Investors & VC’s often ignore the underdogs
Most investors and Venture Capitalists ignore the underdogs. Yeah, I’m calling you out.
My name is Carlos Morales, otherwise known today as simply “CarlosX360.” I’m the Founder and C.E.O. of CarlosX360 Co. Ltd. Pleased to meet you.
The story began in Fall 2013, when I began the search for investors. A late night at PayPal’s Town Hall, I met many investors, but one stood out. I knew this guy was going to be someone. I clung to everywhere he went. That led me to Startups Showcase, where he was the lead “host” of every single Startups Showcase event, where he’s also one of the lead investor on the crowdfunding contest. I befriended him, and the organizer of Startups Showcase, whom, by the way is calling himself an investor on some profiles. But, in reality, he’s just an organizer. Nothing wrong with that, but honestly, I’d be honest if I were him. You’ll understand in a few paragraphs.
I try my very best to be cool about everything. Not pushing anything on him, but really, when someone tries their very best to gain your trust, or is innocent enough that he’s honest about everything, you should really listen.
Starting a company is hard. It is! But when you have a challenge like entering a industry like Video Games. It’s competitive, it’s expensive, it’s growing, it’s expanding, it’s this and that. Many investors are scared of that.
Back to the story: I attended Startups Showcase to learn more about not only the event, but also the event’s process. I’d also been on the line with the organizer, learning more about the organizer, befriending, and learning what makes him tick. Slowly but surely befriending him and the investor.
It’s March 2014. I pitched for the first time to 1,000 people, most are Startup Founders (of course), but what really surprised me is there are only TWO people who know about …Video Games. I’m standing there being embarrassed because the event was timed and dated for Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2014. Startups Showcase’s event was on a Friday, and it was aligned perfectly. Timed perfectly. I made the pitch, made a few mistakes… and was able to get everyone’s ear. Was able to get a few investors onboard with my pitch, regardless of the fact that I actually “lost.” Now, before you call me a fucking loser or anything of that sort. Keep in mind, the “host” of this event was the investor of the round. So, if he says no to your deal, you’re not the winner of the contest, regardless of what the organizer wants. The organizer called my name first, and likewise put my “place” at #1. Both the organizer of the event, and the president of the company said “We believe in you.” Little did I know, I had few interested investors. Problem: Some of them are bullshitters. One walked away. One responded to my e-mail, after being given a card. (Which, by the way, means I was chosen for their round.) The only one that even got close to closing an investment with me, was the person at my front door. I didn’t trust that person after the e-mail.
I am very intuitive. If I don’t feel it. You’re done. Bye.
But I wanted the lead investor, because he’s a like-minded marketer like myself. He invested in Twitter, and other big names. He’s got a book (and two), he’s the most popular up-and-coming investor on Twitter, and the most viewed investor video on YouTube.
The fact that he invested in Twitter made me think; “He’s open-minded.” In other words: Understanding that losses that come with startups are inevitable. Problem: The Video Game industry is a 90+ Billion dollar industry. I could startup my own video game company and be profitable. I started my own video game company, but not a lot of people in the industry know me enough to make introductions. So, how do I solve this issue? Find an investor or find investors. How to reach people that are gamers? Building websites. Which I’ve been doing for years now. When I made the pitch in 2014, I was a really, really small company that’s barely even doing 200,000 views. Today, I reached more than 2 Million views.
I dunno about you, but THAT says a a thousand words. I SHOULD be funded today. Not tomorrow, not next week, not next month, not next year. TODAY.
Here’s the thing: As a small startup, I’ve been acquiring small and big websites that would put my name on the top of google rankings. That doesn’t impress this particular investor. No. I show screenshots with stats on ’em. No, no check. I post news articles that says that the overall Video Game industry surpass 91 Billion Dollars. No. He decides to leave Billions of dollars on the table. Literally.
To get developers to make a Video Game, it costs $10,000 per person. If you have about 10 developers to make your game a reality, that’s $100,000 a month. Now, on the flip-coin, game developers say that it costs between $150,000 to $300,000 a month in operation costs. The typical duration in which the game is completed? 5 years, which rounds up to 1 Million to 28 Million altogether.
That’s not even accounting for costs on computers, desks, chairs, or even an office. Or accounting for licenses to game engines — which by the way is $100,000 on its own. No, I’m not kidding.
Currently, CarlosX360 is a network of blogs & forums in the Video Game industry, mainly to prove to investors that I have the marketing prowess that’s going to drive traffic, and sales to the game. THAT can be scaled. But, again. No check from the investor.
(By the way, Gary Vaynerchuck says that content is king, and marketing is just as IMPORTANT. Which I have been doing since the inception of CarlosX360 Co. Ltd.)
Tsk. Tsk. Tsk. What can I do to impress this investor? Hm. Nothing. Pfft.
That’s not even considering that I have my eyes on other sectors, such as eSports or Video Game Livestreaming. I have brand for that. If I wanted to create a Social Network for Gamers today, I could. Still, no check.
Or, I could go hardware, and create a true competitor to Redbox in the gaming sphere. Still no check.
As you can see, many investors I’ve met or know already left stacks of this…
What are you waiting for!? 91 Billion and climbing.