The logic goes that when the whole world is in the grip of dangerous coronavirus, it is not the best time to find investments for your startup – the global economy is in a devastating crisis with no one able to closely predict what will happen next. However, in the opinion of a famous IT investor Rustam Gilfanov, the attempts to attract investors may turn out to be successful based on a number of conditions. We will tell you what these conditions are and whether it is possible to raise funds for your brilliant business idea.
“It doesn’t matter whether it is crisis times now or not, getting your startup funded is always a long story, you need to be prepared for this. Stop waiting for an ideal time – there isn’t one. The most difficult thing is to find an investor at the stage of an idea or a pilot project. Typically, it is business angels who invest in promising startups, but today they are reluctant to participate in such projects because of a significant drop in incomes”, says Gilfanov.
The situation is much better at the stages when seed or venture capital funds make investments. For example, investing money now, you can predict when the startup will need a new seed round. It will be collected in about a year when the pandemic will decline or be over completely. This is because such funds have a called-up and managed capital and a plan. The funds will place their capital one way or another. But, according to Rustam Gilfanov, there is one catch – now online services associated with the digital economy and the healthy sphere are more relevant for investors.
Anyway, offline businesses will bear big losses. A more positive situation is with companies that have made their presence both in online and offline environments such as dark kitchens with their idea of delivering ready-made meals by subscription. “For example, BlueApron, an American startup delivering food preparation kits, didn’t go very well after the IPO. However, during the pandemic, its stocks began to rise. And it was quite predictable – people had to stay at home, so they began to use the service regularly”, says Rustam Gilfanov.
Rustam Gilfanov pays attention to the fact that startups related to telemedicine are also a priority nowadays. People have a need to receive specialized consultations using their smartphones, and this trend will remain strong long after the pandemic. Platforms for online work, freelancing, and entertainment also appeal to investors.
“Now is not a proper time to seek investment in a mere idea. Unfortunately, if you do not have your first revenue or at least a prototype, business angels will be reluctant to consider investing in your project. But you can offer them to become your partners and move their current businesses online”, advises Gilfanov.
Rustam Gilfanov’s biography in brief
Rustam Gilfanov is a co-founder of an IT-company, an IT-businessman, and an international investor.
Rustam Gilfanov was born on January 6, 1983, in the rural locality of Basim in Perm Region, in the family of a military man and a teacher.
In 2006, Rustam Gilfanov founded an international outsourcing IT-company in Kyiv, together with partners. Today, this company is the largest developer of software for the industries of gaming, marketing, and finance.
Several years ago, Gilfanov withdrew from affairs in his IT-company to engage in international investment in promising IT-projects in the sphere of financial technology, gaming, and video streaming. It is also important for Rustam Gilfanov to develop and support goodwill projects in Ukraine, the most ambitious of which is LuckyBooks and Libraries of the Future.
Gilfanov Rustam is married and has a daughter.