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Is it Time for You to Earn or to Learn?

Both Sides of the Table

I spoke with an investor recently who told me that 1,500 deals get funded / year in the US, 80 (5.3%) eventually sell for $50 million and only 8 (0.5%) eventually sell for $150 million or more. This is part of my Startup Advice series.

What Makes an Entrepreneur? Four Letters: JFDI

Both Sides of the Table

The problem with the company that I described above was that there was somebody willing to fund ongoing losses and the board continued to believe that good times were just around the corner. This is part of my Startup Advice series.

An Inside Scoop on the Funding Environment and What it Might Mean for You

Both Sides of the Table

It is an heroic accomplishment in a brutal fund-raising market in which only market leaders can bring in that sort of money. We started planning our fund raising as much as 14 months ago. Invoca has enough capital where we should never need to fund raise again. $30 million.

Upfront Ventures Raised New $280 Million Fund

Both Sides of the Table

We’ve been dying to tell you all for a while that we had raised a new venture capital fund and of course given SEC filing requirements the story was somewhat already scooped by the always-in-the-know Dan Primack a few weeks ago. Wait, didn’t you just raise a fund?

Most Common Early Start-up Mistakes

Both Sides of the Table

Assuming normal valuations at fund raising rounds you’ll be down to 6-12% after you’ve created a stock-option pool and raised capital. These same people will join you and your one other co-founder (maximum) 6 months later when you’ve established the company, done your Powerpoint deck, built a prototype or product and started fund raising discussions.

Startup Software Development – Do Your Homework Before You Develop Anything


How are you funding this? What level of funding do you currently have? I just had an all-too common conversation with the founder of a startup who had spent more than a year working with a software development company who had produced a mess. The mess really comes from a developer who was willing to get started on a product that was not fully thought out. I always take a very different approach in early conversations.

Angel Funding Advice

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my ongoing series Pitching a VC. Last night I attended a DealMaker Media (whom I love because they always host such great discussions) panel on raising angel money moderated by Dan Gould and with panelists Rob Hayes (First Round Capital, more seed or A round than angel), Scot Sangster (with OrganicStartup and [.].

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Good Judgment Comes with Experience, But Experience Comes from Bad Judgment

Both Sides of the Table

There is a folklore in Silicon Valley that you should fund first-time entrepreneurs. This is part of my Startup Advice series of posts. I heard Bruce Dunlevie of Benchmark Capital say these words at a conference in London nearly 10 years ago.

WTF is Traction? A 6-Step Relationship Guide to VC

Both Sides of the Table

Your friends and advisers tell you that this means you need revenue because in this economy VC’s will only fund businesses with revenue. Now there are some firms that have strict rules about not funding pre-revenue companies – that’s different. Fund raising is an ongoing process and not an event on a workplan. If you wait until you’re “ready&# to fund you’re too late. Funding is about developing a relationship over time.

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GRP Targets $250M In New Fund, GRP IV


Los Angeles-based venture capital firm GRP Partners is looking to raised $250M in its newest fund, GRP IV L.P., According to the filing, the fund is being managed by Steven Dietz, Brian McLoughlin, Yves Sisteron, and Mark Suster, and has just started fundraising efforts. in 2009.

VC Funding Season Ends Next Week

Both Sides of the Table

If you’re thinking about raising VC and have not yet started the process, you’ve probably already missed the boat for 2009. So why is Funding Season over for the rest of the year? This is part of my series on Raising Venture Capital.

Start-ups are all Naked in the Mirror

Both Sides of the Table

We’re all scared that the next round of funding won’t come. It’s OK to talk about fund raising challenges or customer losses. This is part of my ongoing series Startup Lessons. Building companies is hard work. I started my first company in 1999 in London at the height of the dot com craze. We also had facilities in Dublin, Ireland where our company was initially founded.

Are Business Plans Still Necessary?

Both Sides of the Table

They are not just for fund raising. This is part of my ongoing series of posts and I need to file this one under both Raising Venture Capital and Startup Advice. I remember going to an Under the Radar conference in 2006 in the heat of the Web 2.0 craze.

Reflections on 2016: Lawrence Ng, OnRamp Fund


Today's contribution is from Lawrence Ng , serial entrepreneur who, last year, founded OnRamp Fund , a $10 million incubator that invests in early stage startups. Ng is successful serial entrepreneur who, last year, founded OnRamp Fund, a $10 million incubator that invests in early stage startups. The Fund has expertise in technology development and data management. reflect2016 oversee fund onram lawrence

Ostendo Raising Funds to Advance Virtual Reality Display Technology


The financing includes both new investment funding and a conversion of debt to equity, according to a notation in the filing. Adding to the confusion, the most-recent MoneyTree Report on San Diego venture capital activity shows that Ostendo raised almost $10 million in VC funding during the second quarter. Ostendo Technologies, a Carlsbad, CA-based company founded in 2005 to advance curved screens and other innovative display technologies, has raised $41.8

Stock Market Drops. Then It Rallies. What Happens Next for Funding?

Both Sides of the Table

Let’s help get their funding get finalized or the company sold if it’s already in play. Come 2009 we felt really bullish about the future for startups because the froth was gone and so, too, were wantrapreneurs. And VCs scrambled to raise their own funds.

Report: Mailroom Fund Demise Due To William Morris


News of the demise of Los Angeles venture capital fund The Mailroom Fund , the joint venture capital effort of Accel Partners, Venrock, the William Morris Agency and AT&T, is finally trickling out. According to a report today by Fortune, the fund's closure came due to loss of interest at William Morris after its merger with Endeavor. Wolpert took an extended leave of absence from his investment efforts and managing the fund, and has since moved on to other efforts.

Layoffs Hot Keyword for Second Half of January 2009


Last month we Launched Los Angeles Tech and in the announcement we provide the Hot List for the first half of January 2009. Top for January 16, 2009 - January 31, 2009 Posts Are You Selling Online Yet? This hot list is based on various social signals of what people are writing about, reading, bookmarking, searching, etc. You can go to the Hot List post to see what was hot then.

The Perfect Pitch 2009

SoCal Tech Calendar

Monday, October 26, 2009 -- The Perfect Pitch 2009. An opportunity to pitch your business idea to Sir Richard Branson and a conference full of venture capitalists, angel investors and influential entrepreneurs.Our judges represent over $3 Billion in funds, including executives from August Capital, Baroda Ventures, Cal Cap Partners, Qualcomm Ventures, Rustic Canyon Partners, Santa Monica Capital Partners, Tech Coast Angels and Price Waterhouse Coopers.

Are MBAs Necessary for Start-ups or VC?

Both Sides of the Table

And if it’s not I’m generally not that interested in funding it. This is part of my ongoing series called “ Start-up Lessons.&#. I was reading Chris Dixon’s blog tonight. He writes with a great perspective and is well worth reading.

Beware of Gym Salesman VC

Both Sides of the Table

You’ve obviously talked with several funds to hedge your bets. The post is part of a series called “Pitching a VC&# – the outlines is here. You’ve been trying to raise VC for months. You finally get your first term sheet. Time to celebrate! But wait.

Sluggish Year for IPOs, But Signs Abound of Post-Election Surge


IPO activity at a sluggish pace—so sluggish, in fact, that this year could end with the fewest IPOs and the lowest level of capital raised since 2009, according to PitchBook data for the first nine months of 2016. Uncertainty surrounding this year’s presidential election has kept U.S.

Drone On: 3D Robotics Filing Reveals $45M Financing Plan


The high-profile drone startup, which raised $50 million in venture funding early last year in a Series C funding round led by San Diego-based Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM ), has raised almost $26.7

First Round Funding Terms and Founder Vesting

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my ongoing series “Pitching a VC“ There’s a great meme developing this morning on the need to simplify funding terms and documents. The meme was kicked off by Chris Dixon with this post saying that term sheets need to be simplified and align investor / founder interests. That prompted Fred Wilson’s blog [.].

Avelas Bio Raises $20M to Push Cancer-Illuminating Biologic Agent


San Diego’s Avelas Biosciences , founded in 2009 to advance a fluorescing biologic agent intended to help surgeons differentiate cancerous tissue from healthy tissue, has completed a $20 million Series C round of venture funding.

What Makes an Entrepreneur (4/11) – Resiliency

Both Sides of the Table

The agreement was that both sets of investors would fund the combined entity, we would reduce overlapped costs and become a healthier company. So Apax went ahead and funded iScraper without us. This is part of my new series on what makes an entrepreneur successful.

Friendgiftr Launches Facebook Gift Card App


Hollywood-based Friendgiftr , an angel funded startup developing Facebook applications, said today that it has launched a new Facebook application which allows users to send real gift cards to friends, family, and others. The startup said it is now offering over 120 U.S. merchants through its app, which allows users to send both physical and digital gift cards via the popular Facebook social networking site.

5 Tips to Becoming a More Customer Centric Organization

Both Sides of the Table

Being transparent about our workload, our struggles, our fund raising, whatever. Turn Your Organization Inside Out. This is part of my ongoing posts on Startup Advice. The world has changed much since I started my first company in 1999. As organizations we have become more open and I believe this is great for businesses and their customers. In the first 4 years of running BuildOnline we were an “Outside In&# organization.

Should Founders Be Allowed to Take Money off the Table?

Both Sides of the Table

We were trading emails on a recent rant posted on The Funded about founders’ equity and here is what my friend wrote to me in our exchange (printed anonymously with his permission): Actually FWIW I think at least in cases of folks like me (and this seems also to be part of what Founders’ Fund tries to do), many of the challenges of working with my VCs would be eliminated if the investors would support partially liquidity for founders after X years.

Tealium Adds $35M to Expand Technology, Sharpen Customer Focus


Omniture acquired San Diego-based WebSideStory in 2008 (after the company had rebranded itself as Visual Sciences), and Adobe Systems (NASDAQ: ADBE ) acquired Omniture in 2009. Tealium, a San-Diego startup that provides online advertising tag management and marketing services for enterprise customers, has raised $35 million in a growth financing deal intended to expand its technology and market reach.

Choose Your VC Investor Carefully

Both Sides of the Table

Below is a quote about Gus from The Funded. Beware of VC Seagulls, who shit on you and then fly away (or worse yet leave you with Red Herrings). This is part of my ongoing series Startup Advice. I write this post as a warning to pick your VC’s carefully.

The Best VC Meetings are Debates not Sales

Both Sides of the Table

For many difficult or unknowable questions don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know.&# Some obvious things that are not acceptable for the don’t know answers: “how will you spend the $2 million once you raise it?&# , “Who are your competitors&# or “Who do you need to hire first after fund raising.&# You’d be surprised how many people don’t answer these questions confidently. This is part of my blog series “ Pitching a VC.&#.

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Deal with Your Elephant in the Room

Both Sides of the Table

Let me give you some (real) examples: - You were an EIR at a VC firm who isn’t funding your current company. - This is part of my series on Raising Venture Capital.

Nirvanix Confirms Funding Round


San Diego-based Nirvanix confirmed today that the firm has raised $5M in a new venture funding round. The funding was first covered by socalTECH M last week. According to Nirvanix, the funding brings the company's total raised to over $23M.

Tony Hsieh is the Seller of Dreams | Enter the Downtown Project

Tech Zulu Event

Digital Royalty : Since 2009, Digital Royalty has given businesses and media personalities groundbreaking social media strategies to engage fans and generate tangible traction.

AdventureLink Gains Funding


Los Angeles-based AdventureLink , which operates an online booking system for adventure travel, announced today that it has raised a Series A funding for the firm. The funding came from Anthem Venture Partners and The Mail Room Fund.

Apriso Claims Record 2009 Revenues


Long Beach-based Apriso , a developer of planning and control software for the manufacturing industry, reported Thursday that the firm had record revenues in 2009. Apriso is venture backed by Brentwood Venture Capital, CMEA Ventures, LogiSpring Investment Fund SA, SAP Ventures, and Wall Street Technology Partners. The privately held firm did not disclose actual financials.

Zag Raises Funding


Santa Monica-based Zag , which has developed an automobile configuration and buying service for affinity organizations like credit unions and automobile organizations, has a funding round of undisclosed size. Tags: automobile venture auto capital funding

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Fisker Automotive Gets $528.7M Loan


The government funding comes on top of venture funding from such backers as Eco-Drive Capital Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers. Irvine-based Fisker Automotive , which is developing electric vehicles, is the recipient of a $528.7M

Fast Follower III – First Mover Disadvantage


Unable to raise funds from wealthy individuals, he solicited $300 from a hodgepodge of small businessmen, including tavern owners, grocers and physicians. However, he was still unable to secure adequate funding to commercialize his technology. This is part III of a three part series. Click here for Part I and Part II. John Fitch was first. He spent the majority of his adult life fruitlessly attempting to capitalize on the novelty and uniqueness of his invention.