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I met with Gil at DFJ's offices in London. I began my pitch and he quickly began asking about the customer acquisition costs vs profit. He said his experience with another company in a similar space as ours taught him that the customer acquisition costs would be the biggest problem we'd face. At the time if felt pretty negative meeting as he found some holes but within 24hrs of the meeting we'd changed our target customer and are now looking much healthier. We probably wont even need VC funding now and I'm grateful to Gil for his time, insight and no bullsh1t approach. If you want to hear how clever you are then by all means go ask your mum. If you want a VC's experienced view of your business, Gil's opinion is certainly as good as anyone else's and in our case his difficult questions led to some serious revisions to our business model.
not sure but there should be a deadpool/life support list especially for a firms reference deals. Last time I checked Plextronics was in chapter 11.
GV was one of 4 VCs/MicroVCs that funded my last company. GV was spectacular once the deal was done. (Lawyers were a PITA getting started, though.) Once in, it was total access, with them giving 5x more help than the next best VC. Help in recruiting, help with design, help with PR, help with engineering. Classes all the time available to portfolio companies, archived. Just spectactular.
Website says all applicants get feedback. Not so.
Private: 761 Chars
I have had two experiences with Lux and both are good / excellent. I met Shahin at a pitch contest (which I won) and he referred me to his colleague in the East Coast who specializes in my area (3D printing). I had a pitch with Zack Schildhorn over the internet (He's East Cost/I am west Coast). We had a lot of technical glitches getting the presentation going over the internet (Skype, then Meetings IO etc) but he was very cordial till we got things working correctly. Very smart and very intelligent partner. Clearly knows the 3D space very well. Although he felt we were not a perfect fit, he was very receptive and asked excellent insightful questions and the call went 15 minutes past the 1 hour originally scheduled. He gave some great advise on how to improve the pitch. He passed me a couple of potential (investor) leads and one strategic lead and even provided the email addresses for the two that he was in contact with (Tier 1 VC)
He was extremely complimentary of the technology but said that they are not doing relatively early stage hardware at this stage. I highly recommend both Shahin and Zack.
Note: It seems they divide things internally by sector rather than by geography
Pitched a series D to Harrick. Very impatient and arrogant in the meeting. He dug in to diligence, and sent a "decline to invest" note. When i thanked him for the follow up and asked to understand the reasons (my standard MO) he answered "I'm too busy."
Really, i just spent hours to come to your office, explain my business, provide you with due diligence, and you won't take 5 minutes to tell me why you won't invest so i can learn from it?
From their website:
**As of December 31, 2012 Panorama Capital is no longer making new investments.
Got to a "yes" with Jo and Eric @ Kepha - and ended up going with them. Fairly solid terms, not too painful of a process (e.g., pitching, diligence). Jo and Eric are quite different from each other but bring distinct insight and value to an early stage company. Jo asks great (and tough) questions and Eric's experience as an operator (enterprise software) has been valuable.
They run a lean/small shop, carrying a relatively large portfolio, so, there are not a lot of spare cycles for roll your sleeves up-type help. For us, this was not a deal breaker.
Net: a great experience with a firm that fit our stage and needs.
Private: 115 Chars
Cliche zero response VC behavior after meeting and pitching....literally... no response post meeting, not even an email.
Intro was made via a solid contact (highly connected to their team) yet after pitch meeting we got no response, highly unprofessional behavior and massive waste of time.
This....is why large funds who do not value entrepreneur relationships across SV will cease to exist in the coming years.