The big gap in startup funding

on March 1, 2016 | in Ecosystem, Ideas

Entrepreneurs are leading a new way, creating a wide variety of impactful business, in all corners of the globe. The biggest problem for these entrepreneurs is that they are one step ahead of the capitalists, creating large gaps in available funding, slowing the growth in the impact economy.

The Valley of Death

The largest of these gaps is in seed funding, i.e. the funding needed to grow a startup to its first million in revenues. Only a handful of venture capital funds exists to address this part of the market, joining less than a handful of Angel groups.

Meanwhile, each year sees more incubators, accelerators, and competitions targeting impactful startups. Many of these programs provide between $20,000 and $50,000 in funding, helping entrepreneurs get from idea to their first dollar in revenue.

However, for those impactful startups, most of the professional capital is in the growth phase, which begins at $1 million in 12-month trailing revenues. Renewal Funds, SJF, and DBL, amongst others, all require their investees to meet that criteria.

The result is that today the seed funding gap is filled as best it can by Angels.  Trouble is, there are thousands of new impact startups per year, and not yet thousands of impact Angels to match.  There are platforms trying to connect entrepreneurs with investors, but when faced with hundreds of thousands of hundreds of thousands of startup profiles, most Angels shy away and live with whatever small dealflow they meet in person.

To create a vibrant startup ecosystem for impact, we need to fill these gaps, and is here is to help fill the seed funding gap, globally.