A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
But our entire process only has eight.
When we're helping our partner companies raise capital, we find that it's important to get a sense from potential funding sources early on as to what their particular process looks like. So, here's ours:
- You contact us. We try to be very responsive, and you should expect to hear back from us within two days.
- Assuming your business is a fit with our investment criteria, we'll probably set up a time for an initial phone call.
- On the initial phone call, you should be prepared to tell us about your business: What do you do? What burning problem does your product or service address? Who's on the management team? What's the market like? Who's the competition and why will you crush them? How much money will it take to accomplish that? Who should buy you and when?
- We'll then talk amongst ourselves about whether we think we are a good fit for your company (sorry - this is a bit of a black box) and let you know (typically within two days) that either the answer was no or that we'd like you to meet with our full team. At this point, we will encourage you to begin due diligence on us, as well, and will be happy to provide contact information for CEOs with whom we have worked.
- Next, you'll meet with our broader team to tell the story in greater depth than the summary discussion we had the first time. In the meantime, we've probably been digging in a little - we may ask for some information or we may call our good buddy, Stan, who happens to be an expert in your field.
- We'll then decide (more black box) whether we want to move to "deep due diligence". Again, you will get this response within two days of meeting with us.
- Deep due diligence consists of lots of work. Sorry. No pain, no gain, though, right? In this case it will consist of on-site visits by our group to meet with you some more (to better understand the pieces we didn't get the first two times you told us the story), information requests, and a bunch of work that we'll do in the background. Don't worry if you're in this phase and it feels like nothing's happening. We're hard at work trying to make sense of everything we're learning. During this process, we'll also work with you to identify other potential members of the investment syndicate.
- If, after all that work, we're still excited (final black box), we'll produce a term sheet for your consideration. If those terms aren't perfect, some negotiation will follow, as we try to to ensure that the deal structure aligns us all behind making the business as successful as possible. After that, we'll work with you to produce the legal documents, finish any outstanding due diligence, and complete the investment syndicate.
Pretty simple, right?
Once the investment is made, the real fun (and work) begins. We will work with you to build your business, providing assistance on matters such as board and management team recruiting, business model and strategy refinement, and (hopefully) exit planning.