Angel Investment Network’s Weekly Funding Roundup

Here’s a roundup of some of the recent seed-stage and angel deals from around the world:  

  • Smart Lunches, an Internet provider of healthful meal options for children outside of the home, lands $1 million Series A capital
  • Deal Decor, an ecommerce site that allows consumers to buy quality furniture online at a reduced price, raises $1.2M seed financing
  • Mumbai-based Rock.in, a premium e-commerce site for apparel and accessories, has raised an undisclosed Series A funding round
  • MYMUSAIC, an online software service to turn photos and music into movies, has just closed an angel funding round
  • PLAiR, a consumer electronics company, has raised $2.1M seed funding from notable investor, Roger McNamee, and FLOODGATE
  • KVZ Sports, a startup that provides products associated with extreme winter sports, has raised $160k seed funding from the MAC6 incubator
  • Bangalore-based online photography company Canvera Digital Technologies Pvt Ltd has raised $6.5 million in Series B funding
  • Sauce Labs, the leading provider of web application testing solutions for enterprise developers, lands $3 million Series B funding
  • tenXer, the technology company redefining personal productivity, has raised $3M series B funding led by True Ventures
  • NoWait, which has developed an iOS restaurant seating management tool, has raised $2 million Series A funding
  • EdSurge, an education tech news source, has raised $400,000 seed funding from Washington Post Co, NewSchools Venture Fund & angel investors

To get regular updates, come follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/angel__network or register for our blog at http://www.angelinvestmentnetwork.net/wp-login.php?action=register.

Have you managed to raise capital for your company?  We always love to hear from entrepreneurs who manage to get funded.

Or are you looking to raise funding?  Send me a summary of your project at mike@angelinvestmentnetwork.co.uk and we’ll try to help.

 

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Angel Investment Network’s Weekly Twitter Roundup

Angel Investment News:  

  • YourStory conducted a survey to analyze how startups and entrepreneurs perceive VCs: http://ow.ly/d5mlA
  • Stanford Professor David Cheriton explains why Google was such a smart investment: http://ow.ly/d5xQn
  • Y Combinator founder Paul Graham thinks startup funding could get scarce after Facebook’s tepid post-IPO performance: http://ow.ly/d8Uoj
  • A federal regulatory meeting Wednesday is expected to shed light on how aggressively US startups can solicit funding: http://ow.ly/d8V8g
  • Peter Thiel, an early angel investor in Facebook, nets $1 billion as he cashes out most stock: http://ow.ly/d8Wa6
  • Dave McClure is ripping VCs again: They’re f***ing arrogant and stupid a**holes: http://ow.ly/dcqsD
  • Fred Wilson, investor behind the likes of Twitter & Foursquare, says venture capital funds have got too big: http://ow.ly/dcqCi

Fund Raising:

Marketing & Social Media:

Start-Up & Entrepreneurship:

To stay updated, come follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/angel__network or register for our blog at http://www.angelinvestmentnetwork.net/wp-login.php?action=register.

Read anything interesting? Feel free to add links to any articles or resources you’d like to share with the angel community.

Or are you looking to raise funding?  Send me a summary of your project at mike@angelinvestmentnetwork.co.uk and we’ll try to help.

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Perfect your 15-second “elevator” pitch

Forbes Contributor Carmine Gallo tells you how to pitch anything in 15 seconds using a Message Map.

Can you sell your company, your product, your service or your proposed project in no more than 30 seconds? If it takes you five minutes to explain what you’re about, you risk losing your audience and muddying the message.

Gallo explains how to tell a simple, clear and concise story by building a message map. Start by crafting what he calls a “Twitter-friendly headline” — what you want your audience to know, told short and sweet in a way that will fit in Twitter’s 140-character format.

From there, expand on the Twitter headline by adding three supporting key benefits. They should be critical to your message and very short. They’re not stories, they’re just bullet points. If you did it right, you now have a narrative you can tell in 15 seconds.

If you have more time, you can further expand your story by reinforcing each of the three benefits with statistics or examples. Watch the 5-minute video to see how to do this yourself.

Lack of Planning: the Number One Reason why Angel Investors say No

Seeking financial support from an angel investor should be mutually advantageous. Investors are looking for great opportunities in which to invest and make money, while entrepreneurs may have great ideas but no capital. Angel investors do refuse investment opportunities and for all sorts of reasons, it may well be because they don’t consider the idea a viable one, or it is just not something that has grabbed their attention. However, sometimes the idea may well be a great one, but the investor still says no, simply because the entrepreneur hasn’t done their homework.

Pitching an investment opportunity, no matter how great the idea, requires plenty of planning. All too often, entrepreneurs go into a pitch cold and are shocked as to why the investor has declined the opportunity. They may well be onto a winner, but have been refused simply because they have not prepared properly and considered the needs of the investor, and this poor planning soon becomes evident.

Poor pitch

The pitch is something many people looking for investment fret about, and yet it should be simple, after all, it is your business idea and if you can’t explain it, nobody else can. If you can’t explain your business idea to somebody, you can’t expect that person to want to invest. An angel investor needs to know what they are plowing their money into, so the pitch should be succinct and concise and should clearly explain what your business is about both as an outline and in detail. For instance, say you intend to provide a European wedding service where you help people get married in romantic places such as Paris, Rome or Venice and do all the arrangements for them. Your pitch should detail what exactly it is your business offers, so you should explain that for a fee you take care of everything. You organize the necessary documentation and visas, sort through the European bureaucracy, organize the photographer, buy euros on the behalf of the couple, book the hotels and arrange the flights.

Once you have set up the business idea, you need to have also planned for any questions. For instance, after pitching the European wedding idea, an investor may ask what happens if the hotels are all booked, or do you charge commission for buying euros or booking the hotel? What happens if the couple changes their mind? If you can’t answer these questions then you can’t expect the angel investor to want to give you any money.

Poor business plan

Too many people asking investors for money have either a poor business plan or none at all. A business plan should outline not just the initial idea, but also outline every aspect of the aims for the business and possible threats. This should include how it will be marketed, operational information such as where you will be based, the running and set up costs, possible threats to the business, any potential barriers to success, a sales forecast over three years, and what return you are offering for any investment.

Of course, if it is a new business you may have no idea of what your sales forecast or costs may be. However, an investor will have expected you to research similar ideas and come up with at least a realistic estimate. Most investors will want to scrutinize or question your business plan so make sure you have done your homework and you business plan contains as much information as possible.

Overvaluing the business

You may think you have a million dollar idea, but that doesn’t mean you should value your business at a million dollars. If you ask an angel investor for $100,000 for a ten percent share of your business, you will probably find the investor either laughs or walks away. You need to be realistic, while you may think the business has the potential to earn millions, an investor will look at what the business is worth at the moment. If you have few assets and limited sales, your business is not going to be worth very much. A more realistic figure for a start up to offer an investor will be around 50%. While this may sound steep, without investment, your million-dollar idea will essentially be worthless. Furthermore, any investment is a risk to the angel investor, and the potential share should reflect this.

No exit strategy

While your business idea may become your whole life and is all you think about, it won’t be the angel investor’s, and there is a chance he or she doesn’t want to be tied to you and your business forever. Most investors will want you to offer them an exit strategy and a time limit on the investment where they will get their money back and be able to walk away. An angel investor is just that, an investor, they are not your partners so don’t plan on them wanting to stay with you forever. Make sure you have planned for the future, both positively and negatively. You may think things won’t go wrong, but an angel investor probably won’t share the same optimism, so ensure you have a strict time limit as to when you will be able to pay them back.

This is a guest post by Eve Pearce (http://andalemono.com/)

Angel Investment Network’s Weekly Funding Roundup

Here’s a roundup of some of the recent seed-stage and angel deals from around the world: 

  • biNu, a mobile startup that brings smartphone-like experiences to ‘dumb phones’, has closed $2M Series A funding
  • rSmart, provider of education technology solutions built on open source software, has secured $10.75M series B funding
  • Punchey, a payments platform for small and mid-sized businesses, has raised $1.7 million from Stevens Ventures
  • sPARK, a mobile app for locating parking spaces in city centers, has raised $1.5 million from Geut Holdings in a first-round of funding
  • Buyvite, a new payment platform that allows friends and family to group pay for a single transaction, has raised seed funding
  • Sqrrl, a big data startup that came out of development at the National Security Agency (NSA), has raised $2 million in seed funding
  • Playdemic, a UK-based developer of social games, has announced a $4 million round of funding from a group of investors
  • Treater, a social and mobile gifting company, has launched out of private beta with $2.5M in seed funding
  • Foodem, a B2B online marketplace connecting food distribution companies with wholesale food buyers, has received $75,000 funding
  • Mofuse, a web based platform to build and manage mobile web sites, has secured a $525,000 funding round
  • Vicarious, an artificial intelligence research company, today lands $15M Series A financing led by Good Ventures LLC

To get regular updates, come follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/angel__network or register for our blog at http://www.angelinvestmentnetwork.net/wp-login.php?action=register.

Have you managed to raise capital for your company?  We always love to hear from entrepreneurs who manage to get funded.

Or are you looking to raise funding?  Send me a summary of your project at mike@angelinvestmentnetwork.co.uk and we’ll try to help.

 

Infographic – 5 Digital Tools to Boost Your Brand

These 5 tools are essential for brands to grow and engage with their fans. The infographic features digital platforms and showcases the top brands who are successfully utilizing the platform. Here are the platforms and top brands that are “doing it right”