What we hear all the time: I need the money to ramp up my startup, I need to get it quickly, and I need access to the right angels and early-stage VCs. Just like back in the Internet glory (inglorious?) days of the late 90s startups seem to be launching right and left, and many are finding traction quickly with angel groups, early-stage funds, individual angels, and a combination thereof. Deals are structured as convertible debt, like before, but they are almost always subject to a price cap and many early stage or even seed deals are priced rounds, using the newer forms of stock like the “series seed” structure or even simpler flavors of stock.
There is more buzz, banter and brouhaha than ever before about startup investing and how to make contact with leading angels and investor groups. And there are many new and promising venues, networks, blogs, Twitter evangelists, groups and lists for making contacts with early stage money and influential investors. And we lawyers, competing with each other for the fun startups and the promising deals, are deferring payment of fees up front till a funding. Bottom line for the new startup: take advantage of everything you can find, use the lists and work your networks online and off, including all your trusted advisors!