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Eight Tools Founders Need to Prepare for a Unicorn Round

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Raising a round is a nerve wracking and emotional process that can often leave founders feeling at a loss and unsure about how to handle logistics. We at Brex have experience fundraising and put together a list of the core tools founders should have in their arsenal when preparing for that next round. Here’s the eight we found to be the most helpful -- and sometimes overlooked -- fundraising tools.

  1. Microsoft Excel - Build your financial model. Depending on company stage, investors will expect a 2-5 year financial forecast, as well as unit economics. Given the enhanced functionality, better shortcuts, and the fact that most investors prefer Excel, we recommend Excel over Google Sheets.
  2. Presentation Software - Investors expect a presentation highlighting the company and market opportunity. Make your words count, and create a polished, professional presentation that is at most 12 slides. View some successful presentations here.
  3. DocSend - Manage file sharing in a secure way and maintain control over who has access to critical documents. DocSend’s feature for tracking who viewed the document (and when) will give you key insights. DocSend has been helpful to Brex founders in the past, and we want to pass this service along. With three free months as a Brex Reward, founders can utilize this simple and useful service.
  4. Private file sharing folder - Dropbox, Google Drive, Box - Founders need to have a private folder--sometimes called a Data Room--shared only with those included in the fundraising process. It is best to keep to small audience until more details such as timing and valuation are finalized.
  5. Law firm or legal software - Whether you like it or not, in today's investing world you may require a law firm. Since investors will be using these services, it is best to have a law firm to negotiate the minutia and smaller deal points on your behalf. In a nontraditional or crowdsourced round, you may be able to use online legal software such as Clerky to create documents.
  6. Microsoft Word - The standard for legal documents used during fundraising.
  7. Adobe Editor - When not using DocSend,  it’s considered “professional” to send everything in PDF to avoid the recipient making edits. Aside from collaborating with a potential investor on a term sheet or investment agreement, you should be sending in PDF format.
  8. Wire instructions - Investors need to know where to send the funds (make this easy)! They will expect to wire the money and will need wire instructions in the form of a routing number and accounting number (easily attainable through your bank). A nice touch is to present this document in a PDF with your company letterhead.

Prioritize using these tools, and you will move through your fundraising with confidence and ease. They will save you time, money and stress and after you raise that round and look back, you will be happy to have made the choice to invest in your own success.

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