Value Inflection Points for Seed-Stage Startups

View from Seed

An easy way to think about it is that value over time doesn’t go up and to the right in a straight line like this: Instead, it’s more of a stair step like this: So, what are the value inflection points that create the stair steps, and how does one think about it at the earliest stages?

Should Seed-Stage VCs Pay Up for Great Teams or Great Traction?

View from Seed

“As a seed-stage investor, should you pay up for team or traction?” When you are thinking about joining an early stage company, how should you be evaluating the risk of the overall company? So, if you are going to pay up as a seed-stage investor, pay up for team.

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How a Seed-Stage Startup Should Think About Brand: A Conversation With Jesse Derris

View from Seed

Jesse recently sat down with NextView (I assume he was sitting anyway — we spoke on the phone) to talk seed-stage company branding, building a startup identity, and some of the most common mistakes founders make when establishing a name for their companies.

Accidental VC: When, Exactly, Should Seed-Stage Startups Look for Office Space?

View from Seed

So, when should a seed-stage founder — who, let’s face it, isn’t launching a business because they’re pumped to find corporate real estate — actually start looking for a legitimate office? Conversely, what would it look like if things go better or worse? (A

When Does a Seed Stage Company Need a Board with More Than Just the Founder?


I recently engaged in a conversation (over a few days) about the need for a seed stage company to have a board member other than the founder. And there are some angel investors that know that even with “light” preferred stock terms (sometimes called Series Seed), there is enough control built into the terms of the preferred stock that the company is still mostly restricted when it comes to making key decisions.

How much should a start-up CEO make?

Seth Levine's VC Adventure

Keep in mind that I’m talking about Seed and Series A stage businesses. At the seed stage the modest amount of money you have raised is best spent on product and attracting initial customers than it is on paying yourself. It’s also true that generally founders and early employees own a large portion of the business at this stage and as a result, business progress at this stage disproportionately benefits founders.

An Alternative to Board Decks Some Seed VCs Actually Prefer

View from Seed

Over the summer, based on feedback from our portfolio and the broader startup community, NextView created pre-formatted board deck templates for seed-stage startups — part of our Growth Guides series. A Seed-Stage-Friendly Board Update Doc.

When Should Startup Founders Discuss Valuation with Seed VCs?

View from Seed

As the seed-stage startup fundraise process has received more transparency in recent years, ranging from published advice on how to raise seed capital to increased availability through AngelList, Funders Club, and various accelerator programs, I’ve noticed another trend emerging.

The State of NYC Seed: Startup Trends & VC Data [REPORT]

View from Seed

Today, we’re excited to launch the State of NYC Seed — a comprehensive report on the ecosystem, authored by our own Tim Devane. But our conversations at NextView have always ended in excited chatter about the New York opportunity.

Should Startups Blog? An Essay (with Data) to Decide Once and For All

View from Seed

So the question needs to be asked: Should seed-stage startups even blog in the first place? Today, I run this blog – The View From Seed ( you can subscribe here) , and my own blog, Sorry for Marketing , in addition to consulting or writing for several more.

Short term clarity vs long term upside

The Equity Kicker

But it got me thinking about the trade off between short term clarity and long term upside in seed stage investing. Not when they’re at the seed stage. People are successful investing on either side of this trade off, but in our seed stage experience companies with relatively more clarity on the short term have better chances of success.

How to Avoid a Cluttered Board Room

View from Seed

Here at NextView, we are strong proponents of creating a board at the seed stage. At the seed stage, we typically have three-person boards with two founders and one VC — though as companies grow at later stages, five-person boards and ultimately six- or seven-person boards become more common. I think having two or at most three VC board members is probably where this should cap out, even for later stage startups.

Seed Round Signaling Revisited: Myths, Truths, & Half-Lies

Genuine VC

It’s been five years now since large VC ‘signaling’ entered the seed stage entrepreneur’s lexicon. Yet even today, whether or not to take a (relatively) small check in a seed round syndicate from a multi-hundred million or even billion dollar fund is still a decision which takes quite a bit of consideration and sometimes consternation. more likely to succeed) entrepreneurs having the opportunity to take a larger VC’s capital at the seed round.

Free Templates for Great Startup Pitch Decks, Direct from VCs

View from Seed

Today, NextView Ventures is excited to release a pillar project in our Growth Guides series: pitch deck templates for raising seed capital. For context, last year, based on questions from our existing portfolio, we launched two board deck templates for seed-stage startups.

Four years at Version One & some thoughts on “Moneyball for VC”

Version One Ventures

I don’t remember the exact conversation, but it went something like this: Me: I didn’t find three companies because my goal was to build a model that identifies more companies in a scalable way. While I am close to conceding that it is perhaps too difficult to predict success at the seed stage, I think there is great potential for funds that invest at later stages or are exploring other ways to provide “capital as a service” (like my friends at S+C).

The Question of Scale

Mark Birch

I often hear some version of this quote from conversations with investors. In the day, VC’s used to issue $5 million Series A checks as seed funding for entrepreneurs to build out something based on little more than an idea. Problem was they were coming in with the late stage mentality.

7 Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make in VC Pitches & How to Fix Them

View from Seed

With plenty of resources available for entrepreneurs about how to craft an effective pitch deck for raising seed-stage capital from VCs, often what’s left out are some of the tactical components of an initial meeting.

Traction vs. Product

Rob Go

I’ve had a couple conversations with other investors recently around what a seed stage company needs to achieve to raise a series A. The early stage of a business is when everything is a blank canvas and you have maximum agility.

What Early-Stage Investors Hate The Most

Mark Birch

Coupled with an founder not doing research on the focus of the investor’s investments are the thing(s) that early-stage investors hate the most. Nothing makes a conversation more uncomfortable however than when you meet an investor and do not know a thing about him or her.

Convertible Debt: Worst Form Of Seed Financing — Except For All The Others


How to finance a new seed-stage startup? ” Ressi in particular seems to be passionate about removing the “debt” component from convertible debt seed financing transactions. This is true, although interest is generally paid in stock upon conversion.

Startups: Here’s How to Brainstorm Better, According to Science

View from Seed

Seed-stage startups lack a history of proof but offer plenty of promise. After all, there’s a long list of shortcomings that we’ve all experienced in these types of meetings: Talkative teammates monopolize the conversation.

Understanding Different Types of Angel Investors

View from Seed

We at NextView Ventures invest exclusively in a startup’s seed-stage round , meaning that many if not most of our deals are made alongside individual angel investors. The post Understanding Different Types of Angel Investors appeared first on The View From Seed

Do Your Own PR

Force of Good: a blog by Lance Weatherby

So I am spending more and more time these days advising concept stage and seed stage startups. And I had an interesting conversation with a pair of entrepreneurs the other day about press releases and marketing. They had reached a significant milestone and put a release on the wire. They were waiting for coverage. I had the break the news that you don''t really get coverage from putting a press release on the wire. You have to work it like this.

PR 17

2 Challenges of Startup Customer Development & How to Get Great Feedback Instead

View from Seed

With that in the back of our minds, let’s dive into a few of those crucial first-step nuances as you look to gain traction and hold successful customer development conversations. But for a true seed-stage company or for folks just thinking about companies to start or products to build, I think surveys are generally terrible. Step one in building a new company is the YC adage: “Build something people want.”. But how do you go about figuring out what people want?

Why Was Winter in Venture Capital Funding so Short?

Both Sides of the Table

billion in venture capital funds with one A-round fund and one late-stage fund. In case you’re keeping score at home — that’s approximately the size of 65 US seed-stage funds managed by one company.

What Do LPs Think of the Venture Capital Markets for 2016?

Both Sides of the Table

At the Upfront Summit in early February, we had a chance to have many off-the-record conversations with Limited Partners (LPs) who fund Venture Capital (VC) funds about their views of the market. The Biggest Area of Concern is Late Stage Investments.

The Changing Structure of the VC Industry

Both Sides of the Table

The rise of “micro VCs” or seed-stage funds. Lower costs to start a business (95% reduction), many more companies created & funded by angels / seed. ” The new narrative is “will my seed funds be able to fund the prorata of their winners?”

The Truth About Convertible Debt at Startups and The Hidden Terms You Didn’t Understand

Both Sides of the Table

” And some seed stage investors told me, “I prefer not to fight over price now. You rarely find full ratchets in early-stage deals any more. Nobody I know accepts multiple liquidation preferences in early-stage deals.

Evolving our investment strategy

The Equity Kicker

Suitable for early stage investment. The other interesting point to come out is that investing in deep tech at the very earliest stages is difficult. The next stage for us was to brainstorm potential areas of focus. natural language processing enables conversational interfaces).

Building your C Level Team


Back when I was a seed stage VC I was always amazed to meet founding teams where every one of them had a C level title. We are at the growth stage, well beyond startup. As a growth stage company in a massive market there are many ways we can take the business.

Announcing NextView Ventures II

Rob Go

NextView Ventures II is $40M, twice the size of our first fund, and we continue to be exclusively focused on seed-stage companies pursuing internet-enabled innovation. We’ve often explained to entrepreneurs that the second fund of a venture firm is very much like the series A for an early stage company. For a seed stage venture capital firm, product/market fit comes down to two questions. First, the seed and early stage market continues to evolve.

Getting Value from Your Angel Investors

Rob Go

Nearly all seed rounds we are a part of include angel investors. I find that almost all seed stage companies start out sending updates to investors. In some cases, there are also smaller checks from funds as well that are playing a support role as opposed to a lead role.

Making Good Decisions Still Means You're Sometimes Wrong.

Agile VC

How to Evaluate Firms for a Seed VC. I recently was having one of these conversations with an entrepreneur I’ve known for a couple years. In NextView’s case that’s seed stage internet and software companies. My partners and I at NextView know we’ll be wrong a decent chunk of the time, especially as seed stage investors. I co-founded NextView Ventures , a seed-stage VC firm based in Boston, in 2010.

Keep Term Sheets Simple for Quicker Cash to Spend


When a company is at its earliest seed stage, the terms tend to be the least complex. Investors may provide money in stages or tranches, based on defined milestones, to decrease investment risk. Remember a term sheet agreement is not a deal until the check clears.

New Survey from Fenwick & West Looks at Angel Funding Landscape


But recognizing that the funding landscape has changed - more angels, more Web startups - this year the firm conducted its first Angel/Seed Financing Survey. Seed stage funds led 45% of the financings, individual angels led 31% and venture capital funds led 24%.

I Give You Permission To Hate My Feedback

Feld Thoughts

I sat across from Joanne and since the restaurant was noisy our table ended up having two separate conversations going. Oh – and if you are a seed stage company in NYC looking to raise money, you are an idiot if you don’t immediately reach out to Joanne and try to get her involved. We talked a lot about seed stage investing during our part of the conversation. During the conversation we had a moment where we were talking about feedback.

Why Most VCs Won’t Intro You To Other VCs (Unless You Follow These Steps)

Hunter Walker

Funds 123, 456, and 789 all seem to invest in seed stage social gaming startups. It’s never been easier to get a sense of what industries and stages are preferred by various investor segments. b) also leaves the door open to me actually making those introductions because you’re starting to engage me in specific directed conversation.

Deals Homebrew Lost: 2014 Edition

Hunter Walker

We also felt really good about the conversations with founders – “dealflow” = life blood of any investor. Piggy rounds are what I’m calling a single investor doing the entirety or majority of a seed round. In two cases we wanted to invest somewhere between $750k – $1m as part of a ~$2m seed round, but the founders went with a single firm committing ~$1.25m – $2m (in one case it was a seed fund, in the other a larger multistage VC).

Convertible Debt – The Discount

Ask The VC

Instead, it’s simply a loan that has the ability to convert to equity based on some future financing event (we’ll tackle the conversion mechanics in a later post.). Given some of the excited market conditions at the seed stage, we’ve heard of convertible deals with no discount, but view this as irregular and not sustainable over the long term. As we start our convertible debt series, we’ll focus on the discount.

It’s Time to Rethink the Startup Pitch Deck (Here’s a Start)

View from Seed

What distinguishes this deck is that we think it’s designed for the way most seed stage fundraising conversations actually happen. In particular, this is very foreign when you are talking about pitching an angel investor or seed fund, especially if you have done your work to get a good, qualified intro. Even if that’s how a VC is wired, I think founders can kind of guide these conversations to seem more like discussions and not a pitch.