A successful pre-seed raise sets a lot of foundation for the eventual success of the organization. I will stay away from feedbacks of startups who conclude and are convinced that money is just money and just take it and quickly raise the round. That’s the worst thing one could do from the investor side or startup side (But when you have to do it, you do it especially at tough times knowing it might be on an ideal situation). Following are the conversation traits which should be happening in seed investors to make sense of the eventual success of the whole exercise:
Brutal facts confrontations
Are your investors talking about the brutal facts with you and how open you are discussing them? You can be a subject expert or have years of experience in your domain, but if your investor is not able to challenge you with brutal facts, you probably are going to have a hard time in your fundraising as well as have a hard time deriving great value from them. Some investors can be nice to you and really want to invest in your startup whatever you are doing, but look for traits that challenge you and force you to think, go back for homework and get back with a plan.
Do you get irritated by such confrontations or tend to ignore such investors, you probably should reconsider your decision of leading an organization and probably take some NLP course or something to help yourself before you dive into your journey.
Right person, right seat discussions
A discussion of the right person at the right seat is a very important fact while you are doing the presentation. You have to walk through ideal leadership seats in your organization, current or potential people for that and your painted pictures of such people. Look for signs of investors’ tendencies to talk about your team as well.
Are you not able to complete your first 5 minutes of the pitch before they start talking out? Do yourself a favor and walk out.
Always present success metrics, which you will be tracking weekly for your startup growth and health, as well as ask their feedback on the same. If they are aligned, ask their opinion on what would they have set their metrics if they were in your shoes. Also remember, your seed-stage metrics are going to be totally different than your growth stage metrics ( e.g. viral coefficient and retention vs the number of users ).
If you have any additional traits you think are important, please suggest. Overall, if the above four are ticked, I will be very excited and feel fortunate to connect to this investor.