Our Second Sie Raise Summit: Recap

Sie
5 min readApr 2, 2024

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Sie Ventures Team

On March 19th, we hosted our second Sie Raise Summit in London ~ a one-day event entirely dedicated to demystifying the fundraising process. We selected 20 exceptional founders to attend various sessions filled with expert insights, unfiltered discussions and valuable networking opportunities.

We were truly impressed by the standard of the companies that applied to join the Summit, reaffirming our view that diverse teams build remarkable businesses. From turning waste-water into electricity to detecting breast-cancer from urine, the founders who attended are truly on a mission to change the world!

We must also celebrate our line-up of speakers who shared refreshing and — at times — brutal honesty insights with us. From breaking down fund economics and how this impacts the founders receiving Venture funding to the mistakes a founder can make at each stage of growth (and how to avoid them), we could not have asked for more valuable insights to take forward.

Here we share highlights from the day:

  • From 0 to Exit
  • Cap Tables, Equity & Term Sheets
  • Structuring Your Funding Round
  • Investor Roundtables
  • Fundraising: How To Win
  • Venture Returns: What are VCs looking for?
  • Founder to Angel

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About Sie Raise Summit

Sie Raise Summit launched in March 2023, with the aim to remove barriers to access knowledge, network and capital, for diverse founders. Each session is designed to help founders to prepare for their fundraise, whether this be building your investor pipeline, reviewing term-sheets, or understanding which investors to target from angels to venture capitalists.

We also keep the group intentionally small to allow for intimate conversations and connections both between founders and investors as well as founders between themselves. We know how powerful peer relationships can be — running a company and raising capital can occasionally be very lonely and it’s important to have a strong support network around you. We look forward to supporting all 20 companies beyond the Summit as they join our community!

Chung Looi (Founder of Ablatus) with Arielle Torres (Founder of Pipeline Organics) and Lisa Oberaigner (Founder of Emidat).

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Key Learnings

  • A fair term sheet is good for everyone. Utilise experts, partners, advisors and lawyers to help and negotiate as many terms as possible before signing it.
  • A quick fundraise can be 3 months and a long raise can be 9–12 months, be prepared for these timeframes when planning future fundraises. It might make more sense to focus on converting your sales funnel while the market recovers from downturn.
  • Ask angel investors about ticket size sooner rather than later and avoid too many small tickets on the cap table unless they are high-value add investors (i.e., expertise, network, enterprise introductions). You can use founder SPV to pool together smaller angel investor cheques.
  • Build relationships with potential acquirers throughout your company journey and keep them informed as you raise capital for your business. Optimise your exit for ‘speed and certainty’ rather than optimal price. Manage your communications with stakeholders well and seek external advice before starting the process.
  • Senior Executives from leading firms in your industry are a great place to start when looking for angels. You might be surprised by how many are already angel investing but don’t mention it on their LinkedIn ;)
  • Educate yourself as much as possible on CapTables, Term Sheets, different financing instruments (e.g SAFE, ASA etc) ~ it is far more attractive to investors if they believe you are in control of your raise and the options available to you.
  • When pitching and doing investor outreach: Be yourself, tell your story, start with you. Avoid copy and paste, put time into your outreach to showcase your personality and motivating drivers.
  • Be wary of dilution and aim to retain 50–60% ownership in the company by the time you close a Series A round. If you’re not 100% confident in your calculations, consult an expert or lean on your advisors.
  • Get to grips with the captured market size of companies in your industry who have been backed by some of the funds you are targeting. It will be a strong indicator of the numbers you need to be comfortable with!
Venture Returns | From L-R: Richard Howard (AWS), Zeynep Yavuz (General Catalyst), George Robson (Sequoia) and Ash Arora (Localglobe)

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Founder Feedback

  • “The Sie Raise Summit was a testament to the dedication and vision of the entire Sie Ventures team. Their efforts in organising such a well-executed event with a profound purpose were truly commendable”
  • The summit’s agenda was so well curated, featuring insightful sessions such as Alex Macdonald’s illuminating discourse on Velocity Black’s journey from inception to acquisition by Capital One. So here’s to the lovely team at Sie Ventures for orchestrating this unforgettable event.
  • Huge shoutout to Sie Ventures Team for putting together 6 panels with brutally honest insights from #early #investors, and #businessangels round tables for us 20 founders to discuss with investors in small groups.
  • 1 day of seriously high quality speakers — exited entrepreneurs, experienced angels, top tier VCs, and M&A experts sharing their *unfiltered* thoughts, experiences and tips, plus strategically planned networking!

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Looking ahead

  • An enormous thank you to our incredible partners who brought Summit 2.0 to life and enabled us to host such a successful event ~ AWS, Marriott Harrison, HSBC Innovation Banking, Carta, JBM, Zendesk and Morgan Stanley ~ we can’t wait to do more together very soon!
  • We’re also delighted to share that we’ll be running two Catalyst programs over the next 12 months to support even more under-represented founders building venture-backable, mission driven businesses. These will run from Sept-Oct 2024 and Feb-March 2025 respectively, if these align with your timeline, we’d love to hear from you!
  • In relation to the Term Sheet 101 session we hosted at our Summit, HSBC Innovation Banking have launched their Term Sheet Guide 2023, in which they have aggregated 426 final term-sheets from the last year! You can download the full report here!
  • We’re also continuing to invest through Sie Syndicate alongside our angel community of 150 angels, 70% of which are women! If you are about to fundraise and believe you might be a fit, please submit your deck via our website. You can also read all about our previous (public) investments via our Medium.
  • If you’d like to learn more about Sie or have any questions for the team, please reach out to us on hello@sie.ventures! You can also keep up to date via our quarterly newsletter here!

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Sie

Capital platform empowering exceptional female founders.