How To Raise A $1M Seed Round

Editor???s note: Sunil Rajaraman is the co-founder and CEO of, a marketplace for businesses to hire freelance writers. Follow him on Twitter @subes01.

When I talk to my friends who are not currently at startups, or the Silicon Valley, the perception is that VCs and individual investors are throwing around investment dollars like drunken sailors. Outsiders think that there is a bubble, and that any company with two engineers and an idea will get funded (though there is some truth to that in certain cases).

The reality is, competition has never been fiercer for startups, especially at the seed stage, to close a round. The pendulum may have swung for Y Combinator companies, but not everyone else.

I am a non-technical co-founder of ??? a marketplace for businesses to hire freelance writers. We recently closed a $1M seed round led by an institution (Crosslink Capital) ??? I wanted to highlight some of the lessons I learned along the way, and pass along a few tidbits for those of you who may be in the same situation.

Get Ready for an Uphill Battle

Both my co-founder and I are non-technical (even worse, we are MBAs). We both hail from highly quantitative backgrounds, and I worked for one startup previously, but nothing of note. If you are in the same boat as us, get ready for a long, uphill battle. We had a VP of Engineering lined up at the start of our raise, but he was not full-time when we were going around and making our pitches. If you aren???t ready for your raise to take a full 6 months, you should find a plan B ASAP.

Looking back at my inbox, it looks like we received a total of around 120 intros to individual angels and institutions ??? a little over 10 folks invested in our round. Remember that batting average does not matter when it regards to funding, just

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