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RAISING SEED
CAPITAL
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
Steve Schlafman (@schlaf)
RRE Ventures
Last Update: February 3, 2014
ABOUT ME
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
• Principal, RRE Ventures
• Raised in Boston, live in NYC
• @schlaf
• schlafnotes.tumblr.com
• linkedin.com/in/schlaf
• My values guide me: intellectual
curiosity, hard work, honesty,
humility, empathy and transparency
1
RRE VENTURES
• Established 1994
• Most active early stage firm in NYC for nearly two decades
• Stages: Seed, Series A, Series B
• Sectors: SAAS, Fin Tech, Commerce / Marketplaces, Consumer Mobile
Services, Hardware, Ad Tech
• Mix of investing and operational expertise
• Support platform with unique access to Fortune 500
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
Stuart
Ellman
James
Robinson
James
Robinson III
Will
Porteous
Eric
Wiesen
Adam
Ludwin
Tom
Loverro
Jay
Hass
2
RAISNG SEED CAPITAL
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
• VC Basics.……………………………………….05
• State of Market……………………………....….17
• Sources of Cash..…………………………...….24
• How to Prepare......................................……..33
• The Pitch…...……………………………...…….51
• After The Pitch……………….………………….63
• Funding Vehicles………………..………………67
• Resources………………………………………..73
• One Final Thought………………………………78
3
• Each investor views the world differently so this
guide is far from definitive.
• I couldn’t include every accelerator, angel or VC.
• I’m not a lawyer so consult with one before you
raise.
• The focus is seed but many lessons apply for
Series A.
• These slides are used for a class I teach at
General Assembly.
DISCLAIMERS
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
4
THE BASICS
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
5
YOUR FUNDING OPTIONS
Debt / Credit Cards Family & Friends
Crowdfunding Your Customers
Grants
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
Venture Capital
6
VC is just one option. There are numerous sources so make sure you
evaluate the pros and cons of each.
JOHN BORTHWICK
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
“Remember that funding is a means to an
end, not an end in of itself. The end is
building a product, building a community
and building a business. Raising money
can be a challenge – just remember it’s
not the end. It’s the beginning, it’s the
starting point. Now you have to build.”
7
HOW VC WORKS
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
8
VC Firm
(General Partner)
VC Fund
(Limited Partnership)
Paid 2% fee + 20% of Profits
Limited Partners
(public pension funds, corporate pension funds, insurance
companies, high net-worth individuals, family offices, endowments,
foundations, fund-of-funds, sovereign wealth funds, etc.)
Investment 1
(Ownership %)
Investment 2
(Ownership %)
Investment 3
(Ownership %)
Fund Management
Ownership of Fund
WHAT IS SEED STAGE?
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
9
Series A, B, C+
$2.5M - $10M+
Out of Scope
In Scope
Institutional Seed
$500K - $1.5M+
Accelerator
$20K-$150K
Angel
$25K-$250K
The seed is the “setup” round(s) where a person or startup venture
approaches an angel or a VC firm for funding their product / idea.
Source: wikipedia
REASONS TO RAISE
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
10
Your Company
+
VC Funding
=
1. Grow Faster 2. Expand Network 3. Timing
Raise to accelerate growth. VC will help you scale but it absolutely will
not validate your product and market.
PAUL GRAHAM
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
“The other time not to raise money is
when you won’t be able to. If you try to
raise money before you can convince
investors, you’ll not only waste your time,
but also burn your reputation with those
investors.”
http://paulgraham.com/fr.html 11
RAISING VC CHANGES
EXPECTATIONS
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
12
With VC Funding
Without VC Funding
IT TAKES MORE THAN SIX
YEARS TO EXIT
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
13
Source: http://www.cbinsights.com/blog/trends/venture-capital-exit-timeframe-tech
IT’S A ROLLER COASTER
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
14
Back & Forth
Struggles Wins
HUGE EXITS ARE RARE
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
Source: http://techcrunch.com/2012/04/09/facebook-to-acquire-instagram-for-1-billion/ 15
HERE’S THE PROOF
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
16
Source: http://info.crunchbase.com/2013/12/16
The average
successful US
startup has raised
$41M and exited at
$242M
The average
successfully acquired
US startup has
raised $29.4M and
sold for $155.5M
The average IPO-
bound startup raised
$162M before going
public
JAKE LODWICK
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
“Many entrepreneurs underestimate the
time and energy that goes into
fundraising. I wouldn’t expect to
accomplish much creatively or technically
until the raise is completely wrapped.”
17
STATE OF THE SEED
MARKET
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
18
VCs ARE RAISING CASH
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
19
Source: Preqin Special Report: US Venture Capital Industry (October 2013)
AND SEED DEAL VOLUME
REMAINS STEADY
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
20
Source: http://www.cbinsights.com/blog/trends/2013-seed-venture-capital
DOLLARS INVESTED ALSO
REMAIN CONSISTENT
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
21
Source: http://www.cbinsights.com/blog/trends/2013-seed-venture-capital
SIZE OF SEED ROUNDS
GROWING
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
22
Source: http://www.cbinsights.com/blog/trends/2013-seed-venture-capital
$ in millions
SAAS & EDU WON 2013
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
23
Source: http://www.cbinsights.com/blog/trends/2013-seed-venture-capital
THE NEW FRONTIERS
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24
Cloud Compte
Social Platforms Digital Currency
Wearables
Connected Home
Context Compute
Connected Cars UAVs
Mobile Services
Private Space Bioinformatics Industrial Internet
SOURCES OF SEED
CAPITAL
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
25
BEN LERER
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
“Try not to fall in love with a firm – focus
more attention on the partner leading the
deal. Ultimately that partner will be the
person you have to deal with so raising
from a great firm but putting someone on
your board that you don’t love won’t end
up working out.”
26
NOTABLE ANGELS
RRE VENTURES | RAISING A SEED ROUND
27
Bill
Warner
Gary
Vanyerchuk
Esther
Dyson
Mike
Lazerow
Naval
Ravikant
Dharmesh
Shah
Jason
Calacanis
Joanne
Wilson
Max
Levchin
Elad
Gill
Mitch
Kapor
Karl
Jacob
Scott
Belsky
Paul
English
Dave
Morin
Michael
Birch
David
Tisch
Mark
Cuban
Kal
Vepuri
Jerry
Neumann
Lee
Linden
ACCELERATORS
RRE VENTURES | RAISING A SEED ROUND
28
A three to six month “startup boot camp” that provides mentoring, office
space and access to capital in exchange for 3-6% of common stock.
NOTABLE SEED FUNDS
RRE VENTURES | RAISING A SEED ROUND
29
Seed funds tend to invest $50K - $750K in an institutional seed round
which is usually up to $1.5M. These funds invest together as a syndicate.
VCs w/ SEED DEALS
RRE VENTURES | RAISING A SEED ROUND
30
VCs typically lead $3M-$10M+ Series A rounds but some invest $50K -
$1M in seeds to back great founders and / or learn about emerging tech.
CORPORATE VCs
RRE VENTURES | RAISING A SEED ROUND
31
Corporations often have funds that invest in startups for strategic and / or
financial reasons. These funds typically focus on Seed and Series A.
CHRIS POOLE
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
“The airport / friendship test is real. When
you’re pitching investors you’re at your
best – you need to pick people who will
support you at your lowest points as well.”
32
HOW TO PREPARE
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
33
LAUNCH & LEARN
RRE VENTURES | RAISING A SEED ROUND
If technically feasible you should launch a minimum viable product (MVP)
before raising capital.
Benefits of launching
• Validate early hypotheses
• Social proof / traction
• Feedback from real customers
• Evidence team can ship
• Develop “bootstrapper” mentality
• Easier to raise capital
34
“If you weren’t embarrassed by the first
version you launched too late.”
-Reid Hoffman
BRE PETTIS
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
“Bring your product to market as quickly
as possible so you can start to learn from
your users.”
35
FIND A GOOD LAWYER
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
36
Once you determine VC is the right funding option for your company
make sure you partner with an experienced law firm.
SEEK ADVICE
RRE VENTURES | RAISING A SEED ROUND
37
Before you kick off the fundraising process, build an experienced advisory
board that can help with strategy, introductions and general advice.
Investors
Successful Execs
Venture Capital
Professors Industry Experts
Founders
Influencers
GINA BIANCHINI
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
“Find a tribe of fellow entrepreneurs a little
ahead of you in progress who will give you
honest feedback and clear direction on
your pitch and – more importantly – the
progress you need to show in order to
raise money in the first place. The pitch is
nice but the progress is critical.”
38
Location Expertise / Focus Partner
Brand Support & Relationships Strategy & Stage
CHOOSING YOUR VC
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
39
When selecting your investors there are a variety of factors that should go
into the decision making process beyond financial terms.
MATT LAUZON
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
“Make sure you spend whatever time and
energy is necessary to involve investors
who are aligned with your vision.”
40
STRUCTURE A PROCESS
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
Create a spreadsheet or use a CRM like Streak.com for targeting and
tracking your VC conversations. Here’s an example you can use:
Firm / Angel
Weight
(1-5)
Stage Location Strategy Sector / Focus Relevant Companies Point of Contact Title Email Referral Last Contact Next Steps
Investment
Amt.
A16Z 1 Target SF A, B Marketplace, SAAS FiftyThree, Airware Chris Dixon Partner chris@email.com Steve Jobs 12/15/13 Follow up
NextView 1 Intro'd Bos Seed Mobile, SAAS Directr, Sunrise Rob Go Partner rob@email.com Tom Brady 12/12/13 Follow up
Lerer Ventures 2 Intro'd NYC Seed Media, Commerce RapGenius, Buzzfeed Eric Hippeau Partner ben@email.com Jane Jacobs 1/5/14 Schedule mtg
Floodgate 2 1st Pitch SF Seed Marketplace, SAAS Outbox, Chegg Mike Maples Partner mike@email.com Sally Ride 1/8/14 Send deck
Lightbank 3 Dilligence Chi Seed, A SMB, Local, Marketplace GroupOn Paul Lee Partner paul@email.com Mark Zuckerberg 1/15/12 References
SV Angel 4 Decision SF Seed Consumer Square, Airbnb David Lee Partner david@email.com Bill Campbell 1/16/14 Call on Wed
Founder Collective 5 Commit Bos Seed Marketplace, SAAS CustomMade, IFTTT Eric Paley Partner eric@email.com Jason Calcanis 1/20/14 Finalize terms $250,000
41
SET ROUND SIZE
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
Estimating the amount of capital you’ll need requires more art than
science. Here are some tips to keep in mind during your quest.
1. Runway: Raise enough capital to give yourself 18 months. Keep in
mind it will likely take 3-6 months to raise a Series A.
2. Dilution: Every time you raise a round, try to sell no more than 10-
25% of the company.
3. $ Target: Set a modest raise amount. It’s always better to nail your
target, say you’re “oversubscribed” and then increase the size of
round depending on investor interest and terms / dilution.
42
MIKE KARNJ
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
“Think about your next milestone and
work backwards from there to determine
how much money you need to raise.”
43
KNOW YOUR BRAND
RRE VENTURES | RAISING A SEED ROUND
Your brand equals the sum total of positive and negative interactions that
partners, customers and employees have with your company.
44
“In this ever-changing society,
the most powerful and
enduring brands are built from
the heart. They are real and
sustainable. Their foundations
are strong because they’re
built with the strength of the
human spirit, not an ad
campaign.”
-Howard Schultz, Starbucks
TINA SHARKEY
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
“Entrepreneurs should think about how to
unlock the narrative from their product or
service. What is the true story they are
trying to tell? What types of stories do
they want their users to share?”
45
CRAFT YOUR STORY
RRE VENTURES | RAISING A SEED ROUND
The “story” behind your company and product is often one of the most
important things an investor will want to know. Don’t underestimate it.
“It’s not what you do, it’s why you do it.”
-Simon Sinek
• What was the impetus for starting
the company?
• Why are you obsessed with
solving this problem?
• How did the founders meet and
decide to partner?
• Why are you willing to sacrifice
years of your life to work on this?
• What is your cause, your belief?
46
GEORGE PETSCHNIGG
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
“Write a pitch deck for the people you
want to hire first, and investors last. When
starting out, the first audience for your
deck should be your founding team. Use it
to get on the same page. The next
audience is your first few hires, they
should believe in the vision to join. The
final audience is investors and it turns out
they are no different from a great hire in
terms of what motivates them to believe.”
47
BUILD PITCH DECK
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
48
BUILD PITCH DECK
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
49
NEIL CAPEL
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
“Get to the point in the first few slides.
Don’t wait to get it perfect – you won’t.
Additionally, practice beyond belief. Keep
practicing – sell a story! Be amazing.”
50
HOW TO CONNECT w/ VCs
Events & Classes AngelList
Venture Capital
Your Network Accelerators
Twitter + Blogs
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
Founder Intros
51
Angels and VCs are generally ‘networked’ so it shouldn’t be too hard to
find them if you look in the right places and hustle.
THE PITCH
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
52
YOUR OBJECTIVE: FOMO*
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
53
*Fear of missing out
Your goal throughout the process should be to create excitement,
demand and scarcity for your round. Investors often move in packs.
FIRST IMPRESSION IS KEY
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
Most VCs usually form an opinion of the founder and opportunity within
first 10 minutes of a pitch. Early stage investors generally look for:
Traction You + Team
Social Proof Product
54
NOAH BRIER
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
“Be prepared to answer, why are you (and
your co-founders) uniquely suited to solve
this problem?”
55
GETTING TO YES
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
1. Get “Warm” Intro 2. Review Product 3. First Meeting
4. Diligence
4. Partner Meeting
5. Term Sheet / Close
80% 60%
15%
< 1%
56
Every investor / firm has a different process. Some make a decision in
30 minutes while others take months of diligence. Here’s my process:
30%
DAVID EISENBERG
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
“Don’t be afraid of sharing your flaws in
your business, market, strategy or team.
Investors would rather back an
entrepreneur who is honest, who knows
her flaws, and who has a reasonable
hypotheses about how she might
overcome these challenges with more
resources and time. ”
57
WHAT I LOOK FOR
Complementary Team Story & Purpose
Differentiated Product Some Traction / Proof
Emerging Markets
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
Distribution
58
When evaluating super early stage investments there are a number of
things that I look for and place value on. Here are some them:
ZACH SIMS
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
“Work on something where you’re the
user – you’ll always have user empathy
and you’ll never tire of solving the
problem.”
59
WHAT I LOOK FOR (CON’T)
‘Action Not Analysis’ Strong Culture
Venture Capital
Data Driven Hustle / Hacking
Customer Obsession
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
Great Design
60
Here are some additional things that I look for and place value on when
meeting with seed stage companies.
QUESTIONS TO ASK
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
1. What are the next steps in the process?
2. What concerns do you have?
3. How much time do you typically spend with your
companies?
4. Can you walk me through your decision making process?
5. How do you think you can help our company?
6. Do you lead and / or follow?
7. What’s your typical check size?
8. How does your firm think about follow on investments?
9. Is there any additional information you’d like to see?
10. Which investors do you enjoy working with?
61
During the process make sure you carve out enough time to learn about
the firm, its process and how they think about your opportunity.
THINGS TO AVOID
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
As I mentioned earlier every investor is different but there are some
general things to avoid throughout the process.
• Product demos that don’t work
• Derivative product and positioning
• Long answers filled w/ buzzwords
• Trying to have all the answers
• Long pitch decks
• Don’t have clear raise amount
• Asking for investor intros after one passes
• Overemphasizing PR and press
• No product team in place
• Pitching different partners in firm after a pass
• Bringing non-founders to 1st meeting
• Too many emails / follow ups
62
AYAH BDEIR
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
“Never change your pitch to tell an
investor what they want to hear. While it
might get their attention in the short term,
you quickly won’t be able to keep up an
alternate story, or if you did, you’ll end up
with the wrong investor.”
63
AFTER THE PITCH
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
64
YOUR ACTION ITEMS
Debrief w/ Team Send VC Requests Review Pitch Notes
Note Questions / Issues Edit Pitch Deck Update VC Pipeline
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
65
Immediately following each pitch session there are some best practices
you can implement which should help you throughout the process.
Terms
DECISION TO CLOSE
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
66
Once you have a signed term sheet in place, there are a number of final
steps you will need to complete before getting back to work.
Negotiate
Term Sheet
Build Investor
Syndicate
Review
Docs
Sign &
Wire
Legal
Diligence
Usually four to twelve weeks
JARED HECHT
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
“Assume everything that can go wrong will
go wrong so have a plan B, C and D.
Nothing is ever done until the money is in
the bank.”
67
SEED FUNDING VEHICLES
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
68
When a startup raises money, one of three financing instruments are used
and which one is always specified in the term sheet.
Preferred Equity SAFE
Convertible Debt
CONVERTIBLE DEBT
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
69
Source: http://www.avc.com/a_vc/2011/07/financing-options-convertible-debt.html
Convertible debt (A.K.A Convertible Note, A.K.A. Convertible Loan) is when a company
borrows money from an investor or a group of investors and the intention of both sides is
to convert that debt to equity at some later date.
 Speed
Simpler terms and less paperwork so
can close within weeks
 Cost
Cheaper than equity from a legal
perspective
 Control
Founder retains majority of voting
stock
 Valuation
Delays valuation discussion unless
note is capped
Source: http://techcrunch.com/2012/04/07/convertible-note-seed-financings/
Key Terms/Elements Why Convertible Debt?
 Discount
The % reduction in price the debt holders
will get when they convert into equity in the
future
 Valuation Cap
A valuation ceiling on the conversion price of
the debt (common for seed deals)
 Conversion
Point in time when holders of the debt will
convert their investment into equity (typically
occurs in the first equity funding round
following the convertible debt issuance)
SEED PREFERRED
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
70
Seed Preferred is a type of equity seed funding instrument that provides certain rights,
privileges and preferences to investors.
 Alignment of Interests
Both the founder and investor have
unlimited upside
 Valuation
Sets baseline valuation right on
closing date
 Tax Implications
Capital gains clock begins to tick
 Industry Standard
Many seed deals are currently being
funded with seed preferred
Key Terms/Elements Why Seed Preferred?
Source: http://www.avc.com/a_vc/2011/07/financing-options-preferred-stock.html
Source: http://techcrunch.com/2012/04/07/convertible-note-seed-financings/
 Price / Valuation
Pre-money valuation / price-per-share
 Liquidation Preference
Amount VCs receive in sale before proceeds
are shared with founders based on ownership
 Founder Vesting
Determines timing of when founders and
employees earn their equity (e.g. 4 years)
 Pro-Rata Right
Right for VCs to invest in future rounds
 Board Seats
Lead investors usually require board seat
privileges to vote in strategic decisions
SAFE
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
71
SAFE – Simple Agreement for Future Equity – is a newly-formed funding instrument
meant to replace convertible notes; essentially, SAFE has the benefits of convertible debt
without the debt portion (maturity date and accrued interest).
 No Maturity Date
Less pressure on startup to raise
further capital in tight timeframe
 No Accrued Interest
SAFE is not a loan – founders will not
owe accrued interest
 Speed
Very simple terms and quick funding
timeline
 Cost
Limited transaction costs due to
standardized forms
Key Terms/Elements Why SAFE?
 Equity Financing Event
SAFE investors will be issued a form of
preferred stock, and the SAFE instrument
will expire
 Liquidity Event
SAFE investors will be have the option to
receive cash payment or common stock,
and the SAFE instrument will expire
 Dissolution Event
SAFE investors would have preference over
capital stock owners in the distribution of
assets
Source: http://ycombinator.com/safe/
Source: http://techcrunch.com/2013/12/06/yc-safe/
Monthly Email Update* Strategy Sessions
Network w/ Portfolio Real-time Crisis Mgmt Share Hiring Plan
POST INVESTMENT
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
72
So you closed your round and have cash in the bank. Now what? Here are
some way to engage with and get value from your investors:
*Include what’s going well / not well, key metrics, hiring update, financing update, roadmap, help wanted
Specific Intros
BEN KAUFMAN
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
“You should be really fucking
uncomfortable if the money you’ve raised
overshadows the work you’ve done.”
73
RESOURCES
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
74
SUGGESTED BOOKS
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
75
Before you start the fundraising process, reading these books will help
prepare you for dealing w/ VCs and launching your company.
SUGGESTED VC BLOGS
RRE VENTURES | RAISING A SEED ROUND
• Chris Dixon, A16Z: cdixon.org
• Roger Ehrenberg, IA Ventures: informationarbitrage.com
• Brad Feld, Foundry Group: feld.com
• First Round Review: firstround.com/review
• Paul Graham, Y Combinator: paulgraham.com
• Semil Shah, Angel: semilshah.com
• David Skok, Matrix: forentrepreneurs.com
• Mark Suster, Upfront: bothsidesofthetable.com
• Tom Tunguz, Redpoint: tomtunguz.com
• Hunter Walk, Homebrew: hunterwalk.com
• Fred Wilson, Union Square Ventures: avc.com
76
INVESTORS ON TWITTER
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
77
As noted earlier Twitter is a good place to engage with VCs and share
ideas openly. Here are some of the most active.
Marc Andreessen
@pmarca
Chris Sacca
@sacca
Chris Dixon
@dixon
Josh Ellman
@joshelman
Vinod Khosla
@vkhosla
Naval Ravikant
@naval
Kevin Rose
@kevinrose
Howard Lindzon
@howardlindzon
Brad Feld
@bfeld
Jeremy Liew
@jeremysliew
David Lee
@davidlee
Mark Suster
@msuster
Dave McClure
@davemcclure
Fred Destin
@fdestin
Keith Rabois
@rabois
IN SUMMARY
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
78
Raising any amount of capital is never easy. You’ll hear “no” more than
you’ll hear “yes.” For many of you it will be a long but rewarding process.
• VC is just one financing option to consider
• Raise to accelerate growth
• Investors come in difference sizes and flavors
• Prepare, work your ass off and hustle
• The real work begins after you close your round
• Take advantage of resources on the web
• The real work begins after you raise
ONE FINAL THOUGHT
RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL
“The magic in business isn’t raising
money but making money.”
-Mark Cuban
79
THANK YOU
RRE VENTURES | RAISING A SEED ROUND
• Michael Kim, Cendana Capital
• Anand Sanwal, CB Insights
• Maxim Spiegel, Sterne Agee
80
GOOD LUCK!
RRE VENTURES | RAISING A SEED ROUND
Steve Schlafman (@schlaf)
Principal
RRE Ventures
81

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Raising Seed Capital by Steve Schlafman at RRE Ventures

  • 1. RAISING SEED CAPITAL RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL Steve Schlafman (@schlaf) RRE Ventures Last Update: February 3, 2014
  • 2. ABOUT ME RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL • Principal, RRE Ventures • Raised in Boston, live in NYC • @schlaf • schlafnotes.tumblr.com • linkedin.com/in/schlaf • My values guide me: intellectual curiosity, hard work, honesty, humility, empathy and transparency 1
  • 3. RRE VENTURES • Established 1994 • Most active early stage firm in NYC for nearly two decades • Stages: Seed, Series A, Series B • Sectors: SAAS, Fin Tech, Commerce / Marketplaces, Consumer Mobile Services, Hardware, Ad Tech • Mix of investing and operational expertise • Support platform with unique access to Fortune 500 RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL Stuart Ellman James Robinson James Robinson III Will Porteous Eric Wiesen Adam Ludwin Tom Loverro Jay Hass 2
  • 4. RAISNG SEED CAPITAL RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL • VC Basics.……………………………………….05 • State of Market……………………………....….17 • Sources of Cash..…………………………...….24 • How to Prepare......................................……..33 • The Pitch…...……………………………...…….51 • After The Pitch……………….………………….63 • Funding Vehicles………………..………………67 • Resources………………………………………..73 • One Final Thought………………………………78 3
  • 5. • Each investor views the world differently so this guide is far from definitive. • I couldn’t include every accelerator, angel or VC. • I’m not a lawyer so consult with one before you raise. • The focus is seed but many lessons apply for Series A. • These slides are used for a class I teach at General Assembly. DISCLAIMERS RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 4
  • 6. THE BASICS RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 5
  • 7. YOUR FUNDING OPTIONS Debt / Credit Cards Family & Friends Crowdfunding Your Customers Grants RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL Venture Capital 6 VC is just one option. There are numerous sources so make sure you evaluate the pros and cons of each.
  • 8. JOHN BORTHWICK RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL “Remember that funding is a means to an end, not an end in of itself. The end is building a product, building a community and building a business. Raising money can be a challenge – just remember it’s not the end. It’s the beginning, it’s the starting point. Now you have to build.” 7
  • 9. HOW VC WORKS RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 8 VC Firm (General Partner) VC Fund (Limited Partnership) Paid 2% fee + 20% of Profits Limited Partners (public pension funds, corporate pension funds, insurance companies, high net-worth individuals, family offices, endowments, foundations, fund-of-funds, sovereign wealth funds, etc.) Investment 1 (Ownership %) Investment 2 (Ownership %) Investment 3 (Ownership %) Fund Management Ownership of Fund
  • 10. WHAT IS SEED STAGE? RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 9 Series A, B, C+ $2.5M - $10M+ Out of Scope In Scope Institutional Seed $500K - $1.5M+ Accelerator $20K-$150K Angel $25K-$250K The seed is the “setup” round(s) where a person or startup venture approaches an angel or a VC firm for funding their product / idea. Source: wikipedia
  • 11. REASONS TO RAISE RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 10 Your Company + VC Funding = 1. Grow Faster 2. Expand Network 3. Timing Raise to accelerate growth. VC will help you scale but it absolutely will not validate your product and market.
  • 12. PAUL GRAHAM RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL “The other time not to raise money is when you won’t be able to. If you try to raise money before you can convince investors, you’ll not only waste your time, but also burn your reputation with those investors.” http://paulgraham.com/fr.html 11
  • 13. RAISING VC CHANGES EXPECTATIONS RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 12 With VC Funding Without VC Funding
  • 14. IT TAKES MORE THAN SIX YEARS TO EXIT RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 13 Source: http://www.cbinsights.com/blog/trends/venture-capital-exit-timeframe-tech
  • 15. IT’S A ROLLER COASTER RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 14 Back & Forth Struggles Wins
  • 16. HUGE EXITS ARE RARE RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL Source: http://techcrunch.com/2012/04/09/facebook-to-acquire-instagram-for-1-billion/ 15
  • 17. HERE’S THE PROOF RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 16 Source: http://info.crunchbase.com/2013/12/16 The average successful US startup has raised $41M and exited at $242M The average successfully acquired US startup has raised $29.4M and sold for $155.5M The average IPO- bound startup raised $162M before going public
  • 18. JAKE LODWICK RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL “Many entrepreneurs underestimate the time and energy that goes into fundraising. I wouldn’t expect to accomplish much creatively or technically until the raise is completely wrapped.” 17
  • 19. STATE OF THE SEED MARKET RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 18
  • 20. VCs ARE RAISING CASH RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 19 Source: Preqin Special Report: US Venture Capital Industry (October 2013)
  • 21. AND SEED DEAL VOLUME REMAINS STEADY RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 20 Source: http://www.cbinsights.com/blog/trends/2013-seed-venture-capital
  • 22. DOLLARS INVESTED ALSO REMAIN CONSISTENT RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 21 Source: http://www.cbinsights.com/blog/trends/2013-seed-venture-capital
  • 23. SIZE OF SEED ROUNDS GROWING RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 22 Source: http://www.cbinsights.com/blog/trends/2013-seed-venture-capital $ in millions
  • 24. SAAS & EDU WON 2013 RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 23 Source: http://www.cbinsights.com/blog/trends/2013-seed-venture-capital
  • 25. THE NEW FRONTIERS RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 24 Cloud Compte Social Platforms Digital Currency Wearables Connected Home Context Compute Connected Cars UAVs Mobile Services Private Space Bioinformatics Industrial Internet
  • 26. SOURCES OF SEED CAPITAL RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 25
  • 27. BEN LERER RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL “Try not to fall in love with a firm – focus more attention on the partner leading the deal. Ultimately that partner will be the person you have to deal with so raising from a great firm but putting someone on your board that you don’t love won’t end up working out.” 26
  • 28. NOTABLE ANGELS RRE VENTURES | RAISING A SEED ROUND 27 Bill Warner Gary Vanyerchuk Esther Dyson Mike Lazerow Naval Ravikant Dharmesh Shah Jason Calacanis Joanne Wilson Max Levchin Elad Gill Mitch Kapor Karl Jacob Scott Belsky Paul English Dave Morin Michael Birch David Tisch Mark Cuban Kal Vepuri Jerry Neumann Lee Linden
  • 29. ACCELERATORS RRE VENTURES | RAISING A SEED ROUND 28 A three to six month “startup boot camp” that provides mentoring, office space and access to capital in exchange for 3-6% of common stock.
  • 30. NOTABLE SEED FUNDS RRE VENTURES | RAISING A SEED ROUND 29 Seed funds tend to invest $50K - $750K in an institutional seed round which is usually up to $1.5M. These funds invest together as a syndicate.
  • 31. VCs w/ SEED DEALS RRE VENTURES | RAISING A SEED ROUND 30 VCs typically lead $3M-$10M+ Series A rounds but some invest $50K - $1M in seeds to back great founders and / or learn about emerging tech.
  • 32. CORPORATE VCs RRE VENTURES | RAISING A SEED ROUND 31 Corporations often have funds that invest in startups for strategic and / or financial reasons. These funds typically focus on Seed and Series A.
  • 33. CHRIS POOLE RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL “The airport / friendship test is real. When you’re pitching investors you’re at your best – you need to pick people who will support you at your lowest points as well.” 32
  • 34. HOW TO PREPARE RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 33
  • 35. LAUNCH & LEARN RRE VENTURES | RAISING A SEED ROUND If technically feasible you should launch a minimum viable product (MVP) before raising capital. Benefits of launching • Validate early hypotheses • Social proof / traction • Feedback from real customers • Evidence team can ship • Develop “bootstrapper” mentality • Easier to raise capital 34 “If you weren’t embarrassed by the first version you launched too late.” -Reid Hoffman
  • 36. BRE PETTIS RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL “Bring your product to market as quickly as possible so you can start to learn from your users.” 35
  • 37. FIND A GOOD LAWYER RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 36 Once you determine VC is the right funding option for your company make sure you partner with an experienced law firm.
  • 38. SEEK ADVICE RRE VENTURES | RAISING A SEED ROUND 37 Before you kick off the fundraising process, build an experienced advisory board that can help with strategy, introductions and general advice. Investors Successful Execs Venture Capital Professors Industry Experts Founders Influencers
  • 39. GINA BIANCHINI RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL “Find a tribe of fellow entrepreneurs a little ahead of you in progress who will give you honest feedback and clear direction on your pitch and – more importantly – the progress you need to show in order to raise money in the first place. The pitch is nice but the progress is critical.” 38
  • 40. Location Expertise / Focus Partner Brand Support & Relationships Strategy & Stage CHOOSING YOUR VC RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 39 When selecting your investors there are a variety of factors that should go into the decision making process beyond financial terms.
  • 41. MATT LAUZON RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL “Make sure you spend whatever time and energy is necessary to involve investors who are aligned with your vision.” 40
  • 42. STRUCTURE A PROCESS RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL Create a spreadsheet or use a CRM like Streak.com for targeting and tracking your VC conversations. Here’s an example you can use: Firm / Angel Weight (1-5) Stage Location Strategy Sector / Focus Relevant Companies Point of Contact Title Email Referral Last Contact Next Steps Investment Amt. A16Z 1 Target SF A, B Marketplace, SAAS FiftyThree, Airware Chris Dixon Partner chris@email.com Steve Jobs 12/15/13 Follow up NextView 1 Intro'd Bos Seed Mobile, SAAS Directr, Sunrise Rob Go Partner rob@email.com Tom Brady 12/12/13 Follow up Lerer Ventures 2 Intro'd NYC Seed Media, Commerce RapGenius, Buzzfeed Eric Hippeau Partner ben@email.com Jane Jacobs 1/5/14 Schedule mtg Floodgate 2 1st Pitch SF Seed Marketplace, SAAS Outbox, Chegg Mike Maples Partner mike@email.com Sally Ride 1/8/14 Send deck Lightbank 3 Dilligence Chi Seed, A SMB, Local, Marketplace GroupOn Paul Lee Partner paul@email.com Mark Zuckerberg 1/15/12 References SV Angel 4 Decision SF Seed Consumer Square, Airbnb David Lee Partner david@email.com Bill Campbell 1/16/14 Call on Wed Founder Collective 5 Commit Bos Seed Marketplace, SAAS CustomMade, IFTTT Eric Paley Partner eric@email.com Jason Calcanis 1/20/14 Finalize terms $250,000 41
  • 43. SET ROUND SIZE RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL Estimating the amount of capital you’ll need requires more art than science. Here are some tips to keep in mind during your quest. 1. Runway: Raise enough capital to give yourself 18 months. Keep in mind it will likely take 3-6 months to raise a Series A. 2. Dilution: Every time you raise a round, try to sell no more than 10- 25% of the company. 3. $ Target: Set a modest raise amount. It’s always better to nail your target, say you’re “oversubscribed” and then increase the size of round depending on investor interest and terms / dilution. 42
  • 44. MIKE KARNJ RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL “Think about your next milestone and work backwards from there to determine how much money you need to raise.” 43
  • 45. KNOW YOUR BRAND RRE VENTURES | RAISING A SEED ROUND Your brand equals the sum total of positive and negative interactions that partners, customers and employees have with your company. 44 “In this ever-changing society, the most powerful and enduring brands are built from the heart. They are real and sustainable. Their foundations are strong because they’re built with the strength of the human spirit, not an ad campaign.” -Howard Schultz, Starbucks
  • 46. TINA SHARKEY RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL “Entrepreneurs should think about how to unlock the narrative from their product or service. What is the true story they are trying to tell? What types of stories do they want their users to share?” 45
  • 47. CRAFT YOUR STORY RRE VENTURES | RAISING A SEED ROUND The “story” behind your company and product is often one of the most important things an investor will want to know. Don’t underestimate it. “It’s not what you do, it’s why you do it.” -Simon Sinek • What was the impetus for starting the company? • Why are you obsessed with solving this problem? • How did the founders meet and decide to partner? • Why are you willing to sacrifice years of your life to work on this? • What is your cause, your belief? 46
  • 48. GEORGE PETSCHNIGG RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL “Write a pitch deck for the people you want to hire first, and investors last. When starting out, the first audience for your deck should be your founding team. Use it to get on the same page. The next audience is your first few hires, they should believe in the vision to join. The final audience is investors and it turns out they are no different from a great hire in terms of what motivates them to believe.” 47
  • 49. BUILD PITCH DECK RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 48
  • 50. BUILD PITCH DECK RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 49
  • 51. NEIL CAPEL RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL “Get to the point in the first few slides. Don’t wait to get it perfect – you won’t. Additionally, practice beyond belief. Keep practicing – sell a story! Be amazing.” 50
  • 52. HOW TO CONNECT w/ VCs Events & Classes AngelList Venture Capital Your Network Accelerators Twitter + Blogs RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL Founder Intros 51 Angels and VCs are generally ‘networked’ so it shouldn’t be too hard to find them if you look in the right places and hustle.
  • 53. THE PITCH RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 52
  • 54. YOUR OBJECTIVE: FOMO* RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 53 *Fear of missing out Your goal throughout the process should be to create excitement, demand and scarcity for your round. Investors often move in packs.
  • 55. FIRST IMPRESSION IS KEY RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL Most VCs usually form an opinion of the founder and opportunity within first 10 minutes of a pitch. Early stage investors generally look for: Traction You + Team Social Proof Product 54
  • 56. NOAH BRIER RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL “Be prepared to answer, why are you (and your co-founders) uniquely suited to solve this problem?” 55
  • 57. GETTING TO YES RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 1. Get “Warm” Intro 2. Review Product 3. First Meeting 4. Diligence 4. Partner Meeting 5. Term Sheet / Close 80% 60% 15% < 1% 56 Every investor / firm has a different process. Some make a decision in 30 minutes while others take months of diligence. Here’s my process: 30%
  • 58. DAVID EISENBERG RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL “Don’t be afraid of sharing your flaws in your business, market, strategy or team. Investors would rather back an entrepreneur who is honest, who knows her flaws, and who has a reasonable hypotheses about how she might overcome these challenges with more resources and time. ” 57
  • 59. WHAT I LOOK FOR Complementary Team Story & Purpose Differentiated Product Some Traction / Proof Emerging Markets RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL Distribution 58 When evaluating super early stage investments there are a number of things that I look for and place value on. Here are some them:
  • 60. ZACH SIMS RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL “Work on something where you’re the user – you’ll always have user empathy and you’ll never tire of solving the problem.” 59
  • 61. WHAT I LOOK FOR (CON’T) ‘Action Not Analysis’ Strong Culture Venture Capital Data Driven Hustle / Hacking Customer Obsession RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL Great Design 60 Here are some additional things that I look for and place value on when meeting with seed stage companies.
  • 62. QUESTIONS TO ASK RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 1. What are the next steps in the process? 2. What concerns do you have? 3. How much time do you typically spend with your companies? 4. Can you walk me through your decision making process? 5. How do you think you can help our company? 6. Do you lead and / or follow? 7. What’s your typical check size? 8. How does your firm think about follow on investments? 9. Is there any additional information you’d like to see? 10. Which investors do you enjoy working with? 61 During the process make sure you carve out enough time to learn about the firm, its process and how they think about your opportunity.
  • 63. THINGS TO AVOID RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL As I mentioned earlier every investor is different but there are some general things to avoid throughout the process. • Product demos that don’t work • Derivative product and positioning • Long answers filled w/ buzzwords • Trying to have all the answers • Long pitch decks • Don’t have clear raise amount • Asking for investor intros after one passes • Overemphasizing PR and press • No product team in place • Pitching different partners in firm after a pass • Bringing non-founders to 1st meeting • Too many emails / follow ups 62
  • 64. AYAH BDEIR RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL “Never change your pitch to tell an investor what they want to hear. While it might get their attention in the short term, you quickly won’t be able to keep up an alternate story, or if you did, you’ll end up with the wrong investor.” 63
  • 65. AFTER THE PITCH RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 64
  • 66. YOUR ACTION ITEMS Debrief w/ Team Send VC Requests Review Pitch Notes Note Questions / Issues Edit Pitch Deck Update VC Pipeline RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 65 Immediately following each pitch session there are some best practices you can implement which should help you throughout the process.
  • 67. Terms DECISION TO CLOSE RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 66 Once you have a signed term sheet in place, there are a number of final steps you will need to complete before getting back to work. Negotiate Term Sheet Build Investor Syndicate Review Docs Sign & Wire Legal Diligence Usually four to twelve weeks
  • 68. JARED HECHT RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL “Assume everything that can go wrong will go wrong so have a plan B, C and D. Nothing is ever done until the money is in the bank.” 67
  • 69. SEED FUNDING VEHICLES RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 68 When a startup raises money, one of three financing instruments are used and which one is always specified in the term sheet. Preferred Equity SAFE Convertible Debt
  • 70. CONVERTIBLE DEBT RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 69 Source: http://www.avc.com/a_vc/2011/07/financing-options-convertible-debt.html Convertible debt (A.K.A Convertible Note, A.K.A. Convertible Loan) is when a company borrows money from an investor or a group of investors and the intention of both sides is to convert that debt to equity at some later date.  Speed Simpler terms and less paperwork so can close within weeks  Cost Cheaper than equity from a legal perspective  Control Founder retains majority of voting stock  Valuation Delays valuation discussion unless note is capped Source: http://techcrunch.com/2012/04/07/convertible-note-seed-financings/ Key Terms/Elements Why Convertible Debt?  Discount The % reduction in price the debt holders will get when they convert into equity in the future  Valuation Cap A valuation ceiling on the conversion price of the debt (common for seed deals)  Conversion Point in time when holders of the debt will convert their investment into equity (typically occurs in the first equity funding round following the convertible debt issuance)
  • 71. SEED PREFERRED RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 70 Seed Preferred is a type of equity seed funding instrument that provides certain rights, privileges and preferences to investors.  Alignment of Interests Both the founder and investor have unlimited upside  Valuation Sets baseline valuation right on closing date  Tax Implications Capital gains clock begins to tick  Industry Standard Many seed deals are currently being funded with seed preferred Key Terms/Elements Why Seed Preferred? Source: http://www.avc.com/a_vc/2011/07/financing-options-preferred-stock.html Source: http://techcrunch.com/2012/04/07/convertible-note-seed-financings/  Price / Valuation Pre-money valuation / price-per-share  Liquidation Preference Amount VCs receive in sale before proceeds are shared with founders based on ownership  Founder Vesting Determines timing of when founders and employees earn their equity (e.g. 4 years)  Pro-Rata Right Right for VCs to invest in future rounds  Board Seats Lead investors usually require board seat privileges to vote in strategic decisions
  • 72. SAFE RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 71 SAFE – Simple Agreement for Future Equity – is a newly-formed funding instrument meant to replace convertible notes; essentially, SAFE has the benefits of convertible debt without the debt portion (maturity date and accrued interest).  No Maturity Date Less pressure on startup to raise further capital in tight timeframe  No Accrued Interest SAFE is not a loan – founders will not owe accrued interest  Speed Very simple terms and quick funding timeline  Cost Limited transaction costs due to standardized forms Key Terms/Elements Why SAFE?  Equity Financing Event SAFE investors will be issued a form of preferred stock, and the SAFE instrument will expire  Liquidity Event SAFE investors will be have the option to receive cash payment or common stock, and the SAFE instrument will expire  Dissolution Event SAFE investors would have preference over capital stock owners in the distribution of assets Source: http://ycombinator.com/safe/ Source: http://techcrunch.com/2013/12/06/yc-safe/
  • 73. Monthly Email Update* Strategy Sessions Network w/ Portfolio Real-time Crisis Mgmt Share Hiring Plan POST INVESTMENT RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 72 So you closed your round and have cash in the bank. Now what? Here are some way to engage with and get value from your investors: *Include what’s going well / not well, key metrics, hiring update, financing update, roadmap, help wanted Specific Intros
  • 74. BEN KAUFMAN RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL “You should be really fucking uncomfortable if the money you’ve raised overshadows the work you’ve done.” 73
  • 75. RESOURCES RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 74
  • 76. SUGGESTED BOOKS RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 75 Before you start the fundraising process, reading these books will help prepare you for dealing w/ VCs and launching your company.
  • 77. SUGGESTED VC BLOGS RRE VENTURES | RAISING A SEED ROUND • Chris Dixon, A16Z: cdixon.org • Roger Ehrenberg, IA Ventures: informationarbitrage.com • Brad Feld, Foundry Group: feld.com • First Round Review: firstround.com/review • Paul Graham, Y Combinator: paulgraham.com • Semil Shah, Angel: semilshah.com • David Skok, Matrix: forentrepreneurs.com • Mark Suster, Upfront: bothsidesofthetable.com • Tom Tunguz, Redpoint: tomtunguz.com • Hunter Walk, Homebrew: hunterwalk.com • Fred Wilson, Union Square Ventures: avc.com 76
  • 78. INVESTORS ON TWITTER RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 77 As noted earlier Twitter is a good place to engage with VCs and share ideas openly. Here are some of the most active. Marc Andreessen @pmarca Chris Sacca @sacca Chris Dixon @dixon Josh Ellman @joshelman Vinod Khosla @vkhosla Naval Ravikant @naval Kevin Rose @kevinrose Howard Lindzon @howardlindzon Brad Feld @bfeld Jeremy Liew @jeremysliew David Lee @davidlee Mark Suster @msuster Dave McClure @davemcclure Fred Destin @fdestin Keith Rabois @rabois
  • 79. IN SUMMARY RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL 78 Raising any amount of capital is never easy. You’ll hear “no” more than you’ll hear “yes.” For many of you it will be a long but rewarding process. • VC is just one financing option to consider • Raise to accelerate growth • Investors come in difference sizes and flavors • Prepare, work your ass off and hustle • The real work begins after you close your round • Take advantage of resources on the web • The real work begins after you raise
  • 80. ONE FINAL THOUGHT RRE VENTURES | RAISING SEED CAPITAL “The magic in business isn’t raising money but making money.” -Mark Cuban 79
  • 81. THANK YOU RRE VENTURES | RAISING A SEED ROUND • Michael Kim, Cendana Capital • Anand Sanwal, CB Insights • Maxim Spiegel, Sterne Agee 80
  • 82. GOOD LUCK! RRE VENTURES | RAISING A SEED ROUND Steve Schlafman (@schlaf) Principal RRE Ventures 81

Editor's Notes

  1. Things I Love: Brooklyn, 8-bit video games, Boston sports, Pearl Jam, my iPhone, TheSill.com, traveling, mountains
  2. How much to raise When is timing right Should we apply to accelerator or build alone? Who is in charge?
  3. TYPES OF FUNDING
  4. When things go wrong When things go well
  5. Within the seed stage, startups can raise once or multiple times depending on traction, idea, size of market and credibility of team.
  6. How much to raise When is timing right Should we apply to accelerator or build alone? Who is in charge?
  7. When things go wrong When things go well
  8. When things go wrong When things go well
  9. Alexis Ohanian David Rose San Francisco Bill Tai Ariel Poler Othman Laraki Semil Shah Marc Benioff David Sacks Jennifer Lum Joe Caruso Nicole Stata Jennifer Lum Dave Balter Andy Palmer Will Herman Gene Hammond Wayne Chang David Chang Clark Landry Paige Craig Vivi Nivo Troy Carter Ashton Kutcher Paul Bricault David Lerner Jared Hecht Steve Martocci Josh Stylman Peter Hershberg
  10. Matrix
  11. CAA Samsung
  12. The Forefront Orrick
  13. Founders Colleagues Advisors Accelerators
  14. “Entrepreneurs should think about how to unlock the narrative from their product or service. What is the true story they are trying to tell? What types of stories do they want their users to share? People share stories about products or services when their interactions are personal, memorable and emotional in one way or another. Stores are what gets shared, amplified and most stories are memorable in ways that facts, features and stats never will be.”
  15. “Write a pitch deck for the people you want to hire first, and investors last. When starting out, the first audience for your deck should be your founding team. Use it to get on the same page. The next audience is your first few hires, they should believe in the vision to join. The final audience is investors and it turns out they are no different from a great hire in terms of what motivates them to believe.”
  16. TYPES OF FUNDING
  17. TYPES OF FUNDING
  18. TYPES OF FUNDING
  19. TYPES OF FUNDING
  20. TYPES OF FUNDING
  21. Quality over quality / long decks Explain product Get to the point
  22. Put your VC to work [Any others?]
  23. https://www.udemy.com/u/davemcclure/
  24. Add brad feld Jason mendhelson
  25. No Derivatives Long answers Demos that don’t work Quality over quality / long decks Explain product Get to the point