Massive Early-Stage Funding — I Was Wrong.

"Every A-round is $10M nowadays. That's the new norm. There is too much money in the market." I think I carelessly quipped something along these lines in the past three weeks. And I was wrong. I had fallen into the average-bias of VC-world, into false signaling of few outliers. As I wrote earlier (and so … Continue reading Massive Early-Stage Funding — I Was Wrong.

Rapid Decline of New U.S.-based IT Startups

The number of new IT startups with headquarters in the U.S. is rapidly declining. There are less and less IT startups founded every year since 2013. I was looking for something else at Pitchbook but stumbled over this massive decline: Startups founded by year with primary focus on Information Technology ("IT") and headquarter in the … Continue reading Rapid Decline of New U.S.-based IT Startups

SAFE Notes – Excel Worksheet Attached

Fred Wilson has written about Un-SAFE notes. In a nutshell: they're not less expensive, and they hide some dilution problems when stacked. Because that's not always obvious, here is an Excel Worksheet to play around with. >> Download the Excel Worksheet. << The worksheet uses some circular references, so go to File > Options > … Continue reading SAFE Notes – Excel Worksheet Attached

Post-Funding: Trigger Spend on Milestones, not Timeline.

Dave Kellogg is an outstanding leader and thinker -- go and follow his blog posts if you're not already doing so. He has a lot of good advice on planning and spending after getting funding ("post-funding"). Two of my portfolio companies went through the pleasure of raising a new round of financing last month.  There … Continue reading Post-Funding: Trigger Spend on Milestones, not Timeline.

TMT Exits — No End in Sight?

In May, Neeraj Agrawal and Logan Bartlett from Battery Ventures published a great presentation on the 2019 Software market. The Telecoms, Media, and Technology Sector ("TMT") is a bit bigger. Over the past 10 years TMT exit volume has been steadily rising. Until 2019, there was no end in sight. VC-backed TMT Exit Volume Globally … Continue reading TMT Exits — No End in Sight?

Board Questions to ask about Stock Options, NSOs, ISOs, Restricted Stock, Restricted Stock Units (RSUs).

[Earlier I wrote about the different vehicles] You're sitting on a board and the CEO presents some proposed grants. Motion to approve - second - all in favor - ay. Here's what you should have asked before the board meeting. A. Economics What's the vesting schedule? What are these options worth right now? What do … Continue reading Board Questions to ask about Stock Options, NSOs, ISOs, Restricted Stock, Restricted Stock Units (RSUs).

Leading Unicorn VC Firms and The Long Tail

We often get the question about "Leading Unicorn Venture Capital Firms". And emerging fund managers are sometimes taken aback when we are unfazed about their two unicorns in their portfolio and continue our due diligence. Business Insider just published an article about early-stage investors with billion-dollar outcomes. [DISCLAIMER BELOW] [EDIT 5/28/2019, 08:38 PDT -- I … Continue reading Leading Unicorn VC Firms and The Long Tail

Volume and Choice drive down Startup SaaS M&A Multiples.

SEG: 1Q19 SaaS M&A Update, via http://softwareequity.com/research/ SaaS multiples of venture-backed SaaS Startups are driven down by volume and choice. Tom Tunguz has written a lot about SaaS multiples, specifically about Where are SaaS Companies Priced After the 2018 Correction. We are getting a lot of inquiries from VCs, entrepreneurs, and LPs alike about pricing. … Continue reading Volume and Choice drive down Startup SaaS M&A Multiples.

Five Areas of Startup Equity Awards Boards Should Discuss.

There are enough primers on the Internet. This is not a primer. But take it as a discussion guideline with your board, your lawyers, your executives. Types of Equity Awards Options An option is a contract between a startup and an "optionee" (mostly employees, but could be contractors or board members) that provide a right … Continue reading Five Areas of Startup Equity Awards Boards Should Discuss.

VC Funds: $100 billion of dry powder in the Bay Area.

I was using Preqin to understand office locations of firms (institutional, family offices, and corporates) that are doing direct venture capital investments and are still seeking actively for new investments (collectively called "VC firms" below). Tobias Lam from the Preqin NYC office was kind enough to pull some back-end data on office locations for firms … Continue reading VC Funds: $100 billion of dry powder in the Bay Area.