Signal FAQ

What is Signal?

Signal is the Investing Network for Founders, VCs, Scouts, and Angels. It’s a free community-driven tool. Its mission is to give all Founders access to the highest quality capital sources & advice. It helps Founders find the right investors for their company, based on sector, stage and quality of investor.

Signal also helps startup investors connect to collaborate, and helps investors be more responsive to Founders.

Is Signal free?

Yes. Signal is a 100% free tool from NFX, and we will never charge for it. We built it for one simple reason - as Founders ourselves, we believe Founders deserve a faster, more transparent fundraising process that is supercharged by software. The entire startup community - Founders and investors - will be stronger for it.

How do Founders use Signal?

For Founders, Signal is aimed at solving the biggest, most obvious problem you face: finding the right investors.

Signal does 3 things for Founders:

  1. Helps identify investors that may be a good fit for your startup
  2. Uncovers the investor contacts you have
  3. Enables you to effectively track your fundraising process

Getting the maximum outcome from Signal is simple:

  1. OAuth using your Gmail to uncover the investor contacts you already have in your Gmail. You can add several Gmail accounts on your ‘Account Settings’ page.
  2. Invite other founders and investors to increase your network connections
  3. Add investors to your Intro List. You can easily copy/paste from a spreadsheet and/or add from Signal’s Investor Search tool.
  4. Track your fundraising process. Don't ever forget to follow-up again.

How do investors use Signal?

For investors who are inundated with email from startups that aren’t a fit, Signal is home to your

  1. Investing Profile which highlights your past investments, your investing philosophy, your sectors of expertise, and your target investment criteria.
  2. Private Preferred Co-Investor List where you can privately share and collaborate on deals with your Investing Network on Signal.

Getting the maximum outcome from Signal is simple:

  1. Create your Investing Profile and OAuth your Gmail to see your network and let your network connect with you.
  2. Invite other founders and investors to increase your network connections.
  3. Add other investors to your Private Preferred Co-Investor List. This will keep you top of mind and top of the lists you want to be on.
  4. Keep your profile updated. This will help the right startups find you and will increase your chances of appearing on investor Lists (upvotes, diversity, sector, etc.). Many people will be looking for you and adding - or not adding - you to their Investor Intro list based on what they see.

Which investors get an Investing Profile on Signal?

Signal is about quality. It’s an attempt to give all Founders access to the highest quality capital & advice. As such, the investors, VCs, Scouts, and Angels that show up on Signal are those that are highly sought after by Founders and vetted by them and by other investors.

Many of these people are actually operators -- CEOs, VPs, Lawyers, Recruiters -- that are advising and helping early-stage startups to design their businesses and get introduced to other investors.

If I’m an investor, VC, Scout, or Angel, how do I request an invite?

Create your Investing Profile which includes information about your past investments, your investing philosophy, your sectors of expertise, and your target investment criteria.

How do I increase the odds of getting my Investing Profile approved?

Help Founders. Through the 10ks of Founders on Signal every month, they create a data feedback loop that highlights the investors and advisors that they value the most.

What is the difference between LinkedIn profile & Signal Investing Profile?

LinkedIn is where people have their operating profile, highlighting their work history. Signal is where people have their Investing Profile, highlighting their advice-giving and investments in startups. The other difference is that Signal has a key feature that is unique to the investing world where profile owners can build their Private Preferred Co-Investor for deal sharing.

Can investors browse Founders & startups on Signal to invest in these companies?

No, Signal is for Founders who are looking to raise money to browse investors, VCs, Scouts, & Angels.

Can Founders contact investors directly through Signal?

If a Founder is already in the Investor’s trusted network, she/he can contact them directly from an email provider & contact list like Gmail.

A best practice is to also reach out to investors through mutual connections so that the mutual connection can provide a warm intro & email your Brief to them.

Can I edit someone else’s Investing Profile?

You can edit someone else's profile after they've added you as an Assistant or Associate on their own profile. You will be able to edit any information on the profile, including adding a firm or deleting their profile.

To do this, click on your name in the top right corner. Click “Edit account details.” From here, you will see where you can add an assistant or associate. You'll receive an email to confirm the relationship & then be able to edit the profile.

Where did the investor data in Investor Search come from?

This information is crowd-sourced from the community. Interested Founders, accelerators, and VC Associates enter data for 1000’s of profiles and over 1 million edits have been made in the last 30 months. The data is continuously updated by an engaged community based on feedback loops. If you see something that needs to be updated, either reach out to that investor or let us know at [email protected].

Can Signal read my email content?

No - Signal does not have access to email content. The only information the system uses is the header metadata (sender, receiver, date) to uncover existing investor relationships in your Gmail and help you qualify them better. By OAuthing, you’ll get more targeted insight that will hopefully make fundraising faster and more efficient. But this is always your choice, and you have full control in your account settings.

How is my data secured on Signal?

Signal's security architecture and procedures is aligned with SOC2 standards. Signal is also a Google API verified application according to the new developer standards introduced in 2019. Email [email protected] to submit any security vulnerability information.

Who can I contact if I have questions?

Email [email protected].