Building the First Software Platform for Executive Assistants
Base CEO Paige McPheely explains how High Alpha became part of the Base team in order to build a new category of software.
Meet the High Alpha Team
High Alpha Capital invests in both High Alpha Studio companies and outside entrepreneurs building B2B SaaS companies. Our team brings an experienced SaaS operating voice and has built a unique platform to help our portfolio grow and scale.
Funding Resources for Startups
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Startup funding has changed remarkably over the last several decades. When it comes to startup funding, meaning securing funds from an investor for the initial start up or scaling of a business, there are numerous methods available, each with different ownership and repayment strategies. As an entrepreneur or owner, you may need to consider each of these sources of startup capital before diving in.
If you take a look at how much startup funding has changed, you can see that ownership structures are different, but so is the timeline around when a company is seeking funding. If you consider startup funding for small business startup needs 100 years ago, you would see the typical bank structure. A business founder would approach a financial institution, secure a loan, and use those funds to build a business. Over time, that morphed into more individual and institutional investors providing specific loans to business owners – angel investors have long been a reliable option for securing funds.
In the past 10 to 20 years, things have changed even more so. It used to be that a company that wanted funds from investors would typically use a Series A preferred stock financing. In this process, the company’s valuation was established and divided by outstanding shares. The startup founder would then sell those shares to investors at a price per share.
Today, look at any startup funding news, and you will see that the access to funds has become faster and more readily available. Now, anyone can contribute through various methods. More so, because of the online access available, even large investors are skipping a lot of the paperwork and complexity of the process of 10 years ago. Instead, they are using Series A and other funding methods to secure funds sooner and from a larger range of investors. These sources of startup capital make it easier for companies to get the funds they need to scale.
Crowdfunding For Startups
Crowdfunding for startups is a viable method — if the right site is used. There are numerous options available, each with specific terms, requirements, and fee structures. They are designed to help small startups to secure the initial funding they need, often to develop prototypes or to just get the company off the ground.
These sites allow individuals or organizations to invest in companies, often providing various types of rewards for those who invest. Some allow strictly donations, rather than providing any incentives to those who help support the startup. There are risks involved, but the best crowdfunding sites help ensure companies have tools and resources to support their needs.
When comparing crowdfunding websites, including Indiegogo crowdfunding and Kickstarter funding, for example, it is important to look at the terms of the site. Evaluate the cost of using the site. A startup funding website will charge a fee to the company listing the opportunity, though costs range widely. Crowdfunding websites will charge a higher fee if you do not reach your goal. Others will not allow you to cash in unless you reach a goal.
Whether you are using an equity crowdfunding platform or another startup news website, the key is to ensure there are no restrictions, there’s hands-on customer support, and the startup funding website is easy to use. Crowdfunding Kickstarter startups tend to do well, which is why they are so well known, for example.
Investing in Startups
If you wish to invest in startups, learn as much as you can before placing a dollar into any crowdfunding, venture capital, or other source of funding. Many investors expect to see pitch decks, which are presentations provided by founders that outline the details of the company and why its product stands out. You also need to perform due diligence before providing a startup with capital.
Whether you are a single investor or working as a component of funding companies as an investor, take the time to learn about the people managing the startup, the overall promise of the company, and whether it truly stands out from the competition. Use online and offline tools for investor research, such as using sites like Crunchbase to learn about the company’s previous funding rounds as well as its ownership.
Startup funding companies benefit the most from finding a culture match. While hard business numbers are always valuable data points to have, you also need to know that the startup is a match for the funding companies in terms of their culture and how they are built. Some startups want far more hands-on support than others do. When you invest in startups for equity, especially, you want to know the company is one that your business model (as an investor) can stand behind.
Startup Funding Rounds
Startup funding rounds are instances in which a company will raise new capital. As a company grows, each funding round enables it to continue that growth. If you looked at a startup funding rounds list, you would see those that range from Series A funding to Series B, Series C, and so on. This is the most common startup funding rounds order, but most companies will engage in rounds when they need to do so. Typical funding rounds can come from a variety of sources, including angel investors and venture capital firms.
Understanding startup funding stages is also important for anyone planning to invest in them.
Pre-seed funding is usually before any other startup stages occur. Most often, pre-seed funding comes from the founders, family, friends, or others close to the founding team. Seed funding is next. This occurs when initial investors provide some funds, usually prior to the company being operational.
From there, the stages of a tech startup begin with early stage startup funding. Most commonly, funding stages series will go from Series A funding through Series B and C funding. In some cases, funding rounds can extend to Series G or further.
Most commonly, a Round A fund would require the company to have a strategy for taking on investments and to grow them. Most often, these range from $2 to $15 million and are often from venture capital funds.
The next element in the startup funding cycle is Round B, which generally signals growth in the company and can generate $7 to $10 million, typically to help the company become well-established. The startup funding process continues with late-stage funding, usually Round C and D, to continue expansion.
Types Of Funding For Startups
There are various types of funding for startups. It’s important to consider the potential of each type of funding based on the startup’s needs, size, product, and the investors willing to support it.
When it comes to the types of startup capital, series funding tends to be the most prominent, raising the largest amount of funds. Companies benefit here because they remain private.
A secondary option is crowdfunding, which involves raising capital from collecting it from various individual investors. The benefit here is that crowdfunding allows a company to maintain privacy and ownership, but it’s difficult to secure enough funding, and crowdfunding sites are expensive to use.
Loans remain a viable option for many companies. A business line of credit no credit check, for example, can help companies to get funding. They are hard to get without a business history, and often the founder’s credit plays a role. SBA loans are a bit easier to obtain but can offer limitations on how much can be borrowed.
Venture capital is yet another avenue for funding. Here, higher risk companies may be able to secure the funds they need, but there may be some ownership transition of the company by investors, or an IPO may be possible.
Importance of Start Up Capital in a Business
The importance of start up capital in a business is impossible to overstate. Because companies today need to grow quickly, there is a need to have a significant amount of money on hand to help in securing the best talent for the company and ensuring product development occurs. In short, without startup capital, companies will find it difficult to grow and become a viable, long-lasting company.
Look at any startup capital example website to see this. Websites like TechCrunch and Crunchbase help you see it happening. Without startup capital funding, companies barely get off the ground, gain the attention of investors, and struggle to remain viable. Since many angel investors receive hundreds of proposals, they simply cannot go through them all. Companies that secure investments through any of these startup funding sources generally become those that get attention for further rounds of capital.
However, the startup capital definition is just that – it is funds meant to get the company off the ground. If a company does not use those funds wisely and lacks profit, they will not be able to secure further rounds. With well-managed funds, companies can continue to grow towards profitability, repay the debts they have, and maintain ownership or move towards IPOs.
Startup Funding Bad Credit
Startup funding bad credit opportunities are out there. These are considered high-risk opportunities for investors. Yet, there is a broad range of options from government small business loans for bad credit from the SBA to minority business loans bad credit from specialized angel investors.
Start up business loans for minorities with bad credit may be available through a variety of options from the government itself to specialized lenders. Yet, when accepting small business startup loans for minorities with bad credit, consider the costs. High interest rates on personal loans are generally too expensive to gain access to. Additionally, many people will find these loans require providing significant amounts of ownership for the company to the investor, which makes it harder for a founder to remain in control.
For those seeking guaranteed startup business loans with no credit check, a collateral-based loan may be an option. Yet, securing these loans with a home, for example, puts that property at risk. It is much harder to find startup business loans bad credit no collateral without providing a large amount of ownership to a private investor.
For those seeking unsecured startup business loans and credit opportunities, it may be best to choose non-loan options such as crowdfunding and angel investments instead.