Conversion Rates throughout the Fundraising Funnel

Jason Yeh
February 14, 2024

Wait, how many investors do I need to talk to?? and WHY!?

I always tell founders they should aim for a goal of 100 investors on their target list. It's honestly the bare minimum for any successful fundraise especially at the Pre-seed or Seed stage.

(actually the number should be much larger, especially in the earliest stages. But 100 is a nice round number and easy to share.)

When I mention the minimum number, it often leads some founders to ask, "Well, what about 80? What about 50? What is the conversion rate from our target list to actual investors?"

Stop being LAZY

I think these questions stem from a desire to cut corners and reduce their workload. I get it. The task of adding more people to the top of your funnel is time-consuming, difficult, and can feel overwhelming. But you all need to realize that effort is something all founders, no matter how big their network, have to grapple with.

Fine, I’ll explain…

Even with the credibility and trust I think I’ve built, founders want to push back. They don’t believe the number has to be that large. To help you understand why I suggest a target of 100, I've put together a general explanation of the conversion rates at every step of the fundraising funnel. This provides a rough guideline on how to measure your fundraising approach at each stage.

A big disclaimer here though - I'm not guaranteeing these numbers are scientifically accurate. They're highly influenced by a bunch of factors such as the skill and quality of the founder, the quality of the pitching and storytelling, as well as your level of experience and more.

Nonetheless, some have found this guidance helpful, at least as a starting point to accepting the workload. So, let's get into it:

Conversion rates at every stage of the fundraising process

To start:

1) Conversion from intro request to intro being made - 50%

(if you're being aggressive with your asks, it should be around this mark)



2) Intro to first meeting getting scheduled - 70%

If they're able to make the intro, chances are a 1st meeting will happen.

Quality of intro impacts this so make sure you arm your intro'er with a good forwardable email


3) First meeting to second meeting - 20%

Oof. This is where the conversion rate plummets.

Taking that 1st meeting can sometimes be a favor to the introducer.

Sometimes the VC is just meeting to learn and is not that interested in the space

It's a bummer, but the truth


4) Second meeting to deeper diligence - 30%

Here it starts to get interesting. If you made it to a 2nd meeting, there should be real interest.

From here if you're running the process right, 1 in 3 get to spend more time in due dilly


5) Due diligence to a deal - 40%

If a VC firm has spent time on due diligence, they WANT to do a deal.

It's still not easy but they'd like to invest.

So if there are the right signals at play & the fear of losing the deal is cultivated, 40% who make it this far can get to a deal


So where does that get us to? Out of 100 top of funnel targets,

50% x 70% x 20% x 30% x 40% =

~1 deal for every 100 top of funnel targets


Disagree if you want. Push for higher conversion rates at each stage, sure.

But don't make the mistake of skimping on your number at the top of your funnel!

till next week…

Be chased,

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