In the early days of a startup, everyone is on the same page. But there’s no way of knowing how well a founding team will get along by the time a company reaches maturity.
Put aside the romantic notion that startup teams are made up of visionary misfits who build the future in real time; they are people too, with all their flaws.
Almost anything can tear up a relationship with a co-founder. I’ve found partnerships go awry due to funding disputes, product pipelines, and in one case, a bad experience at Burning Man.
Starry-eyed newlyweds routinely sign prenuptial agreements without losing their sense of idealism, and startup founders should do the same, advises Yonaton Aronoff, a partner at litigation and employment law firm Harris St. Laurent & Wechsler.
“Unfortunately, as too many co-founders and spouses realize, the best time to plan for negative outcomes is at the beginning of the relationship,” he writes.
“Waiting for a conflict to develop can be devastating and too often lead to intractable lawsuits with no clear winner.”
By working with a lawyer to create “strong and clear board documents” early in your relationship, you build a lot of trust with the founding team by making overall plans for handling events such as future fundraising or M&A.
An important conclusion: A 50/50 partnership sounds great, but if two people can’t come to an agreement, it “can lead to catastrophic results in the long run,” says Aronoff. A coin toss is “not ideal,” so consider designating a trusted third party as a tie-breaker, should the need arise.
Few founders have experience working together over a longer period of time. Assuming the average exit will take just over seven years, it’s crucial to set clear expectations early in the game.
Thank you very much for reading,
Editorial Manager, londonbusinessblog.com+
Pitch Deck Teardown: Vori’s $10M Series A Deck
B2B wholesale app Vori announced a $10 million Series A in August that will help expand its inventory management service for independent grocery stores.
“How do you create an interface that’s as fun to use as Candy Crush?” asks CEO Brandon Hill in a video at the 13-slide deck the company shared with TC+:
- cover slip
- mission statement slide
- Vori at a glance — (KPI slide, lightly edited)
- “We Understand Groceries” – interstitial slide
- “Our Market: Independent Supermarket Chains” – Market Dia
- “Supermarkets still run on pencil and paper” – problem slide
- “How These Stores Work Today” – Problem Slide
- “Suddenly COVID changed everything in the supermarket” – “Why now” slide
- “Meet Vori, the all-in-one back office for supermarkets” — solution slide
- “What Retailers Are Saying” – Market Validation Slide
- “The largest non-digitized retail segment in the world” – market size/TAM/SAM/SOM slide
- “Competing with Legacy Systems” – Competition Slide (Edited)
- “Our team was born for this” – teamdia
7 investors discuss how agtech can solve agriculture’s biggest problems
Of all the global industries, none may be more susceptible to the dangers of climate change than agriculture.
There is a consensus among renowned scientists that the amount of CO2 that we release into the atmosphere exacerbates already extreme weather conditions. How will that affect the way agtech VCs operate during a downturn?
For more information, we conducted a survey:
- Brett Brohl, managing director, Techstars Farm to Fork, and managing partner, Bread and Butter Ventures
- Monica Varman, partner, G2 Venture Partners
- Jinesh Shah, Managing Partner, Omnivore
- Adam Anders, Managing Partner, Anterra Capital
- Ting-Ting Liu, investor, and Ashutosh Sharma, head of India, Prosus Ventures
- Camila Petignat, partner, The Yield Lab
Dear Sophie: Do you have any tips for negotiating visa and green card sponsorship?
I currently have an F-1 student visa. In December I will receive my bachelor’s degree in computer science and I will apply for OPT. I would like to stay and work in the US
Do you have any tips for negotiating visa and green card sponsorship? Is there anything else I should keep in mind when contacting potential employers?
— Shy student
The changing cloud landscape: from observability to optimization
In a thoroughly researched market map, early-stage investor Chelsea Goddard shared her dissertation on the future of cloud computing, which takes into account how “the increased demand for optimization” is changing the industry.
“Once we get past this wave of cloud and edge initiatives, infrastructure investments will shift to the next set of strategic business priorities, automation and optimization,” predicts Goddard.
US venture capital slowdown doesn’t look too bad
According to PitchBook, preliminary VC deal data in the third quarter appears to be lower than the previous quarters of this year:
- Q1: $80.0 billion/4,740 deals
- Q2: $71.9 billion / 4,055 deals
- Q3 $43.0 billion/3,076 deals
Despite the apparent decline, “2022 is on track to break down the annual company totals we have data on from 2021,” writes Alex Wilhelm in The Exchange.
- 1 Pitch Deck Teardown: Vori’s $10M Series A Deck
- 2 7 investors discuss how agtech can solve agriculture’s biggest problems
- 3 Dear Sophie: Do you have any tips for negotiating visa and green card sponsorship?
- 4 The changing cloud landscape: from observability to optimization
- 5 US venture capital slowdown doesn’t look too bad