Decoding the Institutional Seed Stage Wine List

Decoding the Institutional Seed Stage Wine List

Over the years I’ve become a wine enthusiast of sorts. Although I’m nowhere near a connoisseur, I genuinely love sampling new wines whenever given the opportunity. However, more often than not I’m presented with encyclopedia sized wine catalogues when dining out. Like most things in life, options are great but only up to a certain juncture. Even well educated wine drinkers (not myself) can get tripped up when there are too many choices....

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Thoughts on raising a Micro-VC firm

(repost from innovation.firstrepublic.com) From San Francisco to New York, more than 250 micro venture capital firms now actively invest in early stage startup companies. Micro VC firms, which typically raise funds under $100 million, represent an extremely valuable option for entrepreneurs seeking the strategic financing and expertise to help grow their businesses. To better understand the micro VC market, and to identify some best...

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The Venture Capital Treadmill

The Venture Capital Treadmill

Follow me @samirkaji for my always random, sometimes relevant thoughts on the world of venture capital and technology. Building a great company requires many different facets. Most importantly, it requires a talented team with great conviction to build toward an incredible vision. Of course, building a company requires capital. Capital can come from many areas ranging from angels, friends and family, cash flow from operations (yes, it does...

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Celebrity investors

Celebrity investors

Follow me @samirkaji for my frequent, and sometimes relevant insights into the world of VC and tech. Every week, our team receives at least 15–20 emails from entrepreneurs that raising a seed or Series A round for their companies. While some simply reach out to solicit general advice, the vast majority are mainly interested in getting introduced to a specified list of investors. When an entrepreneur has put in the appropriate work to...

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The World of Institutional Seed Financing.

I’ve written fairly extensively about the evolution of the Micro-VC (or institutional seed) market over the last year – See previous posts for more detail. I recently gave a short presentation to a group to discuss the current state of the market along with some short-medium term predictions. Attached here is the, admittedly rudimentary, deck I used. Update on Micro-VC from Samir Kaji  ...

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How to “Cold Call” Investors

This is part 2 of 2. Part 1 is here. Follow me @samirkaji for my always random, sometimes relevant thoughts on the world of venture investing and startups. In my last post, I described how to effectively ask for a warm introduction to investors through mutual contacts. Of course, the premise of the article was centered around the supposition that most investors today still primarily (or solely) engage only with companies that are referred...

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Nailing your Investor Introductions

Follow me @samirkaji for my always random, sometimes relevant thoughts on the world of venture investing and startups. This is part one of two. Next time I’ll cover how to craft the perfect cold email to investors. For entrepreneurs, raising capital from external investors for first time can be incredibly challenging and frustrating. And I get it. Competition for capital is fierce. Seed rounds are up 2.5X from 5 years ago, and there are...

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The Importance of Identity

The Importance of Identity

Building a business is really, really hard. Having closely worked with hundreds of founders over the last two decades, I’ve (admittedly vicariously) seen the darker moments that invariably accompany entrepreneurship. When my long time colleague and friend Sam left Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) to join First Republic Bank (FRB) three years ago, it wasn’t the classic case of chasing greener pastures. For starters, I had spent my entire...

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Investing in investor updates

Investing in Investor updates While seed rounds often have 1-2 “lead” investors, participation from many investors at smaller amounts, commonly small seed funds and angel investors, is standard. Over the past few years, I’ve been a moderately active angel investor. Like most angel investors, I’m usually the smallest check on a cap table and post-investment value-add is admittedly reactive in nature. Irrespective of check size, one of my...

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The Past, Present, and Future of Micro-VC

The Past, Present, and Future of Micro-VC

Reposting from my entry via CBinsights . You can follow me @samirkaji for more of my thoughts on VC and tech. The Past, Present, and Future of Micro-VC Although it’s been less than a year since I posted my primer on the Micro-VC market, there have been a lot of developments since then. Loosely, Micro-VC firms are venture firms that raise funds that share the following characteristics: < $100MM in size (although most are <$50MM in...

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