怎样融资?(Startup Playbook from Sam Altman IV.7)

(创业由四个部分组成,理念、团队、产品、执行力。Startup Playbook 是YC掌门人Sam Altman对这四个方面的完整阐述,这是执行力当中关于融资的部分。)

Most startups raise money at some point.

You should raise money when you need it or when it’s available on good terms. Be careful not to lose your sense of frugality or to start solving problems by throwing money at them. Not having enough money can be bad, but having too much money is almost always bad.

大多数创业公司会需要在某个节点进行融资。

你应该在确实需要的时候或者在投资条款很不错的时候去融资。要小心不要因为有钱了就不懂得节俭,更不要尝试用烧钱去解决一切问题。钱不够也许是件坏事,但钱太多基本上肯定是件坏事。

The secret to successfully raising money is to have a good company. All of the other stuff founders do to try to over-optimize the process probably only matters about 5% of the time. Investors are looking for companies that are going to be really successful whether or not they invest, but that can grow faster with outside capital.

成功融资的秘诀很简单:建立一个优秀的公司。创始人费了老大劲去做的其他事情大概只起到5%左右的作用。投资人想找的是哪种无论他们是否投资都会真的成功,但得到外部资本注入以后会成长得更快的公司。

The “really successful” part is important—because investors’ returns are dominated by the big successes, if an investor believes you have a 100% chance of creating a $10 million company but almost no chance of building a larger company, he/she will still probably not invest even at a very low valuation. Always explain why you could be a huge success.

注意,“真的成功”很重要,因为这决定着投资人的投资回报率。如果你100%保证自己做出一个1000万美金估值的公司,但是这已经是天花板了,那么哪怕估值再低,投资人也许依然不会出手。所以时刻记住要给投资人解释清楚为啥你就能取得巨大的成功。

Investors are driven by the dual fears of missing the next Google, and fear of losing money on something that in retrospect looks obviously stupid. (For the best companies, they fear both at the same time.)

投资人往往在害怕错过下一个谷歌和害怕把钱砸到一个荒唐的项目上这两种顾虑之间进退维谷。(对于真正的好项目而言,这两种顾虑会同时存在。)

It is a bad idea to try to raise money when your company isn’t in good enough shape to attract capital. You will burn reputation and waste time.

在你的公司足够优秀之前,不要出门去融资,否则你会同时损失你的口碑和时间。

Don’t get demoralized if you struggle to raise money. Many of the best companies have struggled with this, because the best companies so often look bad at the beginning (and they nearly always look unfashionable.)

融不到钱也别灰心丧气。许多伟大的公司也经历过这种时刻,因为真正优秀的公司在早期往往很糟糕(而且几乎没人瞧得上他们)。

When investors tell you no, believe the no but not the reason. And remember that anything but “yes” is a “no”—investors have a wonderful ability to say “no” in a way that sounds like “maybe yes”.

当投资人跟你说“不”,就相信他是拒绝了(别再存幻想了),只是别相信他所说的理由。还要记住的是:如果投资人没有明确说出“是”,那他们就是在说“不”——因为投资人有一项奇特的技能,就是以各种看起来像“是”的回答来花式说“不”。别被蒙了。

It’s really important to have fundraising conversations in parallel—don’t go down a list of your favorite investors sequentially. The way to get investors to act is fear of other investors taking away their opportunity.

跟多个投资人同时进行融资很重要,不要把投资人按照“最喜欢到最不喜欢”列一张清单然后挨个去见。让投资人变得主动的最好办法就是让他担心你这个香饽饽会被别人抢走。

View fundraising as a necessary evil and something to get done as quickly as possible. Some founders fall in love with fundraising; this is always bad. It’s best to have just one founder do it so the company doesn’t grind to a halt.

你最好把融资看成是一块看起来恶心但不得不吃的肥肉,尽快吞下去吧。有的创始人会爱上融资的过程,这通常是件糟糕的事情。最好是有一位联合创始人专门负责搞这事,让其他人可以有时间将公司维持在正轨上。

Remember that most VCs don’t know much about most industries. Metrics are always the most convincing.

记住,对于大多数的行业,投资人只是一知半解。所以用数据指标说话是最有说服力的办法。

It’s beginning to change, but most investors (Y Combinator being a notable exception) unfortunately still require introductions from people you both know to take you seriously.

虽然这个局面正在改观,但不幸的是,如果没有认识的人引荐,大部分投资人(YC除外)都不太会把你当回事。

Insist on clean terms (complicated terms compound and get worse each round) but don’t over-optimize, especially on valuation. Valuation is something quantitative to compete on, and so founders love to compete for the highest valuation. But intermediate valuations don’t matter much.

注意要坚持一点:投资条款必须简单明了。复杂的条款会在后续融资里搞的你头越来越大。不过也不要每件事都去争,尤其是估值。估值这种量化的数字很容易引得创业者们相互攀比。但其实中早期的估值高低没啥大不了的。

The first check is the hardest to get, so focus your energies on getting that, which usually means focusing your attention on whoever loves you the most. Always have multiple plans, one of which is not raising anything, and be flexible depending on interest—if you can put more money to good use, and it’s available on reasonable terms, be open to taking it.

找到第一个愿意投你的人总是最难的,所以你要集中精力去搞定这件事,通常是搞定最喜欢你的投资人。不要把鸡蛋放在一个篮子里,永远要备有多个备选计划——其中一个就是不融资。你也可以考虑贷款,如果放款条件很不错,而且你也知道怎么用好这笔钱,那就不妨用开放的心态去接受。

An important key to being good at pitching is to make your story as clear and easy to understand as possible. Of course, the most important key is to actually have a good company. There are lots of thoughts about what to include in a pitch, but at a minimum you need to have: mission, problem, product/service, business model, team, market and market growth rate, and financials.

跟投资人路演项目的时候很重要的一点,就是要把故事讲得尽可能简单易懂。当然啦,如果你的公司不够好那讲得再好也是白搭。关于路演当中要讲点儿啥有很多种说法,但至少你应该解释清楚你公司的使命、想解决的问题、你的产品或服务,商业模式、团队、整体市场及其成长率,再有就是你的财务指标。

Remember that the bar for each round of funding is much higher. If you got away with just being a compelling presenter for your seed round, don’t be surprised when it doesn’t work for your Series A.

后续融资的难度要求会一轮高过一轮。所以,就算你在种子天使阶段的路演非常成功,到了A轮也有可能被刷下去。做好心理准备。

Good investors really do add a lot of value. Bad investors detract a lot. Most investors fall in the middle and neither add nor detract. Investors that only invest a small amount usually don’t do anything for you (i.e., beware party rounds).

好的投资人是真的能在钱之外帮你很多忙,而糟糕的投资人只会添乱。大多数投资人都在二者之间。只投一点点钱的投资人通常不会再帮你做什么。(所以要小心那种没人领投、一大堆人每人出一点凑出笔钱的融资方式。)

Great board members are one of the best outside forcing functions for a company other than users, and outside forcing functions are worth more than most founders think. Be willing to accept a lower valuation to get a great board member who is willing to be very involved.

来自外部的驱动力对公司而言很重要,除了用户之外,优秀的董事会成员能够提供很多外部驱动,很多创业者都想不到这点。如果有个牛人愿意加入董事会,哪怕自降估值也要把他请过来。

YC创始人Paul Graham写过一篇我觉得讲融资讲得最好的文章,推荐给大家。(注:这是很长很长很长的一篇文章啊,格雷厄姆他老人家真能写。Sam其实基本上已经把要点都总结出来了,我要考虑一下要不要把那篇文章弄过来。)

Remember that at least a thousand people have every great idea. One of them actually becomes successful. The difference comes down to execution. It’s a grind, and everyone wishes there were some other way to transform “idea” into “success”, but no one has figured it out yet.

So all you need is a great idea, a great team, a great product, and great execution. So easy! 😉

写在最后的话

(这个创业系列到这一节就结束了。)

记住,每一个伟大的想法至少有一千个人拥有。其中一个成功了。区别在于执行。好结果是被磨出来的,每个人都希望有另一种方式将“想法”转化为“成功”,但目前还没有人找到更好的方法。

所以,你需要的是一个伟大的想法,一个伟大的团队,一个伟大的产品,一个伟大的执行。就那么简单,呵呵!

 怎样融资?(Startup Playbook from Sam Altman IV.7)

【从服务号进入创业百花谷更方便】

原创文章,作者:创业百花谷,如若转载,请注明出处:http://www.liuwanlan.com/interlocution/389

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  • 我不是杨过 2017-12-10 15:12

    融资很重要!大将军手中枪倒海翻江,挡不住饥寒穷三个字。有钱男子汉,没钱汉子难。

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