Unfortunately, the idea that seed VC money is destined for businesses at the very early “seed” stage of growth is not true anymore. You now definitely need to already have something growing to generate any interest from investors.
Visit our venture capital database for the full list of UK venture capital firms.
The value of seed investment is generally in a range between £500K and £3M. This range used to start lower but as the startup scene has evolved, anything below £500K has now been categorised as pre-seed vc money.
This round of investment can mean different things depending on the market you’re in. Most of the time, you should already have a working MVP, proven some metrics with a working prototype, early product market fit, or put together a strong team. However, if your industry requires strong investment levels to get started, a very detailed plan and the perfectly targeted investor can get you funded.
If you’re raising at seed level, this will clearly not be your last investment round. You cannot just raise a seed round and then quietly run your business. You now how to grow fast. Once the round is closed, you will generally get between 18 and 24 months to reach your series A round. And to do that you will need to show at least £50K-£250K MMR and have progressively built quality relationships with further funds.
The lead investor that you get on board at this stage is key. It’s not just about money. At this level of investment you will be in reach of 5 different investor types:
A few rules depending the type of investor you are targeting:
It’s so important to build relationships with seed VCs very early. Reach out to selected individuals within the venture firms and explain what you’re planning on doing. This is not the time to ask for anything. Then start building a relationship with regular updates on your progress, traction and key news in your industry. You can also do a version of this on your professional social media accounts like Linkedin or Twitter. You are building something while showing that you are an expert in your field.
Common pushbacks from founders: “what if we start talking to investors and change the plan on route?”.
That is 100% fine! You are testing to see what works. It’s all part of the journey and understanding how you change and how you react to setbacks and pivots will be a way of demonstrating who you really are. Yes, you may loose interest from a few investors along the way, but these investors would not have been a good match anyway.
Here is a list of UK based seed VCs
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Click here for a full list of 206 UK VC Funds