Funding is without doubt the number one issue facing tech startup founders. Some say it’s getting easier to find. However, it is still an extremely time consuming activity with many pitfalls along the way.
If we go back a few years, ‘Friends, Family and Fools’ were the only source of seed funding for most tech founders. Banks have never been interested in tech startups and grants were unreliable and hard to secure. In some countries, such as the UK, crowd-funding represents another possible source. However, it is unlikely to prove to be the answer for high quality startups looking for rapid growth. Reward based crowd-funding platforms such as Kickstarter have their place for cause-led startups but the reward structure is hard to apply to tech businesses. Equity based platforms such as Crowdcube and Seedrs are a highly risky way for the public to invest in tech and their impact on follow-on funding is uncertain.
There has recently been an explosion in accelerator activity in many of the world’s startup hotspots. Nearly all are based on the Y-Combinator model. It is assumed that this proliferation is a good thing. However, the highly constrained programmes and need to fill cohorts has not delivered the expected results outside The Valley. Founders end up investing both time and equity on programmes that deliver little in return.
The founders of high potential tech startups still need to access funding from sophisticated investors and VC’s. These are better aligned to the success of the startup and can provide useful contacts and advice. Platforms such as Angellist link startups with such investors but do not provide support.
Dreamstake addresses this issue. The aim of the platform is to provide a long-term relationship with the founder from seed round to series A. The unique rating algorithm allows both the founder and investors to track progress throughout the relationship. It allows us to pinpoint when and where support is required and deliver a massive programme of bootcamps and workshops. The platform also provides funding through an associated fund that can ensure seamless access to capital throughout the early stages, based on achieving milestones such as Product/Market fit.
Dreamstake is an online network, that provides end-to-end support for entrepreneurs wishing to get a startup funded in the shortest possible time. The startup rating system allows entrepreneurs and investors to monitor progress. Dreamstake Academy provides guidance on how to create a successful startup. Dreamstake will link startups with suitable mentors and professional advisors.
Startups that have successfully achieved an acceptable rating will be introduced to funds for acceleration or syndication.