Building a Free Networking Platform for Startups and Investors in a Volatile 2018 Market
In the age of venture capital, seed funding, and millions of startups being launched every other day, David Warshaw, the founder of Moneysling, got to chat with us about the platform he is building for founders, startups, and startup investors. Moneysling is a free networking platform that provides the opportunity for start-ups, entrepreneurs and investors to connect, collaborate and pitch their ideas.
In our discussion we got to look at some of the challenges startups are facing in raising capital, as well as investors in finding investor-worthy startups to put their money in. Catch our discussion below:
ABOUT VENTURE CAPITAL IN 2018
Obviously, as more startups come up, it gets harder to find investible ones. More and more investors are taking time to do due diligence, but how this plays into the whole startup field is very interesting. “2018 is a great time to begin investing! However, with the volatility in the markets, people are looking to more creative outlets for their investing; and having equity in a successful business is one of the best investments you can make,” says David.
“Over the past few years, there has been a big shift from traditional, large business models to a lean and mean, user-focused model. What this means for investors is that they have the opportunity to join a start-up on the ground floor with investments that could reach far beyond monetary. For instance, they may be able to support a start-up with the skills they possess, or the contacts they have.”
OUTSTANDING INVESTMENT ISSUES AND HOW MONEYSLING HELPS
Seeing as the whole mix of a very volatile market, many startups innovating around the world sometimes in fields unknown before, and with investors more skeptical than ever before, there are issues in the sector. “Currently, there is no other online platform that allows every-day people to get in contact with new start-ups or investors,” says the founder. This is despite the fact there are several platforms made for founders and co-founders.
“On other platforms, if you are an investor, you have to be accredited or become a venture capitalist just to be considered. If you are a start-up, you have to submit your business for review and are given matching “angel investors” based on the opinions of a third-party company.”
The goings of such platforms have obviously curtailed how much discussion can happen between founders and investors online by dictating terms and working in an environment where the discussions are guided by foreseen guides and conditions. David agrees, and believes that Moneysling has absolutely every chance to change that and create better rapport between startups and investors beforehand.
“Moneysling, gives individuals the opportunity to connect and collaborate on their own terms,” he says. “We do not take a percentage of any transaction that occurs between our users, nor do we get involved in any of the deals. Moneysling is a simple networking site for collaborating and building long-lasting business relationships.”
INDUSTRY OR REGIONS
As more opportunities arise, Moneysling will be a good centre for every discussion if the growth is exponential. Several industries need such a platform, as well as several countries around the world. Unfortunately, the platform only caters for startups within the United States for now.
“The beauty of Moneysling is that our users can collaborate with anyone, from a neighbor down the street to a “shark” on the other side of the country,” adds David.
BEST PRACTICES FOR STARTUPS SEEKING INVESTORS
Startups and founders have done it wrong many times before and they continue to do it. Luckily, so many others have done it right before. David is quick to state that legal representation when starting a company or investing is essential.
“We have seen too many people get taken advantage of because they did not fully understand the contracts they were signing.”
Many founders underestimate terms in the deals they sign. The assumption that the person you are signing terms with has your interests at heart can be a fallacy sometimes.
Additionally, “sell yourself!” says the Moneysling founder. “Be clear with investors. Make sure your business model is thorough, but easy to follow. You want investors to be excited about your product and working with your team. Conveniently, one of the best ways to accomplish this is to create a “pitch video” and post it on your Moneysling profile!”
MISTAKES BY STARTUPS
“It may sound cliché, but KNOW your company! Or at least have someone with you that does,” he says. This of course plays into how Pressfarm has insisted at every point that understanding your company inside out from marketing to sales, operations, customer support and acquisition among many other aspects is very important.
“There is nothing worse when seeking an investor than to be unable to thoroughly explain your business. Know your financials and margins, know your products, and know what your plans are for the future.”
MONEYSLING EXPANSION AND FUTURE PLANS
Growing a free networking platform is not easy. However, the CEO, David Warshaw, is up for it and excited for 2018. As he decides to take this further, it is important to understand what kind of future Moneysling would have before heading there.
“Our hope is to eventually become a platform for everyone around the globe. Moneysling will always remain a free platform, but as we grow, we are looking to add paid subscriptions that allow users to become verified or featured,” he says as we conclude our chat.