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Trust your gut when raising money

How to choose investors, what to be careful of and how to keep your eyes open. Tips and tricks of fundraising.

First of all be sure you have something to pitch to the investors. When building a game think of timing and distribution strategy- does it make sense to launch this kind of game now. Angry Birds launched today would probably not be successful, but the timing when it launched made the game a success.

In case one game does not show good results, analyse and make another one. Investors appreciate resilience, so just keep walking. Investors don’t want to see a team that walks away after one failure, they want to see a team that finds the next opportunity and continues looking for the success. Also it is difficult to get an investor to invest in your team if you only have 1 game. One success means the game is good, two or more means there is value in the team.

There needs to be chemistry between the founders of the team. Investors meet hundreds of founders and they can detect it. They want founders that are very confident and have worked together producing results or launching products. You need to have a story- future, a long term vision, what you want to build and achieve, not so much about a specific game. Your company needs to look sexy. If you have a lot of interest in your company, say it in a humble but confident way. The less you need their money, the more they want to give it to you.

There is a huge difference between investors from different parts of the world. In emerging countries people tend to spend a lot of time on business plans, while US investors value execution before all. US investors like for you to do 1 company at a time, while emerging market investors like for you to joggle multiple options simultaneously. In Silicon Valley investors want global companies, for Chinese investors it is ok to just concentrate on the local market. In emerging countries traction means money, in US traction means growth.

It is important to choose investors you are comfortable with and who are in line with your values. Not only investors can choose studios, but studios also can choose investors. In case you choose wrong, you are finished anyway. Choose someone, who supports you, not controls you. Never sell more than 10-25% in your first round. In emerging countries people tend to ask for 30-60%, but that formula ends up with investors controlling the company and the team having limited creativity and decision power. Great companies have suffered from bad investors, don’t let that be you.

Always trust yourself to know what is best for you even if you know nothing about it.

 

Many statements and ideas are inspired by Reinaldo Normand, the fabulous mentor at GameFounders today.

To apply for GameFounders, go to gamefounders.com/apply

GameFounders is a startup accelerator and pre-seed fund working exclusively with game studios. Established in 2012, GameFounders started its operations in a hub in Europe, Estonia and in 2015 expanded with opening a hub in Malaysia to cover Asia. GameFounders selects its portfolio studios from a global pool with applications from 75 countries so far. The best 10 teams move to the GameFounders hub for 3 months and go through a mentoring program giving them a boost to build their business. The teams will also have access to a wide array of partnership deals, small investment and a network of mentors. As of mid 2016 GameFounders has made 46 investments in studios from 22 countries.

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