Whilst securing VC funding is crucial for scaling technology companies, truly valuable investors bring much more than just financial backing. 

A strong relationship between entrepreneurs and the people on their  cap table can unlock a wealth of benefits, from new business prospects to vital emotional support during tough times. 

As a Series B HealthTech, our team at Patchwork has raised several rounds of funding from VCs including Perwyn, KHP Ventures and BMJ Ventures. Some of our investors, such as Praetura Ventures, have backed us multiple times, creating an opportunity for us to build a long-term connection with them that goes far beyond the transactional. 

Through this, we’ve learnt first-hand the value of such relationships, as well as how to build and sustain them as we’ve continued to grow as a business. 

Show them your true self

When you’re raising investment, particularly at an early stage, investors aren’t just backing your product vision – they’re backing you as a founder. If you present an inauthentic version of yourself, that will only create problems later down the line and make it harder to build genuine, value-add relationships with your VCs. So whilst putting your best foot forward and selling the dream of your startup, make sure you showcase who you truly are and what makes you tick.


VCs appreciate when founders are open about their weaknesses and can show they’ve thought through how they will cover off those gaps, such as by hiring top talent with complementary skills. Investors are also keen to see founders who demonstrate an openness to receiving advice and guidance; no-one is expected to know everything at an early stage of their start-up journey, so those who purport to know it all could be seen as a red flag by a VC firm. 

Back yourself – your real self – and bring that person to the pitch, not an imitation of who you think you should be. 

Foster open communication and transparency

Open communication is the lifeblood of any successful relationship, and the entrepreneur-investor dynamic is no exception. By maintaining regular and honest dialogue, founders and investors can effectively collaborate, navigate challenges and seize opportunities as they arise.

Whilst founders can’t be expected to keep investors updated on the day-to-day minutiae of the scaling journey (and I doubt many VCs would want such regular updates!), ensuring you are consistent and clear with your investor reporting is essential. Pick a cadence – whether that’s monthly or quarterly – and stick to it. 

Make these investor updates clear, concise and transparent. Flag where their support would be helpful, such as hiring or introductions, and highlight areas of growth you’re pursuing, in case they have industry insights they can share. Establishing consistency on these more ‘formal’ communications can help provide a solid foundation of trust on which more informal, case-by-case interactions with your VCs can be built. 

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Build an authentic relationship 

Ensuring you build a relationship based on mutual trust and respect with the investors you bring into your business is a must. Those people will be sitting across the table from you at critical junctures for your startup; if there’s friction or misalignment there from day one, things will only become more challenging and add strain to the scale up process.  

When I was getting to know David Foreman, the managing partner at Praetura Ventures, we went for several coffees and talked about things outside of the startup world. We liked and trusted each other from the off. We’ve since met over dinners, at events, and even taken part in charity bike rides together. This time helps you see each other as human and enables you to build a solid foundation on which your professional relationship can sit. 

Recently I’ve also been working closely with Martin Le Huray, partner at Perwyn, who has shown genuine curiosity in our business and industry. Through our regular coffee catch ups we have built a trusting relationship where he has offered me support on key strategic decisions regarding our growth. Martin has also connected me with advisors and experts from his network who have become invaluable in supporting me and the management team on improving our operating rhythm. 

Nurturing these authentic relationships has enabled me to see our investors as trusted allies and people who are firmly ‘on our side’. 

It is vital to recognise that the best investors bring more than just financial support to the table. By focusing on building strong relationships with your VCs as both professionals and people from day one, you can unlock the full potential of these relationships and use the fuel they provide to drive your business forwards.

‘You can’t sprint forever – it’ll kill you’