Crosslink Capital's Phil Boyer on what does 'Series A' even mean anymore and what metrics matter for VCs?
There’s a term one hears to describe the venture capital market in 2021—frothy. What does that actually mean and what does it mean in the larger historical context of Venture Capital? We speak with Phil Boyer, a partner at Crosslink Capital since 2014. Crosslink was founded in Silicon Valley in 1989 and has institutional memories of the beginning and end of Dot-Com bubble 20+ years ago and the global financial crisis in 2008. How does the firm’s deep history inform what is happening today, what is the outlook for the future, and how can founders pitch their companies to funds like Crosslink.
About Phil Boyer:
Phil brings over a decade of experience as a technology investor with deep sector expertise within enterprise and vertical software (AI, cloud, developer tools, SaaS, security). He is passionate about serving as a partner with early-stage founding teams, with an eye towards helping strong technical teams build category-defining companies. At Crosslink, Phil’s investments include Armory, BetterUp, Iron Ox, Molekule, Overjet, Verodin (FEYE), and Weave (IPO NYSE: WEAV), among other companies.
Prior to Crosslink, Phil was an investor with NYC-based venture capital firm Tenfore Holdings, with early investments in Optoro and Trulioo during his tenure. Before beginning his venture capital career, Phil wrote and published research on the technology sector at Credit Suisse and RBC, where he covered companies such as Google, Amazon, LinkedIn, eBay, Priceline, Yelp, and many others.
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In this episode we discuss:
02:49 The evolution of metrics founders need for later round financing
07:34 Why Team is so important to investors at the series A round
12:17 How growth velocity can be just as important as size of ARR
16:27 What is Net Dollar Retention and why is it important to investors
22:49 How to properly calculate CAC/LTV
25:03 Deal velocity and speed to close as a metric
28:17 Is it better to land and expand deals or to hunt for bigger deals from an investor perspective
32:06 Conviction in your model is important and knowing what you want to build
33:49 How the speed of venture rounds is affecting the market and larger considerations for founders
36:46 How Crosslink is dealing with the market
39:55 The Crosslink Alpha network and how it brings value to its founders
What’s Hot in Enterprise IT by Ed Sim
The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
The only thing that stays constant is change.