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Beyond the round: Making the most of your investor relationships 

Today, many VCs offer founders more than just capital: They can provide useful counsel, open doors to the right partners, and help provide operational services that get your company off the ground and scale. At Early Stage 2022, Samsung Next alongside YC alumnus Kraftful and leading NFT marketplace SuperRare share how the right investors on their cap table helped them supercharge their launch and growth efforts.

Here’s what Yana Welinder had to say about working with the Samsung Next Platform

We really have the opportunity to work with every part of the Samsung Next platform. We’re trying to leverage all their different services, which is amazing. From finding some of our key hires, Samsung Next has been really instrumental in bringing in candidates and in helping us with the process to product launch. 

We’ve gotten help with PR, customer introductions, and sales coaching in terms of how to reach out to enterprise sales customers and how to build out the sales teams.

Sometimes [that help looks like] pinging the PR team and getting a sanity check on which opportunities to pursue. It’s about getting someone on your side to be your expert in all the areas that you don’t necessarily have expertise in as a founder because ultimately, there’s only one thing you did before you became a founder, right? And now you’re doing everything. So just having experts that can help you is really valuable.

Yana Welinder | Co-founder & CEO — Kraftful

What Samsung Next looks for in an investment candidate

It depends on the focus area, and that can shift. Right now we’re focused on early stage companies: Series Seed, all the way to Series B. Seed and Series A are perfectly in our sweet spot. We’re not going to be the biggest check in the round, but we like to follow fast. 

Founders should be very clear on how they are differentiated in the market. We focus on software and services — we’re not investing in hardware. It’s important to have a product that can be globally scalable (and that’s just by virtue of us being a global company). We want to back companies that we can take to market not just domestically but [globally as well]. 

Antonio Key | Director of Venture Investments — Samsung Next

Listen to this session and others from Early Stage here.