Smoothie just raised $1.2M!
Our cofounder @withmattkim shares his 19 lessons for crypto fundraising:
There are many ways to raise venture capital.
Use this as a reference to find your own style.
It took us 3 months to fundraise.
Some people raise faster.
But smoothie started from scratch in the space.
Overall, move fast so you can get back to building.
Smoothie: Product Hunt for Web3
Having this makes it 10x easier for people to understand what you’re building.
Make sure that your Y is a big market.
(Use this only if it makes sense for your product)
Smoothie: Discover-to-earn awards platform for web3 projects.
Make it easy for investors to get it.
Spend less time explaining the product. Spend more time explaining why they should invest.
Read the book: Obviously Awesome
Build genuine relationships with investors before you’re actually raising.
People are more open to talking when you’re not trying to sell something.
Review YC’s pitch deck guide by Kevin Hale before you start pitching.
Accelerators can be a great way to fast-track your learning and connections.
If you decide to do this, start this process 3-4 months before you actually need the funds.
Create a calendly link just for fundraising.
Batch all your calls into a 2-week window.
At my peak, i had 8 investor calls per day.
Don't drag on the fundraising process.
When someone commits, share with others as well.
Batching your calls helps with this.
Several benefits here:
- You can edit your pitch deck after you’ve sent it
- You control who has access to your pitch deck
- You can see who read or shared it
Depending on your stage and industry, it'll be a numbers game.
We were pre-product.
People really had to believe in us.
Coinlist Seed is a demo day program for crypto startups.
They choose ~7 startups for each batch.
We were selected and pitched to 50+ investors.
Apply to their next batch!
At Smoothie, we started audience-first.
We had a newsletter to teach crypto.
We announced that we were fundraising.
Turned out, many of our subscribers were investors.
Find key people who are willing to help share your pitch deck.
Always grateful to @atifkhan31, @jasonacurry, @chadsgarrett for your help.
Get good at doing cold outreach.
I mainly used email and Twitter DMs.
@SahilBloom has some great tips on this:
Expect to fuck up in your first few pitches. Learn from them and get better.
They have fewer processes and can make faster decisions.
Use this to create early momentum in the raise.
Then talk to the big funds.
Even if you're the next unicorn.
There will be others that just get you
You should know the common questions investors are asking about your idea.
Then give them homerun answers.
For Smoothie, we had many people ONLY ask us about exit opportunities.
They didn’t mention strategy or support at all.
We passed on these investors.
We raised before the bear market.
But we were also prepared for it.
Luck = Preparation + Opportunity
When people said no, it felt like they were rejecting our dream.
That they didn’t believe we could do it.
Find people you can lean on.
And we have a long way to go.
But let’s enjoy the rollercoaster while we’re on it.
Stay tuned for more things with Smoothie
Apply to Smoothie today at: https://smoothie.so/apply
Follow @withmattkim & @kazsatamai
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