In terms of entrepreneurship, generally what entrepreneurs are for after all is investment. Among those who read this article, if there are people who are planning to get investment, and who meet with investors to achieve their plans, I have good and bad news for them.
The measured total venture capital in Turkey in 2017 exceeded 100 million dollars. Even if $ 100 million seems to be a lot at first, on a global scale it shows that as a country and the ecosystem, we are in our infancy. A small portion of this $ 100 million is given to early-stage entrepreneurs. When you look at Angel Investment Networks which mainly invest in the early stages, including TRAngels, Istanbul Startup Angels, Galata Business Angels and more, you will realize how small these numbers are.
But this lack of investment should not make you upset. One reason for this is the lack of professional entrepreneurs in Turkey. Even at the beginning of 2010, there were enterprises in Turkey that received investment from the world’s largest investment companies such as Tiger Capital, KPBC and Intel Capital. There is no need to be sad as most of the investments that Insider and Iyzico have recently received are from foreign funds.
Here are more good news.
As an angel investor, I can say with peace of mind that it is not difficult to get an investment if you are not talking about an idea or an opportunity that has never been realized! To get an early investment, you need to follow a certain format. I tried to fit what you need to follow and know into 6 short items.
1- Average time of investment to reach your company is 6 months
Even if your investor is convinced to invest in you, it takes some time for that money to come to you. The reason is that many enterprises have a shareholder agreement and no clear business plan. Since it takes time to clarify these and make common decisions between lawyers, investors and founding partners, you should start working according to the time you want the investment to come.
2- Your Clients
Yatırımcıların en çok önem verdikleri konulardan bir tanesi müşteriler. Çünkü yatırımcılar her sektörü bilmek zorunda değil, hatta istemezler de. Müşterilerinizin sizden ne kadar memnun olduğunu, onlardan aldığınız paranın doğru olduğunu ve yeni müşterilere nasıl ulaştığınızı net bir şekilde anlatabiliyorsanız oldukça ilerlediniz demektir.
3- Your Technology
Most people who start a technology initiative think that the issue is technology related. However, at the end of the day, people want to pay for solutions to their own problems, not the product you sell. Investors want the companies they invest in to not get into a huge competition in a short time because “competition = money”. If it is not possible for others to quickly create your technology which makes a difference to the customers, then you are on the right track.
4- The Team
Many early stage enterprises have neither office nor cash. The value of the enterprise comes from people who work in a motivated way. If your team has experience that can help you do what you are doing right now, it will differentiate you and increase the value of your team and enterprise. For this reason, you need to understand what skills you need about your job and establish a team of special forces accordingly.
Investors do everything they can to ensure that entrepreneurs do not have any material and moral problems. I strongly recommend that you meet with the investors before your investment plan and regularly inform them once a month. In this way, they can easily understand which processes you have gone through and how accurate your team is.
6- Openness – Flexibility
Of course, your investor will not shape your enterprise. However, since they can bring capital to your enterprise, I recommend you to remember they have past experiences that can help you. If investors feel that you don’t listen to anything other than what you say, they will quickly stop being partners with you, thinking that you will not hear what customers say as well.
If you think about these issues and plan your business accordingly, it is almost impossible not to find an investment with the right customer feedback and a meaningful investment amount.
Your investors must fall in love with the future you offer and be excited to be a part of it. When you make them feel you are doing what I wrote here, know your new partner has arrived.
(This column of Kaan Akın was first published in the June issue of Hardware Plus magazine.)