The essential reading list for funding, growing and exiting your startup

surepathcapital.com

As you think about your plans for 2017 here are some of the best articles I read in 2016 on funding, growing and exiting startups.

Funding

Raising Capital: Why We Chose Venture Debt

There is so much written about raising VC. For some reason there is little written about raising venture debt. Yoav Schwartz and his company Uberflip ignored convention and raised debt instead of equity. This is an instructive post for founders on the case for debt.

Deal Breakers, Part 1: A Red Flag List from Top VCs

We all know how hard it is to raise VC. Most investors fund 1 out of every 100 deals they see. In this post Jason Shuman from Corigin Ventures outlines a great list of the most common reasons why fundraising discussions fail.

Overdosing on VC: Lessons from 71 IPOs

In this widely read post, Founder Collective’s Eric Paley does a great job debunking the notion that startups must raise a ton of capital in order to achieve valuable outcomes.

Growth

SaaS Metrics 2.0 — A Guide to Measuring and Improving what Matters

David Skok is probably one of the most knowledgeable SaaS investors out there, especially for mid market and enterprise SaaS companies that have sales teams. In this post, David updates the essential metrics that matter for SaaS companies.

WTF is Biz Dev?

Most companies have a love/ hate relationship with their Biz Dev function: they know they need it, but they are frustrated because most partnerships under deliver. In this post James Cohane delivers what I consider to be the best definition of what Biz Dev should be.

HubSpot’s Playbook for Going From Startup to Scale-up

Every CEO I know is seeking lessons learned from CEOs that have been where they are going. Few CEOs of public companies have the time or inclination to share their lessons. Certainly not while they are still in the trenches. Perhaps after.

In this excellent post, Hubspot’s CEO Brian Halligan walks us through their playbook for scaling revenue.

Exits

Salesforce M&A in Context

With over 50 acquisitions under it’s belt, Salesforce is one of the most active buyers out there. In this post Spark Capital’s Alex Clayton analyzes their deal activity.

Meaningful Exits for Founders

Bryce Roberts is on a crusade with Indie.vc to help founders understand they they don’t have to raise tons of capital and give up control of their companies. In this post Bryce offers some compelling exit math to dissuade readers from going down the traditional VC path.

Corporate Development: Synergies, Smynergies

In this post, former growth investor and Corp Dev pro Matt Estes walks readers through the corp dev process. Some great insights into how corp dev pros think and work.

The tick-tock story of how LinkedIn shopped itself to Microsoft, Salesforce and Google

While you’re not likely to generate a $26B exit in the next few years, this post was a fascinating account of how Linkedin’s exec and investment bankers created billions of value in a very short timeframe in their eventual sale to Microsoft. The details here would make for a good movie someday…

One Founder, Both Sides of the M&A Table — What All Startups Can Learn from His Experience

Jeff Siebert has had multiple exits and looked at acquisitions as well. In this post he shares some great lessons learned from both sides of the exit deal.