Joe Bartlett, of VC Experts, weighs in on indemnification provisions within the role of placement agents raising capital for alternative funds and speculates that they really just foster a circular flow of funds when exercised. This logic begs the question: Does the way these provisions are constructed render them meaningless?
The fund raising process for most of the private equity funds…venture, leveraged buyout, secondary and others…is an arduous business. Alan Patricoff remarked several years ago that after he split from Apax to form Greycroft it took him, a Hall of Fame venture capitalist, three years (as I recall) to reach a final closing on the fund he was sponsoring. Accordingly, it is customary for funds to employ experienced placement agents to assist in the fund raising process.
In this article you will find a collection of fundraising advice geared towards pitching a traditional Venture Capital Firm. Most of Joe’s advice, however, would apply just as well when using an Online Portal or pursuing other fundraising avenues. To summarize the efforts in relation to online portals: find the right Portal with the right investor base for your offering, present the material in an easily digestible and engaging format, follow through, and don’t stop your other complimentary efforts. If you think your company is right for VC Funding then here are Joe Bartlett’s seven key pieces of advice:
Rule #1: Pitch the Appropriate Audience
VC funds collect huge sums of cash, and managers must put it to use within four or five years, or risk losing it. Despite their vast resources, venture funds’ staffing is generally lean and mean — managers cannot afford to look at investments that involve, from their perspective, trivial amounts of funding. If you’re looking for very early-stage funding (the so-called “angel round”) or financing under, say, $5 million, don’t go to a professionally managed venture-capital fund. Find angel investors instead. They specialize in taking a company from inception to the next round of financing. Read More
This article first appeared in VC Experts’ excellent comprehensive summary of the JOBS Act on March 31, 2013. While over a year old, the guidance below still stands to the best of ACE Portal’s knowledge. You can also see Joe’s video interview discussing the topic as well as the video from Dan Gorfine of the Milken Institute.
The following discussion fleshes out a checklist of ‘safe harbors’ when the issuer and its counsel are faced with a requirement that they take “reasonable steps to verify” accredited investor status. The pending SEC Regulations on the JOBS Act, Title II may list a safe harbor or two; but, if so, the same are not likely to be exclusive. Hence, my personal contribution.
This article, originally titled “The 180 Degree Turnaround in the U.S. Equity Markets: The Dividing Line Between Public and Private Has Been Breached” first appeared in the “Jumpstart our Business Startups Act (JOBS ACT) Guide compiled by VC Experts
Public and Private Market Divisions Blurring
For 75 years, the rules in this country governing capital formation for high growth enterprises have not changed. There are two categories … (i) public companies which float equity securities e.g., common stock in public offerings with shares publicly traded on various exchanges; and (ii) private companies financed by placements to a limited group of investors pursuant to exemptions from federal and state registration requirements, the shares changing hands infrequently until and unless the company goes public.
This article, which first appeared in the VC Experts ‘Buzz Feed, features Joe Bartlett explaining some basic terminology on the VC and angel industry.
Considering an angel investment?
Before you take the plunge, learn to talk shop like a professional VC.
Angel investing is an increasingly common practice among high-net-worth individuals. But many would-be angels lack a true insider’s vocabulary – and the savvy that goes with it. Do you know the difference between a “burn rate” and a “burn out”? The pros do, and so should you if you’re looking to invest in a start-up. For a summary of “types” of angels see this post.
What then, in plain English, are all these venture capitalists talking about?