VC Funds: A Median of 17 Months in Market to Final Close.

I get this question a lot: How long does it take to close a VC fund? We all know the anecdotes of marquee firms closing their funds within weeks. But don't forget that it often took 20 years to become a marquee firm and to build a robust platform and track record. So they closed … Continue reading VC Funds: A Median of 17 Months in Market to Final Close.

Fred Wilson’s “Return on Burn” (Excel Worksheet Attached)

Minimum valuations and their required revenue at fixed value-creation-multiple of cash consumption. In the last blog post I wrote about Fred Wilson's excellent insight into value creation relative to cash burn. I got a lot of questions about it so here is an Excel spreadsheet for you to download and play with -- let me … Continue reading Fred Wilson’s “Return on Burn” (Excel Worksheet Attached)

Pitch Clinic: VC Investments Need Hyper-Growth (D’oh!) — Excel Worksheet Attached.

Sounds obvious. So I am puzzled when I get pitches where the basic parameters of investment returns are not met.  There are many different types of venture capital investors. You should know which type of investor you are talking to. So here's one real example from last month: We're selling an edge appliance for IoT … Continue reading Pitch Clinic: VC Investments Need Hyper-Growth (D’oh!) — Excel Worksheet Attached.

Your fiercest Competition is your VCs’ Other Portfolio Companies.

If you believe you have a great startup, then I hope you have a great product. And, naturally, you will have competition. Gartner is not going to create a magic quadrant for a new huge market with only a single company in it.  Your product should be awesome. You should strive to find product-market-fit fast. … Continue reading Your fiercest Competition is your VCs’ Other Portfolio Companies.

The Flipside of Venture Capital.

[This post appeared first as a comment on Blue Dot Partners' blog, Perspectives. Philippe Bouissou wrote a post that resonated with me about The Two Types of Businesses.  There are two very different types of businesses. The motivations that drive entrepreneurs behind them are quite orthogonal. Both types of businesses are critical to creating a … Continue reading The Flipside of Venture Capital.

(Im)prove Yourself when Fundraising.

I saw two fund-raising pitches in the last two weeks with pseudo portfolios -- there must have been a recent book or blog post about it. Both had pseudo portfolios of seed rounds they've "seen" and "would have invested in if they had the money". The two pitches were very different. The first one was … Continue reading (Im)prove Yourself when Fundraising.

“I’ll get liquidity in the secondary market.”

Please see my Disclaimer. As previously mentioned, venture-backed companies are getting much older before their exit. But the percentage of $100M+ exits grew by 18.7% when comparing the last 365 days with 2013. The increasing share of larger exits is good news for VCs -- if they can get liquidity! Because the percentage of venture-backed … Continue reading “I’ll get liquidity in the secondary market.”

Meaningful exits in IT now take 11 years from first funding.

For B2B and enterprises IT startups, the median number of years between the first round of venture funding and a meaningful exit greater than $350M is now about 11 years. That's 4.5 years longer than in 2014. I ran a quick Pitchbook search for Venture-backed Information Technology companies, Excluding the B2C segment, With IPOs and … Continue reading Meaningful exits in IT now take 11 years from first funding.

VC Funding and “Going Earlier for Better Access.”

The story of these VCs usually goes like this: "We're starting to write very small checks much earlier. That way we can track company progress from the inside and are aware of any challenges or problems early on. We believe we can then also discern inflection points much earlier than other outside investors. We might … Continue reading VC Funding and “Going Earlier for Better Access.”

“I don’t know.”

As an investor, I am more interested in finding out where knowledge ends and where a discovery process starts. It's astonishing in how many pitches entrepreneurs avoid "I don't know" and instead suddenly change topics or point to a statistic where when asked they cannot explain how that would be relevant to the question. "I … Continue reading “I don’t know.”