How to improve the odds to raise capital for your startup

What fundamentally makes a startup succeed is that the founding team builds a product that customers like and are willing to pay for. Startups that secure funding at $50+ million share some traits and tactics, which StartupGenome have written a good report about. Some of them are: using stock options, being connected to other founders and having advisors.

I believe it is possible to increase the chance of success by having the right people actively supporting a company, but that is different from “X number of advisors increase your chance to raise capital at $50+ million valuation”.

Next generation analytics that feels like Notion

About one year ago Alliance VC invested in Stockholm-based Steep, a company that is building the modern analytics platform. The magic comes from the combination of a beautiful and intuitive user experience and Steep’s semantic layer.

Johan Baltzar, who co-founded Steep with Nino Höglund, has written about how Steep’s reports functionality feels very much like Notion. It is one example how Steep is raising the bar for all business intelligence tools.

IPO window, day 2

With Instacart having a successful IPO yesterday, and the IPO of Klaviyo in the US (at $9 billion) and the SPAC merger and listing of Yubico in Sweden (at around 9 billion SEK, which is not a unicorn valuation despite more than 1.5 billion SEK in revenue and being profitable) indicates that the IPO window might be opening.

(This post was published September 22nd, two days later than written as it had gotten stuck in my drafts.)

Two type of companies have it easier to raise capital: Very high growth or profitable

Good video from Craft Ventures on how to think about profitability and fundraising. Video is targeted to companies that have $20-30 million or more in revenue, but good comments on trade-off revenue growth, profitability, fundraising, and how preference shares can work when things don’t go well.

My take is that two type of companies have it easier, not necessarily easy, to raise capital: very high growth or profitable. So always try to be in one of those camps.

2,851 by Bill Gurley (talk about regulatory capture) at All-In Summit

Bill Gurley, formerly a partner at Benchmark, talks about how regulation often works much less well than intended. While the examples are American, it is a relevant warning (for lack of a better word) for everyone in Europe as the EU is an active creator of regulations.

The goal of a startup

There’s often a fair bit of romanticism around startups, the startup scene and the startup ecosystem. The participants are creating a new and hopefully better world. Maybe that belief is needed when starting out, as the odds if success often is lower than anyone would want to admit.

But pretty much regardless of what a startup does, a startup is a story about transformation. The goal being that the startup itself should transform into something different. Values and mission hopefully stays the same, but everything else is bigger, better and different.

Or differently said: the goal of a startup is to not be a startup any longer.

Originally published at on January 25, 2013. Slightly edited.