it’s who you are more than your money that matters

Posted by in Investing, Opinions

The longer I spend with young companies the more it reinforces my view that angel investing/venture capital/private equity (etc… etc…) should be much less about ‘financial products’ and much more about people based service industry with a strong financial overlay. When I originally joined the private equity industry (now left) my employer at the time […]

it’s not a sales pitch

Posted by in Investing, Opinions

I had a meeting last week with a great entrepreneur with a good business idea who made one simple mistake. He gave me the sales pitch. I enjoyed it but it missed the mark. To be fair to the entrepreneur in question, it’s a common mistake. The problem is that the sales pitch in isolation […]

tactical or strategic capital?

Posted by in Investing, Opinions

In the marketing world a tactical campaign is one that is constructed to seize on an immediate and valuable opportunity (often offer or promotion based) to boost the P&L. Generally from a responsive budget and with short-term defined goals. A strategic campaign is one that is less focussed on short-term gain and more structured in […]

keeping control

Posted by in Investing, Opinions

I have blogged a few times about equity splits, pre and post money valuations and to be focussed on the end value of a stake rather than the emotional ‘percentage’ when capital raising (for example alignment of interests). However in a recent blog post (I doubt it’ll be a majority stake)  I made the point that […]

hard coded outputs…. shame on you

Posted by in Investing, Opinions

A financial model is not a business plan. Even if it is allied to a ‘vision’ document or route map. Instead it is an excel spreadsheet with a series of numbers in it that calculate a series of outcomes. 1+1=2 etc….. Not a business plan: Spreadsheet + Vision document = an idea with numbers open […]

pre-money and post-money

Posted by in Investing, Opinions

A conversation yesterday prompted me to republish this post from March 2011: A very personal topic that’s unavoidable in every equity investment conversation is that when equity risk investment comes in, a percentage of the company must change hands (otherwise it’s not an equity investment). The investor needs the equity to drive their returns (and through […]

there’s a storm coming…..

Posted by in Investing, Opinions

I don’t hold myself out to be an expert on these things . There are better placed and more intelligent people than me that understand economics and cause and effect. And my opinions are based on instinct rather than hard fact – but what the hell, I’ll blog about it anyway….. I reckon there’s a storm […]

tell tales

Posted by in Investing, Opinions

This post derives from a blend of marketing and investment experience. It is going to sound a little bit churlish (which it is not meant to be) as it is all about really small minutiae that I believe make a fundamental difference at that initial point of intro to an investor. Normally such minutiae I […]

growing pains

Posted by in Investing, Opinions

The secret diary of….. being involved in start-ups. Growing pains is a great term, short, sharp but precise. As a kid you experience literal pains and ache as you grow – ditto young companies. I can genuinely say I have never had more arguments, or ‘impassioned debates’ nor have I ever come across more people […]

I really doubt it’ll be a majority stake…..

Posted by in Investing, Opinions

Often when meeting entrepreneurs for the first time you are faced with the inevitable question ‘how much equity will you want’? An important, emotive and understandable question even if it is challenging to answer in an initial meeting. The fear is always that you will want a majority of their business. And I agree that […]