In May, we posted about the various characteristics and actions we expect from Founders at the pre-Seed stage. We described the size of the raise needed ($250-750K) to attract talent, explore a market insight, approach product/market fit and gain conviction regarding the company’s direction. We encourage anyone wishing to meet up with us to read that post in advance of scheduling a meeting.
Now it’s time to tell you about what Founders should expect from a pre-Seed investor. The Founder life can be a lonely one, and fraught with uncertainty — your earliest investors should have the experience and network to support you through this most critical phase of development.
At Bee Partners, we are always looking for ways to support our portfolio companies in their efforts to develop and scale. That support comes in four forms: content, connections, capital, and collaboration.
First, we provide content, and regularly supply exclusive insights to our founders on myriad topics. One way we do this is by providing “payloads” or startup best practices that offer step-by-step how-to’s around a variety of topics specific to the pre-Seed stage.
Second, we provide connections. Iris Automation (recently covered in a TechCrunch article) with nine drone companies as they built out their early adopter program. In another, LeadGenius (LG) has a product offering called “account-based marketing,” which essentially helps companies grow faster through improved sales efficiency. (If you are the CEO or executive at a software company with a desire to grow and with a repeatable sales process, then why aren’t you already a LG customer? :-)) We have recently enrolled and subsidized three of our portfolio companies that fit the LG ideal customer profile in a three-month program with LG.
From our three teams using the LG product, we are pleased to share that overall results have been fantastic, and in effect we are supporting four of our 34 active portfolio companies in one stride. The global average response rate for automated marketing emails is 1.39%, and our companies working with LG have enjoyed rates more than double that average. We plan to roll this program out to the remainder of our portfolio as the need for this kind of service naturally develops in their lifecycle. To ensure success, we support teams in fine-tuning their messaging, thinking through who the right lead actually is, and articulating goals beyond a high response rate (perhaps a team’s real goal is to get a meeting scheduled, or to make a sale).
Third, we provide capital. Many of our ongoing relationships are with VCs who invest at later stages than we do, and we aim to deliver our Founders great leads into those firms best suited to their company. Recently, LeadGenius announced their Series B raise which was covered by TechCrunch, Wall Street Journal and more. Our own Garrett Goldberg helped to bridge the relationship with this round’s lead investor. By the way, Bee Partners also invested, as we have deep pockets of reserve capital to invest into our portfolio companies that consistently execute.
Beyond content, connections and capital, we offer collaboration. Above all, we leverage a partnership model and embrace this chosen path with our Founders to create a venture capital environment more akin to a community. We frequently connect directly and in real-time with our Founders, and collide them with one another to harness the strengths of their communal experience set.
We are honored to serve our portfolio companies, and pledge that they can expect our four-tiered support structure of content, connections, capital, and collaboration day in and day out, day and night for the entirety of our partnership. We hope that this post offers some insight into what Founders should expect from their pre-Seed investors beyond the traditional one-dimensional emphasis on capital.
If you want to learn more about the LeadGenius product offering or Bee Partners, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.