In our recent VC Office Hours, we had the pleasure of hosting Yash Rohera from Surface Ventures. The session was packed with insights and advice for founders navigating the fundraising landscape. Rewatch the video recording and here are eight of our favorite key takeaways from the conversation.

1. The Shift to Post-Money Safe Notes

Yash highlighted a significant shift in deal structuring from convertible notes to post-money safe notes over the past few years. With post-money safe notes with no discounts trending toward becoming the normal deal instrument, as they are more efficient and founder-friendly. This trend towards simplicity and clarity in deal structures is something founders should be aware of when preparing for fundraising.

2. The Importance of Warm Introductions

Yash emphasized the importance of warm introductions over cold outreach when connecting with potential investors. On average 92% of dollars closed come from warm introductions, underscoring the value of networking and leveraging personal and professional communities.

3. Identifying the Right Investors

When identifying potential investors, Yash advised founders to research their investment thesis and reference check. He suggested reaching out to founders that an investor has previously backed to get a real read on them. This approach can help founders find investors who are a good fit for their sector and who they would enjoy working with.

4. Building Long-Term Relationships with Investors

Post-funding, Yash stressed the importance of continuing to "passively fundraise" by building and maintaining enduring relationships with investors. Sending regular monthly investor updates and data about the company's progress can help create momentum and make it easier for early-stage investors to build conviction in the company's ability to execute.

5. The Value of In-Person Meetings

While acknowledging the feasibility of virtual meetings, Yash noted that building real relationships is easier in person. However, he also emphasized that in-person meetings are not always necessary, especially in the initial stages of fundraising.

6. Understanding Valuation at the Pre-Seed Stage

Yash explained that valuation at the pre-seed stage is largely subjective and based on comparable companies, rather than hard data. He advised companies not to worry too much about valuation at this early stage, as long as they maintain less than 20% dilution.

7. The Importance of Customer Validation

During the early stages of a venture, Yash emphasized the importance of customer validation. Using references and introductions to their network to gauge the product's potential value can be a powerful tool for assessing and mitigating potential risks.

8. Maintaining Relationships with Funds That Passed

Yash advised founders to keep a list of funds that passed on them and maintain relationships with these funds. They might become interesting for financing in the future. But also to not get too attached to an investor who might be dragging you on. This approach underscores the importance of viewing fundraising as a long-term ongoing process, rather than a one-time event.

These insights from Yash Rohera provide valuable guidance for founders preparing for their fundraising journey. As the landscape continues to evolve, staying informed and adaptable will be key to successfully navigating the process. In conclusion, fundraising is a journey, not a destination. It's a process that requires patience, persistence, and a deep understanding of your business and the market. Yash's insights provide a valuable roadmap for navigating this journey, from the importance of customer validation to the strategy of maintaining relationships with funds that passed.

But remember, while advice and insights are invaluable, the tools you use can make a significant difference in your fundraising journey. That's where Finta comes in. Finta's suite of tools, including an investor-focused CRM, due diligence tools, investor database, and AI copilot, are designed to streamline and simplify your fundraising process.

So why wait? Start your fundraising journey with Finta today. Let Finta be your co-pilot, guiding you through the fundraising process, helping you track investor interactions, share deal information securely, and execute a strong fundraising process. Ready to take the next step in your fundraising journey? Start using Finta today!