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.

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 “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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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 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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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. .

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.

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.

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.

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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 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.

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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The Right Way To Get Funding From Family And Friends

Startup Professionals Musings

Yet they tend to ignore this problem, and move on quickly to professional investors. They don’t realize that most Angel investors and venture capitalists will also decline to be first, if you have no commitment from friends and family.

Red Flags To Avoid When Talking About Competitors

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the most important questions you will be asked by potential investors is how your solutions beats the competition, not just today, but over the three to five year life of their investment. That implies competitive now, a strong barrier to entry, and the potential to stay in the lead.

Viral 299

Keiretsu Forum Invests $3 Million in Savara Pharmaceuticals

SiliconHills

The Keiretsu Forum’s members gave $3 million as the lead investor on a Series B round for Savara Pharmaceuticals. “The opportunity to invest in Savara Pharmaceuticals attracted many of our accredited investors, who are deeply committed to supporting products and technologies with the [.]. Savara is developing pulmonary drugs to treat serious and life threatening conditions.

Real Sustainable Competitive Advantages are Rare

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the most important questions you will be asked by potential investors is how your solutions beats the competition, not just today, but over the three to five year life of their investment. That implies competitive now, and the potential to stay in the lead.

Viral 300

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.

A primer on convertible notes, convertible securities, and equity

Hippoland

If this is your first time raising money, the mechanics of how investors buy into your company can be very confusing. Equity Traditionally, investors have invested in companies to receive equity, or shares in a company. Usually, an equity round is kicked off by a “lead investor”.

Spredfast Lands $12M Series B

Austin Startup

Spredfast, a leading social media management system provider, today announced it has raised $12 million in Series B funding led by InterWest Partners. Also participating in the round is Austin Ventures, the lead investor of the company’s $3.6 million Series A round.