We are entrepreneurs that enjoy working with company founders to build successful businesses. We typically invest at three separate stages in a venture:
|What we look for:||
|Amount invested:||up to $250,000||up to $2.5 million||up to $10 million|
|Examples:||Vivo Holdings||Berkeley Bionics, eSalon, Fenix International, Kijubi, Pollenware||Bloom Energy, Brightsource, Chegg, eHarmony, eSolar, Fisker Automotive, Linden Labs, Linkedin, Seattle Bank, Serious Materials, Silver Spring Networks, Solarcity and Tesla Motors|
Early Stage CompaniesInvestments of $100,000 to $2.5 million
We look for the following in early stage investments:
It is a truism to say that it is all about the people, but having founders that are passionate, articulate, smart, capable, knowledgeable, charismatic, and ambitious (to use just a few select adjectives) is a requirement.
We like to see two co-founders, if possible, where one has the product and engineering background to execute on the product or service, while the second has the business skills to promote and scale the business.
If you have prior start-up success, or substantial industry knowledge and experience that you can leverage for your start-up, we may invest prior to a beta launch.
2. Product or Service
Does your product or service add value to customers while requiring very little upfront investment from them? Is it 10x better than the competition? Is the addressable market opportunity larger than $10 billion? How easy is it to replicate? In short, we are looking for great products and/or services that we would be proud to invest in, and have the potential to provide excellent financial returns.
3. Business Model
We love business models that are unique, innovative and differentiated. A new business model can offer customers a better product or service at a lower price and yet provide better economics to the business providing the product or service.
While we believe in investing in the product and getting to suitable scale before introducing monetization, we will want to understand the value of a customer, and the potential cost of acquiring this customer, and how you will do this. We are interested in what data you will collect and what metrics you will use to measure the performance of the company.
While we look at business plans, we love entrepreneurs who have built a rough prototype for less than $50,000 and have actually tested the market. If you have launched and customers use it and tell their friends, but you need capital to scale, please talk to us. We will want to know how much money you need, how you will invest this money, and what milestones you plan to achieve with the money.
5. Investment needs are appropriate given expected exits
We don’t look exclusively for the next billion dollar company. There are successful financial outcomes at every level, as long as the investment required is appropriate to the expected outcome. In other words, if the exit value is expected to be $25 million, don’t raise $5 million.
Our primary focus is: Consumer Internet
We don’t typical invest at an early stage in: Energy, Gambling, Hardware, Health Care, Life Sciences, Sports
Recent investments include: Berkeley Bionics, eSalon, Fenix International, Kijubi, Pollenware and Vivo Holdings.
Late Stage CompaniesInvestments of $250,000 to $10 million
We provide liquidity for founders, current or former employees and investors in mature pre-IPO companies that have ideally reached $75-100 million in revenues, are profitable, continue to have strong growth, and do not need to raise additional capital. We purchase common or preferred shares and do not require any special investor rights.
Recent transactions include: Bloom Energy, Brightsource, Chegg, eHarmony, eSolar, Fisker Automotive, Linden Labs, Linkedin, Seattle Bank, Serious Materials, Silver Spring Networks, Solarcity and Tesla Motors.