Early expansion can be crucial
The first few years of a startup's life are a critical period that can determine the trajectory the company will take. Young startups typically have limited funding runways, which mean that they need to quickly secure a foothold in the market in order to keep themselves afloat and secure their future successes.
For this reason, early-stage startups often need to quickly expand their reach to new markets. To achieve this, some startups will benefit from using globalisation to their advantage, as expanding globally can help startups stake their territory within a market.
Global expansion can be especially useful for startups that were founded within a smaller market, as scaling globally can give them access to larger markets with more opportunities for growth. Airbnb, for example, could never have grown to be the global accommodation player it has become today if it hadn’t expanded beyond an air mattress in a living room in San Francisco.
VC firms share their experience through coaching and mentoring
While fast expansion can be critical for early-stage startups, it can be difficult to achieve without help from an experienced third-party partner. That’s one of the many reasons that startups often choose to partner with VC firms.
Venture capitalists don’t only invest in a company monetarily, they invest their time and effort into it as well. In short, your company’s success becomes your VC partner’s success, and that means that a good partner will do everything they can to get you to the finish line. That includes sharing their team’s collective experience by coaching and mentoring your company’s leadership.
Antler takes a three-pronged approach to business development which includes:
- Company building: Antler provides coaching from internal and external subject matter experts, technology and product development support, long-term strategic input and advice, global adviser network support across the lifecycle, help in attaining investments and raising funds, and office space.
- Business functions: Antler offers its partners its marketing expertise, help finding co-founders and early team members, assistance understanding local cultures for HR purposes, and compliance, legal, and operational support.
- Global access and support: Antler partners get access to Antler’s global alumni platform, which allows them to connect and share insights with other founders across the globe. Antler also has landing pads in many major hubs so that partners can have an easier time transitioning into those markets. Plus, partners can also benefit from Antler’s talent pool, which can be used to fill open positions and to improve networking.
VC firms leverage their networks
Besides initial capital investment, one of the major benefits of working with VCs is that they have typically built up a long list of connections over the years that they have been in business. This includes both decision-makers at other companies that you may want to work with as well as other talented individuals that can make great additions to your team.
By partnering with a VC, startups in their early stages can immediately expand their network and make use of opportunities that wouldn’t be available to them otherwise. This can be especially useful when attempting to expand globally, as on-the-ground connections in other markets can often make the transition much easier.
Partnering with a VC should be a consideration that extends beyond investment: it should include mentoring, coaching, expansion opportunities, access to an established network, and more. That’s why it’s important to partner with a VC firm that aligns with your values and vision and can give you what you need to achieve your goals.
When evaluating a VC before partnering with it, consider its culture and personality fit as well as the specific resources that it can provide to help your business live up to its fullest potential. Businesses that hope to expand globally should ensure that they work with a firm that has a large global network and the experience required to help them expand into new markets and take their business to new heights.