What’s the best way to know if an investor is interested?

Ian Hograthy (CEO, Co-founder at Songkick)
How to Raise Money

A good way to tell how serious potential investors are: the resources they expend on you after the first meeting. An investor who’s seriously interested will already be working to help you even before they’ve committed.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
How to Raise Money

Investors prefer to wait if they can. They seem like they’re about to invest right up till the moment they say no. If they even say no. Some of the worse ones never actually do say no; they just stop replying to your emails. They hope that way to get a free option on investing.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
How to Raise Money

When an investor tells you “I want to invest in you, but I don’t lead,” translate that in your mind to “No, except yes if you turn out to be a hot deal. “

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
How to Convince Investors

Once investors like you, you’ll see them reaching for ideas: they’ll be saying “yes, and you could also do x. ” (Whereas when they don’t like you, they’ll be saying “but what about x?”)

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
The Pro-Rata Opportunity – AVC

When a company hits escape velocity, the investors in the inside are the first (after the entrepreneurs) to realize it. And if you’ve watched hundreds of rockets go up in your career and dozens hit escape velocity, you start to be able to smell escape velocity coming. That means that “capturing pro-rata” is an opportunistic thing.

Sam Altman (President at Y Combinator)
Sam Altman on Twitter: “investor translation: “i love you but …”, “we’d rather pay a higher price at the next round”, “i want to be helpful anyway” all mean “no””

investor translation: “i love you but …”, “we’d rather pay a higher price at the next round”, “i want to be helpful anyway” all mean “no”

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
How to Raise Money

If some investor isn’t returning your emails, or wants to have lots of meetings but isn’t progressing toward making you an offer, you automatically focus less on them. You have to be disciplined [about this]

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
How to Raise Money

Hear no till you hear yes. Treat investors as saying no till they unequivocally say yes, in the form of a definite offer with no contingencies.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
How to Raise Money

Never leave a meeting with an investor without asking what happens next. What more do they need in order to decide? Do they need another meeting with you? To talk about what? And how soon? Do they need to do something internally, like talk to their partners, or investigate some issue? How long do they expect it to take? Don’t be too pushy, but know where you stand. Investors who are seriously interested in you will usually be happy to talk about … (read more)

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
How to Raise Money

Occasionally you’ll encounter investors who describe themselves as “valuation sensitive. ” What this means in practice is that they are compulsive negotiators who will suck up a lot of your time trying to push your price down. You should therefore never approach such investors first

Ben Erez (Product at Breeze)
22 Mistakes I Made as a First Time Founder — Viabilify

A term sheet is the only way to know they’re serious.