How to find the right fintech investor and seed funding in 2022
It is no secret that FinTech is a big deal, especially in the UK, which are firmly established as the world leaders in innovation and startup growth.
It is no secret that FinTech is a big deal, especially in the UK and in London, which are firmly established as the world leaders in innovation, startup growth and levels of investment. Investors are so keen on finding the next Monzo or Revolut that even the recent global economic turmoil caused by COVID-19 couldn’t slow things down - in fact, the necessity for e-commerce and digital financial services during lockdown has only accelerated things.
In the first half of 2021 alone there were 317 new investments for UK FinTech firms who raised an eye watering $5.7 billion in total - more than during the whole of 2020!
Yet despite the sea of VC funds and new accelerator programmes looking to fund FinTech startups, the most common thing you hear from CEOs and entrepreneurs looking to raise investment is how hard and grueling the process can be.
So why is it so hard to raise investment as a FinTech startup?
Well, looking again at the data for investments into UK FinTech gives us the main reason - it’s competitive! While there were 317 investments into UK firms in 2021, there are also over 1,350 high growth firms out there - and since that is only counting firms that already have received funding and have market traction it is obviously just the tip of the iceberg.
In short, while there are a lot of investors looking for FinTech startups and innovative technologies to fund, there are even more highly motivated and driven FinTech entrepreneurs competing for their attention.
Getting together the right investor materials, the right pitch deck and into the right meetings are all things that take time, energy and - often - more than a bit of luck. All of which is necessary but it also takes founders away from what they all love doing most - developing their ideas and growing their business.
What is the secret to finding the right investor for your FinTech startup?
Luckily, the one thing that is most often overlooked by startups when they are searching for seed funding and investment is also the least time consuming and simplest to do on a budget as a small startup.
Help the right investors find you!
A slick pitch deck and well-rehearsed presentation about a truly game changing innovation will not raise a penny in funding if no one ever hears or sees it. Investors' inboxes are flooded each day by founders pitching their ideas and unfortunately, things can start to blur together and it becomes really hard to get noticed.
A successful FinTech fundraising strategy starts with a content driven SEO strategy.
Too often FinTech startups don’t focus on their website until they have raised investment and are trying to attract customers - this is too late!
While a simple eye catching landing page is better than nothing, it will do almost nothing to help the right investors find you before you find them - and they are looking! All day, every day in fact, as after all, it is their job and how they make money! They want to find you before anyone else does but in the same way that pitch decks can all start to seem the same, a single landing page packed with a few vague buzz words from Week 1 does nothing to separate you from all the other FinTechs.
A content driven SEO strategy shows investors you mean business
Arranging a meeting takes time and listening to even a 30 minute pitch from a founder takes even more time out of a busy investors day - and for them, time is money!
However, the reason every investor will visit your website is because they use it to filter out the true innovators from the rest of the pack and optimise their time and energy. This is incredibly difficult if your website doesn’t showcase who you are and what you are building. Your content needs to be about more than trendy buzzwords and generic keywords, it needs to tell a story - specifically, it needs to tell your story!
What content driven SEO is
For many people optimising their website for Google, known as Search Engine Optimisation or SEO, is a formulaic task that can almost be automated and left alone once a few keywords are chosen based on data around search volumes and relevance. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. At Rayze we have pioneered our own unique approach to what is known as ‘content driven SEO’, which focuses on the actual content of a website and how it is structured rather than a ‘tick box’ approach using a laundry list of mathematically determined - but often disparate - ‘top keywords’.
This approach ensures that not only is a website ranked highly by Google for ‘having all the right words - it is also more meaningful and ultimately useful for a human user than just the sum of its keyword parts. The result of this is that the score given by the google algorithms and ultimately the final ranking in search results is multiplied almost exponentially. Because content is coherently curated it exists as a unique resource that users will share and revisit, which in turn causes a snowball type effect of positive ‘uprating’ due to link backs from other websites.
How content driven SEO differentiates you and your story
Because the content is driven by a human and a clear strategy, the end result is that your website will reflect you and grow increasingly more rich and robust over time - providing a sort of public time capsule and documentary narrative for your startup and the journey you and your team go on prior to ever meeting an investor. This type of information is not something explicit in many cases, but is like the cumulative benefits gained in google search rankings - a sum of its parts that cannot be replicated by a competitor overnight prior to seeking investment.
Ultimately the best content is what best reflects your purpose and vision as a startup - which inevitably will be of interest to your target customers and also help investors filter themselves out so you don’t waste time chasing dead end funding leads. Best of all, this gives you and your team more time to focus on your product, your growth and the investors that are most interested and in many cases will find you before you even have to find them
All investors want to see real demand
One of the key metrics investors look for when making a decision between two startups that both seem great on paper, with amazing founders and innovative ideas is market traction. Investors constantly are looking for confirmation that what they are being told will be true, that there is more than just a good idea and innovative technology - that there is a marketable product customers want and are excited about.
Until you launch, this can be very difficult for a startup to show through the ‘standard’ metrics like revenue, app installs or user growth. But a waiting list is something that you can grow from day 1 - and investors love it!
Having customers on your waiting list and visiting your website to get the latest updates - even before you have launched anything - shows investors you have something real. It can make all the difference and it is possible without much money if you have the right content driven SEO strategy that keeps customers excited in the meantime.
By creating regular, optimised content for your potential customers you can build a user base months or even years before you ever launch a product.
It’s not us, it’s you
With investors who have no shortage of founders knocking on their door for ‘speed pitching’ dates, it truly is up to you to set yourself apart from the crowd in every way you can.
At the end of the day it is all about the details and polish, but luckily polishing your website and making sure the right investors who are most interested in you and your startup find you and are instantly impressed is one of the easiest and cheapest things to do.
Expert in SEO and with over 15+ years of experience in the Fintech industry, I share my tips and insights on how to market your Fintech successfully and how to do SEO right.