Editor's note: Dror Futter is a partner in the Rimon, PC law firm, where he is a member of the firm’s Venture Capital, Blockchain and Israel practice groups. He advises growth companies and their investors on both their financing transactions, as well as their daily commercial, corporate and IP needs.
Sometimes it just feels unfair. Your big Fortune 500 customer has agreed to buy your product, and all that remains is for the purchasing department to send over their form agreement. High fives all around. Then with a thud, a 40 page document lands on your desk. You can almost hear the air seeping out of the deal.
When you are a startup, the reality is that in most circumstances you need the deal more than your customer. In addition, it is very likely that your customer – with their in-house purchasing and lawyers – has more resources it can devote to negotiations. You may also have to hire an attorney on an hourly basis, and lengthy negotiations can distract important management, product, and sales resources. Finally, speed is critical to a startup and taking tough contract positions will inevitably delay closing. The net of this imbalance means that it is likely you will have to live with an unbalanced contract.
Editor's note: Dimitri is a seasoned product and go-to-market executive, serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and Work-Bench mentor. His most recent startup, Layer 7, was acquired by CA Technologies for $155 million.
Every few years the way that software gets delivered undergoes a fundamental change. One of the biggest changes in the past decade was the delivery of software as service (SaaS). SaaS made software consumable through a browser without the need of installing complex software or expensive servers locally. Today, SaaS is just one variant of “cloud,” all of which have upended the economics of how software gets delivered. With cloud there is a separation between the underlying compute infrastructure and the applications that ride atop of it. Compute is now frequently engineered as a shared resource freeing the application builder to focus on functionality and not on commodity services that could best be shared across applications.
Editor's note: Lenny Pruss is a Principal at RRE Ventures, where he focuses on early and expansion stage investments across multiple technology verticals, with a concentration on datacenter infrastructure, developer tools, SaaS and security. You can find him on Twitter and writing on his personal blog.
Since my last post exploring the platform shift happening in today’s datacenter, the question I’ve been asked most often is, “sure, microservices, distributed architectures and containerization might make sense for the Google’s and Facebook’s of the world, but what about everyone else who doesn’t operate at Web scale?”
Editor's note: Arsham is a research analyst at OpenView Venture Partners, where he provides market research and strategic advice to the firm and its portfolio companies.
IPOs are generally regarded as the idealized jackpot when it comes to venture-backed exits. That’s because going public, as opposed to being acquired, tends to offer superior growth opportunities and a shot at becoming a market leader as a standalone company rather than a component of another. However, there are other instances when an offer from a strategic partner is just too sweet to pass up, or when it’s not possible or likely to take a company to the next level without joining forces with an incumbent.
Still, there’s no denying the allure of an IPO and the example successful public companies set for today’s startups. What attributes are common among these companies and what trends become visible over time? We can use data from the S-1s of 45+ public SaaS companies to observe several things, such as number of founders to market cap, trends in founders’ equity over time, and revenue growth to years it took to go public.