19 Lessons of Crypto Fundraising

October 19, 2022

Tips to supercharge your web3 startup

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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.

1. Fundraise timeline

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.

2. Formula: What's your X of Y?

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)

3. Perfect your 1-liner.

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

4. Start building relationships early.

Build genuine relationships with investors before you’re actually raising.
People are more open to talking when you’re not trying to sell something.

5. Design a better pitch deck

Review YC’s pitch deck guide by Kevin Hale before you start pitching.
@supalyt

6. Accelerators

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.

7. Batch your calls.

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.

8. Create FOMO.

People talk.
When someone commits, share with others as well.
Batching your calls helps with this.

9. Use Docsend to send pitch decks.

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

10. I pitched to 100+ investors.

Depending on your stage and industry, it'll be a numbers game.
We were pre-product.
People really had to believe in us.

11. Where did we find 100 investors?

  1. Coinlist Seed
  2. Newsletter
  3. Referrals
  4. Cold Outreach

1. Coinlist Seed.

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!
@AlexTops1

2. Newsletter.

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.

3 Referrals.

Find key people who are willing to help share your pitch deck.
Always grateful to @atifkhan31, @jasonacurry, @chadsgarrett for your help.

4. Cold Outreach.

Get good at doing cold outreach.
I mainly used email and Twitter DMs.
@SahilBloom has some great tips on this:
https://twitter.com/SahilBloom/status/1452375554825486336

12. Before you pitch.

Practice.Practice.Practice.
Expect to fuck up in your first few pitches. Learn from them and get better.

13. Start with angels.

They have fewer processes and can make faster decisions.
Use this to create early momentum in the raise.
Then talk to the big funds.

14. Some investors will never get it.

Even if you're the next unicorn.
Move on.
There will be others that just get you

15. Homerun Answers.

You should know the common questions investors are asking about your idea.
Expect these.
Practice these.
Then give them homerun answers.

16. What kind of investors do you want?

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.

17. We got lucky.

We raised before the bear market.
But we were also prepared for it.
Luck = Preparation + Opportunity

18. The experience was a rollercoaster.

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.

19. This is only the start.

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

20. Special thanks to everyone that helped:

@atifkhan31

@jasonacurry

@chadsgarrett

@kazsatamai

@robindavidji

@QuintinAu

@whimsicalwilla

21. Here's our announcement for our $1.2M raise:

https://twitter.com/withmattkim/status/1571856816996335616

22. Are you building a web3 startup?

Apply to Smoothie today at: https://smoothie.so/apply

23. That's a wrap!If you enjoyed this thread:

Follow @withmattkim & @kazsatamai
for more crypto tweets2. RT the tweet below to help share this thread

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