Startup fundraising stages have been blurry for a long time already. If it is not convertible notes that you pop like soda then it’s the round name prefixes pre- or late- or the actual round amounts that have been going up significantly.
The notion of making a funding event is also evolving. Often, it takes a long time to get everybody in sync to close a round. Yet, the world does not revolve around your startup nor your expenses wait your investors.
The reality is that continuous funding is the answer. It’s like sales. You just have to do it all the time.
When you find a suitable investor take the money. You can still cadence your valuation around a total target but you don’t wait till everyone has arrived.
One of the challenges is to make the investors not to wait for each other but commit to their amount as they come. This is a balancing act where the demand and supply meet the closing skills of the founder.
First come first served discounts and showing that you mean business by raising the valuation with each investor/funding threshold are ways to get pass the wait-and-see game.
Standardising the documentation including the investment and shareholder agreements to reflect the new reality makes life more efficient and easier.
When you have your docs in order and capabilities ready for new funding in a moments notice it becomes a routine like any admin.
Practise makes perfect but actual revenues make winners.