Congratulations! If you’re an entrepreneur who’s ready to seriously consider Series B funding, you’ve already come a long way in proving the viability of your new product or service. Startup teams navigating their way through product conceptualization, seed funding, prototypes, beta testing and Series A investments have often already spent endless hours working to make their idea a profitable reality.
Moving onto Series B is a big step. It means it’s time to scale production or reach, expand into new markets or geographic areas, fine-tune your product offerings to meet and exceed customer expectations and answer some tough questions from your investors. It’s time to reach your potential.
Unfortunately, many startups are so focused on the familiar aspects of their business and capitalizing on early successes that they fail to understand the need to build the foundation that will support the activities that investors expect. Here are some tips to help you prepare for a successful Series B round.
One key aspect of scaling your product or service successfully is to make sure it is both portable and replicable, especially if you’re planning on expanding into new markets or geographic areas.
Migrating your product or service from on-prem servers to a cloud infrastructure will be critical to ensure that you can replicate it quickly, run standard templates, automate as much as possible, and create custom solutions for an expanding customer base.
If your current customer base is in the United States and you plan to expand globally, you’ll need to be able to support different languages, currencies, and local setting requirements. Not only will you need to ensure that customer service and support are now available essentially around the clock, but some countries may require that only entities in that region can access local data.
Startups will also need to establish an infrastructure that meets local regulations and data requirements. For example, businesses operating in Europe must adhere to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) privacy and human rights law. Germany requires that all data be stored within the country’s borders. China has its own set of rules about how data can travel and where it can be stored.
Businesses that understand these nuisances will be able to break down the different components within their product or service and optimize those components that are most important in specific regions. It allows them to be much more agile during expansion rather than trying to work with a monolithic solution.
As technology becomes more advanced every day, consumers’ expectations for product performance are higher than ever. Storing data in the United States and expecting it to travel to customers in Europe can cause significant latency problems. Startups must be able to replicate their solutions so they can operate as close to their customer base as possible.
Making a transition to a cloud-based infrastructure means automation, fewer errors, more control, and higher quality. Deploying a tested product or solution in a new geographic area may take minutes or hours instead of the days or weeks required in a more manual transition. This, in turn, improves the user experience, speeding up the time it takes to interact with a new product or service.
Another aspect of user experience is how your product or service performs during peak periods or times of unexpected high usage. For example, during the global pandemic, delivery businesses and e-commerce sites had to deal with unexpected spikes in demand. Many retailers face this challenge during times like Black Friday.
These spikes often introduce complications in software, logistics, and overall performance. For instance, not all transactions scale equally. For every individual purchase, a system may need to manage a dozen searches, three instances of adding to a shopping list, plus the check-out process. Startups must understand how users interact with their solutions and what areas need priority attention to facilitate such scaling. Knowing precisely what to scale means greater cost-effectiveness and eliminating the need to overpay for non-critical resources.
Understanding these details means fewer bottlenecks, less downtime, and better user experience.
Series B startups must also prove that they are enterprise-ready. Not only do individual governments have regulations, but larger customer companies will require that you comply with their specific security and internal requirements in order to do business with them.
For example, one area that often gets overlooked is whether temporary files are secure and encrypted. A large retailer was batch-transferring customer credit card information from point-of-sale machines to their back-end system. Although the transfer itself was secure and encrypted, credit card information was being temporarily stored in an open, clear text file before the transfer, making it a target for data theft.
We know how fast things move in the startup world, and it’s critical to find a partner who can hit the ground running. Our team at IO Connect has years of experience working with startups just like yours. We bring a wide range of experience to the table, ready to address your unique business needs with proven, tailored AWS solutions.
Our team provides you with a staff that’s well-versed in best practices. We pull from the proven tools that make up the suite of AWS products and services to help you accelerate and scale, meeting and exceeding all the requirements for a successful Series B funding round.
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