Sunday, February 24, 2008

11 learnings from our VC negotiation

We have had the amazing opportunity to be involved on a funding round for over a year and even more amazing we did complete it with success about weeks ago. Now going is part of our shareholder structure so we are now partners!!!!! Without violating any confidential parts of the agreement let me share with you some of the learnings (personal ones and group ones)

  1. Funding takes long, always longer than expected. As I said we took over 18 months since we started thinking about it and 8 months since we started discussing seriously with Going. And I may say they were quick so be ready for it. It is a marathon not an sprint
  2. Economics is just a small part of the deal. In fact I believe agreeing on them is easier than people think. What it takes a long time is the contract negotiation
  3. Share of your company is important but really even if you manage to negotiate a minority share for your new partner, they will tie make decision making so they have a lot to say on every single important decision. They take risk but they want to manage it as much as possible
  4. Be ready to tag-along, drag-along, time commitments, non-compete and so-on clauses. No matter how hard to chew are those for entrepreneurs they are there to stay. Be prepared
  5. There is a lot of areas in which you can leverage on the negotiation. Choose your battles and play winner, but also understand that there areas where the VC will be firm and fighting on those
  6. Always keep some energy for the end. You are so tired at the end of the process that you just want to say whatever. Keep somebody on your team fresh to be the finisher
  7. Use your lawyer on the negotiations. Let him/her take some of the hits and deliver bad news. Don´t let anybody on the key team drive too much, he/she will lose some feather during the process
  8. Don´t take it personal. Your negotiation party may end it up being your partner so you don´t need to don´t like them before they join your team. Business is business and there will be lots of areas where both parties will give and take and there is always somehow a win/win option
  9. Understand that your first deal will somehow condition future rounds. Be aware of that and understand how others will see a possible entry in the future
  10. Keep the team together. It is the most important asset of your company and it will be put under stress during the process
  11. Ask people you know and let people advice you. There is always a first time for everyone but you don't need to make unnecessary mistakes

Hope it helps !!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Nice

    Enhorabuena por el deal, esperamos updates ;)