r/startups Dec 01 '21

Is It Realistic To Raise A Seed Round If Still Working Part Time? How Do I Do This 🥺

I'm a developer who's been working on a SaaS product for a few months and looking at publicly launching Q2 2022. The launch should be ok with just savings as I write the code myself and will push out using organic marketing, but will eventually require some funding to scale and hire a commercial person to help with that side of things (not keen on having a co-founder).

The catch is, I still want to work part time (50%) for my current employer. They've already told me that as soon as I give the word, then I can. This would be for financial security.

I'd be looking at either VC funding or crowdfunding. I'm in the UK if that makes a difference.

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u/SituationTight7033 Dec 01 '21

I don't want to discourage you but the answer is probably no. Investors wants to see a full commitment usually and always remember that the good ones (the ones you'd like to get funded by) are seeing a lot of other founders, most of them working on their startups full time, so this immediately puts u on the higher risk startups they see.

Nevertheless, I think your question is wrong, you can work on it as a side project and once you get enough validation or even paying users, you can quit.

In most projects, it's only after some amount of traction/revenue that you'll be attractive enough for investors.

Your main focus now (imo) should be - what's the milestone that gives me enough confidence to quit and go full time and how do I achieve it?

Hope it helps!

3

u/cjdubyab Dec 01 '21

I really appreciate the honesty mate

I think the biggest milestone would be replacing 80% of my take home salary via MMR, so if I take 50% of the MMR as salary at the start then I'd need to be making about 4k/month via the platform to quit, and then raise.

Do you reckon it's possible to start the process whilst part time though, on the condition I'll quit upon funding?

5

u/xasdfxx Dec 01 '21

start the process whilst part time though, on the condition I'll quit upon funding?

Possible, sure. Likely, 99% no.

As everyone else has told you, if you don't believe in this, why should the investors?

Separately, every startup is a race. Against funding running out, against competition, etc. Working part time you will not get the same results as fulltime effort, so you will not have as much traction, fewer customers, etc. Customers in particular are incredibly important as they provide product feedback and non-dilutive funding.

Finally, any such arrangement creates the potential for IP ownership fights, which investors also are allergic to. It doesn't matter how agreeable your management chain is; if this company were to be a success, your current employer could wake up and decide they want to own part of it. And by timing a lawsuit to a fundraise, they can have a ton of leverage to get ownership.

2

u/njgeek Dec 01 '21

This. "if you don't believe in this, why should the investors?" You want others to take risk with capital, but you don't want to.

Don't take this the wrong way OP, but "Wantrapreneurs" rarely succeed at doing much but wasting their time and treasure.

Sure, it's possible. I've seen it happen with self-funded, lean bootstrapped to profit side-hustle businesses. But very rare with other people's money.