David Heinemeier Hansson

In the abstract, economic sense, a 30% chance of making $3M is as good as a 3% chance of making $30M is as good as a 0.3% chance at making $300M. But in the concrete sense, you generally have to make your pick: Which coupon is the one for you?

The strategies employed to pursue the 30% for $3M are often in direct opposition to the … [ Read more ]

David Heinemeier Hansson

People who make lots of little bets on many potential unicorns have christened themselves angels. Angels? Really? You’ve plucked your self-serving moniker from the parables of a religion that specifically and explicitly had its head honcho throw the money men out of the temple and proclaim a rich man less likely to make it into heaven than a camel through a needle’s eye. Okay then!

[…]

Angels … [ Read more ]

How We Raised a $7 Million Series A from Foundry Group — our Top Choice VC

Ultimately, fundraising success requires:

fundraising execution + a compelling story/vision + evidence of traction + sheer determination + good fortune (luck)

This article focuses on the first of these five variables: fundraising execution. Below I lay out a 7 step framework to guide you through your fundraising process, and share some lessons learned having now successfully raised money for three separate ventures (and made plenty of mistakes … [ Read more ]

Seed Fundraising — How to Get a Meeting

The first part of fundraising is getting the meeting and 90% of startups fail at this point. Here’s how to make sure you get meetings with the right investors.

16 Definitions on the Economics of VC

Scott Kupor of Andreessen Horowitz attempts to clear some of the opacity of how the VC industry works, by defining some basic terms, beginning with a bit of history.

Common Startup Timing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

There’s a lot of advice on the web about what to do once you’ve raised money, but not when to do it. This is unfortunate, because poor timing can kill a company. This post will describe some common timing issues, as well as a framework for avoiding them.

The Law of Large Numbers

Rafe Furst of Quantitative VC uses data analysis and poker references to try to understand if VCs are good at investing in startups or if it is all just luck.

Marc Andreessen at Startup School 2016

In his conversation with YC Partner and COO Qasar Younis, Marc outlined two tests investors run on entrepreneurs before working with them. Later in the conversation Qasar asked Marc who he looks up to.

When Is a “Mark” Not a Mark? When It’s a Venture Capital Mark.

The WSJ wrote a story on venture capital returns that claims “Andreessen Horowitz’s Returns Trail Venture-Capital Elite.” Andreessen Horowitz’s Scott Kupor offers a rebuttal by explaining how arcane and obtuse venture capital valuations can be.

Jessica Livingston

We often get emails from startups saying “we’re running out of money, so we’re going to raise a series A now.” As if it were like making a second trip to the ATM. And when we ask how they’re doing, the answer is usually a combination of slow growth and high expenses. We have to tell them they have no hope of raising a series … [ Read more ]

31 Investor Questions Startups Should Be Prepared to Answer

I’ve heard thousands of investors ask tens of thousands of questions. I’ve also learned that startups’ answers to these questions can be far more insightful than a rehearsed pitch. This is a list of the most frequently asked investor questions.

Geoff Ralston

Investors write checks when the idea they hear is compelling, when they are persuaded that the team of founders can realize its vision, and that the opportunity described is real and sufficiently large. When founders are ready to tell this story, they can raise money. And usually when you can raise money, you should.

Sam Altman

You should raise money when you need it or when it’s available on good terms. Be careful not to lose your sense of frugality or to start solving problems by throwing money at them. Not having enough money can be bad, but having too much money is almost always bad.

Investors and Their Incentives

It is incredibly important to understand the incentives of investors when you are raising money. This used to be fairly easy – you raised money from Venture Capitalists who wanted to see a big return on their investment. The best of these investors were incredibly focused on doing the one thing they did well: investing in technology companies.

The world looks different now. There are a … [ Read more ]

7 Benefits Your VC Should Provide

Every entrepreneur can expect their venture investors to bring seven main benefits to the table. If you already have venture investors, you can use this article as-is. If you are currently considering fundraising, reverse it and ask prospective investors if they are able to support you in these key areas. If not, ask yourself if you’re talking to the right people.

Mark Suster

I believe firmly in capital efficiency in the early days of a startup. It forces innovation. It forces the founder to spend time in front of customers. It forces teams not to expand too quickly. I know it’s easier said than done when capital is floating around and feels like it will ease up everything. I don’t blame you for taking more than you need. … [ Read more ]

How Venture Capital Works

The U.S. venture-capital industry is envied throughout the world as an engine of economic growth. Although the collective imagination romanticizes the industry, separating the popular myths from the current realities is crucial to understanding how this important piece of the U.S. economy operates. For entrepreneurs (and would-be entrepreneurs), such an analysis may prove especially beneficial.

You Can’t Judge Market Size by This Slide

As investors, we’re considering the total addressable market for a given product or service immediately upon hearing a vision for it: How many users and/or customers are there for this?

Slapping billions or tens of billions of dollars with a title and maybe an asterisk-attributed source on a slide will either be glossed over or, in some cases, actually be detrimental. Every VC has seen … [ Read more ]