Travis versus the VC. Entrepreneur — investor dynamics questioned…can they reach a velvet divorce?
Controversial entrepreneur Travis Kalanick, founder of omnipresent ride firm Uber is apparently now being sued by Benchmark Capital, one of Uber’s behemoth VC firm backers http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-40895219. What this brings into stark scrutiny is how entrepreneurs and VC backers meet and work together. And, align expectations. It also plays to fears that entrepreneurs often have when choosing to take on VC funding. Entrepreneurs worry if term sheets are fair. If their positions as founders are secure. There is a balance to be had. I recall a former colleague Brian Eisenberg who worked at world leading VC firm Softbank giving talks to budding entrepreneurs about how entrepreneurs and VCs may use the same language when getting together, but they may mean different things. As exits take longer to achieve (on average 7–10 years), the parties need to ensure that they’ll get on. That is even more acute with angel investors. It’s a marriage. You may see your investor more than your partner! You want a smooth exit, not a rocky divorce! Like any successful relationship, open communication and alignment of interests are key. At qodeo, we aim to create smart, quick, better matches between entrepreneurs and investors. Pre-register at http://www.qodeo.com/ . Wishing Travis and Uber’s investors a velvet divorce!