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Nathan Beckord
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My favorite line (I'm turning this into a t-shirt): "Angel List is like Dangerous Sex with Super Models for Virgin Nerds." I've got two startups I'm advising gearing up to hit Angellist in the next two weeks, and one on there now that's starting to heat up. It's a fascinating process to watch-- it's peer feedback loops in action, in real-time. It's a bit like stepping into a hurricane. AL is a brilliant concept-- not so much in the idea (which has been tried many times before), but in the execution. N&N have done a good job of curating the dealflow, and in general bringing transparency to the process of raising capital. Most of the other online sites for raising money are either outright scams, or they have the "adverse selection" problem, in that they attract only the startups that can't raise funding anywhere else (and thus end up full of junk). While it's a little scary how much influence or "kingmaker" status N&N have with startups that go through the AL system, they also seem to do a good job of being pretty fair about it, and picking out winners while filtering some of the riffraff. Will be fun to watch it play out... Nathan Beckord
Dave, let's talk about M&A for startups: In fact, let's do it Dec. 9th, I'm putting on an event in SF; want to do a panel? We've got innovation in early stage funding (YC, SAs etc.); we need corresponding innovation in startup exits or the entire house of cards will fall. Plus Aydin's kicking your butt: 16 exits to your 5-ish? C'mon, man! ;-> Nathan
Hey Dev, interesting slide deck, and good tips. Personally, I find LinkedIn incredibly useful, Twitter very noisy (I need to take your list suggestions), Slideshare very useful, Plancast a little spammy, and Quora really engaging. Never used About.met The bigger question is, how does one find the time to keep up with all these things? Not enough hours in the day! Nathan Beckord
Fun post. I am particularly keen on your Assertion #2. Along with the shift toward "microVC" / "superangel" / "seed accelerators" / "etc." will come a rise in the importance of "micro M&A" for that are well under the normal threshold for big i-banks, but that can provide meaningful returns to founders and angels (but not always VCs). I think we'll see this scenario play itself out more and more, particularly in the web world: once founders have raised some angel$ (from 500Hats fund, natch), achieved product/market fit, and hit some initial traction, they'll come to a fork in the road...either swing big and raise multiple rounds of VC, or focus on a dual BD/acquisition strategy with strategic partners. I think in many cases founders can actually make MORE money by exiting early (while still controlling a hefty share of equity) vs. going for the big score (fueled by multiple VC rounds and concurrent dilution). Plus, exiting early at $50m after 2-3 years means founders can quickly repeat the cycle, vs. hanging on for the typical 6-8 years it takes most VC backed co's to achieve. In a nutshell, "Small VC is the new black" and "early M&A is the new exit." (Of course, this oversimplifies things and is a very rational way of looking at overlooks the hubris that many founders get when things are growing fast and they start to get courted by name brand VCs...but I'm convinced we'll see more small exit deals, particularly if some of your thesis holds true); I put a related deck on the topic of startup exit strategy up on slideshare: Nice job, Dave Nathan Beckord ps sat at your table at S2S "Art of M&A" last week-- great panel! good times!
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Aug 3, 2010