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Funding advice from the Chairman of Skyscanner

Jack Hershman

Getting funding can be like entering a marriage, except harder to get out of. The chairman of Skyscanner explains why finding the right VC is so important.

The importance of finding the right VC is, “about more than just money,” explains Skyscanner chairman Margaret Rice-Jones.

After giving an inspired keynote at the Hot Topics 2015 London event on the different funding options available for entrepreneurs, Rice-Jones, as part of a wider interview talked us through her illustrious career and what to look for when entering a relationship with a VC.

Typically lasting 10 years, venture capital investment has been described as a marriage that’s harder to get out of than a divorce.

It’s a fact often overlooked that, “you’re going to have people sat around the table with you for a long journey,” explains Rice-Jones. As such, the importance of finding the right VC can’t be stressed enough.

They need to be thought of as an extra partner, somebody with a good understanding of your space who will bring value to your business, who you get on with personally and that also possesses the kind of credentials that will impress others.

And like any long journey, you want to surround yourself with people you know you can rely on.

Business is no easy ride, “and during that time, your business is going to change, it’s going to go through ups and downs and you need to make sure…people have your back. Your VC has to be there with you through thick and thin. It could spell trouble if they aren’t.”

Rice-Jones explains that, “when everything is great, you’re entering new markets and thrashing the competition,” it’s easy to stay put.

“But it’s very different when things aren’t going quite so well, those are the times when the success of a business is really made or lost. So the importance of finding the right VC to travel that journey with both at a professional level, who can make introductions, and also at a personal level…is critical”

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