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Structuring Your Company And Deciding
How, And If, You Should Take Money
Tips, Tricks, and Techniques
Randy Smerik
Founder/CEO, Osunatech, Inc.
randy@smerik.com @randysmerik
July 9, 2019
1Randy Smerik
• This workshop is for startups who:
– Have raised funding, but not closed a Series A
– May be an accelerator graduate
– Has a sustainable, repeatable business model
hypothesis
– Proven the product, but need to transition to
mainstream market acceptance and growth
22Randy Smerik
Types of Money
$$$
Company Maturity
Friends/Family &
Bootstrap
Angels
Seed &
Incubator
Super
Angels
Traditional
VC’s
3Randy Smerik
Social Graph
and Viral
Note: there is lots of overlap between
these categories in the real world
Series A
aka Equity Financing
Convertible Debt
aka a Loan
Why I am Standing Here
in front of you
444Randy Smerik
To help ensure that everything you do
and decide … you do with:
You Eyes Wide Open
Series A: How do you Decide
Do you believe in your idea, plan, current
execution so much that you want to bring in
adult leadership
– Institutional Professional VCs
– Board of Directors
– Governance
5Randy Smerik
Series A: How do you Decide
Do you believe in your idea, plan, current
execuZon so much that you truly need a lot of
money now
– Funding for 18-36 months
– Funding assuming big growth levels
– Knowing this will be (hopefully) the most expensive
money you ever buy
6Randy Smerik
Series A: How do you Decide
Do you believe in your idea, plan, current
execution so much that you are willing to give up
primary control of the company
– Protective Provisions
– New CEO and C-Level Roles
– Strategic Directions
7Randy Smerik
Series A: How do you Decide
Self Awareness Time:
Do you believe these things are needed to ensure
your idea and business grows … correctly?
If yes … then …
8Randy Smerik
GAME ON!
999
Randy Smerik
1010Randy Smerik
1111Randy SmerikRandy Smerik
①
Awareness
121212Randy Smerik
13
It’s not Sexy, but
“Be the Gauge - Know the Gauge”.
14
Data Information Decision Action
1414Randy Smerik
15
Data Information Decision Action
Too much focus here
Far to little here
1515Randy Smerik
Perspective
• It is very easy for entrepreneurs to lose
perspective on where their business is going
• There is so much data and analytics … and passion
… it is easy to get lost on the “forest”
• And, people forget that there are typically no
clear black & white win/lose scenarios
• You can play a hugely valuable role as “guide post”
and “time capsule”
161616Randy SmerikRandy Smerik
“Macro ReflecZve Mentoring”
• Frequency: every 1 to 3 months
• The Right Data: identify the top areas for the
business at any point in time
• Micro Data: avoid the temptation to take an
active role in analyzing and tracking low level
metrics
• Reflective: let the team set the goals and time
lines … not you
17171717Randy SmerikRandy Smerik
The Moral of the Story:
18
Gather the data – but be more consumed
by the quality and not the quantity
Identify a small set of metrics that you
feel really reflect what you care about
Budget resources & time so you truly can
take action on the results of the metrics
1818Randy Smerik
Buy and Read this Book!
19
Buy on:
Amazon.com
http://leananalyticsbook.com
@leananalytics
Still … Game On?
202020Randy Smerik
2121Randy SmerikRandy Smerik
②
Teams & Culture
222222Randy Smerik
People are (literally) Everything
• The only way you’ll get anything meaningful done
• The only way you will scale
• Business plan assumptions will be proven wrong constantly, your team
brings everything back to a new course
• This is how the “message” (the culture) is carried
• People can destroy you too!
2323Randy Smerik
Teams are more than Employees
Employees/Contractors
Board of Directors
Investors
Suppliers
Strategic/Major
Customers
2424Randy Smerik
Teams are Universal
• Software Architect/CTO
– Executive Chef and Master Tequila Blender
• Server
– Distribution Manager and Account Manager
• Distillery Manager
– General Manager and COO
• Programmer
– Line Cook and Lead Distiller
Software Company
Southern Italian Restaurant
Tequila Distillery
2525Randy Smerik
Teams: Everything is a Balance
• Projects more important than money
• Don’t (necessarily) kill the thing you initially liked
• Not everything should be consistent
• Transparency
• Hiring and Firing
• Let folks go
2626Randy Smerik
2727Randy SmerikRandy Smerik
③
Structuring Your Company
• Invest serious money ($15-20K) in a good corporate law firm
that you like (interview them!)
– They will “create/define” your corporate structure
• Invest in a good accounting firm (interview them!)
– They will “create/define” how you know what’s going on
• Create an Employee Stock Option Program
– Try to allocate the majority of shares after funding
• Have a real Board of Directors with Officers
– Budget for reasonable D&O Insurance (attract great talent)
28282828Randy SmerikRandy Smerik
2929Randy SmerikRandy Smerik
④
30
You are raising a bunch of
money
What does Success mean?
3030Randy Smerik
31Randy Smerik
Context: 4 Business Outcomes
32Randy Smerik
Failure
Company shuts down or asset sale where there is a
loss for all involved
Lifestyle
Business reaches critical mass and profitability and
provides an income for its exec team and employees
M&A
Business is bought and incorporated into a larger
entity at some profit to investors
IPO Initial Public Offering
Our focus
is here
Context: IPO versus M&A Venture Exits
VC backed liquidity events
33Randy Smerik
Since 2000,
median is 90% of
exits are M&A
IPO versus M&A Exits
VC backed liquidity events
34Randy Smerik
November 2016 - CBinsights
3%
1H2016
IPOs: 27
M&A: 1564
98.3% = M&A
35
IPO versus M&A Exits – Current
VC backed liquidity events
35Randy Smerik
36
IPO versus M&A Exits – 2019
VC backed liquidity events
3636Randy Smerik
Context: M&A Transactions - Deal Size
Private Targets - Internet, Communications & IT
Infrastructure Software & Services M&A – Q1’2011
37Randy Smerik
source: SagePoint Advisors
Median M&A
transaction is
$10M
M&A Transaction - Deal Size
Private Targets - 2013 to 1Q2016
38Randy Smerik
$16.8M $33.2M $24.8M
Median M&A
transaction is
$23.7M
March 2016
39
M&A Transaction - Deal Size
Private Targets - most current
Let’s see what Google Says
• I care about Google because recently Google has been
the most active M&A buyer
– Next on the list would be Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple
for 2015
• Charles Rim (former top Google M&A guy) stated:
– “90% plus of our transactions are small transactions. Less
than 20 people, less than $20M and that is truly the sweet
spot”
– “We do prefer companies that are pre-revenue”
40Randy Smerik
4141Randy SmerikRandy Smerik
⑤
42
Knowing this …
There are things that can
really hurt you
Unless you are careful
43Randy Smerik
44Randy Smerik
Raising “Serious” Money
Let’s Look at VC Fund Raising …
Impacts of Raising Money
$$$
Desire for Control/Information
Friends/Family &
Bootstrap
Angels
Seed &
Incubator
Convertible
Debt
Super
Angels
Traditional
VC’s
45Randy Smerik
Social Graph
and Viral
Note: there is lots of overlap between
these categories in the real world
You are Here
Issue: VC’s need 10x Returns
• Why?
– Limited Partners in a VC fund expect ~20% return per year
– Typically, returns come from 20% of the investments, i.e.
out of 10 companies funded 2 will provide returns
– Due to the length of time the money is typically tied up in
companies and how long the funds are for, the capital only
gets to be invested once
– When you do the math, the average return of those two
winning companies needs to be around 20x
46Randy Smerik
Yikes. This is a Problem.
• Simple scenario:
– A VC invests $2M on an $8M pre-money valuation
company
– This gives the VC 20% of the $10M post-money company
– To get 10x (forget about 30x) the VC will need a $20M
return
– At 20% ownership, that means that the company must sell
for $100M
– But … the average M&A deal is more like $20M!
47Randy Smerik
VC’s
Entrepreneur10 Entrepreneur1 Entrepreneur2
Entrepreneur3
Entrepreneur4
Entrepreneur9
Entrepreneur8
Entrepreneur7 Entrepreneur6 Entrepreneur5
$$ $$
$$$$
VC Perspective
Different Perspectives, but:
VC’s will Protect their Model
• VC’s may fight to keep a company going longer even if the entire
management team and angels feel it’s better to sell
• Techniques: create separate voting classes (preferred) where each class
must approve exits; “protective provisions” with veto rights; control of
the Board; and more
48Randy Smerik
20X
10X
Entrepreneur
Vision
Hopes/Dreams
Angels VC’s
$$
Entrepreneur/Company Perspective
Pre $2,000,000
Investment $500,000
CEO 40%
Staff 40%
Angels 20%
VC 0%
Post $2,500,000
Angel Round
Angel Round of $500K at $2.5M post
Let’s See What Could Happen in a
Real-world Scenario
49Randy Smerik
VC Round
$10,000,000
$3,000,000
31%
31%
15%
23%
$13,000,000
VC adds $3M
at $10M pre
M&A Offer
$40,000,000
$12,307,692
$12,307,692
$6,153,846
$9,230,769
M&A offer at $40M
x Return
12.3
3.1
Multiples
• Great exit for CEO/Founders/Staff - $24 million for them
• Angels see a 12x return
• VC sees a (mere) 3x return and will likely veto the transaction
This example assumes all shares are Common; if 1X PP, then the VC return is 3.8x
5050Randy SmerikRandy Smerik
⑥
Choosing Founders: “Nothing to Lose”
• Pay special attention to a co-Founder who is someone
who has “made it big” at a previous company/deal
51Randy Smerik
• A high-likelihood danger is that they don’t share
the same view of a successful outcome
5252Randy SmerikRandy Smerik
⑦
Exclusive & “Strategic” Partners
• To move quickly on an idea within a company, it is it is all too
common to agree to exclusive terms with major players
• It is also common to form strategic partnerships with other
companies for sales, manufacturing, and more
• This can have a big negative impact on a company if they are
not managed carefully
• Ensure there is a full management review and transparency
of all Exclusive Agreements
53Randy Smerik
5454Randy SmerikRandy Smerik
⑧
IP Licensing
• Owning core IP can be essential for both funding
and M&A
• It is easy for 3rd party IP to “creep” into critical
portions of the code to speed time-to-market
• Know that once it’s there, it’s very challenging to
remove
• Ensure there is a full management review and
transparency of all 3rd party IP
55Randy Smerik
5656Randy SmerikRandy Smerik
⑨
Sales
• It’s common to apply pressure to race to sales and drive revenue as
quickly as possible
– Brings (much needed) cash in, can prove/show real customer
engagement, and more
• But if done too early, it can create a focus on short term and
specific customer requirements and not the core product/business
• Engage in sales when you have the right support in place and the
revenue is “significant”
• Sales are the easiest thing to track … and that can be a blessing
………… or a curse
57Randy Smerik
Easy: Do These 9 Things
• Awareness
• Your Team
• Company Structure
• What does Success mean
• VC Expectations
585858Randy SmerikRandy Smerik
All 9 of these points … are actually very easy to do.
They are.
• Founders
• Exclusivity
• IP Licensing
• Sales Management
59Randy Smerik
Good Luck!
Bon Chance!
Thank You!
Merci Beaucoup!
Structuring Your Company And Deciding
How, And If, You Should Take Money
Tips, Tricks, and Techniques
Randy Smerik
Founder/CEO, Osunatech, Inc.
randy@smerik.com @randysmerik
July 9, 2019
60Randy Smerik

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Startupfest 2019 - Structuring Your Company And Deciding How, And If, You Should Take Money

  • 1. Structuring Your Company And Deciding How, And If, You Should Take Money Tips, Tricks, and Techniques Randy Smerik Founder/CEO, Osunatech, Inc. randy@smerik.com @randysmerik July 9, 2019 1Randy Smerik
  • 2. • This workshop is for startups who: – Have raised funding, but not closed a Series A – May be an accelerator graduate – Has a sustainable, repeatable business model hypothesis – Proven the product, but need to transition to mainstream market acceptance and growth 22Randy Smerik
  • 3. Types of Money $$$ Company Maturity Friends/Family & Bootstrap Angels Seed & Incubator Super Angels Traditional VC’s 3Randy Smerik Social Graph and Viral Note: there is lots of overlap between these categories in the real world Series A aka Equity Financing Convertible Debt aka a Loan
  • 4. Why I am Standing Here in front of you 444Randy Smerik To help ensure that everything you do and decide … you do with: You Eyes Wide Open
  • 5. Series A: How do you Decide Do you believe in your idea, plan, current execution so much that you want to bring in adult leadership – Institutional Professional VCs – Board of Directors – Governance 5Randy Smerik
  • 6. Series A: How do you Decide Do you believe in your idea, plan, current execuZon so much that you truly need a lot of money now – Funding for 18-36 months – Funding assuming big growth levels – Knowing this will be (hopefully) the most expensive money you ever buy 6Randy Smerik
  • 7. Series A: How do you Decide Do you believe in your idea, plan, current execution so much that you are willing to give up primary control of the company – Protective Provisions – New CEO and C-Level Roles – Strategic Directions 7Randy Smerik
  • 8. Series A: How do you Decide Self Awareness Time: Do you believe these things are needed to ensure your idea and business grows … correctly? If yes … then … 8Randy Smerik GAME ON!
  • 13. 13 It’s not Sexy, but “Be the Gauge - Know the Gauge”.
  • 14. 14 Data Information Decision Action 1414Randy Smerik
  • 15. 15 Data Information Decision Action Too much focus here Far to little here 1515Randy Smerik
  • 16. Perspective • It is very easy for entrepreneurs to lose perspective on where their business is going • There is so much data and analytics … and passion … it is easy to get lost on the “forest” • And, people forget that there are typically no clear black & white win/lose scenarios • You can play a hugely valuable role as “guide post” and “time capsule” 161616Randy SmerikRandy Smerik
  • 17. “Macro ReflecZve Mentoring” • Frequency: every 1 to 3 months • The Right Data: identify the top areas for the business at any point in time • Micro Data: avoid the temptation to take an active role in analyzing and tracking low level metrics • Reflective: let the team set the goals and time lines … not you 17171717Randy SmerikRandy Smerik
  • 18. The Moral of the Story: 18 Gather the data – but be more consumed by the quality and not the quantity Identify a small set of metrics that you feel really reflect what you care about Budget resources & time so you truly can take action on the results of the metrics 1818Randy Smerik
  • 19. Buy and Read this Book! 19 Buy on: Amazon.com http://leananalyticsbook.com @leananalytics
  • 20. Still … Game On? 202020Randy Smerik
  • 23. People are (literally) Everything • The only way you’ll get anything meaningful done • The only way you will scale • Business plan assumptions will be proven wrong constantly, your team brings everything back to a new course • This is how the “message” (the culture) is carried • People can destroy you too! 2323Randy Smerik
  • 24. Teams are more than Employees Employees/Contractors Board of Directors Investors Suppliers Strategic/Major Customers 2424Randy Smerik
  • 25. Teams are Universal • Software Architect/CTO – Executive Chef and Master Tequila Blender • Server – Distribution Manager and Account Manager • Distillery Manager – General Manager and COO • Programmer – Line Cook and Lead Distiller Software Company Southern Italian Restaurant Tequila Distillery 2525Randy Smerik
  • 26. Teams: Everything is a Balance • Projects more important than money • Don’t (necessarily) kill the thing you initially liked • Not everything should be consistent • Transparency • Hiring and Firing • Let folks go 2626Randy Smerik
  • 28. Structuring Your Company • Invest serious money ($15-20K) in a good corporate law firm that you like (interview them!) – They will “create/define” your corporate structure • Invest in a good accounting firm (interview them!) – They will “create/define” how you know what’s going on • Create an Employee Stock Option Program – Try to allocate the majority of shares after funding • Have a real Board of Directors with Officers – Budget for reasonable D&O Insurance (attract great talent) 28282828Randy SmerikRandy Smerik
  • 30. 30 You are raising a bunch of money What does Success mean? 3030Randy Smerik
  • 32. Context: 4 Business Outcomes 32Randy Smerik Failure Company shuts down or asset sale where there is a loss for all involved Lifestyle Business reaches critical mass and profitability and provides an income for its exec team and employees M&A Business is bought and incorporated into a larger entity at some profit to investors IPO Initial Public Offering Our focus is here
  • 33. Context: IPO versus M&A Venture Exits VC backed liquidity events 33Randy Smerik Since 2000, median is 90% of exits are M&A
  • 34. IPO versus M&A Exits VC backed liquidity events 34Randy Smerik November 2016 - CBinsights 3% 1H2016 IPOs: 27 M&A: 1564 98.3% = M&A
  • 35. 35 IPO versus M&A Exits – Current VC backed liquidity events 35Randy Smerik
  • 36. 36 IPO versus M&A Exits – 2019 VC backed liquidity events 3636Randy Smerik
  • 37. Context: M&A Transactions - Deal Size Private Targets - Internet, Communications & IT Infrastructure Software & Services M&A – Q1’2011 37Randy Smerik source: SagePoint Advisors Median M&A transaction is $10M
  • 38. M&A Transaction - Deal Size Private Targets - 2013 to 1Q2016 38Randy Smerik $16.8M $33.2M $24.8M Median M&A transaction is $23.7M March 2016
  • 39. 39 M&A Transaction - Deal Size Private Targets - most current
  • 40. Let’s see what Google Says • I care about Google because recently Google has been the most active M&A buyer – Next on the list would be Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple for 2015 • Charles Rim (former top Google M&A guy) stated: – “90% plus of our transactions are small transactions. Less than 20 people, less than $20M and that is truly the sweet spot” – “We do prefer companies that are pre-revenue” 40Randy Smerik
  • 42. 42 Knowing this … There are things that can really hurt you Unless you are careful
  • 44. 44Randy Smerik Raising “Serious” Money Let’s Look at VC Fund Raising …
  • 45. Impacts of Raising Money $$$ Desire for Control/Information Friends/Family & Bootstrap Angels Seed & Incubator Convertible Debt Super Angels Traditional VC’s 45Randy Smerik Social Graph and Viral Note: there is lots of overlap between these categories in the real world You are Here
  • 46. Issue: VC’s need 10x Returns • Why? – Limited Partners in a VC fund expect ~20% return per year – Typically, returns come from 20% of the investments, i.e. out of 10 companies funded 2 will provide returns – Due to the length of time the money is typically tied up in companies and how long the funds are for, the capital only gets to be invested once – When you do the math, the average return of those two winning companies needs to be around 20x 46Randy Smerik
  • 47. Yikes. This is a Problem. • Simple scenario: – A VC invests $2M on an $8M pre-money valuation company – This gives the VC 20% of the $10M post-money company – To get 10x (forget about 30x) the VC will need a $20M return – At 20% ownership, that means that the company must sell for $100M – But … the average M&A deal is more like $20M! 47Randy Smerik
  • 48. VC’s Entrepreneur10 Entrepreneur1 Entrepreneur2 Entrepreneur3 Entrepreneur4 Entrepreneur9 Entrepreneur8 Entrepreneur7 Entrepreneur6 Entrepreneur5 $$ $$ $$$$ VC Perspective Different Perspectives, but: VC’s will Protect their Model • VC’s may fight to keep a company going longer even if the entire management team and angels feel it’s better to sell • Techniques: create separate voting classes (preferred) where each class must approve exits; “protective provisions” with veto rights; control of the Board; and more 48Randy Smerik 20X 10X Entrepreneur Vision Hopes/Dreams Angels VC’s $$ Entrepreneur/Company Perspective
  • 49. Pre $2,000,000 Investment $500,000 CEO 40% Staff 40% Angels 20% VC 0% Post $2,500,000 Angel Round Angel Round of $500K at $2.5M post Let’s See What Could Happen in a Real-world Scenario 49Randy Smerik VC Round $10,000,000 $3,000,000 31% 31% 15% 23% $13,000,000 VC adds $3M at $10M pre M&A Offer $40,000,000 $12,307,692 $12,307,692 $6,153,846 $9,230,769 M&A offer at $40M x Return 12.3 3.1 Multiples • Great exit for CEO/Founders/Staff - $24 million for them • Angels see a 12x return • VC sees a (mere) 3x return and will likely veto the transaction This example assumes all shares are Common; if 1X PP, then the VC return is 3.8x
  • 51. Choosing Founders: “Nothing to Lose” • Pay special attention to a co-Founder who is someone who has “made it big” at a previous company/deal 51Randy Smerik • A high-likelihood danger is that they don’t share the same view of a successful outcome
  • 53. Exclusive & “Strategic” Partners • To move quickly on an idea within a company, it is it is all too common to agree to exclusive terms with major players • It is also common to form strategic partnerships with other companies for sales, manufacturing, and more • This can have a big negative impact on a company if they are not managed carefully • Ensure there is a full management review and transparency of all Exclusive Agreements 53Randy Smerik
  • 55. IP Licensing • Owning core IP can be essential for both funding and M&A • It is easy for 3rd party IP to “creep” into critical portions of the code to speed time-to-market • Know that once it’s there, it’s very challenging to remove • Ensure there is a full management review and transparency of all 3rd party IP 55Randy Smerik
  • 57. Sales • It’s common to apply pressure to race to sales and drive revenue as quickly as possible – Brings (much needed) cash in, can prove/show real customer engagement, and more • But if done too early, it can create a focus on short term and specific customer requirements and not the core product/business • Engage in sales when you have the right support in place and the revenue is “significant” • Sales are the easiest thing to track … and that can be a blessing ………… or a curse 57Randy Smerik
  • 58. Easy: Do These 9 Things • Awareness • Your Team • Company Structure • What does Success mean • VC Expectations 585858Randy SmerikRandy Smerik All 9 of these points … are actually very easy to do. They are. • Founders • Exclusivity • IP Licensing • Sales Management
  • 59. 59Randy Smerik Good Luck! Bon Chance! Thank You! Merci Beaucoup!
  • 60. Structuring Your Company And Deciding How, And If, You Should Take Money Tips, Tricks, and Techniques Randy Smerik Founder/CEO, Osunatech, Inc. randy@smerik.com @randysmerik July 9, 2019 60Randy Smerik