The Unique but Powerful Way the HubSpot Mafia is Impacting Boston Startups
DECEMBER 3, 2014
It’s official: now two months after the IPO, HubSpot has surpassed the $1B market cap threshold and has become that “pillar” company that the tech ecosystem long anticipated. Already, a handful of groups have spun out to start new ventures, like the teams at Driftt , Bedrock Data , Grokky , and NextView-backed InsightSquared.
Fellow VCs: Here’s Where to Invest $1B+
MARCH 16, 2015
From the group, over 260 founders have launched around 90 startups, raising more than $2.5B in capital. Quite the contrary.
AUGUST 27, 2015
Tales become legends about founders of exceptionally transformative companies who truly struggled to get any investors’ attention early on. These rejection emails to the founder of Airbnb represent just one of the most recent example of this familiar theme. If a startup were obvious, then everybody would be doing it.
The “Come-from-Behind” Lead Investor
JANUARY 15, 2015
Of key importance, which we emphasize with our NextView portfolio companies when they’re out raising their Series A, is to run the conversations in parallel rather than serially. But reality doesn’t always play out as neatly. Really interested. Is it worth paying attention to this potential “come-from-behind” VC investor?
What the Founder’s Email Address Says About Your Startup
MARCH 20, 2012
It always feels anachronistic these days to exchange business cards when you usually have someone’s contact information anyway in an electronic format before (via email introduction) or just after (via LinkedIn connection) you meet. firstname.lastname@example.org <– Precision trumps brevity in this startup. What else am I missing
Seed Round Signaling Revisited: Myths, Truths, & Half-Lies
MAY 29, 2014
It’s been five years now since large VC ‘signaling’ entered the seed stage entrepreneur’s lexicon. And although the new conventional wisdom became that it’s best to avoid a larger firm’s seed investment dollars as it depresses the ability to raise a Series A, entrepreneurs (often wisely) did so anyway. Not all startups are the same.
Never Raising Capital Ever Again
MARCH 18, 2014
Fairly often entrepreneurs will pitch investing in their seed-stage company, and it starts sounding great… interesting market… great team… notable early traction… until we arrive at the financials + fundraising slide and the projections state that this round of Seed financing is planned to be their last. signal about the prospects for the business
The VC Fundraising Timing Paradox
JANUARY 13, 2014
Better to spend energy maximizing long-term valuation by building underlying business value rather than short-term optimizing a bidding process… so the intuitive thinking goes. In a small number cases that approach can work, but in an overwhelming majority I’ve observed it doesn’t necessarily play out as planned.
What A VC Orders for Breakfast Says
JUNE 27, 2012
One of the things that surprised me most about venture capital when I got into the business is how much VCs seem to like to meet for breakfast. VCs usually typically reserve dinners for portfolio companies’ CEOs and board members. And “doing lunch” doesn’t happen that often because VCs don’t like going out of the office mid-day much.
Unusual Rounds of Early-Stage Funding & What to Know
JULY 8, 2014
This is an excerpt from the original post, found on NextView’s blog, The View From Seed , launched this week. Find Find the original post here. As the VC seed market has institutionalized, especially over the past five years, there has emerged a prototypical seed round profile: $1M-$1.5M
The Golden Age of the Boston Internet Entrepreneur
NOVEMBER 5, 2012
This latter persona is still hungry, but is able to really leverage that experience-set. Today the landscape is very different from 2004.
(First Annual?) List of Go-To Early-Stage Service Providers in the NextView Ventures Boston Portfolio
JULY 9, 2013
Recently, we surveyed our Boston-based NextView portfolio Founder/CEOs asking them about which service provider firms they’ve been using. Although these startups are very diverse businesses themselves, they face similar requirements (especially in that they’re currently all in the seed to Series B range of company stage).
Back to School – VC Homework Assignments
FEBRUARY 11, 2013
VCs like to give out homework. They won’t call it that, though. But rather they use words like “diligence” and “information requests.” Just like in school, the homework can actually be productive, as in this case it can lead to a new customer or advisor. Whether it’s about the market, competition, etc., Validate thinking. Build trust. Delay.
The Right Question(s) to Ask VCs about Their Availability of Capital
DECEMBER 17, 2012
Most first and second pitch meetings with VCs are fairly lopsided, where entrepreneurs spend the bulk of the time sharing their businesses, rather than being a true exchange of both parties in developing a relationship. However, it’s rare that a venture capitalist is going to point-blank admit that his pockets are empty. It just all depends.
A Choir of Angel Investors Sing Different Parts
FEBRUARY 12, 2012
We at NextView Ventures often invest in a startup’s first round alongside other funds; either seed stage focused ones like ourselves or larger traditional firms. Just as often, however, we’re investing alongside individual angel investors who are participating in the round as well. Angel investors come in many shapes and sizes, however.
The Market Is Hot for Code Climate, NextView’s Newest Investment
SEPTEMBER 18, 2014
How to Find the Perfect Startup Job: Part I "Start with 'When'"
FEBRUARY 3, 2011
Much of the VC blogosphere commentary about startups covers venture and angel financing with advice focused on company founders. But most people in the startup game aren’t VCs nor are they founders (yet)… but rather they’re employees of startups. ” “How do I identify promising startups?” – now so are you.
Optimizing Series A Fundraising Around…Partnership Buy-In
OCTOBER 18, 2011
Whether a startup’s initial Seed round is comprised of individual angels, seed-focused funds, larger VCs , or some combination of the three, when it’s time for the entrepreneur to raise a true Series A round, of course the goal is run a process to “optimize” it.
VC Ground Game
MARCH 4, 2015
Conventional wisdom says that the best way to meet with a venture capitalist is to get a warm introduction. While it’s a good rule of thumb, it’s not entirely true, which I’ve blogged about previously.) But a strong inbound reference from the same person can be even more productive. There’s an art to the timing of these calls and/or emails.
Your Office Space is the Face of Your Startup
JANUARY 17, 2012
Your office space is the face of your startup. Not only does it communicate an outward message, but like a face, a startup office provides insight into what’s going on underneath the surface. startup’s space tells a story to everyone who is involved with a company spending time there: founders, employees, investors, and (potential)
Pull the Plug or Keep Searching for the Believer? When Fundraising is Tough.
SEPTEMBER 30, 2013
My partners and I at NextView talk a lot about how fundraising is about finding the true believers rather than convincing the skeptics. Just when an entrepreneur had felt as though all options were exhausted, a bluebird firm appears to swoop in and lead a new (up) round of financing.
Our Newest NextView Team-Member: Jay Acunzo
MARCH 25, 2014
Rob, Lee, and I couldn’t be more excited to share that as of Monday, Jay Acunzo has joined NextView as our Director of Platform and Community. Jay joins us from HubSpot, where he was a senior manager on the marketing team, specifically leading the blog and content strategy. Although the idea of venture firms developing a platform (i.e.
Announcing Our Investment in Renoviso
SEPTEMBER 28, 2015
A few years ago I replaced all of the decades-old windows in our home with new ones. The entire process was horrible. I used home service lead-gen and recommendation-review sites to identify a half-dozen installers to set up initial in-person consultation appointments. Only half of them even showed up. Today Renoviso is announcing their $1.4M
A VC Walks into Your Pitch Meeting Biased
APRIL 24, 2012
VCs rarely go into an entrepreneur’s pitch meeting with a completely open mind. Of course they have biases given their past experiences, like with any human interaction. More importantly, though, they have biases about whether or not they are going to find the opportunity attractive even before a word of the dialog has been spoken.
Three Magical VC Pitch Questions
JANUARY 31, 2012
There are plenty of places throughout the blogosphere which talk about the typical VC meeting, delivering both advice and tips. (In that corpus, a while ago I blogged about seven mistakes that entrepreneurs often make during a pitch session.) There’s a reason that’s become “standard.” What is your “favorite future?” Success takes on many forms.
Authenticity is Experience
APRIL 12, 2012
People ask us at NextView all of the time: “What is the typical profile of an entrepreneur in your portfolio?” Subtly behind that question is often one about the experience-level of the founders. And we’ve also funded a number of serial entrepreneurs who are doing it again (and again).
Start Your Marketplace Engines
JANUARY 23, 2012
At NextView Ventures, we have a number of companies in our portfolio which are “marketplace” businesses, where buyers and sellers meet to exchange a good or service. And along the way we’ve met with or observed a larger number of seed-stage startups attempting to start them. Brute force a mini-market and expand.
Are We Entering 2013 in Crunch-Mode?
JANUARY 3, 2013
Happy New Year and welcome to 2013. According to all of the blogosphere chatter over the past month, seed-funded internet startups are entering this year gearing up for the now-near-infamous Series A Crunch. However, I would take issue with the near-consensus conclusion of what is to follow.
Overly-Direct Feedback to VC Pitches
MARCH 8, 2012
When I first started in the VC business in 2004, I usually shared some reactions with entrepreneurs whenever we passed on pursuing an investment, but I admittedly erred towards communicating generic thoughts that were fairly non-specific but perhaps mildly helpful. And possessing that skillset is not a necessary one to become a good investor.
Super Pro-Rata Rights Aren't Super
JANUARY 10, 2012
On the subject of super pro-rata rights, a couple months ago Brad Feld wrote a blog post " Just Say No " and Mark Suster (after detailed explanation of both pro-rata rights and super pro-rata rights ) summed up that the reason not to take them is "you might make it difficult for you to get your company funded in the next round.
A New Dawn for Consumer Internet Acquisitions
MARCH 26, 2012
Over the past three years, the number of startups which have been acquired by these four companies is trending upwards.
Do Startup Location Matters Even Matter?
JANUARY 22, 2013
About a year ago, I wrote a post about how office space is the face of a startup – it communicates both an outward message and provides insight into what’s going on underneath, as the physical environment in which startup employees work inevitably match the company’s story and culture. In reality, though, that “area” isn’t too large.
Searching for the Kinect Killer App
MARCH 14, 2012
We at NextView have been thinking about and looking for investments in seed-stage startups which leverage the megatrend of transitioning computing away from a standard fixed-web PC world. Of course that includes “mobile-first” applications and companies which ride the adoption of tablet devices (more on those in upcoming posts).
How to Find the Perfect Startup Job: Part III "Selecting the Right Venture"
FEBRUARY 9, 2011
Evaluating a startup as a prospective employee is tough, especially when you compare to VCs. Plus, VCs often will have met the Founder/CEOs of many of a particular startup’s competitors, so they’ll have an even richer understand of the market landscape. On one hand, of course, you’re joining a startup for the upside.
Our Investment in CustomMade: Riding the Next Wave of E-Commerce in High-Consideration Shopping
NOVEMBER 18, 2011
Over the past fifteen years on the internet we’ve seen a few waves of e-commerce innovation. We’re now at a point where the average consumer is not only comfortable buying all sorts of things over the web – they’re happy to tell their friends about it too.
Driving to Conviction (Not to a Term Sheet)
APRIL 29, 2013
Posts in the blogosphere, conversation on panels of/about VCs, etc. all talk about the best way for entrepreneurs to optimize their fundraising process with the end-goal of receiving a term sheet. It’s often spoken as if the second that magical term sheet document is in hand, the process is over. How can this situation happen?
How to Find the Perfect Startup Job: Part II "Sifting Through a Sea of Companies"
FEBRUARY 3, 2011
Once you’ve figured out whether you want to find a very early stage startup or a late stage one (the topic of my first post in this series ), the real hard work begins. My advice: search for heat, but don’t follow - evaluate. Think of heat as a sign outside the restaurant, but not the menu. Specific questions spur new ideas.
The Startup Offsite
MAY 16, 2012
When was the last time all of your startup’s management team came together to take a step back from day-to-day minutiae and think big picture? I think it’s actually incredibly valuable for startups to occasionally, and regularly, have offsite planning sessions. That’s their job. But in a startup, things are fluid. Re-energizing excitement.
VC Fundraising is Neither a Sprint nor a Marathon
JULY 6, 2011
A lot has been written for entrepreneurs about optimizing a venture capital fundraising process, but one aspect which isn’t discussed very often is the pacing of it. Two (seemingly contradictory) maxims that are often repeated in this context are: “it goes slow until it goes fast” and “time kills all deals.”
Beer Kegs and the Future of Venture Capital: What It Means for Entrepreneurs
OCTOBER 11, 2011
Last September I wrote a post outlining my view of the venture capital industry: increasingly evolving like the beer industry as it continues to mature. Large VC firms resemble Budweiser-type macrobrews, competing based on scale and brand with a standardized product across multiple geographies, sectors, and stages. So what’s going on?