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Lean, Little Cockroach Startup

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slides from my talk at AAMA Meet Startup Conf (Taipei, June 2015)

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Lean, Little Cockroach Startup

  1. Investing in Tech Startups & Building Startup Ecosystems “Be a Lean Little Cockroach Startup!” @DaveMcClure @500Startups http://500.co Taipei, June 2015
  2. Dave McClure
 Founding Partner & Chief Troublemaker, 500 Startups 00’s & 10’s: • VC: Founders Fund, Facebook fbFund, 500 Startups • Angel: Mashery, Mint.com, SlideShare, Twilio, Wildfire, SendGrid • Marketing: PayPal, Simply Hired, Mint.com, O’Reilly 80’s & 90’s: • Entrepreneur: Aslan Computing (acq’d by Servinet/Panurgy) • Developer: Windows / SQL DB consultant (Intel, MSFT) • Engineer: Johns Hopkins‘88, BS Eng / Applied Math
  3. • What is 500? – $175M silicon valley VC fund + startup accelerator – 60+ people / 20 investing partners / 12 countries / 20+ languages – Locations: SV/SF, MEX, BRZ, IND, CHN, TWN, KOR, SE Asia, UK, MENA – 2000+ Founders / 200+ Mentors – Community + Content + Conferences • ~1000+ Portfolio Co’s / 50+ Countries – Wildfire (acq GOOG, $350M) – MakerBot (acq SSYS, $400M) – Viki (acq Rakuten, $200M) – Simple (acq BBVA, $117M) – Sunrise (acq MSFT, $100M) – Credit Karma – Twilio – SendGrid – Udemy – TheRealReal – Barkbox – Intercom – TalkDesk 500 Startups
 Global Seed Fund & Startup Accelerator
  4. [ This Talk ] • Changes in Building Technology Startups • Changes in Venture Capital Investing • Building Startup Ecosystems
  5. Before & After 2 Dot-Com Crashes
 LEAN Startup: Simpler, Faster, Cheaper, Smarter Before 2000 ”Big, Fat, Dinosaur Startup” • Sun Servers • Oracle DB • Exodus Hosting • 12-24mo dev cycle • 6-18mo sales cycle • <100M people online • $1-2M seed round • $3-5M Series A • Sand Hill Road crawl After 2008 ”Lean, Little, Cockroach Startup” • AWS, Google, PayPal, FB, TW • Cloud + Open Source SW • Lean Startup / Startup Wknd • 3-90d dev cycle • SaaS / online sales • >3B people online • <$100K incub + <$1M seed • $1-3M Series A • Angel List global visibility
  6. Changes in Tech Startups • LESS Capital required to build product, get to market – Dramatically reduced cost for servers, software, bandwidth – Funding Platforms: KickStarter, Angel List, Funders Club, etc – Access to online platforms for 100M-1B+ consumers, smallbiz, etc • MORE Customers via ONLINE platforms (100M+ users) – Search (Google, Baidu) – Social (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) – Mobile (Apple, Android) – E-Commerce (Amazon, Ebay/PayPal, Alibaba) – Media (YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram) – Comm/Msgs (WeChat/WhatsApp, Email, Voice, SMS, etc) • LOTS of little bets: Accelerators, Angels, Angel List, Small Exits – Capital + Co-working + Mentoring -> Design, Data, Distribution – “Fast, Cheap Fail”, network effects, quantitative + iterative investments
  7. Platforms 2.0
 Search, Social, Mobile, Video, Messaging
  8. Startup Education • Business Plans / Revenue Projections • Software + Design/UX • Lean Startups + Continuous Deploy (Iterate) • Metrics Framework + Continuous Testing • Functional Prototypes / Customer Development • Scalable [Internet] Marketing & Sales • Cash-Flow Positive Unit Economics • Pitching + Fundraising (Angel List) • Monetization + Payments • Customer Service + Support 8
  9. [ This Talk ] • Changes in Building Technology Startups • Changes in Venture Capital Investing • Building Startup Ecosystems
  10. VC Industry Changes • Lean Startup Efficiency, Reduced Capital Costs • Global Market, 3B->6B Internet/Smartphone Access • Billion-People Distribution Platforms, “Growth Hacking” • Improved Monetization, Payments Infrastructure, Logistics • Explosion of “Unicorns”, Large VC Displacing IPOs (ex: A16Z) • Micro VC: Seed Funds (ex: First Round Capital) • Global Market of Angels, Accelerators (ex: YC, 500), Acquirers • Startup Ecosystems, Funding Platforms (ex: Angel List, Kickstarter) more info: http://PreMoney.co
  11. Investor Education • Startups are NOT Real Estate • Most Startups Fail / Power Law Returns • Portfolio Approach (20-50+ investments) • Legal Structure, Financial Structure • Syndication + Co-Investment • Access to Downstream Capital • Exits & Liquidity 11
  12. Portfolio Diversification “Spray, not Pray”
  13. 500 Strategy: Lots of Little Bets* 1) make lots of little bets on pre-traction, early-stage startups 3) wait 3-10 years for returns: -10-20% small exits @1-5X ($5-25M+) -5-10% larger exits @5-20X ($25-250M+) -1-2% unicorns @20-50X+ ($250M-1B+) *See Peter Sims book: “Little Bets” 2) over the next 2 years, double-down on top 20%
  14. The Lean Investor Make lots of little bets: • Start with many small “experiments” • Filter out failures + small wins • Double-down on stuff that looks like it’s working • Incubation: $0-100K (“Build & Validate Product”) • Seed: $100K-$1M (“Test & Grow Marketing Channels””) • Venture: $1M-$10M (“Maximize Growth & Revenue”)
  15. Startup Risk Reduction Concept Early Customer Usage Scalable Customer Acquisition [about to be] Profitable Unit Economics Scalable Profitable Business Functional Prototype PRODUCT MARKET REVENUE Exit? When 500 Likes to Invest
  16. Investment Stage #1: 
 Product Validation + Customer Usage • Structure – 1-3 founders – $25-$100K investment – Incubator environment: multiple peers, mentors/advisors • Test Functional Prototype / “Minimum Viable Product” (MVP): – Prototype->Alpha, ~3-6 months – Develop Minimal Critical Feature Set => Get to “It Works! Someone Uses It.” – Improve Design & Usability, Setup Conversion Metrics – Test Small-Scale Customer Adoption (10-1000 users) • Demonstrate Concept, Reduce Product Risk, Test Functional Use • Develop Metrics & Filter for Possible Future Investment
  17. Investment Stage #2: 
 Market Validation + Revenue Testing • Structure – 2-10 person team – $100K-$1M investment – Syndicate of Angel Investors / Small VC Funds • Improve Product, Expand Customers, Test Revenue: – Alpha->Beta, ~6-12 months – Scale Customer Adoption => “Many People Use It, & They Pay.” – Test Marketing Campaigns, Customer Acquisition Channels + Cost – Test Revenue / Unit Economics, Find Profitable Customer Segments • Prove Solution/Benefit, Assess Market Size • Test Channel Cost, Unit Economics, Revenue Opportunity • Determine Org Structure, Key Hires
  18. Investment Stage #3: 
 Revenue Validation + Growth • Structure – 5-25 person team – $1M-$10M investment – Seed & Venture Investors • Make Money (or Go Big), Get to Sustainability: – Beta->Production, 12-24 months – Revenue / Growth => “We Can Make (a lot of) Money!” – Mktg Plan => Predictable Channels / Campaigns + Budget – Scalability & Infrastructure, Customer Service & Operations – Connect with Distribution Partners, Expand Growth • Prove/Expand Market, Operationalize Business • Future Milestones: Profitable/Sustainable, Exit Options
  19. [ This Talk ] • Changes in Building Technology Startups • Changes in Venture Capital Investing • Building Startup Ecosystems
  20. Critical Ecosystem Factors • Optimism & Belief (“Silicon Valley”) • Mentorship + Education (Knowledge) • Universities + Companies (People) • Capital, Legal, Finance (Infrastructure) • Engineering + Design / UX (Product) • Platforms + Distribution (Customers) • Online Payments (Monetization) • IPO / M&A Market (Exits) 20
  21. Investor Ecosystem Angels & Incubators ($0-10M) “Micro-VC” Funds ($10-100M) “Big” VC Funds ($100-500M) “Mega” VC Funds (>$500M) Incubation 0-$100K Seed $100K-$1M Series A/B $2-10M Series B/C $10-50M Bootstrap, KickStarter, AngelList, Crowdfunding stage where 500 writes first checks stage where 500 doubles-down
  22. Example Startup Ecosystem • 1,000 Bootstrap Startups ($0-10K) • = 1,000 Parents/Garages/Basements @ $0-500/mo food+rent • 300 Accelerator Startups ($10-100K) • = 10-20 Accelerators, 20-50 co’s/yr • 100 Seed-Stage Startups ($100K-$1M) • = 5-10 Micro-VC Funds, 10-20 co’s/yr • 30 Series A/B Startups ($1-10M) • = 3-5 Early-Stage Funds, 5-10 co’s/yr • 10 Later-Stage Companies ($10-100M) • = 2-3 Later-Stage Funds, 3-5 co’s/yr • 1-3 Mature Company IPOs ($100M+) 22 TOUGH BUT CRITICAL
  23. Questions? Comments? • More? – http://500.co (our company) – http://500hats.com (my blog) – https://angel.co/500startups (our fund & syndicates) – Dave McClure, @DaveMcClure

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