It is well over 4 years since I wrote a post on the 6 ways a founder can get our attention. It is a post that the Artha Venture Fund team uses extensively to communicate the several ways a founder should approach us instead of sending cold pitches on LinkedIn or emails.
We grew our portfolio by 60% since that post. It led to a significant increase in the inflow of referred deals; therefore, Artha Venture Fund’s 12 investments to date and the next 6 in the pipeline were all referred to us. The initiative set in motion by this post was working, but I realized that I had missed out on a critical referral source.
I was taking customer feedback for a B2B SaaS platform that we were looking at investing in when it occurred to me – why shouldn’t we take customer referrals as a deal source?
As an investor in revenue stage startups, we must speak to customers before investing; therefore, it is logical that founders getting customers to refer them to us would also make sense. The feedback from a genuine first user (no strings attached) that is raving about the experience and willing to endorse the startup to a 3rd person is an excellent start!
So, I am updating the list of ways to get our attention to 7 with a new entry at #2:
- Founder referral
- Customer referral
- Co-investor referral
- Fund referral
- Accelerator referral
- Family & friends’ referral
- Angel network referral
Ask your referrers to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org