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Sustainable Finance Explained

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Essential Fundraising Tactics Every Scale-Up Should Know

Growing a business requires more than just good ideas and a great product; it demands a strategic approach to securing funds. This guide explores essential strategies for businesses in the growth phase, commonly referred to as “scale-ups,” as they navigate the complex landscape of fundraising. We’ll delve into the significance of early preparation, the art of storytelling to capture investor interest, and the critical role of well-organised financial planning.

Moreover, we’ll discuss the emerging importance of sustainability in fundraising. It’s not just about getting funds; it’s about ensuring your business is environmentally responsible and therefore future-proof. So, let’s explore these strategies that can make your fundraising journey smarter. Whether you’re contemplating fundraising or already immersed in the process, this blog is your guide for navigating the complexities of fundraising with success!


1. Setting the Stage: Start Preparations Early On

Embarking on the fundraising journey demands meticulous planning and early initiation. Fundraising processes are not sprint races; they are marathons that typically range from 6 to 9 months, sometimes extending up to 12 to 18 months.

Therefore, initiating the fundraising journey well in advance, ahead of the actual need for funds, is imperative. Running out of cash during the fundraising phase can severely compromise bargaining power, making it essential to secure financial backing before it becomes an urgent necessity.

Prepare for Timely Information Provision

Another crucial aspect of fundraising is maintaining momentum. While you may not control the exact duration an investor takes to process information and extend an offer, you have full control over your side of the process. Regular and prompt interactions ensure that investors remain engaged and interested. Being prepared is not just an advantage; it’s a necessity.

Before reaching out to potential investors, having all necessary information meticulously organised in a virtual data room ensures a streamlined process.

This organisational competence reflects positively on the company’s professionalism and facilitates swift responses to investor queries, bolstering confidence in the company’s capabilities. Don’t hesitate to proactively follow up with investors, providing gentle nudges if deadlines are at risk of being missed, as this ensures that the process remains on track.


2. Build Credibility: Use Your Network and Strategic Support

Connecting with the right investors is often smoother when personal connections open doors. Utilising personal networks not only facilitates introductions but also brings credibility and trust to the fundraising table.

Existing connections also serve as endorsements, offering insights into character and work ethic. This personal touch also extends to the crucial factor of the management team, where investors find comfort in having insights into the individuals steering the ship.

The Power of Established Industry Players

On top of that, when an established industry player, with a solid track record and ample resources, lends support through investment, supply contracts, or pre-orders, it becomes a stamp of approval for your venture.

This backing not only validates your product but also instills confidence in investors. It signifies the feasibility of your vision and showcases a competent management team. Having a significant partner onboard mitigates risk, making the fundraising process more assured.


3. Craft Your Narrative: The Art of Storytelling

Understand Your Audience

In the intricate dance of fundraising, understanding your audience is the opening move. Tailoring your narrative to align with the focus areas, objectives, and considerations of potential investors enhances the chances of making a lasting impression.

Create a Compelling Narrative

Crafting a compelling story encapsulates the essence of the problem, the uniqueness of the solution, the journey undertaken, and the impact achieved. Being concise, engaging, and focused avoids unnecessary tangents that might dilute the core message.

Showcase Results and Milestones

Making your story tangible by advocating for the inclusion of recent achievements, backed by data and metrics, transforms the narrative from a mere story to a compelling proposition grounded in accomplishments. Numbers speak volumes and serve as the language of trust. Also see the next section for practical examples of evidence you can use.

Build Trust Through Transparency

Authenticity is another cornerstone of building trust. Sincerity and transparency are not just virtues but fundamental elements in the storytelling toolkit. An authentic narrative resonates with investors on a personal level and establishes the credibility and reliability of the company. So steer clear of cliches and tell your story with all ups and downs included.



4. Numbers Speak Louder: Financials and Evidence

The Power of a Well-Organised Model

At the core of every successful fundraising endeavour lies a well-organised financial model. This financial blueprint, extending at least five years into the future, emphasises the necessity of a detailed income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. Investors crave this 5-year roadmap, desiring clarity on your revenue streams, expenditures, and the cash cycle.

Balancing Realism and Ambition

Another key to financial projections is balance. While investors appreciate optimism, they are equally attuned to the pragmatism that acknowledges the costs and challenges of growth. Showcase your understanding of the financial terrain, proving that your ambitions are rooted in a pragmatic grasp of the industry landscape.

Have Foundations Built on Realistic Principles

Thirdly, your financial assumptions are the pillars upon which your model stands. Each assumption should be carefully crafted, backed by solid principles, reasoning, and, most importantly, evidence. Investors want to see the method behind your projections, understanding the logic that propels your numbers. Whether it’s market research, historical data, or industry trends, your assumptions should have credibility.

Use Qualitative and Quantitative Evidence

Your financials are the script that investors scrutinise to determine if your scale-up aligns with their return targets. Moreover, these numbers are the key players in the valuation negotiations. Therefore, your financials should be a compelling story, illustrating your economical strength, sustainable growth and profitability.

Investors need a dual approach—combining qualitative anecdotes with quantitative data. While qualitative evidence tells the story, it’s imperative to reinforce this with robust quantitative backing.

It stresses the inclusion of growth metrics, financial ratios, non-financial KPIs, and comprehensive data sets to substantiate the overarching story. Whether it’s market research, customer surveys, or industry benchmarks, data lends credibility.


5. Aligning with Sustainability: A Strategic Advantage

The Rise of “Dark Green” Funds

Sustainability in finance is increasing prominence in the ever evolving landscape of fundraising. Especially “dark green” funds, labelled as “Article 9” under the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), are gaining popularity. These funds mark a paradigm shift, indicating a primary commitment to sustainability.

Sustainability Practices for Fundraising Success

Moving beyond regulatory requirements, there are certain strategic manoeuvres that scale-ups can undertake to capitalise on the growing market for sustainable investments. For example by proactively measuring and monitoring non-financial, sustainable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

These KPIs go beyond compliance, positioning the company as a leader in sustainability discussions during the fundraising process. Closely related is the concept of linking financial terms to sustainability targets, which is not yet a regulatory necessity but a potential avenue to secure improved terms in fundraising negotiations.

Beyond Compliance: Sustainability as a Strategic Advantage

The narrative comes full circle, positioning sustainability not merely as a checkbox in the fundraising process but as a strategic advantage. It propels scale-ups into a realm where financial success intertwines with environmental responsibility. We conclude that in this way, in the pursuit of funding, sustainability isn’t just a buzzword—it’s a USP that opens doors to a growing segment of investors committed to driving positive environmental and social change.

P.s. Are you interested in sustainable financing options? Then make sure to check it this blog about Alternative Sustainable Investment Structures.



In summary, mastering the art of fundraising for scale-up success involves strategic planning, early initiation, and maintaining momentum. Building credibility through personal networks and strategic support is also a key pillar. Crafting a compelling narrative, backed by tangible results, enhances investor engagement.

The financial strategy emphasises a well-organised company, balancing realism, and fortifying assumptions with evidence. Finally, aligning with sustainability, particularly with the rise of “dark green” funds, opens avenues for strategic advantage. These five strategies collectively provide a concise yet comprehensive guide for scale-ups navigating the fundraising journey.


Any questions?

At Sustainable Capital Group, we understand Sustainable Finance like no other. For tailored guidance, simply fill out our contact form, and we’ll be in touch with you shortly.


  • Alicia Glennon

    Alicia Glennon is Director Corporate Finance for the Circularity & Waste sector, where she combines her extensive experience in corporate finance with her commitment to sustainable practices. With prior experience at Deutsche Bank in the UK, where she focused on M&A and corporate broking, Alicia recognized the finance sector’s untapped potential in driving sustainability. After her Master’s Degree in Global Business & Sustainability, her personal mission became to help organisations secure sustainable financing solutions.

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