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How Funding Works - Splitting The Equity With Investors - Infographic

How Funding Works - Splitting The Equity With Investors - Infographic | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it
This infographic shows how funding works for a hypothetical startup splitting equity with angel investors, venture capitalists and IPO.














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www.Business-Funding-Insider.com

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Anake Goodall's curator insight, May 19, 2013 7:01 AM

the all-important equity funding recipe ...

Venture Capital Stories
Whether it's  Silicon Valley or Boston, it's a world of millionaires and billionaires, the domain of the happy few.
Curated by Marc Kneepkens
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Wasting Time With The Joneses

Wasting Time With The Joneses | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

Starting a company is like attempting to bend the world to your will. There are obstacles at every turn, and it’s never easy. Fundraising is one of those huge obstructions. Not only is the process of finding the true believers akin to finding the proverbial needle in the haystack, it’s also incredibly distracting.

Raising more money to reach a technical milestone or to fuel a successful customer acquisition strategy are worth the distraction and pain. Raising a big round because your competitor just did, essentially keeping up with the Startup Joneses, is an all-too-common waste of time that can cripple your company.

I’ve often seen this happen to founders of companies with seemingly “successful” competition. Success in this case is often defined by capital raised, rather than satisfied customers. Founders become obsessed with the volume and valuation of a competitor’s latest round of funding. In some cases, this isn’t even direct competition, but tangential competition that has no bearing at all on the founder’s startup. Read more: click image or title.





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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Focus on growing your company, don't worry about the competition, you don't know what goes on behind the scenes. Build your product or service, find customers, keep on building.

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The 2015 Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking is live!

The 2015 Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking is live! | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

Download the full report here.

Welcome to the Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking. It has been almost three years since the last Startup Ecosystem Report was released in November 2012, and since then the startup sector has grown at a booming pace.


The centerpiece of the 2015 Startup Ecosystem Ranking is our updated and revamped component index, which ranks the top 20 startup ecosystems around the world. The index is produced by ranking ecosystems along five major components: Performance, Funding, Talent, Market Reach, and Startup Experience. Read more: click image or title.


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"The Growthink group was very easy to work with and took the time to understand our business and needs carefully.  I was surprised at how quickly they picked up the nuances of our business and were able to communicate our thoughts into an organized structure that has helped jump start our future plan."
Adam Unger
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Art Asylum

Via Günter Schumacher
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What's going on in the startup world and how and where is it evolving? This study enlightens with plenty of detail.

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Airbnb, My $1 Billion Lesson

Airbnb, My $1 Billion Lesson | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it
I discovered Airbnb on August 12, 2008 and six weeks later gave them a term sheet for their entire seed round. But in the (literal) final hour, it fell apart.

It’s an unusual story and one of several key experiences that shaped my approach to investing in startups. Over the last seven years, I’ve discovered and invested very early in a handful of highly valuable companies (Wish, Lyft, Zenpayroll, Postmates, AngelList, Plated, Styleseat, Klout, etc.) as well as plenty of disasters. But Airbnb taught me some of the most distinct lessons as an investor.

Brian Chesky recently wrote about his 7 Rejections —  feedback from a small set of the many investors who turned him down. This is my story as the one guy who didn’t. I was one of the few investors who actively pursued this deal from August through October 2008, and the only among them to agree on a term sheet.

Every deal, every interaction with a founder teaches you something and I’ve consistently revisited my performance, my judgements, my biases, my filters and my approach to investing. Like most of you I’m highly critical of myself — this may not be self-evident, but I constantly question myself and engage in my own personal creative destruction. I question my beliefs and my tactics; I tear myself down and try to figure out what I’m missing, what I’m doing poorly, where I’m letting people down. And then I build myself back up again.

On a tactical level, I repeat this creative destruction almost weekly as I analyze an individual deal; on an operational level I do it every few months (re-evaluating my deal flow, co-investor network, deal structures, etc.); at a strategic level I sit down almost every year and question my overall philosophy on founders, theses, markets, etc.

Today I’ll share with you my tactical critique on the Airbnb deal and the key lessons I learned.




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"Growthink wrote the business plan for my mortgage company. Their research work was very accurate, and the average sales, revenue and cash flow data prepared me to make realistic decisions. They are a group of committed, dedicated and knowledgeable professionals who are with you during the process, and after."
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Great story with many lessons for both #investors and #startups.  It can be a wild ride.

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VCs Making Data Security a Funding Factor

VCs Making Data Security a Funding Factor | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it
Venture capitalists are turning an analytical eye to data security issues when evaluating potential investments.

Never mind risk vs. reward or strength of management, venture capitalists are turning an analytical eye to data security issues when evaluating potential investments, according to Margaret Utterback of Quarles & Brady. For evidence of this shift, look no further than Andreessen Horowitz’s hire of Ted Ullyot, the former general counsel of Facebook, to a key role at the VC shop.

“Data security—and possible data breaches—are now such significant business concerns that VCs couldn’t do responsible due diligence if they didn’t consider security issues when performing valuation analyses,” Utterback says. For instance, if the target company hasn’t been storing data correctly, funders will factor potential liability and bad press into their valuations.

Conversely, companies creating technology that can mitigate and prevent cybersecurity breaches are getting big bucks from VCs. According to Sam Pfeifle of The Privacy Advisor, the messaging service Confide, which had a strong privacy focus from the start, has been inundated with VC interest.


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"Hey Dave,
Yes, thank you, I have completed the business plan. Finance has been approved, accountant has done his thing, and the solicitor is lagging behind!
Thanks for the support"


Ruth Yates

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Security is becoming a major issue, everywhere, even in funding new companies.

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Richard Platt's curator insight, July 14, 1:05 PM

“Data security—and possible data breaches—are now such significant business concerns that VCs couldn’t do responsible due diligence if they didn’t consider security issues when performing valuation analyses,” Utterback says. For instance, if the target company hasn’t been storing data correctly, funders will factor potential liability and bad press into their valuations.

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India - the world's fastest growing startup ecosystem

India - the world's fastest growing startup ecosystem | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

In recent years, the Indian startup ecosystem has really taken off and come into its own—driven by factors such as massive funding, consolidation activities, evolving technology and an burgeoning domestic market.

The numbers are telling—from 3,100 startups in 2014 to a projection of more than 11,500 by 2020, this is certainly not a passing trend. It’s a revolution. And it’s going to change the way the markets are working today in India.

In this story, I’m going to highlight some key aspects of the Indian startup ecosystem and underline the steps needed to make the environment more conducive for it. Starting with some of the most disruptive startups, we’ll go on to explore how they raised their recent funding. Next, we’ll take a look at the investment trends, escalating M&A activity, and the key enablers who are fostering this growth. Read more: click image or title.




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"Hey Dave,
Yes, thank you, I have completed the business plan. Finance has been approved, accountant has done his thing, and the solicitor is lagging behind!
Thanks for the support"


Ruth Yates

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

India has a 'knack' for technology. Many tech engineers and software developers are being hired by large corporations and startups in the US and the rest of the world. The development of startups was a logical step.

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As More Tech Start-Ups Stay Private, So Does the Money - NY Times

As More Tech Start-Ups Stay Private, So Does the Money - NY Times | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

By Farhad Manjoo.


Fledgling companies are increasingly delaying initial public offerings of stock, which can keep the risks — and rewards — limited to venture capitalists and hedge funds.

Not long ago, if you were a young, brash technologist with a world-conquering start-up idea, there was a good chance you spent much of your waking life working toward a single business milestone: taking your company public.Though luminaries of the tech industry have always expressed skepticism and even hostility toward the finance industry, tech’s dirty secret was that it looked to Wall Street and the ritual of a public offering for affirmation — not to mention wealth.But something strange has happened in the last couple of years: The initial public offering of stock has become déclassé. For start-up entrepreneurs and their employees across Silicon Valley, an initial public offering is no longer a main goal. Instead, many founders talk about going public as a necessary evil to be postponed as long as possible because it comes with more problems than benefits. Read more, click image or title.



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Richard Platt's curator insight, July 6, 9:08 PM

Silicon Valley’s sudden distaste for the I.P.O. — rooted in part in Wall Street’s skepticism of new tech stocks — may be the single most important psychological shift underlying the current tech boom. Staying private affords start-up executives the luxury of not worrying what outsiders think and helps them avoid the quarterly earnings treadmill.  -  It also means Wall Street is doing what it failed to do in the last tech boom: using traditional metrics like growth and profitability to price companies. Investors have been tough on Twitter, for example, because its user growth has slowed. They have been tough on Box, the cloud-storage company that went public last year, because it remains unprofitable. And the e-commerce company Zulily, which went public last year, was likewise punished when it cut its guidance for future sales.


Scott Kupor, the managing partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, and his colleagues said in a recent report that despite all the attention start-ups have received in recent years, tech stocks are not seeing unusually high valuations. In fact, their share of the overall market has remained stable for 14 years, and far off the peak of the late 1990s.  -  That unwillingness to cut much slack to young tech companies limits risk for regular investors. If the bubble pops, the unwashed masses, if that’s what we are, aren’t as likely to get washed out.

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This is not a typo: Only 3% of Americans are legally allowed to invest in start-ups

This is not a typo: Only 3% of Americans are legally allowed to invest in start-ups | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it
And they dictate the products and services that the rest of us consume.

Of the richest venture capitalists, all are worth more than $1 billion, and all are men. The majority of these have invested in Groupon, LinkedIn, Skype, YouTube, Paypal, Facebook and others. Chances are, you are legally barred from joining their exclusive investors’ club.

More than 97% of Americans cannot invest in the latest startups, nor profit from their meteoric rises. For example, Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms like Indiegogo and Rockethub do not allow “supporters” to own part of the organizations featured on the site, even though their donations are financial investments in those advertising funds or projects. That’s why most crowd funding platforms reward their supporters with goodies (a first run of a manufactured product, say, or thank you cards.).

Under US law, only “accredited investors” are legally allowed to invest and own a stake in a start-up. Read more: click image or title.





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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Make your vote count. Democracy can still change certain situations and laws.

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US tech funding

I spent some time in the last few weeks with my colleagues Morgan Bender
and Scott Kupor going through the state and history of US tech funding.
It's pretty easy to point out that the current situation bears little
resemblance to 1999 or 2000. This time it's different. But then, it's
always different - what's going on now? 

To see the Slideshare presentation, click on the title.





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The state of VC and Tech funding. Are we in a Tech bubble? This Slideshare presentation brings clarity to the numbers.

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What are some of the patterns of success VCs look at when funding startups (please see details)? - Quora

Jason M. Lemkin, Managing Director @ Storm Ventures. C... (more)
87 upvotes by Marc Bodnick (Co-Founder, Elevation Partners), Michael Wolfe (Founder & Entrepreneur -- Vontu, Kana, I/PRO, P... (more) ), Gleb Koshulko, John Phileas, (more)
You are supposed to look at a lot of those things.  I don't really look at any.

My 3 criteria:
  • Better founder CEO than me. This means more aggressive, smarter, more driven, more visionary -- adjusted for time and knowledge.  Although I don't care about accelerators per se, YC does seem to align well here as a partial filter for this criterion, and 500 Start-ups seems to be getting there now too. 
  • Better-than-average unit economics.  This sort of controls for market size, market, scaling costs, and a lot more.  If you are killing yourself managing an inside sales team to close $2k deals, and it will never get any better than that, then ... even if your MRR growth is strong ... I'm out.  I prefer companies that just can get a little farther on the same amount of sales & marketing effort.  It's just too hard otherwise.  I want to invest in companies that have a shot at scaling easier and faster than I did.
  • Pointed in a vaguely good / hot / OR important direction.  If you are doing something important / hot / interesting, you'll have easier access to capital and employees.  Because the Next VC and the Next VP do sort of want to work at something that Could Be Hot.  The subject matter can be boring (that's not the issue), the market can be old-school, but I have to be able to see it's something that will be important 1, 2 and 5 years out.  Low-multiple spaces are not of interest.

That's it for me.  Read more answers on Quora, click title above.


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- Venus Williams, Professional Tennis Player and CEO, V Starr Interiors.

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

It's good to read some answers on Quora once in a while. There are some very wise people telling you about their experiences.

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Who Funds the Future?

Who Funds the Future? | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it
Inside Andreessen Horowitz, one of the most powerful venture-capital firms in Silicon Valley.

On a bright October morning, Suhail Doshi drove to Silicon Valley in his parents’ Honda Civic, carrying a laptop with a twelve-slide presentation that was surely worth at least fifty million dollars. Doshi, the twenty-six-year-old C.E.O. of a data-analytics startup called Mixpanel, had come from San Francisco to Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, where many of the world’s most prestigious venture-capital firms cluster, to pitch Andreessen Horowitz, the road’s newest and most unusual firm. Inside the offices, he stood at the head of a massive beechwood conference table to address the firm’s deal team and its seven general partners—the men who venture the money, take a seat on the board, and fire the entrepreneur if things go wrong. Read more: click on image or title.




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Want to know what makes #VC 's tick? Here's a very detailed portrait of a VC firm: Andreessen Horowitz. How do they think? Where do they come from? How do they relate? What are they looking for? How do they grill you? 

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Valuation As A Scorecard – AVC

The message of this post is don’t let yourself get sucked into a world where a number is your measure of self worth. Because you don’t control that number. The market does. And some days the market is your friend and other days it is most decidedly not your friend.

Measure yourself on whether your employees are happy. Measure yourself on whether your customers are happy. Measure yourself on how much free cash flow your business is generating. Measure yourself on how your brand is known and appreciated around the world. Measure yourself on how your spouse and children feel about you when you come home from work each day. You control all of those things, at least to some degree.

But please don’t measure yourself on valuation. It might make you feel good today. But it won’t make you feel good every day.

Read more: click on the title of this article.





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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Fred Wilson's rant about valuation. I copied the conclusion of the post here, because it's more important than anything else he's saying here. Scorecards are what they are, just scorecards, not reality. Did the kid who had the best scorecard in high school create the best business? Most likely not.

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Sneaky Questions Early-Stage VCs Ask Founders

Sneaky Questions Early-Stage VCs Ask Founders | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

During conversations with VCs, entrepreneurs will often encounter a few sneaky questions that have nothing to do with their actual businesses today. Many of these are attempts by investors to learn something specific that they don’t want to ask directly, and there’s usually some kind of hidden meaning behind a given question. Some VCs may just be fishing for more information, but many are looking for specific “right” answers.

It’s a funny dance, and while experienced entrepreneurs know what’s going on and how to respond, these questions can easily trip up a founder going through the fundraise process for the first time.

Below are some examples and suggested responses. Of course, it’s always best to be honest and authentic, so this is not a proposed script so much as additional context to incorporate into your own thinking. Read more: click on title or image.



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Dave....
I downloaded your business plan template ...It is  great!!! we have a successful delivery service already running today ...This plan is for a new liquor store idea ...my tax consultants say your plan is amazing..Thanks Dave!!!
Aja Noyes
Shift Gear Deliveries

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Anticipating the questions from your investors (VC's in this article) will create a huge advantage in your funding process. Understand what they are looking for and what their questions mean.

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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, April 29, 9:21 AM

Dealing with VC's is quite a challenge. They see many startups and only pick the most promising for another conversation. The questions they ask are like probes going into your sense of doing business. Everything you say tells them a story. Since they do this for a living they are very well versed in asking the right questions. You need to find the right answers. This article explains some of their thought processes.

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Bringing depression out of the shadows in startups - Venturebeat

Bringing depression out of the shadows in startups - Venturebeat | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

By Brad Feld

http://snip.ly/Bl5r

How common is the issue of depression in the startup world?

I’ve been very open about my struggles with depression over the years. A few weeks ago, I participated in a Q&A with Greg Avery at the Denver Business Journal titled Brad Feld Q&A: Bringing depression out of the shadows in startups. It was part of a more extensive series on depression, entrepreneurs, and startups.

Since I’m still getting emails about it, I thought I’d republish the Q&A here.

Q: How common is the issue of depression in the startup world?

A: Very common, although it is rarely discussed. While the line between stress, deep anxiety, and depression often blurs, most entrepreneurs struggle with broad mental health issues at various points in their lives.

Read more: http://snip.ly/Bl5r

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Brad Feld's open talk about depression addresses this issue in a deeply honest way. With all the failures and struggles in the startup world this must be a very common issue.

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First Round Capital Measures Its Startup Success, Minus Uber - WSJ blog

First Round Capital Measures Its Startup Success, Minus Uber - WSJ blog | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it
Here’s the dream startup founder: it’s a she, and she’s young, Ivy League-educated, an alum of a top tech company, and has a co-founder.

Those are the characteristics shared by venture firm First Round Capital’s most successful companies. First Round published a report Wednesday analyzing 300 companies it has invested in since 2005 to find what works, and what doesn’t. Some of its better-known investments include furniture seller One Kings Lane, glasses retailer Warby Parker and car service Uber. But like all VCs, it also has had misses like recently-shuttered home services company HomeJoy.

The best indicators of success are where founders were educated and where they previously worked. Read more: click image or title.




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"Hey Dave!
I bought one of your business planning templates and have been receiving your emails and videos for a few months now…
I just wanted to say thanks for cranking out such amazing work!
You're doing an incredible job, and I know entrepreneurs everywhere are benefiting from it!
Please, keep it up! Wishing you all the best!"
Colin Pape
President
ShopCity.com, Inc.

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Some factors seem to really make a difference in the success of startups.

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What Makes Founders Succeed

What Makes Founders Succeed | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it


Some kind of magic happens in startups, especially at the very beginning, but the only people there to see it are the founders. The best way to understand what happens is to ask them, so that’s what I did.


I recently dug up my introduction to Founders at Work, which I wrote in 2006, and I was amazed how accurate it still seems:

Some kind of magic happens in startups, especially at the very beginning, but the only people there to see it are the founders. The best way to understand what happens is to ask them, so that’s what I did.


In the book, you’ll hear the founders’ stories in their own words. Here I want to share some of the patterns I noticed. When you’re interviewing a series of famous startup founders, you can’t help trying to see if there is some special quality they all have in common that made them succeed.

What surprised me most was how unsure the founders seemed to be that they were actually on to something big.  Some of these companies got started almost by accident. The world thinks of startup founders as having some kind of superhuman confidence, but a lot of them were uncertain at first about starting a company. What they weren’t uncertain about was making something good—or trying to fix something broken.

They all were determined to build things that worked. In fact, I’d say determination was the single most important quality in a startup founder. If the founders I spoke with were superhuman in any way, it was in their perseverance. That came up over and over in the interviews. Read more: click image or title.



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"Growthink wrote the business plan for my mortgage company. Their research work was very accurate, and the average sales, revenue and cash flow data prepared me to make realistic decisions. They are a group of committed, dedicated and knowledgeable professionals who are with you during the process, and after."
Reemak Mortgage Funding

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Creating a successful startup is an amazing process. Several stages go by before you know it will succeed. Rejection, doubt, even despair... When you're in the middle of it it's hard to envision the huge success of a Unicorn for example.

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The Fastest Growing Areas of Startup Investment in 2015

The Fastest Growing Areas of Startup Investment in 2015 | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it
Earlier this week, we examined the trends in the major categories of startup investment including eCommerce, Software, Social Networking and Education. But which lesser known startup sectors are starting to raise venture dollars? Where are founders finding unique opportunities to innovate?

Bitcoin is the fastest growing sector followed by photo sharing and physical storage (which includes moving and self storage companies). Each year, starting in mid-2012 through mid-2015, these sectors have grown their investment dollars by more than 145%, according to Mattermark data.

The rest of the list controverts the notion that startups and investors pursue only incremental innovations. Space travel startups look to conquer the final frontier. In addition, founders have raised capital to transform many of the fundamental industries: transportation, hospitality, lending, health insurance, and banking. But, photosharing, inevitably, continues to grow quickly, too. Read more: click image or title.




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great piece of information. Also contains % of total share of dollars and sectors growing or receiving less funding.

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Plaacy's curator insight, July 17, 4:55 AM

Quels sont les secteurs privilégiés par les créateurs d'entreprises ?

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10 Things That Can Derail A Round Of Funding

10 Things That Can Derail A Round Of Funding | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

We read a lot about the seemingly 50-plus eight-figure venture rounds happening every day. All those great stories; this Razor-a-Day company raising at $600 million, that Valets-for-Pets company raising at $400 million. And we see a lot of advice on how to put together a good deck, do a good pitch, etc.

What I’ve rarely seen is founder advice on why deals fall apart post-term sheet. And, it turns out, this happens a lot more than you might realize. Especially these days, when timing is so compressed. In the old days when I raised money for my startups (’02, ’05, ’08), the VCs had tons of time, weeks or more, to do due diligence (i.e., to learn more about a company in which they are interested in investing). Today, term sheets are often issued just days, or even hours, after the first meeting.

This means that due diligence is really done post-term sheet, not pre-term sheet.

And deals can fall apart here. VCs operate in one of two modes — greed or fear. As a founder, your job is to make sure nothing really comes up post-term sheet, but pre-closing that creates enough fear to trump the greed. Most importantly, minimize surprises. All startups have issues and challenges, and all deals have some “hair” on them. But finding out post-term sheet about too many material issues can lead VCs to run for the hills.

With that, I’ve collected a checklist of the Top 10 Issues that may lead a VC to pull a term sheet: To read more, click on image or title.



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"Hey Dave,
Yes, thank you, I have completed the business plan. Finance has been approved, accountant has done his thing, and the solicitor is lagging behind!
Thanks for the support"


Ruth Yates

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Consecutive rounds of financing are not a simple game, and getting over that initial round of seedfunding is not the end, it's the beginning of an intense and long process of interaction with investors and VC's. Take a look at this excellent article of Jaon Lemkin.

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The Netherlands: A Look At The World’s High-Tech Startup Capital

The Netherlands: A Look At The World’s High-Tech Startup Capital | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

It’s a fascinating time to take stock of startup innovation in the Netherlands, a rare turning point where you can watch the hard work of the past give way. to the immense promise of the future.

Behind London and Berlin, the Dutch startup scene is already considered to be one of the most prominent in Europe. (If it feels unfair to weigh an entire country against individual cities, consider that the Netherlands has 17 million people crammed into an area half the size of South Carolina.)

Startup Juncture reported 75 major deals in 2014, for a total of roughly $560 million in investment. Ten companies raised over $9 million. In the past few years, especially, each successive quarter has seemingly brought a new standard for sheer volume of activity. The road to this point has been long and deliberate, and Dutch entrepreneurs deserve credit for what they’ve managed to achieve thus far.

And yet, to herald Dutch innovation as it currently stands is to unveil a project that’s still only just underway.

The Dutch, on the whole, speak better English than probably any non-native population in continental Europe, one of the hallmarks of a consistently excellent education system that also scores among the highest worldwide in math and science metrics. Strong economic foundations in industry and commerce offer a dependable framework for continued growth.

And under the proven leadership of Neelie Kroes, the so-called “Internet-Tsar” of Europe, the government’s recent commitments to tech entrepreneurship may mark a bellwether of a new era in startup proliferation. Read more: click image or title.



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Yes, thank you, I have completed the business plan. Finance has been approved, accountant has done his thing, and the solicitor is lagging behind!
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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great startup activity in the Netherlands. A new economy is brewing all over the world. Some hubs are growing quickly.

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There’s a dark side to startups, and it haunts 30% of the world’s most brilliant people

There’s a dark side to startups, and it haunts 30% of the world’s most brilliant people | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it
Tech entrepreneurs are struggling with depression in secret. Here's how some in the industry want to change that.

The smile on Austen Heinz's face was unguarded and brief. It was the involuntary, small upturn of the corners the mouth that escapes when something genuinely makes you happy.

For Heinz, it was seeing the surfers at Del Mar. He raised his phone to snap a photo for a friend.

Mike Alfred saw the grin on his face, so he took his own photo of his friend's happiness.

Heinz’s long, curly brown hair is whipping back in the wind secured only by a green San Francisco hat. A black North Face vest, one he’s wearing in most photographs, covers his dress shirt.

“He smiled for a brief moment, and it was so beautiful,” Alfred said. "That's the last picture I have of him smiling."

Heinz’s love of surfing with his sister, Jean, would be noted in his obituary, published a month later.

The founder and CEO of Cambrian Genomics took his own life May 24, two weeks after the trip to Del Mar. He was 31.

When news slowly spread on Twitter that Heinz had died by suicide, many were crushed and surprised.

"That was a reminder to me that you can’t predict which founders are struggling," said Y Combinator president Sam Altman. Read more: click image or title.





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It's not all unicorns and billions of dollars... there is a lot of struggle and failure. Be careful. Read this article and be prepared.

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Why Serena Williams, Andreessen Horowitz are investing in this company that sells hair — yes, hair

Why Serena Williams, Andreessen Horowitz are investing in this company that sells hair — yes, hair | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it
Serena Williams and Andreessen Horowitz have both invested in Mayvenn's idea of empowering hair stylists to sell hair.

Hair is a $5 billion market in the United States. Market research from Mintel estimates six out of 10 black women wear a weave or a wig. 

But when Diishan Imira looked at the supply chain of how hair gets into a stylist's hands, he realized it was a complete mess.

"Basically, women in India sell their hair to buyers from China, who treat and package it, then sell it to primarily Korean distributors.

Those distributors sell to Korean-owned beauty supply shops in the U.S., who then sell it to primarily African American women," explained Ben Horowitz in a blog post, an investor from Andreessen Horowitz, who is leading a $10 million investment round in Imira's company, Mayvenn. Read more, click image or title.




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Startups like this one deserve to receive money from the VC industry and celebrities like Serena Williams. They empower the small middleman and produce a better priced product for the consumer. Great idea, and great execution.

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Intel Corporation (INTC) To Invest $125 Million In Women, Minority-Led Startups

Intel Corporation (INTC) To Invest $125 Million In Women, Minority-Led Startups | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

The semiconductor manufacturer pledges $125 million for startups that back women and minorities, in order to diversify the technology industy.

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) has created a record $125 million worth of venture fund to support startups that back women and minorities. The fund, dubbed Intel Capital Diversity Fund, is part of a broader initiative to promote diversity at the company and in the notoriously male-dominated technology world as a whole.

The fund is to put its money in fast-growing startups and entrepreneurial initiatives that represent minorities and women. “Female and minority entrepreneurship in the technology industry does not reflect the diversity of the United States,” the company said in a public statement. “With this new fund, Intel Capital is leading the way in investing in the best talent from a myriad of backgrounds to develop innovations that serve the needs of a diverse public.” Read more: click on image or title.





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Wonderful opportunity created by Intel.

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The 4 Ways Investors Find Great Startups - Arena Ventures

The 4 Ways Investors Find Great Startups - Arena Ventures | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

Investing in seed stage startups can be exhilarating and highly lucrative, but it can also be incredibly risky and time consuming. Identifying the most promising new companies requires a lot of cutting through the weeds – I interact in one way or another with well over 2,000 entrepreneurs a year and take meetings with over 200 of them, all in the process of finding just the 15 I’ll invest in.

When I first began investing, I wasted a lot of time. Tracking down the most promising entrepreneurs was a crapshoot and I didn’t know where to start. But as I developed as an angel investor over the last 8 years however, and now in running Arena Ventures, I’ve recognized the pattern of where my investments come from…where I get the highest ROI on my time.

There are 4 activities you can do as an investor to get to the good deals most quickly: hunting, trapping, farming, and trading. Read more: click on title or image.




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"Your articles are great, Dave.
I read every single one as soon as they are posted. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and knowledge.
The information has played a large part in developing my business plan and numbers. We're looking for our first angel!"
Chrissie VanWormer

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Knowing how investors think and work helps to make better presentations and to be in the right place at the right time.

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Charting A Path From Seed To A Competitive Series A Round

Charting A Path From Seed To A Competitive Series A Round | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

Over the past five years, there has been roughly $3 billion of capital invested in nearly 3,500 seed-stage companies, with the number of seed investments rising every year. According to CB Insights, 2014 saw the largest year of seed investing since 2009, with a record $1.3 billion of capital invested in almost 1,000 seed companies. Many of these seed founders have high hopes of raising the subsequent up rounds that can lead to a defining moment for their team, investors and advisers: an attractive acquisition or an IPO.

The reality is that raising seed capital is only the beginning of a long and sometimes turbulent journey of startup experimentation, and only a small percentage of seed companies will emerge from the gulf of experimentation to reach a Series A round....


...

Companies that reach highly competitive Series A rounds typically have systematically reduced their company’s product, market and execution risk during the seed stage. The founders of these companies use their seed capital to efficiently orchestrate a process-oriented set of experiments that culminate in evidence of product-market fit.

From a product perspective, their product teams are characterized by product, technical, and/or domain experts who can build compelling products that address concrete market needs. These teams study the engagement of their users/customers, and discover how users/customers are interacting with their products and the value customers are deriving. These companies have multi-talented, growing, and disciplined product teams that sometimes execute against a product roadmap that has feedback loops to help inform product development.

Read more: click image or title.



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Great info. Loving your business plan template, makes writing a plan almost fun.


Craig Heppell
Nambour, Queensland

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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, May 11, 9:17 AM

Must read article for every founder who is serious about building a great business and wants/needs to think beyond the seed funding stage.

Marianne Naughton's curator insight, May 20, 12:40 PM

Developing seed techs ... 

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Investment Giant KKR Leads Rare $15M Early Stage Round For Fundraising Platform Artivest

Investment Giant KKR Leads Rare $15M Early Stage Round For Fundraising Platform Artivest | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

In what may be one of its first investments in a Series A round, the investment firm KKR has pulled from its $98.6 billion in assets under management to lead a $15 million investment in fundraising platform Artivest.

The deal is part of a broader push from the private-equity firm to invest more actively in startup technology companies. To date, KKR has backed companies including Magic Leap, FanDuel, Ping Identity, Arago, ClickTale, Next Issue Media, and The Hut Group.

In the past, KKR invested primarily from a joint-venture fund it had set up with the venture investor Accel Partners, called Accel-KKR, but now the firm is also doing investments from its $13 billion balance sheet (a pool of capital larger than the top five largest current venture funds combined).

“Our balance sheet [investing] is very opportunistic,” said KKR CIO Ed Brandman. “I don’t think this is going to be a significant portion of the balance sheet [but] it can be meaningful. Over time [investments] could be hundreds of millions of dollars.” Read more: click title or image.





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- Venus Williams, Professional Tennis Player and CEO, V Starr Interiors

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#VC firms are still increasing investments in promising #startups.

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7 Reasons Why Your Business Will Never Be Acquired (and What You Can Do About It) -- Infographic

7 Reasons Why Your Business Will Never Be Acquired (and What You Can Do About It) -- Infographic | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it
Luckily, these issues are all factors business owners can control.

In my career as a broker for website sales, I have met only a few entrepreneurs who didn't dream about having their businesses acquired. Among entrepreneurs, that goal seems to be something of a shared dream. But few take any steps to actually position their business to get there.

Rather, most entrepreneurs simply go about their business and consider acquisitions something they'll only read about posted on websites like entrepreneur.com.

This is unfortunate, as actively positioning your business to be acquired is not difficult to do. One effective approach for starting out, for example, is to analyze your business in terms of the various reasons an investor would give for saying no to acquiring it.

This approach is effective because it relates directly to a basic law of business acquisitions: Those actively looking to buy a business are always looking for a reason to say no. This may imply an attitude of a "glass half empty," but the reality is, most companies or investors don't have the luxury of making mistakes with their acquisitions. That's why smart business owners work at understanding why, exactly, buyers do say no, and why they're always on the lookout for the warning signs of things that could go wrong.

Once you, the owner, know these warning signs, you can leverage that information to make your own business more desirable.That's why I suggest that owners first analyze the reasons a buyer might pass on their businesses, and place those reasons into one of three buckets: things they can easily control, things that are somewhat in their control and things they have no control over.

Certainly there are dozens of reasons buyers could say no, but seven fundamental reasons consistently take the prize as the primary problem points for businesses beginning to think about acquisition. Luckily, these seven points are all in the “things you can control” bucket:

1. Keep clean financials. 

Messy and inaccurate financial records are the most common cause why acquirers back out of an acquisition, and this is a factor entirely within your control. Keep clean financial and tax records, or hire a rockstar bookkeeper who will keep everything clean, tidy and verifiable.

2. Track your metrics.

Buyers expect you to know your business, and to have data to back up what you know. For example, every online business should have web analytics software installed. Buyers of online businesses will typically pass on an acquisition if they can't view basic metrics.


3. Watch out for vendor instability. 

Buyers commonly look for "single points of failure" in a business. What happens if your primary vendor disappears or drastically changes his or her terms? How does that impact your business? Always have backup vendors. If possible, diversify your product sources among multiple vendors to reduce over-reliance on one source.

4. Make sure you are trustworthy. 

You may wonder what your trustworthy score has to do with your business being acquired, but buyers are always looking for reasons they should say no. If a buyer does not trust you, then he or she may not trust what you say about the business. Sowing seeds of distrust can be done in a lot of ways: telling white lies, missing scheduled appointments, or not fulfilling promises, or even appearing disorganized and unknowledgeable about your business.

5. Have multiple sources of revenue. 

Vendors aren't the only place a buyer looks for single points of failure. Your revenue sources also present a potential source of instability that could have a buyer passing on your business. Does most of your revenue come from one product or service? Is your business predicated on a strong ranking in Google? These are all reasons a buyer might say no to acquiring your business.

6. Make sure the transition path to new ownership is not difficult. 

An acquirer is likely to pass on an investment if there is no clear path to transitioning ownership of the company, or if that transition requires significant additional investment. Ensure that key employees are replaceable (and that includes you as the owner).

7. Make sure your business isn't in disrepair. 

While many acquirers look for distressed sales, these acquirers usually want a bargain price for their acquisition. Most acquirers will say no to an acquisition if they anticipate the need to invest significant capital into a "fix-up" project, following the acquisition. If your passion for your business is waning, seek an acquisition before the business falls into a state of disrepair.

My business Quiet Light Brokerage has available an infographic using data we've collected from successful and failed acquisitions to break down more than 35 common reasons acquisitions fail. Work your way through these reasons and place them within your own buckets of "controllable," "not controllable" and "somewhat controllable" for a customized analysis of your business's acquisition potential.

With this analysis completed, you'll develop a quick checklist from which to set goals and action plans, to begin positioning your business for a successful and profitable acquisition.




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Excellent overview of how to position your business to be acquired. First of all, get rid of all of the reasons NOT to get acquired. The infographic is very realistic.

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