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Get Their Hands Dirty

Fund: Blumberg Capital

Posted by BayAreaStartup on 2011-10-09

PUBLIC:

My company took funding from Blumberg Capital, and it has been an tremendously positive experience so far. I thought I'd group my feedback in terms of my impression of Blumberg Capital during the pitch and term sheet process, and then the feedback on what it is like to work with them as one of their portfolio companies.

Pitch process and Term sheet:
We ended up going with Blumberg Capital in large part due to the way the conducted themselves during our pitch process. More so than other VCs with whom we met, our entire team felt that the Blumberg team really wanted to get to know us on a very personal level. This included multiple trips to our office with their entire team, and a desire to get to know everyone on the team (not just management). This made the process seem much less transactional and much more like a true partnership and relationship.

Some of these meetings seemed much more like collaborative brainstorming exercises than evaluative pitches. I liked this because it allowed me to gauge what they would be like to work with, how they were thinking about our business long-term, and how receptive to our ideas and passion they would be.

In terms of the term sheet, I found them to be extremely reasonable. They were completely transparent in what their motivation was, what their terms of highest priority were, and how much flexibility they had. I also found that they were very open to creative ideas in how to meet both of our needs and develop alternative structures that might be more mutually beneficial. This also enforced our decision to go with Blumberg, since we did not want to start an investor relationship that was steeped in tension or feelings of being cheated / competitive.

Post-funding Working Relationship:
Again this has been very positive. I see Blumberg Capital's greatest strengths to be:
(1) Hands on (in a good way): there are hundreds of ways in which the Blumberg team has helped us out. This has included:
* attending a conference with us to help pound the pavement and get sales leads
* spending hours (literally) looking through their list of contacts and facilitating intros for purposes of sales and feedback
* sitting in on a sales pitch to help convince an ad agency, as well as provide direct feedback on how we can improve our slaes pitch (this was at my request)
* reviewing contracts and partnership agreements to provide feedback on how to strengthen our position
* joining for brainstorming sessions (multiple times) to add another perspective and collaborate on different company issues

The amount of time and effort they are willing to spend on this is truly amazing, and VERY a-typical for an investor. I definitely feel that I get cooperation, help, and assistance in a way that I would not expect for this level of investor (very similar to an angel investor in some ways in this respect)

(2) Network - David is especially a strong networker and constant company ally. He is constantly referring people, friends, and acquaintances to our company, and I can tell that we are constantly on his mind and he is looking for other people who an assist in what we're doing.

Overall, they've been a pleasure to deal with and very entrepreneur friendly.

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