ThingTrax is a company founded by myself and Imran Shafqat, a friend of mine whom I know from 13 years. Since starting we have progressed onto graduating from an IOT Accelerator as of January 2017.
This was new territory for us and we were new to the world of seed funding, what Series A funding was or any other start-up jargon. We set our sights on creating an MVP (minimum viable product – that’s right, we’ve done our research), finding a market for our solution and further steps on how we’d go about executing, bootstrapping our start-up.
During the accelerator days, we had the pleasure of meeting a variety of people from the start-up community at events and with that came many helpful suggestions and words of advice. In a few of these events we encountered so-called “investors” and after several interactions, we eventually lost faith in raising any money.
Upon completing the accelerator program we had an MVP and four pilot factories as proposed clients. During the demo day to mark the end of the accelerator program, my co-founder Imran delivered an excellent pitch. One that was even more impressive when you consider his lack of stage experience.
Post demo day we then had potential 5-6 investors, we began meeting with them one by one. The majority acted only as middlemen whose intent was to introduce us to real investors, of course for a fee if an investor decides to invest.
To cut a long story short, we began to seek seed fund on the 14th February and by the beginning of April, we got our funding fully committed from prominent VCs.
To summarize, here is what helped us to steer in the complex world of early seed funding:
1. Honesty – We offered completely honesty and transparency when answering questions from investors.
2. Simple explanations for complex solutions– We learned quickly how to explain in simple terms what we were trying to solve. You need to find a simple explanation to the complex problem to get your point across quickly and efficiently.
3. Team – As most would agree, early stage funding relies on the team as much as the idea. Having known my co-founder Imran for thirteen years and worked together numerous times, we found this to be true. We had 100% confidence in each other which helped us when facing investors.
4. Confidence – Another key element is confidence. Confidence in your own ability and ideas. We encountered many investors that were very critical which can shake confidence. Despite this, we held our nerve and kept on going.
These are a few things that helped us to navigate the complex world of raising seed funding for a start-up. I hope this article is helpful. Feel free to get in touch with us.