What’s the best way to raise your series A?

Patrick Mathieson (Associate @ Toba Capital)
Patrick Mathieson’s answer to What are the metrics necessary for an enterprise SaaS startup to get a meeting with investors for a Series A? – Quora

A payback period of less than 12 months (9 is better / 6 is great). E.G.: “Our all-in customer acquisition cost averages about $1,000, and the average customer contributes a gross margin of $125 per month, so payback period averages 8 months.”

What’s the best way to raise your series A?

Jason Calacanis (Founder & CEO @ Inside.com)
What is the current Series A market like (as of January 2016)? – Quora

In order to close a Series A you need 2-3m in ARR or 1m+ MAU growing at 20% m/o/m. There are too many startups with $100k a month in MRR and too many consumer products with 100-500k MAU and not enough VCs to invest in them.

Patrick Mathieson (Associate @ Toba Capital)
Patrick Mathieson’s answer to What are the metrics necessary for an enterprise SaaS startup to get a meeting with investors for a Series A? – Quora

Month-over-month MRR growth of 10% (15% is better / 20% is great).

Patrick Mathieson (Associate @ Toba Capital)
Patrick Mathieson’s answer to What are the metrics necessary for an enterprise SaaS startup to get a meeting with investors for a Series A? – Quora

A payback period of less than 12 months (9 is better / 6 is great). E.G.: “Our all-in customer acquisition cost averages about $1,000, and the average customer contributes a gross margin of $125 per month, so payback period averages 8 months.”

Ed Sim (Founder and Managing Partner @ Boldstart Ventures)
The 4 Kinds of Series A Rounds in Enterprise — Medium

The 4 kinds of A rounds:
No A round. Sucks. — self explanatory. Vision A round, super hard — raise on the promise and pre-launch, on the vision, huge market with the killer team that can build and scale. sometimes easier to raise on the promise and the expectations of amazing success than after the launch. Metrics A round, easier — killer metrics, repeatable growth and predictable sales model, used to be $80–$100k MRR/$1mm ARR, the bar is raisin… (read more)

Nnamdi Okike (Partner @ 645 Ventures)
Charting A Path From Seed To A Competitive Series A Round | TechCrunch

a top-quartile enterprise-focused VC firm may have a $1 million ARR hurdle for a SaaS deal, or that a top-quartile consumer investor may have a $2 million run-rate revenue hurdle for an e-commerce company. Also for revenue-generating businesses, future growth plans are created that articulate a clear path to becoming a large revenue company with attractive future profit margins.

Shriram Bhashyam (Founder @ EquityZen)
The Metrics Required for Raising a Series A Round

E-commerce. This is a dense market, with diminishing margins, and heavy-weight incumbents (see Amazon). Also, VCs are licking their wounds from companies like Fab and Gilt (wasn’t Gilt supposed to IPO for the last 4 years?). $1 million monthly recurring revenue (MRR) is the key metric here.

Shriram Bhashyam (Founder @ EquityZen)
The Metrics Required for Raising a Series A Round

Consumer Apps. Another crowded field and the shadow of King Digital looms.
50K daily active users.
25% month-over-month (MoM) user growth.

Shriram Bhashyam (Founder @ EquityZen)
The Metrics Required for Raising a Series A Round

SaaS. Jason Lemkin (the SaaStr himself, of Storm Ventures) has noted the following: $50-150K MRR. > 100% YoY growth on MRR or annual run rate (ARR) basis.

Shriram Bhashyam (Founder @ EquityZen)
The Metrics Required for Raising a Series A Round

Marketplace. Marketplaces are tricky (trust us, we know) because of the chicken/egg problem with supply and demand (buyers want to see good supply, and good sellers will list where there are buyers). It is understood that liquid marketplaces also take a while to build. $500K-$1 million in monthly gross market volume (GMV). 20-30% MoM growth in GMV. Liquidity: > 10% demand/supply ratio. Transaction velocity: the time it takes to have a transaction… (read more)

Ari Newman (Network Catalyst @ Techstars)
How to Get From Seed to Series A – Techstars

Responses included some of the market-standard metrics like $100K MRR and double digit monthly growth as common targets.

Ari Newman (Network Catalyst @ Techstars)
How to Get From Seed to Series A – Techstars

“Build relationships, not pitches,” was discussed as well. The panel debated whether this was true for seed rounds vs. Series A. The gist of the debate was that many Series A round investment decisions can happen when the investor is in “advice mode” and the light bulb goes off.

Tomasz Tunguz (Partner at Redpoint Ventures)
How Fast Must a SaaS Startup Grow to Raise a Series A?

To satisfy both the revenue and timing conditions, the SaaSCo founders should aim for a 15%+ monthly growth rate.

Anjula Bath (Partner @ Trinity Ventures)
Fundraising – From Seed To Series A by Techstars | Free Listening on SoundCloud

Don’t ever tell anybody you’re raising money. Because the moment you tell them you’re raising money they think you’re selling them and that always works against you. I didn’t tell anybody I was raising money. I went around saying that I had this amazing idea that was getting all this tgraction and I didn’t know what to do and in 24 hours I got two term-sheets from investors.

Josh Kopelman (Partner at First Round)
What the Seed Funding Boom Means for Raising a Series A | First Round Review

When thinking about timing, remember, a good fundraising process will take between 4 and 8 weeks. Adding in preparation and time to close, you’re talking a few months. Remember this math when you’re thinking about timeline and proof points. Cutting things too close can be dangerous

NextView Ventures (hands-on seed investor, focused on internet-enabled startups)
Winning Strategies Startups Use to Raise Series A [VC Portfolio Data]

The average time between raising seed capital and raising a Series A was 303 days (about 10 months)

Jenny Fielding (Managing Director @ Techstars)
Fundraising – From Seed To Series A by Techstars | Free Listening on SoundCloud

Don’t wait until you need money to start relationships with investors. People think that you start your company, you wait a few months, you raise your round. If you need to raise money in a year or two, you need to start those relationships now.

Lee Hower (General Partner of NextView Ventures)
What Milestones Are Needed to Raise a Series A? – AGILEVC

There’s no magic formula for a successful Series A unfortunately. But these five tenets can help internet / software entrepreneurs increase their prospects. (1) Core team ready to scale (2) Demonstrable market size (3) Repeatable, cost effective customer acquisition (4) Metric momentum (5) Plausible monetization

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Some Thoughts On Seed Investing – AVC

We like seed investments in teams and opportunities where they have built and launched a product already. We don’t like investing in a concept or participating in a round where the uses of the capital will be to build and launch a product. This means the vast majority of seed rounds are not a fit for us. We pass on a lot of seed stage opportunities because it is “too early” for us.

Nnamdi Okike (Partner @ 645 Ventures)
Charting A Path From Seed To A Competitive Series A Round | TechCrunch

Top teams gather evidence to prove that the market is large enough to sustain a multi-hundred-million-dollar exit or potentially a billion-dollar revenue company. These companies typically demonstrate this evidence through a bottoms-up market analysis, starting with evidence achieved by the company and concluding with reasonable scaling assumptions supported by accurate research and trends.

Nnamdi Okike (Partner @ 645 Ventures)
Charting A Path From Seed To A Competitive Series A Round | TechCrunch

The highest-potential seed companies marshal evidence to show that they can be at least No. 1 or No. 2 in the competitive market. This requires having a detailed awareness of competitors, and understanding their strengths and weaknesses. Intel’s Andy Grove famously stated that “Only the paranoid survive.” We find that a healthy level of competitive paranoia also characterizes the seed companies that reach highly competitive Series A rounds.

NextView Ventures (hands-on seed investor, focused on internet-enabled startups)
Winning Strategies Startups Use to Raise Series A [VC Portfolio Data]

There are four strategies to raising a Series A: show audience growth, show revenue growth, show attractive small-scale unit economics, sell a huge vision and an unstoppable promise.

Moisey Uretsky (Co-Founder / Chief Product Officer @
DigitalOcean)

Moisey Uretsky’s answer to How long is the due diligence process with Andreessen Horowitz? – Quora

With that in mind after we had the term sheet signed it was about 30-45 days of due diligence for the close, which is the standard and typical timeline.

Moisey Uretsky (Co-Founder / Chief Product Officer @
DigitalOcean)

Moisey Uretsky’s answer to How long is the due diligence process with Andreessen Horowitz? – Quora

Ensuring that our accounting and projections were on point, having their analysts review the market segment to review the competitors, and then of course dotting all of the legal i’s and t’s around articles of incorporation, employment agreements, and any other legal documents that while standard, are also incredibly important to have in other.

Raju Rishi (General Partner @ RRE Ventures)
When Revenue Isn’t The Answer

Too frequently, entrepreneurs and investors alike believe that the goal of a Seed Round is to get a startup to the Series A. It’s not. Seed Rounds are the only time in the lifecycle of a startup where you are allowed, expected, even encouraged to test your product in search of real product/ market fit.

NextView Ventures (hands-on seed investor, focused on internet-enabled startups)
Winning Strategies Startups Use to Raise Series A [VC Portfolio Data]

The average amount of money [raised in Series A] was 5.2M dollars