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TAG: Crisis

17
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1
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The VC Apocalypse: Careful with Your Time

TheFunded.com Advice

Posted by Doe on 2009-03-08

Tags: Pitching Economy Crisis

PUBLIC:

Fellow entrepreneurs, most VCs are unable to complete capital calls and, therefore, are unable to make new investments. This includes everyone from name brand funds to small funds, and it does not matter if they recently closed a new fund or not. If you are pitching a venture fund, there are two critical pieces of information that you need to know before wasting time with meetings, diligence, and faux terms:

- First, has the fund made an investment in a company that was not already in the portfolio in 2009, and, if so, which company?

- Second, has the fund completed a successful capital call in 2009?

Is the answer is 'no' to either of these questions or the fund is uncomfortable discussing these matters, then don't bother pitching them and move on. Why? Between the dismal exit history, defecting LPs, worthless secondary markets, and massive position devaluations, venture firms are facing an apocalypse right now. The whole concept of 'venture capital' as an asset class is being re-evaluated by accountants worldwide, and the outcome of that work does not look good for venture capitalists.

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9
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0
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The Collapse of the VC Ecosystem & What It Will Look Like Post Recovery

TheFunded.com Advice

Posted by fnazeeri on 2009-03-08

Tags: Venture Business Crisis

PUBLIC:

I wrote this post on how the VC market is imploding which is not news to anyone on TheFunded, but I tried to take it a step further and talk about what it will look like post recovery. I read a great post on Seth Godin's blog about how everyone talks about the "crisis in our face" but not the "crisis in the distance." Anyway, here's a crack...let me know what you think.

PRIVATE: Members Only

8
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2
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The Obama Administration Has It All Wrong

TheFunded.com Discussion

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-03-06

Tags: Venture Business Economy Crisis

7
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3
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Just Get Through 2009

TheFunded.com Advice

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-12-04

Tags: Operations Crisis Burn Rate

PUBLIC:

I'm fundraising right now and it is absolutely brutal. I want to to tell all entrepreneurs, "Fight through this. You can raise capital." But that isn't true. You may not be able to raise capital until 2010 no matter how good your product or company is. It is not a reflection of you, just the external factors that are largely out of your control.

Survive until 2010 and position your company to take off as the next economic cycle does. These things always come back. While it is bad now, it will eventually get better. The Wall Street guys will get tired of losing money and companies will start hiring again.

I hope I am wrong. (Boy, do I hope I'm wrong.) Maybe Obama will follow through on his plan to eliminate capital gains tax on investments to startups. That would help us immensely. But I have heard nothing about that since it was mentioned during the campaign.

PRIVATE: Members Only

6
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Layoffs are Coming to Venture Capital Soon

TheFunded.com Advice

Posted by fnazeeri on 2009-01-04

Tags: Venture Business Crisis

PUBLIC:

I just got off the phone with a friend who is founder/CEO of an early stage medical device company. His company is doing well and recently received a couple of term sheets for his first institutional round. As he was going through the process of negotiating with the potential investors, he said they were trying to set his expectations low. He told me a story about how one investor recounted tales of startups making mass layoffs, cutting back everywhere and generally dire conditions (basically sending the message that he should be happy to be getting an offer).

So my friend responded, "Wow, that sounds terrible. This must be really affecting you badly...how many people have you had to layoff here""

The VC stared at him with a bewildered look.

Read more here.

PRIVATE: Members Only (2185 Characters)

6
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Startup Failures on the Rise

TheFunded.com Advice

Posted by fnazeeri on 2008-12-05

Tags: Operations Bankruptcy Crisis

PUBLIC:

I just finished writing this post about how startup failures are up. Not surprisingly Q4 2008 (already) is the biggest month for startup failures in the past 10 quarters.

PRIVATE: Members Only (603 Characters)

6
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Not Sequoia's Presentation

TheFunded.com Discussion

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-10-20

Tags: Venture Business Crisis

5
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CEOs Being Removed

TheFunded.com Discussion

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-06-26

Tags: Operations Crisis Incompetence

5
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K Waves, an Interesting Perspective on Where We are at with the Current Crisis

TheFunded.com Discussion

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-02-09

Tags: Venture Business Crisis Economy

5
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1
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Warning: "Inside" Rounds

TheFunded.com Advice

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-01-25

Tags: Funding Sources Strategy Valuation Crisis

PUBLIC:

As it is becoming harder to raise capital from venture capitalists, existing investors are facing situations where they need to lead new rounds in their own portfolio companies. This presents a big problem for valuations, especially if an investor only has convertible debt. Recently, I've heard a few stories about existing investors promising to lead a round, then pulling out or dramatically changing the terms. Worse, investors will sometimes string you along with a singed term sheet until you are out of cash, and then completely change the deal to take control.

Here are some tips if you think that you are going to need money in the next 18 months.

Know where insiders stand: You need to know where if your insiders will participate or lead a new financing event, and you should also ask them what their specific expectations are for your company performance. Assume that any inside round will be flat.

Pursue other options: Even if your insiders agree to lead a round, you should do your best to have an alternative financing option available. You will never get a fair price for your equity from insiders, since they are pricing, selling, and buying the equity at the same time and since they see all the warts and bruises.

Raise now, not later: Don't wait to raise money. Raising will take twice as long and will be twice as hard in this market. Try to raise enough capital to operate for more than 48 months, if you can.

When in doubt, do debt: If things are not moving fast enough and you have only three or four months worth of cash left, press your existing investors to do a convertible debt round that will give you eight to twelve months of low growth operating capital.

Insider sheet to attract outsiders: If everything else is failing, you may want to have your insiders draft a term sheet with a lot of room for new investors to participate. It's often easier to find outside investors with a "legitimate" term sheet in hand.

Good luck!

PRIVATE: Members Only

5
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Sequoia CEO Warning Letter: Irresponsible or Cunning?

TheFunded.com Discussion

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-14

Tags: Venture Business Crisis

4
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0
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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

4
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0
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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

4
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0
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Economic Stimulus

TheFunded.com Discussion

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-02-07

Tags: Venture Business Economy Crisis

4
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0
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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!

PRIVATE: Members Only

4
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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

4
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0
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Triage

TheFunded.com Advice

Posted by fnazeeri on 2008-10-12

Tags: Operations Crisis

PUBLIC:

http://www.altgate.com/blog/2008/10/triage.html

I just wrote this post on how venture investors decide which companies in their portfolio to let die, continue to fund or leave alone.

PRIVATE: Members Only (888 Characters)

4
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1
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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)

2
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0
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Atlas Ventures Crash & Burns

TheFunded.com Discussion

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-02-03

Tags: Venture Business Crisis

2
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0
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Great Article in forbes: "Venture Capital's Coming Collapse"

TheFunded.com Discussion

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-12-31

Tags: Venture Business Crisis

2
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0
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The Toughest Time

TheFunded.com Discussion

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-01

Tags: Operations Crisis

2
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2
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Lessons From the Last Crash

TheFunded.com Advice

Posted by fnazeeri on 2008-10-27

Tags: Operations Crisis

PUBLIC:

It's pretty rare that during a crash and recession there are employees and managers with recent experience on how to handle the situation. Well, the "good news" with the Great Depression 2.0 is that a whole bunch of us have relatively fresh experience. Last time the financial grenade went off in our lap. This time, we're collateral damage, which means it should be less painful assuming similar size crashes (which is looking less and less like a valid assumption).

In any event, here are some lessons I learned from the last time through this mess:

MORE

PRIVATE: Members Only (4266 Characters)

2
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Sereis C Investment

TheFunded.com Discussion

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-07-09

Tags: Negotiation Strategy Terms Crisis

1
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1
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Radically Reinventing Venture Capital

TheFunded.com Discussion

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-01-23

Tags: Venture Business Strategy Crisis

1
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0
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Funding Through the Credit Crunch

TheFunded.com Discussion

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-01-17

Tags: Funding Sources Angels Crisis