Fundraising Faster: How Automation is Changing the Way Founders Raise Capital
As startups continue to face fundraising challenges due to the slowdown in investing activity, founders are looking for new ways to raise capital and increase efficiency. One of their options is the automation of fundraising through the use of platforms such as Seed Checks.
Seed Checks was launched in early 2023 by venture capitalist and marketing entrepreneur Julian Shapiro. The platform functions as a common application through which founders pitch their startups to multiple investors at the same time. There are very few restrictions on which startups may apply, though the group of investors involved focuses on startups valued under $20 million and will not invest in consumer packaged goods or direct-to-consumer brands. In addition, the investors caution that they skew towards United States startups in their portfolios.
Using Seed Checks is simple: founders apply using a one-minute form that asks them for a pitch deck, memo and region. Once submitted, the application is shared with 16 investors who have unilateral or individual check-writing capabilities, including Dropbox’s Arash Ferdowsi, Mercury’s Immad Akhund, and Conviction’s Sarah Guo. The applications are reviewed every two weeks and if investors are interested, they will reach out directly to the founders.
Time will tell whether automated fundraising will become the new normal for startups, or whether more targeted, relationship-based fundraising will remain the most reliable way to raise capital.
Author: Jennifer Linde, 2022/2023 Articling Student-at-Law