The air is crisp, the U.S. election is finally over, and I’m getting ready to spend the weekend talking about startup things with a bunch of startup founders in Lisbon.
In other words, it’s time for Friday Feedback.
On Having a God Complex:
Brad writes: The VP engineering of a company I was invested in described the CEO as “Just like Steve Jobs, without the good parts.” The company failed.
John writes: I believe you are right. There is a difference between holding high aspirations and expectations and treating people poorly. There is no excuse for treating people poorly.
And there is a direct correlation to the God Complex and hype in the Silicon Valley echo chamber. One reinforces the other (in a revisionist manner as you pointed out).
The best entrepreneurs eschew hype, embrace their employees and teammates, and execute. That is what drives success.
Rob writes: As a founder you need to violently believe in what you’re doing but it’s not the same (in fact violently opposed to) being a jerk. I’d bet most jerk founders fail.
Nick writes: I think the media/start-up ecosystem/world tends to romanticize the role of “jerk genius,” thinking that’s the only way to be successful—and dealing with it a requirement for the privilege of learning from said genius.
SD writes: I totally agree with your view on the God complex, but also sadly the biggest display of this complex would probably be Trump, and we all see how that turned out.
Michael writes: I am no fan of Trump but your comments about what you are experiencing at this conference make me chuckle. The liberal elite are confused by this election because they believe the country is Hollywood, NYC and the media. The country is much bigger and the fact that the elites don’t get this is exactly how we end up with a President Trump. All these “sad” faces need to look in the mirror as to why this happened.
Erik writes: VCs investing in a business that can be the next Bank of America is like making a venture investment in the next Sears.
On Founder Ownership at IPO:
Jon writes: This report should have been divided into two buckets: “real” technology companies and consumer-oriented companies. The latter, when they succeed, tend to take off very quickly, with very high valuation rounds very soon, and so there’s much less dilution for the founders. The former scale much more slowly and have much more dilution along the way because subsequent rounds aren’t at stratospheric valuations. On top of this, proven entrepreneurs (e.g., Lew Cirne at New Relic and Jack Dorsey at Square) get much better equity positions at the outset than first time founders. So slicing the data this way would look very different. It’s an interesting report, but it’s going to create very unrealistic expectations for some founders.
Thanks: To everyone who suggested tools to track the movements of company logos on venture capital firm websites. Lots of vendors that sell to VC-funded startups have a keen interest in tracking this kind of data, so I thought I’d share some of the suggestions I got: Visualping.io, Crayon.co, Connotate, Scrapinghub.com, Datanyze, Changedetection.com, and Archive.org. And lastly, there’s Formds.com.
Many people suggested VCDelta, created by Jerry Neumann. The project became burdensome to keep up with because it wasn’t a perfect science, so earlier this year he sold it for equity to Mattermark, the venture capital data startup. It appears Mattermark has stopped updating the bot.
THE LATEST FROM FORTUNE…
• Satya Nadella’s traveling revival show.
• Ackman is bullish on Trump.
• Opportunities and Pitfalls for legal marijuana.
• Zuckerberg denies Facebook’s fake news problem.
• Jaime Dimon, Treasury Secretary?
• The one pollster that got it right.
• Dan Loeb’s new tech buys.
• Intuity Medical, a Sunnyvale, Calif. developer of blood glucose monitoring systems for diabetes management, raised $40 million. PTV Healthcare Capital led the round and was joined by Luther King Capital Management, Accuitive Medical Ventures, Investor Growth Capital, U.S. Venture Partners, Venrock, and Versant Ventures.
• ReVision Optics, a Lake Forest, Calif. developer of implantable presbyopia-correcting corneal inlay technology, raised $32 million in funding. JJDC led the round, and was joined by Canaan Partners, Domain Associates, InterWest Partners and ProQuest Investments.
• Job Today, a London mobile jobs marketplace, raised $20 million in Series B funding. Flint Capital led the round, and was joined by Accel Partners, Mangrove Capital, Felix Capital, Astremedia, Channel 4, and German Media Pool VC.
• Singular, a San Francisco marketing analytics company, raised $15 million in Series A funding. Investors include KDWC, Translink Capital, Telstra Ventures, and General Catalyst.
• PillDrill, a Las Vegas smart medication tracking system, raised $3 million in seed funding from unnamed angel investors.
• Kinematix, a Portuguese company that makes wearable devices for runners, raised €2 million ($2.1 million) in funding from Portugal Ventures.
• Heureka Software, a Cleveland cyber security company, raised $1.1 million in seed funding from Cleveland venture development organization JumpStart and local angel investors.
• Nightingale Security, an autonomous robotic service, has secured an undisclosed amount of funding from Impact Venture Capital.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Windjammer Capital Investors has acquired Advanced Instruments, a Norwood, Mass. company that designs, manufactures, and markets laboratory products.
• Riordan, Lewis & Haden has invested in Utegration, a Texas-based provider of consulting, customization and implementation software for the utility industry. No financial terms were disclosed.
• Adobe has agreed to acquire TubeMogul, an Emeryville, Calif. advertising software platform, for about $540 million in net debt and cash. It will pay $14 per share (an 82.5% premium to Wednesday’s close price) on outstanding TubeMogul stock. TubeMogul, which was backed by VC firms including Foundation Capital and Northgate Capital, went public in 2014.
• Dolan Family Ventures, a tech investment firm founded by ex-Cablevision executives Kristin and James Dolan, has acquired Analytics Media Group, a New York City data analytics company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
• Dish TV India, an Indian satellite television operator, said it plans to merge with competitor Videocon d2h, according to Reuters. The new company will bring in up to 59.16 billion rupees ($879 million) a year. Read more.
• Authorea has acquired The Winnower, an online science publishing platform. Authorea, a New York City digital collaboration platform for researchers, is backed by Lux Capital, the Knight Foundation, and ff Venture Capital.
• Gadsden Growth Properties, a real estate investment trust focused on mismanaged commercial properties, has filed for a $58 million IPO. It plans to trade on the NYSE under the ticker symbol GADS.
• WildHorse Resource Development, a Houston-based oil and gas E&P backed by Natural Gas Partners, has filed to raise up to $650 million in an IPO. It plans to list on the NYSE under the ticker symbol WRD.
• American Capital Energy & Infrastructure has sold all of its energy investments, which it made over a three-year period. The firm expects the sale to general a 1.32x return on invested capital.
FIRMS + FUNDS
• Morgenthaler Private Equity has closed its second fund at $250 million. MPE Partners II will focus on investing in manufacturing and services companies.
• Rob May has joined Pillar Companies, a Boston-based venture firm, as a partner. May was previously co-founder and chief executive of Backupify, which was acquired in 2014.
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