Why You Can’t Get Funding From Investors If You’re Below $10M in ARR

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I have a huge passion for founders that bootstrap their companies. That’s how I plan on funding my company – by bootstrapping! I’ve worked with companies who took on funding and it always destroyed the culture of the company.

A couple of observations about recent startup trends:

  • All the money is going to obvious start ups.
  • There are 10x more SaaS startups than there were just a year ago.

Investors are going for startups with:

  • $10M ARR
  • Growing at a rate of 100% – customer expansion
  • 110% net revenue retention (NRR)

To figure out NRR:

Customer expansion/Customer retention  = NRR

Rand Fishkin – Founder of Moz – took on funding and he eventually wrote a book about the process, called Lost and Founder. When he was asked if he would do it all over again, he said that he would not take the money.

Rand’s is a cautionary tale of what happens once you accept funding.

Data indicates that early stage funding is decreasing rapidly – seed funding, angel funding – have decreased from 10.6% to 4.9%.

Series A funding has decreased from 36.5% to 26%.

Late stage funding increased from 52% to 69%.

All of the money that previously went to early stage funding is now getting pushed up market to later stage startups.

The amount of monthly new business applications nationwide is also decreasing. They went from an average of 500K/month in 2020 to 300K/month in 2021.

Getting funding can take up to 18 months. If you think about it, you can do so much for your business in 18 months if your focus isn’t on getting funding.

The way investors are holding out for more late stage funding, it really shows they are cherry picking winners with their funding criteria. And if you could meet their criteria, you could probably grow your company without taking on funding, and have a much better experience as a founder and be able to preserve the culture of your company.

Need help scaling your revenue? Apply to work with Ryan at scalerevenue.io/apply.