The Economist recently did an article titled Why Startups Are Leaving Silicon Valley. The positive message in the article is that entrepreneurship has now spread around the world. Compelling ventures are getting built everywhere.
Today, we put the spotlight on Illinois.
First, a look at the Unicorns.
We have to start with Groupon, one of the highest profile companies from the region. Lavishly hyped up, it has since fallen in esteem, but remains a presence in the Chicago scene. Read: From Unicorn to Unicorpse: How Groupon Fell From Grace. Well, it’s not quite an Unicorpse, and has been working on a turnaround in recent years.
Today’s 423rd FREE online 1Mby1M roundtable for entrepreneurs is starting NOW, on Wednesday, November 14, at 8 a.m. PST/11 a.m. EST/5 p.m. CET/9:30 p.m. India IST. Click here to join. All are welcome!
Sramana Mitra: Let me do a thought experiment with you on this one. If this particular concept came to you from a domain expert, but it wasn’t Scott or somebody who had a track record of building a company but was a military veteran, would you still invest?
Kelly Perdew: There are way more people that I don’t know than there are that I do know. We’re not anticipating that even half of our investments are in people that we’ve already met. We’re seeing hundreds of deals a month. Using the criteria that I described to get to the point where we get the meeting and get follow up meetings and an ability to understand that that entrepreneur isn’t going to do what we tell them. They’re open to hearing what we’re saying so we can help them avoid a lot of the company-building pitfalls that Craig and I have gone through. >>>
Today’s 423rd FREE online 1Mby1M roundtable for entrepreneurs is starting in 30 minutes, on Wednesday, November 14, at 8 a.m. PST/11 a.m. EST/5 p.m. CET/9:30 p.m. India IST. Click here to join. All are welcome!
According to a Business Wire report published recently, the global cloud-based IT Service Management market is estimated to grow 8.8% annually over the next four years. Another report published by Market Research Future estimates the global help desk automation market to grow to $11 billion by 2023, recording an annualized growth rate of over 33% during the period 2017 through 2023. Freshdesk, now called Freshworks, and Zendesk (NYSE: ZEN) are both capitalizing on this growth trend. >>>
Sramana Mitra: The bulk of the business is this one-time fee to buy the chart that you’re providing.
Nick Shaw: Yes.
Sramana Mitra: What do the 26 coaches do then?
Nick Shaw: They do more detailed one-on-one coaching.
Sramana Mitra: There is a subscription business that is more detailed one-on-one coaching.
Nick Shaw: Yes. There are three tiers. The first tier is about $20 where you can buy our ebooks. You read it and you can do things >>>
Sramana Mitra: Given that is your high level hypothesis, where are the investment opportunities for venture investment that you are particularly excited about?
Brock Pierce: We’re about 10 years in where the internet was in the mid to late 90’s. Keep in mind that internet wasn’t useful until you had a sufficient amount of infrastructure. You need the bridges, the roads, the tunnels. The internet wasn’t useful to most people until you had internet browsers, email clients, and a sufficient amount of content to consume. Blockchain is now entering that phase where we have the infrastructure that can help begin to scale.
The first 10 years has really been about infrastructure. Not that infrastructure is not an important category but we’re now entering the phase where >>>
Sramana Mitra: What is the metric that you look for?
Kelly Perdew: We publish that we like to see companies that have $50,000 to $100,000 of monthly recurring revenue which translates into $600,000 to $1.2 million in ARR. The companies that we’ve invested in have been at $1 million and growing. That’s the rule. There are exceptions to every rule. We want to see that. What gets interesting though is we have to do a whole lot with the financials because your definition of recurring revenue and my definition of recurring revenue might differ.
We just want to be on the same page with the definition of what that is. When you’re talking about clients that are small and medium-sized businesses, they may only spend money every quarter. It also depends on what vertical they’re in. Being able to separate that and understand churn >>>