AI is a System, not a Technology.

It is confusing for me why people are talking about "we're using AI to do <XYZ>".  AI is a system, not a technology. You need to operate with the system. You cannot replace a specific technology or platform with AI if you don't replace all the systems as well. AI is a system of: People … Continue reading AI is a System, not a Technology.

Early-stage Ownership is Getting More Expensive for Angels, VCs

Angel, seed, and early-stage venture capital investments are getting more and more expensive over the last 10 years. Investors write larger checks but don't get more ownership at the same rate. Last Monday, Pitchbook released their 1H 2019 Valuation Report (data as of 06/30/2019). The report has interesting charts, such as: Two charts from PitchBook's … Continue reading Early-stage Ownership is Getting More Expensive for Angels, VCs

US: More Early-Stage VC Funds are Targeting Fewer Startups

The number of new early-stage VC funds with a focus on US-based pre-seed, seed, and early-stage startups grew from 163 (vintage 2014) to 490 (vintage 2019) [1]. As I wrote two weeks ago in "Rapid Decline of New U.S.-based IT Startups", the number of newly founded US startups in information technology declined from 5,856 (2014) … Continue reading US: More Early-Stage VC Funds are Targeting Fewer Startups

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.

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.

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.

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.

VC Funds: Six months to first close on 40-60% of final close size.

This is the last post on this topic, but there were some more questions. It takes about 6 Months to Reach First Close This chart is showing the median per vintage year, together with the 1st and 3rd quartile boundaries and a green average line (with a horrible R-Squared of 0.0087). In a first close, … Continue reading VC Funds: Six months to first close on 40-60% of final close size.

VC Funds: First-Time Funds take a Median of 12+ Months to Raise.

I got a few questions on last week's post about the number of months VC funds are in the market before a close. Raising VC Funds in the US vs. Rest of World I was asked to look at different geographies: Months in Market to Final Close for each Year of Vintage broken down by … Continue reading VC Funds: First-Time Funds take a Median of 12+ Months to Raise.