miércoles, 29 de abril de 2009
Adjunto algunas de las preguntas y respuestas más interesantes, matizando que los prestamos participativos habituales en España tienen varias diferencias significativas respecto al modelo americano.
How exactly are venture debt deals structured?
They are high-yield debt with an equity kicker as standard, somewhere between 10 and 16% dilution, usually in the form of warrants. The term is usually 36 months with a full payout – the debt starts paying back on an equal monthly basis when money is drawn. The equity kicker is an important part of the model, providing about 50% of the fund’s overall return to our investors
What covenants are attached to venture debt?
(…) It almost always avoids complex funding milestones and default triggers designed to “get out” at the first sign of distress
Are there any other advantages compared with raising additional equity?
Speed is one (…) By leveraging the existing VC due diligence, venture debt can take less than half the time and a fraction of the management attention to close. Also, from the VC’0s perspective, unlike new venture capital partners debt does not require a board seat, leaving the existing board structures intact (…)
Why is the venture debt so much less prominent in Europe than the US?
(…) It is also partly a question of size. I the US there are billion-dollar companies that were VC-backed, and so venture debt investors earned big tickets. In Europe the average exit is probably closer to 150 to 200 million EUR.
Por cierto, la revista nos la regalaron en la EBAN 2009 donde tuve la ocasión de hablar con Alan Barrell y hacerle la pregunta que se me quedó en el tintero en el anterior post, en efecto no conocía la diferencia entre un banco y una caja.
miércoles, 22 de abril de 2009
Acceso al generador de clausulas para contrato de inversión de WSGR
Via The Funded
lunes, 20 de abril de 2009
The NVCA orchestrated the release of abysmal venture investing numbers for Q1 2009 on Friday and Saturday evening, after most media outlets had closed. (...) To start with, there is nothing surprising about the slowdown, but nobody seems to explain why it happened. Let's start by looking at the "real" reasons for the near halt in venture investing during Q1 2009:
1. Venture capitalists were asked to stop investing. Major limited partners (LPs), or investors in funds, asked their private equity (PE) partners to slow down investing and reduce the number of capital calls (here). (...)
2. New compliance rules tied up venture capitalists. In Q1 09, a large number of LPs asked their PE partners to comply with a mark-to-market accounting rule, FAS 157, (...) Venture capitalists were forced to go through both a time consuming exercise (...) distracting partners from new investment opportunities.
3. Cash strapped portfolio companies needed saving. Only the best portfolio companies could raise money from new investors in Q1 2009. This forced venture capitalists to undergo another time consuming process of evaluating the fund's portfolio and identifying which companies to support going forward (here). Some cash strapped portfolio companies needed immediate support, and venture capitalists did a large volume of "inside rounds," where existing investors set the terms for new rounds into portfolio companies. Without external validation of a company valuation by a new investor, inside rounds require an internal review process that frequently results in dreaded "cram down rounds," complex penalty terms, lower valuations, and smaller investment amounts. The average deal size to shrink by 30% from Q1 08 to Q1 09.
Despite logical explanations for the slowdown in Q1 2009, there is a much more alarming trend in the data.
The number of new venture funds that were backed by limited partners fell by 81% between 2008 and 2009 (here). Venture capital positions by top limited partners (here) have been sold for pennies on the dollar (here). Venture capitalists have been complaining that traditional sources for venture financing, such as university endowments, have stopped supporting the asset class.
I believe that these are all early indicators that the overall asset class of "venture capital" is being abandoned by limited partners. The 10 year returns are being held up by the last companies from the dotcom era of 1999, but the returns for funds raised since then are poor (here). When you apply strict FAS 157 valuations on private companies with different venture firms reporting different valuations on the same company, the asset class returns go from bad to worse. There is a silver lining, however.
The three major causes for a slowdown in Q1 have passed. LPs have more liquidity with the rising value of public market equities, and most venture funds have addressed FAS 157 reporting processes and determined which portfolio companies to save. Q2 2009 investments will continue to down, though higher than Q1, as venture capitalists take a step back and evaluate what investments to make in the new global economy, but new investments will start to surface towards the end of Q2 and in Q3 2009. Since new investments are smaller than later stage support, the amount invested in 2009 will be significantly smaller than any amount in the last 10 years, but the volume of deals will start to normalize by the end of the year.
Artículo completo en Thefunded.com
viernes, 17 de abril de 2009
There is an inherent conflict in a consultant’s business model and the needs of a startup. Consultants trade their time for money whereas startups need to trade their money for results. In order to eliminate this conflict, any consulting relationships you establish must be performance-based. In this way, by tying compensation to results, your startup can trade its money for even more money.(...)
However, when you pull the consultant out on The Fringe and negotiate a performance-based deal, you are ensuring that they will only enter into an engagement with you if they believe that they can move the needle and make a real impact on your adventure. The consultant will be compelled to vet your engagement based on their ability to drive concrete results, rather than your wherewithal to pay their invoices. Thus, performance oriented deals reduce the risk that your startup will waste its two most valuable resources.(...)
As described in Roping In The Legal Eagles, service firms are pyramids. A handful of Rainmakers sit at the top, while most of the ‘real work’ is done by less experienced and therefore less insightful folks. The larger the firm, the larger the pyramid. The larger the pyramid, the greater the distance between the Rainmaker who closes the sales and the worker bees who have to deliver on the Rainmaker’s promises.
Thus, do not be enamored by a service firm’s size. Size does matter, but in an inverse manner. The larger the firm: (i) the greater the disconnect between the Rainmaker and the workers, (ii) the higher the personnel turnover, and (iii) the more time you will be forced to expend training each new crop of MBA-wannabe’s. Remember – your adventure’s time is precious.(...)
Allow the consultant to invest in your future success; in lieu of cash, grant them equity in the form of Non-qualified Options that vest based upon the attainment of quantifiable goals; keep in mind that adverse tax consequences may be associated with such equity grants, so check with your accountant before deploying this form of compensation
Negotiate a startup discount; you may be surprised how often you can get a break on such fees, especially if the service provider truly believes in your future viability
Pull a Blondin (see: Do They Believe?); make the service provider prove their belief in you by getting on your back as you step onto the proverbial entrepreneurial tightrope. Having consultants accept equity in lieu of cash, define their compensation based on concrete results and defer their payment until the attainment of certain milestones (including fundraising) are all ways you can execute the Blondin Test. If the consultant really believes in you, your team and the prospects of your adventure, they will be willing to ‘get on your back’ and trust that you will make it to the other side unscathed.Artículo completo
domingo, 12 de abril de 2009
Fred Wilson comenta hoy en su blog lo que otros muchos llevan años diciendo: el dinero no es el problema porque el dinero no resuelve la mayoría de los problemas. Es cierto que tener gestores que mejoren la estrategia y programadores o investigadores que mejoren la tecnología requiere recursos, pero es importante recordar los grandes fiascos de finales de los 90 y observar como las grandes corporaciones demuestran todos los días que las montañas de dinero no son buenos cimientos.
Si tu proyecto vale la pena y de verdad estás motivado encontrarás una manera de seguir adelante con pocos recursos, e implementarás una cultura en tu start-up mucho más higénica porque no tendrás dinero que desperdiciar o será de tu propio bolsillo. En ese momento te sobrarán invesores potenciales de acuerdo con el nivel de desarrollo de tu proyecto. Aunque en Okuri Ventures colaboramos con emprendedores que aún no han superado esta etapa, a todos los inversores nos gustan los emprendedores que no piensan el dinero resolverá sus problemas porque son conscientes de que deben lograr sus objetivos con recursos muy limitados, han demostrado parte de lo que pretenden lograr y se creen su proyecto lo suficiente como para haber aportado su tiempo y dinero.
Los 9 segmentos del video en los que cuenta sus decadas de experiencia en el mundo del venture capital valen la pena, pero este es el que Fred Wilson recomienda (la parte de "money doesn't solve problems" es a partir del minuto 2,25)
Post de Fred Wilson "You can't solve problems with money" en "A Venture Capitalist"
domingo, 5 de abril de 2009
A couple weeks ago, Dan Primack of PE Hub blogged a list of venture capital firms he termed the “VC Walking Dead” — firms that by all indication appear to still be in business but lack the cash to bring new investments on board. This got us thinking. While Dan’s list included 14 firms, there had to be a lot more out there (...) We got two big lists from the National Venture Capital Association, one with firms that had successfully raised money in 2000 and 2001, and one with firms that had survived to raise funds between 2002 and the present. We compared them side by side, determining which firms had failed to rope further funding in the last eight years. Some of these firms may not exist anymore — they’re just dead. But a surprising number, many more than PE Hub indicated, have kept the lights on somehow. (...) There is one other caveat with this list. Due to some incomplete data for 2009, we might have come up with a few false positives. Please let us know if you find one and we’ll make a correction (...)
The walking dead are highlighted in yellow, and those unhighlighted were able to raise funds in subsequent years.
Walking Dead - Free Legal Forms