#Asia Why startups should say no to investors, even if they only have US$10 in their pocket

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Investor meetings can get very close to a deal, but if it’s not ‘marriage material’, it is best to pull the plug

 

The conversation we had went well, so thought our COO and CTO.

It was 2014 and we’d been working on our start-up topishare for about six months, already having several investors running after us. Our first meeting, when we felt the waters, seemed like a great opportunity to increase the inflow of cash to accelerate building our product.

But I cut the meeting short and told him we weren’t interested.

My co-founders were shocked. We had only US$10 left for the week and the prospect of a large investment in the near future would make living on pennies more bearable.

And I understood what they meant. But I stood by my decision. Because raising funds is like getting married, you can’t just share your bed with everyone.

After our first meeting, we have had many different investors, both angels and VCs, wanting to invest in our start-up. With one, we were very close to sealing the deal, until I decided to pull the plug when I learned he actually did not share our vision and wanted to sell our users’ data to third parties for profit.

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It’s crucial to find the right investor that understands not only the product, but also the vision and goals, is very important. It determines the future of the start-up, aka the future of the baby.

Looking back at that first meeting I know that everything happens for a reason.

One-and-a-half-years later we are continuing to invest in our start-up. We have been very successful, and moved the company, are growing every day, mostly organically and have hired four very qualified employees.

Right now is the right time for us to plan a marriage with an investor, as we think we have found the golden egg: a way to expand fast globally without any major costs.

We have agreed on several strategic partnerships and are certain we have created a place online where everyone is equal. As part of this we are planning to share our success through an innovative approach.

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So, with 10 dollars left in our pockets we left the meeting back in 2014. The investor came running after us, offering us a ride back to our apartment. But I decided to spend half of our last dollars on a taxi to get back home. And I know I made the right decision.


Copyright: ioqs / 123RF Stock Photo

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