One of the best email newsletters we get is from Anand Sanwal at CB Insights. They look at data from the professional investing world and spin it around in most interesting and clever ways.
Example 1: Let's say you are an entrepreneur looking to use the typical Silicon Valley / tech / VC model for raising money and you're at "Seed" stage. Of course you're special, but what have over a thousand other companies who've been where you are experienced?
Anand and team looked at a cohort of companies that raised seed in '09 and '10, and followed them through November of this year. What they found was that 77% of the companies "are either dead, the walking dead (bad outcomes), or became self-sustaining".
Of those 1,027 companies studied, 40% raised a second round, allowing them to chase that gold ring; 12% exited (yaaaay!), and 48% went zombie or "self-sustaining".
Here's a telling comment: Anand says being self-sustaining is "a potentially good outcome for the company but probably not good for their investors". Wow! "self-sustaining" gets lumped in with "dead"! Too bad those investors used financial vehicles that equate the two!
What's this mean for investors? What's this mean for entrepreneurs? Maybe we're reading the data wrong, but we're just not sure about this investing model for either investors or companies, especially in the food and ag space. Looks like bad odds, unless the company and investors figured a way - other than seed equity - to work together. Is that possible? (Spoiler alert: it is!)
Example 2: coming soon: why CB Insights thinks that companies fail.
News from AFI; Links to stories on business-for-good, private-company investing, fundraising, & sustainable food.