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The Founders’ perspective when things are not going according to plan

Learn more about the current economic scenario and how planD can help you when things are not yet going according to plan.

BlogFor Founders

As founders we know what it’s like to see life through the founder’s lens – the unerring determination, self-belief, hard-work, the whole crazy journey. There has been a lot in the press recently about the burn out many founders suffer working unsociable hours getting to the top of their game. Reaching that magical unicorn status. However, what about the other ones? Those who have put in just as much effort, sacrificing salary, friends and working all hours, who, having been lauded as heroes on the way up are unceremoniously dropped by the same industry that built them, the moment it’s clear they aren’t achieving escape velocity. Add in the stress of mounting financial pressures, a team to look after and you have a perfect storm. 

Considering so few start ups achieve billion-dollar valuations, that leaves a vast majority of founders who are abandoned to figure out how to cope on a work level but also mentally, emotionally and physically at the most challenging stage of the founder journey, without any actionable advice.

It takes gumption to be a founder. They are a very particular breed; inspired and inspiring – you have to be able to convince investors to back you on your journey at the riskiest stage which is often why initial investors are family and friends which can add an extra layer of complexity should plans deviate from the original vision. You also have to be stalwart enough to keep going. This seemingly unshakable refusal to give up even in the direst of circumstances is the reason we have some of the world’s most successful businesses. As the saying goes, ‘the day I quit is the day before I succeed’. 

The current economic climate has intensified the need for founder support. Money is more expensive now; interest rates are higher and companies which had been raising at a higher valuation may be struggling to continue to get access to funds. This doesn’t mean they have no value. In fact, with the right supportive, passive (or not if help is needed and can be given) investor, they can still thrive and grow, albeit at a new, more reserved valuation, in line with the economy. Moreover, they have often built an infrastructure that is of great value. This is precisely the business journey stage when founders would also benefit from access to a smart, like-minded network of people which fosters the practice of mutual exchange of ideas, contacts and help, for mutual benefit. 

Those initial investors who have lasted the journey with you to date may prefer to exit and leverage their tax loss benefits as you enter a trickier stage and may not be able to view the next stage of your founder journey from the same vantage point that you have. As a founder who has benefitted from their original high risk support it is fairer to set these shareholders free whilst from a business point of view it makes sense, bearing in mind how influential in their networks some of these small investors can be. Nobody wants an investor bad-mouthing them in the market!

PlanD offers founders all of the above support and opportunities. It erases the stigma of not being ‘venture scale’ by embracing the reality of the vast majority of founders and normalising it (although who knows if post re-pivot you may have the next Airbnb!) This in turn arms you with the confidence to have a frank conversation with your angel investors, knowing you are offering them the opportunity that might be best for both of you at this stage.  We help you to offer investors the option to transition off the cap table and crystallise an exit through our share for share exchange process called exit via diversification should they want to – the whole process is painless, very quick and easy. Lastly but by no means least, in so doing, you also gain access to an audience of people with a vested interest in seeing you grow who may be able to help in a mutually beneficial way. 

Contact us at for more information.