The fundraising environment is changing rapidly, and we think founders should have the most timely insights into what investors are thinking and seeing in the market.
Each month, we speak with a seasoned early-stage investor about the fundraising climate at that moment in time, asking tactical questions to help founders raise successfully.
In this month’s episode of Fundraising Today, Mercury’s Head of community, Mallory Contois, was joined by Meka Asonye, partner at First Round Capital, a seed-stage VC firm behind names such as Square, Roblox, and Uber. After spending six years at Stripe and Mixpanel, Meka’s focus is primarily on B2B, SaaS, and Fintech ventures.
To hear Meka’s thoughts about the current fundraising environment first-hand, simply hit play on the video below. Scroll a little further to read a summary of the key takeaways from the conversation.
- Be prepared for higher expectations and more conservative valuations.
- Don’t take a summer hiatus — regardless of murmurs of a summer slowdown, the market remains open and active. Prepare for the process to take a few months, rather than a few weeks.
- Build toward a suite of solutions. The days of standalone granular solutions for every business problem may be ending.
- Hunt for signs of early traction to serve as proof points for your company today — not years in the future.
- Budget for hesitation when it comes to capital-intensive projects that don’t yet have clear valuation frameworks.
- Build from experience. VCs are increasingly encouraged by founders with deep personal connection to their problem set, industry experience, and proven customer love.
- Clearly communicate the existing problem you’re solving. Meka emphasizes the importance of addressing a “hair-on-fire” problem.
Bonus: If founders come in with realistic expectations and can articulate a clear rationale for additional funding as an inflection point, bridge and extension rounds can still be attractive. However, founders who haven't significantly de-risked their business may find it challenging to secure runway extension funding.
Are you working on a solution that you believe will turn Meka’s head? Reach out to him directly at [email protected].