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The Future of Venture Capital – Stockholm

ShareAs part of the book tour for The Entrepreneurial Bible to Venture Capital we are heading to Stockholm and London. Meet Joshua Siegel and Andrew Romans, General Partners at Rubicon Venture Capital, in Stockholm Sweden June 3 – 6, 2014. We are organizing two events and holding 1:1 meetings with investors and entrepreneurs. The Future of Raising Angel & Venture Capital Funding – June 3 The Future of Angel & Venture Capital Investing – June 4 Both investing and raising VC funding is changing rapidly. Learn about the future of venture capital while networking directly with the leaders in the game. Join leading Scandinavian venture capitalists Tuesday evening June 3, 2014 at Start-Up People of Sweden (SUP46). Gain insight into VC investing from Silicon Valley to Stockholm from active venture capitalists including Andrew Romans, Silicon Valley-based author of the McGraw Hill published book – THE ENTREPRENEURIAL BIBLE TO VENTURE CAPITAL: Inside Secrets from the Leaders in the Startup Game and New York-based Joshua Siegel both from Rubicon Venture Capital (formerly Georgetown Angels). Join us again Wednesday afternoon June 4, 2014 at DLA Nordic. This investing workshop event is designed for angel, venture capital, family office, fund of funds, pension fund, endowment and other investors in startups and venture capital funds. Learn about the future of angel and venture capital investing and network with investors in the VC asset class while meeting directly with the most active VCs in Scandinavia. This second event is for accredited and institutional investors only. Our first event is for everyone in the startup ecosystem. Venture Capital Panel moderated by Andrew Romans. Andrew Romans, General Partner, Rubicon Venture Capital Hans Otterling, General Partner, Northzone Staffan Helgesson, General Partner, Creandum Per Roman, cofounder & Managing Partner,  GP Bullhound & Sidecar Fund Kerstin Cooley,...

San Francisco W Hotel VC book tour & bitcoin event

ShareWhat: W Hotel San Francisco VC Book Tour & Bitcoin Panel When: April 16, 2014, 5:00 – 9:00 pm Where: W Hotel, 181 3rd Street, San Francisco, CA 94103 REGISTER HERE     Taxes are over! Enjoy the sponsored fully stocked open bar and come hang out with startups, angels and VCs at the W…and get smart on bitcoin. Follow me on Twitter @romansventures 5:00 – 6:00 pm Registration & Networking 6:00 – 6:30 pm Welcome & bitcoin panel 6:30 – 7:00 pm Interview with Andrew Romans 7:00 – 7:30 pm VC Panel moderated by Andrew Romans 7:30 – 9:00 pm Networking reception Join me for a panel from leading bitcoin startups, VCs active in the bitcoin space, a general VC panel and my book tour talk at the W Hotel in San Francisco. Part of my book tour for – THE ENTREPRENEURIAL BIBLE TO VENTURE CAPITAL: Inside Secrets from the Leaders in the Startup Game. “The Future of Bitcoin” Greg Kidd, Chief Risk Officer, Ripple Labs Paige Freeman, Co-Founder of Women In Bitcoin & VP, BitPay Cedric Dahl, CEO, Buttercoin Travis Skweres, CEO, CoinMKT William Quigley, General Partner, Clearstone Venture Partners Moderator: Raj Gollamudi, Director, Intel Capital Fireside Chat with Andrew Romans hosted by Ari Kalfayan “VC Insight Panel: Secrets to Raising Capital and Success” Sean Jacobsohn, Emergence Capital Dafina Toncheva, USVP Tim Wilson, Artiman David Blumberg, Blumberg Capital Stephanie Palmeri, SoftTech VC Moderator: Andrew Romans, Rubicon Venture Capital (formerly Georgetown Angels)  Special thanks to our sponsors Aranca will give away a free 409a valuation at the event.  Thanks to our co-host and cool guys at Startup Tech Mixer. REGISTER HERE    Other Book Tour...

Reporting: The Art of Communicating with Your Investors

ShareA key skill among good CEOs is communicating well with their investors. Just like a marriage or any relationship, bad communications breeds bad results and good communication can enable a relationship to survive almost anything. Regardless of the direction a company is heading (in a fast car to IPO or bankruptcy), good communication with investors only benefits the CEO and the investors. I recommend that CEOs develop a format that they can update at least 4 times per annum if not every two months or every six weeks and send out this email blast to their investors. Hitting the send button once can update 3, 5 or 50 investors and that single email update can be the “apple a day that keeps the doctor away”. If investors don’t hear from you and you go bankrupt they may be annoyed that had you communicated with them along the way they might have been able to become involved and save the day. If investors don’t hear from you and you IPO after completing 5 financing rounds they may be annoyed that had you communicated with them along the way they might have participated in each financing round and brought in some of their strategic buddies to help the company advance faster and further. Either way, investors like to know what’s going on. Investors like me need to provide good detailed reporting to the investors in our fund and we want to to help our portfolio companies as much as possible and leverage our networks. We need information and updates so that we can help. I had lunch with a portfolio CEO today in...

SxSW 2014 Recap – Austin, Texas

ShareIt’s been a few days since I got home to Silicon Valley from the SXSW 2014 Interactive event and here are a few perspectives from my own personal séjour in Austin. This year I did not use my SXSW badge once. I walked into the conference center once to pick up my badge, which I kept in my back pocket and went back to meetings and events where I was on the list. We did not require an official SXSW badge to attend our two Georgetown Angels venture capital and startup events. We made one investment into a startup at SxSW. I’ll mention Tackk below. My wife thinks I go there to party, but if that were true I would go to Austin when it’s not SX (short for SXSW, short for South by Southwest, the owners of SXSW ask us to write SxSW, because it does something to make their general counsel feel better about their intellectual property around SXSW). The purpose for me is to collapse many meetings into a short period of time. Most of the people I met at SX were pre-scheduled meetings. Many of these folks were visiting from Europe or other parts of the US and Canada, making a few days in Austin efficient business in a casual, but exhausting atmosphere. In addition to pre-booking many meetings, I think it is a good idea to arrange to be in Austin with some true friends you enjoy being with where you benefit from an “entourage” effect. So you end up bumping into people you know and introduce them to your friends and vice versa....

Meet Dave McClure of 500Startups @Georgetown Angels during SxSW March 10

ShareWhat: Meet Dave McClure and 3 winning startups in an intimate setting during SxSW at Georgetown Angels’ Investor Event When: Monday, March 10, 2014 from 6 – 9 pm during SxSW Where: DLA PIPER, 401 Congress Ave , 25th Floor, Austin, TX 78701 Register: Eventbrite (Delegates MUST register and be on the list to attend. Accredited investors only! General pubic is welcome to attend our event at Capital Factory March 8th during SxSW which has an all-star VC panel and 9 startup pitches, beer, wine, food and networking.) Fireside chat with Dave McClure interviewed by Andrew Romans Twitter: @davemcclure Twitter: @romansventures Network with Angels, VCs and 3 winning startups Pitches from 3 startups selected from our March 8th event at Capital Factory. Learn about Georgetown Angels VC Fund Networking Reception with wine, beer & food Register: Eventbrite Call us if you want to meet in Austin Saturday to Monday....

All-star VC panel & 9 startup pitches @ Capital Factory during SxSW March 8th

ShareWhat: VC Panel moderated by Andrew Romans & 9 highly vetted bullet startup pitches judged by Georgetown Angels and 30 VCs When: Saturday, March 8, 2014 from noon – 3 pm during SxSW Where: Capital Factory, 701 Brazos Street, Suite 1601, Austin, TX 78701 Register: Eventbrite (You MUST be registered and on the list to get in the door. Accredited investors are invited to attend our Accredited Investor Only event to hear and meet top 3 winning startups on Monday, March 10th at our event with a fireside chat with Dave McClure of 500Startups. Investors welcome to register for Monday’s March 10th Investor Event here.) VC Panel moderated by Andrew Romans Twitter: @romansventures David BlumbergBlumberg Capital Alex Niehenke Scale Venture Partners Bryan StolleMohr Davidow Ventures Tom SperryRogue Venture Partners Krishna SrinivasanLiveOak Venture Partners                         The Startups: The participating startups are backed by top VCs and angels, including ff Venture Capital, Founders Fund, 500 Startups, Red Sea Ventures, Richard Branson, Ashton Kutcher, Dave McClure, Bitcoin Opportunity Fund and others. (All company names will be hidden until the event kicks off) Startup 1 Only mobile music service that lets the user rent and buy songs in partnership with some of the world’s largest Telcos and brands including Telefonica, Samsung and Vodafone. Startup 2 The leading service allowing merchants to accept payments in Bitcoin and other virtual currencies. Startup 3 Brings highly relevant deals and ads to mobile device home screens. Partnership with leading Telcos. Companies get exposure and users make real money viewing ads. Startup 4 Leading US-based exchange for trading Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies....

Considerations on valuations for angel and VC financings – how to price for success

ShareIf you want to raise capital for your business, part of getting it right is structuring your deal and getting the valuation in the right place. I have recently seen a number of deals where the valuation was just too high and I thought to share some insights on this as I have found myself repeating this advice. My VC fund invests 20% of our dollars into later stage seed rounds that we define as financing rounds where the startup has raised a minimum of $500k of non-founder cash financing, but is not quite ready for the VC series A round of $3m to $10m. 80% of our fund invests in series A, B, C and beyond, but as you can see we are very active in this early stage of funding and see valuations not only in the Valley and NYC where we live, but all over the US and Europe. These early financings are often structured as convertible notes. I get into lots of detail on this in my book, but at a high level a convertible note is a typical way early stage financing rounds are completed where there are many angles and institutional investors like my fund and angel group participating. The key components of a convertible note are 1) the cap, 2) the discount rate, 3) the interest rate and 4) the conversion feature of what happens if the company is acquired in advance of a priced round. When an investor wires funds or writes a check investing on a convertible note, the money is accepted by the startup as debt with a document...

League Table of Most Active VCs in Norway, Denmark and Finland

ShareI forgot to add the league tables for Norway, Denmark and Finland when I posted about Scandinavia a few weeks ago. You will find below the League Table for Most Active VCs in these countries. Again $3m minimum raised in 2010 and 2011 in each country.  I realize this is old research; so many of these are no longer active and it does not capture the new ones. My advice to these local entrepreneurs, as it was for Swedes: expand your target investor list outside of your own country. Raise as much local angel funding and then reach out to VCs beyond your borders. League Table for the Most Active VCs in Norway I personally like NorthZone for Norway. Norwegian Venture Capital Association: http://www.nvca.no/. 1 Investinor Trondheim, Norway Government US$ 338 12 2 Viking Venture Trondheim, Norway Venture Capital US$ 169 5 3 Northzone Ventures AS Oslo, Norway Venture Capital US$ 337 3 4 Alliance Venture Oslo, Norway Venture Capital US$ 65 2 5 Energy Capital Management Oslo, Norway Corporate Venture Capital 2 6 Hafslund Venture ASA Oslo, Norway Corporate Venture Capital 2 7 Proventure Seed Trondheim, Norway Venture Capital US$ 51 2 8 Sakorn Invest Stavanger, Norway Venture Capital US$ 66 2 9 SINTEF Group Trondheim, Norway Venture Capital 2 10 Black River Asset Management LLC Minnetonka, MN 1 11 Capricorn Venture Partners NV Leuven, Belgium Venture Capital US$ 135 1 12 Climate Change Capital Ltd. London, United Kingdom US$ 1,299 1 13 Convexa Oslo, Norway Venture Capital US$ 171 1 14 Energy Ventures AS Stavanger, Norway Venture Capital US$ 346 1 15 Ferd Capital AS Lysaker, Norway 1...

How many years after a financing year does total return = ultimate realized return?

ShareTrevor Kienzle of Correlation Ventures emailed me this data, which I find very interesting. They apply “money ball” principles to venture investing and make for a great co-investor. Key conclusions we draw from this analysis are: 1. Total returns are typically lower than ultimate realized returns, so they often have the effect of artificially depressing ultimate U.S. venture returns; and 2. Total returns don’t converge with ultimate realized returns until about 7 years following the financing year. Although not depicted in the graph, 7 years was the earliest time point after the financing year when total returns for all financing years evaluated were less than 10% off from their ultimate realized returns. Please note that this analysis uses financing years, not fund vintages. When interpreting reported returns for fund vintages, we should also take into account that VC funds tend to make new name investments over 3-5 years including and following their vintage year. So, assuming a 4 year investment period, any currently reported returns for U.S. venture fund vintages 2003 and later could be an inaccurate prediction of – and most likely will be lower than – the ultimate returns for those vintages. A summary of the methodology we used in this analysis is included below. Methodology: to create the graph, we used financing years 1992 to 2005 and assumed total dollar-weighted gross realized returns as of 9/30/13 were the ultimate realized gross returns for all financings in each financing year. Total dollar-weighted returns were calculated for each financing year as of the end of each subsequent calendar year. So, for example, for financing year 1992, the total...

The Scandinavian Venture Capital Scene – league tables of most active Scandinavian VCs – part of my European VC blog series

ShareTaken as one region, the four Nordic countries of Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, Scandinavia form the second largest market for venture capital in Europe.  These four Nordic countries provide a market of 25m highly educated citizens who earn and spend a relatively high GDP. My heart warms up to everything Scandinavian. The way my career unfolded found me frequently in Stockholm. My contact network there just grew and grew. I became quite settled in the original Lydmar Hotel and loved the scene from amazing breakfasts to all of the delights of the Stureplan part of town where many of the VCs are clustered along Bigerjarlsgaten. In Stockholm, cell phones worked in tunnels and wifi was already ubiquitous when the rest of the world was just plugging in their first routers. Sweden is by far the largest venture scene. Kista (pronounced shee’stah) is a veritable Silicon Valley cluster of top tech companies positioned between the capital and the Arlanda airport. I’ve been to Sweden over 100 times. I invested in a few companies and joined a few boards. I love Sweden and feel truly at home with its advanced culture. If you ever get invited to a “Swedish Christmas table” I suggest you accept the invite. They have private clubs on the archipelago that are amazing properties with priceless tapestries on the walls and what I like the most is the viking goblets outside with burning wood. As you walk into these places they have wood burning outside and the aroma of almond fire wood being burnt just makes it all perfect. This is a country of vikings. They...