>To Raise or not to Raise

>To Raise or not to Raise

This is a question that every startup asks itself when it is about to take off. There are enterprises out there that have never needed to raise any money and have done just fine for decades and grew into a respectable enterprise. While others, have raised quite a bit and used it wisely to grow tremendously. Yet others have perished due to lack of financial resources when in times of need or remained a small enterprise for decades as their finances never allowed them to grow to their true potential.

The question remains, To raise cash or not to raise.

Let’s look at the landscape of tech companies. Some of the biggest enterprises on the tech scene are those that have had some form of cash infusion at some stage during their growth cycle. Twitter, Facebook, and even Google would not have been what they are today without the money pouring in from Venture Capitalists (VC) and investors. Even the old warriors like Intel, Oracle, Sun Microsystems reached their zenith with timely cash infusions during their growth cycles. Even today’s smaller steller startups like Simply Hired (jobs), Zazzle (print), Allvoices (media), Scrybe (office), and others would not have grown to the level they have today had it not been for some serious cash infusion at the right time.

It is also a verifiable fact that companies need money to grow regardless of their size and financial condition. It is not possible to regularly generate huge amounts of cash and use that reserve to invest back into the company. Surely, some do that, but it is not sustainable nor is it always wise. The extra finances (raised capital) is always good when the economy is shaky and revenues are hard to grow.

Startups usually survive from month to month or quarter to quarter. One bad quarter in a down economy, and you bite the dust. Even in good times, extra cash is always good. Say, the market is demanding your services/product and you need to scale up fast. If you rely on your cash to grow, then the growth will be slow and painful. And a competitor with deep pockets might take advantage of the situation and surpass you.

It is great to remain independent, and it feels great to be your own boss with no one to report to. However, it is hard to remain that way for a very long time. Market changes, economy tumbles, the revenue streams dry up or even a competitor might go for the kill. Either way, independence does not guarantee a long and prosperous life.

Nor does raising funds. But it does reduce the risk of failure and reduces the impact of over zealous competitor, economic turmoils and market fluctuations. And a company that can reduce its risks can definitely survive, grow and become a force to be reckoned with.

So my conclusion is raise funds but do it wisely.

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About Atif Mumtaz
A serial entrepreneur who loves to travel, discuss politics and hikes on weekends.

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