Selling to Startups 101 : How to use fundraising data to close your next Startup deal

In this blog I will share insights as to how fundraising data can be used to fill your sales pipeline with Startup customers. If you are selling to Startups the first thing you want to know is whether they have a budget. 💳

It’s no secret that Prelo was the result of our failed attempt at selling a SaaS Solution to Startups. We struggled to find relevant data, like fundraising data and business contact details which eventually cost us. 

After our first Startup failed, I became obsessed with using data to carefully target the right Startups.

Essentially creating a full-proof way to engage with the companies that were small enough to have time for us but liquid enough to pay for our services. 🎯

This is where fundraising data becomes valuable. Since May 2022, the Prelo platform has processed thousands of Startups from over 30 countries. A total of over $60bn raised in 3 months!

Selling to Startups requires an insight into fundraising data
Prelo has been built to help SMBs selling to Startups out perform their competition

How to get started if you plan on selling to Startups

Selling to Startups is super easy once you’ve filtered through the noise. Prelo shares highly curated data about the Startups you should be spending your precious time with. 

Follow these 5 simple rules and you’ll do well.  

1. Create a transparent pricing structure

Start by helping your Startup customers. Make it easy for them to make a decision. Let them know how much your service will cost upfront. 

2. Present a simple value proposition

Share your value proposition succinctly. Remember, your product is either helping a Startup accelerate growth or helping them save money and time. Be clear on what side of the fence your product is. 

3. Connect with the right decision maker

If you’re a marketing agency, then think about building a connection with the “head of partnerships” before engaging with the founder. 

If you’re a Cyber Security SaaS Startup, perhaps an outreach to the Tech Founder or CTO may be a better way in. 

4. Find out if they have the budget

Don’t waste time, qualify the Startups you want to work with by finding out whether they’ve been funded. Find out how much they’ve raised and what funding stage they’re at. 

All this information is readily available on Prelo.  

5. Create a marketing plan

Not all Startups are created equal. How you approach a Startup that just raised a Series B funding round of $30MM will be different to one that’s just raised their pre-seed round of $500,000. 

Access to a Startup that’s just raised a $500k pre-seed round should be direct. You are better off trying to find the founder on Twitter or Reddit. Post Seed round, there’s a higher probability of finding your prospects on LinkedIn. 

Read a little more about what the various funding stages mean in this blog.

What data should you have if you are selling to Startups 

Using funding data to make strategic decisions about your marketing approach is a smart move when selling to Startups. 

In this section I’ll share the data points you need to help you create a successful marketing plan for your business  

Key Data Points – The questions you want answered

1. Fundraising Data

  • How much did they raise ?
  • When did they raise their last round? 
  • How much have they raised in total ? 

2. Hiring Growth Data

  • How many jobs did they advertise in the last 6 months ?
  • What type of roles are they hiring for ? 

3. Industry Growth Data

  • Are they operating in an industry that’s growing ? 
  • Are there other Startups in that industry from the same country ? 
  • How did their fundraise compare with other similar Startups ? 
When selling to startups, fundraising data like funding stage and last funding amount are important attributes in the decision making process
Build your marketing campaigns using funding data from Prelo

Get monthly fundraising data from Prelo

Prelo shares a detailed breakdown across countries, Industries and funding stages. The data below is an example of the funding insights we presented to our customers at the end of July.  

Funding insights for August

  • 760+ Startups fundraised
  • $23.3B was raised by 26 countries
  • US Startups raised the most $14.2B
  • Zimbabwe raised the least $250K

Latest fundraises in Asia

  • Singapore raised $2.5B across 10 companies
  • China raised $0.71B across just 3 companies

Monthly breakdown of all the Startups fundraising insights for July

How to create a marketing vision for August

If you are a marketing agency owner, and you are using Prelo’s data to build an outbound marketing strategy for the month of August, then you’ve come to the right place.  

Prelo is your research hub, it’s a chance to build a solid list of prospects with a higher conversion probability than creating an emailing sequence and sending 1000+ emails with a 2% conversion rate.

Thanks to the pandemic a geographically dispersed audience de-risks your business. Therefore, focusing your pipeline on the top 3 cities that’s raised large funds in the last 12 months is a great start.

Cities funded in July were New York, London & San Francisco.

Targeting these locations and the individual companies with the funding and a budget to pay for your service is a growth hack when selling to Startups.

A hot tip – looking for similar companies in the same demographic, even if they were funded 24 months ago is also an incredible hack when it comes to building your sales pipeline.

Create a solid list of funded Startups with our Starter Search template

Discover hidden trends with Prelo’s historical funding insights.

Data for the past 24 months is useful, but for the purpose of this blog I’ll stick to May and June fundraises as well as some hiring overview data

For each data overview, I’ll provide a broad marketing approach to support the data and help our readers understand how to use the data. 

Funding insights for July

– 890+ Startups fundraised 
– $28.8B raised by 30 countries
– US raised the most $18.6B
– China raised the least $323K

Creating a marketing vision for July

If you run a consulting firm and wish to use Prelo’s data to devise a marketing strategy for the month of July, then we have the data for you. 

If I was hedging my risks with regard to marketing, my advise would be to concentrate your marketing efforts on Berlin, London & San Francisco.

Monthly breakdown of all the Startups fundraising insights for June

Funding insights for June

  • 837+ Startups fundraised in May now available
  • $20B raised by 25 countries
  • US raised the most $13.8B
  • Uganda raised the least $350K

How to create a marketing vision for June

If you run a creative agency and wish to use Prelo’s data to build a marketing strategy for the month of June we have 3 cities to add to your target audience list. 

New York, San Francisco and London all show up as key lead runners in terms of outbound marketing.

monthly fundraising breakdown of all the Startups loaded into Prelo for May

How to use hiring data to spot marketing opportunities

Hiring momentum combined with fundraising insights is extremely valuable in identifying a company’s growth stage.

This is important for 2 reasons. First it helps you understand where your service fits in to their business, second it helps you determine how to position your outreach message.

If a company is hiring developers, you’re probably too late to the party if you’re a development software house, but not too late if your services include QA Testers and Product managers.

Similarly if a Startup is hiring a marketing team, you may want to plug in to their growth stage if your company builds and sells prospecting SaaS platforms or your company provides customer success services.

Use the hiring industry breakdown to start a conversation

If you plan on building a successful agency selling to Startups, it’s important to take the charts in the infographics below, and create a marketing plan around the key industries highlighted in the infographic.

Kick off your marketing campaign in the HealthTech, PropTech or FinTech industries by connecting with decision makers and sharing with them how your product or services will fit in to their current hiring plans. Here’s a simple list to help you position your messaging.

Hiring Development Teams
It means they’re building a new product or pivoting from an existing one

Hiring Marketing Teams
Means a new product or an existing product needs a promotional push or a facelift

Hiring Talent Acquisition Teams or Head of People
Means they are putting together a hiring plan across multiple departments

I wrote a blog on email subject line openers that can help you start a conversation.

Check out 40 email subject lines

Monthly Hiring Breakdown of all Startups uploaded into Prelo

The next step is to create hyper-personalized emails to increase your chances of converting them to becoming your customer. 

Some closing statements

As a Prelo customer you will have access to highly curated data. We’ll give you information on key data points across 30 different countries to help you build your marketing vision for the next 6 months.

Below is an example of the data you’ll have access to.

  • Current funding stage
  • Most recent funding date
  • you know what roles they are trying to fill 
  • Job advertised date
  • Email address of top decision makers

The best possible business decision you can make is to treat data from Prelo with the highest amount of care, and leverage it to build a solid pipeline of sales leads. 

Prelo is your unfair advantage if you sell to Startups.

Tired of pitching to Startups with zero budget?

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On twitter : 🐤 @oluadedj
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Until the next time.

Founder, Prelo
I tweet about helping founders win!