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Great Fund, Several Stars

Fund: Atlas Venture

Posted by cereal on 2008-01-17

PUBLIC:

I give Atlas high marks, not because they have funded some great companies I know (including one of mine), but because I have seen their team execute before, during, and after the deal.

Atlas has some great hardworking partners, and I can personally recommend Axel Bichara, Eric Jerpe, and Jeff Fagnan. But honestly, the entire team (I don't know about the biotech folks at all) has helped us at some point.

I have relied on the team and my Atlas investors for crucially important advice and support. It doesn't come up that often, but when we really need to execute an op at warp speed, they really mobilize each and every time.

The most important contribution, in my opinion, has been help in recruiting top talent. Like any startup, we grow in bursts, and we need top talent, and we need to move quickly. These guys really scramble then. Excellent. There are several positions we filled, where Atlas guys made the difference - totally sealing the deal. Some key hires took months, and I know some Atlas partners who have phenomenal endurance. Jeff Fagnan could push a car up a mountain. My team has to work hard, so I like to see investors who do too.

Inside Atlas are some partners investing aggressively in wild, early-stage plays. It seems like they are funding really interesting deals these days. I recommend snooping around the partner directory, or asking around, as some of the partners are doing very early-stage deals in interesting spaces. Atlas is a big firm, so it is important to get a partner who is a good fit for you and your company.

I have watched Atlas drive several great deals to exit with some companies I know (and with founders I know). And they worked with the founders on those to make sure they were happy with the timing and the structure. They work with me and my founders (and our CEO), to make sure we stay happy too.

Oh and I can always get a hold of them instantly and they are on time (early actually) for our meetings. So I don't know what that other post was about.

Diligence took a while, but we were a radical company raising a Round A in a tough economy. Deal terms were tough but fair. The negotiation process went fine. We had a term sheet for higher valuation and better terms, but the Atlas team more than made up for a slightly lower valuation. In hind sight, a no brainer win for us.

Two thumbs up. I would work with Atlas again (and again).

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