A tale of two rounds

yesterday, i received an urgent call from a founder that I’ve never met. he has an impressive track record and it turns out we have a mutual friend who called me yesterday as well. 

this founder is starting a new company and has offers from a few other firms. he said that he heard great things about Spark and wanted to show us the deal before he signs the other firms term sheet but we have to move right now.

given his track record, our mutual friend and the space he’s working on, i’m re-arranging my schedule. and i’m fine with that. things happen. but i’m frankly not sure how this process is going to go down. 

ideally, one of two things happen – we both agree that we want to pursue this and we agree to spend more time together to get to know each other better. Or, we agree that it’s not a good fit. the suboptimal outcome is we are both mutually interested but he needs my committment asap.

compare this with another recent round coming together with a different company. 

there is another company we are extremely excited about (totally different space & market). they are first time founders. we are blown away with their idea and product. we have spent time getting to know them. we’ve had dinner together. they met our entire team. they called some of the founders in our portfolio before we met. we made them an offer to invest a few days ago. they said they were excited about the possiblities of working together but they want to take their time and finish their process. we are likely going to spend more time together before they accept or reject our offer. i am more than good with this approach. 

raising money is a process. start early, keep it tight which means only talk to folks that you are interested in, but take your time. get to know the principles. make sure everyone knows what everyone is signing up for. 

my wife and i are now married 16 years. best thing that’s ever happened to me. but we dated for 5 years before that

see where i’m going with this :)