#AskPS
Utkarsh Binay .

Hey guys I think this is my first post here after a very long time.

So a little background about me. I’m currently studying in Carnegie Mellon university, working in Perkfix as a product manager. Hi to all the product mangers out here happy to connect.

I’m also working on a product which is basically a platform to democratize all kinds of perks and benefit programs for employees as we know in times of covid and in general getting a compensation is not enough people want perks too.

We are also focusing on expenses and providing a virtual and physical card for both perks and expenses. Let me know if you guys don’t know or understand what an employee expense card is?

Now I have two questions here.

1) I don’t know how to set up the pricing, the product is almost ready but confused about the pricing whether to set it a bit lower then the competitors and then increase it later is a good strategy or how to go about it. If there are founders and ceos in this group of startups it would mean a lot if you would be Willing to help me out in taking the survey, it’s 2 question long so won’t take that much time

2)How do I approach for funding and who do I approach for. Is there any way, this is my first startup that I am trying to get funded. So if anyone has any prior experience in raising funds and could connect with me would mean a lot. Wanted to know whether to connect with VCs or Angel investors or both?

Originally Posted Here
6 Comments

Gaurav Mittal

Interesting questions. I think there are pricing models in place which you can look at. All those pricing models are based on your competitive advantage, cash in hand, value that customer perceive. Plot them across in an excel and you will be able to arrive at a pricing model.

For funding, start with a deck and reach out to all the VCs who have funded SaaS startups. They won't fund you in the first meeting but you will be in their radar.

Make a list of all VCs active in your space and drop them a message on their mails or LinkedIn. This shall get you the first call.

Hope this makes sense

Nitul Shah

Meet Prof. Ravi in CMU.;)Suggest you to take his class 'Business of Software' in Sem 3. He covers pricing, funding, pitch deck, exec summary etc. He is an investor in several companies and would be great guide/mentor (not to mention free).

Soham Sarkar

For pricing, can't you do a SWOT analysis against the existing market solutions and adjust your pricing to that? I personally wouldn't set it low and then increase as it might create false expectations as well as tilt your customer base towards the smaller market segment that can't pay for the increased price.

What we are doing at my startup is talking to ideal customers almost daily (connecting on LinkedIn and asking for advice) and then on the call, I'm pitching our product and gauging their response. If it's good we ask them what they would be willing to pay for it. You could try a similar strategy.

As for funding, this is what we're doing (keep in mind, I'm very new to investor outreach and haven't raised funds yet but we're very aggressive in our investor outreach strategy).

-Identify the stage you are in (pre-seed, seed, series A etc)
-Find the top 20-50 best institutional investors for your market and stage. Personally, I'm not approaching angels, but only established VC firms (think Sequoia, Matrix, SAIF etc) because they can move faster and have better support than most angels. Also VC's will always invest even in a bad market because thats their job, angels will be more conservative.
-See if you have any common connect with those VC's either through mutual friends, work associations or group associations (I connected with SAIF through pushstart itself as well as Sequoia through the SAIF connect)
-If you have no common connect with the VC's, see if you have a common connect with any of the founders at one of their portfolio startups. Usually, I've noticed that one warm intro is enough to open multiple other intros.
-If you have no warm connect with VC's or their portfolio startups you can straight cold email them or reach out to them on LinkedIn. Most of them have replied to us even using cold outreach so its definitely worth a shot.

Tools Titian

How to learn about getting funds and all about pre-seed, seed, series, as you mentioned above. I am 18 and new to the field and want to learn these things. Please, sir, help me and tell me how can I learn all this.

Soham Sarkar

Google and Youtube are your best resources for this. There is no single source of information.

Start with YCombinator's youtube channel

Sathish CP

1.

The pricing logic comes from various aspects.

If your competitive advantage is gonna from price then you need to be lower than your competitors.

Or if it depends on the additional features or value that you offer, then try offering a premium price for those features or USPs.

Know about offering incremental value, and pricing your product accordingly.

You can take a lot of references since its not a completely new idea, start somewhere and experiment with different pricing logic in POCS.

2.

Unless its highly disruptive, and you need a large capital to deploy the solution it's very difficult to attract investor at this stage. You have to prove that your product has customers interest even with all the competition, or prove how unique or what value proposition you offer than others. Go acquire POCs, build your product for real-world market requirements. The right way to go about this is by showing this idea as an investible business and reach out to specific investors who invest in enterprise SaaS products. To show this investible you have to prove any of those hypotheses. Investment positioning plays a key role here. Acquiring an investment shall be a goal and not the starting point.


Hope this line of thought helps you to think in a different direction, Very difficult to give a point solution in the comments as it differs case to case.

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