Jon Sakoda Profile picture
Dec 17, 2018 7 tweets 4 min read Read on X
1/ The effects of gender imbalance in the VC industry have been well documented. Recent data suggests women represent just 9% of the VC industry, and there are 16x more male founded startups than female founded startups backed by VCs
2/ Many studies have highlighted the historic implicit bias against female entrepreneurs from VCs. But I was excited to learn this past week from Professor Ilya Strebulaev @StanfordGSB that there is new data to suggest behavior is changing
3/ In one of the largest randomized trials ever conducted last month, researchers sent >80k cold emails from 200 fake entrepreneurs to ~30k VCs and angels. If you are a VC, it is highly likely you got one of their pitch emails and participated in the trial #brilliant Image
4/ The only variable that changed in each outreach was the name / gender of the entrepreneur - the fictitious start-up ideas and backgrounds of the individuals were not changed. The study measured “positive response” and whether an investor was interested in taking a next step Image
5/ The results were surprising - women received a 7 percent HIGHER positive response rate than men. This was the exact opposite of what was expected in the study. The slight positive bias towards women was found across all sectors (B2B, B2C, and Healthcare) #changeiscoming Image
6/ To be clear this does NOT mean that we DON’T have gender bias. But it is positive evidence that suggests behavior is changing. Credit goes to all who have meaningfully increased awareness of this issue over several years including @tgr @aileenlee @AllRaise (and so many others)
7/ The full study is worth a read as the experiment examines the effectiveness of cold emailing by entrepreneurs and also filters for racial bias. Slides are courtesy of Professor Strebulaev:…

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More from @jonsakoda

Sep 20, 2022
(1/5) The VC industry has the highest level of dry powder after a record breaking fundraising season and a summer slowdown in deal pace. There is ~$290 B in dry powder available for startups in VC funds - when will the funding floodgates open? Image
(2/5) Dry powder is a strong indicator of future pace - the numbers suggest that the VC industry will have only a modest slowdown this year and will see record levels of investment in 2023 and 2024. When the floodgates open, there will be a tidal wave of new capital for startups: Image
(3/5) Just as snowpack in the mountains makes it easier to forecast water flowing downstream, VC industry dry powder ultimately follows the law of gravity. Eventually the funds must flow to founders
Read 5 tweets
Sep 30, 2020
(1/4) The NBA finals begin tonight - it was only a few months ago that the league almost cancelled the entire season. With ~$1 B at stake, the "NBA Bubble" should be recognized as one of the fastest and most successful digital transformations in sports:…
(2/4) Hundreds of health + tech vendors, startups, and onsite + remote staff brought the Bubble online in ~100 days. Players had wearable devices for contact tracing and bio signals - analytical models were built to create an early warning system for COVID based on health data
(3/4)The fan experience was reimagined - season ticket holders were brought "inside" the arena through streaming video and displayed courtside on flat panel displays. New infrastructure and compression algorithms had to be used to create low latency video over the Internet
Read 4 tweets
Aug 2, 2020
(1/4) Timing can be everything in a transformational acquisition - and you have to give @Microsoft credit where it is due. Their last major social media acquisition of @LinkedIn back in 2016 was spectacularly timed and is one of the best performing M&A deals of the past decade:
(2/4) Microsoft paid $26 B for LinkedIn in June 2016 - then a ~50% premium over the market price. But timing could not have been better - LinkedIn's valuation had fallen from ~$33 B in late 2015, to ~$14 B in 2016 in an unexplainable software selloff. They were at a cyclical low: Image
(3/4) Did Microsoft get a good price? In 2016, LinkedIn had a revenue forecast of $3.6 B, and traded for ~4x forward revs. Microsoft acquired them for~ 7x forward revs. Today most recurring revenue software companies trade on average for ~10-12x forward revs
Read 4 tweets
Jul 22, 2020
Today we go live w/ @Cisco's head of M&A and Investments @didemoto to dispel the myths of getting acquired. We'll get specific on the DO's and DON'Ts in M&A and how to create long term exit options for your startup.

Join us TODAY at 11 AM PT / 2 PM ET:
First Question - is it appropriate to reach out to corporate development as a founder?

Or is conventional wisdom “don’t call us, we’ll call you”????
Is there such a thing as talking to an acquirer too early? Should founders stay "heads down" and avoid M&A inquiries until the board wants to exit?
Read 5 tweets
Jul 13, 2020
Many founders hope to be acquired someday. But they are coached not to focus on exit and believe “companies are bought and not sold”

This is a myth - many startups use corp dev playbooks to ensure they are close to buyers

When in doubt, be proactive. Hope is not a strategy
Myth #2 in M&A - startups are told it is “too early” to talk to acquirers. In a promising company it is often the case that it is too early to sell. But relationship building with buyers takes time. Many regret waiting until too late in the game to start the process
Myth #3 in M&A - startups are told “don’t share too much information” with acquirers. It is always smart to keep your secrets to yourself. But many founders use elusive gamesmanship before the game has started. If possible, try to be transparent to build a relationship
Read 6 tweets
Apr 23, 2020
(1/4) We're excited to announce that @otawakol, founder of Voicea (acq @Cisco) and Bluekai (acq Oracle) has joined @DecibelVC as a Founder Advisor. Omar has built startups across three decades and is an incredible resource for founders in today's world:…
(2/4) Some words of wisdom for founders:

"Entrepreneurship can be like surfing. Surfers don’t create waves – they learn how to listen to, read, and ride their power. There is a natural humility that comes from respecting where a wave comes from and where it may go"
(3/4 ) "Speed is everything in a startup. But there is a difference between making a fast decision and making the right decision. When you feel the pressure to do something quickly, you should remember that you more often make the right decision by not making the fast decision"
Read 4 tweets

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