May 28, 2014 - Imagine you are unemployed, alone and barely making ends meet – unable to provide the basic necessities for yourself or your children. This is the stark reality for many of the women that come through the doors of Dress for Success, an international nonprofit organization providing services to help women find jobs and maintain employment. Whether victims of domestic violence, the economy, generational poverty or poor life choices, the clients of Dress for Success have one thing in common: they are ready to enter (or re-enter) the workforce and become self-sufficient.
May 28, 2014 - $9.5B was invested in 951 venture-backed companies in Q1 2014, marking the highest quarterly dollar total since Q2 2001 according to the MoneyTreeTM Report. While this was a rolling four quarter increase of 12% in capital invested, the number of deals remained flat. The spike in dollars invested, consequently, was caused by an increase in average deal size driven primarily by several very large deals this quarter.
May 28, 2014 - In the venture business, the well-known rule of thumb is that for every 10 portfolio company investments, only two or three will turn into substantial “home run” outcomes like Astria. Another two or three investments will produce positive returns, but with low enough multiples on invested capital that the final returns will not justify the risk and time that was required. The remaining four to six investments will typically result in a partial or total loss of invested equity capital.
May 14, 2014 - The 10 year time horizon of the US Venture Capital Index ® by Cambridge Associates LLC continued its improvement in Q4 2013 to 9.69%, but was bested by the recent strong performance of the three major public indices. While shorter term performance slightly lags the public indices, longer term performance significantly exceeds the public markets. As expected, the Late Stage US Venture Capital Index outperforms the Early Stage Index in the shorter hold periods, while the Early Stage Index outperforms over the longer time horizons.
May 14, 2014 - Why spend time creating a financial plan if you don’t use it to guide your business? If creating a financial plan is one of the single most impactful steps entrepreneurs can take in creating a thriving business, following it is critical to making sure a business stays on course. A good financial plan literally serves as a roadmap to establishing and growing your startup.
May 14, 2014 - In Part 1 and 2 of this series I provided examples of how debt can be used to build value and some general questions lenders may ask when putting together a proposal. A final important piece of evaluating debt, for companies and investors is the potential for debt to reduce value in the company and how can that be avoided. There are 3 major considerations to help minimize the potential downside(s) to debt: risk, overleveraging, and building a strong partnership.