Needing a Lead Investor

Today, we’re talking about a phrase founders hear a lot during seed fundraising: “I’m in, if you find a lead investor”.

A lot of founders take this as a yes. Unfortunately it’s not a yes or even a soft commit. You should treat it as a no.

When you go back to these investors with a lead, the most common feedback is something like — “sorry, we can only participate with a top tier lead. we’re not familiar with your lead”.

If you do you get a great lead investor, they will bring their friends to fill up the round — removing the possibility for this ‘waiting’ investor to follow once you get a term sheet. Now, any investor with experience would know this — that’s why you have to treat it as a no.

Investors that really want to invest won’t want to wait on others — they will try to secure their spot right away.