Do Venture Capitalists Suck?

Dave McClure, formerly with PayPal now at 500StartUps, posted a great article this past week he titled, “Scaling Venture Capital. We suck. We can do better.” I encourage you to read it.

Dave makes two points. The first point is that most venture capitalists are hypocrites. They expect entrepreneurs to build large, global companies while they as venture capitalists have never personally held an operational role nor built and scaled a large, global successful company.

I think it is this issue that tends to cause a lot of friction between entrepreneurs and venture capitalists and it is this point I am going to focus on here.

The Value of Growth for SaaS Companies

I received a report from SaaS Capital titled “Leaders and Laggards: SaaS Growth and the Cost of Capital”. The subject of the report is how the public markets value a high growth SaaS company (their definition of high growth is >25% YoY).

The report states, “13 public SaaS companies tracked by Pacific Crest Securities have increased in value 40% since the beginning of 2008. During that same period, the S&P index has yet to return to its pre-recession value.”

The Software Colonoscopy

Recently, a large, well-known company in the computer software industry approached a small technology company to gauge its level of interest in being acquired at a nice multiple. The management team and investors quickly reached a decision to accept the large company’s offer and due diligence ensued.

…and that is when things quickly went awry.

Fund Raising: What a Venture Capitalist is Thinking

This is an excerpt from a recent interview I did with Advisor Garage – http://www.advisorgarage.com , a web community focused on helping entrepreneurs. I hope it gives you insight when you present to us, or any venture firm, to understand just what in the heck we are thinking as you’re presenting.

Venture Capitalist Gives Entrepreneurs Advice

Top Ten Questions:
1. Tell us about your Venture Capital Company.
InterWest Partners was established in 1979 and is a leading diversified venture capital firm currently investing InterWest IX, a $600 million fund. With more than $2B in capital under management, we take a long-term, collaborative approach to venture funding, providing early-stage and ongoing capital, management development and access to a broad network of resources.

InterWest is the lead investor in more than 70% of the investments we make, reflecting our ability to marshal resources and organize financings on behalf of our portfolio companies. We maintain relationships with our portfolio companies for an average of 5 years and in some cases for 10 years or more. An InterWest general partner serves as a director for 85% of the companies in our portfolio, often continuing to serve even after the partnership’s investment in the company has been returned.