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Boulevard of Broken Ideologies | The Venture Company

Boulevard of Broken Ideologies | The Venture Company | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it
Broken ideologies break the spirit and the opportunities for all people. They are omnipresent, but can be fixed in one fell swoop.

We are all born into systems created by our ancestors. Systems designed to guide our behavior vis-à-vis others, and to prevent uncontrollable chaos. Courtesy of the paradox of freedom. These systems guide, or attempt to guide, anything from finance to production to trade, and the diverse swath of social interactions within them.

 The ideology of a system

However, the problem with many systems is that they age, run out of applicability, and fail to continue to properly address the needs of a changing society. They become dislodged from their founding ideology, had an improper ideology or worse, were never attached to one.

Try this: ask anybody you know about the top-level ideology of The United States, and the stunned silence or confused answers will astound you. With the hesitation of an employee not being able to convey the business model of the company he works for. A bad sign, that will define his and everyone else’s contribution.

Without a good understanding of what ideology these systems support, why they exists, or how they must change to meet the needs of change, they have been feverishly copied around the world, and made pervasive and undeniable.

To read the full article, click on the title.



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

About treating all people with the respect they deserve, and maintaining a healthy equilibrium with Nature.

Great article. Let's get back to basics and put energy in what works.

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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, December 25, 2013 12:32 PM

About treating all people with the respect they deserve, and maintaining a healthy equilibrium with Nature.

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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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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15 of the fastest growing B2B startups - Business Insider

15 of the fastest growing B2B startups - Business Insider | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/F8Su


The fastest growing startups that we should be hearing about next.


By now, startups like Slack, MongoDB, Cloudera, Pure Storage are well known for their fast-growing businesses.

But we wondered: Who are the fastest-growing startups in the world that serve businesses, that we should be hearing about next (i.e. enterprise startups)?

That's a loaded question, we know. It all depends on your definition of "fastest growing." Startups are private companies that don't have to release their revenue numbers, so we couldn't measure them that way.

We turned to PitchBook Data, a company that monitors the public records of venture and private equity funding, to help us.

Read more about the 15 startups here:  http://snip.ly/F8Su




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Rather than the typical client/vendor relationship I'm used to, Growthink has been more like a strategic partner and trusted advisor. Not only did they provide me with a dynamic business plan but they have given me invaluable advice and feedback along the way. They have exceeded my expectations in every way possible during this exciting but uncertain time of starting & ultimately growing my business.  
- Jerry D. Erickson, President/CEO

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Good to see what kind of startups are coming into visibility next and what kind of products/services they are offering. The article also provides funding amounts so far.

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Planet Labs Rockets To $118 Million In Series C Funding To Cover The Earth In Tiny Satellites | TechCrunch

Planet Labs Rockets To $118 Million In Series C Funding To Cover The Earth In Tiny Satellites  |  TechCrunch | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/uzGa

Planet Labs, a startup that has pledged to cover the Earth in tiny satellites, announced the close of $118 million in Series C funding today. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a division of the World Bank led this latest round, exceeding the expected amount of $95 million.

Global head of venture capital at IFC Nikunj Jinsi said of the investment on Planet Labs’ blog that this was an “important tool for economic development and disaster risk response.” He further went on to say that, “IFC’s investment will help ensure more companies and communities in developing countries have the information they need to grow in a smart and sustainable way.”

More details: http://snip.ly/uzGa




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I appreciate beyond measure all the information you provide - so many inside tips, w/o which I wouldn't have access to. There is so much to consider, and I've passed this particular email along to others for their respective ideas, and the foundation on which they may be built.
I like the style of presentation, the breadth of information given, and the myriad ways to apply the information. Great stuff - thanks so much!!
TL Elliott

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Internet access to every corner of the planet is a great priority. Good to see the IFC contribute.

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12 African Startups to Watch in 2015

12 African Startups to Watch in 2015 | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it
Twelve startups in East Africa aim to scale their ventures to collectively improve the lives of 12 million people. They have bold visions, but face tough odds.

Working across diverse industries—agriculture, health, transportation, energy, water and financial inclusion—they have bold visions, but face tough odds. The Unreasonable East Africa Institute, based in Kampala, Uganda, exists to give them an “unreasonable advantage” to tackle the region’s most pressing problems. With 78 percent of the Ugandan population under 30 years of age, the emerging private sector—built by these companies—stands to benefit a youthful nation primed to engage with new and innovative ways of living.

Their businesses are creating new economies which builds hope for a bright future in the face of all the obstacles that we currently face.

“While we still face many challenges in East Africa, these entrepreneurs are piloting and implementing models to tackle these challenges head on,” says Joachim Ewechu, CEO and Co-Founder of Unreasonable East Africa. “Their businesses are creating new economies which builds hope for a bright future in the face of all the obstacles that we currently face.”

Kate Hanford, COO at Unreasonable East Africa, shares with us the Unreasonable East Africa fellows—four from Uganda, six from Kenya and one from Tanzania and South Sudan—to keep your eyes on in 2015:

Read more: click on title or image.




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"I am here to thank Dave and all contributors for their passion to assist and guide others along their way. I began receiving your emails some time ago and have just begun to realize that they are responsible for my now beginning to implement the business idea that has been growing in my head for the past 25 years. I now have a clearer picture as to how to begin and proceed. I have had ideas on paper but now I know what steps to take to move forward. My fear has abated (finally!...thank you)"
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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Africa is a huge continent and its economies are growing fast. Smart entrepreneurs are making a difference there and changing life for its growing populations.

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Emily and Kevria's curator insight, April 8, 10:41 PM

Economy: this article fits into this category because it talks about how they are taking risky new routes to help improve the lives of 12 million people. They hope to benefit a youthful nation primed to engage with new and innovative ways of living. Even though Africa is facing many challenges they are trying new aye to tackle these challenges. Lastly, their businesses are creating new economies which help builds hope for a bright feature in the face of all the obstacles that they currently face. 

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Global investment in renewable energy hit US$270B in 2014, says UN report - Canadian Manufacturing

Global investment in renewable energy hit US$270B in 2014, says UN report - Canadian Manufacturing | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it
Despite the increase, the report warns that renewables still face some challenges

FRANKFURT and NAIROBI—The annual United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on global investments in renewables shows a 17 per cent increase in 2014.

$270 billion was invested in renewables in 2014, and the majority of funds went to solar and wind projects.

The increase follows two years of decline, and was able to overcome the lower price of crude oil in the second half of the year, which was expected to pose a challenge.

The smaller investment figures in 2012 and 2013 were partly attributed to lower prices for renewables, caused by economies of scale. The price for solar and wind technologies continued to decline in 2014, so the money invested resulted in significantly more capacity. The power generating capacity added by renewables last year amounts to 103 gigawatts—equal to the total capacity of the USA’s 158 nuclear plants.

“Renewables made up nearly half of the net power capacity added worldwide” said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNEP. “These climate-friendly energy technologies are now an indispensable component of the global energy mix and their importance will only increase as markets mature, technology prices continue to fall and the need to rein in carbon emissions becomes ever more urgent.”

Despite the increase, the report warns that renewables still face some challenges. Among them are structural issues that stem from the variability of solar and wind power generation. In many countries, electricity grids have trouble coping with the 25% variability caused by dependence on sunlight and breeze.

The report was prepared by the Frankfurt School-UNEP Centre, and Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Udo Steffens, President of the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, said another challenge for renewables is investor uncertainty of continued government support.
“Southern Europe is still almost a no-go area for investors because of retroactive policy changes, most recently those affecting solar farms in Italy. In the US there is uncertainty over the future of the Production Tax Credit for wind, but costs are now so low that the sector is more insulated than in the past.”

The report concludes that if current trends continue, the electricity market requires major reforms to keep up with the success of renewables. Since 2004, over $2 trillion has been invested in renewables globally.



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Growthink took our ideas and put them into a business plan that fit with our objectives. They also gave us ideas on how to better our strategies and streamline our procedures.
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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The challenges seem to be endless, but innovation and persistence keeps renewable energy growing.

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In Silicon Valley Frenzy, VCs Create New Inside Track - WSJ

In Silicon Valley Frenzy, VCs Create New Inside Track - WSJ | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/V98n

Venture-capital firms, such as Andreessen Horowitz and FirstMark Capital, are taking advantage of soaring values for tech startups by creating impromptu funds that take a direct stake in a single startup.

These funds, which often come together in a matter of days, give institutional investors, friends and business associates exclusive access to highflying companies. The funds also let the venture capitalists invest far more money in a company than they otherwise could. In many cases, the funds are blessed by the startups, which see them as a way to raise big sums quickly.

hile the investments are usually billed as exclusive, can’t-miss opportunities, the funds aren't without risk. Their investors—which include fund of funds, family offices and pension funds—are usually offered limited financial information about the companies. They are also charged a performance fee that is typically about 20% of any investment profits on top of already rich prices.

Read more: http://snip.ly/V98n





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Hey Dave,
Your BP template help me achieve the goals I've been trying for 5 years. The template led me to produce an effective tool to attract the investors I need.
Thanks
Robert

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Exclusive funding opportunities for startups sounds against all principles of fair trading. The happy few will always find ways to beat the crowd. They may get burned though, these ventures contain a lot of risk.

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39 of the coolest startups founded by women - Business Insider

39 of the coolest startups founded by women - Business Insider | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/yCaK

Women in tech are doing amazing things.

Women may be underrepresented throughout the tech sector, but they're still building some incredible startups, apps, and products.

The folks over at Product Hunt have created and curated a collection of the best startups and products founded by inspiring women. VCs, entrepreneurs, and Product Hunt members have all weighed in on their favorites. 

From uBeam's innovative wireless charging technology to Hopscotch's program for teaching kids how to code, the products women are making are changing the world.

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




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Growthink took our ideas and put them into a business plan that fit with our objectives. They also gave us ideas on how to better our strategies and streamline our procedures.
Holly Follows, CEO

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Amazing collection of new start up ideas.

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A Super Angel’s View On Venture Capital In 2015 | TechCrunch

A Super Angel’s View On Venture Capital In 2015  |  TechCrunch | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/AJEZ

As the first quarter of 2015 draws to a close, it’s clear that the venture capital industry is evolving.

Since 2005, thousands of new millionaires have been minted by the IPOs of Alibaba Group, Lending Club, Go Pro, Box, Zendesk, Facebook, Pandora, Zynga, Linkedin, Homeaway, Zipcar and countless others.

Many of those have become angel investors, a path facilitated by the emergence of Angel List and Funders Club.

Incubators are also proliferating and investing more than ever before: Techstars, 500 Startups and many others have appeared on the scene and Y Combinator classes are bigger than ever. The spring 2015 Y Combinator class has well over 100 startups! Even the emergence of Kickstarter and other crowdfunding startups is tilting

the tables in favor of entrepreneurs.

More here: http://snip.ly/AJEZ




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"Growthink is a full-service business, representing you through the whole process - very important value-added service. We've been very impressed with the professionalism and kindness that Growthink has shown us in the rather complicated world of commercial financing."

Debra Soto
Freeballer Surfwear

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Excellent and clear view on how the #VC industry is evolving and the #startup community is changing and adapting.

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Bubble talk - Sam Altman

Bubble talk - Sam Altman | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/EpPK

I’m tired of reading about investors and journalists claiming there’s a bubble in tech.  I understand that it’s fun to do and easy press, but it’s boring reading.  I also understand that it might scare newer investors away and bring down valuations, but there’s got to be a better way to win than that. 

I would much rather read about what companies are doing than the state of the markets.  The gleeful anticipation of a correction by investors and pundits is not helping the world get better in any meaningful way.

Investors that think companies are overpriced are always free not to invest.  Eventually, the market will find its clearing price.

I am pretty paranoid about bubbles, but things still feel grounded in reason (the thing that feels least reasonable is some early-stage valuations, but it’s a small amount of capital and still nothing I would call a “bubble”.)  Even my own recent comments were misinterpreted as claiming we’re in a bubble—that’s how much the press wants to write about this.

Although they cause a lot of handwringing, business cycles are short compared to the arc of innovation.  In October of 2008, Sequoia Capital—arguably the best-ever in the business—gave the famous “RIP Good Times” presentation (I was there).  A few months later, we funded Airbnb.  A few months after that, a company called UberCab got started.

Instead of just making statements, here is a bet looking 5 years out.  To win, I have to be right on all three propositions.

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


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Sam Altman's bet: $100K... There is no bubble.

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The Fuzzy, Insane Math That's Creating So Many Billion-Dollar Tech Companies - Bloomberg Business

The Fuzzy, Insane Math That's Creating So Many Billion-Dollar Tech Companies - Bloomberg Business | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/qmCu


Startups achieve astronomical valuations in exchange for protecting new investors

Snapchat, the photo-messaging app raising cash at a $15 billion valuation, probably isn't actually worth more than Clorox or Campbell Soup. So where did investors come up with that enormous headline number?

Here's the secret to how Silicon Valley calculates the value of its hottest companies: The numbers are sort of made-up. For the most mature startups, investors agree to grant higher valuations, which help the companies with recruitment and building credibility, in exchange for guarantees that they'll get their money back first if the company goes public or sells. They can also negotiate to receive additional free shares if a subsequent round's valuation is less favorable. Interviews with more than a dozen founders, venture capitalists, and the attorneys who draw up investment contracts reveal the most common financial provisions used in private-market technology deals today.

The backroom agreements are becoming more common as tech companies stay private longer, according to the interviews and financial documents obtained by Bloomberg Business. The practice obfuscates the meaning of a valuation, which can become dangerous down the road because private investors aren't taking the same risks a public-market shareholder would. By the time a company does go public, the valuation it got from VCs may not align with its balance sheet. Just ask Box.

Some VCs defend the practice by saying valuations are just a placeholder number, part of an equation fueled by other, more important factors. Read more: http://snip.ly/qmCu




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"Growthink is a full-service business, representing you through the whole process - very important value-added service. We've been very impressed with the professionalism and kindness that Growthink has shown us in the rather complicated world of commercial financing."

Debra Soto
Freeballer Surfwear

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

This is how valuations are made by VC's, and why...

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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.




Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

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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Startups, prioritize growth (but not at the expense of profitability)

Startups, prioritize growth (but not at the expense of profitability) | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/eQ0y

Should burgeoning companies focus on growth or profitability? This classic, critical question continues to challenge entrepreneurs and investors alike.

Since growth is such an important factor in determining the value of a business, one of the most important goals for private equity investors and advocates of value creation like myself is to help our portfolio companies accelerate their growth.
To demonstrate just why growth is such a great priority, here’s a table that illustrates the impact of growth on valuation on two indexes:
NASDAQ 100 Index (100 largest non-financial companies traded on the NASDAQ)
NYSE Software and Services (90 software and services companies traded on NYSE)
We divided the indexes of the top 20 percent of companies according to growth and the 20 percent slowest growing companies in the last year and in the last three years. Then we checked the multiples of these data sets. Read more here: http://snip.ly/eQ0y





Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

Hello Dave,
Thank you so very much for allowing me to be a part of this amazing community [Growthink’s Insider Circle]. I am so excited to learn all that I can from you.
I just received your disc in the mail and listened to it.  Simply fantastic. Thank you.
Looking forward to it all -
Liza Brigham

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

A comparison of startup stocks in the Nasdaq and NYSE taking into account their revenue growth and profitability.

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Resolving Conflicts in a VC Partnership - UNREASONABLE

Resolving Conflicts in a VC Partnership - UNREASONABLE | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

I got the following question the other day: “If you get a chance, I’d request you to write a blog post about various business decision related conflicts or misunderstanding that might occur in a partnership and how you folks at the Foundry Group resolve it. My partners and I grapple with such challenges quite often.

Every VC firm is different so to answer a question like this, it’s important to remember that the answer is one specific to Foundry Group. Never forget that VCs Are Like D&D Characters.

When my partners and I started Foundry Group in 2007, we created a set of deeply held beliefs that we carry around with us every day. Some of them are about our strategy and some are about our behavior.
One of our deeply held beliefs is that “We will address and resolve all conflict between us directly, clearly, quickly, and openly.”

This is easy to say but very hard to do. It means that there will be no passive aggressive behavior on anyone’s part. We won’t carry around things that bother us. Instead, we’ll put them on the table to discuss. We have to have a strong basis of trust, which we’ve extended to the notion of “business love.”  Read more: click title or image.

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Just like any other business, the partners of a VC firm have to deal with disagreements, frustration, misunderstanding and communication challenges. The solutions, or tools, they implemented, are excellent for any business to consider. My esteem for Brad Feld just went up a few notches.

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‘Silicon Valley is coming’ warns JP Morgan CEO | America's Markets

‘Silicon Valley is coming’ warns JP Morgan CEO | America's Markets | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/C13b


In his annual letter to shareholders, JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon warns of growing competition for Wall Street in the form of Silicon Valley start-ups.

“Silicon Valley is coming,” Dimon said in the letter, which touched on technologies as varied as mobile payments, bitcoin and peer-to-peer lending.

“There are hundreds of start-ups with a lot of brains and money working on various alternatives to traditional banking,” the CEO warned.

Indeed, there’s been a boom in start-ups seeking to compete with banks in stock trading, lending and payments. LendlingClub, for example, received a lot of attention when it went public in December. The company acts as a kind of Kickstarter for loans, matching borrowers with lenders.

Research firm CB Insights recently wrote about dozens of so-called “FinTech” startups that are “attacking” products and services traditionally provided by banks, including Jack Dorsey’s Square, which provides capital to small businesses.

The question, CB Insights said, is whether banks are going to “lose their edge not because of their incumbent, large competitors, but because emerging startups inflict upon them a death by a thousand cuts.”

Dimon sought to reassure shareholders that the $228 billion bank is prepared to deal with the competition.

“Rest assured, we analyze all of our competitors in excruciating detail – so we can learn what they are doing and develop our own strategies accordingly,” he said. Read More: http://snip.ly/C13b




Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

Hello Dave,
Thank you so very much for allowing me to be a part of this amazing community [Growthink’s Insider Circle]. I am so excited to learn all that I can from you.
I just received your disc in the mail and listened to it.  Simply fantastic. Thank you.
Looking forward to it all -
Liza Brigham

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The power of the #banks is waning. #Startups are competing successfully with great technological advances.

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Is your startup’s technology worth investing in? My perspective as a VC firm’s CTO

Is your startup’s technology worth investing in? My perspective as a VC firm’s CTO | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

As investors, we want to choose winners. We want to put our money on an excellent team and a superior technology that’s addressing a lucrative market with a unique offering. But how do we know that your team is excellent and whether your technology is indeed superior?

When we first meet you, it’s difficult to tell because we don’t know you well enough and don’t understand your technology deeply enough to feel assured. Sometimes we are tempted to invest because we see the potential, but fear that you might fail.

So we ask questions, many questions. We won’t necessarily invest in your startup if your answers about your technology are good, but we’ll certainly feel uncomfortable investing in it if they’re not. Read more, click on title or image.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

"Our work with Growthink was very helpful for creating a business plan to focus our efforts in the short term and increase our value over the long term."
Jack Bergstrand, CEO
Brand Velocity, Inc.





Via VC Girl, Marc Kneepkens
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

It's important to understand the VC perspective when looking for funding. Do you qualify?

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VC Girl's curator insight, March 13, 12:49 PM

An insightful piece about what VCs consider when evaluating a startup's technology in order to determine whether it's worth investing in - written by Carmel Ventures CTO Ofer Brandes.

Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, March 14, 9:59 AM

How do #investors assess your opportunity? What kind of questions do they ask? In what order? What are they looking for? Here is an article that describes this process in detail. You get a very clear picture of what they are looking for. Must read for any start up looking for funding.

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6 things you need to know if seeking venture capital investment - Avonglen

6 things you need to know if seeking venture capital investment - Avonglen | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

Venture Capital funding is undoubtedly a great tool for entrepreneurs, but are the implications fully understood if seeking venture capital?


1-Statistically you will fail

All this positive spin means two things. Firstly, entrepreneurs ask “How can I get VC” rather than “Will I get VC,” or more importantly, “Should I get VC,” and “What can I do without VC?”  Secondly, all the heightened celebration of success and imminent wealth leads entrepreneurs to think that this is the only model for success. The inference is that there is no other way to build a major company, and that would-be entrepreneurs should spend infinite hours writing business plans, attending VC conferences, seeking out VCs, and ultimately, possibly give VCs control of their venture.

The VC investment process is a complicated one and companies are vetted thoroughly before commitment. Just because your company is backed, you are not guaranteed success. VCs reject 98-99% of business plans they see, either because they are not in the preferred industries, have not displayed the potential or proof of potential, have not been referred by the right person, or any number of other reasons.

VCs believe in press relations and spend millions on it. By doing so they manage to make themselves and their investments look mighty glamorous helping them to secure higher valuations on sale.

Read more: click on title or image.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

Hey Dave,
Your BP template help me achieve the goals I've been trying for 5 years. The template led me to produce an effective tool to attract the investors I need.
Thanks
Robert


Via KAGEMUSHA Capital
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The 18 Mistakes That Kill Startups

The 18 Mistakes That Kill Startups | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/Hdqv

In the Q & A period after a recent talk, someone asked what made startups fail. After standing there gaping for a few seconds I realized this was kind of a trick question. It's equivalent to asking how to make a startup succeed—if you avoid every cause of failure, you succeed—and that's too big a question to answer on the fly.

Afterwards I realized it could be helpful to look at the problem from this direction. If you have a list of all the things you shouldn't do, you can turn that into a recipe for succeeding just by negating. And this form of list may be more useful in practice. It's easier to catch yourself doing something you shouldn't than always to remember to do something you should. [1]

In a sense there's just one mistake that kills startups: not making something users want. If you make something users want, you'll probably be fine, whatever else you do or don't do. And if you don't make something users want, then you're dead, whatever else you do or don't do. So really this is a list of 18 things that cause startups not to make something users want. Nearly all failure funnels through that.

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



Get your free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

Growthink took our ideas and put them into a business plan that fit with our objectives. They also gave us ideas on how to better our strategies and streamline our procedures.
Holly Follows, CEO

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

People like Paul Graham have an incredible amount of experience when it comes to startups. They have seen too many grow and/or fail. Here are some real reasons why a lot of startups fail. If you want to increase your rate of success, stay away from these reasons.

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Did The SEC Just Kill Early Stage Venture Capital?

Did The SEC Just Kill Early Stage Venture Capital? | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it
On March 25, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission finally announced rules for several aspects of the 2012 America JOBS Act, which legalized “crowd funding” as we know it.  The announcement by the SEC has the potential to unleash large amounts of new capital into American startups.  It could also [...]
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

More options for #startups looking for #seedfunding

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Willie A Hill's curator insight, April 2, 9:17 PM

So will this filter through to the Australian ESVCLP

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Oculus chief scientist says we're all going to care about virtual reality | GamesBeat | Games | by Dean Takahashi

Oculus chief scientist says we're all going to care about virtual reality | GamesBeat | Games | by Dean Takahashi | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/Igq2

Mike Abrash made his comments about what is real in a keynote at the Facebook F8 conference.

Mike Abrash said that everybody is going to care about virtual reality and the wonderful illusions that it will create. In a speech at Facebook’s F8 conference in San Francisco, the chief scientist of Oculus VR said that Facebook and his team are thinking about what reality means even as they devise a way to impersonate it with virtual reality, which makes you feel like you’re someplace you’re not.

Abrash joined Oculus VR shortly after Facebook bought Oculus VR for $2 billion last year. He left Valve, the Bellevue, Wash.-based game company that has since unveiled its own Vive virtual reality solution in partnership with HTC. While Abrash didn’t release any real news, he did talk a lot about the research the Oculus team is doing about how the brain perceives reality. Presumably, the point is to design a better experience where you feel “presence,” or like you are really there. Abrash suggested that Facebook’s job in creating a good VR system is to create illusions to trick our brains into seeing something that appears real.

Abrash said he has been thinking about VR since reading Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, which introduced the idea of virtual worlds in a novel. He was also inspired more by Ernest Cline’s Ready, Player One novelHe says we’re all going to care about VR. And he also brought up The Matrix, the sci-fi Keanu Reeves film, and recalled that the Morpheus character noted that “real is just electrical signals interpreted by the brain.” Read more: http://snip.ly/Igq2




Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

Growthink took our ideas and put them into a business plan that fit with our objectives. They also gave us ideas on how to better our strategies and streamline our procedures.
Holly Follows, CEO

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Oculus explained and updated.

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Are Newly Formed Roles In VC Firms Differentiators, Table Stakes Or Total BS? | TechCrunch

Are Newly Formed Roles In VC Firms Differentiators, Table Stakes Or Total BS?  |  TechCrunch | Venture Capital Stories | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/zIsy

In the venture capital world, we’re about to experience an explosion of hiring around one very specific function. These people won’t invest in startups, nor will they analyze companies. They won’t help operate the management company, nor will they focus on LPs. They won’t be EIRs or in-house recruiters or PR consultants or pretty much anything you’re accustomed to seeing.

If you’re lost, you’re not alone. The function is called “platform,” and as someone who’s held the job of VC platform director for the last year, I can safely admit that nobody knows what the heck my title means. But if a recent trend continues, you’re about to hear it much more often, because almost overnight, investors are rushing to hire this role.

So what is platform, exactly? Essentially, it’s a collection of business development and educational resources meant to support the portfolio in a scalable way. Rather than consulting services offered one-on-one like Google Ventures’ design sprints or various firms’ in-house recruiters, platform sits across an entire portfolio and/or startup community. Read more: http://snip.ly/zIsy



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

"Growthink is a full-service business, representing you through the whole process - very important value-added service. We've been very impressed with the professionalism and kindness that Growthink has shown us in the rather complicated world of commercial financing."

Debra Soto
Freeballer Surfwear

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

VC's are changing their strategies and looks as more competition shows up.

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