Question: I'm raising a seed round for my startup. How do I decide how much to raise?
Include Unforeseen Costs
"Build a rock-solid plan for the business to ensure you reach your goals. Include all costs you can foresee, and on top of that, add a 25-percent buffer to any costs not set in stone. Then, include an entire category devoted to unforeseen costs. Ensure you included everything: rent, healthcare, salary, hardware -- everything. Raise that number and not one dollar more. Spend less than your plan."
Look Forward to Series A Round
"Seed rounds are to help you formulate and build your idea, product or service from a conceptual state to a useable state. Hopefully you can show some good growth or adoption during your seed round to then get a favorable Series A round to grow your idea. Seed rounds tend to not be so favorable from an equity standpoint since your idea is not yet proven."
Use a Financial Model
"Creating a set of financial projections that cover the conservative, reasonable and aggressive growth cases is important to model, so you know how much money you will need to raise. Crunch your numbers very thoroughly and be sure to take into account your team members, benefits and taxes, facility costs and any travel expenses you think you'll need for the next year to 18 months. "
Raise Enough to Last a Year
"For a seed round, I'd recommend putting together 12 months of burn based on a super-lean expense structure. You'll need your seed money to get a basic amount of traction for your product and expand it to more than a minimally viable state. You'll also need to be allocate funds toward marketing and user acquisition so you can identify successful channels for further exploitation."
Raise Enough for a Year and a Half
"For a seed round, I'd target raising 18 months of funding. Raising money and getting to profitability take time. Make sure to give yourself enough leeway to do both without losing focus on the business."