Don’t let your first large customer kill your startup

Being a CEO of an early stage startup is tough. You have to find a way to efficiently reach customers and convince them buy your product. At the same time, you are continuously tweaking the product, battling to prove product-market fit. At the back of your mind, you know you have limited time to demonstrate… Continue reading Don’t let your first large customer kill your startup

The startup’s version of “Beat and Raise”

One of the best ways for a public company to increase its share price is by beating quarterly earnings estimates and raising full year guidance. This is what is routinely referred to as the “beat and raise.” In simple English, beat-and-raise means that the past was better than expected and the future is going to… Continue reading The startup’s version of “Beat and Raise”

What makes (Israeli) startups succeed?

It has been a good year so far for our Israeli-based portfolio companies with four exits totaling more than $1.2 Billion. Early this year, Altair was acquired by Sony Semiconductor for $212M, which was the first acquisition ever for the Japanese company in Israel. Then Oracle announced the acquisition of virtualization company Ravello Systems, and… Continue reading What makes (Israeli) startups succeed?

Key lessons from CloudLock’s $293M acquisition

Cisco just announced it is acquiring CloudLock, an Israeli Cloud security startup, for $293M. This is a great outcome for the CloudLock team and the investors. Bessemer first invested in CloudLock in January 2014 when the space it was operating was still very nascent. Below is the blog post we posted on our website in January 2014 that explains why… Continue reading Key lessons from CloudLock’s $293M acquisition

The one metric early stage startups should ignore

Too often founders of early stage companies build a three year revenue plan which gets the company to profitability. These are companies that are barely generating revenue yet somehow decided to focus on profitability. While in theory, getting to profitability is an important milestone for a company, it typically comes at a much later stage in the company’s… Continue reading The one metric early stage startups should ignore

Deep Learning is eating the world

One of the biggest phenomena of the past decade was “Software is eating the world”. Today, there is almost no industry which is not run on software and delivered as an online service. This has resulted in new online giants such as Uber, AirBnB, Amazon etc. But now that so many businesses are leveraging software,… Continue reading Deep Learning is eating the world

The biggest mistake VC make

Investing in startups is not an easy job. As an investor, you are not only betting on a specific startup and team, but often on a market that doesn’t yet exist. Even the best team in the world is doomed to fail if it undertakes the wrong market. The opposite is not always true. One… Continue reading The biggest mistake VC make

The Best Entrepreneurial Network In The World

Most people believe that the strongest entrepreneurial network in world is either Stanford, Harvard, Y Combinator or something alike. These are indeed incredible networks which created some of the world’s largest tech companies. They receive a vast amount of media coverage, attract some of the world’s top talent who wants to be associated with these brands, and enjoy a huge amount of funding and… Continue reading The Best Entrepreneurial Network In The World

Managing your startup option pool

One of the things you need to do as a CEO of a startup is manage the Employee Stock Option Pool (ESOP). This is the pool of options you use to attract and retain talent. When pricing a financing round ESOP is typically included in the pre-money valuation and therefore it dilutes the existing shareholders… Continue reading Managing your startup option pool

A template for measuring SaaS

I have discussed in the past the past the benefits of SaaS and specifically recurring revenue model. The main benefit of the recurring revenue model is the predictability of revenue, customer acquisition payback, customer lifetime value (CLTV), and the ability to optimize Sales & Marketing spend accordingly. But in order to truly benefit from a recurring… Continue reading A template for measuring SaaS