LaunchPoint Receives $3.5M in Series B Funding

LaunchPoint, which was just established in 2008, has already been seeing impressive growth in the past couple of years. And it looks like they’ll be experiencing more of this exciting progress because just last January, they have acquired $3.5 million for their Series B funding.

This particular round of financing was participated in by both new and old investors (from their Series A funding).

LaunchPoint’s Director of Marketing Michelle Smyth shared more about the company and their recent success in this e-interview with Lead411:

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Creating a Business Plan

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Funny: so few small businesses actually have a business plan, yet every single one needs one. It doesn’t have to be a 50 page document. It can be a simple few pages that outline the business’ purpose and structure. But having one can actually help sustain your business through tough times. And if you’re a startup looking for funding, it’ll be one of the first things investors ask for. Here’s what you need to know.

Formal or Informal?

First, let’s look at your business. If you’re a small business that gets by on its own financing, and you don’t have third parties involved in funding your business, you can get by on a rough sketch of a business plan. If, however, you’re a nonprofit applying for grants or sponsorships, or are a startup wishing to secure funding through angel investors or venture capitalists, you’ll have to go the traditional route.

DIY or Hire Help?

If you fell into the first camp, you can pretty easily put together your own plan using one of many free online business plan templates. Once you’ve drafted it, have a coworker or family member review it for accuracy.

If you’re seeking funding, you can still create your own business plan, but I advise having a financial expert look over your financials and budgets, and someone who’s worked with both business plans and funding review the entire thing. It might cost a few hundred dollars, but it’s certainly worth it to avoid discrepancies that could cost you millions in funding.

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FeeFighters’ Ninjas Get $1.6 Million From Investors

FeeFighters is a comparison shopping site for credit card processors which has already helped save merchants $30,000,000 in processing fees since its launch back in 2009.  They have recently received an impressive $1.6 million in new funding led by Sandbox Industries, along with other investors which include Hyde Park Angels and OCA Ventures.

Check out this recent interview we had with their Marketing Manager, Ms. Stella Fayman:

1. Who are your competitors and how are you different from them?

We are competing with the system…the way that credit card processing is sold to business owners. Right now, business owners get calls from salespeople offering them low rates, and they are often tricked into signing contracts full of fine print that hikes up their fees. We are offering an alternative…a comparison shopping solution that put the power and information into business owners’ hands. The FeeFighters marketplace is transparent and has no hidden fees. All fees are stated clearly and itemized so the business owner knows exactly how much he/she would be paying if they chose a certain processor. We make shopping for a credit card processor as easy as shopping for a plane ticket on Expedia or Kayak.

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Born to Sell Interview

This interview was conducted with Mike Scanlin, CEO of Born to Sell.

What does your company do?

We are a web-based subscription service for investors. We help self-directed investors use the “covered call” investment strategy to generate recurring monthly income (by selling call options against stocks and ETFs they own).

It sounds complicated but it’s not. We have a free tutorial on the site. Covered calls are the most popular options-based investment strategy (4 out of 5 investors who trade options will trade covered calls).

Our subscription service provides tools to save covered call investors time and help them do better with the strategy. Specifically, we offer a covered call screener (which screens the universe of 150,000 call options to find the best covered call candidates) and covered call portfolio management (to help investors maximize the time premium they collect each month).

Who are your competitors?www.callwriter.com, www.coveredcalls.com, www.poweropt.com

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How to Create an Investor Deck

I’m working on creating an investor deck for my client, and I realized you guys might like to know what I’ve learned.

Here’s what’s changed over the past ten years or so: the focus in getting funding and presenting to investors has moved away from giant business plans and has been boiled down to a simple, succinct 10 slide deck. Think about it: if you’re an investor, would you want to read dozens of business plans each week? A good investor recognizes a good business concept when he sees it, so ten slides should be enough to give him a sense of the startup.

Here’s what VentureHacks says those slides should look like: Read More