Category: Venture Capital

Is Your Startup “PR Ready”?



Original Artwork by Katie Rhead

I’ve been engaged with Public Relations (PR) since I was a kid (my dad was a PR executive), and my brother went on to start his own PR company. I’ve hired and worked with many PR agencies over the years (including BAM, who works with us at Thomvest Ventures). Given all the money I’ve seen wasted over the years on PR by various businesses (including startups), I’d like to offer some ways to help ensure your investment in this incredible and unique marketing discipline is money well spent.

Reality Check: AirBnB and Tesla Are Exceptions Among Thousands of Brands — We’ve all witnessed the power of positive press for a startup. Examples include the story of Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia who were unable to afford their rent in San Francisco; it eventually led to the creation of AirBnB. Tesla spends nothing on advertising and has been the star of countless stories of being a fearless pioneer in the electric vehicle industry. The best part (from AirBnB and Tesla’s POV) is they got all this positive coverage without hiring a PR firm or reaching out to reporters.

Any founder’s dream is to attract that kind of press coverage without having to invest precious startup funds in traditional marketing. Unfortunately, for 99.9% of startups, you will have to spend money on marketing (including PR) for your startup to get the associated benefits (i.e., awareness, customer leads, fundraising boost, recruiting enhancement, etc.). The critical success factor is to be thoughtful (Read more...)

Partner Meeting: Are tech layoffs an indicator of what’s to come, CPI data that’s not bad news, FTX…


This post is by MPD from @MPD - Medium


Partner Meeting: Are tech layoffs an indicator of what’s to come, CPI data that’s not bad news, FTX and the ensuing crypto mayhem, and how to build marketplaces

On this week’s Partner Meeting episode we cover the following topics:

  • Recent tech layoffs and whether or not it’s an indicator for what’s to come
  • CPI data that suggests inflation is slowing
  • The FTX debacle and what that means for crypto
  • Business Lesson: building marketplaces

Listen via your preferred platform here.

Show Links:

*DISCLAIMER*

Interplay Family Office LLC (“Interplay”) is registered as an investment adviser with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Registration of an investment adviser does not imply any level of skill or training. Information about the qualifications and business practices of Interplay is available on the SEC’s website at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov._ Interplay only transacts business in states where it is properly registered or is excluded or exempted from registration requirements. Offering of asset management services through Interplay is pursuant to an investment advisory agreement.The views expressed in this podcast/vodcast are subject to change based on market and other conditions. The podcast/vodcast may contain certain statements that may be deemed forward looking statements. Please note that any such statements are not guarantees of any future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected. Any projections, market outlooks, or estimates are based upon certain assumptions and (Read more...)

Partner Meeting: Are tech layoffs an indicator of what’s to come, CPI data that’s not bad news, FTX…


This post is by MPD from @MPD - Medium


Partner Meeting: Are tech layoffs an indicator of what’s to come, CPI data that’s not bad news, FTX and the ensuing crypto mayhem, and how to build marketplaces

On this week’s Partner Meeting episode we cover the following topics:

  • Recent tech layoffs and whether or not it’s an indicator for what’s to come
  • CPI data that suggests inflation is slowing
  • The FTX debacle and what that means for crypto
  • Business Lesson: building marketplaces

Listen via your preferred platform here.

Show Links:

*DISCLAIMER*

Interplay Family Office LLC (“Interplay”) is registered as an investment adviser with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Registration of an investment adviser does not imply any level of skill or training. Information about the qualifications and business practices of Interplay is available on the SEC’s website at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov._ Interplay only transacts business in states where it is properly registered or is excluded or exempted from registration requirements. Offering of asset management services through Interplay is pursuant to an investment advisory agreement.The views expressed in this podcast/vodcast are subject to change based on market and other conditions. The podcast/vodcast may contain certain statements that may be deemed forward looking statements. Please note that any such statements are not guarantees of any future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected. Any projections, market outlooks, or estimates are based upon certain assumptions and (Read more...)

Partner Meeting: What founders should do when deals aren’t getting done, China’s 20th National…


This post is by MPD from @MPD - Medium


Partner Meeting: What founders should do when deals aren’t getting done, China’s 20th National Congress and what it means for the global economy, Q3 earnings start to roll in, OFAC sanctions in crypto, and should you have a co-founder

On this week’s Partner Meeting episode we cover the following topics:

  • What founders should do when deals aren’t getting done
  • Q3 earnings start to roll in
  • China’s 20th National Congress and what it means for the global economy
  • OFAC sanctions in crypto
  • Business Lesson: should you have a co-founder?

Listen via your preferred platform here.

*DISCLAIMER*

Interplay Family Office LLC (“Interplay”) is registered as an investment adviser with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Registration of an investment adviser does not imply any level of skill or training. Information about the qualifications and business practices of Interplay is available on the SEC’s website at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov._ Interplay only transacts business in states where it is properly registered or is excluded or exempted from registration requirements. Offering of asset management services through Interplay is pursuant to an investment advisory agreement.The views expressed in this podcast/vodcast are subject to change based on market and other conditions. The podcast/vodcast may contain certain statements that may be deemed forward looking statements. Please note that any such statements are not guarantees of any future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected. Any projections, market outlooks, or estimates are based upon certain assumptions and should not be construed as indicative of actual events that will occur.Information (Read more...)

2022 Thomvest SaaS Benchmarks — Part II: Output & Operationalization



2022 Thomvest SaaS Benchmarks — Part II: Output & Operationalization

Our 2022 Private Company SaaS Benchmarks & How to Operationalize Them

By Alex Rohrbach

In this two-part series, we examine private company SaaS benchmarks. Part I explains why we created our benchmark and what we learned from other benchmarks. Part II presents our 2022 SaaS benchmarks and describes ways to operationalize them.

We calculated our benchmarks using a “trimmed mean” of the seven published SaaS benchmarks. A trimmed mean helps to eliminate the influence of outliers that would unfairly skew the results. At each revenue range, we took the mean after excluding top and bottom outliers. We used a non-trimmed mean when four or fewer datasets were available.

We chose metrics that were:

  1. Simple — Less is more. Metrics should reveal significant problems, not necessarily diagnose root causes.
  2. Interest aligned — Metrics should matter for operators and investors. Otherwise, benchmarks can create misalignment and distraction that detracts from performance.
  3. Clear — Metrics (and their underlying drivers) should be well understood and hard to manipulate.
  4. Evidence-based — Metrics should be supported by evidence, not gut feelings or traditions.

Let’s explore a few of these metrics in more detail. We include definitions at the bottom of this article.

Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) Growth

As companies grew, growth slowed. A vast gulf emerged between median and top quartile growth performance. Lagging growth performance may not (necessarily) be a problem if other metrics outperform. For example, the Rule of 40 (see below) balances growth and EBITDA margin.

We saw a wide range of ARR growth across (Read more...)

2022 Thomvest SaaS Benchmarks — Part I: Data Sources & Methodology



2022 Thomvest SaaS Benchmarks — Part I: Data Sources & Methodology

Why We Created (Yet Another) SaaS Benchmark & Our Compilation of Private Company Benchmarks

In this two-part series, we examine private company SaaS benchmarks. Part I explains why we created our benchmark and what we learned from other benchmarks. Part II presents our 2022 SaaS benchmarks and describes ways to operationalize them.

Why Another SaaS Benchmark?

Our portfolio companies and founders often ask, “what is top performance for companies like mine?”

It depends.

While “it depends” is arguably the most accurate answer (speaking as a former management consultant), more information can be distilled for making decisions. We value the clarity that comes from forming a perspective on top performance. In the first of this two-part blog, we share our process of formulation and output for median and top quartile performance.

Some may say we recreated the wheel. Many firms have published SaaS benchmarks in the last couple of years. Why create another?

We created our benchmark to overcome the challenge of comparing across benchmarks. Our goal is to provide a clear, relevant, and easy-to-use benchmark. We believe startup leaders and investors will find value in applying our benchmarks. We propose best practices to operationalize these benchmarks and guardrails for making decisions.

There is extensive publicly available knowledge on SaaS performance. From private to public, bootstrapped to venture-backed companies. The research is excellent. Scale VP wrote a book about their benchmarks.

We learned so much while reviewing these benchmarks that we decided to (Read more...)

Reimagining Surrogacy with Dr. Brian Levine of Nodal


This post is by MPD from @MPD - Medium


On today’s episode I chat with Dr. Brian Levine, the Founder and CEO of Nodal.

Nodal is a marketplace that matches surrogates with families that want to have children. Their mission is to significantly reduce the time and cost required to secure a surrogate by cutting out the middlemen who currently control the market. If they succeed, they will help more families have children.

There’s a lot of nuance in this market. We discuss stigmas, the impact of Roe v Wade being overturned and challenges caused by profiteering in the overall healthcare system. If you’re interested in healthcare, this is a great one for you. Enjoy.

Listen via your preferred platform here.

Show Links:


Reimagining Surrogacy with Dr. Brian Levine of Nodal was originally published in @MPD on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Welcoming Eddie Ackerman Back to the Team!



We’re pleased to announce that Eddie Ackerman has rejoined our team as a Strategic Finance Operating Partner. This is a homecoming of sorts for Eddie, and we are thrilled to be working with Eddie again. As many of you know, Eddie had previously worked with our group before jumping back into an operating role. Eddie’s work going forward will be focused on helping our portfolio companies with all things finance, including financial planning and benchmarking, as well as being an additional resource for finance teams. Eddie will also help our team with analysis and diligence for new investments as we continue to be active on the new investment front.

Prior to rejoining Thomvest, Eddie led the finance and operations functions at Styra, a venture-backed startup that is an emerging leader in the cloud native authorization market. While at Styra, Eddie led the build-out and scale-up of the company’s operations following their Series B financing.

This was Eddie’s second tour of duty as the leader of the finance functions of a rapidly scaling startup. Eddie previously managed many of the finance functions at Encino Energy, including the scale-up of the business from an early-stage startup to a very large organization. Prior to that, he worked in investment banking at Deutsche Bank and so he has extensive M&A experience as well.

We’re thrilled to expand the Thomvest Ventures team as we continue to focus on investments across our core fintech, real estate tech, cybersecurity and cloud infrastructure verticals. Eddie’s in-depth operating experience brings (Read more...)