[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.
I feel puzzled how vaguely some startup CEOs send their executives on their way to execute a "mission". Mission Statements describe the who, what, when, where, and why (the 5 W’s) of how a mission will be executed. A mission has one -- and only one! -- main goal. You might have one (one!) side … Continue reading Improve Your Mission Statements.
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.
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.”
I mainly help U.S.-based companies set up shop and scale for revenue in non-US regions. But I see more and more interesting deals where European or Asian companies are coming to the U.S. (Disclaimer!) There are usually two considerations why companies (startups and enterprises alike!) set up a dedicated U.S. entity: international regulations and litigations, … Continue reading “Flipping” your Company to the US?
As VCs, we can voice observations, opinions, demands (which might or might not be met :)). We can assist, coach, or mentor the current CEO. But unless you are also a board director and -- together with all other board directors -- hire a new CEO, we cannot fix culture. Nicholas Pearce, on Dear HBR, … Continue reading VCs Can’t Fix Culture.
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.
Venture-backed startups are staying private longer (no news here). But how much longer? As venture capital investors, we are trying to learn from past mistakes and successes. And we need to calibrate for different market environments. A recent observation is that the sideways exits below $100M in deal value are vanishing. Startups keep going until … Continue reading Go Long. And Go Big or Go Home.
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 remember one sentence from the many books I read while doing business in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia: Your relative power in a negotiation is your capacity to use resources to influence another’s circumstances. In 1962, Richard Emerson published Power-Dependence Relations. I found that Richard's focus on "In how many ways can I demonstrate my … Continue reading Negotiations: Focus on What You Don’t Know.