- Chris Barling
- Company profile:
- Actinic provide IT applications (ecommerce & Electronic Point of Sale) that help retailers sell their products both on the web and through tills in conventional shops. We’ve tended to specialise in small businesses, and tens of thousands have got started selling online using Actinic.
I learnt how to excite investors
Understanding how to attract investment into a business,
particularly from business angels and venture capitalists.
Investors receive many approaches, yet make relatively few
investments. How can you find and attract investment, if your
business needs money in order to grow?
I co-founded Actinic in 1996. After a year or so of self
funding and borrowing from friends and relatives, we raised
£165,000 from a business angel investor, then later £1,500,000 from
a venture capitalist. Finally, we went public on the London Stock
Exchange, raising £25,000,000. Since then I've become an investor
We had a workable business proposition for supplying a boxed
ecommerce software package to small businesses wanting to sell
online. We also had a good plan that covered finance and
We learnt that it's important to excite investors about the chance
of making a lot of money, and also provide assurance that their
risk is contained. After that you need to explain how the money
will be released. That's what they care about, and addressing those
concerns forms the basis for all fund raising.
The questions that the investors asked included:
Are the management team credible? We showed a track
record of previous achievement, but if you don't have this it's
best to get experienced people involved on your board to add
Is the business itself is credible? We demonstrated this
with sales figures and a database of customers.
Are you totally committed? You must be devoted to the
business, and focused on becoming profitable as soon as
Don't mention any other ideas that you may have, as this is a huge
You can find lists of angel investors at the BBAA site, and
VCs can be found at the BVCA site.
Look firstly at the needs of investors, and only secondly
present your need for money and how exciting the business
Try to find one or more people to join your board who have
credibility to help investors make the decision to invest.
Find out more about Actinic
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