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PreMoney 2018: Meet Garry Tan, the Former YC Partner Forging his own Path

If you don’t know who Garry Tan is yet, you will soon—the investor was just name dropped on Forbes’ 2018 Midas Brink List of Venture Capital’s biggest up-and-comers. He’s making big waves in the investment world and we’re thrilled to have him lined up to speak at our PreMoney Investor Conference on October 2nd. Tan was previously a partner at Y-Combinator and is now the cofounder of Initialized Capital, an early-stage seed fund he started with Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian. Initialized Capital was the earliest investor in trailblazers like Coinbase and Instacart, so Tan knows a thing or two about spotting the “it factor” in young companies. Not Your Average VC While many big investors come from a more buttoned-up business world, Tan boasts an impressive … Read More The post PreMoney 2018: Meet Garry Tan, the Former YC Partner Forging his own Path appeared first on 500 Startups.

Ann Miura-Ko: Raising the Bar for Women VCs Headlining PreMoney 2018

The pioneer in female-forward investing is one of the keynote speakers at our upcoming PreMoney Investor Conference on October 2nd, and she’s someone we’re certain you won’t want to miss. Miura-Ko has a PhD from Stanford, a Bachelor’s from Yale, and this year she was on the cover of Forbes—but those are only a small handful of the notable credentials that make her one of the most admirable investors in the game. She’s got a keen ability to spot a unicorn in its early stages, she was an early investor in Lyft, and she has a solid spot on Forbes 2018 Midas List—a roundup of the top 100 venture capitalists in the world. The Most Powerful Woman in Startups Back in … Read More The post Ann Miura-Ko: Raising the Bar for Women VCs Headlining PreMoney 2018 appeared first on 500 Startups.

How to Talk About Valuation When a VC Asks

One of the hardest things about the fund-raising process for entrepreneurs is that you’re trying to raise money from people who have “asymmetric information.” VC firms see thousands of deals and have a refined sense of how the market is valuing deals because they get price signals across all of these deals. As an entrepreneur it can feel as intimidating as going to buy a car where the dealer knows the price of every make & model of a car and you’re guessing at how much to pay. I thought I’d write a post about how to talk about valuation at a startup and give you some sense of what might be on the mind of the person considering funding you. Of course, unlike cars there is no direct comparison across each startup so these are just some general guidelines to try and even the information field. What was the post money on your last round (and how much capital have you raised)? It’s not uncommon for a VC to ask you how much capital you’ve raised and what the post-money valuation was on your last round. I know that some founders feel uncomfortable with this as though they might somehow be sharing something so confidential that it ultimately hurts you. These are straightforward questions, the answers will have no bearing on your ultimate success and if you want to know the truth most VCs have access to databases like Pitchbook that have all of this information anyways. So why does a VC ask you? In the first place they’re looking for “fit” with their firm. If you’re talking with a typical Seed/A/B round firm they often have ownership targets in the company in which they invest. Since they have limited capital and limited time availability they often try to make concentrated investments across companies in which they have the highest conviction. If a firm typically invests $5 million in its first check and its target is to own 20% or more that means that most if its deals are in the $15–20 million pre-money range. If you’re raising at $40 million pre…

Investor Spotlight: Tanya Soman

Tanya Soman is a native New Yorker and the youngest female to make Venture Partner at 500 Startups. She started working hands-on with companies in 2014 by coaching them through the Seed Accelerator Program and now invests in consumer companies, including a specialty track within the program that focuses on the retail, beauty, and fashion verticals. Tanya is passionate about bridging the gap between international founders and Silicon Valley, which is why she speaks at events globally on fundraising from The Valley, nailing your company pitch, fundraising strategy and recruits around the world looking for the best deals. Tanya graduated in three years with a BS in business management from Babson College, a school specializing entirely in entrepreneurship. She enjoys … Read More The post Investor Spotlight: Tanya Soman appeared first on 500 Startups.

Investor Spotlight: Rina Onur

Rina co-founded and exited from Peak Games (a leading mobile social gaming company) and Hemenkiralik.com (first vacation rental network of Turkey). She is the General Partner of 500 Istanbul, 500’s thematic fund focused on backing exciting startups from Turkey/Turkic region and the diaspora. Starting out as a PE investor, then turned entrepreneur, she has made it full-circle back to the “dark side.” Why did you join 500? I started two companies in Turkey before I became an early stage investor and joined 500. I built my first company when I was 24 years old. Along the way, I met incredible people including a couple of investors who took a huge bet on a young, first-time female entrepreneur from an emerging … Read More The post Investor Spotlight: Rina Onur appeared first on 500 Startups.

Investor Spotlight: Rebecca Woodcock

Rebecca is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Venture Partner at 500 Startups. In 2011, she launched a health tech startup called CakeHealth as a TechCrunch DISRUPT finalist to help individuals track their healthcare expenses without the paperwork. After exiting CakeHealth in 2015, she joined 500 Startups to lead health tech investments for the accelerator program in San Francisco.  Rebecca was an advisor to the Obama administration for health data standards and was also recognized as one of 70 Digital Leaders by the United Nations in 2015. She has been featured in publications like Forbes and Inc. Magazine. Why did you join 500? I first joined the 500 family as a founder in 2011, when 500 Startups invested in my company, CakeHealth. I immediately saw how … Read More The post Investor Spotlight: Rebecca Woodcock appeared first on 500 Startups.

Turkish Ecosystem: The Rise of Third Wave Entrepreneurs

Turkey, once the leading startup ecosystem in the region with its vibrant local market, now seems to lag behind newcomers like Slovenia, Greece, Romania and the UAE. Overlooked and buried under the macro trends, the Turkish ecosystem is in the midst of a transition and about to make a tremendous leap forward. Political challenges and a turbulent local market pushed a new generation of entrepreneurs to pursue their passions globally and create market-independent businesses following a model similar to Israel, Estonia or Sweden. These third wave entrepreneurs are now re-building the ecosystem from the ground up. Early signs of entrepreneurial success and market readiness The first wave of internet entrepreneurs in Turkey started at the end of the 1990s and … Read More The post Turkish Ecosystem: The Rise of Third Wave Entrepreneurs appeared first on 500 Startups.

Why we’ve been cutting really large follow-on checks

Photo of Carousell’s founders giving Khailee Ng, Managing Partner of 500 Startups, a T-shirt as VC initiation back in 2013 when 500 Startups invested in Carousell’s first round of financing. 500 has ambitions to be the most global Silicon Valley VC firm and invest in companies at the early stages. However, I wanted to take time to explain the larger-than-usual follow-on checks that we have been cutting. Recently, 500 wrote a $20 million follow-on check into Singapore-based Carousell’s recent $85M Series C. Earlier in the year, we led and filled an entire Series B of $13.3M for one of Japan’s hottest startups, SmartHR. We have historically doubled down on many of our top investments, but not at these check sizes. … Read More The post Why we’ve been cutting really large follow-on checks appeared first on 500 Startups.

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