Expert insight: How to raise funding for your start-up in the UAE

Insufficient funding is the reason why many failed start-ups
Insufficient funding is the reason why many failed start-ups
By Lubna Hamdan
Sun 04 Mar 2018 10:40 AM

One of the toughest challenges for new businesses is raising the required investment to get them up and running. Indeed, nine out of ten start-ups fail in the first year and most due to insufficient funding.

Founder of Dubai-based Sprii, Sarah Jones, says funding is achievable with the right attitude. Her online shopping website, which targets mothers, achieved initial funding of $1.1 million in 2014, followed by another $3 million in 2016.

Start fundraising early: Fundraising takes a long time, and many entrepreneurs wait until they are desperate for cash to start searching for investment. Prepare early, take your time and do not panic if it doesn’t happen in the first few months.

Do not give up: Fundraising is not easy. Business owners will go through numerous potential investors before finding the rights one(s). The process will include investors who turn you down, so do not be discouraged.

Prepare a great pitch: The way you present your company is key. Think of your investors as your average customers, and look out for the smallest details. For example, a product’s design matters as much as the product.

Find the right investors: The right money comes from the right people. My lead investor once told me, “It’s lonely at the top. We’re here to help you”. Get the right backers to support you beyond finances. They have to value your concept too.

Be gracious when someone says “no”: Rejection is frustrating. It is tempting to turn your back to an investor that rejects you, but you have a lot more to gain by being gracious. An investor that says “no” the first time, might say “yes” the second time.

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