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We were offered terms and rejected them. We had another meeting in NYC the same day or would not have met with them. I went through the steps to do diligence on GHV to determine whether it was a legitimate opportunity to raise money for our company and determined that it was not.
We rejected GHV terms because:
-They were asking us for money.
-They agreed to provide references, but would never provide them when pressed.
-They were not engaged enough to understand our forecasting leading us to think that they didn't care.
-They would not commit to a valuation. Their contract placed valuation at the discretion of a third party allegedly paid by GHV.
-They refused to put dates and process around the diligence process.
-I could find no record of their ownership of any of the companies they identify as portfolio companies.
-They meet in shared space in the Chrysler building. Not in itself an issue, but they have absolutely no footprint. The space appears to be rented temporarily as needed.
My gut was that Manny's real business is skimming around 15K from start-ups in a "diligence" process that never happens. I was able to confirm with the associate who made our initial contact and is no longer with the firm that in two years of working there he had seen no closed investments and thought that something illegal was happening. I reported the details of our interaction with GHV to the SEC enforcement division.
The Javelin team has been super helpful at all stages, from pitching our Series A to growth hacking. We love working with them, look forward to board meetings, and have nothing but positive things to say about the managing partners Jed and Noah.
Private: 55 Chars
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.