Fundraising · Investors

How should entrepreneurs respond to an investor rejection email?

Maria Garnier Operations Coordinator en Socialatom Group

March 28th, 2017

My cofounders and I were really dejected after a VC group near us passed on us. We were hoping we could get something small (but not insignificant from them) and use their connections. Despite the rejection, we want to keep this relationship congenial; we feel that if we can attract other investors, this group could very well decide to join us. How should we respond to their rejection email?

Andy Freeman Product Management and ... - Looking for new opportunities

March 28th, 2017

In your initial response to them:

[1] Thank them for the opportunity and the clear decision. (Some VCs will string companies

[2] Ask them for any suggestions that they have.

[3] Offer to help them. Examples include introduction/deal flow.

Later on, as good things happen, send updates. Don't mention the rejection.

The vast majority of VC decisions are "no" so don't get down on yourself. However, you might still consider printing out every rejection and putting it on a wall that you see every day....

David VomLehn Why would you prefer a computer that breaks?

March 28th, 2017

It's kind of like dating--both sides need to see a match and if there isn't one, it's not necessarily a bad thing and you could well be right about this VC group being more willing if someone else will just get their toe wet. So, first, I suggest you thank them for their time. Second, in my experience, you wind up getting advice and you can also tell them, specifically, that you appreciated their advice, too. Best of luck!

Anonymous Looking for a partner to share the profit

March 29th, 2017

Read James Caan "business in 7days". Some VCs don't appreciate being told despite your response we will continue nevertheless.... as Caan puts it "until they run out of cash...".

Dane Madsen Organizational and Operational Strategy Consultant

March 29th, 2017

Rejection is always difficult for a founder because the mission and vision is very personal. For VCs it is business. Do not take it as a personal rejection, but get used to it. As others have said, send a thank you email, acknowledge their importance, and ask if you can send periodic updates to them. It is unusual that they would actually tell you the real reason for a rejection. When I was a VC, I actually said that to founders (the whole speech) and told them it was just a business decision of the partners based on our limited time and bandwidth. Usually, that was a nice way of saying we do not spend time in leaky boats.

Steve Procter Tech entrepreneur seeks cybersecurity startup team

March 29th, 2017

Hi Maria

what response were you thinking of giving? think about what you want to achieve from a followup.

For entrepreneurs to learn and build from our experiences and be our own people, we should all work out our own next steps rather than ask other people to tell us what our next steps should be.

Once you have made your own decision, "then" ask people for feedback and i think you will get more responses and a great deal of respect for making your own path.

Rogue Startup

Last updated on September 14th, 2017

1) Thank them

2) Ask for straight, critical feedback ... learn as much as you can from the rejection. "What would have made this opportunity a YES for you?"

Henry FRSA Managing Director, Positive Profile Limited

March 28th, 2017

Write a polite note back thanking them for taking the time to meet/consider you and ask them for some feedback as to why they decided not to invest in you at this time.

Hope that helps - good luck!

Kind regards,


Marc Duke CMO in a box giving marketing support to start ups

March 28th, 2017

Politely of course it's a business decision not a personal one ask if they are happy for you to send them updates on your progress and ask when investments are next reviewed. Keep the door open as you never know what the future holds. Chin up!

Shel Horowitz I help organizations thrive by building social transformation into your products, your services, and your marketing

March 28th, 2017

Hard as it may be, kiss up a bit. Thank them for considering you, say you'd like to stay in touch, and then ask them number one, what would need to change to get a yes, and number two, if they know any other funders who might be a better fit. Clothes with how much you enjoyed the process of working with them and that you are thankful to get a personal reply.

Devin Christy Lover of technology and providing massive value.

March 29th, 2017

I don't understand why you want to continue doing business with a group of people that didn't see / share your vision. There's a lot of investors out there, the right one will provide massive, strategic value, while also supporting the business with an investment. I suggest using it as a learning experience and potentially asking their reason for not investing, use that information to improve your pitch on the next guys.