Startup AddVenture 2013 - Evan Nisselson - Bringing your European Startup to the US


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Startup AddVenture 2013 was held in Kyiv, Ukraine December 4th and 5th. It is the largest and most important startup event of the year in Central and Eastern Europe.

Evan Nisselson - Partner, LDV Capital
For many startups in Europe eventually coming to the US to fund raise, open to the US market, or completely move the company is a major milestone. Though the ecosystem in Europe is maturing, the force of the largest economy and the center of the startup universe in the US is hard to ignore. Evan Nisselson graciously gives his time to many European accelerators and events. He started multiple international companies and now heads LDV Capital an Angel fund in New York. He has advised numerous startups on how to look at the US market.

Startup AddVenture returns to Kyiv December 3rd and 4th, 2014 -

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Startup AddVenture 2013 - Evan Nisselson - Bringing your European Startup to the US

  1. 1. European Startups: If, When, Why, Where, How to raise $ in the U.S. Wednesday, December 4, 2013
  2. 2. Evan Nisselson @nisselson Entrepreneur ~19yrs: Silicon Valley, NYC, Europe LDV Capital $1M Fund, $25-50K + follow-on $ Focus: Digital Imaging/Video Tech & B2B SaaS Geography: Europe, U.S. Portfolio: Today 5 co’s; Croatia, Sweden, Canada, U.S. Mentor: 500Startups,, Techpeaks, Mind The Bridge, Lisbon Challenge, Tetuan Valley Madrid,, NY Seed Wednesday, December 4, 2013
  3. 3. What is my Goal? Wednesday, December 4, 2013
  4. 4. Be Creative Wednesday, December 4, 2013
  5. 5. Wednesday, December 4, 2013 Solve Problems
  6. 6. Wednesday, December 4, 2013 Have Fun!
  7. 7. Make money while I sleep Wednesday, December 4, 2013
  8. 8. European Startups: If, Why, When, Where, How To Raise capital in the US? Wednesday, December 4, 2013
  9. 9. The goal is not raising money! Wednesday, December 4, 2013
  10. 10. Money is a means to an end! Wednesday, December 4, 2013
  11. 11. Case Studies: Estonia, Sweden, Czech, Slovenia, Croatia, UK 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Wednesday, December 4, 2013 Local customer validation Local accelerator and/or, Angel Investors with domain expertise U.S. Growth Opportunity Positive growth trend Entrepreneur DNA = Hustle
  12. 12. Apiary Team: Czech Republic Apiary is a developer tools platform helping companies build web API’s Team: Deep tech expertise - Springboard Accelerator = Techstars Europe - Launched Invite-only Alpha product after Accelerator & beta in 14 months - Dec. 2011: No clients, No Revenue, Angel round, $120K Esther Dyson, cofounder Heroku and others - Sept. 2013: ~10K freemium users, no revenue, Seed Round $1.6M, Flybridge, Baseline, Credo(Czech), XG. Why: “Winning over the west-coast US tech market means the rest world will follow. Found local founders & angels who supported us & they made introductions” How: “LOTS of meetings. Lots of intros by many. The key ones - done by fellow founders from startups further along then ours” Advice: “Find local people, ideally founders or angel investors who support you, have them introduce you.” Wednesday, December 4, 2013
  13. 13. Farmeron Croatia & US Farmeron is a B2B SaaS platform helping farmers manage their data online and increase farm results with actionable metrics Team: Farmers May 2011: Created profile Fall 2011: Customers in Croatia; Angel Round: Seedcamp, TAG, 500Startups Winter 2012: First hire in the U.S. May 2012: ~30 customers & ~$10K Monthly Revenue, Seed Round $1.4M, NextView, SoftTech, LDV, and angels Oct. 2012: Launched Product and U.S. customers increasing Why Raise $ in the US: “Most important customers are located in U.S.” How did you Raise $ in US: “Through and referrals to VC’s personal network.” Advice: “Do it only if your customers are actually in the U.S.!” Wednesday, December 4, 2013
  14. 14. Narrative [formerly Memoto] Team: Stockholm, Sweden Narrative clip is a wearable automatic camera making 5 megapixel photos every 30 seconds Team: Serial Entrepreneurs Dec. 2011: 50k euro non-equity loan from Swedish Government July 2012: 500k euro seed from Passion Capital and Angels in Europe Oct. 2012: Launched Kickstarter Campaign April 2013: ~$700K Pre-Order, 300k€ convertible+loan Passion, LDV, SEBank Aug. 2013: ~$1M Pre-Order, 50% US Customers, Series A, 3M€ True Ventures, Passion, LDV Dec. 2013: Shipping to early Kickstarter supporters? 2014: Plan to open US Office Why: “US is a key market for us” How: We were planning to fund raise in Silicon alley but a lot of U.S. VC’s are also coming to Europe. True Ventures pre-empted our fund raise - met with Passion Capital in London, then us in Paris, gave a great term sheet and having a stellar reputation.” Advice: “Either make plans to move U.S., work very hard for several months researching & getting quality intros to firms that do invest in Europe. They are few and very picky.” Wednesday, December 4, 2013
  15. 15. GrabCad Team: Estonia, UK, Boston/US GrabCad helps engineers get products to market faster connecting people, content, tech Team: Mechanical engineers and manufacturing expertise Jan. 2010: Seed €256K Astrec Baltic, Eesti Arengufond, Feb. 2011: Seedcamp August 2010: Launched Beta product March 2011: Techstars Boston [moved execs to Boston] June 2011: ~3000 users, Freemium. Seed $1.1M Matrix, Atlas, NextView, Angels. Jan. 2012: ~4000 users, Series A $4M Matrix Partners, Atlas Venture Oct. 2012: ~250K users, Series B $8.15M CRV, Atlas, NextView, Matrix, David Sacks Nov. 2013: ~950K users Why: “Be close to ecosystem (smart money, customers, talent)” How: “Hustle” Advice: “Move to US, otherwise don’t waste investors or your time. Investors want to be close to you so they can help you. Wednesday, December 4, 2013
  16. 16. Transferwise Team: UK, England Transferwise is an online peer to peer money transfer platform Team: Banking and peer to peer expertise March 2010: Founded company January 2011: Beta Launch August 2011: Seedcamp April 2012: Revenue ~1K, Seed, $1.3M IA Ventures, Index, TAG, Max Levchin/Paypal, Errol Damelin/Wonga, David Yu/Betfair... May 2013: Revenue ~10K British Pounds, Series A: Valar Ventures [Peter Thiel], SV Angel, IA, Index, Kima Why: “Better investors. Better Terms” How: “By showing great customer satisfaction and more than 20% month over month growth” Advice: “Have a great growth story.” Wednesday, December 4, 2013
  17. 17. Zemanta Team: Slovenia, NYC Zemanta recommends your content to a diverse network of engaged communities around the web, bringing new readers to your site. Team: Deep expertise in product and tech Sept. 2007: Angel Round $100K Seedcamp, TAG March 2008: Product Launch and added ~10k active users yearly until 2010. July 2008: Seed Round $1.5M Sept. 2008: $750K Union Square Ventures, Eden Ventures Nov. 2013: $2M Union Square Ventures, Social Starts. Why: “because the U.S. will ultimately be our market and we wanted to be closer to our customers - advertisers. ” How: “We were meeting vc's at events in 2008, Fred Wilson asked to join the already closed round and we accommodated.” Advice: “You need to tell your idea to 1000 people, to hit 200 relevant ones, 1-2 actually have the power to do something life-changing for your company.” Wednesday, December 4, 2013
  18. 18. Summary If: CEO DNA = Hustle, Coachable, Domain Expert, Passionate Local Customer validation and growth trend Local early investors Large addressable market in the US Why: Need expansion capital for US Sales, Marketing, Dev. Need a U.S. office and U.S. employees to grow business When: After validated locally Customer growth trend locally and U.S. Local Accelerator graduate helps but not mandatory Wednesday, December 4, 2013
  19. 19. Summary Where: Where your customers are! Where the best new team members can be hired. How: Target investors with domain knowledge Co-founder will be based in U.S. or at least frequent U.S. trips Tech team remains in Europe Sales and business team planned for U.S. Leverage early investors Hustle!!! Wednesday, December 4, 2013
  20. 20. Only ~1% Raise Capital Wednesday, December 4, 2013
  21. 21. Hustle = “No” really means “Not Now” Wednesday, December 4, 2013
  22. 22. Lets help each other, Solve problems, Be creative, Have fun, Improve the world we live in, Make money while we sleep. #carpediem Wednesday, December 4, 2013
  23. 23. Love the Living of Life @nisselson Wednesday, December 4, 2013
  24. 24. Wednesday, December 4, 2013