Re-living your first fund raise
Excitement Hard work Anxiety Elation Relief Excitement
This is not child birth am talking about nor is it getting your child the school admission. It’s about raising your first dollars to fund your idea.
The excitement starts when you have signed a Term Sheet, that presumably contains all broad terms and conditions under which your investors are going to invest. You feel after a couple of days of intense discussion with your lawyer, you have understood what it means and you sign off. But what that triggers is series of irreversible set of activities that jostles you into a lane where hopefully there is only one way out. GET FUNDED!
The first thing that happens is commencement of Due Diligence Review or DDR. I don’t know why DDR rings in my mind as Dreaded Review. There is an intimidating list of requirements thrown at you by lawyers and accountants, who take for granted entrepreneurs know it all.
A casual review the moment I got the list told me two things. One there is a lot I was not aware that the law requires us to know. Two, I was not sure if we had our housekeeping to have all of these requirements fulfilled.
So it’s now HARD WORK time. The next 24 hours whizzed past in reviewing and understanding the requirement and finally setting up a team to “put things” together. So off we started tracing, fishing every document required and focus was really on. You pride yourself on your ability to understand the law and feel assured things have gone the right way. Life was all around have you filed this, have you filed that, where is this paper etc.
So much was the intensity that one morning I asked my wife, “Where have you filed my blue shirt?”! I received a “lost it” look from her.
All was fine until one fine day you get two fifty plus paged documents in most legally chaste language. These are the Share Holder Agreement and Share Subscription Agreement. These are two important documents that govern your future life as “PROMOTERS”. Suddenly everything else was irrelevant. The next one week saw us in deep dive and accelerated course in understanding legal verbiage. This is when you try think of unimaginable course of events that could happen to you, some make you shudder and wish it will never happen.
Ok. That’s done. We have inked the deal. Happy. But the game is not over. Focus shifts back to the results of DDR. It’s like past sins catching up. You still need to close out all open ends, dot the I’s and cross the T’s. Now you are racing against time and yourself to complete to the satisfaction of the DDR folks. Round the clock work happens when everyone you see around is assigned a task to complete the “Conditions Precedent”. The last 72 hours are all of suspense, drama, surprises and your ability to hold your head above all that’s happening is tested. You have to keep pushing all around to one goal. CLOSE THIS FAST!!
With great sense of achievement and relief we completed the requirements just before the cut-off. The next 4-6 hours is the wait and anxiety for the funds to come. That’s when your mind is unable to focus on anything. There is a nervous excitement that’s building up within you.
Then comes the BEEP BEEP. Your phone SMS tells you that the your account has been credit with the FUNDS!!!!!. YIPPIEE. What a relief!! There is celebration, thanking everyone. It’s almost like Diwali.
So to get funding you need a great IDEA, great CO-FOUNDERS and great bunch of INVESTORS!
Here’s to many more of such moments!