For female founders one of the biggest challenges is fundraising, finding the right investors, and knowing how to navigate the investment world.
Mae’s Funding Journey
Mae and her co-founder Sam had a vision to create a tech product, however being a non-tech founder, they recognised that building her company would be challenging without financial support.
To date, Mae has raised 2 funding rounds:
⚡️ First Round: Mae raised £130,000 from three angel investors even before the official launch of her startup.
⚡️ Second Round: With an MVP and early traction, she raised an impressive £245,000 from 14 angel investors.
Finding Angel Investors
One of the biggest questions Mae often gets asked is ‘How did you find the angel investors?’, here are her top methods:
👉 Cold Emails: One of the main ways Mae found investors was through cold emails and sending thousands of them. You never know who you are going to resonate with and sometimes it’s not the obvious investors. The benefit of cold emails is you can reach a lot of people at once. It’s just a numbers game. Mae hired freelancers from Fiverr to help her generate email lists based on her specific criteria. She then uses tools like Gmass & Yam to send mass emails. She also recommends attaching a short introductory deck (5-6 pages) to showcase your product/brand.
👉 LinkedIn Presence: Mae is a huge fan of LinkedIn and building a strong LinkedIn presence. Make sure you’re actively posting and engaging on LinkedIn weekly, even if you think no one is interested. Consistent branding and visibility can make a significant impact when seeking investors.
👉 Founder/Investor Referrals: Trust plays a huge role in investment decisions and so asking other founders and investors for introductions to potential investors is a great way. Don’t be afraid to ask.
👉 Family & Friends: As female founders, we often don’t ask for support. When it comes to fundraising don’t hesitate to ask family and friends for investment. They are often more willing to invest in your vision than a stranger. There are also new ways to invest so that family & friends can invest much smaller ticket sizes. Check out Odin .
👉 Angel Syndicates: To reach a lot of angel investors at once, angel syndicates can be a good option. These groups can offer really good processes and experienced guidance. There are also more and more syndicates being created!
Why Choose Angel Investors over Venture Capital?
Here are some of the reasons Mae chose angel investors over VCs:
👉 VC Alignment: VCs often have specific business models they prefer to invest in. It’s essential to understand that it’s okay not to fit their criteria. Educate yourself on how VCs work, it will help you understand why your company might not be a good fit.
👉 Control Over Your Vision: VC involvement can sometimes mean a loss of control, with investors wanting to make significant changes. One VC asked Mae if they would change their company name!
👉 Emotional Investment: Angel investors often invest with their hearts, believing in the founders’ vision and the mission of the business. It’s so important to find the right investors and those who you can be open and honest with. Mae’s pitch resonated so much with an angel investor in just one call, resulting in a £70,000 investment.
👉 There are more Angel Investors than you think: There are thousands of angel investors, compared to a limited number of VCs.
👉 Time and Energy: Raising money from VCs can be all-consuming, leaving little time for other essential aspects of running a business.
👉 Capital Efficiency: Do you really need to raise millions of pounds? Raising less money forces entrepreneurs to spend it more wisely, driving them to make strategic decisions that align with building a sustainable business.
Biggest Tips for Female Founders When Raising Funding
Mae ended the session with some valuable tips for aspiring female founders:
- Create FOMO: Use strategies like announcing that the funding round is closing soon to generate a sense of urgency.
- Focus on Traction: Investors are more likely to invest in a startup with tangible results rather than just an idea.
- Listen to the success stories of other founders: Exited founders like Timothy Armoo and Nick Telson never raised from VCs, so be inspired by their success stories.
If you want to connect with Mae Yip , add her on LinkedIn.