When Should Startup Founders Discuss Valuation with Seed VCs?

View from Seed

Or, in the case of a convertible note, they’ll explicitly state a valuation cap. On the positive side for a founder, directly stating a high valuation expectation up front can anchor the negotiations to a higher level, assuming that an investor takes the leap of faith to invest.

The downside of high valuations


Valuations are high. In times of rising valuations, it is important for entrepreneurs to think about their long term funding strategy and choose a valuation that is sustainable not just today but over the whole life cycle of your company. When we hear about high pre-money valuations for companies like Quora it can be tempting to demand higher valuations for your own company. 53% of deals had participating prefs.

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. Term Sheets & Valuations. A Line by Line Look at the Intricacies of Term Sheets & Valuations. 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.

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.

Include Deal Terms or Not?

Mark Birch

I had a discussion the other night with an entrepreneur about whether to include specific deal terms in the pitch deck or investor meetings. There are seven main points to consider when talking about the structure of the deal: Raise – The amount of capital you are raising.

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.

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.

A Primer on Angel Investment ‘Simple Term Sheets’

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.

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

Chris Dixon

They want to raise more money, and VCs are offering them money at a high valuation. VCs know what they are doing and almost always invest with a financial instrument – preferred shares – that protects them even when the valuation is very high.

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.

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.

Financing Acquisitions: Keys to Structuring the Deal And Obtaining The Funding


Think of financing an acquisition as an exercise with two parts that work in concert: 1) structuring a desired deal with a suitable target and 2) obtaining the funding. Structuring the Desired Deal. Of course, no deal goes down without funding. by Kenneth H.

Clean Deal Terms

David Lee

He said one thing there that I agree with 100%, among others: I have an allergic reaction to complex deal structures, as they invariably end up with all sorts of unintended consequences. Lately I’ve seen more complex “deal terms” in early stage financings. And in exchange for giving this super pro-rata, the company can negotiate for other terms - namely a higher valuation. Sam Altman has a nice post here on a founder-friendly term sheet.

Knowledge Is Power: Convertible Note Financing Terms, Part IV


To account for scenarios in which the startup is acquired before it has a chance to complete a priced equity financing round, most term sheets and deal documents contain a “ change in control ” provision. What these approaches have in common is that they cap the investors’ upside such that even in the most spectacular of liquidity events, unless the notes convert to equity first at a lower valuation, angels don’t get anywhere near the payoff awarded to equity holders.

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.

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 search of.the ideal term sheet

Seed Stage Capital

For any large deal, they will convert and be treated like the founders and employees. VCs really need to move to a deal structure that doesn’t burn up so much lawyer time negotiating provisions that are almost never used.

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.

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.

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.

What Entrepreneurs Should do about Price Fixing

Both Sides of the Table

At what valuation? That is why I tell people not to shop deals too widely. So acknowledge it to yourself and be prepared to deal with it. When I was fund raising for my second company we had agreed a company-wide deal with Salesforce.com to use our product.

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

Blogtrepreneur | Entrepreneur Blog

A real estate school will help potential residental and commercial real estate agents , brokers and realtors understand the world of finance as well to acquire the necessary skills of negotiation and valuation required to be successful in the field.

Startup Blog: 7 Questions You May Get from Potential Investors

Taffy Williams

What is the minimum you can get by with to the next step-up in valuation? The inflection point is thought of as the next step in the valuation increase. What is your company’s pre-money valuation? Startup Blog Steps to consider to start and grow a company.

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?

Sales 217

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).

The Pre-Seed FAQ

K9 Ventures

They talk about how deal sizes and stages were changing even back then. The amount of capital (and therefore the resulting valuation) also sets the stage for the next round of financing for a company. 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.

Are Investors Being Unreasonable? - Startups and angels: Along the.

Tim Keane

"  The problem has been that too-high valuations and too generous terms have spawned painful down rounds that squash the entrepreneur and his early investors.  Ask any of us who've experienced significant down rounds based on some or all of these things, and one begins to understand the cautionary nature of deal structures.    And it is unarguably what has driven valuation bubbles in the past.  

'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.

NDA 77

Angel Investing is Where VC was 25 Years Ago

Angel Blog

As I attended sessions, and had conversations, on everything from deal structures to term sheets and deal flow to exits, it occurred to me that I had been in similar conferences about 25 years ago. At the conference last week, there were enthusiastic discussions about forms of investment, term sheets, pre and post investment relationships with entrepreneurs and VCs, portfolio management and valuation.

The Corrosive Downside of Acquihires

Inc Startups

The Aqui-hire Business 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?

Piercing the Corporate Veil of Sweat Equity


Valuations. I was approached with one sweat equity offer that placed the valuation of the company at >$5 million pre-money and before even a seed round of funding. Three Card Monty Corporate Structures. GrasshopperHerder.com. • ABOUT. • CONTACT.

A Summary of Current Trends in Canadian Mergers and Acquisitions - 2011

Recent Buzzes - VC Experts, Inc.

With keen international interest in Canada's resource sector, the return of financial buyers, strategic investors looking to pursue acquisitions as a means of increasing earnings, and the recent uptick in Canadian "mega-deal" activity, there is no better time to discuss the M&A trends unfolding in 2011. HOSTILE DEALS. In 2010, hostile M&A activity hit a three-year high as depressed valuations and economic challenges lengthened the strongest buyer's market in decades.

Why Leave A Six Figure Corporate Job For Internet Entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

I travelled all over the world wherever business deals were happening, gained tremendous experience and exposure to the Corporate landscape, and learned invaluable life lessons in my career. I worked out a similar deal the next go around, and the snowball started rolling from there. Investment in small businesses require knowledge of transactions and the related aspects such as business valuation, due diligence, deal structuring / financing, contracts, etc.

Cracking The Code: The Bessemer 10 laws of SaaS - Fall 2008.

Cracking the Code

A simple example would be if Customer A signs a one-year deal at $10,000 per month, and Customer B signs a three-year deal at $5,000 per month. Consistently delivering a deal per month in this progression gives you a total of 78 months of cumulative recognized revenue.