Gaëlle Haag, CEO and co-founder of StarTalers, can be proud to have raised another €820,000 during the startup’s latest funding round, making it a total of €1.3 million since the beginning of the adventure. Silicon Luxembourg caught up with Gaëlle to hear her story and how she overcame the challenges of raising funds for her business.
Photo: The fundraising will allow StarTalers’ team to launch its financial management platform, Capitana / Image Credits: StarTalers
Fundraising: a demanding and intense process
Raising money from investors doesn’t happen by itself. Even if you have a good business model, a skilled team and an attractive product, it still takes a lot of determination and emotional strength to go through such an exhausting challenge. To make your life easier Gaëlle has shared a couple of tips with us.
Set a deadline. “You will never feel ready to go for the next round of fundraising as you always have in mind that you could have achieved more or prepared yourself better. That’s why at some point you have to set a clear deadline for yourself, your team and your business partners to mobilize everybody and make sure to deliver,” advises Gaëlle.
Stay confident. During the fundraising period, you spend your time thinking about the worst-case scenario. Indeed, negotiating the Investment Term Sheet forces you to constantly think about what would happen in case of failure or problems. This can affect your perception of reality and make you see the situation negatively, when in fact things are going very well.
Trust your abilities. “Even if you don’t know how you will manage, you have to remind yourself it will work. Trust your abilities and creativity and be convinced that you will succeed,” recommends Gaëlle.
The importance of support
Gaëlle insists on the importance of being surrounded by partners who support your project. This support falls into two categories.
Professional support. StarTalers strong mission is about encouraging woman to take ownership of their financial future and help them to start investing. “We decided not to proceed further with some investment proposals where we felt that the investors were not sharing our values and mission.”
On the contrary, Gaëlle knows she can count on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange support. LuxSE’s CFO Pierre Schoonbroodt and his team have been precious sparring partners for this deal and beyond and she can always count on her Chairwoman, CEO Julie Becker who she considers a mentor. The same applies to Leansquare who has joined this round and the group of Business Angels who were part of the journey since the very beginning.
Private support. When stress levels get very high and the mind too occupied with the ups and downs of entrepreneurship, it is a true relief to go home and feel the full support of your life partner and kids.
“My family is my stability and I feel very lucky to have a calm and supportive husband as well as my two daughters who are very proud of their mum,” confesses the entrepreneur.
What’s next for StarTalers?
The second half of 2021 will be busy for StarTalers.
After receiving the final agreement from the CSSF, which is expected by the end of July, the test phases of the platform will be launched. One with family and friends and another one with 300 beta testers. In parallel, two new IT members will join the team during the summer.
The official launch of the platform is planned for October 1st in Luxembourg and Belgium, followed by France on January 1st. The mobile application should be available before the end of 2021 as well.
So stay tuned and get ready to invest!