Signal FAQ

What is Signal?

Fundraising is harder than it should be. As founders, we know this firsthand. Signal is a free tool for the startup community aimed at solving the biggest, most obvious problem: finding and getting connected to the right VCs is a time suck. Signal provides key information about VCs in one place, and then identifies your quickest intro paths to them.

For VCs who are inundated with email from startups that aren’t a fit, Signal connects them to the right 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 the startup community deserves a faster, more transparent fundraising process that is supercharged by software. The entire community - startups and VCs - will be stronger for it.

How do Founders use Signal?

Signal does 3 things: it identifies VCs that may be a good fit for your startup, uncovers your strongest introduction paths to them, and enables you to quickly request intros from your trusted mutual connections.

Getting the maximum outcome from Signal is simple:

  1. Oauth using your Gmail. You can add several Gmail accounts on your ‘Account Settings’ page.
  2. Add VCs to your Intro List. You can easily copy/paste from a spreadsheet and/or add from Signal’s VC Search tool.
  3. Add your best contacts as Signal connections. When your contacts Oauth with their Gmail, you’ll see every VC with whom they have strong connections.
  4. Uncover new VCs you have strong intro paths to. On the VC Search page, click on the "VCs in your network" tab. This will show you the full reach of your Signal network.
  5. Ask for intros from your trusted mutual connections. Use My VC Intros to ask for intros from your trusted network.
  6. Optional - Export your VC Intro List. On your “VC Intro” page, download a CSV of the VCs on your list. Take it back to your spreadsheet, and return to Signal to keep updating your pipeline.

How do VCs use Signal?

  1. Claim your profile. OAuth your Gmail and then claim your profile and make sure it's right. Many people will be looking for you and adding - or not adding - you to their intro list based on what they see.
  2. Keep your strongest referral sources engaged. Add your contacts who are best at referring you quality companies. This will keep you top of mind and top of the lists you want to be on. The right entrepreneurs will see they can get introduced to you by the mutual contacts you trust.
  3. Keep your profile updated. This will help the right startups find you, and will increase your chances of appearing on VC Lists (upvotes, diversity, sector, etc.).

Can Founders contact VCs directly through Signal?

If a Founder is already in the VC’s trusted network, she/he can contact them directly. For VCs outside of a Founder’s network, the Founder can request an intro from a trusted mutual connection. VCs receive hundreds of email a day, so this increases signal with that VC.

Can VCs search for my startup on Signal?

No. This is a focused tool aimed at connecting top Founders to the most fitting VCs, not a marketplace.

Can anyone edit information in a VC's profile?

Once a VC claims their profile, only she/he can add/edit photos and specify current areas of interest and non-interest. However, information found in VC Search can be edited by anyone; this includes firm, position, preferred investment size, and past investments. For this reason, VCs who make sure their profile is updated will have a higher likelihood of quality targeting.

Where did the VC data in VC Search come from?

This information is crowd-sourced from the community. Anyone can make edits, so please make corrections anytime you see an inaccuracy. This helps your fellow startups and VCs, as this is truly a community tool.

How can VCs create a profile and get added to VC Search?

In order to use Signal, VCs must be actively investing. This is a community tool, largely driven by Founders. All non-active VCs will be removed. This creates less noise, and makes the product more effective for Founders.

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 your strongest intro paths to target VCs. 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.

Who can I contact if I have questions?

Email signal@nfx.com.