WhoAPI founders got hard questions for their whois API.

26 Fundraising questions for startups

It’s been a crazy week. On Monday we announced that our project received funding. Member of the Croatian Angel Network – CRANE, Mihovil Barančić believes that we have what it takes to create something big and worth mentioning. But I am way ahead of myself. We started to explore the possibility of getting an investment roughly a year ago. So here are some questions that we got during that time.

  • Why do you need an investment?
  • Why don’t you sell your house/company/whatever if you believe that much in your product?
  • Do you believe in your service?
  • What does your service do?
  • Why is that better than company x?

It’s good that your share all this info, because otherwise you’re a bozo (according to Guy Kawasaki – Steve Jobs)

  • What if some big company decides to copy your service?
  • What if your competitor or newcomer decides to copy your service and offer it half the price?
  • Is there any competition?
  • Can you see your company becoming a 10-million-dollar company?
  • Why don’t you start locally first?
WhoAPI founders got hard questions for their whois API.

WhoAPI founders got hard questions for their whois API.

Why don’t you go global from the start? Since we were going global right from the start, we weren’t asked that question (but some probably will).

  • Can you bootstrap?
  • What experience do you have?
  • How did you get your idea?
  • Do you have a working prototype or a proof of concept?
  • Why should I invest in you instead of hiring 1/2/3 people and outsource the whole project?
  • Would you be willing to relocate to: capital city/London/Silicon Valley?

If you make any kind of statement, be prepared for questions about backing up that statement with facts.

  • Do you have an executive summary?
  • Do you have a business plan?
  • How are you going to get your customers?
  • Who needs your service?
  • Who is you target audience?
  • What is your business model?
  • Do you have an exit strategy?
  • Are you prepared to give up 10%/20%/30% of equity?
  • How much money do you need?
  • Why that amount?

I am 100% positive there were more questions, but these were the ones that first came to my mind. Good luck in finding the answers. Please, please, please help share these questions and help other startups that want to receive funding!

[UPDATE 20th, August, 2014] If you liked this blog post, perhaps you will like the ebook

26 Fundraising Questions for Startups

26 Fundraising Questions for Startups

26 Fundraising Questions for Startups


  • Rote
    December 22, 2011

    Awesome list! Love that ‘why don’t you sell your house’ one!
    The questions I encounter most drill down more granularly within the business plan/model category:
    How are you going to scale?
    How will you handle distribution?
    What are your strategies for hiring and retaining talent?
    Do you have the contacts you need to build partnerships within your industry?
    What is your estimated cost per customer acquisition?
    Have you done any actual marketing research instead of simply pulling numbers out of your bum?

    • Mike Harrop
      December 22, 2011

      1. How many pre-orders/down-payments/letters of intent have people signed based on your waving your hands in the air to describe your future product ?
      2. Why not ?

  • Anonymous
    December 22, 2011

    Probably missed the most important one: Do you have a personal connection to one of our partners?

    Networking plays a big role, probably the biggest role. Partners often only take introductions from people they know and prefer funding people they know. Partners make the decision to fund; whatever you say to an associate is largely irrelevant.

  • Satvik Jagannath
    December 22, 2011

    Nice questions! I had never thought about them!
    Time to think before I ink!

  • Tarek Koudsi
    December 24, 2011

    Great compilation and many thanks, couldn’t come at a better time as we pitch for angels in 2 months.


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