Water should be free, too; but wait- bottled water is not. Why? the answer is that some folks see value in paying for bottled water (or it would not sell). If the finder is some dude that was selling insurance or real estate last month (i.e. not an investment banker),
the question is really: what value do they provide? Since roughly 79 of 80 funding requests do not get funded, I would think that the (sell-side) company would at least want an MBA to help them prepare a proper business plan (not one that your buddy downloded on the web).
Most people on the planet do not work for free. Lawyers get paid, CPAs get paid, MBAs should be paid, too. We're not selling Amway here, folks. We're talking about finding capital in an economic dessert (especially duering the last few years). If a company seeks $5M, $10M $100M, they can (and should pay) afford to pay a consultant to assist them. Also, unless someone on the company payroll has a (very good) relationship with private equity Managing Directors/ VCs, it might just be a great idea to contact an investment banker. That's what they (we) do for a living. The stakes are way too high for the comnpany stakeholders to take a chance on a newbie.
For legitimate 'finders', success fees range from 2-7% of all traunches for 3 years from signing of fee letter/engagement agreement. If the company is a start-up, chances are slim to none in the current environment. Why? Private Equity/VCs are very risk averse? Why? Because it's NOT their money- it's their investor's money. If they receive 5 funding requests, one is a start-up and the other four are revenue-positive; they will fund the proven one(s) with IRR above their hurdle rate. Start-ups are too risky.
Lastly, if the company does not have at least 25% equity (cash) or doing $3-$5M EBITDA,
they are dreaming if they think that they will find invesors (rich uncles excluded).
Hope that this was helpful.