"Cold emailing is for losers". If you've been raising funds for your startup, you've probably heard it. But is it true?
"Cold emailing is for losers. Warm intros are the way." If you've been raising funds for your startup, you've probably heard this.
As the founder of OpenVC, I've helped 1,000+ VC firms expand their deal flow by being more open. I've also screened countless startups and routed them to the right investors.
Let me share with you a few things that I've learned.
Typical case: you're raising a seed round for your B2B SaaS startup. You have a solid team, you're growing nicely (30% MoM), and getting close to $20k MRR.
There are 3 ways for founders to reach investors:
So which channel is best? Answer: all of them.
You don't get to choose. Make a list of all the investors that are a good fit, then try to find an intro. You got one? Great, go for it. You don't? Cold email it is. It just doesn't make any sense to oppose the two.
And if your dream VC reaches out to you by themselves, more power to you!
Let's face it: investors hate cold emails because 99% of them are trash. Be part of the 1%.
It's not difficult, but you have to be honest with yourself.
To put it another way, which email do you think investors will open:
Email 1: "Startup raising seed - Pitch deck", or
Email 2: "HR SaaS - $1M ARR, +30% MoM - Seed (lead secured)"
In a nutshell, cold emails and warm intros are both valid approaches. The whole point is doing it right: make sure that you are VC-backable with a strong thesis fit, and highlight a positive signal to get noticed.
If you match all these criteria, it's time to craft a killer cold email and attach a great pitch deck to it. I wrote a whole playbook on that topic, available here.
If you don't match these criteria, well… maybe bootstrap a little longer? You could join an accelerator to get to the next level, or raise funds via crowdfunding or angel investors.
Best of luck to you!