The Full Ratchet Interview: The Path To Series A


Earlier this year, I started tweeting and writing more about seed startups getting on a path to Series A funding. That topic kind of took a life of its own, even considering options for companies when the Series A doesn’t arrive. A few of us even got together and organized a live, videotaped event on the topic, which you can review both the audio and video here. The reason is simple: With so much money in the seed ecosystem and so many smart people starting new companies, it was inevitable that many of them would never reach the point where a larger, institutional VC firm would be interested in partnering with them, joining the Board of Directors, and making a long-term commitment to the company. Yet, given all the seed rounds are conducted with convertible notes, the only actions which would trigger them to convert to equity would be M&A (which has been much drier) or a Series A round, which would price everyone’s share.

Nick Moran of New Stack Ventures, a careful observer of the minutia of startup investing, picked up on this and sent me a nice email. As I got to know Nick, it was evident that he was a real student of investing. He also has built a very focused list of podcast interviews (see here) which is impressive because he doesn’t try to target celebrity investors — he instead focuses on topics that everyone should study up on and builds value in the podcast with that focus. That’s why I agreed to be on his podcast — he was focused on forcing the segment to be valuable.

Nick kindly asked if we could focus our chat (listed in two parts above) on this elusive Path to Series A, and I was happy to do so. You can listen via SoundCloud above, or click here to see all the other venues where Nick hosts his podcasts. Nick was kind in describing this particular episode as as “Instant Classic,” in an homage to ESPN Classic, so I hope you can listen and hopefully agree. Thank you, Nick.

Haystack is written by Semil Shah, and is published under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license. Copyright © 2017 Semil Shah.

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