This strikes me as one of those really important topics that doesn’t get nearly enough airplay. I neither hear this freely discussed among industry participants nor among lead investors and the founders they are backing.
[credit provider=”AP”] In all my posts over the past year or so outlining my thoughts on the financing and valuation environment in the internet sector, I’ve avoided using the word Bubble. It is intentional. For me Bubble will always be inexorably linked to what went down in 1999 and 2000 […]
The practice of startup founders taking cash off the table in fundraising deals is getting more and more widespread, with one founder asking (and getting) 25% of a seed, i.e. very early round, straight to their pocket, PE Hub reports.
Mark Suster wrote a great piece about the decision between being a VC and an entrepreneur. It’s one that I personally had to make when I recently left the VC world to become co-founder & CEO of Kohort.
The IPO window is finally opening again with registrations picking up, and the WSJ has decided to take a look at data on the 44 US venture-backed companies that have filed to go public and see what trends come up.
I’m probably going to get myself in a bit of trouble here – I had a thought a couple weeks ago about a female founder that I buried away.
Groupon just bought Pelago, the maker of iPhone app Whrrl, which tried to compete with Foursquare and didn’t get very far.
ISAI is a micro-VC fund of around $50 million seeded by some 70 successful French web entrepreneurs with a specific investing thesis and a unique outlook on the VC and startup market in Europe.
[credit provider=”Flickr/Brian Solis” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/briansolis/2405212807/sizes/z/in/set-72157604488788325/”] Sugar Inc, a network of content and commerce sites aimed at women, has raised another $15 million in funding from Sequoia Capital and Institutional Venture Partners, AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher writes. This brings its total funding to $46 million.Sugar is a content powerhouse aimed at women with […]
Union Square Ventures is the best performing VC firm in the country by IRR and multiple of capital returned, according to VC Mark Suster, citing data by Preqin, a private equity data company.
Venture capital firm Bessemer Venture Partners just raised a $1.6 billion fund, which will be both global and early stage, Dealbook reports.
[credit provider=”Joi via Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/joi/4433093249/”] If you’re a budding entrepreneur, you know you need an elevator pitch. But what about a taxi pitch?Last August, Alex Moore and Aye Moah were visiting Silicon Valley to try and get funding for their startup Baydin.
[credit provider=”GRP Partners”] At 5:45am Pacific time we get a Twitter DM from Mark Suster to set up a phonecall so we could interview him at 6am while he’s driving to a board meeting. That’s some pretty good hustle. Suster is a pretty interesting VC because he isn’t afraid to talk […]
[credit provider=”Profitably”] Adam Neary, co-founder/CEO of New York startup Profitably, has a great post on their long and hard slog to raise money.Now, posts like that are dime a dozen, but Neary’s stands out for one reason: it names names, and says who is or isn’t up to snuff. Great […]
LoveFilm, the “Netflix of Europe”, was recently acquired by Amazon for $312 million. Great outcome, right?Not according to William Reeve, one of the co-founders and the former COO of the company, Real Deals Europe reports.
Bo Peabody, managing partner, Village Ventures.
Earlier this week I hosted a breakfast for Israeli VC’s and entrepreneurs in Herzilya – Israeli’s Silicon Valley or Route 128 – with Governor Patrick of Massachusetts. Later in the week I met with leading Palestinian entrepreneurs. Here are some of the things I learned – with no offence to […]
Thursday was extraordinary.
[credit provider=”Noah Kagan” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/noahkagan/428650129/”] AppSumo is sponsoring the Lean Startup Challenge.Winners will get a $50,000 investment from 500 Startups, $50,000 cash and incubation resources from Band of Angels and Pivotal Labs, and mentorship time with the likes of Dave McClure and Brad Feld.
By Francis Moran and Leo Valiquette
[credit provider=”Photo by Flickr user kk+” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/kk/5471727779/”] AngelList is turning Silicon Valley upside down. It’s basically Match.com for startups and business angels, and startups are raising millions from angels on the site almost every day, leaving VCs to scramble for dealflow and paying higher valuations.Not everyone likes it: last week […]
A few years ago, I decided I wanted to learn to play the drums. I’ve always loved the drums. Whenever I listen to music, I hear the drums first. I can listen to a great jazz drummer like Art Blakey for hours on end. I’d give up almost anything to […]
Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz charges its staff $10 per minute if they’re late for a meeting with entrepreneurs.
The silence, the dark, the mind, so fragile The wish, that the streets, would have took you, when they had you The days, the months, the years, dispair One night on my knees, here it comes, the prayer —DMX, Who We Be
While horse and hero fell,
[credit provider=”Anirudh Koul via Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/anirudhkoul/3735171010/”] Despite declining user interest in digital music and the threat competition from giants with deep pockets like Sony, Apple, and Google, investors are pouring money into digital music companies.VCs have already put at least $57 million into digital music in 2011, according to the […]
There is a question that has been rattling around my brain for the past several months, and has recently become a hot topic of conversation within our firm:
Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz launched in 2009, and its been having a great run at a time when other VC firms are failing.
Here’s an exercise… It’s a little bit lean startup, but it’s a little more involved than a customer call. For anyone who is building something to be monetized in the future–a content site, a community for brands to interact in, etc–write up your sales deck for monetization now as […]
What is the best way to get a VC internship out of graduate school?
When the tech landscape changes; from web browsers to mobile browswers, from flash to HTML5, from laptops to tablets, from typing on keyboards to typing on screens, from local storage to cloud storage, there are always companies that are started to solve the pain points that crop up from that […]
[credit provider=”Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/greeblie/2426454804/”] A year ago I blogged about one of my most common mantras that applies to sales, biz dev, and fund raising alike: “Time is the Enemy of all Deals.”When times are really good for fund raising many teams delay to maximise their valuation. Sometimes this pays off, […]
Angel investor Paul Graham apparently left a comment on a Hacker News poll denying that the tech industry is in a bubble, and contrasting the current situation with the dot-com run-up in the late 1990s.
[credit provider=”Joi Ito” url=”http://www.flickr.com/people/[email protected]
″] Saul Klein is generally thought of as the top VC in Europe. He’s a partner at Index Ventures, which invested in companies like MySQL, Skype, Last.fm and BetFair. Klein got his start in Silicon Valley was later a co-founder of the company that became Lovefilm, which was […]
The crossover fund has finally arrived. Liz Gannes has done a great roundup of the latest trend, with Zynga, Facebook and Groupon taking money from the likes of KPCB, Battery, Greylock or Andreessen Horowitz.
[credit provider=”Photo: procsilas (Flickr)” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/procsilas/119482617/”] Europe does have a thriving startup scene, improving every day. But it’s also undeniable that it’s nowhere near the level of the United States in terms of capital, talent or ambition.A great column in The Telegraph by angel investor Richard Titus intelligently points out the […]
Niklas Zennstrom, who co-founded Skype among other companies, and now has a venture firm called Atomico Ventures, wants to invest in Chinese startups. (TheNextWeb)
Sarah Lacy wrote a long post about “mafias” and those that ensued once companies such as Google, PayPal and so forth became successful. Feel free to go read it. It’s kinda long but worth the time. Nevertheless, here is the paragraph that I feel is the money quote:
[credit provider=”Joi via Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/joi/4433093249/”] We had a chance to talk to angel investor Dave McClure earlier this week, prior to the announcement of 500 Startups’ new accelerator program.We met in the company’s 12th-floor offices high over downtown Mountain View, with a view of San Francisco 20 miles to the […]
[credit provider=”Mark Suster”] A few months ago I wrote a post called “Invest in Lines, Not Dots.” It was my investment philosophy that observing teams’ performance over time was far more insightful than reacting to how good of a product demo they do, how good they present Powerpoint slides or […]
One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make is not understanding the relationship they have with their investors. At times they confuse VC’s with their friends.
There is a lot of content created by the Venture Capital community that has helped countless entrepreneurs. In fact, one of my favourites is How Andreessen Horowitz Evaluates CEOs.
Spark Capital, the ambitious young VC firm in Boston, is hiring not one but two new people. Jobs in venture capital are hot commodities so we thought we’d let you know.
[credit provider=”eHarmony”] Accel Partners has hired Greg Waldorf, the founding investor and most recent CEO of online dating site eHarmony, as the venture firm’s CEO in residence.Waldorf will work with Accel’s portfolio companies to identify new ventures that could define their categories.
The lack of women in tech startups seems a perennially hot topic.
[credit provider=”Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfbps/4597079038/”] Money is the lifeblood of any business, and at some point, every company is likely to need an outside infusion to help it grow. Whether you’re seeking a $1 million in venture capital or $1,000 from friends or relatives, you’ll need to nail down a few basics […]
I’ve been on both sides of the table, but here are the hard questions I’d ask my deal lead at a firm from which I’m considering taking venture investment:
[credit provider=”Photo by Flickr user ukaop” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/ukaop/2907755004/”] Saul Klein is a very interesting guy, and he’s in the news because Lovefilm, the “Netflix of Europe” which we named one of the 10 biggest startups in Europe, just got acquired by Amazon at a reported $312 million valuation.That would be a […]
Sittin’ up drunk shuffling thoughts Got paper but I’m lost Losing focus what a n#%$a still hustin’ for? My seed is straight the family’s settled Idle time get the man in trouble —Nas, Suicide Bounce
In a blog post by Fred Wilson, top New York venture firm Union Square Ventures has officially announced its new $165 million fund, called The Opportunity Fund.The fund came to light late last year because of an SEC filing and Union Square were unable to comment at the time because […]
[credit provider=”Rick Forgo” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/lifeundefined/2182249418/”] Peter Thiel, famous for making billions off Facebook, tells us he’s finally found “utopia” – New Zealand.Thiel has been investing heavily in the country.
In a comprehensive review of the thousands of VC transactions in 2010, we attempted to identify each investment that was made in a company we considered to be a Social Media focused company.
Alright, the title is a bit dramatic but it’s time for a public service announcement.
Marc, Oliver, and Alexander Samwer are near-legendary in Europe as entrepreneurs and investors.What do they do?
Congrats to my friends at Avalon Ventures on raising their new $200 million fund.
We continue with our M&A case studies.
Goldman Sachs made it official: Facebook is worth $50 billion.
[credit provider=”Facebook”] The kids who helped Mark Zuckerberg turn a college project called TheFacebook.com into Facebook, the multi-billion dollar company, are getting their rewards.Cold, hard cash, that is.
Yes, I realise that’s a contradiction, but it seems to capture the essence of deals such as Goldman’s investment in Facebook at a $50B valuation and Groupon’s half-complete $950 million fundraising effort. These deals are designed to provide significant liquidity for insiders (especially early investors and employees), provide a piggy […]
[credit provider=”The DEMO Conference/Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/democonference/4993191359/sizes/l/in/photostream/”] In July we marveled at the fact that Zynga, which just makes Facebook games, has raised a whopping $410 million in funding.Well, today Groupon blew past Zynga with a half raised round of funding.
As I answered on Quora, an angel investor who asks you for a business plan for a seed stage Internet start-up doesn’t know what they’re doing.
This was the answer I gave on Quora:
Yesterday I wrote about how to talk to investors about your competitors. In short, acknowledge they exist, be transparent about strengths & weaknesses and use your differences to talk about how you want to position yourself in the market.
Following up on my year in review post, here are a few things I’m looking forward to in 2011.
Being somewhat of an outdoor enthusiast, I’ve come across three lines of clothing which have reminded me of technology start-ups: Aether Apparel, Nau and Rapha.
Social deals site LivingSocial is one of 2010’s biggest tech success stories, snapping up two quick rounds of funding early in the year and a big investment of $175 million from Amazon in December. But as cofounder and CTO Aaron Batalion explains in a YouTube video posted yesterday, the company […]
It doesn’t seem like you’ll catch this news on tech blogs.
Starting a company is really, really hard. Helping entrepreneurs start and build companies is really, really hard. Much has been written about the mechanics of entrepreneur/investor interaction, from how to pitch investors, structure the round, assemble board decks, undertake strategic planning, etc. But after more than six years of seed […]
One thing I’ve seen many VCs do wiith their initial investment in a company is invest more when the valuation gets expensive. They are ownership driven, not valuation driven. So if they originally wanted to invest $4mm at a $20mm post money valuation and buy 20% of the company, they […]
I was recently speaking with some founders about their fund raising process. They had received a term sheet from a VC and were wondering whether to work with this firm. I personally had three separate data points from entrepreneurs who took money from the firm that said “never again.”
If you are new to the startup space and angel investing, you probably don’t realise that some groups of angel investors charge entrepreneurs a fee to pitch to their groups. This practice has caused a rousing debate among key players, with some calling it a scam, and others defending it […]
When trying to get an angel round done, the key question is how much you need to have raised to hold a first close. Most rounds I’ve been involved with have lower and upper bounds, e.g., $400k first close, $750k maximum raise. The goal here is to get to $400k […]
This post originally appeared as an answer on Quora.
This past Thursday it was announced that my first fund, IA Ventures, had closed with $50 million in commitments from a group of fantastic investors. Brad, Ben, Justin and I couldn’t be more proud or excited, especially at the confidence and belief our investors have shown in us and in […]
[credit provider=”Dinosaur via Wikimedia Commons”] This is part of my ongoing Series on Angel Investing.As we all know by now, all the major-league super angels have pretty much raised their own small funds of late. Conway’s got SV Angel, Senkut runs Felicis, Maples runs Floodgate, Sacca’s got lowercase capital, McClure of course runs 500 Hats, and […]
In the course of pitching over 100 VC’s in the last few years I can say that the majority of people are well-intentioned and straight forward. Yet there are circumstances when an investor asks for your numbers and for more granularity and you should say, “NO.”
SeedCamp is the European, Y Combinator-like seed accelerator which got started in Europe in 2007 and is now all over the world with outfits in places like Singapore, Mumbai and Johannesburg.
This past October I was invited by Steve Blank to speak at Stanford for their Enterprise Thought Leader (ETL) series. The topic I chose to speak about was “lessons on starting a company” but I created the sub-title in class “a Silicon Valley heresy” since my goal was to slay many […]
This article first appeared on CNNMoney.com and is republished here with permission.
Fresh on the heels of Groupon rejecting a $6 billion acquisition offer from Google, both the New York Times and Newsweek are talking about tech entering into a new bubble.Some early stage angel investors are warning about a stampede of “dumb money” into the sector, and some famous angels (Chris […]
[credit provider=”Hsing Wei via Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/hsing/3606052158/”] If there is one consistent knock against the venture capital industry, it is the opacity of the fundraising process.The rise of the highly-insightful, ethical and transparent venture investor blogger, e.g., Brad Feld, Mark Suster and Fred Wilson, has helped shed some light from the […]
There’s a front page story in the NY Times today about the hyperactivity in web startupland. They quote from a few posts I’ve made on this blog and I think Jenna and Evelyn did a nice job with the story.
Here it is, yet another article about how we’re in bubble land with startups in tech, this time from the NYT.
[credit provider=”Akaporn Bhothisuwan via Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/akaporn/246506082/”] The old investing adage “Cut losers short; let winners run” provides a valuable reminder of how to achieve superior returns, but misses one essential element: bet sizing.In venture investing there are really two key metrics: (1) mortality rate (batting average); and (2) average bet […]
[credit provider=”DLD”] Groupon filed for a $750 million IPO today.The S1 filing assumes that there will be about 296 million shares floated as of June 11, but doesn’t reveal how Groupon expects those shares to be priced — those details will be worked out by the bankers closer to the […]
If reports are to be believed, Google is about to buy Groupon for $6 billion.
[credit provider=”Banana via Wikimedia Commons” url=”http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bananas_still_worried.jpg”] Bill Gurley’s excellent piece on Silicon Valley IPO Anxiety inspired me to take a companion look at the East Coast, particularly Massachusetts and New York, and evaluate the health of the local IPO economy and prospective pipeline. Today, I’ll cover Massachusetts; tomorrow, New York.I first came […]
Disqus (a portfolio company of USV) has rolled out a really sweet analytics service as part of its “add ons” that were released a few weeks ago.
[credit provider=”melalouise via Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/melalouise/341692249/”] Recently I wrote a blog post about how I hated losing, but I embrace it as a way to learn, improve and increase my win rates.You’re Most Vulnerable Right After You’ve Won the Deal One of the things I learned from my “post-game analysis” is […]
I’ve spent much of this long weekend curled up on the couch reading Too Big To Fail, Andrew Ross Sorkin‘s history of the financial crisis of 2008. I’ve wanted to read this book since it came out last year but it took me a while to get to it. I’m […]
As a former entrepreneur, who’s been on the “dark side” of Venture Capital for the last 10 years, here are 10 lessons I got from the investment side of that experience.
In this week’s Observer, Leon Neyfakh wrote about AOL Ventures, the venture capital arm of the former dial-up monolith that’s working to reinvigorate their image and get their hands dirty with investments in the New York tech scene.
Most early-stage technology startups dream of VC financing. It can fund explosive growth, put a company on the startup map, and allow hungry entrepreneurs to eat again. But, being flush with venture capital, especially early on, can force many startups to scale too quickly, only to crash and burn.
[credit provider=”guestalt via Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/guestalt/4436145933/”] It’s counter-intuitive – especially to Americans. But often less is more.Minimalism beats clutter. Substance trumps verbosity.
Accel Partners is selling off a huge portion of its Facebook stock, Mike Arrington at TechCrunch reports.
[credit provider=”Mark Warner via Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/senatormarkwarner/4154260500/”] All this heavy talk about angels, VCs, bubbles lately. I thought I’d go for a more tactical and practical post today: The art of the quick phone call.I had breakfast with David Tisch the other morning in NYC. If you don’t know David, he’s […]
For years I have been giving those with good ideas (I won’t call them entrepreneurs because they haven’t necessarily decided to drop everything to pursue their dream) the following advice: share, listen, revise, share, listen, revise, rinse, repeat…