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500 Startups
to 500 VCs
Dave McClure
January 2016
Honolulu, HI
Dave McClure

Founding Partner & Troublemaker, 500 Startups
00’s & 10’s:
• VC: Founders Fund, Facebook fbFund, 500 Startups
• Angel: Mashery, Mint.com, SlideShare, Twilio
• Marketing: PayPal, Simply Hired, Mint.com
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
500 Startups

Global Seed VC Fund & Startup Accelerator
• What is 500?
• $200M under management
• 100+ people / 20 Countries
• 3,000+ Founders / 250+ Mentors
• Capital, Education, Community
• #500STRONG
• 1400+ Portfolio Co’s / 50+ Countries
• 3 Unicorns ($1B+)
• Credit Karma
• GrabTaxi
• Twilio
• 50+ exits
• Wildfire (acq GOOG, $350M)
• MakerBot (acq SSYS, $400M)
• Viki (acq Rakuten, $200M)
• 30+ Centaurs ($100M+)
• Udemy
• Ipsy
• SendGrid
• VivaReal
• The RealReal
• TalkDesk
• Intercom
• Virool
• BarkBox
This Talk is About…
• Re-inventing a 50 year old sport
• 500 Startups… WTF?
• 99 VC Problems, But a Batch Ain’t 1
• MoneyBall for Startups: Lots of Little Bets
• 500 VCs, 500 Funds
Re-inventing a
50 year old sport:
Venture Capital 2.0
Football
West Coast
Offense
Baseball
MoneyBall
Basketball
3 point
revolution
Venture
Capital
500 Startups
“Lots of little bets”
500 Strategy: MoneyBall for Startups
Re-inventing a 50-year old sport
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
Platforms 2.0

Search, Social, Mobile,
Video, Messaging
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, SnapChat, Instagram)
– Mobile (Apple, Android)
– E-Commerce (Amazon, Ebay/PayPal, Alibaba)
– Media (YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram)
– Comm/Msgs (WeChat, WhatsApp, Line, SnapChat, 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
500 Startups…
WTF?
500 Startups Mission
1. Find Smart People.
2. Give Them Money.
3. Wait for Good Shit to Happen.
Building Startup Ecosystems
500 Startups Mission
• Provide capital, community, education
to smart people (founders, investors)
• Build functional startup ecosystems
(founders, team, angels, accelerators,
VC funds, capital, exits, liquidity, etc)
• #HFGSD: Have Fun, Get Shit Done.
500 Startups History:
What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been
Year People Locations AUM $ Companies
2010 5 MV 10 75
2011 10 BRZ 30 250
2012 15 MX, IND 50 450
2013 30 CHN, SEA 75 650
2014 50 SF, MENA 125 900
2015 100 Korea, UK, Thailand,
Vietnam, Germany,
Israel, MENA, Japan,
Turkey, E. EU
200 1400
2016 150+ +10-20 More ??? 2000+
500 Startups History:
What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been
500 Startups: a Platform made of People
#500STRONG #500LOVE #HFGSD
100 People, 20 Countries, 25 Languages
500 Startups: “Full-Stack” VC
http://bit.ly/99VCProblems
Portfolio Diversification
“Spray, not Pray”
Q: Chances of spotting
unicorn?/
a) 1%
b) 2%
c) 5%
d) 10%
e) ZERO
Chances of spotting
unicorn = ~1%/
If portfolio size = 15
companies/
/
If portfolio size = 30
companies
/
If portfolio size = 100
companies
500 Strategy:
MoneyBall for Startups
“Lots of Little Bets”
500 Strategy: Lots of Little Bets*
1) make lots (>100) of
investments in early-
stage startups
3) wait 3-10 years for returns:
-10-20% small exits @1-5X (<25M+)
-5-10% larger exits @5-20X ($25-250M+)
-1-2% unicorns @20-50X+ (>$250M-1B+)
*See Peter Sims book: “Little Bets”
2) over next 2 years, double-
down on top 20%
Building Tech Startups
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”)
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
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
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
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
Legal review Partner approval
Angel Pre-Seed Seed Post-Seed Series A/B Growth
Accelerator
Seed
“Distro"
Follow-On
Selection Criteria – Data-Driven Process Based on Pre-defined Metrics
• Product or service solves a problem for a specific target customer
• Capital-efficient business; operational at less than $1M in external financing
• Scalable internet-based distribution (search, social, mobile) or proven ability to scale sales
• Functional prototype required before investing (or previous product success)
• Measurable traction: engaged users, some revenue, and attractive unit economics
• Cross-functional team with design, engineering and marketing expertise
How 500 Invests:
Accelerator, Seed, Distro
500 VCs,
500 Funds
We live in a World of ABUNDANCE
• There are LOTS of talented people in the world
• There are LOTS of entrepreneurs everywhere
• There is a LOT of capital sitting around, BUT….
• Not much is available for un-tested entrepreneurs :(
• 500 Startups plans to change that.
Who, What is an
Entrepreneur?
Who/What is an Entrepreneur?
• someone who WANTS to start a business
• someone who can RUN a business
• someone who can run a SUSTAINABLE business
• someone who can run a PROFITABLE business
that creates VALUE & employs LARGE # people
• someone who can run a $10M/yr business that
employs 100+people
How Big Is The Market?
Q: How Many Entrepreneurs?
• How Many People = 7,000,000,000 on earth
• 1% of Humanity is Entrepreneurial = 70,000,000 founders
• Live 70 years, try at least once = 1,000,000 founders / year
• How Much Do They Need? Zero? $100K? $1M? $10M?
• How Big is the Market = 1M founders x $10M = $10 TRILLION / year
• Come on, REALLY? (ok Divide by 100)
• 100,000 founders / year * $1M each = $100 BILLION / year
How Many VCs?
• How Many Founders? 1,000,000 founders / year
• (ok, divide by 100, let’s say 10,000 founders / year)
• 1 VC can make 20 investments / year
• 10,000 founders / 20 deals per VC = 500 VCs
How to Become a VC
• Option 1: Go to Harvard/Stanford/Wharton, Get MBA,
Become VC Associate, Work at McKinsey / Google /
Facebook, Re-Join VC as Junior Partner or Partner
• Option 2: Start a Startup, Grow Really Big, Sell for $1B+,
Join VC as Partner
• Option 3: Wander around lost in the forest, Work Your Ass
Off for 25 yrs, do some angel investing, Start your own Firm
500 Startups + Stanford University Investor Education Program
#Venture Capital Unlocked: Learn best practices of Silicon Valley Investing
#Startup Accelerator: Build your own accelerator with 500 Startups
#VC/Angel 101: How to build an early-stage investment thesis
#500VCs
How to build investment
thesis
Meet REAL startup founders
and conduct selection
Connection with Silicon Valley
investors and mentors
Legal docs: cap table and
standard terms
How to generate deal flow Trends and relevant area of
investments
500 Startups + Stanford University Investor Education Program
#500VCs
Feb 8th-19th 2016
@ Stanford+500
signup NOW: 

http://500.vc
500 Startups + Stanford University Investor Education Program
#500VCs
Questions? Comments? Heckles?
• More?
– http://500.co (our company)
– http://500hats.com (my blog)
– https://angel.co/500startups (our fund)
– Dave McClure, @DaveMcClure

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From 500 Startups to 500 VCs

  • 1. 500 Startups to 500 VCs Dave McClure January 2016 Honolulu, HI
  • 2. Dave McClure
 Founding Partner & Troublemaker, 500 Startups 00’s & 10’s: • VC: Founders Fund, Facebook fbFund, 500 Startups • Angel: Mashery, Mint.com, SlideShare, Twilio • Marketing: PayPal, Simply Hired, Mint.com 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. 500 Startups
 Global Seed VC Fund & Startup Accelerator • What is 500? • $200M under management • 100+ people / 20 Countries • 3,000+ Founders / 250+ Mentors • Capital, Education, Community • #500STRONG • 1400+ Portfolio Co’s / 50+ Countries • 3 Unicorns ($1B+) • Credit Karma • GrabTaxi • Twilio • 50+ exits • Wildfire (acq GOOG, $350M) • MakerBot (acq SSYS, $400M) • Viki (acq Rakuten, $200M) • 30+ Centaurs ($100M+) • Udemy • Ipsy • SendGrid • VivaReal • The RealReal • TalkDesk • Intercom • Virool • BarkBox
  • 4. This Talk is About… • Re-inventing a 50 year old sport • 500 Startups… WTF? • 99 VC Problems, But a Batch Ain’t 1 • MoneyBall for Startups: Lots of Little Bets • 500 VCs, 500 Funds
  • 5. Re-inventing a 50 year old sport: Venture Capital 2.0
  • 6. Football West Coast Offense Baseball MoneyBall Basketball 3 point revolution Venture Capital 500 Startups “Lots of little bets” 500 Strategy: MoneyBall for Startups Re-inventing a 50-year old sport
  • 7. 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
  • 8. Platforms 2.0
 Search, Social, Mobile, Video, Messaging
  • 9. 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, SnapChat, Instagram) – Mobile (Apple, Android) – E-Commerce (Amazon, Ebay/PayPal, Alibaba) – Media (YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram) – Comm/Msgs (WeChat, WhatsApp, Line, SnapChat, 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
  • 11. 500 Startups Mission 1. Find Smart People. 2. Give Them Money. 3. Wait for Good Shit to Happen.
  • 13. 500 Startups Mission • Provide capital, community, education to smart people (founders, investors) • Build functional startup ecosystems (founders, team, angels, accelerators, VC funds, capital, exits, liquidity, etc) • #HFGSD: Have Fun, Get Shit Done.
  • 14. 500 Startups History: What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been
  • 15. Year People Locations AUM $ Companies 2010 5 MV 10 75 2011 10 BRZ 30 250 2012 15 MX, IND 50 450 2013 30 CHN, SEA 75 650 2014 50 SF, MENA 125 900 2015 100 Korea, UK, Thailand, Vietnam, Germany, Israel, MENA, Japan, Turkey, E. EU 200 1400 2016 150+ +10-20 More ??? 2000+ 500 Startups History: What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been
  • 16. 500 Startups: a Platform made of People #500STRONG #500LOVE #HFGSD
  • 17. 100 People, 20 Countries, 25 Languages
  • 21.
  • 22. Q: Chances of spotting unicorn?/ a) 1% b) 2% c) 5% d) 10% e) ZERO
  • 24. If portfolio size = 15 companies/
  • 25. / If portfolio size = 30 companies
  • 26. / If portfolio size = 100 companies
  • 27. 500 Strategy: MoneyBall for Startups “Lots of Little Bets”
  • 28. 500 Strategy: Lots of Little Bets* 1) make lots (>100) of investments in early- stage startups 3) wait 3-10 years for returns: -10-20% small exits @1-5X (<25M+) -5-10% larger exits @5-20X ($25-250M+) -1-2% unicorns @20-50X+ (>$250M-1B+) *See Peter Sims book: “Little Bets” 2) over next 2 years, double- down on top 20%
  • 29. Building Tech Startups 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”)
  • 30. 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
  • 31. 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
  • 32. 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
  • 33. 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
  • 34. Legal review Partner approval Angel Pre-Seed Seed Post-Seed Series A/B Growth Accelerator Seed “Distro" Follow-On Selection Criteria – Data-Driven Process Based on Pre-defined Metrics • Product or service solves a problem for a specific target customer • Capital-efficient business; operational at less than $1M in external financing • Scalable internet-based distribution (search, social, mobile) or proven ability to scale sales • Functional prototype required before investing (or previous product success) • Measurable traction: engaged users, some revenue, and attractive unit economics • Cross-functional team with design, engineering and marketing expertise How 500 Invests: Accelerator, Seed, Distro
  • 36. We live in a World of ABUNDANCE • There are LOTS of talented people in the world • There are LOTS of entrepreneurs everywhere • There is a LOT of capital sitting around, BUT…. • Not much is available for un-tested entrepreneurs :( • 500 Startups plans to change that.
  • 37. Who, What is an Entrepreneur?
  • 38. Who/What is an Entrepreneur? • someone who WANTS to start a business • someone who can RUN a business • someone who can run a SUSTAINABLE business • someone who can run a PROFITABLE business that creates VALUE & employs LARGE # people • someone who can run a $10M/yr business that employs 100+people
  • 39. How Big Is The Market? Q: How Many Entrepreneurs? • How Many People = 7,000,000,000 on earth • 1% of Humanity is Entrepreneurial = 70,000,000 founders • Live 70 years, try at least once = 1,000,000 founders / year • How Much Do They Need? Zero? $100K? $1M? $10M? • How Big is the Market = 1M founders x $10M = $10 TRILLION / year • Come on, REALLY? (ok Divide by 100) • 100,000 founders / year * $1M each = $100 BILLION / year
  • 40. How Many VCs? • How Many Founders? 1,000,000 founders / year • (ok, divide by 100, let’s say 10,000 founders / year) • 1 VC can make 20 investments / year • 10,000 founders / 20 deals per VC = 500 VCs
  • 41. How to Become a VC • Option 1: Go to Harvard/Stanford/Wharton, Get MBA, Become VC Associate, Work at McKinsey / Google / Facebook, Re-Join VC as Junior Partner or Partner • Option 2: Start a Startup, Grow Really Big, Sell for $1B+, Join VC as Partner • Option 3: Wander around lost in the forest, Work Your Ass Off for 25 yrs, do some angel investing, Start your own Firm
  • 42. 500 Startups + Stanford University Investor Education Program #Venture Capital Unlocked: Learn best practices of Silicon Valley Investing #Startup Accelerator: Build your own accelerator with 500 Startups #VC/Angel 101: How to build an early-stage investment thesis #500VCs
  • 43. How to build investment thesis Meet REAL startup founders and conduct selection Connection with Silicon Valley investors and mentors Legal docs: cap table and standard terms How to generate deal flow Trends and relevant area of investments 500 Startups + Stanford University Investor Education Program #500VCs
  • 44. Feb 8th-19th 2016 @ Stanford+500 signup NOW: 
 http://500.vc 500 Startups + Stanford University Investor Education Program #500VCs
  • 45. Questions? Comments? Heckles? • More? – http://500.co (our company) – http://500hats.com (my blog) – https://angel.co/500startups (our fund) – Dave McClure, @DaveMcClure