Toolkit

How to find the right investor?

Written by Hanna Nylund, Head of Marketing & Communications at Maria 01 Read time 4 min

Finding the right investor can be the foundation of your startup's success. But how do you navigate the VC jungle and choose the suitable investor for your growth strategy? Here are some of the best insider tips shared by Maria 01's seasoned Investor Members.

How to find the right investor?

Startup founder – a title that comes with many roles and responsibilities. You need to find and lead a team, formulate a vision for your product and company, establish a go-to-market strategy and build a brand. All while securing cash flow.

So how do you do it all? Finding the right investor can be the foundation of your startup’s success. While providing capital to bring your business off the ground, of course, is the major role of an investor, they can at their best also bring a wealth of market and business knowledge to help you scale in the right direction. 

As your initial investors also can have quite the impact on who you will be able to attract in your next funding rounds and what the terms then will be, finding the right investors from the start is key! This is where we at Maria 01 come in.

Maria 01 Investor Network

Venture capital investors invest in early-stage companies with high growth potential but which don’t necessarily yet have turnover. In H1 2022, the total sum of VC funding collected by Finnish startups was €276m (the second largest sum collected in half a year in history). €159m of the investments came from Finland and €117m from abroad. With over thirty VCs investing in early-stage startups located in Finland alone, we understand that finding the right one for your business can be a job of its own.

To help the Startup Members of Maria 01 find the right investors, we facilitate an Investor Network of close to thirty local and international VC firms. Our founders have the unique opportunity to establish connections and work closely with leading investors while the VCs get a seat at the Nordics’ leading startup campus and ongoing deal flow updates from some of the hottest startups. 

It’s been a strong start to the year as we are lucky to welcome three new investors to the Maria 01 Investor Network: SEB Greentech VC, Vendep Capital and Headline. If you’re an investor interested in having your logo featured among the ones below, you can reach out to us at partners[@]maria.io.

Maria 01 Investor Network

How to choose the right VC for your growth strategy

To help you navigate the investor jungle in search of the perfect match, we turned to the experts at Vendep Capital for their best tips on how to find the right VC for your business. Here you go:

Let’s start with the question “does VC money fit your growth strategy?” and these four follow-up questions to qualify your business with VC investment.

  1. Do you look to maximise growth rather than mid-term profits?
  2. Do you address a global market with a scalable business model?
  3. Do you plan to continue raising funding even if you lose some control?
  4. Are you committed to selling the company to the investors in five to ten years?

Next up: the four questions to ask yourself to find your VC fit:

  1. Is the VC’s mission aligned with your company goals?
  2. What are your expectations from the VC?
  3. What is the VC’s initial investment size and how does it fit your funding strategy?
  4. What is your company stage and how does that go hand-in-hand with the VC’s expectations?

Just as important as it is for startups to pair up with the right investors, it is for investors to find the right type of company to invest in. While some VCs can be categorised more as generalist VCs, some are considered specialists in a certain industry or business type. Just like Vendep Capital categorises itself as a SaaS specialist, SEB Greentech VC only invests in European startups focusing on transformative ideas that promise substantial impact in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Get familiar with the VCs in your network and focus on the ones for you.

One last tip on how to know whether a VC could be the right fit for your startup is to look for questionnaires, quizzes and checklists on the VC firms’ websites. Maria 01 Investor Member Trind VC has a simple quiz you take to see what they are looking for and how well your case matches their investment thesis.

Are you looking to raise your Pre-Seed or Seed round?

Join the next Maria 01 Community Breakfast and hear from Petteri Koponen, Founding Partner at Lifeline Ventures, as he shares his best tips and learnings. Secure your spot by registering here. The event is free and open for anyone to join, hosted at the Maria 01 Campus in Helsinki.

Maria 01 Community Breakfast