Accelerating Access to Capital
Our work is based upon years of operating companies, raising capital, investing in and acting as an advisor to startups.
It is also based on six years of research to determine what creates successful tech startups. We‘ve looked at the growth trajectories of thousands of companies to create a framework that helps figure out how to become a Unicorn. We call our framework Unicorn Math.
What We Do
To help you access capital, we become part of your team. From a strategic finance perspective, we take on the CFO role to position you for fundraising, aligning your capabilities with the needs of funders. This includes writing the business plan, creating your forecasts, determining valuation, and improving monthly reporting. We then support you through the fundraising process so you can focus on growing revenue.
Our first objective is to work with the founders to examine and enhance the company’s strategy. We look at how a company can improve its customer positioning by adding product functionality to reflect customer needs along the whole customer journey and enhance competitive positioning. We also work to enhance other aspects of the business including the company’s go-to-market strategy. The net effect is to improve the company’s addressable market.
We write a business plan to help companies examine their business strategy at a much more granular level than if they only prepare a pitch deck. This process provides us with an opportunity to align the positioning of the company with the needs of potential funders.
Using the business plan as the base, we refine the contents of the pitch deck, leaving it to you to incorporate your own design and graphics.
We prepare a financial forecast using activity drivers and benchmarks from thousands of companies we have examined.
Determining a valuation range is an art and a science. We use data from thousands of companies to calculate a potential range of valuations.
There are so many potential funders out there, particularly if your company is looking for foreign capital. We do an in-depth dive on potential funders to develop a qualified list for you to target.
We have developed a network of angels and early stage investors. We also assist by making introductions to targeted venture capitalists.
We also help you improve reporting, populate a data room, align public company profiles in LinkedIn and databases such as Crunchbase as well as your website and social media presence with how you are positioning yourself to potential investors.
Who We Work With
We are looking to work with technology entrepreneurs who are planning to raise a Pre-Seed, Seed or Series A round within the next six months. We evaluate every potential client to determine whether we think there is a fit with funders’ needs or whether we can assist in the refinement of a strategy to meet those needs. When we initially meet with a client, we evaluate what we call the four Ts of strategy.
We are looking for an entrepreneur or team of founders that has passion for their market, their products, is working full time on their startup and has recognizable expertise in those areas.
We evaluate the product offering against the competition along all dimensions of the customer journey to identify competitive positioning strengths and weaknesses. We also look for how that technology can be protected against competition. Typically the product would be at an MVP stage.
TAM – Total Addressable Market
While we look for big markets, we typically don’t find that in companies we meet. Instead, we look instead for opportunities to enhance the company’s strategy so that larger markets can be served.
Yes, everybody is looking for traction as this is the one thing that helps answer the question as to whether the team can execute and the technology can beat the competition. Traction is almost always required to obtain financing but can be evidenced in a number of ways.
If we see an opportunity to help a firm we can chat and figure out next steps.
How We Charge
Our objective in charging for our services is to align your interests with ours and for us to be compensated for results, not activity or effort. We have a slightly different structure for charging companies seeking a Seed round than for those seeking a Seed extension or A Round.
Early Stage Companies
Our fee consists of two components, a fee for successful completion of a financing round and equity in the company. The fee is calculated based on the equivalent rate charged by a CFO for services performed and is independent of the amount of capital raised. The equity is in common shares or warrants, aligning our interests with yours in the long term, and is typically one and a half to two percent of the company.
More advanced companies
In these cases, our fee consists of three components, a monthly fee equal to half the going rate of a CFO and a fee for successful completion of a Seed Round plus equity in the company. The success fee is calculated based on the equivalent rate charged by a CFO for services performed less any monthly fees paid and is independent of the amount of capital raised. The equity is in common shares, aligning our interests with yours in the long term, and is typically one to one and a half percent of the company.
Give us a Shout
If any of this still makes sense and you’re interested in talking to us about how we can help improve your access to capital, give us a shout. Send an email to cplant at narwhalproject.org and if you’ve got a pitch deck, send it along too and we’ll get back to you.