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This informative piece explains a well-known method that venture capitalists use to determine "post-money valuation," which is a company's valuation at the time of investment. Perhaps more important, it provides valuable insights into why the returns expected by investors are often perceived as "too high" by entrepreneurs.
During a round of investment in seed- (start-up) and early stage companies, angel investors typically invest from $25,000 to $100,000 each. The round usually totals between $250,000 and $1 million, and the company valuations run from $1 million to $3 million. Collectively, the angels purchase from 20 to 40 percent of a company’s equity and seek a return of 20-30x over five years.
Since the Internet bubble burst, the pre-money valuations of seed-stage companies by venture capitalists have averaged between $1 million and $3 million. Angel investors tend to participate at earlier investment stages than VCs, so pre-money valuations for angel deals nearly always fall into this admittedly wide range. What factors within this range impact the valuation of a specific company?
The accompanying Valuation Worksheet provides entrepreneurs and investors with an empirical basis for deciding if a start-up company should be valued near the top or bottom of the range. It’s not designed to be used for definitive valuation calculations.
The Valuation Worksheet lists major factors and key issues to consider in judging the value of a seed (start-up) company. Note the following features:
Entrepreneurs can use the worksheet to gain insights into what investors are looking for in a fundable seed-stage company and to identify factors that justify higher pre-money valuations. The worksheet is also a roadmap on how entrepreneurs can improve the fundability of their enterprises and increase the pre-money valuation.
Chasing an entrepreneurial dream can be an all-consuming effort. Particularly in those crucial early days of a startup, founders seem to eat, sleep and breathe their businesses. This naturally occurring tunnel vision has a purpose, of course, allowing entrepreneurs to give their business babies the time and attention they need to mature. But this heads-down mode is not without its drawbacks, one of which is neglecting to stay up on current events--particularly the happenings that can impact the entrepreneurs who are inadvertently paying no attention to them.
Venture capital certainly has its place within the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Some of our nation's largest companies (and employers), like Apple, Google and FedEx, have secured this form of funding. But plenty of Kauffman Foundation research tells us that VC funding isn't as mainstream in startups as one would gather based on its common place in startup news. In fact, less than 20 percent of the fastest growing young companies ever take venture capital money.
Young entrepreneurs with few contacts need to get real about raising money in a tough economy, and pursue avenues such as their own bank accounts, loans from parents and credit cards, writes the author. Another tactic is keeping costs low so that you need less money in the first place.
Ohio voters to decide if $700M bond issue expands investment in high-tech economy.
Self-healing metal that pops back into shape after it's damaged. Machines that give surgeons full-color, 3D images of a patient's insides. Sensors that warn police or soldiers of explosives miles away. This is the promise of a proposed $700 million statewide investment program that aims to turn sci-fi dreams into Ohio's business future. But does the promise hold up?
To maximize the amount of financing you can raise, you can either marshal tangible evidence of growth and success or demonstrate your company's potential.
Geoff Davis, founder and CEO of Unitus, talks about microfinance at the Entrepreneurial Thought Leader lecture series emphasizing the relevance and potential of this field.
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, shares his optimism for emerging innovation in the midst of economic turmoil, and the story of his own entrepreneurial path. He also speaks of his company's continued investment in Internet-ready hardware and software that seeks progress in healthcare, education, and science.
Are your startup financials accurate? Odds are they are not, perhaps significantly so, because you have not spent the necessary time and effort forecasting revenues. This article explains why revenues, not expenses, are the most important--and difficult--numbers to get right.
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