If VCs Do This, Run Away
11 ways investors tell you they're not interested
A founder I know is fundraising and had a meeting with a well-known VC this week. After the call, they texted me saying it went really well.
“How do you know?” I asked.
They responded with “well they really seemed to understand our vision, and didn’t really push back on anything. Lots of good energy.”
After asking some follow ups I let them know the bad news: the chances of them getting a check from that investor were near zero.
This happens a lot. Most founders don’t know how to “speak VC” because they have never been a VC.
But this week I’m sharing some counterintuitive signals you’ll get from investors and what they actually mean.
Also, I have a quick ask — please reply to this email and tell me what city you’re based in. If you’re nomadic please just use the city you’re planning to spend the most time in this year. I’ll be launching something soon to help you connect with other founders in your city.
11 Signs Investors Aren’t Interested
One important caveat: there are exceptions to every rule on this list. But, as general rules, they’re helpful to avoid wasted time and roller coaster emotions.
No Pushback or Hard Questions
If you’re not getting questions, you’re not getting money.
Startups are new, different, and have an opinion on how to solve a problem and interested investors want to challenge that to make sure it will stand up under the scrutiny of the market.
If an investor is passively nodding in agreement with everything you say, they either don’t know or care about the problem you’re solving, or they’ve already decided to pass for some other reason.
This is the most common thing founders miss.
No pushback means the call didn’t go well.
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