The thing I always say is that story is your friend, data is your enemy.
Investors may not like to acknowledge this, but, in my experience, very young startups with a good story have raised a lot more money than startups that have struggled for two–three years— mostly bootstrapped with small revenue. The data actually worked against them.
By story I mean the kind of story investors want to hear.
For example, if people want the next Freshworks, and they pitch something like, “Oh, there is a founder who sold the company to Freshworks, he is coming out again, and he has got a good high-quality team, you know, ex- Freshworks, ex-Zoho,” you would immediately see investors fighting to fund, even though the pitch had no idea. That is where the story becomes important.