10 Things I Wish My Board and VCs Had Told Me

1. Power laws are real$1m MRR is when it gets great. No, it doesn’t get any easier then, per se. It never gets truly easier. But you won’t fail after $10m ARR or so if your customers love you. It is different. And you can build something that will trust last once you get there.

2. Just go find the VP you need. You can miss a quarter if need be. No, you can’t miss every quarter. But you aren’t public. You can miss a quarter intentionally once every 6-8 quarters or so if need be to get something bigger done. Focus as CEO on what will move the needle. Go find the VP you really need. I got the VPs of Sales, Product and Marketing I needed. But I should have taken a pause and just found our true VP of Engineering.

3. Truly

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SaaStr Podcast #176: Kristina Shen, Partner @ Bessemer Venture Partners On What SaaS Startups Need To Raise A Series A Today

Welcome to Episode 176! Kristina Shen is a Partner @ Bessemer Venture Partners, one of the world’s leading venture funds with a portfolio including the likes of Pinterest, Skype, Box, LinkedIn, Yelp, and many more incredible companies. As for Kristina, she serves on the boards of DoubleDutch, Glint, Retail Solutions, and Zoosk, and is also a board observer with RainforestQA, Vidyard, Gainsight, and ServiceTitan. Kristina is also one of the best data gurus as the co-author of Bessemer’s State of the Cloud 2016 and 2017 and Bessemer 10 Laws of Cloud, which captures the top trends among leading public and private cloud computing and enterprise mobile companies. Due to Kristina’s success she has been named to both Forbes and Business Insider’s 30 Under 30 in 2014 and 2016, respectively. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

SaaStr Podcast #174: Timo Rein, Founder & CEO @ Pipedrive Discusses How To Make It Big In The US As A Non-US SaaS Startup

  Welcome to Episode 174! Timo Rein is the Founder & CEO of Pipedrive, the startup that helps sales people focus on actions that close deals. To date, Timo has raised over $30m from the likes of Atomico, Bessemer Venture Partners, TransferWise Founder Taavet Hinrikus, and Andy MCloughlin, and has scaled the team to over 330 people across multiple continents. Prior to founding Pipedrive, Timo was a Partner at Vain & Partners acting in a consultancy role on how to get the best ROI from your sales process and before that was himself a door-to-door salesman with SouthWestern Company selling high-ACV products. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

In Canada’s cloud services market, venture investment opportunities abound

Canada will be home to a new venture capital fund that will invest in enterprise cloud startups. Its backer? Salesforce Ventures, the global investment arm of Salesforce, a leading cloud-hosted business software provider. According to a recent press release from Salesforce, the $100 million Canada Trailblazer Fund has already taken stakes in four Canadian startups building cloud-based tools for the enterprise, including Tier1CRM, Traction Guest, Tulip and OSF Commerce. (Disclosure: Salesforce’s venture arm is an investor in Crunchbase News’s parent, Crunchbase. As with all investors in Crunchbase, Salesforce Ventures has zero input in the operation or coverage of the News team.) The companies mentioned above join a handful of other Canadian enterprise cloud companies in Salesforce’s broader investment portfolio. In the years prior to announcing the new Canada Trailblazer Fund, Salesforce Ventures made investments in Aislelabs, Vidyard and
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Corporate VC Investments: Limited, But Real, Pros. And Cons.

2018 is the Best of Times for venture capital.  200+ new seed funds, and a record number of unicorns and decacorns.  And as part of this, more and more big corporations are adding and expanding their venture arms.

For the most part, this is a great thing.  More options are almost always better for founders. Let me share a quick list of Pros, Cons, and Not Big Deals.

Cons:

  • Usually won’t carry the company or write many “second checks”. This is the biggest issue. Traditional VCs usually reserve another 1x-2x of their first check for later investments. Corporate VCs don’t. They also generally don’t want to “carry” a company and write another check if no one else will. VCs don’t like this either, but they’ll often do it.
  • Aren’t usually great at bringing in next round investors. Top seed investors are good at brining in Series A
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SaaStr Podcast #164: Mark Godley, President @ LeadGenius Discusses the Right Way To Sell To Enterprise Buyers

Mark Godley is the President of LeadGenius, the startup that provides the power of human intelligence with the scale of machine learning. To date they have raised $16m in funding from the likes of a16z, Initialized Capital, Scott and Cyan Banister, and SV angel just to name a few. As for Mark, he most recently served as Chief Revenue Officer for HG Data and before that was VP of Market Development for ConnectandSell. If that was not enough, Mark also holds advisory roles in the salestech and martech space, including Omniquo, ZenIQ.io, and The Big Willow. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

SaaStr Podcast #163: Wade Foster, Founder & CEO @ Zapier Discusses Scaling Zapier to $35m in ARR with Just $1.3m in Funding

Welcome to Episode 163! Wade Foster is the Founder & CEO @ Zapier, the startup that moves information between your web apps automatically, so you can focus on your most important work. A couple of incredible achievements from Zapier, they have scaled to a phenomenal $35m in ARR, they have built a time of over 130 people, all without a central office, and they have done this with just $1.2m in early stage funding from the likes of Bessemer, Y Combinator, and DFJ. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

LP Confidential: Secrets from the Folks that Give VCs Money (Video + Transcript)

We all know who VCs are and what they do, but where exactly do they get their money? The investors that give them their money–the funds that could eventually end up in your SaaS company–want 3x return for every dollar. So when a VC is pounding on you to get something done, it’s because their LPs are pounding on them to get it done. Harry Stebbings, Host of The Twenty MinuteVC & SaaStr Podcast, moderates this session with Elizabeth “Beezer” Clarkson, Managing Director at Sapphire Ventures; Chris Douvos, Managing Director at Venture Investment Associates; and Alex Bangash, Founder & Chairman at Trusted Insight, as they share wisdom and advice as LPs. One important thing to note? Seek out VCs who offer more than just money. As an entrepreneur, you may start getting calls from LPs who want to co-invest and when those calls start coming in, you should ask yourself
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The One Best, “Secret” Hack to Getting Venture Funding

I am fairly confident there are at least 10,000 Medium posts, 20,000 WordPress articles, and over well over 1,000,000 Tweets on How to Get Funded. It bores me personally, but I know it’s an important topic.  Raising money for many CEOs is one of the their top 5 priorities.  Without venture capital, I’d be nowhere.  Both of my first two-startups were venture-backed.  And it’s a weird, strange world that until recently was highly opaque. Now having been on three sides of the table ? — founder 3x, worked at someone’s VC firm, solo investor — I’d like to take a moment to boil down all the possible advice I could into one learning: The Highest Chance You Have to Get Funded is When the VC Already Wants to Invest Before The First Meeting.  Before you’ve even met him or her. Trust me.  VCs claim to
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