If you have decided your business can grow with funding from investors, the specific investor is a very important part of the equation. We’ll detail a few persona types—and the expectations you should have for them—you’ll consider during the equity fundraising process.
Persona A: The Behemoth
These are your big investment houses (i.e. Venture Capital or Private Equity firms) that have a substantial amount of experience and capital. They typically have hundreds of millions or billions under management, as well as portfolios that include well-known companies like Facebook and Twitter.
Behemoths typically include the who’s who of investors that have been involved in deals for decades. These are groups that have a formula that has proven highly successful, especially when handling companies that are experiencing rapid growth.
When getting involved with a behemoth, make sure you’re comfortable with their terms. They know what they want and what makes sense, but it may mean losing some of the control you currently have. Whether or not you cede that control is a decision you’ll have to make. But before you make it, ask yourself, “Can I get to where I want to go without them?” Answer by considering what’s best for your company.
Persona B: The Angel
An angel investor is usually an affluent individual who provides capital for business startups, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity.
An angel can be a retired entrepreneur who may be interested in more than a monetary return. Some angels may want to be hands-on with your company.
If that’s the case, you might want to consider looking for personalities that are complementary to yours. This includes skill sets they can bring to the table that you don’t currently have on your team or within your company. Preferably, your angel would have a working background knowledge within your industry.
Angels can be investors from both a financial aspect and a human one. Hence, they can be mentors.
Persona C: The Advisor/Connector
An advisor/connector-type investor can be a part of an angel fund, venture capital firm, or may operate completely on their own. This persona is very interested in supporting supporting someone they truly believe in. An effective advisor/connector should have a proven track record of success, be extremely savvy and have a well-connected network that they are willing to share with you.
An advisor/connector persona tends to expect a bit more of a hands-on relationship.
Persona D: The In-House Talent
In-house talent is when a whole team supports your company. In essence, an investment house provides not only funding and advice, they also have the talent needed to execute pivots or redesigns, and others who can grow and scale your company. Missing a graphic designer or a great backend developer? No problem. Need a go-to-market strategist and doer? Done. It’s all in-house.
They’re not solely giving you money to go find the talent. These types of investors help you get to where you’re going by doing it. In this situation, you can expect a highly collaborative relationship.
Persona E: The Stealth
Stealth investors are assertive go-getters who stay in an investment range that allows them to take companies from point B to C. They expect results from hard work, but they are also prepared to help with business opportunities, marketing, and branding.
Part of knowing what relationship you want in an investor is understanding your own personality and where you can be flexible.