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Raising Money From "The Middle of Nowhere"

TheFunded.com Advice

Posted by Utahentrepreneur on 2008-01-18

Tags: Funding Sources Location

PUBLIC:

Unless you're an entrepreneur in the major tech markets, you are essentially raising money "in the middle of nowhere" (in the minds of the investors in the major tech markets!) Frequently these smaller markets may have a small cadre of venture type investors (sophisticated angels or VC firms). For the unwary entrepreneur, pitching in local markets first can actually backfire! Members, read on

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Do Your Homework

TheFunded.com Advice

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-06

Tags: Preparation Fund Diligence

PUBLIC:

Funds at venture firms are often designed with a narrow focus for both the returns and types of deals they need. On top of that, there is the usual hot areas of interest. Find out what is most interesting to the decision makers and find out not only what they have done by looking at their portfolio, find out what's in the works. Learn what are the reasons for the interest in the active deals. Just ask, they won't tell you the company name, but they'll tell you what is interesting to them in broad sweeps. That will help you see if you fit and also help you revise your pitch to better fit the mold. It also helps you understand what other firms will find interesting. It's copycat all over the place out there. Oh, and if you didn't notice, look for the next thing in clean tech, not in enterprise software or web2.0. Go where the interest is high and the deal competiton is low. Find the firms that get that and don't agree to a meeting until you have qualified them early. Build a target list of the best say 10 firms and figure out how to get introduced to a partner. Narrow focus your efforts and get in there. You should also split your list into two batches, maybe 5-10 in each one. This way if your model bombs in the first run, you still have a chance to clean it up and go again without having polluting your chances by broadcasting that you still haven't gotten funded. Go small and focused and target the exceptional firms and then get in to the key partners or not at all. The more you know about who is interested in your category and type of deal, the more you will know how to leverage one firm against another as you start to get traction. Get one of them to give you a term sheet and the rest will then jump in line to catch up. Then slow down and make careful decisions and your company success may well depend on what you do at that point.

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Us VC's are Fading While Mentor Franchising is Booming

TheFunded.com Discussion

Posted by Anonymous on 2010-08-13

Tags: Venture Business Analyst VC

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Change Definition for "Not Actively Investing"

TheFunded.com Discussion

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-19

Tags: TheFunded.com Suggestions Not Actively Investing

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A Dark View of Future of Venture Capital Market

TheFunded.com Discussion

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-06-04

Tags: Venture Business Crisis

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"Another Dumb Way to Spend Taxpayer Money" Giving VC's a Bailout

TheFunded.com Discussion

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-05-02

Tags: Venture Business Economy

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Can We as Entrepreneurs Change the VC Process? How about a VC Revolution?

TheFunded.com Discussion

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-04-28

Tags: Venture Business Market Conditions

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Has the Thinning of the Herd Begun?

TheFunded.com Discussion

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-02-20

Tags: Venture Business Crisis

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Economic Stimulus

TheFunded.com Discussion

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-02-07

Tags: Venture Business Economy Crisis

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"Home Run" Insanity, but There are Perks

TheFunded.com Advice

Posted by Jon on 2009-01-20

Tags: Venture Business Crisis Economy

PUBLIC:

According to VentureWire, the number of venture investments in Q4 2008 fell to the lowest level since after the last crash, and the amount of money invested into the whole private equity sector halved from the same quarter last year. Many of the private equity investments being made are in "secondary funds," which buy distressed portfolio positions, so the story for the relatively small segment of venture capital is probably much worse.

The reality on the street for entrepreneurs raising money is brutal. Funds take meetings, but it's clear that they are not really making investments. With limited cash in the bank and limited prospects for raising more capital, it seems that all the good VCs are waiting for a "home run" opportunity to walk in the door and give them a 50% valuation haircut.

There is a silver lining. Deals perceived as being a "home run" have leverage. We just closed a later stage round after nearly a year of fundraising and pulled out over $1 MM for the founders, selling some of our equity. While our valuation was lower than we would like and the terms had some other unwanted teeth, when we threatened to walk, the deal was sweetened. Our traffic numbers are strong, so we had a few VCs coming to us with offers over the last couple months

From what I can gather, the VCs needs to justify making an investment in the current recession, so they have to issue less favorable terms. They can't explain the deal to their partners or investors otherwise. My advice would be to get as much exposure and traction as possible, have a few funds come to you, then target the best investor and negotiate the secondary perks more than the primary terms. Good luck!

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Fed Gives $200 Billion Bailout to Hedge Funds...VC's Next?

TheFunded.com Discussion

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-12-23

Tags: Hedge Funds Crisis Economy

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A Round Valuations Down 25 50% While B and C Rounds Non Existent

TheFunded.com Advice

Posted by fnazeeri on 2008-12-10

Tags: Venture Business Valuation Venture Debt Convertible Debt

PUBLIC:

More here.

PRIVATE: Members Only (1627 Characters)

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Email From Ron Conway

TheFunded.com Advice

Posted by Mr. Smith on 2008-10-08

Tags: Venture Business Crisis

PRIVATE: Members Only (5142 Characters)

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Avoid VC's with an Enterprise Background for Web Deals...

TheFunded.com Advice

Posted by treeman on 2008-03-30

Tags: Funding Sources Experience

PUBLIC:

i am astonished to find that some VC's still dont understand that ad networks pay their publishers. the worst of the lot seem to be those VC's that have an enterprise background.

So unless you are pitching a conventional deal where buyer pays seller, just avoid these and you will say a lot of time and hassle.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Get Screened in Not Out

TheFunded.com Advice

Posted by MedTech Expert on 2008-02-27

Tags: Pitching Busines Plan Materials

PUBLIC:

Part of the science of getting in the door of a VC is to stand out from the crowd. Unfortunately, inertia is often a big factor in business plan screening. Contrary to popular opinion, every word of every plan is not read. First the plan gets a glance. Then it gets a skim. Then it gets a more detailed read. But every step is contingent upon the reader finding a reason to go the next one.

Here's the truth: most investors screen out rather than screen in. Especially if they're overwhelmed and very time constrained as most are.

This means:
• if your business overview looks like it needs to be deciphered - you're out
• if they don't see what they are looking for in a glance - you're out
• if they don't have all the information they need to know -you're iffy

Eliminate objections and pessimism before it arises by explaining in a very well thought-out cover letter what makes your business different - and position it as one that's advantageous to the firm's objectives, if you can.

Your business overview is a screening tool. It's the point person on your investor search. It needs to screen you in, and it needs to do that by being read, not ignored. If you want to get in the door, this is one of the keys that can open it.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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References

TheFunded.com Advice

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-07-03

Tags: Closing Due Diligence References

PUBLIC:

A venture capitalist told me today that he passes on a number of investments because of bad references. He mentioned a specific instance where a former employer thought the manager in question was "a criminal" and another case where he learned that the group of founders were "fighting among themselves" to see who would run the company. In addition, the venture capitalist went on to say that in such cases, venture funds generally "just pass" without giving a good reason, since it is difficult to explain the reference context without giving away confidences.

This brings up a very important point that I have learned from personal experience: venture capitalists do both soft and hard references, and these references will haunt you one way or another. The "hard references" are the ones that you provide. The "soft references," which can include dozens of individuals, are people within your industry, potentially competitors, that they call in an off the "record format." In some cases, the calls you get from associates trying to learn about your business may be an industry research or reference call in disguise. So, what can you do" Members, read on...

PRIVATE: Members Only (1824 Characters)

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Outcomes of Early Stage Funding Meeting

TheFunded.com Advice

Posted by Anonymous on 2011-06-05

Tags: Early Stage

PUBLIC:

Most folks look at the funding meeting as having a “yes/no” outcome. It is much more realistic to recognize that there are many outcomes:

Funder Doesn’t Get It/ Like It:
1) Don’t get it - go away
2) Don't get it - but I'll learn more

Funder Gets It:
1) Get It, but not are my area of investment – will contact Mr./Mrs. XYZ on your behalf and suggest that they meet with you
2) Get It – I’ll give you some $$ - and I’ll let you run the company until you screw up
3) Get It – I’ll give you some $$ - and I’ll let you run the company until Point XYZ – at which time we’ll bring in a new CEO
4) Get It – I’ll give you some $$ - but I want my EIR to run it from Day One
5) Get It – I won’t give you $$ - but I like what you are doing so much I’ll
a. Tell one of my portfolio companies to do what you are doing
b. I’ll build it myself

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Eliminate Capital Gains Tax on Small Business Investment?

TheFunded.com Discussion

Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-27

Tags: TheFunded.com Taxes Capilizationital Gains Tax

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The Gift of Not Getting Funded (Early)

TheFunded.com Advice

Posted by calbin on 2009-11-04

Tags: Funding Sources Recommendations

PUBLIC:

Initially my business partner and I were so enamored with our idea that we didn't get feedback from our potential cutomers. This lead to a two year journey that should have taken 6 months.

Early on my partner and I said that we were not going to put our families in jeopardy for our venture. No credit cards. No risky loans. No robbing our 401k. We stuck by that and it was a wise choice.

From the outset we received tons of accolades from friends and family so we went to investors who said they liked our idea but couldn't figure out who was going to pay for it. The gift came in two forms 1) Not getting funding early which would have almost certainly been spent on a dead end road and 2) forcing us to make our idea stronger and better.

What our lack of funding made us do is go back to basics. We know we had the seed of a good idea but struggled to come up with a sustainable model. Along with lots of hard work we talked with potential customers and came up with a solid way to generate revenue. Our potential customers are now signing letters of support saying they like our product and find it beneficial for their business and are willing to be contacted by investors. We have never had this in previous attempts to raise money and now feel confident in our plan.

A potential investor we met early on who now heads an angel fund believes in our new plan and is working to get us funding. Our CA lawyer helped us craft a very sharp executive summary and in the next few weeks will begin making warm introductions.

Don't despair if you haven't gotten funded yet. It could be a gift in disguise.

So what I am asking of The Funded community is can you recommend any investors/angels/groups/VC's in the consumer space (specifically investors who might have a penchant for wine)? Thanks in advance and I will keep the community posted.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Not Much Peer to Peer Networking on the Site

TheFunded.com Discussion

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-08

Tags: TheFunded.com Resources peer to peer

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Do Entrepreneurs Treat Vendors Same/Better/Worse Than VC's Treat Entrepreneurs?

TheFunded.com Discussion

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-06-15

Tags: Venture Business Humor

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A Friendly Holiday Reminder: Be Nice!

TheFunded.com Discussion

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-11-22

Tags: Venture Business Humor

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Silicon Valley the New Research Triangle Park (Rtp)

TheFunded.com Discussion

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-03-24

Tags: Venture Business Culture

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Unified Source of Information about When VC's Raised Funds?

TheFunded.com Discussion

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-02-11

Tags: Funding Sources Fund Diligence

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Determining Valuatation for First Round

TheFunded.com Discussion

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-01-29

Tags: Negotiation Valuation Early Stage