Very hard, maybe 1 in 400 deals a VC looks at will become a closed deal that they invest in. Most go in the circular file. More than 90% of companies never get any outside investors of any kind. This does not include bank loans based on assets and cash-flow which is much easier to get because the banks (not investors really, they are lenders) have security and do not take risks like early-stage investors.
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Although revenue is helpful, and opens many more options, it is not required by angel investors. Most VCs require some revenue to know you have a proven “proof of concept” meaning both a product and a market/sales process that can close deals. This is less true in biotech, pharmaceuticals and medical where product development approvals are far longer and may require FDA approval.
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These companies can often raise $50M+ without any revenue. If you are a consumer product, app or website then the registration of customers without revenue can be sufficient, but the numbers required are pretty high, many thousands to have statistical significance in calculating the cost to acquire customers and their potential revenue over a lifetime (LTV).
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Bob Norton is a long-time Serial Entrepreneur and CEO with four exits that returned over $1 billion to investors. He has trained, coached and advised over 1,000 CEOs since 2002. And is Founder of The CEO Boot Camp™ and Entrepreneurship University™. Mr. Norton works with companies to triple their chances of success in launching new companies and products. And helps established companies scale faster using the six AirTight Management™ systems. And helps companies successfully raise capital.