Posted by Eric Schnell - Steaz on 2008-11-18
The honeymoon after closing our deal in April 08 is over and we have made it through 3 successful BOD meetings already. I am happy to report that everything we had believed we'd be gaining in terms of global beverage smarts, big picture thinking on how to best market and position our brand for a future exit as well as connecting us with large retail and distribution opportunities have all proven to be right on track with early bets we made on our new equity partners.
Erich Sieber was our main point of contact throughout the initial process of vetting the deal, due diligence and negotiations of our agreement and I have to say it was a much smoother and friendlier processs than I had anticipated with an investment group half way around the world from us. We were able to close the deal, start to finish, in just under 4 months. That was the time frame we needed them to commit to get the deal done and Erich kept his side on track the entire time to meet our need of closing prior to beverage season. Due in part to how well we worked together during these months, and the fact that Erich comes with a ton of relevant experience working in the global beverage sector, I was very happy to find he'd ultimately be on our BOD. For myself and my team "chemistry" is everything with anyone we choose to work closely with.
Gunnar and Wolfgang took an active interest in our brand from day one too and both have lent valuable input at the BOD level as well as whenever our senior management team needs to reach out and gain their perspective on some of the bigger decisions we are challenged with. Gunnar is particularly insightful on the strategy and marketing side of our business and Wolfgang has some of the best financial experience under his belt we have ever come across in the business world. As a mid size beverage brand focused mainly on marketing and distribution for 5 years, our "finance department" was one area we needed to get better structure around immediatelly!
Our goal with going the VC/PE route for this round of funding was truly steeped in finding the right type of strategic partners that would add ultimate "value" to our business, not just money. Between the 3 teamates we gained at Inventages, combined with my existing BOD and senior management, we feel we have just the right team now to help us build the next great global beverage brand.PRIVATE: Members Only (305 Characters)
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-01-25
This was our first pitch to a VC / PE group, and whilst the pitch wasn't successful, we were reasonably impressed with Inventages.
Our two key contacts, Serge Salager and Wolfgang Reichenberger, were really helpful at identifying gaps in our pitch and tightening up our story.
At the meeting in Geneva, we were impressed by the marketing savvy of Bogdan von Ruchmann, and we found Oxana polite and incisive.
Less sure about the big boss, Gunnar, who seemed pretty disinterested and distracted, and appears to hold most of the sway.
But overall, a decent group, with strong beverage experience and marketing nous, who turned what could've been just a big time-drain into a useful learning experience.
Posted by Vesuvius on 2008-05-23
You gotta wonder about a Swiss fund, run by Germans which needs an offshore tax haven (in Bahamian shark-infested waters). Giant ego at the top who with his blonde hair, suntan and blue eyes could play the villian in a Bond movie.
Former CFO of Nestle is a Senior partner and now lives in the Bahamas. Nestle is also the evergreen source of funds. Nice retirement package. Fastest growing investment team around, fabulous management fees.
Aki in Auckland is a great fellow. Open, straightforward and not arrogant, its a wonder he fits in. Oxana, an investment manager is a delight to work with.
Unbelievably one-sided termsheets with every trick in the book to screw over management. Full ratchets, ridiculous liquidation preferences, endless protective provisions, punitive antidilution clauses. Ask their coinvestors about their experiences and how keen they are to syndicate with them in the future.PRIVATE: Members Only (199 Characters)