, we sat down with Anoushka Vaswani, a partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners for a discussion all-around what her firm looks for, how tech companies can set themselves apart, and the hot technologies that are set to disrupt the market.
Considering Venture Capital
What do venture capital firms look for when investing in a new company?
A lot of times, as is often the case with technology startups, there isn’t even a product yet when approaching a venture capital firm. In this case, they’re looking at a few different things.
First, your team.
Can you hire and attract a world-class team? If you can do that, odds are much better for venture capitalists to come your way.
Second, your product.
While you may not have a finished product yet, what problem is it going to solve? What are YOU bringing to the table that the dozens if not hundreds of other tech startups aren’t? How are you uniquely set up to solve the specific problem you’re aiming to solve?
Thrive or Fail?
One question we spend a lot of time asking ourselves when looking at investing is ‘why now?’
What are the trends that a venture capital firm looks at to determine if a disruptive idea is going to thrive or fail?
They ask, “why now?”
Why could your company be a massive company in the future, and more importantly, if it’s such a disruptive idea, why hasn’t it been done before? Or has it been done before and failed? If so, why? What will you do differently?
What are the Hot Tech Trends?
Obviously, in the technology world, there are a lot of trends. It seems like every day there are dozens of new technologies, but just a few of the ones that Anoushka and her partners at Lightspeed Venture are noticing are:
- Enabling technologies like Zapier
- Companies that are making it possible to analyze, monitor, and manage streaming data
- Anything in the AI and Machine Learning space
How to Present to Venture Capital
So how do you get funding for your company? How do you make sure that you’re set up for success when pitching yourself to a venture capital firm?
No matter what stage you’re at in your journey, the one thing you have to have completely nailed down is your story as a company. Where are you and where are you going?
The single most important thing is to make sure that you and everybody at your company knows and can tell a story. Where are you now, and where are you going?
Next, come up with a list of investors that you think would make great partners, and be specific when putting those people on paper.
Lastly, make sure that you’re thinking in the long term. So much of the world of venture capital is a long-term game. It’s based on long-term relationships.
So establish relationships with those venture capital firms that you think would be a good fit, and do it six, twelve, or even eighteen months in advance of your desired pitch.
The venture capital world is one that requires a lot of navigation, a lot of patience, and a lot of specific know-how. Thankfully there are people like Anoushka and her team at Lightspeed to shed a light on what it takes to get a successful venture capital injection for your company.
Reach out to Anoushka at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to be connected to her team.