Friends and Family Round

Friends and Family Round

Friends and family financing rounds offer entrepreneurs a chance to utilize their personal networks for startup funding. However, there are a few risks and considerations that should be considered before embarking on such a venture. 

Definition of Friends and Family Funding Round

A Friends and Family Funding Round is a form of early-stage capital raising for startups. As this type of financing occurs when the founders approach their family and friends to raise capital for the company’s initial operations. 

Consequently, raising friends and family (F&F) financing round is a great option for startups that need capital but don’t have access to venture capital. Friends and family rounds can provide the financial support needed to fuel growth and help startups get off the ground. 

In fact, the money that is given to the startup is usually in the form of a convertible loan or equity investment, and the terms of repayment or return on investment are usually much more flexible than in venture capital financing. 

Mainly, this type of funding is the first step in a startup’s journey, allowing it to build a network of contacts and supporters who can provide additional funding, advice, or resources in the future.

Understand the risks and rewards

Before embarking on a round of financing from friends and family, it is critical to understand the risks and rewards of such funding.

On one hand, you may be able to secure the capital you need with less paperwork and a faster turnaround than a traditional loan, VC, or angel investor. Also, you don’t have to give up a large percentage of your company.

On the other hand, you may be asking family and friends to take on a financial risk that they may not be comfortable with and won’t give a large amount of money. It is important to clearly communicate expectations, set terms and conditions, and prepare a legal document outlining the terms of the loan. 

How to Raise a Friends and Family Round

Raising an F&F round is quite different from a traditional venture capital round and requires careful consideration. 

  1. First, you’ll need to identify potential investors who are friends, family, and/or people you know who understand the risks of early-stage investing. 
  2. Next, you’ll need to create a pitch deck, outlining the purpose of the round, the amount of capital you’re seeking, and the company’s financials. 
  3. Finally, you’ll need to negotiate terms with investors and create a legal agreement.


Friends and family round vs. Angel round

Friends and family round

Angel round

  • A common way for early-stage startups to finance their ventures and led by the founder’s personal connection who are not necessarily wealthy individuals but is willing to invest anyway.
  • An angel round is a financing round for startups typically led by wealthy individuals known as angel investors.
  • Low average investment.
  • High average investment.
  • Take shorter time; around 2 months.
  • Take longer time; around 3 to 6 months.
  • Less expensive and more flexible.
  • Come with more resources like networks and experience of angel investors.
  • Turns to long-term financing.
  • Angels do not make follow-on investments.




The Bottom Line

Overall, family and friends financing is a viable option for startups looking to raise capital. The flexibility of this financing round makes it attractive for entrepreneurs. However, it is important to note that family and friends financing should be treated like any other form of capital and the same due diligence needs to be taken. Taking the time to understand the terms of the agreement, the repayment timeline, and the associated risks will ensure that everyone is on the same page and that both parties are protected.