Startup Blog: Take a Stand!

Taffy Williams

It may be around deal structure, testing or design of product, new hires, downsizing or firing, how much to spend on a program or some other issue. The deal terms are ones you as the CEO, entrepreneur, or employee know will cause great stress and even the possible demise of the company.

Which books would you recommend to a VC analyst-associate?


Insights from Leading Practitioners on the Art of Raising a Fund, Deal Structuring, Value Creation, and Exit Strategies. Venture Deals. The Business of Venture Capital. Raising Venture Capital for the Serious Entrepreneur. Mastering the VC Game. A Venture Capital Insider Reveals How to Get from Start-up to IPO on Your Terms. Term Sheets & Valuations. A Line by Line Look at the Intricacies of Term Sheets & Valuations. Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist.

Agile success generates great feelings

Taffy Williams

The deal structures for the financing may follow the same pattern of making you feel ill or bringing a huge smile. Finding partners and getting deals completed can be a huge energy consuming effort. Yes, it is a bit like THIS! Highs and lows are part of being an entrepreneur.

Agile 51

How VCs Think About Adding New Partners

Both Sides of the Table

In Kara’s case I got to see her work on deal structuring first hand having worked closely with her on her board at P.S. XO. Let me start with the news that I’m excited to share with you.

When Should Startup Founders Discuss Valuation with Seed VCs?

View from Seed

Additionally, setting a structure and price in advance at above-market value can expedite the negotiation process, especially when it’s with multiple parties. And as my partner Rob Go likes to say, “Time kills all deals.”).

My First Investment

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

They had negotiated a deal to purchase an editor called BRIEF and a version control package whose name escapes me (might have been VCS?) So I negotiated a deal to invest the funds into the company for a revenue share on the sale of both products plus a warrant to buy stock in SDC. So we were faced with a quandry, take back the products, which we could do by contract, or restructure the deal. That deal taught me a few big lessons.

Both sides must be fair in a term sheet negotiation.


Just a few of these terms include vesting, corporate structure, governance principles, financing strategy, valuation and exit strategy. As an example, twenty five years ago, most VCs used common share deal structures. By Basil Peters.

Keep Term Sheets Simple for Quicker Cash to Spend


Remember a term sheet agreement is not a deal until the check clears. It’s true that angel investors typically do not present entrepreneurs with overly complicated deal structures, especially when compared to venture capitalists.

Who Invests In Investors: Homebrew LP Shares VC Performance Goals, Importance of Diversity & What They Look For In New Funds

Hunter Walker

Similarly, a GP might be in the middle of great flow, but we need to have conviction that they can identify the right deals, structure creatively, and negotiate effectively.

LP 38

Entrepreneurs experience piling on

Taffy Williams

Developing great business deals when multiple companies want to partner allows for optimization of the deal structure to provide the maximum return. Dealing with the negative events becomes crisis management and survival.

IPO 25

The Corrosive Downside of Acquihires

Both Sides of the Table

Many buying companies price these deals on the basis of $1 million per engineer on the team for an early-stage deal. And wants to structure a huge payout for the employees that will remain. And will investors allow a deal to happen in the first place.

Bring something to the party when working with others

Taffy Williams

In a different situation, a prospective partner asked a company for a term sheet for a deal. The deal was to take place after a study was completed. Likewise, there was no discussion of the timing of the execution of the deal, scope of the deal, or other such parameters.

Notes on the acquisition process

Chris Dixon

Moreover, some public companies insist that you don’t talk to employees until the deal is closed or almost closed. Deal structure: the cap table is an agreement between you and the shareholders that says, in effect: “If we sell the company, this is how we pay out founders, employees, and investors.” Some even go so far as to try to cut side deals with key employees to entice them to abandon the other employees and investors.

Later-stage rounds and “setting the bar too high”

Chris Dixon

But in reality, assuming the standard preferred structure, the last round investors’ payout is as follows : Scenario 1 : Dropbox exits for greater than $4B ==> investors get a positive return (specifically, exit price divided by $4B).

Keep Term Sheets Simple for Quicker Cash to Spend

Startup Professionals Musings

Remember a term sheet agreement is not a deal until the check clears. It’s true that Angel investors typically do not present entrepreneurs with overly complicated deal structures, especially when compared to venture capitalists.

Who You Gonna Call? Partnering with Goliath: A Tale of Two Announcements

John O'Farrell

Our 2003 deal with HP didn’t generate a single dollar in revenue, whereas our 2006 agreement with Cisco drove tens of millions of dollars in sales and helped to make Opsware the uncatchable leader in data center software. Behind the headlines – a deal with teeth. SUNNYVALE, Calif.,

Startup Business Development Strategies: 7 Tips For Putting.

Seed Stage Capital

skip to main | skip to sidebar 24 January 2010 Startup Business Development Strategies: 7 Tips For Putting Together Stellar Deals Business development is fun. A few tips for startups doing deals: 1. Introduce competition into every deal. Be operationally ready to do a deal.

In it

There's a lot on my mind right now--deal structures, building a company, managing expectations, what the future should be, what I really want. I blog less when I'm in it. I'm not sure how to change that, but when I'm in it, I'm less inclined to blog about what's on my mind. But mostly it's just on finding a win, then building more wins on top of that. That is to say--I'm in it

Acquisitions Aren't About the Money

Inc Startups

When PopCap was being sold, we spoke to multiple potential acquirers, and in the end were extremely fortunate to get a great deal from a great partner. ” We'd spend countless hours talking with the other company about growth, numbers, and deal structure.

Finding Investors is highly dependent on your ability to network

Taffy Williams

The deal structures will vary significantly dependent on their experience investing in early stage companies. Grow your network far and wide. It will serve you well! Startups always are seeking funding, the task that is a never-ending battle.

That convert you raised last year is a part of your cap table

Seth Levine's VC Adventure

When it comes to convertible debt, I’ve had a few instances recently where “out of sight, out of mind” has created some misunderstandings around deal structures. Not necessarily a bad deal, but if you didn’t have that in your head you’re setting yourself up for a big surprise.

Knowledge Is Power: Convertible Note Financing Terms, Part II


In this installment, I’ll dig into the “how” by dissecting an example term sheet based on a real deal. A term sheet keeps things relatively straightforward by summarizing the most significant deal terms in outline form, whereas the deal documents themselves (often referred to as definitive agreements ) — even for a relatively simple convertible debt financing — inevitably contain some densely written legalese. These deal terms are simple but significant.

10 things I wish I knew when I sold my businesses

Jeff Hilimire

With my first sale, my partners and I focused all of our attention on the details of the sale (what the valuation would be, how would it be structured, etc) and very little about what would happen with us individually. It’s easy to get caught up in the dollar signs and deal structure and overlook this important step in the process. Selling a business is an interesting ride.

From demo day to dollars!


If you can agree on a deal with that person you can use that to get people on board. Secure the $, then optimize the deal : While valuation matters, the most important thing is to get the $ you need to get to the next big value-creating milestone.

10 Tips for Startups Raising Money from Angels

VC Cafe

Deal structure – I could write a full post just on this, but some aspects that were brought up are the need to agree on a reasonable valuation, what investment vehicles are used (convertible debt vs stock, options and warrants and other non-dilutive mechanisms).

That convert you raised last year is a part of your cap table

Seth Levine's VC Adventure

When it comes to convertible debt, I’ve had a few instances recently where “out of sight, out of mind” has created some misunderstandings around deal structures. Not necessarily a bad deal, but if you didn’t have that in your head you’re setting yourself up for a big surprise.


If I'm a hot deal in NY or SOMA, maybe I can raise and close an angel round in a few weeks. So, context matters to deal structure. So maybe the guidance for deal docs should be this: Convertible Debt: for founders who need a rolling close so the cash can come in as it's raised. I hate that title, but it's Saturday night and I'm feeling saucy. Suster posted a rant about convertible debt vs equity. Fred followed up. Everybody's weighing in.

The Pre-Seed FAQ

K9 Ventures

They talk about how deal sizes and stages were changing even back then. Q: How are most Pre-Seed deals structured? That said, you will find Pre-Seed deals in both flavors — Notes and Equity. One of the people I respect the most in the VC/PE media ecosystem is Dan Primack. I’ve been an avid reader of Dan’s Term Sheet while he was at Fortune , and now Pro Rata at Axios.

Dialing for Dollars

Taffy Williams

Having a business advisorand a great corporate counsel is important to the final deals structure. One local VC indicated they review more than 600 deals per year andinvest in around 6. As statedbefore, your startup will have little or no money for the first severalmonths. The most important activitiesyou can do in this time are to create as much value to make the companyfundable. Chicken or Egg” is the bestanalogy one can provide to the situation you will face.

How to value your company for sale (Part 2)

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Remember how the buyer has his own way of valuing the deal ? You’re skipping a step — trying to decide if the deal is even plausible — but how can you decide that if all you’re doing is thinking about the other side? Do you prefer Deal B?

Exchangeable shares

Angel Blog

Exchangeable share deal structures solve some of the challenges angels have been having over the past five years. Exchangeable shares solve the biggest problem with convertible notes - the unfair discount - while maintaining their simplicity and cost effectiveness

Signaling Pricing Expectations Early in Seed Investment Discussions

Genuine VC

As more transparency to seed-round funding transaction details have emerged, especially with the advent of Angelist and accelerator programs (which both educate and even sometimes set terms & structure for graduating companies), I’ve noticed an increasing number of entrepreneurs signal pricing expectations much earlier in the seed fundraising process. Setting a structure and price in advance can also expedite the negotiation process, especially when it’s with multiple parties.

Should You Sell Your Business? 7 Things to Consider

Inc Startups

Prior to the process, my business partner and I wrote down the criteria for the deal that we would accept. In the last few weeks of the deal, we were ready to back out because of a change in the deal structure. I went through with the deal, but the timing wasn''t right.

Do You Deserve Investment Capital?

Inc Startups

In my last column , we covered the questions you should ask to help determine whether a venture capital or private equity firm is a structural fit for you. I frankly end up holding the deal to a higher standard than I would if I were looking at investing my own money.

allensblog: "Fully-Diluted"

Allen's Blog

In a deal recently, the term sheet offered by the prospective investor contained a reference to the term: "fully-diluted" The company accepted the term sheet and the lawyers drafted the documents. On review by the Company, however, it became clear that the parties had different interpretations of "fully-diluted" Due to some idiosyncracies of the company's capital structure, the disagreement had a significant impact on the deal structure.

The 10 Best Real Estate Schools Compared: Meet the Winner!

Blogtrepreneur | Entrepreneur Blog

Finance and deal structuring, market analysis, site planning, and project management. The program framework focuses on the impacts of taxation, risk, financing structure, governmental constraints, and market context.

'Show Me the Money' Tips for Business Sellers

Inc Startups

Often, an experienced broker will take the Confidential Offering Memorandum to the lender in advance of finding a buyer to obtain a preapproval, including an acceptable deal structure. Choosing the right broker will make a big difference in the ultimate success of your business sale.


Knowing When It’s Time To Sell Your Startup


This deal-of-the-day service was founded in November 2008 and quickly became a sensation. The deal closed only four months later in August of 2012. Negotiating a different deal structure could have prevented the price from dropping.

Walker Twitter Highlights: August 11th – 21st

Scott Edward Walker

prAYlf Quora-Related Quora: What deal structure should be in place for a friend/family investment of < 20k in your startup? I’m using Twitter as a form of micro-blogging to share interesting blog posts, articles and podcasts relating to entrepreneurship and startups, M&A and legal issues. Below are my five most popular tweets (via ) for the past 10 days and a couple of Quora-related tweets.

Startup Blog: 7 Questions You May Get from Potential Investors

Taffy Williams

This can happen based on a great deal with a partner, positive data from proof-of-concept, a major advancement in development, or other such value creating events. If you are dealing with a lead investor, they usually go by the “golden rule; I got the gold I set the rules.&#