Is your startup business like your baby – a screaming, bawling bullet-headed bundle of unhappiness that keeps you lying awake at night wishing you had never conceived it? Does it require constant attention and nurturing? Does it cling to you and refuse to let go – whilst (metaphorically speaking) projectil-ing streaky, white, milky vomit all over your favourite CEO jumper – the one with the elbow patches that you think makes you look clever (along with those spectacles you don’t really need) but actually make you look like a randy vicar who can’t stay away from the communion wine?
If so, you may experience a strange mix of emotions when handing over a chunk of your business to an investor. Of course, there will be an ecstatic feeling of scarcely comprehending relief, just like when you hand over your child to an unsuspecting great Aunt, combined with astonishment that anyone could possibly want to enfold something so miserable into their warm, perfumed, embrace.
But don’t forget – the angel investor is as desperate as you are.
Just six months ago he was running the derivatives desk of a “big four” investment bank in Canary Wharf, and spent his lunchtimes buying candles from White Company and lingerie from Ann Summers for his wife – he had even persuaded himself the sales assistant there had a crush on him, although really she had just been trying to up-sell him the furry handcuffs and chocolate dildo because she had month-end targets to meet. Unlike our angel investor, she met them.
Her butt plugs practically flew off the shelves (and probably straight up the nearest CEO’s bottom); triple C brassieres it turns out, practically sell themselves, whilst sales volumes of triple D rated junk bonds remained as flaccid and unmoved as a career-cuckold’s penis.
Most angel investors spend their time during meetings with founders wondering how their bank managed to dump them so quickly – was 15 years of piss-poor service really only worth an engraved ballpoint pen, 50 grand and a nipple tweak from the head of equities at the staff leaving do?
They glorify in being shown an excel spreadsheet they actually have some vague understanding of, for the first time in a decade, and ask questions with a new found vigour and confidence, whilst silently thanking their lucky stars they never splashed out on that diamond studded gimp mask.
It feels good to be calling the shots again, they think, tenderly rubbing their lacerated buttocks. But how do you pick the angry, bitter, emasculated angel investor that’s right for you? Which one will take good care, of your, bay-bee? And if they do discover, that they don’t really love her, which one will pay the most to let you take the demonic little f*cker back off their hands again, and home, too-oo you?
Want our tip? Host an investor evening at a swanky bar. Invite the three outstanding candidates, and by that we mean the three you hate the least. Send them an invitation on a piece of white cardboard that looks like it’s been chewed by a horse, with gaudy gold lettering. This will impress them, for some reason. When they all arrive, tell them that you are going to start with a light finger buffet, followed by the knuckle of ham. And not to worry, at the end of the evening we’ll split it three ways. Do the deal with whomever hasn’t run away screaming.
Keep on hustlin’