Never ask anyone to be your lead investor

David Cohen

Let me explain why you should never ask anyone to be your lead investor. If they want to invest, they’re going to want to lead and will throw out a term sheet. You never have to ask them to be your “lead investor.”

The “lead investor” dance

David Cohen

The term “lead investor” is often code. ” Let me know when you have a lead investor. ” You see, many angel and seed investors view it as their job to establish a “free option” on investing in your company. By telling you that they’re potentially “in” if you have a lead investor, they establish the free option to decide later.

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How To Secure A Lead Investor

Gust

By searching for a lead investor in your next funding round. The lead investor is the first step in Read more >. The post How To Secure A Lead Investor appeared first on The Gust Blog. By Paula Taas, Founder Institute.

The “Come-from-Behind” Lead Investor

Genuine VC

Is it worth paying attention to this potential “come-from-behind” VC investor? The risk with engaging with an investor who isn’t as up to speed is a waste of the most valuable limited resource – time – when a CEO is concentrating on figuring out the best fit among the remaining candidates AND while simultaneously running a company, after all. The best litmus test to suss out whether or not a potential come-from-behind investor is worth paying attention to is if they’re “doing work.”

Do you need a lead investor in your seed round?

Hippoland

One question that seed investors love to ask is if you have a lead investor in your seed round. But once you figure out why an investor is asking, tactically speaking, what do you do? Do you try to find a lead? or “We want to co-lead if you find another co-lead!”

What percentage of a Series A round is typically invested by the lead investor?

Gust

In unusual (but not unique) cases, a well-respected or high-profile individual angel may be able to successfully lead the first professional funding round of an early-stage startup with a very small investment, accounting for only a small percentage of the round. Invested Interests Angels funding investor series a

Entrepreneurs Should Stop Lying To Investors – And Themselves

YFS Magazine

Lead investors leadership personal developmentI use to think that transparency was overrated — not because I didn’t want to be open, but because I didn’t believe much value could come from it.

San Antonio-based Cliently Receives $1 Million in Funding

SiliconHills

Active Capital, a new venture capital firm based in San Antonio and led by Pat Matthews, is the lead investor in the seed stage round of funding. Other investors include Altair.

Building the Best Seed VC Syndicate in 2020: Navigating “Leaders” & “Fillers”

View from Seed

The former is most common post-accelerators (typically YC), but is much more rare in attracting intuitional seed investors in other contexts (though it can be productive in pre-seed for angels). Once a lead firm has been established, then it becomes a process of assembling puzzle pieces.

Sharp Elbows Among Seed VCs

View from Seed

This post will try to describe why this is happening and what repercussions are for founders and investors. Today, most series A’s are led primarily by one fund that makes up the majority of the round, and there is fierce competition for that lead slot. Repercussions for Investors.

Building the Best Seed Syndicates

View from Seed

Here are a couple tips and suggestions on how to go about creating the most supportive investor base for a typical institutional seed round. These folks don’t typically lead rounds, but would certainly invest if the right round came together. So make it easy for them to say “I’m “in” assuming you get a good lead and close at least $X to get you Y months or runway.”. So really take your time to do your due diligence on the investor (both the individual and the firm).

Timing Is Everything: How To Secure Early-Stage Funding

YoungUpstarts

Most startups will need a viable product and proof of credibility before they can expect early-stage investors to really bite. The most common fundraising mistake I see is when early stage entrepreneurs focus all their attention on trying to secure a $1 million check from a lead investor.

Four Tricky VC Questions and How To Handle Them

View from Seed

For each, I’ll share some commentary on what investors are trying to uncover and talk how to handle them. This question is asked to try to figure out how much to prioritize the opportunity relative to the rest of an investor’s pipeline.

Pitch Deck Month: The “Ask” Slide

View from Seed

It shows some flexibility and allows for different investors (depending on their own fund size and strategy) to see a larger or smaller number depending on how they’d potentially fit into the round most easily.

The NextView Ventures Manifesto

View from Seed

Most of these rhyme with what we’ve said in the past, but some have also evolved to fit the changing landscape and our own convictions about what really matters for founders and their investors at the seed stage. As the venture capital industry has evolved, more and more seed investors are passing on traditionally “seed stage” startups because there isn’t enough traction. We are first and foremost pre-traction investors. Lead investors are few.

Eventador Lands $3.8 Million in Funding

SiliconHills

The Austin-based startup announced that the investment came from lead investor LiveOak Venture Partners with participation by Deep Space Ventures, RSH Ventures, Capital Factory and existing investor Keshif Ventures. Eventador announced recently the company has closed on $3.8

The Shift from FOMO to FOLD in Early Stage Investing

View from Seed

The way investors process investments, what they look for, and how they behave will likely shift in some pretty interesting ways in the coming years. In a FOMO world, seed and series A investors are more likely to extend beyond the bounds of their stated strategy to get access to companies.

Edgecase Gets $7.5 Million in Venture Capital

SiliconHills

The Austin-based startup received the funds from lead investor Austin Ventures and other investors. Edgecase, which provides data and analytics for e-commerce sites, announced this week it has received $7.5 million in venture capital. The company plans to use the money for research and development and sales and marketing. To date, the company, founded in […] The post Edgecase Gets $7.5 Million in Venture Capital appeared first on SiliconHills. Austin

3 Founder Attributes We Look For When Investing

View from Seed

We were co-lead investors in Grove’s seed round and actually doubled down in an intermediate round prior to this challenging series A process. As seed stage investors, we think very deeply about the attributes of founders that we want to back. I’m really grateful for Stu for sharing this story, and for leading Grove through that rocky period with his resilience, customer obsession and courage.

Which Markets Are the Most And Least Served by Seed Investors?

View from Seed

About a year ago, my partner David Beisel talked about how seed fundraising is no longer a local game , and that the best entrepreneurs seek out the best investors for them outside of their home market. Not surprisingly, SF leads the other three markets by a wide margin.

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Sometimes a Good Loss is Better than a Bad Win

OnlyOnce

Or you negotiate the highest possible valuation from a new lead investor, only to discover that new lead investor, now on your Board, expects you to triple it in four years and is way out of alignment with the rest of your cap table.

What’s actually required to start or close a funding round?

Gust

Technically, a “funding round” simply means a company accepting one or more investments from one or more investors on similar terms within a certain period of time. 25 individual angel investors funding a startup on a convertible note. In all cases, the one fundamental requirement is that the company and the investor agree on how much is being invested, and on what terms. A network of other investors to whom they can introduce the company.

The Future Fifty: A dissection of the United Kingdom’s tech scene

The Next Web

Whilst exact details remain unclear, Tech City declared that companies on the program have access to a team of leading investors, accounting firms and business leaders for ongoing advice and support. .

What Happens When A Founder Wants To Stop Versus Pivot?

Hunter Walker

If you don’t have a mission or problem you’re passionate about, where investors are aligned on the business, and it’s still early stage, you’re better off returning the cents on the dollar.

The Market Size Fallacy for Seed-Stage Startups

View from Seed

This investor loved the team and thought the solution they were building was compelling. I remember talking to one of their angel investors (and also one of my old mentors) about what the company could become and what it would look like if it ever became a really big business.

Which Fundraising Round Should You Skip?

View from Seed

The reality is that if a founder raised every one of these rounds, and lead investors always got their “target” ownership, the level of dilution would be ridiculous. No good investor would want the founder/CEO of a company to have insufficient ownership by the series A, and every founder I know is sensitive to taking too much dilution. They find weak pre-seed investors or angels who are almost predatory in their early stage pricing and add no value.

Dear elizy: an investor wants to invest when we have a lead.  what does that mean?

Hippoland

An investor I met with got really excited about joining my round. He said he would like to join once we have a lead. Do I need a lead? What is a lead? 1) Technically speaking, you do not need a lead. Dear elizy : I’m raising my seed round right now.

ATX Seed Ventures Invests in GoCo’s $2.5 Million Round

SiliconHills

ATX Seed Ventures announced it is the lead investor in GoCo’s $2.5 Other investors included Guardian Life Insurance and Salesforce Ventures. million financing round. GoCo.io, based in Houston, is a software startup that provides an all-in-one Human Resources platform focusing on small to medium sized companies. Its founders, Nir Leibovich, Jason Wang and Michael Gugel […] The post ATX Seed Ventures Invests in GoCo’s $2.5

Failure to Execute vs Failure to Raise

Hunter Walker

Because as an early stage lead investor one of our responsibilities is to help a company think through its strategy and provide feedback on the pace and quality of execution. Yes there’s a funding process and helping founders navigate that successfully is a key part of a venture investor’s value, but a CEO shouldn’t rely on “failing to execute but successfully raising” (even though this happens too). 14 for 14.

LP 82

What’s the difference between “No” vs. “Not Yet” from a VC?

View from Seed

But today we live in a world where there is a broad spectrum of seed rounds, many startups raise more than one, “Series A” rounds can range from $3M to $20M+, and the ecosystem of early stage investors continues to evolve.

Reading the Tea Leaves: Where Am I in My Seed Fundraise, Really?

View from Seed

We’ve written before on how to research partners , how to pitch the right investor at a given firm, and how to raise seed capital , generally speaking. But it’s also useful to try and understand where exactly you are in the process with a particular investor.

What Valuation Should I Expect in My Seed Round?

This is going to be BIG.

That being said, you want to feel like you got a good deal--and your lead investor should be able to walk you through how they got to a particular valuation and why they thought it was appropriate. Powered by OpenReel I have to be honest, I'm a little suspect when one of the first questions a founder asks me is about valuation.

TabbedOut Raises Additional $2 Million in Venture Capital

SiliconHills

The other investors include lead investor Wellington Management Company and participating investors NEA and Morgan Creek Capital […] The post TabbedOut Raises Additional $2 Million in Venture Capital appeared first on SiliconHills. TabbedOut, a mobile payments app for bars and restaurants, announced Friday it has raised $2 million more in its Series C venture round. Miami-based Aeterna Capital provided the funds.

Miami 50

Sometimes a Good Loss is Better than a Bad Win

OnlyOnce

Or you negotiate the highest possible valuation from a new lead investor, only to discover that new lead investor, now on your Board, expects you to triple it in four years and is way out of alignment with the rest of your cap table. Or same goes for getting a “pass” from a desirable investor in a financing round but at least understanding why and getting a key to fixing something problematic about your business model or management team.

A Look at What’s Fueling Startup Investments in Colombia

ReadWriteStart

Here’s a look at three factors fueling investor interest in Colombia’s technology startups. However, the 2016 Peace Deal with the FARC , among other efforts, changed its international reputation, leading to a 300% increase in foreign visitors since 2006.

Series A Startup CEO Salary

The Startup Lawyer

Earlier this year, this issue presented itself when a client was the lead investor in a Series A round of about $2MM at a $4MM pre-money. Furthermore, a demand for a high startup salary can signal that you don’t believe all those things in your investor pitch. A startup’s Series A financing shouldn’t be a large liquidity event or salary payday for the startup’s founders.

Angel Bootcamp, The Blog Post: A Primer on Angel Investing

View from Seed

And although this is written for angel investors, I think entrepreneurs can only benefit by increasing their knowledge around these investors and hope you’ll continue reading if that’s you. Favor investment rounds with strong leads that haven’t raised millions of dollars before you.

The Importance of Boards

ithacaVC

The importance of the Board is why institutional investors (like VCs) often get a seat on the Board after an investment. But don’t be fooled, there is an element of control as investors want a say in critical decisions. I have now done 2 deals where there has been a lead investor (not CVF) who did not mind the “founder as sole board member” trap. We followed in line with the lead investor and went along with the structure.

Filling Out the Round

ithacaVC

For example, “VC will serve as the lead investor up to $400,000; Company would source balance of the round up to $600,000 (so round size would be up to $1,000,000 in the aggregate).”. At the early stage, the founding team often has lots of “interest” lined up waiting for a lead. And it also puts the founding team to the task – VC stepped up to lead so now go and fill out the round!

When Should Startup Founders Discuss Valuation with Seed VCs?

View from Seed

Sharing these pricing expectations early with potential lead investors fundamentally qualifies your conversations, but it also runs the risk of prematurely losing a potential financing partner, or else it can reduce options to maximize your fundraise outcome.

When Greed Turns To Fear

Feld Thoughts

If you are a founder running a high growth, VC backed company, here are a few questions to ask your investors today. If we can’t find a new lead investor, will you write us a check? There is a cliche in the financial world that has been around forever.

.Net 192

What Are Pre-Seed Rounds and Why Do They Exist?

View from Seed

After all, aren’t seed investors (like us) by definition supposed to be the first and earliest-stage investors? Series A investors invested quite early, often before product/market fit. The proliferation of seed-stage investors.

Failure and Redemption

Steve Blank

In my mind, I had done everything the investors asked me to do. When my co-founders and I got the company scalable and repeatable, we hired an operating executive as the CEO and returned a billion dollars to each of our two lead investors.