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Category: Venture Capital

Rise of the $3.4 Billion Taxi Service, and Other Valuation Tales

September 5, 2013 by Shyam Jha

Valuation of Uber Taxi Startup

The $3.4 billion uber-valuation that Uber – the on-call taxi and limo service – received recently in its latest round of financing has eyes popping and tongues wagging. Uber is expected to reach revenue of $125 million in 2013, implying a valuation of almost 30 times revenue. A number of other taxi-hailing startups such as Lyft and Hailo are also revving their engines to get into the highly regulated livery service business. Economists tell us that valuation bubbles happen periodically. The Internet Era has shortened the time between the occurrences [Read More]

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How Do I Get a VC’s Attention?

March 29, 2013 by Jimmy Lewin and Akira Hirai

Getting Attention from Venture Capitalists

A client of ours recently mentioned that he identified a venture capital fund that he thought would be a perfect investor for his new mobile app. He said that the fund’s portfolio seemed to be loaded with similar apps and that they would probably think that he is a good fit for them. He wondered, though, what is the best way to get a meeting with the VC. We told him that, hands down, the best way was to be introduced by somebody the VC already knows and trusts. As [Read More]

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Cracking the New Venture Capital Code

February 1, 2013 by Richard Hasenpflug

Crack the Venture Capital Code

Every two or three years I try to attend a VC roundtable event – a panel of VCs talking about the state of their industry. These folks really like to talk about themselves, which is why I find this an easy way to keep up with what is going on in the industry. I recently attended one hosted by TiE Arizona, the local chapter of a global association for entrepreneurs. There were six panelists representing a variety of firms: Eric Shiozaki of Apposite Capital in San Francisco, Robert Pothier of [Read More]

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Strategic Money is a Beautiful Thing

June 14, 2012 by Jimmy Lewin

Strategic Money is a Beautiful Thing

For years I have been advising clients to look carefully at strategic investors for new capital before looking for financial investors.  For those of you who are not bankers or business consultants, a strategic investor is an investor who invests for reasons other than an immediate financial return. That advice was once again confirmed late last month when our firm was hired by a Canadian client who in its 10th year is now going back to the market for a new round of capital.  This client, a technology company with [Read More]

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The Realities of An Entrepreneur Spending Investor Money

April 24, 2012 by Marty Zwilling

Spending Investor Money

The naïve entrepreneur thinks he can relax, after he finally cashes the check from a professional investor, but in reality that’s when the work and the pressure starts. His first reality reset is that now, maybe for the first time, he really has a boss, or several bosses, and often very demanding ones at that. Angel and venture capital investors rarely just give you the cash, and stand back to wait for you to spend it the way you want. First of all, they are usually more experienced than you [Read More]

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I’m a VC, Yo!

September 14, 2011 by Akira Hirai

I'm a VC!

As Mark Suster says, “life’s too short to work with dicks.” Here’s a delightful parody of the VC stereotype put together by the wonderful folks over at Foundry Group (a venture capital firm). If you’re frustrated by the VC community, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this video!

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The Fundamental Differences Between Angels and VCs

December 27, 2010 by Akira Hirai and Marty Zwilling

Fundamental Differences Between Angels and VCs

Most startups desperately need an investor and thus you may feel that you are willing to consider any source of funding, regardless of the type of investor. Both so-called “angel” investors and venture capitalist (VC) are able to provide the financial resources that your startup requires. I have found, however, that the decision process for choosing the best investor is very complex so it is especially important to make well-informed and carefully-timed choices as these can have a major impact on your long-term success. The basic distinctions between types of [Read More]

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Funding Update

November 18, 2009 by Akira Hirai

Funding update

The MoneyTree report of U.S. venture capital activity for the third quarter was just released by PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association. The $4.8 billion invested in Q3 is a significant jump from the $4.1 billion in Q2 and $3.3 billion in Q1, but still well off of the $7.1 billion invested during Q3 of last year. The number of deals has remained in the 600 to 700 range each quarter this year, compared to 900 to 1,100 per quarter last year. Clean Tech experienced an 89% increase in [Read More]

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