We help many early stage businesses. Quite often it takes a while to get going as the founder is spending all of their time raising money.
This can be a real problem. What you really want to be doing is spending time developing your product and market testing. Spending too much time raising money can really hurt your momentum.
Raising money too early can also be very expensive. You will give away a large percentage for very little capital if your idea has not been proven and you have no traction.
It is a much better idea to find a way to bootstrap if at all possible. Sometimes you have to get clever about where to find money. AirBnB is a classic story. They funded the early stages of their startup by selling breakfast cereal. This is a bit unusual but it is the perfect way to make the point. Find revenue somewhere.
The best MVP is the one that costs the least amount of money but starts bringing in revenue. Much needed revenue.
If we can help you get off the ground quickly and inexpensively, then you can generate traction and evidence. It is fairly easy to raise money when your business is working and you simply need capital to scale. The story is believable and the risk is much lower for the investor.
So the answer to the original question of “To raise or not to raise” is simple, yes raise but not too soon.