Capital and Investments in a Product Brand

Hello fellow Designers,

I am new to C77 discussions (and embarrassed to have “discovered” these 12 years after joining QBN et al), but I aim to dig into the discussions now that I’ve finally “found” ID-related forums.

After exploring the search function and reading through some design related topics here (a handful of them, really) I’d like to start another topic for design entrepreneurs, specifically on finding capital and the trivialities/pitfalls/warnings and other details about attracting and handling external capital. I’ve posted some questions on Quora about this but it seems like nowadays everyone is fully absorbed into making software and aims at billions no less. I know it doesn’t apply to ID, and Core77 seems to be my last resort to seek for answers.

Here is the first batch of questions:

  1. Where and how do you look for capital to finance your idea or an existing business? Who are these people - pure financial players who don’t care much about the industry but mostly about revenues and ROIs; or are those industry insiders, like top managers, who don’t mind investing in the idea/business they actually understand?
    NB: Let’s talk more about some sizable investments in 6-7 figures range and not your own savings or the money you could take away from your close relatives/friends, as the latter is the a very well-known path to get initial capital.

  2. What are the basic terms an investor would normally enforce? How much control of your company do you give up? What time frame do investors normally set in regard to returning their investment in full? Does cash come “all at once” or per some roadplan, say every half a year? If the latter is the case, what are the terms for that - sales milestones, product range milestones, etc?

  3. Assumed the investors are seeking to scale up a business quickly (= the basic premise for any software start-up), how do you deal with that question in regard to a product brand?

If you have some stories to share, please please do.