Entrepreneurs know the difficulty of starting out and getting your idea off the ground. Many teams spend years in the development stage, trying to perfect their idea and bringing it to life while ensuring consistent financing through crowdfunding campaigns and efforts.
Why You Need Seed Investors
However, what comes after can be described as even more challenging as it involves releasing the idea to the world. This means that your team would need to implement other crucial business-related aspects, such as marketing strategies, website optimization, and social media activity.
What was once done from a single room would now require an entire office because that’s how a business transforms. However, it’s not all easy; your team has little to no money left from crowdfunding campaigns and no cash flow, to begin with.
Since you’re officially entering the market, meager funding won’t do the trick- this calls for seed and angel investors. They invest larger amounts of capital than the average investor and are given company equity in return. Now there are a good number of seed and angel investors around, but how do you know how much equity you’re supposed to give each one?
Calculating How Much Equity to Give
It’s tricky to calculate how much of a share you’ll be giving to each and every investor, especially since you’ve just started your business venture. There’s less of an objective formula or rule that is applied, and it actually depends on a number of extraneous elements that can impact the final percentage.
The nature of your investor is a factor that can influence how much equity you end up giving. Angel investors are active and looking around for projects and startups to invest in. Some of them have more money and want to make a safe bet; so, they invest in numerous projects, hoping to get back a hundred times what they originally invested. If you have such an investor, you won’t have to give up much equity but remember that they will hang on to their share until it earns them a hundred times what they invested.
On the other hand, there are people with not as much money to finance various startups, so they stick to making a few investments as possible. They have to be cautious about the company they fund since they don’t have the capacity to finance many others. As a result, they’re bound to become closely involved with your company and its operations. Consequently, they may demand more equity than other investors who are betting on numerous startups.
The Market you’re Entering
The next thing to consider is the current state of your market; is it big? If not, does it have the potential to be? Look at comparable companies for an answer. In the case that your market is huge and is capable of growing further, you can better value your company at a price that’s higher than what you originally thought. In a big market, your company will get better returns, meaning you won’t have to give more equity.
How much you’re getting?
In most scenarios, investors end up with twenty to forty percent equity of the company they invest in, but this is just an estimate. Your investor will demand a portion of company ownership based on how much it will be valued at after their money is added to the value. If the company’s overall value grows exponentially after the addition of investment, the investor will demand a larger portion of equity.
It actually doesn’t depend on the amount they invest but how much of a percentage it makes up of your current value. Think of two situations; your company is valued at $1 million in one, and $2 million in the other. In both scenarios, your investor gives, say, $500,000.
Even though he’s giving the same amount of money, the impact will be different. In the first example, your company’s value grows by half, but only by a fourth in the other. This means that he’s likely to demand higher equity in the first case than in the second.
Your Potential for Success
While you may have the motivation and drive that’s required, investors are taking a risk and prefer to make a decision based on objective and tangible factors. Essentially, they’ll be looking at your company’s potential for turning out successful.
This involves thoroughly analyzing the people who helped build it and your idea. If you’re a first-time entrepreneur, it’s possible that investors will take hold of a bigger share than if you had experience. If the people you’re contracting with have in-depth experience in the investment department, they’ll make a guess as to whether your idea will work out or not.
Things to Remember
These were just a few things you could keep in mind while negotiating how much equity you’ll be giving to an investor. Nonetheless, you’re in for a surprise if you think that handing over a percentage of equity is all there is to it. The truth is that many investors, especially the ones who make one major investment rather than a number of smaller ones, will attempt to safeguard their funding i.e. ensure that it is spent wisely and results in success.
Even though it’s true that experienced investors bring a lot of knowledge to the table, they’re not exactly that rich with ideas. Due to their ventures with startup companies into various markets, they know what to watch out for but this comes at the cost of innovation and experimenting with new ideas. That’s why you should be prepared to negotiate their involvement in your company before you seal the deal.
The most crucial piece of advice that experienced and savvy entrepreneurs can give is that you should never stop at the first investor. There are hundreds of them out there, and you may actually find someone who’s actively searching to invest in your market. All you need to do is to sell them on the promising aspects of your company, but without leaking out ideas. This helps create an understanding with your investor and they’re more likely to appreciate creativity rather than stifle it.
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