When I write these blog posts, I have a clear audience in mind: someone who wants to do business with us, and wants non sound bite answers to questions about how we think. That person can be an entrepreneur, a potential co-investor or a possible Limited Partner. The most basic question anyone should have of us is what kind of deals do we like to do? Where are we the right investor and, just as usefully, where are we not?
Scale invests in technology and healthcare companies anytime from product launch and later. We look for companies that are in early revenue and are starting to scale – hence our name. We believe that the value we bring to the table as investors and as board members comes from our backgrounds as sales and marketing executives in the industries we invest in. Our partner Lou Bock has called on doctor’s offices in the Bay Area selling Genetech’s first drug, Rob Herb was the VP Marketing at AMD the third largest semi conductor company in the world, Rob Theis was the founding VP Marketing at Neon Systems. We have seen and been part of big, game changing companies, that grew quickly and made a difference to people’s lives.
We like to finance companies with big ambitions that have validated their product vision with early customers. We are comfortable working with other venture investors who have helped get these companies this far along. We are equally, maybe more excited, by entrepreneurs who have gotten to customer revenue, under their own steam.
We tend to focus on particular markets within the overall Information Technology and Healthcare markets, that we have identified as having big and near in upside. This allows us to better focus our efforts and not waste your time as an entrepreneur. Your objective is to get funded, not to give anyone a 101 primer on your business. Most of the deals we turn down, we turn down, not because the deal will not work, but because it is in an area that is not our focus area.
We try and add value where we can in our portfolio, while at the same time making sure that we let the CEO drive. As you would expect our value is around taking products to market and growing revenue. We help companies recruit and partner, we benchmark companies against other winners we have seen and we organize events to help our portfolio companies to network and leverage each other.
We do make some exceptions to our launch or later focus. Specifically in healthcare we will finance clinical stage companies where we believe there is compelling evidence that the drug or device in question has both safety and efficacy benefits. In technology we will finance companies where there is a level of adoption that is a clear proxy for subsequent revenue growth such as IT adoption for an open source product, or committed repeat users for an internet service.
We really enjoy what we do and take it seriously. The entrepreneurs we back have committed one hundred percent to building a successful company and pursuing their dream. The investors who have backed us have entrusted us with their hard earned capital that they need to grow, to pay for pensions, fund education or help their charitable objectives. We have put our own capital on the line also. For all these reasons we want to win. We believe that success in this business requires a combination of vision and conviction about the future, coupled with an objective realism about progress towards that goal. We don’t always get it right but we get up every day determined to keep getting better.
We also believe in wider involvement with the community in which we work. Our partner Kate Mitchell is a member of the NVCA Board and the incoming Chairperson. Many of our other partners work on industry Advisory Boards.We would welcome a chance to work with you. Please contact us if you think, based on the above, that we could be the right partner for you.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. My other partner’s emails are all on our website, www.scalevp.com/team