I think in general, most founders are fairly risk-averse. They are just confident they see something big that no one else sees. Those 2 things aren’t in conflict but the intersection of the two can be confusing to non-founders.
So net net, most founders, not all, but most don’t really want to put more than 10-30% of their ‘savings’ into their start-up. If for no other reason, than to keep dry powder for The Rest of Stuff.
And raising $12m usually isn’t it … there are often follow-on checks and more rounds.
So that $12m investment could really be signing up for $24m over time. Look at Elon Musk — he ended up having to put every single nickel he had into Tesla to save it.
$24m of $40m is a lot.
Better to get a co-investor, a syndicate partner, to help carry it a bit.
But if you only need $1m – $2m to get going — then you’d just fund it yourself.