Every time we make an investment it’s slightly different, but this is the general process you can expect.
- [Week 0] We get your pitch deck. Usually, we are introduced to you by a trusted community member. Sometimes we are emailed cold, and that works. We’ve even had founders come up to us at an event (hey Fed and Cibby at Baraja ?). Whatever the case, we hit it off and ask to catch up with you for a coffee.
- [Week 1] Coffee catch-up with a Blackbird partner. This is our first real get-together. Expect the partner to throw a bunch of questions at you, usually centred around your pitch deck. The conversation is always friendly, but you should expect you'll be challenged on a few things. This is your chance to interview a Blackbird partner as well. Ask any questions you have - and don’t be shy about pushing us either!
- [Week 1] Your partner discusses your startup at our weekly Investment Meeting. Our investment meetings are held on Tuesdays at 10am AEST and Fridays at 11am. At the meeting, your partner will discuss your company with the other Partners. They expect to be tested and asked a range of difficult questions about you and your startup. These meetings are not for the faint of heart. By default, the other Partners play devil's advocates and try to find holes in the pitch. If the partner you met is a true believer they will fight for your startup and come out of the meeting with lots of follow-up questions for you.
- [Week 1] Follow-up from the Investment Meeting. If we are interested in moving forward, you’ll hear back from your partner pretty quickly after 11:30am on Tuesday. They will have follow-up questions for you - points that other partners would like clarified. This is also when our version of due diligence starts. Your partner will look for more evidence from your customers, previous investors or other stakeholders. This is also when you’ll start to work with your partner on pitching to the full investing team.
- [Week 2] You’ll pitch the full investing team. If step four goes well and we want to move forward, you’ll be asked to pitch to the full partnership at Blackbird. This usually happens in person, but via video link is fine also. You’ll run through your pitch and then field questions from all the partners. After the meeting, your partner will get in touch within a few hours with a plan for follow-up. It’s possible at this point we might need to undertake more due diligence. Your partner will keep you informed throughout the process and tell you what to expect.
- [Week 2] We tell you no. Unfortunately, the reality is that we say no many more times than we say yes. We come across hundreds of startups per year and say yes to only 10 per year. When we were founders ourselves, nothing frustrated us more than being told no by investors without any straightforward feedback accompanying the answer. If we are not going to invest, we want to tell you no quickly and also tell you the key reasons that contributed to our decision.
- [Week 4] The opposite of a no is a yes. Term sheet time! Now we start working on a term sheet for you. There is no definitive answer to how long this takes and what the process is like because it is different every time. We try to work from standard docs as much as we can (we typically use AIC open sourced financing docs).
- [Week 7] Full docs and money transfer. If you accept the term sheet we then move forward on the full docs. Once they are complete, you’ll receive a money transfer soon after. In parallel, we also prepare an investment note to our own investors, including many technology founders. Usually, a handful will reply with an interest in co-investing and we can introduce them to you, if you are looking for other folks to join the round. We also introduce you to like-minded investors around the world and locally who have co-invested with us in the past.
- [Day 1] Welcome to the community. Once the docs are done we begin on-boarding you into the Blackbird community and it’s all beer and skittles from here on.
One of our key reporting metrics internally is the speed at which we move through this process, and how clear that is to you. Raising money is one of the hardest and most stressful things a founder can do. We aren’t perfect, but we work hard to make the process as easy and straightforward as we can.