To efficiently give founders access to investors and capital, Josh Taub and I created a free startup-investor matching tool. Learn more about the backstory, the tool itself, and feel free to submit your co!
Startup-Investor Matching Tool Backstory
A couple of months ago, pre-COVID, I was given the opportunity to take on two operator titles, Chief of Staff and a Sales Head role at Catalyte. I said, “yes!” and ran with it! It’s super fun but my workload has definitely increased. Well, a few weeks ago I accepted that and the fact that in order for me to provide quality work in both my operator (weekdays) and investor (evening and weekend) roles, I needed to optimize for quality and efficiency. So, I jumped on the phone with other folks who were wearing both investor and operator hats.
From my conversations, I realized a few operator-investor hacks I can leverage:
- Commit to time-boxing my work by role and project
- Leverage a personal CRM system and Calendly
- Set SMART goals on Sundays for all roles on a weekly basis and check-in on Fridays
- Get more efficient at reviewing startups and sending deal flow to others
That helped but I was still dissatisfied. I kept asking myself: how can I efficiently support my founder followers? So, I experimented with a post whose call to action was for active-investors to show their thesis statements so that thesis aligned startups could directly reach out to them.
That led to a handful of investors thanking me because the tweet led to a ton of deal flow for them.
And then founders reached out to thank me for meetings they scheduled because of the tweet.
And, so far, that I know of, one angel investor already wrote a startup a $50k check because of the thread!
Then, I also noticed something. Founders weren’t doing their due diligence and were pitching investors where there wasn’t a fit, and investors were sharing theses that could be more clear to founders. I thought: how can I support awesome companies and, at the same time, provide thesis aligned deal flow to investors I trust.
And then, on a daily 20-minute walk (we’re in our home otherwise), I started brainstorming with Josh. We came back home and started putting together a Google Sheet tool that would help match startups fundraising with funds that are thesis aligned.
Startup-Investor Matching Tool Creation
To build something quick and simple yet useful, we decided to create a Google form for startups seeking to raise money to submit some basic information about their companies. We also asked several investors for their investment criteria so that we could take a first stab at identifying whether any startups that submitted their info would be a potential match for each investor. While some of the logic can be basic (e.g., an investor that only invests in North America wouldn’t be matched with a startup headquartered in Europe), the tool makes it very efficient for both founders and investors since it eliminates the time for investors and founders to research those basic pieces of information. If investors and founders find this tool to be useful, we will add more advanced matching functionality so that any matches are even more likely to result in investments.
I reached out to a handful of trusted investors who agreed to be beta investors in my tool and launched the tool on May 2nd!
In the first week of the launch, we got a note of gratitude from Hustle Fund, 95 deals submitted and 61 of those startups matched to at least 1 investor. And since then, 2 out of the 61 have received term sheets. Fingers crossed for checks!
We will share thesis aligned deal flow to our beta investor tool participants, and tweak for accuracy. Once we get the tool to a more mature state, we plan to invite other investors in.
Our Hopes: We hope that our startup-investor matching tool helps startups get funded and investors (including us as angel investors) get quality deal flow. The cherry on top in our book will be to: eliminate time waste and inefficiencies in deal flow management and provide warm-ish double-opt-in intros.
Calls to Action
✍🏽Startups raising: Submit your company here and we’ll run it through our startup-investor matching tool.
👋🏼Investors: Apply to become a beta partner and get thesis aligned deal-flow here.
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like
- First-Time Founder Guide to Fundraising Amid COVID
- What All Founders Should do Before and When Asking for Investor Intros
- What All Founders Should Do Before Fundraising
- The Top Corporate Venture Capital Funds Every Founder Should Know About
- Alternatives to VC Funding That All Founders Should Know About
If you’d like to learn more, you can take my course on
- So, you’re ready to fundraise?
- Learn how to fundraise from investors and sell to customers
- More Courses
About the authors:
Lolita Taub is the Co-Founder and General Partner at The Community Fund and acting interim Head of Sales at Catalyte. She is a first-generation Latinx operator and investor pushing for diversity in tech. With 15 years working within the Silicon Valley ecosystem, she has accomplished +$50 million in sales and made 38 investments as an angel investor and VC at Backstage Capital. Lolita is also a Co-Founder of the Startup-Investor Matching Tool, a scout at Indie.vc, Venture Partner at NextGen Venture Partners, and an LP at Operators Collective. Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur have featured her as a women in tech promoting diversity. She has a BA from the University of Southern California and an MBA from the IE Business School. Most importantly, she is a dog mom to the cutest Dachshund mix, Choco.
Josh has a passion for learning and sharing learning, and is particularly interested in statistics, finance, and data science. He has been working in these areas within the property/casualty insurance space for 16 years for both a large insurer and insurtech startups. He enjoys supporting founders with their financial plans and their data science efforts, and he has built the matching functionality behind the startup-investor matching tool. Together, we’ve partnered to invest in InsurTech.