To kick things off, can you tell us a little about Nation 1 VC and your role there?
Nation 1 is a VC fund, that is also an accelerator. We're a coordinated team of professionals that are here happy to help with business starts. That’s why we’re focused on pre-seed and seed investment rounds. My responsibility is the acceleration programme for startups which is focusing on meeting with startups for 3 months, mentoring them, sharing know-how, making workshops and last but not least starting investment. After our cooperation startup should be ready for seed round with a great product, which they know how to sell.
Why do you think startups should raise with a Venture Capital funds?
Startups should raise VC money when they need quicker scalability. That being said, depending on many factors, generally, it’s when you can pull a big win. Is your MoM growth 15%+? Are you tapping a really big market?
However, raising VC is a time-consuming process and you should undergo it when at last some of your key performance indicators show a clear trend upwards.
What are the 3 most common reasons based on which you decide to invest?
Let's be frank. The one and the only reason why Venture Capital funds invest is a belief in the substantial return of the investment. However, values on which this belief is based on varies from deal to deal.
The foremost reason would be whether we believe in the team's excellent execution. Even the best idea ever known would never succeed if badly executed. Really solid arguments are MoM growth rate, size of the market, unfair advantages etc.
And on the contrary, what are the 3 main reasons why you don't invest?
If we don’t believe in you, if we can’t touch/see it and mostly, if it won’t pass investment committee voting.
How long does the investment process usually take?
Usually between 6 to 12 weeks, depends on many factors.
Do you stay in close touch with the startup after closing the investment?
Define “close touch” :) We are at the disposal of our portfolio companies at any time. We offer help but it's up to the founders if they use it and to what extent. If the founders need their space we don't force us on them and let them do their job. And if the founders find themselves in a situation when they need help, support or they simply hit some critical point, we are there for them without panic, judgment or pointing fingers providing as much time as necessary.
Awesome! My last question is what was the one piece of advice you would give to any founder needs to hear?
While choosing an investor, your main interest should not be in what they can bring on the table to accelerate your progress, but more importantly what they will not do which would intercept your focus and exhaust your energy. And just an important one, there are no shortcuts!