Welcome to TheFundedAs a serial entrepreneur, I have come to realize over the years how important fundraising is and how difficult it can be.
First, fundraising is far too time consuming for the entrepreneur, wasting valuable time required to grow the business. Second, the fundraising process is often like speed dating with a long-term relationship at the end, and you split the proceeds. Everyone puts their best face on, and it is only when the deal is done do you get to see the real value, if any. I have personally been burned, and so have many of my friends.
So, I set out a guide to help entrepreneurs find the perfect funding source for their business. Imagine if you had a comprehensive database of funding sources with practical insights from entrepreneurs who have dealt with the funds...
- Search for any fund in the world by name, and the list of funds on the left will dynamically update, showing the top rated funds first.
- Browse for funds by choosing "Geography" and/or "Funding Level", and the fund list will update accordingly. Your browse preferences are stored for 24 hours. To clear the stored preferences, click "Go!"
- Page through funds and comments by hitting the "Next" and "Prev" links at the bottom of the page.
- View facts, reviews, and commentary on funding sources by clicking on a fund name anywhere on the site.
- Access RSS feeds of the most recent public comments from members is available to keep you up-to-date with funding source news.
- Become a Member and log-in for these benefits:
- Members Only: Access detailed Fund Profiles with specialty, reference investments, and investment criteria.
- Members Only: Access partner vCards with full contact information of all partners at the various venture funds.
- Members Only: Rate any fund on a 1-5 scale across five performance criteria to create an overall fund average.
- Members Only: Comment on both fund and partner performance with both Public and Private recommendations and access the coveted Private commentary of others.
- Members Only: Discuss any posting with an active Feedback mechanism.
- Members Only: Agree and Disagree instantly with the comments by clicking on the respective links.
- Members Only: Invite other entrepreneurs to the community by clicking on the "invite" link in the menu.
- New Members Only: Power Search across all available data, including partner speciality, commentary, and fund details.
- New Members Only: Leverage your Dashboard to bookmark funds and track past, present, and future fundraising activities.
- Why is the site anonymous?
- How does the anonymity work?
- Who runs TheFunded?
- What was the inspiration for TheFunded?
- Who will TheFunded.com help?
- How does Membership work?
- How do I post a review? (Members)
Why is the site anonymous?It is very difficult for a seasoned entrepreneur to reveal details on funding experiences without anonymity. Some experiences are negative. Other experiences are sensitive. The venture world is all about reputation, and anonymity provides the freedom for entrepreneurs to say what needs to be said.
How does the anonymity work?TheFunded.com aggressively protects the anonymity of its Members. All contributed reviews and comments are only associated with a user identification number (UIN). The UIN is not associated with any personal information, and the UIN only exists for system maintenance purposes. A Member can choose to include, change, or delete their username in written posts. Some more details are below:
Every Membership application is received through Gmail, and no information from the application is stored on servers operated by TheFunded.com. If an application is accepted, the Member-to-be is given a random six digital token associated with the approved email address. When the future-Member accepts the initiation, which actually expires after a limited time, they are taken to an Account Creation page.
The Account Creation page validates the invitation code, allowing the future-Members to create a Membership account. If the invitation code is either used or incorrect, the future-Member is blocked. If the invitation code checks out, the future-Member creates a completely ANONYMOUS account by choosing a username of their choice and a password. Any ties to the original email address are discarded by the system, and no IP address is ever logged with that account. Nothing to identify the Member is stored except a generic user identification number (UIN). The new Member can delete or change the username displayed in any post at will, including deleting it all together and making the post completely ANONYMOUS.
With >200 CEO applications per day and most approved Memberships taking between 1-10 days to be claimed, there is no accurate way to associate the generic UIN with a real human being. In the best case, which would be costly and inaccurate, an attempt could be made to (a) subpoenaing TheFunded.com, (b) subpoenaing Google/Gmail, and (b) attempt to collate >2,000 CEOs with >2,000 numerical id numbers. This is by design to ensure that any CEO with any problem can speak freely about their concerns without fear of retribution in the present or future from their peers or from investors anywhere.
The anonymity has been validated by legal counsel.
Who runs TheFunded?TheFunded.com was designed, built, and programmed by a modestly successful entrepreneur, Adeo Ressi, who is the Founding Member. Advice was provided from a group of other more modestly successful entrepreneurs, who comprise the Original Members. Ultimately, TheFunded.com is run by the Members.
What was the inspiration for TheFunded?The Founding Member experienced a bad funding situation and wanted to help others avoid a similar fate. As the idea grew, the Original Members saw real potential for TheFunded.com to bring some transparency to the venture funding world, which is largely governed by secrecy.
Who will TheFunded.com help?TheFunded.com is designed to help three audiences:
- early stage entrepreneurs looking for funding for the first time or after having exited a previous company,
- fast growth entrepreneurs that are being approached by multiple different funding sources,
- entrepreneurs looking to do diligence on funds before they execute funding arrangements and Board seats.
How does Membership work?There are two ways to get Membership:
- First, you must be invited by another Member.
- Second, you can use the Membership application form. 33% of the 7,000+ applications received to date have been rejected. Why? Because people do not carefully follow the membership request guidelines.
How do I post a review? (Members)There are two types of reviews: numerical and written. In both cases, you need to be logged in with your username and password by filling them in at the top of any page. Then, search the fund that you want to review and click on it.
- First, you will see a series of buttons to review the fund across five categories on a 1 to 5 scale. Select a rating for only the categories that you know from working with the fund, and just click the numbered rating button. This will submit a completely anonymous numerical rating for the fund.
- Second, we strongly recommend that you submit a written review to really help other Members. For this, scroll to the bottom of the specific fund page, and you will see four written review fields: Title, User, Public, and Private. Each written review must have a Title. We strongly recommend that you fill out both Public and Private commentary with some detail. Public commentary appears on the homepage and in the various RSS and email feeds, read by thousands. Private commentary is reserved for the Members ONLY to review while logged into the site. You can delete any name from the User field, and the post will be made completely anonymous. If you are bold, you may want to fill out the User field with your real name and let the world know what you think. This is up to you! At this point, we recommend anonymity.
If you have lost your password, please include (1) your full name, (2) your username on TheFunded, which is not an email address, (3) a hyperlink to your company and (4) mention the last fund or topic that you posted about on the site. If you do not recall your username, then you need to re-apply. Thank you.