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Finding Funding

How can startups find funding?

· Fundraising

The first in a series of articles looking at startups and fundraising in my capacity as an Ambassador for Funds Sniper; a search engine for PE and VC funds. I live and work in Hong Kong.

Early this year, I attended a seminar with speakers representing banks, family offices, and law firms. During the session, a panelist asked if anyone knew how many funds were offered by the government for startups.

I knew there were at least two because I was the recipient of a subsidy through the SME Export Marketing fund for FinTech Week 2021 and 2022 and I had heard of one other but never knew what it meant or if there were others.

After a brief search, I found there are, in fact, more than 60 government funding and support schemes available and this website provides information and links.

But that got me thinking. Apart from Hong Kong Government startup funding, how do startups know what's out there from a venture capital and private equity perspective?

The traditional ways of finding investors for startups involve a lot of time, trial and error, patience, and resilience.

The finance ecosystem drinks from and refills a gigantic money lake; only two years ago, private equity buyouts totaled US$654 billion (source). Yet, with all this money sloshing about, there is a still the challenge of diverting some to your startup.

First, you need to find the right grade of water, meaning the type of investor or investment source that matches your startup's stage, industry, growth potential, and funding requirements.

Yet this water grade is muddied by the actual investors, having varied risk appetites, areas of expertise, investments, target sectors (ESG, women-led, AI, networking, and more).

Funding Ecosystem

The journey of securing funding for a startup is a big and can cause a rollercoaster of emotions as you explore a diverse range of potential investors.

Bootstrapping is where founders rely on their personal savings, credit cards, or income from other sources to fund their startup. Crowdfunding platforms, government grants and loans, friends and family, accelerators, and incubators are all viable alternatives for early-stage funding.

The finance sector itself includes traditional investment funds, funds of funds (which invest in other investment funds), hedge funds, fund managers, private bankers catering to high-net-worth individuals and families, and trusts, all serving as potential sources of capital.

Family offices, which manage the wealth and investments of mega rich and rich families, often have the resources and flexibility to consider investing in startups and early-stage ventures.

Finding Funding

Now you know there is a big investment pool out there you're still left with the task of locating and securing funding.

According to information from Embroker's article on startup statistics in 2024 (, here are the typical average timelines for raising different funding rounds:

  • A seed round is a few months.
  • Seed to Series A is 18 months.
  • Series A to Series B, 10-18 months.
  • Series B to Series C round,27 months.

Note, these are average timelines and every startup will be different. When fundraising, there are other things to think about too, including the quality of the pitch deck, the startup's market fit and financials, competition, valuation, terms, and even the time of year.

This is where a dedicated resource like Funds Sniper can prove invaluable.

Funds Sniper

Full disclosure: I am an Ambassador for Funds Sniper

Rather than wandering blindly through the intricate fundraising maze, there is another way to find funds, and that's through Funds Sniper.

This offers startups in identifying and connecting with the right investors based on specific criteria.

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With access to over 18,000 Private Equity & VC funds globally and information on more than 20,000 fund managers, Funds Sniper is one of the largest search engines in the sector on a global scale.

Funds Sniper's platform allows startups to find suitable Private Equity & VC funds as potential investors, growth-stage companies to secure funding for expansion, and M&A professionals, financial advisors, and funds of funds to identify relevant funds for their clients' needs or investment portfolios.

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Using my discount code amb-ogFFA, you can save US$150 as shown above. Or contact me for a demonstration.

About Me

With over 30 years of experience in the Asia-Pacific PR industry, I have successfully led impactful campaigns for startups and multinational corporations alike. Fundraising is an area of interest, and I recently became an Ambassador for Funds Sniper, a unique global search engine of over 18,000 PE and VC funds.

Go to and enter the code amb-ogFFA for a preferential rate.