Jun 27, 2014 On Our Blog

Why We Announced Public Fundraising

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? For over a year, I’ve been asking myself a similar question regarding fundraising for 500 Startups. Prior to the JOBS Act, it wasn’t legal for venture capital and hedge funds to talk publicly about their fundraising activities. Imagine not being able to talk about the *exact* thing you need to talk about. Imagine trying to sell something but not being able to advertise it. Anyone else see a problem here? Of course, traditional funds have raised capital for years playing by these rules, and up until today 500 has also operated in the same way. However, it’s a more complicated …

Jun 26, 2014 Official Announcement

500 Startups Announces Public Fundraising

MOUNTAIN VIEW JUNE 26, 2014 – 500 Startups, the most active venture capital fund and  startup accelerator program in the world, is announcing that it has filed with the SEC under the  new rules allowing for general solicitation, and is now publicly fundraising for its third flagship fund, targeted at $100M. To facilitate this process, 500 Startups has partnered with SeedInvest, a leading equity crowdfunding platform, to provide investor verification and related investor services. Historically, venture capital funds have been prohibited from talking publicly about raising capital. This restriction has long been problematic for managers seeking to raise awareness about new venture funds. However, with the recent passage of Title II of the JOBS Act, venture capital funds may choose to generally solicit by …

Jun 24, 2014 On Our Blog

Activate or Die: 3 Keys to User Activation for SaaS (Part 1)

This post is Part 1 in our 500 Distribution series on activation for SaaS, by 500 Distribution Hacker-in-Residence Justin Mares. Get more growth goodness with Distrosnack, our daily email of bite-sized growth + GIF awesomeness. Imagine you’re living the marketer’s dream. You’re acquiring hundreds, even thousands of customers every day because your product and marketing are just that awesome. Your team, investors and family are pumped, and there’s a feeling of excitement as your user metrics go up every day. However, all this means nothing if you ignore one key metric – activation. Activation is one of the most important metrics for any SaaS company. It’s the second Big A in AARRR, and it’s a measure of the key action your users need …

Jun 22, 2014 On Our Blog

The Other 1% – Ranking The Top 20 Angel Investors

The following post was contributed by the team at CB Insights. We analyzed over 2000 angel investors on factors such as network strength, rate of follow-on investment, # of exits, brand and more. Here’s how angel investors stack up. We previously looked at assessing corporate VCs and AngelList syndicates using the same algorithms we use to assess financial or pure-play VCs and today we’re turning our Investor Mosaic algorithms onto individual angel investors. Specifically, we analyzed 2000 individual angel investors and looked at Investor Mosaic factors such as an investor’s stage of entry, past exits, network centrality, and brand, among other things, in order to understand who the top angels really are. The top-ranked angels included well-known names such as …

Jun 20, 2014 On Our Blog

Micro VC Rising: Analyzing Trends and the Top Investors in the Micro VC Ecosystem

Micro VC funding participation in VC deals hit a multi-year high in Q1 2014. Of course, they are not all created equal. Here’s who is doing the most deals, has the strongest networks and best follow-on rates. Venture capital funding is on a tear so far in 2014 – hitting a U.S. quarterly high in Q1 of this year that has not been seen since Q3 2000. And it’s not just high-profile, well-established venture firms wheeling and dealing. Over the past several years, one of the most significant trends in venture has been the rise of smaller, micro VCs. And they’re being spawned at a rapid rate with almost half of the VC funds raised in the last 6 months …

Jun 18, 2014 On Our Blog

The State of VC 2014: Kate Mitchell of Scale Venture Partners

What’s hard about being a VC? That’s the question we asked Kate Mitchell of Scale Venture Partners – check out the video below to hear her insights about fundraising, communicating with LPs, and more! To learn even more about how she closed a whopping $300M fund in just 92 days, register for PreMoney now. 

Jun 17, 2014 On Our Blog

PreMoney Inside Look: Corporate Venture Capital is Hot Again

The following post was contributed by CB Insights. Corporate venture capital is hot again. U.S. funding levels spiked in Q1 2014 to nearly $3 billion. Public tech companies are sitting on massive cash balance sheets and their venture groups are involved in some of the largest VC financings happening today (Cloudera’s $900M Series F rounds saw Intel Capital lead and Google Ventures participating). But as more corporate VCs jump into the tech investment landscape, the reality is that not all of them are created equal. So we wanted to evaluate corporate VCs using the same algorithms (Investor Mosaic) and metrics we use to assess traditional or pure-play venture capital firms to see how they stack up. This analysis specifically breaks down …

Jun 12, 2014 On Our Blog

PreMoney Primer: MDV’s Katherine Barr On VC & the LP POV

The following post was contributed by Katherine Barr, General Partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures. I moderated a Limited Partner (LP) panel at last year’s PreMoney event similar to the one that I will be moderating again this year.  When asked about the attractiveness of venture as an asset class last year, one of the panelists presciently said, “We’re at a cycle point in venture again.  The investment opportunity is great and the overall Limited Partner psychology is weak.  It’s a great, uncrowded market.”  A year later, it’s not such an uncrowded market anymore.  58 U.S. venture capital firms raised $8.9 billion in new commitments during the first quarter of 2014, the strongest fundraising quarter since 2007.  And 10-year venture capital returns …

Jun 10, 2014 On Our Blog

Sales Best Practices that Separate Heroes from Zeros

The following post was contributed by Mo Yehia.  Companies that sell software to businesses (SMBs) have it all wrong. Marketers focus on the top of the funnel and don’t personalize outreach. e.g. Vistaprint, which offers a slew of technologies including a Facebook page builder, often doesn’t know which of its inbound prospects have Facebook pages. Salespeople focus on the bottom of the funnel and painstakingly research SMBs using disparate sources (e.g. website, Facebook, cold calls). e.g. Some BBB reps spend up to 90% of their time researching prospects to turn a cold call into a warm one. Marketers who don’t personalize outreach waste money, and salespeople who manually research prospects waste time which ultimately decreases company profits. Despite these inefficiencies, knowing …