The superstar teams can just ping the best investors and raise at a $10m valuation with a pitch deck and a prototype.
If you’re not in that category of founders, you want to approach the fundraising process by reaching out to dozens of investors. Eventually, you might need to expand the outreach to fifty or a hundred angel investors and VCs to get to a fundraise.
How would you do that? Best way is to go through your LinkedIn connections.
First, create a list of investors who invest in gaming.
You can use the EGD investor podcasts page to start your list. Also, look at InvestGame.net since they have a bunch of investors listed, although InvestGame doesn’t list the individuals from the VC funds.
Once you have a list with the investor individual’s names on it, let’s move on to getting an intro to these investors. Instead of cold emailing then, an introduction email is always helpful and you can be sure that you’ll have the investor’s attention.
Now let’s find a shared connection on Linkedin. Say you’d want to reach out to Jason Chapman from Konvoy Ventures.
I would enter LinkedIn’s search, select 1st level connections and type in Jason Chapman as a filter for “Connections of”. Once I hit search, I’d get a list of mutual connections between me and Jason.
I could now proceed to ask for an introduction to Jason from any of these people.
And here you want to be helpful: when you are asking a friend, a former colleague for this introduction, you want to minimize the work they’ll need to put in to the introduction.
The best thing you can do is to set up a forwardable intro email blurb that you’ll then send over to the mutual connection. Let’s look at that next.
Create a forwardable blurb
Here is the blurb. You can read it now and then we’ll break it down.
Do you mind forwarding this email over to your contact Janet? I think that GAMING_STARTUP could be an interesting fit for her. Thank you!
GAMING_COMPANY is a hybrid-casual gaming studio, based out of Helsinki, Finland.
Since launching the company 12 months ago we have:
- We have launched two games in the hybrid-casual genre.
- Latest having Day-1 retention numbers at approx. 51% and holding.
- Hired an experienced UA manager.
Our co-founders have worked in gaming and IT startups, as co-founders or early employees for a combined 20 years. We have a well-rounded blend of technical and design talent. We’ve raised $100k in angel funding to date.
Teaser deck: DOCSEND LINK
Breaking down the email blurb
In the above email blurb, you are asking the shared connection to forward this blurb to their connection, the investor that you want to reach out to.
First, there’s a simple request for the referrer.
“Hey Joakim, do you mind forwarding this email over to your contact Janet? I think that GAMING_STARTUP could be an interesting fit for her. Thank you!”
There’s no more need for pleasantries, as you want the other person to do as little work as possible.
Then, the blurb starts with a quick explanation of what you do.
“GAMING_COMPANY is a mobile gaming studio, based out of Helsinki, Finland.”
Then you give out the best details about the company.
“Since launching the company 12 months ago we have:
– We have launched two games in the hybrid-casual genre.
– Latest having Day-1 retention numbers at approx. 51% and holding.
– Hired an experienced UA manager.”
What has the company achieved so far to date, in terms of games, traction, metrics, whatever it is. Try to focus on the top 3. This is the first touchpoint, so leave the rest for the meetings that you will have with the investor.
Give an introduction to the team.
“Our co-founders have worked in gaming and IT startups, as co-founders or early employees for a combined 20 years. We have a well-rounded blend of technical and design talent. We’ve raised $100k in angel funding to date.”
Sharing additional details and call-to-action.
“- Teaser deck: DOCSEND LINK
– Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org”
Don’t send a full deck, rather something like 5 or 6 slides.
Once you get someone to invest
After you’ve gone through a lot of meetings, you still want to get more meetings to happen. One way to source for more meetings is to ask the investors you’ve met for referrals.
One thing to note here is that if the investor gave you a NO on investing, it’s not a good idea to ask them to refer you to another investor. The signal of not investing in your startup will not look good for any new investor that you might meet through a referral like that.
If you got a yes, then that’s perfect! These investors will gladly help you to get more investors onboard.
Here’s a request for this purpose.
Thank you SO MUCH for believing in GAMING_STARTUP! I am so excited to take this journey with you, and we are going to have a lot of fun growing this company. One favor to ask: can you think of just ONE person that you think would be a good fit for investing in GAMING_STARTUP? I’d love to find a few more folks just like you to round off this fundraise and get back to work.
Below is a forwardable blurb, very much appreciate your help!
And you can send out the same blurb that you previously used.
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