It’s exciting to get interest from an outside investor! IFundWomen cannot vet or endorse the legitimacy of people who may reach out to your business after seeing your campaign with us. We recommend doing some sleuthing before and during your initial call to make sure the investor is legitimate before engaging in further conversation with them! This is very important: DO NOT GIVE THEM ANY OF YOUR COMPANY OR PERSONAL FINANCIAL INFORMATION, OR ANY PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION SUCH AS BIRTHDAY OR ADDRESS. If you consider taking any money from outside investors (Angels, Family Offices, Venture Capitalists, etc.), verify the following:
1. They should have a company website with a proven track record of other companies they’ve invested in.
2. They should have references/reviews from other businesses they’ve supported in the past. Ask for them!
3. They should be able to clearly state or answer for you what their preferred documentation and term sheet process is like during your initial call.
4. They should have a profile on Angellist or Crunchbase, especially if they are U.S. based.
5. They should have an up to date LinkedIn profile.
6. They should ask you for your pitch deck. Send a “teaser” version first without any proprietary and confidential information. If the first meeting goes well, you can send a follow-up deck with more detailed information.
Be wary of:
1. Investment offices that want to do businesses with you outside of your home country. International finance risk is real and many seasoned investors will not take the risk of investing in another country for legal reasons.
2. Investors that ask you to provide your detailed bank information before any contract or documentation is signed.
3. Investors asking for your company financial information, personal financial information, or any personally identifiable information like your date of birth, social security number, or address, before any contract is signed.
4. Investors pursuing you heavily to “get a deal done” on a certain timeline. Founders usually chase investors, not the other way around.