Archives For Venture Captial

In 2013, venture capital financing hit $29.2 billion across 3354 deals. Behind the continued surge in early-stage seed venture capital deals, 2013 marked the fifth straight year of record venture capital deal levels. On the funding front, venture capital funding levels increased in each successive quarter in 2013 and hit $8 billion in Q4 2013 across 849 deals – the highest quarterly funding mark since Q2’12 and a sign of potentially growing confidence throughout the venture ecosystem. Compared to 2012 and 2011, 2013 saw venture capital deals rise 3% and 9%. Funding increased 3% from 2012 but did not top 2011’s post-recession high of $30.8 billion.

vc1

End of Year Sees Surge of VC Funding

On a monthly basis, venture capital deals in 2013 topped those in 2012 in all but 4 months. October ’13 was the highest month for venture deals over the past year at 317 deals. As with deal levels, October ‘13 was the strongest month for VC funding behind mega tech deals to companies including MongoDB and Pinterest.

via 2013 Venture Capital Financing and Exit Annual Report.

PitchTo
Today I’m pleased to announce the public beta release of PitchTo. PitchTo is a dedicated platform for managing and rating founder pitches and provides a way for entrepreneurs to get feedback on their product or pitch.

While working with founders on their pitch deck either preparing for demo day or investor meetings I saw an ongoing theme. While in person feedback is great, founders would also like a better way to get feedback on their pitch from their network. Two more areas where I saw an opportunity for PitchTo is talking with investors about how they keep track of all their companies they see at pitch events, one on meetings, hackathons and demo days. Ironically, most investors were either using a note taking application like Evernote, google docs or good old pen and paper. The other space where PitchTo could be used is judging hackathons, pitch contest or startup weekends. Surprisely, a lot of the hackathons and pitch contest still use a pen and paper rating system such as in the photo below.
paper-form

With PitchTo investors, pitch event judges can easily rate pitches and share the rating via email and or on social media sites. But PitchTo is not only for investors. For founders looking to get feedback on their pitch deck or pitch video, you can upload one or both to your profile and ask for feedback or if you’re pitching at an event, ask the audience to use PitchTo to rate your pitch. My thought has always been, during a pitch event or hackathon, it would be helpful for a founder to be able to collect feedback from the audience and not just from the judges.

PitchTo also has with a built in pitch score algorithm based off of nine pitch data points. The PitchTo Score is based on my experience working with founders on their pitches and researching with investors, venture capital firms and angel investment groups. The goal is to standardize how individual pitches are rated using all of the same data points in the decision making process of rating pitches and deciding investments.

The Nine Core Pitch Data Points
Founder: Does the founder has what it takes operate a success business?
Business Model: Does the company have a hockey stick style business model?
Presentation: How well did the founder present their pitch?
Competition Scale: Does the company have a lot of competition? It ranges from none to a crowded market.
Has The Company Found Customer Validation? Does the company have traction or are they still figuring things out?
Size of the Market: What is the big opportunity in terms of revenue, or user growth?
Sentiment: How did the pitch make you feel?
Would You Invest: A simple yes or no.
Would You Use This Product: A simple yes or no.

Additional Pitch Data Points
Rate The Concept Being Pitched: What problem are they trying to solve?
Rate The Team: Is it a “A+” team?
Rate The Design: How does the product user experience and user interface look?
Rate The Originality of the Company: Has this idea been seen/done before?
Overall Polish of the Product the Demo: What was the completion rate of the product during the demo?
Rate The Key Differentiation aka the Secret Sauce: Does this company has something special to increase their chance of success?

PitchTo is still in beta and I’m excited to hear feedback on how to make it even better.

You can join PitchTo at http://pitchto.co/join

MindofaVC
via prophecy sciences

You need confidence
You are going to fail more than you succeed
Past experiences prepare you
Worse thing is have a partner that doesn’t work hard as you do
Choosing your partners is one of the most important things you can do
Three clicks to book it
There is a lot of stress when starting a company
Investors don’t want Ms they want Bs
Before you quit you have to give it 100%
You need people who will never give up
It’s better to have a few users to love you vs a 1000 users who like you
Do things that don’t scale
perseverance is what matters the most

#startupschool notes: Mark Zuckerberg, Founder, Facebook

marks early coding project
Why did facebook win? There focus on real world identity and people
It didn’t have to be a college platform
Someone else is always going to have more resources than you
Determination is what Zuck has to lead facebook
You are going to make mistakes just don’t give up
Learn as much as you can as a founder, especially before signing anything
Hire people you learn from
Make decisions as a team
Have a goal to make it a good company as soon as possible
People want to learn about people
Everyday there will be tons to do but each day pick the one thing that matters.
Lockdown: everyone focuses
Marks take serious about connecting everyone

Jack Dorsey, Founder, Square, Twitter

Book: The art spirit, Robert Henri
Quote about art.
Lesson: how important the work is.
If you succeed you have to pay for it
We are not here to do what everyone else has done
Don’t fall into the footstep of others
You have to be a master of your own tools
We have so many ideas but it’s about the work
Learn to deal with rejection
There is a time and place for everything but use it at the right time
You can not do anything without a shared and common purpose
Essays will be shorter in words but more in meaning
Built what other people want to see in the world

Book: The score takes care of itself, bill Walsh
Start first first with a purpose and a mission, then find people to implement it
Create a series of list of what to do and what not to do
Tech people your beliefs and purpose and attitudes
Set expectations of how people perform and react
Be yourself, be positive
Be organized and accountable
Be a leader, by showing and not telling

Remember that praise is more valuable than blame

Don’t fall for the Success disease.
Be demanding and don’t relax
During success make the hard the decisions
When getting to the top it makes it harder

Tool: note
Daily bases

Do:
Stay present
Be vulnerable
Drink only lemon water and red wine
Run for 3 miles
Mediate on list
Planks
Push-ups
10 min with heave bag
7 hours of sleep
Squats

Don’t:
Don’t drink hard lap
Don’t be late
Don’t avoid eye contact
Don’t eat sugar

Focus!
Have company do and don’t list

Song: Angoisse
Reminds Jack how simple creation can be
We want to build something that resonate with everyone on the planet.

You are the future, who have the ideas and can build the future.

Chase Adam, Founder, Watsi
Informational vs. Motivational
With non profits it’s hard to know if you succeeding or failing
This is one advantage of being small nonprofit, take risk, do what you want
Decided to be transparent
100% donation
Minima fundraising
No founders or cofounders titles
Hackernews post starts media wave
What they got out of YC: focus, focus on one metric, a network, stamp of approval
Fund raise for three months
Watsi is selling a vision
Find something you work on that you care about more than yourself.