Our bread and butter is Seed and Series A investing, but we’ll also occasionally invest in later stage fundings (Series B and C). If you’re not familiar with these terms or the structure of the venture capital market, check out “Both Sides of the Table”, Mark Suster’s extensive essays on this topic. The are three stages where Blackbird may invest in your company:
You’ve pulled together a team of two or three, you’ve hacked together a product and people are actually using it. Some are even returning to use it again and maybe you’ve even convinced some of these people to pay for it. You’ve measured everything that’s happening and are starting to get a good feel for what’s working and what’s not. You’re now ready for a seed round. The seed round is all about proving the product market fit — that you’ve built something people actually want.
A seed fund raise is usually $500k-$1m and you’ll use it to hire a few more people, continue to build out the product and test customer acquisition strategies. At Blackbird we’ll look to invest approximately half of the money, and help you source the other half from our network of investors in Australia and Silicon Valley. Please note that we don’t back ideas and business plans, so if you’re still at the idea stage you may want to apply for Startmate, or just do it… and when it’s working come and see us.
By the time you’re ready for a Series A, your business should be showing considerable traction. Investors will want to see that you have a large number of customers with good engagement. The business is starting to grow and you’re starting to figure out the best ways to attract new users and convert them to customers. In most cases you’ll have some decent revenue — enough to prove the thesis that people will actually pay for your product. You’ll usually be raising $3–5m to scale operations. We’ll invest $1–1.5m and look to find the rest from other like-minded investors, both Australian and from overseas.
Blackbird will also selectively invest in later stage businesses, where the business is proven and capital is required for expansion. In these cases we’ll often invest alongside Silicon Valley VC firms in rounds of $10+m.