Pre-Seed Fundraising in the UK - A Guide to Pre-Seed Fundraising for Start-Ups

Pre-Seed Fundraising in the UK - A Guide to Pre-Seed Fundraising for Start-Ups

What is pre-seed fundraising?
Pre-seed fundraising is a crucial step for many early-stage startups in the UK. It is the process of raising money from investors to help fund the development and launch of a new business.

What is the goal of pre-seed fundraising?
The goal of pre-seed fundraising is to secure enough capital to validate the business idea, build a minimum viable product, and attract additional investment.

How do you raise pre-seed funding?
There are several ways to raise pre-seed funding in the UK. Here are a few examples:

  • Angel investing:
    Angel investors are high net worth individuals who provide capital to early-stage companies in exchange for equity. Angel investors typically invest in companies that they have a personal interest in or a connection to. In the UK, there are many angel investment networks and syndicates. Download our handy list of the UKs Angel Investor Syndicates.

  • Crowdfunding:
    Crowdfunding platforms, such as Seedrs, allow startups to raise money from a large number of people over the internet. This can be a great way to raise awareness of your business and secure funding from a large number of people.

  • Business incubators and accelerators: Incubators and accelerators, such as Techstars provide mentorship, office space, and other resources to help startups get off the ground. They may also provide funding to the startups in their program.

  • Government grants: The UK government offers a range of grants to businesses, particularly those in the technology or innovation sectors. These grants can help cover the costs of research and development, or help with the expansion of a business. UK Research & Innovation (formerly Innovate UK) and European Regional Development Fund are some of the government-funded programs that provide grants to businesses.

Do pre-seed investors expect my business to be SEIS accredited?
Typically, yes, pre-seed investors will expect you to be accredited by the SEIS and/or EIS schemes in the UK, which offer tax relief to individual investors that invest in small, early-stage companies.

Do I need a pitch deck?
One of the key elements of pre-seed fundraising is a pitch deck. A pitch deck is a visual presentation of your business that you can use to attract investors.

A well-crafted pitch deck should clearly and succinctly explain your business idea, target market, financial projections, and team.

It should also highlight your unique selling points and why your business is a good investment opportunity.

Grab one of our handy pitch deck templates, all designed to the Sequoia model.

Is it hard to raise pre-seed funding?
It's important to keep in mind that pre-seed fundraising can be a long and challenging process. It takes time to find the right investors, prepare a compelling pitch, and negotiate terms.

But with the right approach and persistence, it's possible to secure the funding you need to launch your business.

How can I find pre-seed investors?
A great resource for businesses looking for pre-seed funding is PitchBuilder's Investor Contact List, which offers a downloadable excel list of 300+ UK venture capital, angel syndicate, and crowdfunding investors (including their investment criteria and application links).

Additionally, we offer a pitch creation and design service. This can make the process of Pre-seed fundraising much more manageable and efficient.

How important is pre-seed funding?
Pre-seed fundraising is an important step for many early-stage startups in the UK. There are many ways to raise funding, including angel investing, crowdfunding, business incubators and accelerators, SEIS and EIS, and government grants.

With the right approach and persistence, it's possible to secure the funding you need to launch your business. PitchBuilder can be a valuable resource for businesses looking for pre-seed funding.