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:

  • Movable Ink, whose technology lets clients create more relevant email marketing campaigns, raises $11M Series B funding
  • Coinbase, a platform to buy, use and accept the digital currency Bitcoin, lands a $5 million Series A investment
  • Beyond Verbal, a startup that has developed develop voice recognition software that decodes emotions, gets $2.8M seed funding
  • Chromatik, a digital learning platform redefining how people practice, perform and learn music, secures $5.7M Series A funding
  • Top5Best4You, a consumer advice meets price comparison start-up, secures seed funding
  • LiquidSpace, the web and mobile platform that helps everyone find on-demand office and meeting space, has raised $1.3M Series B funding
  • Quote Roller, a web based software that helps to create, send, organize and track business proposals, has secured $655k seed funding
  • Merchantry, an online marketplace technology provider, has received $7 million in Series B growth capital
  • GiveCorps, developer of a philanthropy fundraising platform, has closed an $822k angel funding round
  • GenY Medium, a social media marketing services company in Hyderabad, has received angel investment from Srinath Devireddy
  • Yoga Smoga, a web experience and online store for yoga-inspired athletic apparel and accessories, has received Rs 5 crore angel funding
  • Yekra, a digital entertainment distributor whose system matches content to viewers by genre, has raised $3M Series A funding
  • uParts, a web platform where auto parts are effectively identified, located and ordered, secures $2 million Series A financing
  • Everwise, a platform that uses predictive analytics to make the best match between mentee and mentor, raised ~$1 million seed funding
  • Zoobean, a site that makes it easy to find children’s books that are recommended and curated by parents, raises $500,000 seed funding
  • RingDNA, which offers intelligent telephony for companies to improve sales, marketing & support performance, raises $1.9M seed funding
  • To-do list app Any.DO has secured $3.5M seed funding led by Genesis Partners
  • Greentoe, an online marketplace which lets people name their own price for electronics & other items, has raised angel funding
  • Foodem, an online marketplace targeting the wholesale food industry, has closed $600,000 seed funding
  • EyeVerify, the first ‘eyeprint’ solution for mobile users to verify their digital identity, has closed $2.3M Series A funding
  • Hukkster, which tracks your favorite products online and lets you know when they go on sale, attracts $2 million seed funding
  • TransferWise, a peer-to-peer currency exchange, has closed $6M Series A funding round led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures
  • AbilTo, which delivers behavioral health programs to help adults overcome mild and moderate depression, completes $3M Series A funding
  • PriceBaba, a Mumbai, India-based startup that is developing a shopping intelligence engine, has raised seed funding
  • Drone startup Airware has raised $10.7M Series A financing led by Andreessen Horowitz with participation from Google Google Ventures
  • Berlin-based product comparison platform company VERSUS IO has secured $2.8M Series A funding
  • Tech Cocktail, a site that covers startup news and also organizes community events, has raised $2.5 million funding
  • Skift, which reports and curates travel news and market data from the travel industry, has raised $1.1M seed funding

To get regular updates, come follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/angel__network or register for our blog at https://www.angelinvestmentnetwork.netwp-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 – How Are Small Businesses Using Social Media?

Which social media sites are small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) using for business?

Facebook (as usual) leads the way, with 19 percent of SMEs favouring this platform, ahead of LinkedIn (14 percent), blogs (13 percent) and Twitter, with the latter being used by just 4 percent of these firms.

While 81 percent of small businesses see the value of using social media as a business tool, just 25 percent spend 6-10 hours per week on social media, and 14 percent don’t separate personal and professional updates on these channels.

This data comes courtesy of an infographic via Sage UK, who collated results from several sources to produce this visual as part of their small business guide to social media.

Angel Investment Network’s Weekly Twitter Roundup

Angel Investment News:  

Business Plans & Pitching:

Fund Raising:

Marketing & Social Media:

Start-Up & Entrepreneurship:

To stay updated, come follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/angel__network or register for our blog at https://www.angelinvestmentnetwork.netwp-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.

 

20 Tips To Bootstrap Your Start-Up (And Hopefully Make Your Business More Investable)

Here are 20 tips to bootstrap your start-up and drive your business forward without spending a lot of money:

  1. Do customer surveys to find out about their level of interest in your product/service, how they would use it, what features they might like to see and how much they would consider paying for it.
  2. Raise money from family and friends.  Family and friends can be a great source for bootstrap financing. They have a vested interest in your personal success, and are more likely to take a chance on you than a bank or angel investor.
  3. Approach industry experts to get feedback and endorsements. Do they like your product?  Would they use it?  Is it better than the existing competitors?
  4. Build yourself a website.  There are loads of free and easy-to-use website builders like https://www.wix.com/ or https://www.moonfruit.com/.
  5. Offer people sweat equity in return for helping get the business off the ground.
  6. Set up a “coming soon” landing page and start collecting email addresses from people who’d be interested in joining your site when it launches. https://launchsoon.com/ offer a quick and easy way to set this up.
  7. Pull in favours from friends or colleagues who may be able to help.  Do you know a graphic designer who could do a mockup of your website?  Do you know someone who has a contact at the retailer you’re desperately trying to get into?  Using your contacts could be key in driving the business forward.
  8. Start building the right team as this is one of the main factors that investors will take into consideration when deciding whether to back you. Even if you can’t start paying them yet, you can have them on standby to join when you manage to raise some proper funding.
  9. Record a demo video of your product or service. This is a really effective way to showcase your business to customers and investors. You could either record one yourself or use a service like https://www.dunktank.co/ or https://explainify.com/.
  10. Hire interns and students. This is is a win/win for everyone. You get support at little to no cost. The intern/student gains valuable experience working at a startup where they’ll have more influence than they would at a larger company.
  11. Contact retailers to try to get some letters of intent or even pre-orders. This is a great way to prove there is interest in your product.
  12. Do some research to find out what sort of branding you’re going to use. This might just involve finding some other companies or websites you like the look of, so investors get an idea of what image you’re going for. Or you could use a site like Crowdspring (https://www.crowdspring.com/) to get a logo designed.
  13. Set up accounts and groups on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest or any other social media sites you think your target audience use.  This is a great way to start engaging with potential customers and industry influencers.
  14. Begin building partnerships that will allow you to grow your business faster through joint ventures, cross-promotion, referrals, content marketing, etc.
  15. Go to networking events to meet as many people as possible that are involved in your industry. This is a great way to meet potential clients, retailers, distributors, marketers, etc.
  16. Outsource jobs and use freelancers to get work done without having to take on employees.
  17. Start tracking stats as soon as possible. The sooner you establish your KPI’s (key performance indicators), the sooner you will be able to calculate your growth rate and determine which factors (like a new marketing strategy or website adjustment) have a positive impact on those KPIs.
  18. Develop your marketing strategy (and maybe even test it to determine your cost per acquisition and which marketing channels are the most effective).
  19. Assemble a team of expert advisors that you can approach for critical input and advice when you need it.  It’s important to remember: You don’t have to do it alone!
  20. Don’t get an office – Google and Microsoft started in garages, so there’s no shame in it.

Clever bootstrapping is proof that you have the most important elements of company building: passion, dedication, resourcefulness, focus and vision, which will make you and your company much more attractive to angel investors and venture capitalists.  So make sure you spend wisely!

What have I forgotten?  Let me know your top bootstrapping tips and strategies.

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Infographic – Social Sharing Boosts Email Marketing Results By 158%

Adding social sharing icons to your email marketing messages can increase your click-through rate (CTR) by as much as 158 percent. Email marketing campaigns with social sharing buttons saw a CTR of 6.2%, compared to a CTR of just 2.4% for those who used email alone.

Have you noticed anything that has improved the results of your email marketing?