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Product Update: Turn Emails Into Insights With Visible AI Inbox
Structured data. The holy grail of business intelligence. Structured data unlocks a realm of possibilities, from setting benchmarks to enhancing decision-making processes. Yet, in the venture capital landscape, accessing reliable, structured data remains a formidable challenge. This is precisely why we created the Visible AI Inbox. With unique features like automated metric detection and file parsing, the Visible AI Inbox stands out as a pioneering solution for portfolio monitoring. Discover how it can transform your data strategy by meeting with our team. Turning email into insights We believe that investors should spend time sourcing new deals and helping founders, not manually copying and pasting data from email 🙂. The AI Inbox helps aggregate insights that exist siloed in data, files, and updates across a venture firm. Updates from founders often stay stuck in one team member's inbox because it's too time-consuming to extract and enter the data and files into a more centralized repository. Visible AI Inbox makes this possible within seconds. Requests + AI Inbox = A Complete Picture The addition of the AI Inbox continues to advance our market-leading portfolio monitoring solution. The pairing of Requests + the AI Inbox will give investors a holistic view of portfolio company performance across a fund. Visible continues to be the most founder-friendly tool on the market. We’ll continue to build tools in existing workflows where both founders and investors live every day. How Does it Work? Visible AI Inbox works in three simple steps. Forward emails to a custom AI inbox email address Visible AI automatically maps data and files to portfolio companies Investors can review and approve content before it is saved From there, dashboards, tear sheets, and reports are all automatically updated on Visible. Learn more about how Visible AI Inbox can streamline workflows at your firm by meeting with our team. FAQ Will this be available on all plans? Visible AI Inbox is only available on certain plans. Get in touch with your dedicated Investor Success Manager if you want to explore adding this to your account. How is Visible addressing privacy and security with Visible AI Inbox? No data submitted through the OpenAI API is used to train OpenAI models or improve OpenAI’s service offering. Visible AI Inbox leverages OpenAI GPT 4 and proprietary prompts to extract data in a structured way and import it into Visible. If you’re uncomfortable with utilizing OpenAI to optimize your account, you can choose not to utilize this feature. Please feel free to reach out to our team with any further questions. These processes adhere to the guidelines outlined in Visible’s privacy policy and SOC 2 certification.
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16+ Top Venture Capital Firms in Boston in 2024
Boston has long been a powerhouse for innovation and entrepreneurship, making it a prime location for startups and venture capital. Renowned for its prestigious universities and research institutions, the city fosters a rich intellectual capital and cutting-edge technology environment. The startup scene in Boston is vibrant and diverse, supported by a strong network of venture capital firms that provide essential funding and mentorship. This thriving ecosystem offers founders access to a wealth of resources, including accelerators, incubators, and a collaborative community of entrepreneurs and investors, making Boston an ideal place for launching and growing new ventures. At Visible, we often compare a venture capital fundraise to a traditional B2B sales and marketing funnel. At the top of your funnel, you are looking for qualified investors. In the middle of your funnel, you are nurturing potential investors with pitch decks, meetings, and email updates. At the bottom of your funnel, you are hopefully closing new investors. Related Resource: The 12 Best VC Funds You Should Know About Just as a sales and marketing funnel starts by finding qualified leads, the same is true for a venture fundraise. For some, this might start by finding investors (or leads) that are in a certain geography. For founders located in Boston, check out a list of our favorite VC funds in Boston below: 1. General Catalyst Partners As put by the team at General Catalyst Partners, “We work with companies through their entire lifecycle—from the earliest stages through growth and beyond. Our team has expertise in all phases of company building and can add real value at every inflection point. No matter where they are in their journey, we always aspire to be a founder’s first call—connecting them to the relationships that matter most.” Focus and industry: General Catalyst invests across every sector. They specifically mention consumer, enterprise, fintech & crypto, and health assurance on their website. Funding stage: General Catalyst invests across every stage — “from creation to IPO.” General Catalyst is on of the biggest names in the venture industry. They’ve raised 15 funds dating back to 2001. The team invests in companies across every sector, in every stage, across the globe. A few of their most popular investments include: Stripe Warby Parker Hubspot Airbnb Location: Cambridge, MA – New York – London – San Francisco Related Resource: Exploring the Top 10 Venture Capital Firms in New York City Learn more about General Catalyst by checking out their Visible Connect profile → 2. Battery Ventures As put by the team at Battery Ventures, “We back founders and talented teams at all stages of growth, from startups to established market leaders. We are currently investing from our 14th flagship fund, Battery Ventures XIV, and companion fund Select Fund II, together capitalized at a combined $3.8 billion.” Focus and industry: Battery Ventures invests in many sectors but specifically mentions application software, infrastructure software, consumer, and industrial tech on their website. Funding stage: The team at Battery Ventures invests in companies across all stages Battery Ventures has been investing since 1983. Over their 40 years of investing, they’ve funded 450+ companies. Battery Ventures will invest in companies across all stages across the globe. Check out a few of their most popular investments below: Affirm Amplitude Invision Location: Boston – San Francisco – Menlo Park – Tel Aviv – London – New York City Related Resource: 15 Venture Capital Firms in London Fueling Startup Growth Learn more about Battery Ventures by checking out their Visible Connect profile → 3. Polaris Partners As put by the team at Polaris Partners, “Since 1996, Polaris has been guided by the fundamental beliefs that people come first and true partnerships make all the difference. Rooted in mutual respect and a shared passion for innovation, our relationships with outstanding visionaries principally in technology and healthcare have helped to change the world for the better.” Focus and industry: The team at Polaris is focused on healthcare and life science/biotechnology companies Related Resource: The Top VCs Investing in BioTech (plus the metrics they want to see) Funding stage: The team at Polaris Partners does not publicly stage their stage focus. Polaris Partners has been funding healthcare businesses for 20+ years. Polaris has raised 10 funds focused on funding companies in healthcare and technology. A few of their most popular investments include: Syros SimplyInsured Amunix Location: Boston – New York – San Francisco Learn more about Polaris Partners by checking out their Visible Connect profile → 4. Summit Partners As put by their team, “Summit Partners was founded in 1984 with a commitment to find and partner with exceptional entrepreneurs to help them accelerate their growth and achieve dramatic results. Since then, Summit has become the investment partner of choice for many of the best growth companies in the world. We’ve grown to a team of more than 115 investment professionals, led by Managing Directors and Partners whose tenures average more than 16 years with Summit. We have the capital and team to support your growth initiatives.” Focus and industry: Summit Partners is focused on technology, healthcare & life science, and growth products Funding stage: The team at Summit Partners is focused on growth-stage companies and typically writes checks between $10M and $500M As put by their team, “We invest around the world and have portfolio companies in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa. Based from offices in North America and Europe, our team travels the globe in search of growing companies and the resources to support them.” A few of their most popular investments include: WebEx Uber Reverb Location: Boston, MA 5. .406 Ventures As put by the team at .406 Ventures, “We invest in opportunities where we understand the need and your company’s technology solution; where we have deep, relevant networks; and where we believe we can add disproportionate value as a partner, investor, and board member. Our initial investments are typically between $2 and $5 million with substantial additional capital reserved for follow-on investment.” Focus and industry: The team at .406 Ventures focuses on cybersecurity, digital health, and data & cloud companies. Funding stage: .406 Ventures is focused on early-stage companies and typically writes checks between $2M and $5M. As put by their team, “When we were building our own entrepreneurial companies, we found that it was often our independent board members, not the VC board members, who contributed the most value. Invariably, it was the independent board members who had the deep experience and strong operational networks—and who had been in our shoes. At .406, we aim to bring these qualities, in addition to capital, to every one of our portfolio companies. It is our goal to be the most valuable member on your board.” Some of their most popular investments include: Compass Nomad Health Randori Location: Boston, MA 6. OpenView According to their team, “OpenView, the expansion stage venture firm, helps build software companies into market leaders. Through our Expansion Platform, we help companies hire the best talent, acquire and retain the right customers and partner with industry leaders so they can dominate their markets. Our focus on the expansion stage makes us uniquely suited to provide truly tailored operational support to our portfolio companies.” Focus and industry: OpenView Partners is focused on companies that are “changing the future of work.” Related Resource: 15+ VCs Investing in the Future of Work Funding stage: OpenView Partners is focused on expansion-stage companies. OpenView is largely associated with “product-led growth” and has backed some of the most prolific and successful SaaS companies. With their focus on the future of work companies + expansion stage companies, OpenView offers resources to help companies tackle all aspects of expansion stage growth. A few of their most popular investments include: Calendly Lessonly Datadog Location: Boston, MA Learn more about OpenView Partners by checking out their Visible Connect profile → 7. 1414 Ventures As put by their team, “1414 Ventures is focused solely on the digital identity space which supports functions such as payments, cybersecurity, and data privacy & trust. Given the exponential surge in virtual and digital transactions/interactions over the last year combined with increased security, fraud prevention, and privacy needs, there is a huge opportunity for next-generation digital identity startups.” Focus and industry: 1414 Ventures invests in companies that are “focused on creating innovative digital identity solutions.” Funding stage: Pre-seed and seed-stage companies 1414 Ventures has an intense focus on companies that are developing the future of digital identity. Some of 1414 Ventures’ most popular investments are: SingularKey Tautuk SwiftConnect Location: Boston, MA 8. Mendoza Ventures As put by their team, “Mendoza Ventures is an early and growth stage Fintech, AI, and Cybersecurity venture fund that provides an actively managed approach to VC. We invest in areas where we have deep domain expertise, companies with early revenue, a clear value proposition, and use a proven due diligence model. We focus on diversity as playing an important role in our investment decisions, as roughly 75% of our portfolio consists of start-ups led by immigrants, people of color, and women.” Focus and industry: Mendoza is focused on Fintech, AI, and Cybersecurity companies. Funding stage: Mendoza Ventures is focused on early and growth-stage companies On their website, Mendoza further explains their background and foundation, “Based in Boston, Mendoza Ventures is women-owned and the first LatinX-owned venture fund on the East Coast. The firm is run by husband and wife Adrian and Senofer Mendoza, entrepreneurs and prior operators who are veterans of the Boston start-up ecosystem.” Some of their most popular investments include: Canvas Senso Daylight Location: Boston – San Francisco Learn more about Mendoza Ventures by checking out their Visible Connect profile → 9. HLM Venture Partners As put by their team, “HLM provides venture capital to early- to mid-stage health care information technology, health care services, and medical device companies. HLM has helped over 75 privately-held health care companies turn innovative ideas into market-leading businesses. The Company’s investment professionals have over 125 years of collective expertise in the health care industry, an accumulation of knowledge and experience that is invaluable to the leadership of its portfolio companies.” Focus and industry: HLM Venture Partners are focused on healthcare services and companies. Funding stage: HLM offers early to mid-stage capital. HLM Venture Partners has invested in 75+ companies. Some of their most popular investments are: Able To Blue Rabbit Tebra Location: Waltham, MA 10. Venrock As put by the team at Venrock, “Originally established as the venture capital arm of the Rockefeller family in 1969, Venrock partners with entrepreneurs to build some of the world’s most disruptive, successful companies. With a primary focus on technology and healthcare.” Focus and industry: The team at Venrock is focused on investing in technology and healthcare companies Funding stage: Venrock invests across all stages Venrock is an original player in the venture capital space. Over their history, they have invested in 700 companies and have raised 10 funds. They’ve invested in some of the most prolific companies such as: Apple Nest Zoominfo Location: New York – Palo Alto 11. Third Rock Ventures As put by the team at Third Rock Ventures, “To achieve what hadn’t been done before, we created a process that hadn’t been done before. By starting with big ideas and fostering collaboration among brilliant people with expertise in science, medicine, business, and strategy, we set out to do more than fund startups – we aim to build sustainable, innovative companies that can transform the lives of patients.” Focus and industry: Third Rock Ventures focuses on biotechnology companies Funding stage: Third Rock Ventures does not publicly list a specific stage or check size As put by their team, “We build our companies on a solid foundation, instilling core values and a commitment to a great culture. Our companies are based on bold ideas that meet at the intersection of science, business, medicine, and strategy – where transformational science meets operational rigor – providing the best opportunity to make a dramatic difference in patient’s lives.” Some of their most popular investments include: Celsius Faze Medicines Moma Location: Boston – San Francisco Learn more about Third Rock Ventures by checking out their Visible Connect profile → 12. Boston Seed Capital Boston Seed Capital is a well-established venture capital firm dedicated to investing in early-stage technology companies. With a focus on fostering innovation and growth, Boston Seed Capital provides not only financial support but also strategic guidance and resources to help startups thrive. Founders working with Boston Seed Capital benefit from the firm’s extensive network, expertise, and commitment to building successful businesses. Focus and industry: Boston Seed Capital primarily focuses on technology-driven industries. They invest in sectors such as software, digital media, e-commerce, and internet services. The firm is particularly interested in companies that leverage innovative technologies to disrupt traditional markets and create new opportunities. Funding stage: They typically invest in early-stage companies, including pre-seed and seed rounds. Their investment amounts generally range from $250,000 to $2.5 million in seed rounds. Location: Located in the heart of Boston on Atlantic Avenue. Learn more about Boston Seed Capital by checking out their Visible Connect profile here → 13. Boston Millenia Partners Boston Millenia Partners is a distinguished venture capital firm known for its strategic investments in innovative companies. With a strong track record of identifying and nurturing high-potential businesses, Boston Millenia Partners is dedicated to providing both financial support and strategic expertise. Founders partnering with this firm benefit from their deep industry knowledge, extensive network, and a collaborative approach to building successful enterprises. Focus and industry: Boston Millenia Partners primarily focuses on industries such as healthcare, life sciences, and technology. They are particularly interested in companies that are at the forefront of medical innovations, digital health solutions, and advanced technological developments. Funding stage: Boston Millenia Partners typically invests in later-stage companies, including growth and expansion stages but they also invest in seed rounds. They provide substantial financial backing, with investment amounts generally ranging from $1 million to $15 million. Location: Located in the bustling financial district of Boston on Federal Street. Learn more about Boston Millenia Partners by checking out their Visible Connect profile → 14. Beacon Angels Beacon Angels is a Boston-based angel investment group dedicated to supporting early-stage, fast-growing companies in New England. Founded in 2006, Beacon Angels brings together experienced investors who provide not only financial support but also strategic advice and mentorship to help startups succeed. The group is known for its collaborative approach, leveraging the collective expertise and networks of its members to foster innovation and growth in the companies they back. Focus and industry: Beacon Angels primarily focuses on a diverse range of industries, including technology, software, IT, health care, biotechnology, consumer goods Funding stage: Beacon Angels typically invests in early-stage companies, providing seed and early-round funding. Their investment amounts usually range from $50,000 to $400,000 per company. Location: Located in the heart of Boston, offering easy access to the city’s vibrant startup ecosystem, their office is situated on Federal Street. Learn more about Beacon Angels by checking out their Visible Connect profile → 15. Underscore VC Underscore VC is a Boston-based venture capital firm founded in 2015. The firm is committed to backing bold entrepreneurs at the early stages, particularly in the B2B software sector. With a focus on creating a supportive community, Underscore VC connects founders with experienced operators, executives, and entrepreneurs to provide strategic guidance and resources. Their approach is designed to help startups navigate the challenges of growth and scale effectively. Focus and industry: Underscore VC primarily focuses on B2B software companies. Their investment interests span various sectors, including SaaS, fintech, AI, cloud computing, and logistics. Companies in their portfolio often originate from top academic institutions such as Harvard and MIT, reflecting their strong ties to the academic and tech communities in Boston​​​​. Funding stage: Underscore VC invests in pre-seed, seed, Series A, Series B, and Series C companies. Their sweet spot check size is $4 million but will also invest up to $10 million. Their investment strategy is aimed at helping startups achieve key milestones, such as product development, market validation, and early customer acquisition, which are crucial for attracting further investment and scaling the business​​​​. Location: Underscore VC is headquartered in the historic Old City Hall on School Street. Learn more about Underscore VC by checking out their Visible Connect profile → 16. Volition Capital Volition Capital is a Boston-based growth equity firm that principally invests in high-growth, founder-owned companies across the software, Internet, and consumer sectors. Founded in 2010, Volition has over $1.1 billion in assets under management and has invested in over 30 companies in the United States and Canada. The firm selectively partners with founders to help them achieve their fullest aspirations for their businesses. Focus and industry: Volition Capital focuses on several high growth key industries, including software, internet services, and consumer sectors. The firm has a strong emphasis on technology-driven businesses, particularly those in SaaS , fintech, cybersecurity, digital health, and e-commerce. Funding stage: Volition Capital typically invests in growth-stage companies, providing capital in the range of $10 million to $20 million per investment. Their funding is aimed at accelerating growth, expanding market presence, and enabling shareholder liquidity. The firm seeks to take meaningful minority ownership stakes and often secures board positions to actively participate in the strategic direction of the companies they back​​​​. Location: Volition Capital is headquartered on Huntington Avenue, Boston. Learn more about Volition Capital by checking out their Visible Connect profile → Find investors in Boston with Visible As we previously mentioned, a venture fundraise oftentimes mirrors a traditional B2B sales and marketing funnel. Just as sales and marketing teams have dedicated tools to track their funnel, shouldn’t founders have dedicated tools to manage their most important asset – equity? With Visible, you can track and manage every part of your fundraising funnel. Find investors at the top of your funnel with Visible Connect, our free investor database Add them directly to your fundraising pipeline directly in Visible Share your pitch deck and data room with investors in your pipeline Send Updates to current and potential investors to keep them engaged with the progress of your business. Take your investor relations to the next level with Visible. Give Visible a free try for 14 days here.
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The Rise of Venture Capital in Utah: A Look at Utah’s Top 14 VC Firms
Utah has rapidly emerged as a thriving hub for startups and venture capital, offering a fertile ground for entrepreneurial innovation and investment. The state's robust tech ecosystem, often referred to as the "Silicon Slopes," is home to a dynamic community of founders and investors driving significant growth and innovation. Venture capital in Utah has seen remarkable expansion, with a growing number of VC firms providing critical funding and support to early-stage companies. This vibrant startup scene is supported by a strong network of accelerators, incubators, and resources that make Utah an attractive destination for entrepreneurs seeking to launch and scale their ventures . Venture Capital in Utah At Visible, we often compare venture capital fundraise to a traditional B2B sales and marketing funnel. At the top of your fundraising funnel, you are bringing in qualified investors via warm and cold outreach. In the middle of your fundraising funnel, you are nurturing potential investors with pitch decks, meetings, and email updates. At the bottom of your fundraising funnel, you are hopefully closing new investors (and delighting them with regular updates). Related Resource: How to Find Venture Capital to Fund Your Startup: 5 Methods Just as a sales and marketing funnel starts with qualified leads, so should a fundraising funnel. For some companies, this might mean looking for local investors — for founders in Utah, check out a list of venture capitalists in the area below: 1. Park City Angels As put by their team, “The Park City Angels are a group of 40+ accredited investors located in Park City, Utah. We look to invest in promising opportunities that can produce significant shareholder return. The active lifestyle of Park City has attracted many dynamic and successful business leaders that have deep experience in building world class businesses. We facilitate unique, high-caliber networking and development forums for angel investors and mentors involved in early-stage investment.” Focus and industry: The Park City Angels team lays out their focus directly on their website, “We are most interested in companies that have valuations from $4MM to $6MM, have a reasonable likelihood of reaching $30MM in sales within 5 years, and can get to cash flow break-even within the next year or two.” Funding stage: Park City Angels is focused on companies with valuations between $4M and $6M The team at Park City Angels generally focuses on companies in Utah but is open to investing in companies across the country. Some of their most popular investments include: Lula High West Distillery Allgood Provisions Related Resource: VCs Investing In Food & Bev Startups Location: Park City, UT 2. EPIC Ventures As put by their team, “EPIC Ventures is a premier early-stage software and Internet infrastructure venture firm whose mission is to back entrepreneurs and companies positioned to lead the information economy of tomorrow. We bring the collective operational and financial experience of our partnership, our world-class advisors, and our extensive network of technology industry contacts to engage and ensure our portfolio’s success.” Focus and industry: The team at EPIC Ventures does not state an industry focus. Funding stage: The team at EPIC Ventures is focused on early-stage investments. EPIC Ventures invests in companies in Utah and the greater northwest in the United States. EPIC Ventures has invested across four funds. Some of their most popular investments include: Ancestory Manscaped Zenefits Location: Salt Lake City, UT Learn more about EPIC Ventures by checking out their Visible Connect profile → Related Resource: A Quick Overview on VC Fund Structure 3. RenewableTech Ventures As put by their team, “RenewableTech Ventures is committed to creating exceptional returns for both the entrepreneurs we invest in and our fund investors. These exceptional returns are achieved by investing in early-stage innovations in energy, clean technology, green materials, and other clean technologies. Our investment activity is focused in Canada and the United States, with a specific focus on regions that are underserved by venture capital.” Focus and industry: The team at RenewableTech is focused on companies’ innovation in the energy, clean technology, and green technology space. Funding stage: RenewableTech Ventures is focused on early-stage investments. As put by their team, “​​RenewableTech Ventures provides capital, market intelligence, active board representation and an exceptional international network of industry contacts, technology leaders and co-investors.” They are focused on investing in the US/Canada, particularly in regions that are traditionally underserved by venture capital. Check out a few of their most popular investments below: Solid Carbon Products Consolidated Energy Systems Voila Mattress Location: Salt Lake City – Vancouver Learn more about RenewableTech Ventures by checking out their Visible Connect profile → 4. Kickstart Fund Kickstart Fund is a seed-stage venture capital firm based in Salt Lake City, UT. Kickstart’s mission is to fuel the best companies in the Mountain West by providing smart capital, a connected community, and expert guidance. Since raising its first fund in 2008, Kickstart has invested in more than 150 companies. Focus and industry: As put by their team, “We’re industry agnostic and have invested in SaaS, consumer, marketplace, and healthcare startups.” Funding stage: Kickstart is focused on seed investing The team at Kickstart has invested in 150+ companies and has become synonymous with seed investing in the western US. Kickstart traditionally writes checks between $250k and $2M. The team is largely focused on investing in companies located in Utah, Colorado, and the Mountain West. Check out a few of their most popular investments below: Stance CloudApp Cotopaxi Location: Cottonwood Heights, Utah Learn more about Kickstart Fund by checking out their Visible Connect Profile → 5. Banyan Ventures As put by their team, “Banyan Ventures partners with entrepreneurs to build businesses. Our methodology helps early-stage companies grow into valuable and sustainable enterprises. On the other end of the spectrum, we also help owners of established companies continue their legacies as they seek to transition out of a business.” Focus and industry: As put by their team, “Banyan Ventures primarily focuses on business opportunities with significant revenue traction in traditional industries like manufacturing, business services, construction, and other industrial sectors.” Funding stage: Banyan is focused on early-stage investments. The team at Banyan has launched 4 funds and led investments in 23 companies. Some of their most popular investments include: Intermountain Nutrition Belle Havens Restore Location: Holladay, UT 6. Pelion As put by their team, “Since 1986, Pelion Venture Partners has been helping entrepreneurs turn early-stage concepts into tomorrow’s industry-leading companies. The Pelion team has deep and diverse industry and investment experience. We are hands-on in our approach and work collaboratively on each portfolio company over the life of an investment.” Focus and industry: Pelion is agnostic in their investment focus Funding stage: Pelion is focused on early-stage investments The team at Pelion has been investing since 1986 so it is fair to say that they know their way around the Utah venture capital space. Some of their most popular investments include: BigPanda Owlet Divvy Location: Salt Lake City, UT Learn more about Pelion by checking out their Visible Connect profile → 7. Mercato As put by their team, “Mercato has built its success by providing entrepreneurs with the capital and resources they require to effectively scale their businesses. Over time, we have become expert growth investors with firsthand knowledge of what organizations really need to be successful.” Focus and industry: The team at Mercato invests across 4 funds — each with a different focus and stage as shown below: Funding stage: Mercato invests across many stages depending on the fund As mentioned above, Mercato has 4 specific funds. Each fund gives them the opportunity to invest in different stages or markets. For the sake of this post we will take a look at their “Prelude Venture Fund.” As they put it, ‘Prelude companies have demonstrated product-market-fit and have deep customer relations obtained through product leadership and nimble execution.” A few of Prelude’s most popular investments include: Cotopaxi Blip Bluematador Location: Cottonwood Heights, UT Learn more about Mercato by checking out their Visible Connect profile → 8. Zetta Venture Partners As put by their team, “At Zetta Venture Partners, it’s our mission to help technical founders turn machine learning models into market-leading companies. We were the first VC firm exclusively focused on identifying and supporting AI-driven, B2B businesses.” Focus and industry: Zetta Venture Partners is focused on AI-first startups Related Resource: How AI Can Support Startups & Investors + VCs Investing in AI Funding stage: The team at Zetta Venture Partners leads pre-seed and seed rounds. Zetta Venture Partners launched their first fund in 2015 and has been hyper-focused on AI startups since. Zetta believes that AI startups are different than traditional software companies and are well-suited to help technical founders in the space. Some of their most popular investments include: Clearbit Domo Tractable Location: New York – San Francisco – Utah Learn more about Zetta Venture Partners by checking out their Visible Connect profile → 9. Signal Peak Ventures As put by their team, “Signal Peak is a private equity and venture capital firm with more than $500 million of committed capital under management. The firm focuses on making equity investments in early-stage technology companies in emerging markets. Signal Peak is typically a SaaS investor targeting companies with differentiated and disruptive business models, exceptional management teams, and large addressable markets.” Focus and industry: Signal Peak typically targets SaaS companies Funding stage: Signal Peak is focused on early-stage companies Signal Peak is focused on investing in technology companies across the United States. Some of their most popular investments include: Degreed Slate Hivewire Location: Salt Lake City, UT Learn more about Signal Peak Ventures by checking out their Visible Connect profile → 10. Peterson Ventures As put by the team at Peterson Ventures, “We get it, building a business is hard. With us you get a dedicated partner you can trust, no matter what. And when you need it, we’re a counselor without a co-pay. We help you go from Seed to Series A by investing in your seed round, introducing you to our network of CEO’s and advisors, improving your metrics, focusing your strategy when the time is right, introducing you to some of the best investors around for your next round of funding.” Focus and industry: Peterson Ventures is focused on companies in digital commerce and SaaS Funding stage: Peterson Ventures is focused on seed and early-stage startups The team at Peterson invests in the people behind a business. They believe in building long-lasting relationships with their entrepreneurs. A few of their most popular investments include: Allbirds Bonobos Cotopaxi Location: Salt Lake City, UT Learn more about Peterson Ventures by checking out their Visible Connect profile → 11. Album VC Album VC, originally known as Peak Ventures, is a well-regarded venture capital firm based in Utah that focuses on investing in early-stage technology companies. Established by seasoned entrepreneurs John Mayfield and Curt Roberts, Album VC rebranded in 2019 to better reflect its mission of amplifying the stories of the companies they back. The firm is known for its founder-friendly approach, providing not only capital but also extensive mentorship and strategic support. Album VC has a strong track record of helping startups achieve significant growth and success, making it a valuable partner for entrepreneurs looking to scale their businesses. Focus and industry: The primarily focus is on early-stage investments across a wide range of industries. They have a particular interest in sectors such as software, consumer internet, and enterprise technology. Their portfolio includes companies that are pushing the boundaries of innovation and transforming their respective industries. Founders in these sectors can expect Album VC to bring not only capital but also strategic guidance and valuable industry connections. Funding stage: Album VC typically invests in Seed and Series A rounds, offering initial checks ranging from $500,000 to $5 million. They aim to support startups from their earliest stages of development, providing the necessary resources to scale and succeed. Album VC’s investment strategy is tailored to help companies navigate the critical phases of growth, ensuring they have the support needed to achieve their milestones. Location: Lehi, Utah Learn more about Album VC by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → 12. Tamarak Capital Tamarak Capital is a dynamic venture capital firm dedicated to nurturing early-stage startups with high growth potential. With a mission to accelerate the development of innovative companies, Tamarak Capital combines financial investment with strategic mentorship to help founders build successful businesses. The firm prides itself on its collaborative approach, working closely with entrepreneurs to provide the guidance and resources needed to achieve their goals. Focus and industry: Tamarak Capital primarily focuses on investing in technology-driven industries. Their areas of interest include software, hardware, consumer products, and healthcare technology. Funding stage: Tamarak typically invests in Seed and Series A rounds, with initial investments ranging from $500,000 to $2 million. Their goal is to support startups at the early stages of their development, providing the capital and expertise necessary to help them scale. Location: Springville, Utah Learn more about Tamarak by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → 13. StartStudio StartStudio is an innovative venture capital firm based in Utah, dedicated to transforming early-stage startups into successful, scalable businesses. With a unique approach that blends investment with hands-on incubation, StartStudio works closely with founders to develop their ideas and bring them to market. Their team of experienced entrepreneurs and investors provides comprehensive support, including mentorship, strategic guidance, and operational assistance, making StartStudio a valuable partner for ambitious startups looking to accelerate their growth. Focus and industry: StartStudio primarily focuses on technology-driven industries, with a strong emphasis on software, mobile applications, and digital platforms. Funding stage: StartStudio typically invests in pre-seed and seed-stage companies, with an initial investment of $100,000. Their investment strategy is designed to provide early-stage startups with the critical funding they need to develop their products, validate their business models, and prepare for subsequent funding rounds. Location: Provo, Utah Learn more about StartStudio by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → 14. Royal Street Ventures Royal Street Ventures' philosophy is centered on collaboration and long-term partnership. It offers both financial backing and strategic mentorship to early-stage companies. The team comprises seasoned investors and industry experts who work closely with founders to provide the resources and guidance necessary for scaling their businesses and achieving market success. Focus and industry: They invest in companies focused on creating scalable, tech-enabled solutions to real-world problems from the Midwest to the Pacific U.S. Funding stage: Typically, they invest in early-stage and seed rounds, with initial investments ranging from $250,000 to $2 million. Location: Park City, Utah Learn more about Royal Street Ventures by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Find investors in Utah with Visible As we mentioned at the start of this post, we often compare a venture capital fundraise to a traditional sales and marketing funnel. Just as a sales and marketing team has dedicated tools, shouldn’t a founder manage their investors? With Visible you can manage every part of your fundraising funnel: Find investors with Visible Connect, our free investor database, at the top of your funnel Track your conversations with our Fundraising CRM Nurture them with our Pitch Deck sharing tool Work through due diligence with our Data Room tool Delight them with regular investor Updates Give Visible a free try for 14 days here →
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Exploring the Top 10 Venture Capital Firms in New York City in 2024
New York City has firmly established itself as a premier destination for startups and venture capital, offering an unparalleled ecosystem of innovation and investment opportunities. The city's diverse and vibrant entrepreneurial landscape is bolstered by a wealth of resources, including a dense concentration of venture capital firms, accelerators, and incubators. As a global financial hub, New York provides startups with access to significant funding, strategic partnerships, and a rich talent pool, making it an ideal location for founders looking to launch and scale their businesses. This dynamic environment fosters continuous growth and innovation, positioning New York as a leader in the startup and venture capital scene. At Visible, we often compare a startup fundraising process to a traditional B2B sales and marketing funnel. At the top of your funnel, you are adding qualified investors. Nurturing them in the middle of the funnel with email, meetings, pitches, etc. And ideally closing them as a new investor at the bottom of a funnel. Related Resource: How to Find Venture Capital to Fund Your Startup: 5 Methods Just like a sales and marketing funnel, a fundraising funnel needs to start with the right investors for your business (e.g. qualified lead or qualified investor). One of the aspects founders will want to research is the geography of the investor and where they invest. Check out a few popular venture capital firms located in New York below: 1. Union Square Ventures According to their website, “Union Square Ventures is a venture capital firm focused on early-stage, growth-capital, late stage, and startup financing.” Learn more about Union Square Ventures by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range Union Square Ventures invests in a large range of companies. Looking at their website and you’ll find that they invest in anywhere between Series A and Series D stages. Industries Union Square is self-described as a “thesis-driven” investor. They are currently investing off of their Thesis 3.0: “Enabling trusted brands that broaden access to knowledge, capital, and well-being by leveraging networks, platforms, and protocols.” Check out more about their Thesis 3.0, recent investments, and key ideas below: 2. Insight Partners According to the Insight Partners website, “Insight accelerates revenue and profit in software companies. Our obsession with software has produced a habit of success. We recognize industry patterns, emerging tech markets and software trends. We’ve accumulated the knowledge to understand the strategies needed to win.” Learn more about Insight Partners by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range Insight Partners will invest across every stage but their bread and butter are “scale-up” companies. Insight will invest anywhere from pre-seed to series C and beyond stages — generally with a check size between $10M and $350M. Industries Insight is focused on software companies. However, they invest in a number of different sectors that you can find here (or below): 3. Scout Ventures According to the Scout Ventures website, “Scout Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in frontier and dual-use technologies built by veterans, intelligence leaders, and premier research labs. By leveraging our network of professional investors, operators, and experienced entrepreneurs, Scout can effectively execute every aspect of our investment thesis. We’re also paving the way for military veterans and intelligence professionals to access hundreds of millions in government grants and non-dilutive capital. The firm has three locations: Austin, New York City, Washington, DC.” Learn more about Scout Ventures by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range Scout Ventures writes checks anywhere between $100,000 and $3M. According to their website, “We lead Seed rounds with $1-2M initial checks and reserve capital for follow-on investments up to Series B.” Industries According to the Scout website, “We focus on sectors aligned to our experience serving in defense and building multi-billion dollar companies: AI/ML, quantum computing, robotics, advanced materials science, security, space & aerospace, and advanced energy.” 4. Greycroft According to their website, “Greycroft is a venture capital firm that focuses on technology start-ups and investments in the Internet and mobile markets.” Learn more about Greycroft by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range According to the team at Greycroft, “Greycroft typically makes initial investments from $500,000 at the seed stage to up to $30 million from the growth stage. We are an active Series A investor and typically invest between $1 million and $10 million. The growth fund targets investing $10 to $30 million on an initial basis and may reserve up to double that amount over time. The growth fund focuses on later-stage companies with proven unit economics, annual revenue growth in excess of 50%, and a management team that is prepared to scale.” Industries On the Greycroft website, you’ll find that they invest in a number of different industries — ”We invest across a broad range of Internet sectors. We currently group our portfolio into four verticals: Consumer Internet, Fintech, Healthcare, and Enterprise Software.” 5. RRE Ventures RRE Ventures has been funding software startups since the 90s. According to their website, “RRE Ventures is a New York-based venture capital firm that offers early-stage funding to software, internet, and communications companies.” Learn more about RRE Ventures by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range The team at RRE invests in a variety of early-stage tech and software companies. According to their Visible Connect profile, they invest in Series A and B companies with an average check size between $4M and $15M. Industries According to their website, “RRE invests in early-stage, technology-enabled companies across all sectors and across the country. We back credible teams executing against incredible ideas to build category-defining businesses.” Check it out here or learn more below: 6. Lerer Hippeau According to their website, “Lerer Hippeau is an early-stage venture capital fund founded and operated in New York City. We invest in good people with great ideas who redefine categories — and create new ones entirely.” Learn more about Lerer Hippeau by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range The team at Lerer Hippeau has 3 funds that invest in pre-seed to Series C and beyond companies. Industries The team at Lerer Hippeau is industry-agnostic and will invest in any company — including enterprise and consumer landscapes. 7. Starta According to their website, “​​Starta is a venture ecosystem to find, foster, and fund early-stage talent in tech. Our mission is to provide opportunities to: International startups who want to scale globally and raise capital Aspiring industry leaders, seeking professional training Investors who believe in long-term growth potential and a strong connection with the community Starta values inclusivity and diversity. Having worked with over 200 startups from all over the world, we intensively focus on bringing equal opportunities and support to the ecosystem.” Learn more about Starta by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range Like many of the other firms on this list, Starta has multiple funds that invest in many stages. Starta operates both an accelerator and early-stage fund intended for seed and series A companies: Industries The Starta team has a focus on international startups that are looking to expand and scale their US presence. 8. FirstMark FirstMark is an early-stage venture capital firm headquartered in New York City. As put by their team, “We are proud to back the ambitious founders of the most iconic companies in the world.” Learn more about FirstMark by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range According to their Visible Connect profile, the team at FirstMark writes checks anywhere between $500k and $15M. Industries The team at FirstMark invests in companies of a variety of industries and sectors. They have major focus areas of Enterprise, Consumer, and Frontier companies. 9. Hypothesis According to the Hypothesis website, “We build and fund companies. We’re a startup studio and seed fund that launches, funds, and scales exceptional companies.” Learn more about Hypothesis by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range As a startup studio, Hypothesis focuses on finding successful founders and co-founders and helps them launch and scale businesses. In addition to capital, Hypothesis portfolio companies receive resources and help with sales and marketing, hiring, product development, follow-up funding, etc. Industries The team at Hypothesis will invest in companies across many industries and are focused on “mission-driven” companies and founders. 10. Interlace Ventures According to the team at Interlace Ventures, “Investing in early-stage commerce- and retail-technology companies gives us unparalleled access to the latest technological innovations and trends across commerce and retail. We leverage this access by partnering with global brands and retailers to support their innovation efforts. We do this through a variety of methods, all of with are tailored after each partner’s individual needs and priorities.” Learn more about Interlace Ventures by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range The team at Interlace invests in pre-seed to series A-stage companies. According to their Visible Connect Profile, they will write checks anywhere between $150k and $600k. Industries Interlace has a focus on commerce and retail companies. 11. FJ Labs FJ Labs is a prominent venture capital firm based in New York City, renowned for its extensive network and hands-on approach to investing. Founded by experienced entrepreneurs Fabrice Grinda and Jose Marin, FJ Labs focuses on creating value for founders and investors. The firm leverages its deep industry expertise and global connections to support startups in achieving their growth potential. FJ Labs is particularly noted for its collaborative ethos, working closely with portfolio companies to navigate the complexities of scaling and market expansion. Learn more about FJ Labs by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range FJ Labs typically invests in pre-seed to Series A rounds, with investment amounts ranging from $50,000 to $500,000. Focusing on early-stage investments, FJ Labs provides critical funding enabling startups to develop their products, gain market traction, and prepare for subsequent funding rounds. Their flexible investment strategy allows them to tailor their support to the unique needs of each startup, ensuring that founders receive the resources necessary to succeed. Industries FJ Labs has a diverse investment portfolio, strongly emphasizing marketplaces and network effects businesses. They are particularly interested in industries such as e-commerce, real estate tech, fintech, and mobility. FJ Labs seeks out startups that leverage technology to disrupt traditional markets and create new growth opportunities. Their broad industry focus enables them to identify innovative business models and support visionary entrepreneurs across various sectors. 12. VentureOut VentureOut is a unique venture capital firm and accelerator based dedicated to bridging the gap between international startups and the US market. With a focus on helping startups expand globally, VentureOut offers a comprehensive suite of services designed to support international entrepreneurs in scaling their businesses in the US. The firm combines investment with an accelerator program that provides mentorship, networking opportunities, and strategic guidance, making it an ideal partner for startups looking to make a significant impact in the American market. Investment Range VentureOut typically invests in early-stage companies, with investment amounts ranging from $50,000 to $250,000. Their funding is often coupled with participation in their accelerator programs, which offer startups additional resources to refine their business models, develop go-to-market strategies, and establish a presence in the US. This dual approach of investment and acceleration helps startups gain the momentum they need to succeed in a competitive market. Learn more about VentureOut by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Industries VentureOut focuses on various industries, with a particular emphasis on technology-driven sectors. They are especially interested in software, fintech, health tech, and enterprise tech startups. By concentrating on these high-growth areas, VentureOut aims to support innovative companies that have the potential to transform industries and drive technological advancements. Their industry focus and international expertise position VentureOut as a valuable partner for startups seeking to expand their reach and impact in the US market. 13. FirstMark FirstMark is a distinguished venture capital firm known for its commitment to backing visionary entrepreneurs. With a track record of successful investments, FirstMark partners with startups that have the potential to revolutionize their industries. The firm is dedicated to providing not only capital but also strategic support and access to an extensive network of industry leaders. By fostering close relationships with their portfolio companies, FirstMark helps founders navigate the challenges of scaling their businesses and achieving long-term success. Learn more about FirstMark by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range FirstMark typically invests in seed and early-stage companies, with investment amounts ranging from $500,000 to $10 million. This substantial range allows FirstMark to support startups at various stages of their development, from initial product launches to significant growth phases. Their flexible investment approach ensures that each startup receives the appropriate level of funding to meet its unique needs and objectives. Industries FirstMark has a broad investment focus with a strong emphasis on technology and innovation. They are particularly interested in sectors such as enterprise software, consumer technology, fintech, healthcare, and emerging technologies like AI and blockchain. FirstMark seeks out startups that are poised to disrupt traditional markets and create new growth opportunities. By investing in a diverse array of industries, FirstMark aims to support the next generation of transformative companies and help shape the future of technology and innovation. 14. New York Angels New York Angels is a prominent angel investment group based in New York City, dedicated to providing early-stage funding and mentorship to innovative startups. Comprising a diverse network of seasoned entrepreneurs and business leaders, New York Angels offers a wealth of experience and strategic insight to help young companies grow and succeed. The organization is known for its collaborative approach, working closely with founders to refine their business models, develop market strategies, and connect with additional resources and expertise. Learn more about New York Angels by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range New York Angels typically invests in seed and early-stage companies, with investment amounts ranging from $250,000 to $1 million. By focusing on the crucial early stages of a startup's development, New York Angels provides the necessary capital to help companies validate their business ideas, build their initial products, and gain market traction. Their investment approach is designed to offer startups the financial support they need to reach critical milestones and prepare for subsequent funding rounds. Industries New York Angels has a broad investment focus, with a particular interest in technology-driven sectors. They frequently invest in industries such as software, fintech, health tech, consumer products, and media. This diverse industry focus allows New York Angels to support a wide array of innovative startups, fostering growth and innovation across multiple sectors. By backing companies that leverage technology to create new solutions and disrupt existing markets, New York Angels aims to contribute to the advancement of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in New York City and beyond. 15. New York Venture Partners New York Venture Partners (NYVP) is a leading venture capital firm based in New York City, focused on supporting early-stage startups with a combination of capital, mentorship, and strategic resources. Known for its hands-on approach, NYVP aims to help founders build scalable businesses by providing more than just funding. The firm's extensive network and industry expertise enable it to offer valuable insights and connections, making NYVP a vital partner for startups looking to navigate the complexities of growth and market entry. Learn more about New York Venture Partners by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range New York Venture Partners typically invests in seed and early-stage companies, with investment amounts ranging from $100,000 to $1 million. This investment range is designed to provide startups with the essential funding required to develop their products, refine their business models, and achieve early market traction. NYVP's focus on early-stage investments ensures that startups receive the support they need during the critical phases of their development. Industries NYVP has a diverse investment focus, particularly on technology and innovation-driven sectors. They are especially interested in industries such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, digital media, consumer internet, and enterprise software. By targeting these high-growth areas, New York Venture Partners aims to back startups that have the potential to disrupt traditional markets and introduce groundbreaking technologies. Their broad industry focus allows them to identify and support promising startups across a wide range of fields, fostering innovation and entrepreneurial success in the New York City area and beyond. 16. Primary Primary is a prominent venture capital firm based in New York. It is dedicated to investing in early-stage startups and helping them grow into market leaders. Known for its data-driven approach and hands-on involvement, Primary provides comprehensive support to its portfolio companies. The firm leverages its deep industry knowledge and extensive network to offer strategic guidance, operational expertise, and valuable resources. Primary's commitment to building long-term partnerships with founders makes it a trusted ally for startups navigating the challenges of scaling and achieving sustainable growth. Learn more about Primary by checking out their Visible Connect Profile here → Investment Range Primary typically invests in seed and Series A rounds, with investment amounts ranging from $1 million to $5 million. This substantial investment range allows Primary to provide the necessary capital for startups to develop their products, expand their teams, and accelerate their go-to-market strategies. By focusing on early-stage investments, Primary ensures that founders receive the financial support they need during the critical phases of their company's development. Industries Primary has a strong focus on technology-driven sectors, particularly those with the potential for significant market disruption. They are especially interested in industries such as SaaS, e-commerce, fintech, health tech, and proptech. Primary seeks out startups that leverage innovative technologies to solve complex problems and create new market opportunities. Their industry focus allows them to identify and support high-potential startups across various fields, fostering innovation and driving growth in the New York City startup ecosystem. Get Connected With Investors Today At Visible, we oftentimes compare a fundraise to a B2B sales and marketing funnel. At the top of your funnel, you are finding new investors. In the middle, you are nurturing and pitching potential investors. At the bottom of the funnel, you are working through diligence and ideally closing new investors. Related Resource: The 12 Best VC Funds You Should Know About With the introduction of data rooms, you can now manage every aspect of your fundraising funnel with Visible. Find investors at the top of your funnel with our free investor database, Visible Connect Track your conversations and move them through your funnel with our Fundraising CRM Share your pitch deck and monthly updates with potential investors Organize and share your most vital fundraising documents with data rooms Manage your fundraise from start to finish with Visible. Give it a free try for 14 days here. Related Read: Private Equity vs Venture Capital: Critical Differences Related Resource: 11 Top Venture Capital Firms in Boston

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Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) Analysis: The Purpose, Formula, and How it Works
A Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) analysis is a powerful tool for investors to assess the value of a company or investment by projecting future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. This approach allows venture capitalists to identify promising startups, considering their growth potential and market conditions. In this guide, you'll discover the essentials of DCF analysis, how it differs from other valuation methods, and a detailed, step-by-step approach to conducting one. By mastering DCF, you'll gain valuable insights into determining an investment's intrinsic worth and making smarter investment decisions. What is the Purpose of DCF Analysis? DCF analysis serves as a cornerstone of financial valuation, especially in the venture capital arena. It enables investors to estimate the present value of an investment based on its expected future cash flows, adjusted for risk and the time value of money. DCF analysis is crucial for venture capitalists because it provides a detailed, quantitative assessment of a startup's financial health and growth prospects. By using DCF, investors can determine whether the potential returns of a startup justify the inherent risks of investing in early-stage companies​​​​. DCF vs. NPV While both DCF and Net Present Value (NPV) are methods used to assess the value of future cash flows, they serve slightly different purposes and are related yet distinct concepts. DCF is the process of forecasting what an investment's cash flows would be worth in today's money, giving a holistic view of future profitability adjusted for the time value of money. NPV, on the other hand, is a direct outcome of the DCF analysis, representing the difference between the present value of cash inflows and outflows. NPV tells you whether an investment will yield a profit or loss by comparing the initial investment to the DCF. It is particularly valuable in decision-making processes, helping investors weigh the profitability of different investment opportunities​​​​. What Is the DCF Formula? The DCF formula is used to estimate the value of an investment by predicting its future cash flows and discounting them to their present value. Here's the formula: CF (Cash Flows): These are the projected cash flows that the investment is expected to generate over each period (1,2,3,n). Cash flows can include revenue minus operating expenses, taxes, and changes in working capital​​. r (Discount Rate): This represents the rate of return required to make the investment worthwhile, often calculated as the Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC). The discount rate accounts for the risk and time value of money, reflecting the riskiness of the projected cash flows​​​​. What Does the DCF Formula Tell You? The DCF formula provides a method for valuing an investment based on its intrinsic value. By discounting future cash flows to their present value, the DCF formula helps investors determine whether the current price of an investment reflects its true value. This approach allows investors to: Assess Profitability: Determine if an investment is likely to yield a return that meets or exceeds the required rate of return. Compare Investments: Evaluate multiple investment opportunities to see which one offers the best value relative to its price and risk. Make Informed Decisions: Use quantitative data to support investment choices, helping to minimize risks and maximize returns​​​​. How to Conduct a DCF Analysis Conducting a DCF analysis involves several key steps that help investors estimate the intrinsic value of an investment. This process requires careful planning, detailed financial data, and precise calculations to ensure accuracy. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to perform a DCF analysis, from gathering information to interpreting the results. 1. Gather Information The first step in conducting a DCF analysis is to collect all necessary financial data and relevant information about the company. This includes: Financial Statements: Obtain the company’s income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. These documents provide historical financial data that is crucial for making accurate projections. Market Research: Conduct research on the market and industry in which the company operates. This includes understanding the competitive landscape, regulatory environment, and macroeconomic factors. Company-Specific Information: Gather detailed information about the company’s operations, business model, growth strategy, and management team. This helps in making realistic assumptions about future performance​​​​. 2. Forecast Future Cash Flows (FCF) Projecting future cash flows is a critical step in the DCF analysis. This involves: Analyzing Historical Data: Use historical financial data to identify trends and patterns in the company’s performance. Making Assumptions: Develop assumptions about future revenue growth, operating expenses, capital expenditures, and working capital needs. These assumptions should be based on historical trends, industry benchmarks, and market conditions. Projecting Cash Flows: Forecast the company’s free cash flows (FCF) for a specific period, typically 5 to 10 years. Free cash flow is calculated as operating cash flow minus capital expenditures​​​​. 3. Determine the Discount Rate (WACC) The discount rate used in a DCF analysis is typically the Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC). Calculating WACC involves: Cost of Equity: Estimate the cost of equity using models like the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM), which considers the risk-free rate, beta (a measure of stock volatility), and market risk premium. Cost of Debt: Determine the cost of debt by assessing the interest rates on the company’s outstanding debt, adjusted for tax savings. Weighting: Calculate the weighted average of the cost of equity and cost of debt based on their proportions in the company’s capital structure​​​​. 4. Estimate the Terminal Value (TV) Terminal value accounts for the value of cash flows beyond the forecast period. There are two common methods to calculate TV, the Perpetuity Growth Model and Exit Multiple Method. Industry professionals often favor the exit multiple approach because it allows them to compare the business's value to observable market data. In contrast, academics tend to prefer the perpetual growth model due to its strong theoretical basis. Some practitioners opt for a hybrid method, combining both approaches to arrive at a more balanced valuation. Perpetuity Growth Model: The perpetual growth method is widely favored by academics for calculating terminal value due to its solid mathematical foundation. This approach assumes that a business will continue to generate Free Cash Flow (FCF) indefinitely at a stable, normalized rate. This model captures the ongoing value of a company's cash flows beyond the forecast period, reflecting a perpetuity scenario. TV is calculated as: TV = (FCFn x (1 + g)) / (WACC – g) Where: TV = terminal value FCF = free cash flow n = year 1 of terminal period or final year g = perpetual growth rate of FCF WACC = weighted average cost of capital Exit Multiple Method: The exit multiple approach estimates the terminal value by assuming the business can be sold at a multiple of a certain financial metric, such as EBITDA. This multiple is determined based on the trading multiples observed for similar businesses in the market. The formula for calculating the exit multiple terminal value is: TV = Financial Metric (e.g., EBITDA) x Trading Multiple (e.g., 10x) 5. Calculate the Present Value (PV) Discounting the forecasted cash flows and terminal value to their present value is a critical step in the DCF analysis. This process involves applying a discount rate to each projected cash flow and the terminal value to reflect their value in today's terms. Here’s how you can do it both mathematically and conceptually: Present Value of Cash Flows: Calculate the present value of each projected cash flow using the formula PV= CFt / (1+r)ₜ Where: PV = Present Value CFt = Cash Flow in period t r = Discount rate (often the Weighted Average Cost of Capital, WACC) t = Time period (year) Present Value of Terminal Value: Discount the terminal value back to its present value using TV / (1+r)ₙ Total DCF Value: Sum the present values of the projected cash flows and the terminal value to obtain the total DCF value​​​​. 6. Interpret the Results Analyzing the results of the DCF analysis involves: Comparing to Current Market Value: Compare the calculated DCF value to the company’s current market value to determine if the investment is undervalued or overvalued. Sensitivity Analysis: Assess how changes in key assumptions (e.g., growth rates, discount rate) impact the DCF value. This helps in understanding the sensitivity of the valuation to different scenarios. Making Investment Decisions: Use the DCF valuation to make informed investment decisions, considering both the potential risks and returns​​. Related resource: Valuing Startups: 10 Popular Methods Advantages of DCF Analysis Understanding the advantages of a DCF analysis is crucial for investors. By providing a comprehensive evaluation of an investment's potential, DCF helps investors make well-informed decisions to maximize returns and manage risks effectively. This method provides a robust framework for evaluating investments by focusing on future cash flows and intrinsic value. Here are some key advantages of using DCF analysis. Intrinsic Value DCF analysis provides an estimate of the intrinsic value of an investment by focusing on the underlying cash flows. This approach is independent of current market conditions, making it a more reliable indicator of an investment's true worth. By projecting future cash flows and discounting them to their present value, investors can assess whether an investment is undervalued or overvalued relative to its intrinsic worth​​​​. Future-Oriented One of the significant benefits of DCF analysis is its forward-looking nature. Unlike other valuation methods that rely heavily on historical performance, DCF considers expected future cash flows. This makes it particularly useful for assessing the future potential of an investment, especially in dynamic or rapidly growing industries. By focusing on future cash flows, DCF helps investors make more informed decisions based on the expected performance of the investment​​​​. Flexibility DCF analysis offers considerable flexibility in making assumptions about future growth rates, discount rates, and cash flow projections. This adaptability allows investors to model various scenarios and understand how different assumptions impact the investment's valuation. Whether it's adjusting for optimistic or conservative growth forecasts, DCF can accommodate a wide range of scenarios, providing a comprehensive view of potential outcomes​​​​. Detailed Insight By breaking down the valuation into its components—cash flows, discount rate, and terminal value—DCF analysis provides detailed insights into what drives the value of an investment. This granularity helps investors understand the key factors influencing the investment's valuation and identify potential risks and opportunities. DCF allows for a deeper analysis of the financial health and future prospects of the investment, aiding in more strategic decision-making​​​​. Limitations of a DCF Analysis While DCF analysis is a valuable tool for investment valuation, it comes with limitations that investors must consider. The sensitivity to assumptions, complexity of financial modeling, and challenges in forecasting future cash flows highlight the importance of careful and informed analysis when using DCF to value investments. By being aware of these limitations, investors can better navigate the intricacies of DCF and make more reliable investment decisions. Sensitivity to Assumptions DCF valuations are highly sensitive to the assumptions made about growth rates, discount rates, and future cash flows. Small changes in any of these variables can significantly alter the valuation outcome. For example, a slight increase or decrease in the discount rate can have a substantial impact on the present value of future cash flows, leading to vastly different valuations. This sensitivity requires investors to be cautious and thorough when making assumptions and to consider a range of scenarios to understand the potential variability in the valuation​​​​. Complexity The DCF method requires detailed financial modeling and a deep understanding of the business being evaluated. This complexity can be time-consuming and may not be accessible to all investors, particularly those without a strong financial background. Accurate DCF analysis demands precise data, robust financial models, and a clear grasp of the industry dynamics, which can be challenging to achieve. This complexity often means that DCF analysis is best performed by experienced professionals or with the assistance of financial experts​​​​. Forecasting Challenges Accurately forecasting future cash flows is inherently difficult, especially for new or rapidly evolving industries. The further out the forecast period extends, the greater the uncertainty becomes. This challenge is exacerbated in industries with high volatility, where predicting future performance can be fraught with uncertainty. Inaccurate or overly optimistic forecasts can lead to misleading valuations, making it crucial for investors to base their projections on realistic and well-researched assumptions​​​​. Leveraging DCF Analysis with Visible for Informed Investment Decisions DCF analysis is an essential tool for investors, offering a robust framework to evaluate the intrinsic value of investments by focusing on future cash flows. This guide has explored the significance of DCF in venture capital, detailed the formula and steps to perform a DCF analysis, and highlighted both its advantages and limitations. By mastering DCF analysis, investors can make more informed decisions, assessing the true potential of their investments and mitigating risks effectively. For startups and investors seeking detailed insights and efficient financial tracking, Visible provides a comprehensive platform to streamline your investment processes. Learn how to get started with Visible to track your crucial investment data here. Related resources: Use Storytelling to Increase your Price The Complete Guide to Investor Reporting and Updates
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Case Study: Airtree Venture's Transformation with Visible
About Airtree Ventures Airtree is a Sydney-based venture capital firm backing founders based in Australia and New Zealand building the iconic companies of tomorrow. The firm was founded in 2014 and is now deploying out of its 4th fund with $1.3 billion in assets under management. Their portfolio includes over 105+ portfolio companies and 250+ founders who have helped create over 17,000 jobs. Airtree’s portfolio includes the region’s breakout technology companies, such as Canva, Go1, Employment Hero, Pet Circle, Immutable, and Linktree. For this case study, we spoke to Dan Lombard who is the Data Lead at Airtree Ventures. Related article: Airtree Ventures already returned its first fund thanks to Canva while maintaining the majority of its stake Fragmented Systems and Processes Prior to Visible Prior to the integration of Visible, Airtree relied heavily on a fragmented system of spreadsheets to manage their portfolio of 105+ companies. Each quarter, four employees were tasked with managing the relationships with the points of contact at 15 to 20 portfolio companies through manual outreach and communications. This reliance on spreadsheets resulted in inefficiencies and potential data loss, as spreadsheets are prone to break when modified. Challenges With Data Accuracy and Scaling Manual Outreach to a Growing Portfolio Before Visible, 80% of Airtree’s portfolio monitoring problem was having clean data and scaling outreach to their portfolio companies. They faced two primary challenges with their former system: Operational Efficiency: Four team members spent significant time manually collecting data from over 100 companies every quarter. The Airtree team members were sending one-off email communications to each company and manually keeping track of who needed to be followed up with at each company which diverted resources from other critical projects they could be working on. Data Integrity and Scalability: Frequent changes to the data in spreadsheets resulted in errors in the sheets and data loss, which caused frustration as there was no way of understanding which changes were made to the sheet and when. This process made it difficult to scale portfolio monitoring operations as Airtree grew. Why Airtree Chose Visible as their Portfolio Monitoring Platform Airtree chose Visible for its robust, scalable, and user-friendly platform. Key factors influencing their choice included: Ease of Use and Customization: Visible's platform offered unparalleled customization and ease of use. Support and Development: Visible’s team actively listened to feedback, offered best practices, and continuously invested in their product, ensuring a partnership that catered to Airtree’s evolving needs. Automation and Integration: Visible excelled in automating portfolio monitoring and offered a frictionless experience for founders. Airtree leveraged the Visible API to seamlessly integrate data into their existing data warehouse system. Airtree’s historical data collection process, previously led by four Airtree team members, is now a streamlined process led only by Dan, who leverages Visible Requests to collect data from their portfolio of 105+ companies. Visible Requests empowers Dan to send customized link-based data requests to each company, automate the email reminder process, and easily keep track of where companies are in the reporting process. View an example Visible Request below. Onboarded to Visible within 24 Hours Visible provided Airtree with an efficient and supported onboarding. When asked about Airtree's onboarding with Visible Dan Lombard shared the following: Visible stood out by enabling a swift and seamless transition that was operational in less than 24 hours, a stark contrast to other providers who estimated a quarter for full implementation. This rapid integration was facilitated by a comprehensive onboarding template provided by Visible. Visible API & Airtree’s Data Infrastructure With the implementation of Visible, Airtree wanted to take a more sophisticated approach to the way they handle their portfolio data with the goal of driving more valuable insights for their team. The approach needed to be automated, integrate with other data sources, and have a singular view accessible for the whole team. This was not possible when their data lived in disparate systems, files, and spreadsheets. Dan Lombard has led the improvement of Airtree's data infrastructure. Now, data sources like Visible and Affinity are piped into Snowflake via recurring AWS Lambda jobs. Airtree leverages the Visible API daily. Dan mentioned that while Airtree collects data quarterly, a daily sync of the data is crucial because Airtree is always onboarding new companies, communicating with their founders, and uploading historical data. “The Visible API gives us this level of daily fidelity and only takes the AWS Lambda job 5 minutes to populate an entire data architecture.” - Dan Lombard, Data Lead at Airtree Ventures Once the data is in their database, Snowflake handles the ETL and entity matching. Airtree then has Streamlit sit on top of Snowflake to query data, provision access, and build out new insights. Advice for Other VC Firms Building Out Their Data Infrastructure Don’t overcomplicate things to start. It is easy to get caught up in the bells and whistles. Dan recommends a bias towards simplicity. Start small and use it as a stepping stone as you build things out. Conclusion Airtree’s adoption of Visible transformed their portfolio management by automating key processes and centralizing data, thus enabling more strategic decision-making and efficient operations. The case of Airtree is a testament to how the right technological partnerships can profoundly impact business efficiency and data management.
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Dry Powder: What is it, Types of Dry Powder, Impact it has in Trading
In the ever-evolving world of finance, "dry powder" serves as a pivotal concept for investors, encapsulating the essence of liquidity and strategic investment readiness. The term "dry powder" echoes through the corridors of finance, signifying a reservoir of liquid assets poised for deployment. Originating from the military use of gunpowder, the contemporary financial landscape repurposes this term to signify cash reserves and highly liquid securities, ready to be ignited for investment opportunities or to navigate economic tumults. In this article, we’ll delve into the nuances of dry powder, shedding light on its types, strategic uses, and indispensable value in venture capital – aiming to arm investors with insights to optimize their investment strategies. What is Dry Powder? Dry powder in finance refers to readily available cash or liquid assets held by investors, companies, or funds, earmarked for immediate investment opportunities or emergency use. This concept spans across personal finance, corporate reserves, and notably, in private equity and venture capital, where it underscores the readiness to capitalize on opportune moments or cushion against unforeseen financial downturns​​. Types of Dry Powder There are three primary types of dry powder, each serving distinct purposes and embodying different levels of liquidity and deployment readiness. Each type of dry powder plays a unique role in an investor's arsenal, offering different degrees of liquidity, potential for appreciation, and strategic flexibility. Understanding and managing these forms of financial reserves enable investors to navigate the complexities of the market, seize emerging opportunities, and safeguard against economic volatility. Cash Reserves Cash reserves constitute the most liquid form of dry powder. They are immediately available funds that do not require conversion or sale to be utilized. This immediacy makes cash reserves an invaluable asset for investors looking to act swiftly on investment opportunities or cover urgent financial needs without the delay of liquidating other assets. Cash reserves are kept in accounts where they can be quickly accessed, often without significant transaction costs or losses, offering unmatched liquidity and readiness​​. Marketable Securities Marketable securities, including stocks, bonds, and treasury bills, represent another key form of dry powder. While not as liquid as pure cash reserves, these assets can be sold relatively quickly in the financial markets, often with minimal impact on their value. This category of dry powder allows investors to hold assets that can appreciate over time but can still be converted into cash on short notice. The ability to sell these securities rapidly makes them a crucial component of an investor's dry powder, balancing potential growth with liquidity​​. Unallocated Capital Unallocated capital refers to funds that have been raised or set aside for investment but have not yet been deployed. In the context of venture capital and private equity, it includes committed capital from investors that is waiting to be invested in portfolio companies. This type of dry powder offers strategic flexibility, allowing funds to seize new investment opportunities as they arise or to support existing investments with additional capital. Unallocated capital must be managed carefully to balance the readiness for new investments with the risk of having excessive unused capital, which could otherwise be earning returns​​. How do Investors Use Dry Powder? As we delve deeper into the strategic application of dry powder, it's crucial to recognize its multifaceted role in bolstering investment portfolios, safeguarding against market downturns, and capitalizing on unique investment opportunities. This section explores some pivotal strategies investors employ to leverage their dry powder, illustrating how these reserves enhance both the resilience and growth potential of investment endeavors. 1. Dry Powder as a Tool for Growing Portfolio Companies Dry powder represents a critical resource for investors, particularly those in venture capital or private equity, aiming to accelerate the growth of their portfolio companies. By keeping a reserve of liquid assets, investors can swiftly inject capital into these companies when opportunities for expansion, product development, or market entry arise. This proactive use of dry powder can significantly enhance a company's competitive edge, drive innovation, and facilitate scale-up operations, ultimately contributing to its long-term value creation​​. The strategic allocation of dry powder for growth initiatives enables investors to optimize the trajectory of their investments, ensuring they are well-positioned to capitalize on emerging trends and opportunities. 2. Acting as a Safety Net in Case of Economic Downturn In the unpredictable landscape of financial markets, economic downturns pose a significant risk to investment portfolios. Dry powder serves as a critical safety net in these scenarios, providing investors with the liquidity necessary to navigate through periods of market volatility without being forced to liquidate assets at a loss​​. This reserve of liquid assets allows investors to maintain their investment positions, cover operational costs, and even seize counter-cyclical investment opportunities that may arise during downturns. The presence of dry powder enhances financial stability and resilience, empowering investors to withstand economic fluctuations and safeguard the value of their investments. 3. Creating Opportunities in a Distressed Debt Situation Distressed debt situations, where securities are trading at significant discounts due to a company's financial instability, present unique investment opportunities for those with dry powder. Investors can use their liquid reserves to purchase these securities at a lower cost, betting on the potential for recovery and significant returns on investment. This strategy requires a deep understanding of the distressed assets and the factors contributing to their undervaluation, as well as a readiness to act swiftly when such opportunities are identified​​. Dry powder enables investors to capitalize on these situations by providing the necessary liquidity to invest in distressed assets, offering a pathway to potentially high returns through strategic acquisitions and restructuring efforts. Advantages of Dry Powder in Venture Capital Venture capital and private equity firms use dry powder as a strategic tool, safeguarding their existing portfolios and propelling their investments to new heights. The presence of readily available capital enables these firms to act swiftly and decisively in the face of both opportunity and adversity. Here, we'll explore the key advantages that dry powder offers in the realm of venture capital and private equity, highlighting its role in driving success and mitigating risks. Enhanced Deal-Making Capacity: With substantial dry powder reserves, venture capital and private equity firms can pursue larger and potentially more lucrative deals. The ability to mobilize funds quickly gives these firms a competitive edge in bidding for high-value targets, facilitating growth and diversification of their investment portfolios. Flexibility in Investment Timing: The availability of dry powder affords firms the luxury of timing their investments to capitalize on market conditions. They can strategically enter or exit investments based on their assessment of market cycles, optimizing returns on their capital deployment. Opportunistic Acquisitions: Markets are dynamic, and distressed assets or undervalued opportunities can emerge anytime. Dry powder positions firms to take advantage of these situations, acquiring assets at a discount or investing in companies poised for a turnaround, thus potentially generating significant returns. Negotiating Leverage: In deal negotiations, a firm's ability to close transactions quickly with available cash can serve as a powerful bargaining tool. This leverage can lead to more favorable deal terms, including price concessions or preferential terms of sale, enhancing the value captured from each transaction. Risk Management and Stability: During economic downturns or periods of heightened market volatility, dry powder can serve as a stabilizing force. It provides the means for venture capital and private equity firms to support their portfolio companies through financial difficulties, ensuring long-term stability and preventing forced exits at unfavorable valuations. Related resource: Calculating Your Quick Ratio Track Fund Performance Data With Visible Dry powder is the lifeline that enables investors to seize opportunities, navigate downturns, and optimize the growth and resilience of their portfolios. Understanding how to manage and deploy these reserves effectively is crucial in the competitive landscape of investment. Visible offers insights and tools that can help investors track, manage, and communicate the performance of their portfolios, making it easier to harness the power of dry powder in achieving investment success. Learn how to get started with Visible to track your crucial fund performance data here. Related resources: Private Equity vs Venture Capital: Critical Differences How To Find Private Investors For Startups

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The Top 9 Social Media Startups
In the ever-evolving landscape of social media, a new wave of startups is making significant impacts on how we connect, share, and do business online. This article explores the top 9 social media startups, each bringing innovative solutions and fresh perspectives to the digital table. From empowering local entrepreneurs to reshaping global networking, these companies are not just riding the digital wave—they're making the waves. Join us as we unveil these game-changers, their groundbreaking approaches, and how they're sculpting the future of social interaction. Related resource: The Ultimate Guide to Startup Funding Stages 1) Meesho Meesho is a pioneering social commerce platform based in India that revolutionizes the traditional e-commerce model by integrating social media channels into the buying and selling process. This startup empowers individuals, particularly women, to start their own businesses with zero capital by facilitating their role as resellers to end customers via social platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram. Headquarters Location: The company is headquartered in Bangalore, India. Known as the Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore offers a vibrant ecosystem that supports startups and technological innovation, making it an ideal base for Meesho. Current Funding: Meesho has successfully raised approximately $1.1 billion in funding through several rounds, with major investors including Fidelity, Softbank, and Meta. Their latest funding was raised on Oct 13, 2023. Years in Operation: Meesho has been operational for over eight years, during which it has significantly impacted the social commerce market in India. Founders: Founded in 2015 by Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal, both alumni of IIT Delhi, co-founded Meesho. They started with the insight that many small merchants and individuals in India were already using WhatsApp informally to sell products and saw an opportunity to streamline and scale this process. Their vision was to make e-commerce accessible to everyone, especially those without the means to invest in inventory or setup traditional online stores​​​​. 2) ShareChat ShareChat is a dynamic social media platform based in India that caters exclusively to the Indian audience by offering its services in several regional languages. It is designed to enable users to share content, such as videos, photos, and messages, fostering community and cultural connections in a language they are most comfortable with. The platform is especially popular among users in smaller cities and towns. ShareChat has grown to incorporate various features tailored to its audience, including AI-driven content feeds that help users discover content without needing to follow others. This model is particularly effective for ShareChat's diverse and expansive user base​​. Headquarters Location: ShareChat is headquartered in Bangalore, India. This location positions the company in a major hub for technology and startups, providing access to resources and talent in the country's Silicon Valley. Current Funding: ShareChat has experienced robust growth in funding, having raised a total of $1.7 billion across 16 rounds. Their latest funding was raised on Mar 27, 2024 from a Debt Financing round. Years in Operation: Founded in 2015, ShareChat has been operational for about eight years, during which it has significantly expanded its user base and service offerings. Founders: ShareChat was founded by three Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur alumni: Ankush Sachdeva, Bhanu Pratap Singh, and Farid Ahsan. The trio started the company with the vision of creating a social platform that supports India's vernacular languages, thus making digital content accessible to a broader segment of the population​​​​. 3) Hinge Hinge brands itself as a relationship-oriented dating app that emphasizes long-term connections over casual encounters. It is popularly known as "the dating app designed to be deleted," aiming to facilitate meaningful matches that lead to lasting relationships. Hinge distinguishes itself with a user interface that prompts users to engage with specific content on other profiles, which helps initiate more thoughtful interactions. Hinge's approach to dating is tailored to foster relationships rather than endless browsing, which has helped it carve out a unique niche in a crowded market. This focus on quality matches and encouraging users to get off the app has resonated well with a user base looking for more than just a casual dating experience​​​​​​​​. Headquarters Location: Hinge is based in New York, USA, placing it in one of the country's main hubs for technological innovation and business, which supports its growth and operational capabilities. Current Funding: Hinge is owned by Match Group, which also owns several other major dating platforms. This acquisition has provided Hinge with substantial backing, supporting its continuous growth and feature development. Prior to being fully acquired by Match Group in 2019, Hinge had attracted significant investments to fuel its expansion and technological advancements. Years in Operation: Founded in 2012, Hinge has been operational for over a decade. It has undergone significant transformations since its inception, notably pivoting from a "swipe culture" towards more substantive engagements between users. Founders: Justin McLeod is the founder of Hinge. His personal experiences and challenges in finding meaningful relationships inspired him to create a platform that facilitates deeper connections, countering the superficial interactions typical of the dating app landscape at the time. 4) Fishbowl Fishbowl is a unique professional social network that facilitates semi-anonymous interactions among professionals across various industries. Unlike traditional professional networks that focus on curated profiles and formal interactions, Fishbowl offers a platform for candid, often anonymous discussions, allowing professionals to seek advice, share experiences, and discuss industry-related topics freely without the pressure of maintaining a polished image. Fishbowl's unique approach to professional networking continues to fill a niche for those seeking more honest and direct communication about workplace and industry dynamics, distinguishing it from more polished and curated networking sites​​​​​​​​. Headquarters Location: Originally based in San Francisco, California, Fishbowl has since moved its headquarters to New York, New York. This location places it in one of the major hubs for both tech innovation and business in the United States. Current Funding: Fishbowl has raised a total of $7.4M in funding over 2 rounds. Their latest funding was raised on Jan 22, 2019 from a Seed round. This includes investments from notable firms like GGV Capital, Plug and Play Tech Center, and Binary Capital. Years in Operation: Fishbowl was founded in 2016, and it has been providing a platform for professional networking for over seven years. Founders: The platform was co-founded by Matt Sunbulli and Loren Appin. Sunbulli serves as the CEO, while Appin is the COO. Their vision was to create a space where professionals could interact more openly and authentically than on traditional platforms like LinkedIn. 5) Public App Public App is a hyperlocal social media platform from India that connects individuals with their local communities. It allows users to receive and share real-time updates from local businesses, media, politicians, and other entities, catering primarily to non-English speaking users. The platform has been particularly effective as a space for citizen journalists to post videos and updates about local events and issues, contributing to its rapid growth in user engagement. Public App continues to thrive by providing a unique service that taps into the need for localized content, making it a critical tool for community engagement and information dissemination in India. Headquarters Location: Public App is based in Noida, India. This location serves as a strategic point for the app, given its focus on hyperlocal content and the significant user base in and around the region. Current Funding: Public App has successfully raised significant funding to fuel its growth. The app has accumulated $41.3 million in a funding round led by A91 Partners. Years in Operation: Public App was launched in 2019. In just a few years, it has become one of the leading hyperlocal social networking platforms in India, with plans to expand further into global markets. Founders: The founder of Public App, Azhar Iqubal, who is also the co-founder and CEO of the news aggregator service Inshorts, envisioned the Public App as a platform to keep the local population informed and engaged with their immediate surroundings. His leadership has steered the platform to impressive growth, leveraging the infrastructure and success of Inshorts to build a robust social networking service​​. 6) Yubo Yubo is a social media platform designed primarily for Generation Z, focusing on creating a virtual space for young people to meet, interact, and form friendships through live streaming and social discovery. Unlike typical social networks, Yubo does not feature a 'like' system or a following mechanism, aiming instead to foster genuine social interactions among its users. Yubo stands out for its commitment to safety and inclusivity, implementing rigorous measures such as real-time content moderation and age verification to protect its users. This focus on creating a secure and welcoming environment has helped it become a favored platform among young people worldwide. Headquarters Location: Yubo is headquartered in Paris, France. This location places the company in a vibrant cultural and technological hub, facilitating creative and innovative developments for the platform. Current Funding: Yubo has raised significant funding to support its growth and development. Most notably, it completed a Series C funding round where it raised $47.5 million in November, 2020. This round included contributions from existing investors such as Idinvest Partners, Iris Capital, Alven, and Sweet Capital, with new investors like Gaia Capital Partners also joining​​. Years in Operation: Founded in 2015, Yubo has been active for over eight years, during which it has grown to serve a large global user base. Founders: The platform was co-founded by Sacha Lazimi, Arthur Patora, and Jérémie Aouate. These founders aimed to create a social space that diverged from traditional social media dynamics, emphasizing interactions that are more reflective of real-life socializing​​​​. 7) Reddit Reddit is a vast network of communities that are created, run, and populated by its users. Each community, known as a "subreddit," revolves around a specific interest, topic, or theme. Users can share news articles, post original content, and engage in discussions. It's often described as "the front page of the internet" due to its user-generated content that spans countless topics and areas of interest. Reddit has grown to be a platform where millions of users worldwide converge to discuss a myriad range of topics, making it one of the most popular websites globally. Its structure allows for a unique blend of content and discussion, which is moderated by community-selected moderators, ensuring that the vast variety of content is largely self-regulated. Headquarters Location: Reddit is headquartered in San Francisco, California, which positions it in the heart of the tech industry alongside many other leading technology companies. Current Funding: Over the years, Reddit has raised significant amounts of funding, with a total of $1.3B in funding over 9 rounds. As of their latest round, Aug 12, 2021 from a Series F round, Reddit has been valued in the billions. Years in Operation: Reddit was founded in 2005, which means it has been operational for over 18 years, evolving significantly in that time from a simple news link sharing site to a complex aggregation of forums. Founders: Reddit was founded by Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian. They created the site as part of a startup accelerator, Y Combinator. The site was envisioned as a place where people could find and discuss anything they found interesting on the internet, which has fundamentally remained the core of what Reddit is today. 8) Exolyt Exolyt is a Finnish startup that offers a B2B SaaS platform specializing in TikTok analytics and insights. It provides tools for brands, media agencies, record labels, and creators to understand and optimize their engagement on TikTok. The platform offers data-driven performance monitoring, social listening, and intuitive insights to help users navigate the fast-paced environment of TikTok and develop effective social media strategies. Exolyt's platform is designed to cater to the needs of modern digital marketers and content creators who require real-time analytics to stay competitive in the dynamic social media landscape. Headquarters Location: Exolyt is based in Helsinki, Finland. This location places the company in one of Europe's active hubs for technology startups, providing a conducive environment for innovation and growth. Current Funding: Exolyt has raised a total of €450K in funding over 2 rounds. Their latest being on Mar 7, 2023 from a Pre-Seed round. Years in Operation: Founded in 2020, Exolyt has been operational for over three years, during which it has focused on developing and refining its TikTok analytics capabilities. Founders: The startup was founded by Henri Malkki, Jonne Bovellán, and Mauri Karlin. These serial entrepreneurs aimed to create a platform that could provide substantial insights into TikTok data, helping businesses leverage the popular social media platform more effectively​​. 9) BitClout BitClout started as a decentralized social media platform built on its own blockchain, allowing users to buy and sell "creator coins" tied to the profiles of public figures and influencers. These coins represent a form of social currency that fluctuates in value based on the popularity of the individual it represents. It aimed to decentralize social media much like how Bitcoin decentralizes finance, by giving users direct control over their content and interactions. Now BitClout redirects their user to the Diamond App, a decentralized and open-source web3 Twitter app for creators & communities. Headquarters Location: BitClout does not operate from a traditional physical headquarters due to its decentralized nature. Current Funding: BitClout has raised a total of $200M in funding over 2 rounds, the latest raised on Sep 21, 2021 from a Initial Coin Offering round. Other prominent investors include Andreessen Horowitz and the Winklevoss twins. Years in Operation: BitClout was launched in March 2021 and has been operational for over two years. Founders: The platform was initiated by an anonymous figure known as "Diamondhands." The true identity of Diamondhands was later revealed to be Nader Al-Naji, who previously founded the cryptocurrency project Basis. Get Your Social Media Startup Funded With Visibles Help Each of the nine companies brings its unique twist to the digital landscape, proving that social media continues to be a fertile ground for technological and entrepreneurial innovation. For founders inspired to bring their own visions to life in this dynamic sector, securing the right funding and guidance is crucial. To manage and enhance investor relations with ease and efficiency, try Visible. By using Visible, you can streamline investor communications, track important metrics, and report progress efficiently, keeping your investors engaged and informed. Ready to take your investor relations to the next level? Try Visible free for 14 days and start strengthening your investor connections. Related resource: How To Find Private Investors For Startups Related resource: How to Hire Your First 10 Startup Employees
investors
What Response Rates Should I Expect From My Companies if I Use Visible?
A question we often hear from investors is “What response rate should I expect from my portfolio companies when I’m using Visible?” Investors are asking this question for a good reason; higher response rates mean more accurate metrics, less time spent chasing companies, and more meaningful portfolio insights to inform decision-making. The answer to this question is as nuanced as the founder <> investor relationship itself. While Visible increases the efficiency of the data collection process and provides investors with a source of truth for portfolio information, Visible will not dramatically (or magically) increase structured data response rates overnight. Response rates from companies are most directly affected by variables that are within, and sometimes outside of, investors' control. Factors Outside of an Investor's Control That Affect Response Rates The Stage at Which You Invest Our data shows that the stage at which you invest can affect response rates. Early-stage companies, which we defined as pre-seed and seed-stage companies, are most likely to respond to structured requests from their investors. There are many plausible explanations for this finding. Startups at this stage have fewer investors on their cap table and therefore are not reporting to an exhaustive list of stakeholders. They’re also still establishing themselves in the fundraising space and likely understand that positive relationships with current investors can lead to follow-on funding and investor introductions. Visible still functions as a source of truth for investors who focus primarily on later-stage investments. It is more common in this context for companies use the Request feature to share a minimal amount of structured metrics (2-3) and upload files that contain their latest financial and qualitative updates. These files are automatically saved to a company’s profile, and investors can enter these metrics directly into the relevant company's metrics table. Investors who receive company email updates can forward these emails to Visible AI Inbox to automatically map and save them to a company’s profile. Learn more about mapping email updates to companies' profiles on Visible with AI Inbox below: Whether You are a Lead Investor or Not Lead investors typically have a meaningful ownership stake in a company and are likely to have a board seat and information rights. These factors contribute to higher response rates from portfolio companies as opposed to investors with small ownership stakes and no information rights for a company. Number of Companies in Your Portfolio The number of companies in your portfolio may also affect your response rates. Our data shows that funds with a portfolio size between 50-100 companies results in the best response rates. This is likely because you have reached a stage in your firm's development where you have meaningful brand recognition which elicits compliance from your portfolio companies. We see the response rates for portfolio sizes of over 100 slightly decrease. A possible explanation for this is as more time passes between your initial investment in a company, the motivation for a company to report to your firm may decline if strong relationships are not maintained. Additionally, firms with many portfolio companies may indicate a high volume/low ownership approach to investing. The good news is there are numerous factors within investors' control that can be enhanced with Visible to help increase response rates from companies. How to Increase Response Rates While some factors that impact response rates are outside of your control, there are a few best practices that can lead to increased response rates. Check out a few examples below: Set Expectations With Founders Before investing in a company, you can start to set report expectations. Including reporting expectations a side letter to founders is a great first step. We also recommend re-iterating reporting expectations when onboarding new portfolio companies. Outline the specific metrics and reporting deadlines during onboarding. Check out our guide to onboarding new portfolio companies for inspiration. Establish Trust and Rapport With Companies Don’t let the reporting process be the only time you communicate with your portfolio companies. Offer regular check-ins and support for portfolio companies to build trust and encourage regular responses. Ensure You Have the Right Point of Contact Confirm you have the correct point of contact during the onboarding process and on an ongoing basis. As a company matures, the point of contact can change. With Visible Requests, you can send requests to multiple points of contact. Set Appropriate Reminder Emails Customize reminder messages before and after a Visible Request is due to encourage a higher response rate. Requests with four or more scheduled reminder emails have the best response rates. We also recommend giving a company one week's notice before sending out a request for the first time. Only Ask for Top-of-Mind Metrics Reduce the reporting burden on your companies and aim to only ask for 5-10 essential metrics. Assign custom metrics to different companies to ensure Requests are as tailored and concise as possible. Ask for Data Quarterly 70% of investors send Requests quarterly and this frequency is shown to result in the best response rates. You can ask for monthly granularity in quarterly and semi-annual requests. Verify Your Firm's Domain on Visible Verifying your domain means data Requests come directly from your email domain making it easier for your companies to identify and trust. Let Companies Report in Their Currency Allowing companies to report in their own reporting currency reduces the reporting burden on founders. Visible converts portfolio data back into your fund’s currency for streamlined reporting and analysis. Include Clear Metric Definitions Clear metric definitions reduce the back-and-forth between you and your companies and ensure data accuracy. Visible lets investors customize metric titles and definitions. How to Get Data Into Visible Visible provides investors and their portfolio companies with various ways of aggregating data into one source of truth. Visible Requests Requests are the primary way investors collect structured data, qualitative updates, and files from portfolio companies. Requests sent through Visible do not require companies to create an account with Visible and take companies 3-5 minutes to complete. Visible Requests also automate the process of sending reminder emails to companies who haven’t responded to a data request. These automatic reminder emails save investors approximately 63 hours per year. Data Import Investors can choose to easily enter and update data directly on the Visible platform. The modern UI allows for easy navigation and the audit log provides users with a record of who made changes to the platform and when. Google Sheet Integration Investors can choose to integrate with a Google sheet to keep their companies’ metric data up to date in Visible. Learn more about Visible’s Google Sheets integration. Visible AI Inbox Automatically transform email updates that founders send you into structured data that can be charted, analyzed, and shared in Visible with AI Inbox. Learn more here. Centralize Your Data With Visible Ready to build one place for your firm's data? Learn more about leveraging Visible to centralize key performance data for your firm by scheduling a call with our team.
founders
What is a Capital Call?
Navigating the financial intricacies of your startup can be as crucial as your next big idea. Among these, understanding capital calls is fundamental. This article will delve into what a capital call is, its triggers, benefits, and the challenges it may pose. Whether you're preparing for your first round of funding or looking to refine your financial strategies, our insights will help you manage capital calls effectively, ensuring that your venture remains well-funded and resilient in the face of evolving business demands. Get ready to equip yourself with the knowledge every founder needs to handle financial commitments confidently. What is a Capital Call? A capital call, also known as a "drawdown," is a legal mechanism investment funds use to secure investment commitments from their partners or investors, particularly in private equity or real estate. When investors commit to a fund, they do not typically transfer all their committed funds upfront. Instead, these funds are "called" or requested as needed over the life of the investment. This process allows the fund to request funds from investors as they identify appropriate investment opportunities or need to cover expenses. For startup founders, understanding this concept is vital as it directly affects your business's cash flow and financial planning. By adhering to the stipulations of a capital call, you ensure that your business can access necessary funds quickly, maintaining liquidity and operational stability as opportunities or challenges arise. The Importance of a Capital Call As we explore the dynamic landscape of startup financing, the role of capital calls becomes increasingly significant. Understanding their strategic importance can transform how you manage and leverage investor commitments to fuel your business's growth. Capital calls are crucial for maintaining your startup's financial health and operational momentum. They provide a structured way to incrementally secure funding, which can be particularly beneficial in managing cash flow and ensuring that funds are available when needed. For startups, this means being able to react swiftly to market opportunities or unexpected challenges without the pressure of having full investor funds on hand at all times. Additionally, capital calls demonstrate to investors your commitment to prudent financial management and project execution. Funds are used judiciously and only drawn down as required to achieve business objectives. This method of funding not only helps smooth financial operations but also builds trust with investors, showing that their capital is being managed responsibly. Related resource: A Quick Overview on VC Fund Structure What Triggers a Capital Call? Capital calls are not arbitrary; they are triggered by specific needs within the fund's operation or investment strategy. Typically, these needs arise from investment opportunities aligning with the fund’s objectives or operational expenses requiring immediate funding. For example, a capital call may be issued when a fund has agreed to invest in a promising startup or is part of a consortium buying a significant asset, like real estate or another company. The timing is crucial—funds are requested to seize these opportunities swiftly and effectively. Operational costs, such as development projects, marketing initiatives, or expansion plans, can also trigger a capital call, ensuring the fund has the liquidity to support these activities. Real-Life Example: A notable instance of a capital call occurred with the SoftBank Vision Fund. In 2019, amidst various large-scale investments in technology companies, SoftBank reportedly made frequent capital calls to its investors, such as Apple and Foxconn, to provide the necessary funding to support its ambitious investment strategy. This was crucial for maintaining the pace of investment and ensuring that the fund could capitalize on strategic opportunities as they arose. Such instances highlight the importance of capital calls in maintaining investment momentum and fulfilling the fund's strategic objectives. Key Benefits of a Capital Call Understanding the benefits of capital calls can significantly enhance your strategic approach to funding and investor relations. These benefits optimize financial operations and build robust pathways for sustainable growth and investor confidence. Here are some key benefits of capital calls for startups: Flexibility in Fund Utilization: Capital calls allow startups to request funds as needed rather than holding large amounts of cash on hand. This flexibility helps manage cash flow efficiently and reduces the cost of capital. Timely Access to Funds: Capital calls provide quick access to committed funds when opportunities or needs arise. This ensures startups can act swiftly on business opportunities or cover unexpected expenses without delay. Enhanced Credibility with Investors: Regular and strategic use of capital calls demonstrates to investors that their capital is being managed responsibly. It shows that funds are being deployed in a way that is aligned with the business’s growth strategy and not lying idle. Strategic Growth Opportunities: With access to capital as needed, startups can strategically pursue growth opportunities that require immediate investment. This can be crucial for staying competitive and scaling operations in a timely manner. Challenges of a Capital Call While capital calls are vital tools for managing funding within a startup, they also come with their own set of challenges. Founders should recognize these potential hurdles to better prepare and navigate them effectively. Here are some of the key challenges associated with capital calls: Potential for Investor Dissatisfaction: If capital calls are made too frequently or perceived as unplanned, they can lead to investor dissatisfaction. Investors might feel their funds are not being managed efficiently, which can impact their trust and future willingness to invest. Timing and Cash Flow Issues: There can be a mismatch between the timing of a capital call and the availability of funds from investors. This can create cash flow challenges, particularly if the capital is needed urgently for project continuation or to seize a market opportunity. Complexity in Administration: Managing and administering capital calls involves significant logistical coordination, especially with a large group of investors. This can increase startup administrative burdens and costs, diverting attention from core business activities. Legal and Compliance Risks: Each capital call must adhere to the terms outlined in the investment agreement. Failure to comply with these terms can lead to legal challenges or breaches of contract, posing substantial risks to the business. Update Your Investors Easily With Visible This article explored the complexities and strategic importance of capital calls within a startup's financial landscape. From understanding what triggers a capital call to recognizing its benefits and challenges, it's clear that managing investor relations and funding efficiently is crucial for sustainable growth. Effective communication with investors is key to navigating these challenges. To streamline your investor updates and manage capital calls smoothly, consider using Visible, a tool designed to help you communicate effectively with your financial stakeholders. Enhance your financial operations and maintain strong investor relations by signing up today. Create your account on Visible and start managing your investor communications more efficiently. Related resource: How To Write the Perfect Investor Update (Tips and Templates)

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Advisory Shares Explained: Empowering Entrepreneurs and Investors
Managing company equity is a crucial part of a founder’s job duty. In the early days of building a business, chances are there will be countless advisors, investors, peers, etc. that help a business. However, most early stage businesses do not have the cashflow to compensate every advisor along the way. Founders need to get crafty with how they compensate their earliest advisors and experts — enter: advisory shares. We always recommend consulting a lawyer before taking further action on advisory shares. Learn more about advisory shares and how you can leverage them for your business below: What Are Advisory Shares? As put by the team at Investopedia, “One common class of stock is advisory shares. Also known as advisor shares, this type of stock is given to business advisors in exchange for their insight and expertise. Often, the advisors who receive this type of stock options reward are company founders or high-level executives. Advisor shares typically vest monthly over a 1-2 year period on a schedule with no cliff and 100% single-trigger acceleration.” Advisor Shares vs. Regular Shares (or Equity) Advisor shares come in different shapes and sizes. There is not a technical definition of advisor shares but is rather any form of equity in a business. Learn more about the characteristics of advisory shares below: Characteristics of Advisory Shares As mentioned above, advisor shares typically vest monthly over a 1-2 year period with no cliff. Advisory shares are typically granted as stock options but not every company grants their shares in the same way. This generally comes in the form of Non-Qualified Stock Options (NSOs). Related Read: The Main Difference Between ISOs and NSOs How Do Advisory Shares Work? While advisory shares can take on different forms, they typically can be boiled down to a few similarities. Of course, these can change depending on your business. Exchanged for advice or expertise Typically offered as NSO stock options Follow a shorter vesting schedule Learn more about how advisory shares typically work below: Implement a Startup Advisor Agreement As put by the team at HubSpot, “A startup advisor agreement is a contract between a startup and its advisor. This agreement outlines the terms of the relationship, including the responsibilities of each party and the compensation the advisor will receive.” There are countless advisor agreement templates online to get you started. The Founder Institute offers a free template called the FAST Agreement. Determine the Vesting Schedule As advisor shares are for advisors that offered their expertise, they are typically granted on a shorter vesting schedule because their value is given over a shorter amount of time. This is typically a 1 or 2 year vesting schedule (as opposed to the 4 year vesting schedule traditionally used for startup employees). Benefits of Advisory Shares Advisory shares come with their own set of pros and cons. Properly maintaining and distributing equity is a critical role of a startup founder so understand the benefits, and drawbacks, of offering advisory shares is a must. Related Resource: 7 Essential Business Startup Resources Learn more about the benefits of offering startup advisory shares below: Access to Real Experts When setting out to build a business, chances are most founders lack expertise in certain areas when it comes to building a business or in their market. However, most early-stage companies are typically strapped for cash and are unable to afford the defacto experts in the space. With advisor shares, startup founders can attract real experts to get guidance and strategic support in the early days in return for shares in the business. Related Resource: Seed Funding for Startups 101: A Complete Guide Better Network Credibility If hiring the right advisor, chances are they will be able to help beyond strategic advice or their expertise. They will be able to expose your business to their network and will be able to make introductions to new business opportunities, partnerships, investors, and potential hires. Cost-Effective Compensation As we previously mentioned, most businesses that benefit most from advisors are unable to offer them a salary or cash compensation. With advisor shares, startup founders are able to offer shares as compensation and conserve thei cash to help with scaling their business and headcount. Drawbacks of Advisory Shares Of course, offering advisor shares is not for everyone. While there are benefits to offering advisor shares, there are certainly drawbacks as well. Weighing the pros and cons and determining what is right for your business is ultimately up to you. We always recommend consulting with a lawyer or counsel when determining how to compensate advisors. Diluted Ownership The biggest drawback for most founders will be the diluted ownership. By offering shares to advisors, you will be diluting the ownership of yourself and existing shareholders. As advisors are fully vested in 1-2 years, they will potentially not be invested in future success as other stakeholders and could be costly when taking into account the diluted ownership. Potential Conflicts of Interest Advisors might not have the same motivators and incentives as your employees and other shareholders. As their ownership is generally a smaller % and their shares vest early, they are potentially not as incentivized for the growth of your company as employees and larger % owners will be. Getting in front of these conversations and making sure you have a good read on any potential advisors before bringing them onboard is a good first step to mitigate potential conflicts. Extra Stakeholder to Manage Chances are most advisors are helping other companies as well. This means that their attention is divided and you will need to ensure you are getting enough value to warrant dilution. This also means that you are responsible for managing a relationship and communication with another stakeholder in your business — what can be burdensome on some founders. The 2 Variations of Advisory Shares Advisory shares are generally offered in 2 variations — restricted stock awards and stock options. Learn more about each option and what they mean below: Restricted Stock Awards As put by the team at Investopedia, “A restricted stock award is similar to an RSU in a number of ways, except for the fact that the award also comes with voting rights. This is because the employee owns the stock immediately once it is awarded. Generally, an RSU represents stock, but in some cases, an employee can elect to receive the cash value of the RSU in lieu of a stock award. This is not the case for restricted stock awards, which cannot be redeemed for cash.” Stock Options As we mentioned, NSOs (Non-Qualified Stock Options) are commonly used for advisor shares. As put by the team at Investopedia, “A non-qualified stock option (NSO) is a type of employee stock option wherein you pay ordinary income tax on the difference between the grant price and the price at which you exercise the option… Non-qualified stock options require payment of income tax of the grant price minus the price of the exercised option.” Who Gets to Issue Advisory Shares? Issuing advisory shares is typically reserved for the founder or CEO of a company. Having a decision-making process and gameplan when issuing advisory shares is important. This might mean offering no shares at all, having an allocated amount of advisor shares from the get go, or something inbetween. Making sure your board of directors and other key stakeholders are on board is crucial to make sure that interest and strategy stays aligned for all stakeholders. How Many Shares Should You Give a Startup Advisor? Managing the balance between sufficient incentives and managing equity dilution is crucial for any business. Determining the number of shares to offer an advisor is subjective to the founder and advisor. When determining the number, a couple of things to keep in mind include: Advisor’s experience Time commitment Expected contribution As put by the team at Silicon Valley Bank, “An advisor may receive between 0.25% and 1% of shares, depending on the stage of the startup and the nature of the advice provided. There are ways to structure such compensation that ensures founders get value for those shares and still retain the flexibility to replace advisors, all without losing equity.” Let Visible Help You Streamline the Investment Management Process Use Visible to manage every part of your fundraising funnel with investor updates, fundraising pipelines, pitch deck sharing, and data rooms. Raise capital, update investors, and engage your team from a single platform. Try Visible free for 14 days. Related resource: Navigating the World of QSBS: Tax Benefits and Eligibility Criteria Explained
founders
Developing a Successful SaaS Sales Strategy
Founders are tasked with hundreds of responsibilities when starting a business. On top of hiring, financing, and building their product, early-stage founders are generally responsible for developing initial strategies — this includes the earliest sales and market strategies. In this article, we will look to help you craft a successful SaaS sales strategy. We’ll highlight the elements you will want to think of when you start to build your sales motion. This will help your team to understand how to measure the number of potential customers in your pipeline and the growth potential you might see in your revenue numbers. How are SaaS sales different from other types of sales? Like any sales strategy, it is important to start with the basics when looking at a SaaS sales strategy. At the top of your funnel, you have marketing leads that likely find your brand via content, word of mouth, paid ads, your own product, etc. From here, leads are moved through the funnel. In the middle, SaaS companies can leverage email campaigns, events, product demos, etc. to move leads to the bottom of their funnel. However, as the SaaS buying experience takes place fully online — sales and marketing organizations can be creative with their approach. The online experience allows companies to track more robust data than ever before. Additionally, SaaS products have turned into their own growth levers as well — the ability to manipulate pricing and plans has led to the ability for companies to leverage their own product for growth. Related Resource: How SaaS Companies Can Best Leverage a Product-led Growth Strategy The online presence and emergence of product-led growth have led to new sales strategies unique to SaaS companies. Learn more below: 3 Popular SaaS sales models There are countless ways to structure your Saas sales strategy. For the sake of this post, we’ll focus on 3 of the most popular strategies. Learn more about the self-service model, transactional model, and enterprise sales model below: Related Resource: The SaaS Business Model: How and Why it Works Self-service model The self-service model allows prospects to become customers without communicating with your team. As put by the team at ProductLed, “A SaaS self-serve model is exactly what it sounds like. Rather than rely on a dedicated Sales team to prospect, educate, and close sales, you design a system that allows customers to serve themselves. The quality of the product itself does all the selling.” This strategy is typically best for a strong and simple product that typically has a lower contract size. Transactional sales model The transactional model allows you to create income-generating actions where prospects have to become a customer at that point in time. This requires transactional sales models to have high-volume sales that can be supported by a strong sales and customer support team. Enterprise sales model The enterprise model is a strategy to sell more robust software packages to corporations – you will need baked-in features in a prepackaged manner to sell to a fellow business. Enterprise sales is the model that shares the most similarities with a traditional B2B sales funnel. Inbound vs outbound sales In a Saas sales funnel, you are constantly looking to consistently fill your sales funnel with fresh prospects. Once you have prospects you will look to find which prospects are worthy of being qualified and have a high likelihood of converting so you can spend your time communicating with those high-quality prospects. There are two popular strategies for creating fresh prospects that would be defined as inbound and outbound sales strategies. Inbound sales is when you invest in marketing to create prospects reaching out to you – fresh prospects reaching out to your business to ask about your software product. As put by the team at HubSpot: “Inbound sales organizations use a sales process that is personalized, helpful, and directly focused on prospects’ pain points throughout their buyer’s journey. During inbound sales, buyers move through three key phases: awareness, consideration, and decision (which we’ll discuss further below). While buyers go through these three phases, sales teams go through four different actions that will help them support qualified leads into becoming opportunities and eventually customers: identify, connect, explore, and advise.” An inbound strategy typically works best for SaaS companies that need a greater volume of customers and can nurture them and move them through their funnel at scale (e.g. self-service model) Outbound sales on the other hand are having members of your organization reach out to potential prospects to see if they would be interested in using your service. Outbound sales require highly targeted and proactive pushing of your messaging to customers. Generally, outbound sales require dedicated team members to manually prospect and reach out to potential customers. This means that outbound sales organizations do not naturally scale as well as an inbound sales organizations and will likely require a higher contract value. An enterprise model would rely heavily on Outbound sales, while a self-service business model will rely heavily on Inbound sales. The SaaS Sales Process The best Saas sales strategy will be a hybrid of inbound and outbound sales, but all of them should include a sales funnel. This funnel should have stages that help to qualify your prospects. These stages should be: Step 1: Lead generation This activity is often times a marketing activity that gives you contact or business information to explore the fit further Step 2: Prospecting This is where you develop the bio of who is the contact you are reaching out to within the organization. It is always helpful to prospect for someone who can make a buying decision Step 3: Qualifying In this step, you need to understand whether the prospect has the resources to pay for your product and the problem that your product can solve. This step is often the time for you to ask questions of your prospects Step 4: Demos and presenting This is when you will share the features and capabilities of your product with the qualified prospect. You want to show them the different features and where they can get the most value. Step 5: Closing the deal After your demo or a presenting call, the prospect should be pushed to a point where they need to make a decision on whether to buy your product. Step 6: Nurturing Once someone becomes a customer, you need to make sure to nurture them and grow your product offering with their business. This is the most difficult stage. Make sure to share your new product releases, stay in tune with how they are using your product, and build relationships with your customers. Cultivating a robust sales team To create a sustaining sales team, it is important to hire talented and tenacious people to own your sales funnel. They will need to track conversion numbers, stay organized with their outreach to prospects, and grow your funnel over time. There are three key roles within a Saas sales funnel. Those positions within your organization are: Sales development representatives (also known as business development representatives) These members of your team own lead generation, prospecting, and qualifying potential customers on your sales team. They get paid 40-60k/year depending on geographical location and experience. They should be tasked with outreach and drumming up new business. Account executives Account executives should focus on giving product demos, closing deals, and nurturing existing customers. They should be a bit more buttoned up in their approach and have a commission incentive associated with the # of accounts they manage. Sales managers/VPs Sales managers and Vice presidents of sales should take ownership of the data within your sales pipelines. Numbers like # of new leads, # of new qualified leads, # of new customers, # of churned customers, amount of new revenue, and lead to customer conversion %. Growing these sales numbers each quarter. Measuring these numbers weekly, monthly, and quarterly. Making them visible to the rest of the company regularly. 8 Key Elements of a successful SaaS sales strategy One of the most important elements of building a successful business is having a like-minded team around you to support and work with you. Make sure to align with all your team members and hire people with good work ethics and similar values of your company. A good sales team should be competitive, goal-oriented, and metric-driven. The sales managers and VPs will be really crucial in shaping the team dynamics and culture of your business. Hire great people and the numbers will take care of themselves! We’ve identified 8 elements of a successful sales strategy that every Saas sales strategy should include 1. Solidify your value proposition It is so important to understand thoroughly and communicate your product’s core value proposition. If someone decides to buy your product, they should know how to use the product and how to get the most out of it. 2. Superb communication with prospects Communication is of the utmost importance. Make sure your prospects understand your product and how it will help their business. Inform them of new product updates 3. Strategic trial periods An effective strategy is to give potential customers a free trial of your product to understand your value proposition. You want to make sure not to make this trial period too short or too long. Make it strategic so the prospect will understand the value prop but also be encouraged to make a buying decision. 4. Track the right SaaS metrics Tracking your core metrics is vital to success. See a few of those below: Customer Acquisition Cost – the amount of money it takes to acquire a new customer Customer Lifetime Value – the amount of value a customer provides your company over the course of their relationship with you as a customer. Lead velocity rate – the growth percentage of qualified leads month over month. This will help you understand how quickly you are qualifying your leads Related Resources: Our Ultimate Guide to SaaS Metrics & How To Calculate and Interpret Your SaaS Magic Number 5. Develop a sales playbook Every successful sales management team should develop a playbook on how to deploy their resources and where each team member should spend their time. Playbooks are often thought of in sports terms, but they also work wonders in the business world. They will help you do things efficiently and effectively. 6. Set effective sales goals How many new customers does your business hope to bring in next month? This is an important question and one your whole sales team should understand and work towards! 7. Utilize the right tools to enhance the process Your team should have all the resources at their disposal to communicate effectively and track their metrics. As you build out your strategy and team, be sure to give them all possible resources at their disposal. There are tons of great tools out there for teams to make the most out of their time and have direct methods of communication with customers and one another. 8. Establish an effective customer support program A huge part of an effective sales strategy is welcoming potential customers and making sure your existing customers are not forgotten about. When customers reach out, it is important to talk and listen to their issues. Understand what they are needing so your product can continue to evolve. Make sure anyone getting introduced to your product will also have the information they need to use your product successfully. It might be helpful to include this member of your team in your sales meetings and keep them informed as to messaging and efforts for growth! Generate support for your startup with Visible Developing a successful SaaS sales strategy is not an easy task. It will take a hybrid approach of many of the elements listed in this article and will need attentive members of your team to nurture it and test new things. We created Visible to help founders have a better chance for success. Stay in the loop with the best resources to build and scale your startup with our newsletter, the Visible Weekly — subscribe here.
investors
Five Ways to Help your Portfolio Companies Find Talent
In Visible’s 2022 Portfolio Support Survey (full report here), VC Operators reported that the number one support request they receive from portfolio companies is help with sourcing and hiring talent. This makes complete sense considering funds are investing in companies they hope will scale quickly, and in order to do so, companies need to recruit top talent quickly. This post outlines 5 ways VC Funds can better support their portfolio companies with hiring and talent. 1. Develop recruiting expertise internally at your VC fund. For funds just thinking about making their first platform hire, consider hiring someone with a recruiting or talent background and making that your defined approach to your VC platform. Alternatively, if your fund has the resources, consider bringing on a Head of Talent either full-time or on a contract basis to lead your portfolio talent initiatives. 2. Bring in external expertise to educate founders. Invite relevant talent service providers to deliver content to your portfolio companies on the topic of sourcing and recruiting talent. Your companies will benefit by learning best practices from an expert and also by being introduced to a vetted service provider if a company decides to outsource recruiting for a role. Tip: Record the content and host it in a place where other portfolio companies can access the content in the future. (We like using Notion at Visible). 3. Create a curated list of vetted recruiting service providers. If you’re not sure where to start, you can begin by asking other founders and VCs where they’ve found talent. Which service providers, job boards, and networks did they use? Document and host this information in a place that can be easily accessed in the future. Here’s a VC & Startup specific recruiting firm to check out –> SCGC Executive Search 4. Host job-matching networking events. Hosting events for portfolio companies is a great way to build community and expand networks. Consider hosting an event or session specifically focused on bringing together your portfolio companies and talented candidates for intentional networking. 5. Add recruiting tech to your VC Tech Stack. If you’ve decided talent is going to be your VC Platform’s area of focus, it may be time to invest in recruiting technology to support your efforts. Here are three recruiting tech platforms to check out — Bolster – Bolster is an on-demand executive talent marketplace that helps accelerate companies’ growth by connecting them with experienced, highly vetted executives for interim, fractional, advisory, project-based, full-time or board roles. Bolster also provides startup and scaleup CEOs with software, programming, and content to help them assess, benchmark, and diversify their leadership teams and boards. Sign up for a free partner account here to unlock a $2,000 credit for your portfolio companies. Getro – This is an automated job board that updates as your portfolio companies add or remove job openings from their career pages. It takes the manual work out of connecting people and companies in your network. Pallet – This is a community-led job matching platform. You can host all your portfolio job opens in a single place to host on your website and promote on social media. For an example of a VC Fund’s pallet board check out K50 Ventures Portfolio’s pallet board. Visible for Investors is a founders-first portfolio monitoring and reporting platform. Learn More

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Case Study: Airtree Venture's Transformation with Visible
About Airtree Ventures Airtree is a Sydney-based venture capital firm backing founders based in Australia and New Zealand building the iconic companies of tomorrow. The firm was founded in 2014 and is now deploying out of its 4th fund with $1.3 billion in assets under management. Their portfolio includes over 105+ portfolio companies and 250+ founders who have helped create over 17,000 jobs. Airtree’s portfolio includes the region’s breakout technology companies, such as Canva, Go1, Employment Hero, Pet Circle, Immutable, and Linktree. For this case study, we spoke to Dan Lombard who is the Data Lead at Airtree Ventures. Related article: Airtree Ventures already returned its first fund thanks to Canva while maintaining the majority of its stake Fragmented Systems and Processes Prior to Visible Prior to the integration of Visible, Airtree relied heavily on a fragmented system of spreadsheets to manage their portfolio of 105+ companies. Each quarter, four employees were tasked with managing the relationships with the points of contact at 15 to 20 portfolio companies through manual outreach and communications. This reliance on spreadsheets resulted in inefficiencies and potential data loss, as spreadsheets are prone to break when modified. Challenges With Data Accuracy and Scaling Manual Outreach to a Growing Portfolio Before Visible, 80% of Airtree’s portfolio monitoring problem was having clean data and scaling outreach to their portfolio companies. They faced two primary challenges with their former system: Operational Efficiency: Four team members spent significant time manually collecting data from over 100 companies every quarter. The Airtree team members were sending one-off email communications to each company and manually keeping track of who needed to be followed up with at each company which diverted resources from other critical projects they could be working on. Data Integrity and Scalability: Frequent changes to the data in spreadsheets resulted in errors in the sheets and data loss, which caused frustration as there was no way of understanding which changes were made to the sheet and when. This process made it difficult to scale portfolio monitoring operations as Airtree grew. Why Airtree Chose Visible as their Portfolio Monitoring Platform Airtree chose Visible for its robust, scalable, and user-friendly platform. Key factors influencing their choice included: Ease of Use and Customization: Visible's platform offered unparalleled customization and ease of use. Support and Development: Visible’s team actively listened to feedback, offered best practices, and continuously invested in their product, ensuring a partnership that catered to Airtree’s evolving needs. Automation and Integration: Visible excelled in automating portfolio monitoring and offered a frictionless experience for founders. Airtree leveraged the Visible API to seamlessly integrate data into their existing data warehouse system. Airtree’s historical data collection process, previously led by four Airtree team members, is now a streamlined process led only by Dan, who leverages Visible Requests to collect data from their portfolio of 105+ companies. Visible Requests empowers Dan to send customized link-based data requests to each company, automate the email reminder process, and easily keep track of where companies are in the reporting process. View an example Visible Request below. Onboarded to Visible within 24 Hours Visible provided Airtree with an efficient and supported onboarding. When asked about Airtree's onboarding with Visible Dan Lombard shared the following: Visible stood out by enabling a swift and seamless transition that was operational in less than 24 hours, a stark contrast to other providers who estimated a quarter for full implementation. This rapid integration was facilitated by a comprehensive onboarding template provided by Visible. Visible API & Airtree’s Data Infrastructure With the implementation of Visible, Airtree wanted to take a more sophisticated approach to the way they handle their portfolio data with the goal of driving more valuable insights for their team. The approach needed to be automated, integrate with other data sources, and have a singular view accessible for the whole team. This was not possible when their data lived in disparate systems, files, and spreadsheets. Dan Lombard has led the improvement of Airtree's data infrastructure. Now, data sources like Visible and Affinity are piped into Snowflake via recurring AWS Lambda jobs. Airtree leverages the Visible API daily. Dan mentioned that while Airtree collects data quarterly, a daily sync of the data is crucial because Airtree is always onboarding new companies, communicating with their founders, and uploading historical data. “The Visible API gives us this level of daily fidelity and only takes the AWS Lambda job 5 minutes to populate an entire data architecture.” - Dan Lombard, Data Lead at Airtree Ventures Once the data is in their database, Snowflake handles the ETL and entity matching. Airtree then has Streamlit sit on top of Snowflake to query data, provision access, and build out new insights. Advice for Other VC Firms Building Out Their Data Infrastructure Don’t overcomplicate things to start. It is easy to get caught up in the bells and whistles. Dan recommends a bias towards simplicity. Start small and use it as a stepping stone as you build things out. Conclusion Airtree’s adoption of Visible transformed their portfolio management by automating key processes and centralizing data, thus enabling more strategic decision-making and efficient operations. The case of Airtree is a testament to how the right technological partnerships can profoundly impact business efficiency and data management.
investors
[Webinar Recording] VC Fund Performance Metrics to Share When it’s ‘Early’ with Preface Ventures
It’s common for venture firms to start raising their next fund in the last year of capital deployment, typically years 3-4 of a fund’s life. This poses a sort of chicken-and-egg problem because many of the common fund performance metrics that Limited Partners use to drive allocation decisions only become reliable, and therefore more meaningful, around year six (Source: Cambridge Associates). Farooq Abbasi, founder and General Partner of Preface Ventures, created a Seed Stage Enterprise VC Funding Napkin to help GPS think through alternative fund metrics that help communicate performance outside the traditional indicators that LPs use to measure success for more mature funds. The Seed Stage Enterprise VC Funding Napkin helps answer the question "What is good enough to raise a subsequent fund in the current market conditions". Farooq from Preface Ventures joined us on Tuesday, February 27th for a discussion about the fund performance metrics GPs can use to benchmark and communicate fund performance when it's still 'early'. View the recording below. Webinar Topics The issue with ‘typical’ fund performance metrics for ‘early’ funds Overview of Preface Venture’s Seed Stage Enterprise VC Funding Napkin Deep dive into alternative early performance benchmarks How to keep track of alternative fund performance metrics How to leverage alternative fund performance indicators into your fundraising narrative Inside look into how Preface Ventures keeps LPs up to date Q&A Resources From the Webinar Christoph Janz's What does it take to raise capital, in SaaS, in 2023? Preface Ventures' A GP's View on VC Fund Performance When It's Early Diversity VC About Preface Ventures Preface Ventures is a New York City-based firm started in 2020 led by Farooq Abbasi. Preface invests $500-$2M at the pre-seed and seed stage into startups who are building the Frontier Enterprise structure. Preface has 20 active positions in Fund II and 7 active positions in Fund III. (Learn more)
investors
[Webinar Recording] Lessons learned from raising Fund II with Gale Wilkinson from VITALIZE
"The most successful fund managers are going to be the ones who are really authentic to what is important to them and they make sure every attribute of their model reflects that authenticity." - Gale Wilkinson About the Webinar Markdowns and lack of LP distributions resulted in a challenging fundraising year for many VCs. The firms that did close new funds in 2023 had to put in extra work to stand out and foster confidence from new investors. Visible had the pleasure of hosting Gale Wilkinson from VITALIZE Venture Capital on Tuesday, January 30th to discuss what she learned while closing her second fund in Q4 of 2023. You can view the webinar recording below. Webinar topics This webinar was designed for people working in Venture Capital who want to learn more about the VC fundraising process. Webinar topics included: Overview of VITALIZE's fundraising process Pre-fundraising activities that made a difference How LP diligence differed between Fund I and Fund II How Gale leverages social media to build both her personal and professional brand Reviewing VITALIZE's fundraising pitch deck Advice for GP's raising in 2024 You can view the presentation deck here. Key Takeaways Expect raising your first and second fund to take 2-3 years Stay authentic to what's most important to you as a fund manager and what you're great at. Make sure every attribute of that model reflects your authenticity. Most GP decks are too long. Gale's advice --> Find out what about your story is most interesting and give enough information to make it extremely clear about who you are and what you do without going into confidential information.

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