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7 Signs You’re Fundraising Too Early

7 Signs You’re Fundraising Too Early | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it
Perhaps it’s the new ”American dream” of scaling like Zuckerberg or selling like Systrom, but every entrepreneur seems to think that if they’re going to make it big, they have to raise money asap.

The amount of money you raise has become associated with your perceived success, credibility, respect in the valley… as if you have to raise money to be legit.

As a result, way too many startups are raising money way too early.

I know this to be true, because I’ve been one of those people.

This past summer we spent about 3 months of our time trying to raise money. We weren’t successful. The truth is, it was too early to be fundraising. I know that in hindsight, but at the time I convinced myself otherwise.

We had taken $50,000 to join the 500 Startups accelerator which is built to help you fundraise and grow. After a couple pivots we still hadn’t figured out our product-market-team fit yet but figured if we could play the fundraising game right, we could still raise our round. Hell, we got into 500 because they liked our team, who’s to say we couldn’t get other investors on board?

That’s the story that’s told so often. You have to pitch 100 investors before one says yes, then the other investors you spoke with will want to get in as well. You have to create the perception that they’re going to miss out on a deal and that time is limited. If you know how to talk to investors with confidence and create the perception of demand, you’ll raise your round.

We bought into that idea…all in.

Continue reading... click on the title of the article.


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Via Guillaume Decugis, Marc Kneepkens
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

If you are serious about succeeding with your Startup, including Fundraising, building a great company, and exiting that company when the time is right, take a look at this video. This is Startup School at its best!




Why are you doing this? Why are you an entrepreneur? Watch this video! https://growthink.infusionsoft.com/go/gic/gt4045/


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Guillaume Decugis's curator insight, December 13, 2013 2:17 AM

I'd say this is debatable as raising early can also give you a lot of options. Sometimes though you don't have that luxury and this post is worth reading for the signs it describes that your startup might not be VC-ready. If that's the case, hyper focusing in fundraising is a sure way to fail. Money can come from customers too...

Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, December 13, 2013 5:19 PM

Get ready first, the more ready you are, the easier money will follow.

This is a great article from a real entrepreneur. Great read, but don't just read, apply his conclusions to your fundraising.

Better even, take a look at the video 'Why are you doing this?' right above this window.

Lori Wilk's curator insight, December 15, 2013 11:50 AM

As we launch, we want to build on a structure and a solid foundation, most of us have lots to learn.

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Whether it's  Silicon Valley or Boston, it's a world of millionaires and billionaires, the domain of the happy few.
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10 Things I Learned Interning At A Singaporean VC Firm

10 Things I Learned Interning At A Singaporean VC Firm | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

You see a lot as an intern at a venture capital shop. Over the past three months I worked as an intern at the southeast Asian-focused venture firm Tigris Capital, under the tutelage of general partner William Klippgen. During the time I spent doing research and analysis, assisting portfolio companies, helping with due diligence and generating deal flow for the firm, I caught a glimpse of some of the big trends happening in the Southeast Asian market. With increasing internet access and a still-burgeoning middle class opportunities abound in the region. Read more and see this interesting gallery style presentation: click on image or title.




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

South East Asia is booming for #startups and #seedfunding. Opportunities abound.

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Global Funding Trends: 2015 on Track for $120B to VC-Backed Companies, and 35% Growth

Global Funding Trends: 2015 on Track for $120B to VC-Backed Companies, and 35% Growth | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

VC-backed companies continue to raise more money, with the first half of 2015 seeing nearly $60B invested across more than 3,500 deals. This puts the year on track to hit nearly $120B worth of investment, growth of 35% from last year’s already record-high funding total of $88.3B.


However, deals have not followed the same growth, with 2015 on track to be the first year without deal growth since 2011. This suggests that deals are getting larger, which is evidenced by the increasing presence of $100M financings.Internet and mobile continue to account for the bulk of deals to VC-backed companies, as the two major sectors accounted for 65% of all deals in Q2’15. All other sectors remained fairly range-bound with healthcare accounting for 12%, software 5%, and consumer products & services at 3%.


As VC deals get larger, there are fewer of them. 2015 could be the first year without deal growth since 2011.... Read more, click image or title.




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Jeff Domansky's curator insight, August 24, 1:47 AM

Is VC investment slowing?

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What I've Learned About Venture Funding | Bothsides of the Table

What I've Learned About Venture Funding | Bothsides of the Table | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

VC funding.

Our perspectives on the topic wax and wane with market cycles. We love capital efficiency until we love land grabs until we abhor “over funding” until we get huge distribution & ring the bell for more funding until we attract every non-VC on the planet to invest in startups until it crashes and we start the cycle all over again none the wiser. Amnesia sets in and we get back on the merry-go-round for the next cycle.

I saw this great image on Twitter courtesy of Simon Wardley, CC3.0 by SA. (blog here). It’s kind of a truism for life and certainly our industry. I see it in many newer VCs. They enter the industry knowing that they know nothing. Same as I felt. If one entered between 2009-2015 he or she is no doubt in the “hazard” phase where one need to be careful about thinking he know more about the industry than perhaps he do. We’ve had just one market since then and it could confuse one into thinking:

  • every deal finds downstream investors,
  • every company good or bad finds a home or soft landing (“there’s no downside, people would buy this for the IP alone”)
  • you know anything at all about brazil, india, china or even saas sales, ecommerce or analytics (you know all these in a bull market)
  • the more money you give a startup the faster they grow

I think I’m at the expert stage of venture capital and I mean in the Wardley sense. The longer I do this the more humbled I become. Not the kind of false, humblebrag, “I’m always ready to learn” kind of humble but the “who the fuck knows” and “G-d I hope I’m right” sort of humble. One of the most successful investors I know said privately to me, “Honestly, I’m just so paranoid that everything I knew from the last 5 years no longer applies and that I could become irrelevant overnight.”

I know what I know. I have strong opinions. But I know what I don’t know.

Here’s what I believe, but won’t claim to “know” because every time I think I know something the market seems to do something entirely different. Either lemming behavior is taking over or I’m out to lunch. We’ll see in time.

1. Too much money too early often fucks companies up  Read more: click image or title.



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Admitting you don't know that much is the beginning of wisdom... Great and honest article from Mark Suster. It really shows what money does, or can do, to a startup. Highly recommended. Great lesson.

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Ten Questions Every Founder Should Ask Before Raising Venture Debt

Ten Questions Every Founder Should Ask Before Raising Venture Debt | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it
When financing a growing company,venture debt can be a great supplement to venture capital. Much has been written to help founders think through venture..

There’s an adage that says your first job as a startup CEO is to make sure your company never runs out of cash. When financing a growing company,venture debt can be a great supplement to venture capital. Much has been written to help founders think through venture capital, but venture debt remains a bit of a black box.

That’s why we partnered with our friends at Columbia Lake Partners, a leading European venture debt fund, to put together a white paper that helps startups approach venture debt in a thoughtful way. Here are ten questions you should ask when considering venture debt:

Read more: click on image or title.






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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Excellent overview of #VentureDebt funding.

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@Newslinks Kusuntu's curator insight, August 8, 3:50 AM

Excellent overview of #VentureDebt funding.

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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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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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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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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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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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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Why the Public Stock Markets Will Affect Your Funding Round Even if You Can't Perceive It | Bothsides of the Table

Why the Public Stock Markets Will Affect Your Funding Round Even if You Can't Perceive It | Bothsides of the Table | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

Last night I wrote a post about how the fall in the stock market over a 3-day period may affect the venture capital markets. If you’re an entrepreneur or VC who wants somebody else’s view on that you should read it. This morning the US stock markets are rallying. So now what? Read more: click image or title.




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Market #turmoil shows insecurity in the economy. That affects funding as well. Mark Suster explains how it affects #valuations and #VC funding.

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IoT mapped: The emerging landscape of smart things

IoT mapped: The emerging landscape of smart things | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

No one really knows how many “things” there are deployed today that have IoT characteristics. IDC’s 2013 estimate was about 9.1 billion, growing to about 28 billion by 2020 and over 50 billion by 2025. You can get pretty much any other number you want, but all the estimates are very large. So what are all these IoT things doing and why are they there? Here’s our attempt to map out the IoT landscape (click to enlarge). Read more: click image or title.




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The Internet of Things, IoT, is growing day over day. This article gives an idea of the magnitude of what is coming.

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Richard Platt's curator insight, August 24, 3:07 PM

As you can see, there are a whole lot of possible organizational approaches to the constituent parts of IoT. We have chosen a “halo” approach, looking at how IoT principles will be applied to individual people, their surroundings (vehicles and homes), the organization of those surroundings (towns and cities and the highways and other transit systems that connect them), the range of social activities (essentially commerce, but also travel, hospitality, entertainment and leisure) that go on in those surroundings and finally the underpinnings of those activities (“industrial” including agriculture, energy and transport and logistics). We’re not claiming this is an exhaustive taxonomy (we’ve excluded all military and some law enforcement specific uses) or that this is the best way to organize things, but we think it’s a useful start and has been helpful in explaining the opportunity to the businesses we advise.   The size of the circles aren’t important. They’re basically an indication of how far away from the individual each collection of potential IoT ideas will be implemented, but even that isn’t fully consistent – there will be interactions between people and IoT ideas in the workplace as well as in the home or in the store.

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Waze cofounder tells us how his company's $1 billion sale to Google really went down

Waze cofounder tells us how his company's $1 billion sale to Google really went down | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it
Waze cofounder Uri Levine: "Way before, we said that if someone offered us a billion, we will sell the company."

In the weeks that preceded Google's $1.15 billion purchase of the Israeli map app Waze in 2013, there was a constant stream of leaks about the deal, and about a bidding war between Google, Facebook, and Apple.

The sale was a milestone for Israel's young but huge startup community: The first Israeli consumer-app company to be bought for over $1 billion. In an instant, the whole "Startup Nation" decided to quit aiming for fast exits and build billion-dollar companies instead.

Among Israel's tight-knit tech scene, some say the leaks were orchestrated by Waze's top PR person at the time. Waze's CEO at the time, Noam Bardin, later wrote about the deal, saying one of Waze's "mistakes" was to sell off too big of a chunk of the company to venture investors in its Series A financing, hinting that Waze felt obligated to sell because of its investors.

Business Insider recently met with Waze cofounder and former CEO Uri Levine, the only one of Waze's cofounder executives who didn't go work at Google after the deal closed.

He's working as an angel investor to a bunch of startups (many come from his own ideas) and as chairman for one of them, FeeX.

We asked him to tell us about those leaks and what happened. He was as open about it as he could be. (We've heard from people who sold their companies to Google that a lifetime gag order can be one of Google's conditions for the deal.)

The upshot from his point of view:

  • There was no orchestrated PR push to leak info.
  • Waze never hired a banker and was not looking to sell.
  • The offers rolled in when Waze was in the middle of a financing round.
  • The cofounders had told themselves in the early days that if someone ever offered them $1 billion, they would sell.
  • Most of the money went to the investors, yet Levine is still using VC funding for his current startups because it's "part of the game."

Here's a lightly edited transcript from the interview:




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

How one startup in Israel cut through the $1Billion barrier. How they did it and what is next.

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The Metrics Required for Raising a Series A Round

The Metrics Required for Raising a Series A Round | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it
After closing our seed round a few months back, my co-founders and I decided to figure out what traction we'd need to reach the next fundraising milestone, Series A.
I was surprised to find that there's not a great single resource on the internet that sets out current market VC expectations for Series A companies. So we're now providing that resource. We did a lot of digging into this, including asking mentors, current investors, and prospective investors. Here's what we found.

Series A is an order of magnitude greater, in terms of diligence and required metrics, than the seed round. Current market conditions--the Series A Crunch--don't help either. There is a lot of capital available for seed rounds, with a new micro-VC fund seemingly popping up daily, and AngelList, SeedInvest, etc. also adding to the pool of capital ready to deploy for seed investments. But Series A involves big institutional players, who have strict mandates and fiduciary duties to their LPs. The bar is set much higher to raise your A round than was required for your seed round.
Through our research, here's what we've found vis-a-vis metrics needed to raise a Series A round from institutional venture investors.
Read more: click on image or title.


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

With all of the capital available for #seedfunding, you might wonder what happens next. What does it take to make it through the next round of #funding. This article is very specific with numbers and examples. Also read the comments, very informative.

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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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Colin Pape
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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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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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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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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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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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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