Angular Ventures
Published in

Angular Ventures

The Co-Founders of Staffbase, a German employee communication platform which recently raised $115M at a $1.1B valuation.

Enterprise & Deep Tech Weekly

  • Recognize that fundraising can be just another vanity metric. Dilution matters and cash matters, but running your business to maximize the size or the valuation of a round, makes no sense in today’s climate. Instead, founders should focus on key business objectives that de-risk their company. To survive, you do not need to raise more than your competitors. Those days are over. Let your competitors struggle through the high burn rates and overly-fast hiring that their mega-rounds have encouraged. To win, you will need to build a better product than your competitors and prove that to be true through the real experiences of real customers. Startups are underdogs. Embrace it.
  • Triage customers and design-partners. Your customer base may probably be struggling in this climate as well. Make sure you understand the resiliency of your customers: are they early-stage startups or profitable enterprises? Where are you on their priority list? Can your design partners deliver the time and attention you need from them in order to validate your thesis?
  • Take the pain early. If there are any ways you can cut your burn rate without sinking the business, do it now. Founder after founder tell us that they regret waiting to make difficult HR decisions. Today’s challenging climate should make those decisions easier.
  • Be thesis driven. Any early-stage company is really a set of experiments around a thesis. That thesis — and the experiment you undertake to prove it — are a north star that should endure even through difficult times. Your early customers will respond to products that truly solve their problems in unique and powerful ways. The best investors know how to read those signals. The best CEOs know how to tell those stories.
  • Everything will take longer: Be kind to yourself and accept the true stage of your company. Unless markets come roaring back, my strong suspicion is that everything will seem to take longer. This is a bit of an illusion, however. We have all been living through a sustained period of ever faster perceived traction — but, in most cases, it wasn’t true. Just because you got to $1M ARR, for example, doesn’t necessarily mean you have product-market fit. Just because you got a $100M valuation (on your $1M ARR) doesn’t mean you have product-market fit either. Up until a minute ago, however, companies were experiencing this: rapid ARR growth and even faster valuation expansion and — presto! — we must have product-market fit. Today, the valuation expansion — the outside validation — is starting to slow down. The result is that many founders are realizing that they are a stage or two earlier than they might have been led to believe just a short time ago.






  • “Business fundamentals remain healthy: software companies are growing faster and more efficiently than before
  • Public software multiples are still well below recent history
  • IPO window likely closed for the foreseeable future with market volatility at current levels
  • Companies like Chime and Justworks have rethought IPO plans
  • M&A market will likely pick up for public companies when management and boards adjust to the “new normal” and not 52 week highs
  • Private market M&A will likely take longer, both because of higher revenue multiples over last 18 months and lack of daily mark-to-market
  • Private markets have not yet meaningfully corrected → anecdotal information about retrades and lower prices but not widespread. 100–200x+ ARR deals are still happening regularly
  • Currently many companies in private markets (particularly at late stage) are in “price discovery” mode in fundraises with everyone trying to figure out market price → rounds are taking longer to get done and “willingness to pay” spreads are wide
  • Can try to draw insight from internet bubble and housing crisis for how it might impact private markets. Each took ~10 quarters to go from peak to trough → would mean we are still 2.5 years from bottom”




Early stage. Enterprise Tech. Europe & Israel.

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