How To Court Investors In 2024

how to court investors

At Hypepotamus, we focus on the Southeast startup scene. But the reality is that in our post-COVID world, borders and definitions matter less. Talent is distributed, and investors are looking across more geographies than ever to find the best startups.

And the global startup landscape has changed dramatically over the last year. After a record-breaking few years during the height of the pandemic, inflation and economic turmoil caused VC funding to hit its lowest point in five years, according to Crunchbase.

As spokesperson and Editor for The Product ManagerHannah Clark has a unique perspective into the state of the global venture market. So she answered a few of our questions about the state of the venture scene right now and what it means for startups looking to raise capital right now.

Hannah Clark – From LinkedIn
Here is a snippet of our Q&A:

QUESTION: If you could describe the current VC landscape in one word or phrase, what would it be?


While it’s true that venture capitalists have not stopped funding new startups, there has been a seismic shift in investor sentiment post-pandemic. As we collectively weather a turbulent economic climate and read daily headlines of large tech firms laying off double-digit percentages of their workforce, investors are being very diligent in screening investment opportunities. Early-stage startups need to have proof of strong, sustainable growth engines and resilience to economic unpredictability.

What types of startups are breaking through and getting those VC checks right now? Is that different than what we saw over the last few years?

The trend I’m seeing across the early-stage startups receiving funding right now are those in markets with strong likelihoods of growing even in the event of another global catastrophe. Many of the recent investment deals announced this month were in blockchain, healthcare, and cloud services. In the years before the pandemic, investors were a lot more flexible and optimistic about the market potential of new and novel ideas. Now, VCs are tightening their belts and looking for much more robust financial projections.


QUESTION: Is there any indication you would give to a founder that they should not pursue VC funding right now?

If you’re not sure your startup could survive another wave of lockdowns, it might be too early to seek external investments.


QUESTION: What are the common mistakes you see people making right when they are looking for VC funding?

The biggest mistake startups and scale-ups can make in today’s market is to neglect to build strong user feedback loops. Even if your business model appears solid enough to secure funding early on, cutting corners when it comes to user research can ultimately put companies in a dire position—falling out of touch with users threatens your ability to retain and grow your user base.

QUESTION:  How are you feeling about the state of venture in 2024?

It makes a lot of sense. The cautious investor sentiment is in everyone’s best interest. Today’s market is a lot more ‘famine’ than ‘feast,’ so if your startup isn’t demonstrably ‘famine-proof,’ it’s not a good time to take on significant debt.