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Should I tell venture capitals how much I want them to invest?

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JASON LEMKIN

Yes.

It tells me how much you need to get to the next level (it simplifies your entire business plan into one number), and it tells me if you are in my sandbox or not.

Telling me you need $750k tells me one thing. $2m another. $5m yet more. $10m tells me you are really ready to scale. Which is too late a stage for me, but not many others.

Especially as a “late seed” investor, I want to quickly find out if you’ve passed my sweet spot or not.

If you won’t tell me how much you want to raise, or don’t make it clear, at a minimum, I just have to ask.

On a related point, especially for a Late Seed or “Early A” — be careful you don’t ask for too much. If for no other reason, then certain investors will bow out. The largest check I’ll write is about $4m, for example. So if you are raising $1m, fine. $3m, fine. Even $6m is OK, because probably others (e.g., earlier investors) will pick up the $2m gap. But $10m? That’s too big a check for me.

So if you need $10m or whatever number, ask for it. But make sure you do your homework on each investor.

Don’t ask an investor for more money than they will invest, if you’d take less. I.e., don’t ask for $10m+ from an investor that will only do a round up to $6m-$8m. If you do, you are just wasting the meeting / opportunity.

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Published on July 25, 2016
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