Fundraising as a Solo Founder

When it comes to raising money, being a solo founder goes against the grain. Many investors figure it’s safer to invest in founders that come in pairs. (Possibly because of this essay from Paul Graham)

It makes some sense if you think about it. Founder drama happens and if there are multiple co-founders the company goes on, if it’s a solo-founder and they leave—game over.

The good news is that fundraising as a solo founder stops being a problem after raising the seed round. The bad news is that you have to be able to raise the seed round in the first place.

Fundraising is always hard despite what people might tell you. Ignore anyone who hasn’t recently raised money for their own startup.

The way to mitigate the challenges of raising solo is to 1) have all of the skills needed to lead the company (if you’re building a software product that means being an engineer and/or product leader) 2) have unique knowledge about the market problem you are going to solve (maybe by having built something related before) 3) increase the positive signal around you (e.g. coming out of a high-profile company, exited a previous startup, have a large following) and 4) already have the relationships with investors so they know you before you raise money.

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