What’s the split between companies funded where you guys approach them / and those who approach you?
Tough one to answer. In general it’s always a little bit of both. There are people you know about working on stuff but not looking to raise. You establish a rapport and hopefully stay in touch so when they do raise they call you. Potentially you just check in often and ask. 😉
Other times you only hear about a company when they call or email you looking for money. One hopes we would do better and find these companies before they ask but that will not always happen.
The purpose of having a good network and being seen around the town a bit is that your network will bring you deals before the companies go looking or bring them to you first.
We are a young firm though so lot’s of everything is going on and we continue to focus on getting better at what we do which should also lead to quality deal flow.
Do you put money keeping existing portfolio in mind or it’s the idea that you fund.
Hopefully I have the context right on this one. First off, we would not fund a competitor to a portfolio company. Given that, yes we have to think about the existing portfolio at all times. Further to that, as a fund matures we have to essentially go into portfolio construction mode to be sure we have placed enough bets across the ranges we care about and start to find companies in area we want to invest in but have yet to make an investment.
How do you evaluate a company pitching to you?
Are there any critriea or specific metric you look for?
These are always loaded questions since there is no one answer to them. It also depends on the company and the market and the team. Context is everything to be honest.
That being said at seed stage I, but I am sure my SeedPlus partners will have their own opinions – look for market, team and strategy. Market is super important since we only want to fund things that can go big and that means having a product that goes for a large adddressable market size. Team is huge. We look for a team that likes to be with each other, is open to being challenged, and appears to enjoy a healthy discourse peppered with honest feedback. Strategy is a big deal as well. I like to see that the team has clear thoughts around what they are trying to do, how they plan on winning and what they might do when things go wrong.
There is never one specific thing or metric but obviously if the product is launched then it is good to see stats that make sense and that clearly articulate what the team wants to show. It is also good to properly portray things – for example, don’t show me CAC is just your google adwords bill but calculate for me a fully loaded CAC. This is a big subject and one we hope to put more material out on at SeedPlus.
How can female founders be empowered by being aware of this obvious bias in the market?
I assume you mean the obvious bias is that VC is too male oriented. As a man myself I think even trying to answer feels treacherous. Let me state the lens that I look through a bit before I even try. I have a daughter, I think about this problem all the time and I work hard to find female foudners to fund.
That being said I don’t think I can give you a good answer since my assumption is that folks you might be pitching too or talking to should do their best to look at you and your team and your idea for what they are. My best advice though would be to find the angels and the other founders and VC’s in your area who have expressed interest in defeating this bias. They are out there and they would be the best to help you deal with it. There are plenty of female founders who are kicking ass.
On facebook I follow some folks that are leading the #ladybadass movement in Asia. These ladies are kicking ass and taking names. I would reach out to folks like this and get their advisory on how best to find your personal empowerment.
Example here :: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10154248092125933&set=a.192639120932.141229.531860932&type=3&theater
Here is the general idea.
You might be a startup person with a legitimate question you would like an answer to. Or you are the curious type and want to know how something works in VC land.
I won’t claim to be an expert but I might have the answer, could point you to the answer, or I can ask the folks I work with who probably have the answer or I may not have a clue.
If I answer your question, I will post it on the blog but will not print names and emails. This way everyone benefits and the community can help keep me honest or challenge it.
Comments will be open.
I have played with whale, snapchat and other platforms for this but figure I might as well just use my blog.
Have at it :: https://seedvc.blog/ask-a-vc/
Do I need to have a real cap table when I raise money?
Yes! And to be clear a real cap table is not just a table in a word doc but an actual pro-forma table preferably done in excel.