Most co's will disclose the post on their last round in the initial, non-con presentation. A few don't. Arguments for disclosing it: 1) you save time; if it's really high and you expect a step-up, you can exclude those inv's who don't feel strongly enough about the co to...1/6
..."get there" - and note that if you feel it was priced too high (e.g., strategic-led, mkt has had a dramatic shift) you can subtly indicate that; 2) if your post is particularly attractive, it might actually pull in someone who is on the fence on whether to prioritize...2/6
...your co near the top - this *doesn't mean* that anyone expects you to price at the last post! You can certainly explicate on all the progress since the last round if you'd like, but rest assured that no one thinks last post = current pre. I'd also note that some inv's...3/6
...might actually decide not to do work if they think, "I bet the post here is super-high and that's why they're not disclosing it" - so there's a cost to staying mum; 3) being outside the norm on anything is, for the most part, a negative. Makes co's look less in the know...4/6
...which is in itself an additional risk factor. This is less true if mgt is quite "credentialed" and you're backed by well-known firms already. But if you're doing your first institutional round and you're a more up-and-coming team, you don't want to reinforce the sense...5/6
...that you're green/haven't gotten good advice, by doing things outside the norm. Mostly, I'd ask, what do you expect to gain by not disclosing your post? Is it really worth the negative signaling & the potential to put off (or fail to entice) some investors? When in Rome...6/6

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More from @SaraNayeem

27 May
If you suffer from imposter syndrome, a good way to actively combat it is to simply help someone professionally. Better yet, work time into your schedule to do this each week. In my field (biopharma VC), this might mean calling a portfolio company CEO to check in / offer...1/5 on some initiative; mentoring or sharing deal flow with a talented younger investing professional; taking extra time to give feedback to a company I liked but where I passed (for now), if that’s useful to them; or even just serving on a panel or penning a Tweet. 2/5
...There are multiple ways in which this approach assuages imposter syndrome: 1) you are immediately reminded of your expertise and contributions, and probably of why you chose the field you’re in to start with; 2) experiencing someone’s gratitude tends to make us more...3/5
Read 5 tweets
24 May
I recommend that entrepreneurs think about the 5C’s (yes, super cheesy – 6th C!) when choosing investors. 1) Credibility (i.e., will this investor be helpful in building out my business?) – gets to overall experience / reputation but also, do they get your story / space?;...1/5
...2) connectivity (will this investor help me w/ future financings, hiring, etc.?) – is the person highly connected in the relevant circles?; 3) communication (will I be able to communicate effectively w/ this person?) – does the person seem approachable, do they return...2/5
...your calls / emails, do they articulate their views clearly?; 4) capital (will this person / firm be good for future rounds?) – not just where they sit on the cap table now, but do they have a clear commitment to VC investing and are they able to speak to reserves...3/5
Read 5 tweets
10 May
In situations in which people need to make quick judgments on whether they want to work with you based on limited information (a pitch, an interview), never underestimate the importance of *not being prickly*. A defensive reaction to a question; a demanding inquiry about...1/4
...the firm you seek to join; a harsh word about a former colleague or employee; all of these can plant the seeds of doubt. Was it just an off moment, or was the brief, unpleasant interaction the tip of the iceberg? Interacting over Zoom also makes it harder to read people...2/4
...than interacting in-person. The reasons for a particular “gut feel” often aren’t articulated – even to ourselves; maybe if we did sit back and analyze why we left a conversation feeling a particular way about someone, we’d be less certain of our first impressions. But...3/4
Read 4 tweets
4 May
When building a preclinical data package, management teams (esp. those who are bootstrapping) should keep in mind that investors may have a different threshold for being convinced. If you live and breathe a space, you may be able to “smell” a drug based on an experiment or...1/5
...two. And you may see a very straight path to getting your molecule into the clinic – why wait? But institutional investors may have a more rigorous approach (or looked at differently, may not “get it”). Replicating academic experiments, generating data on positive...2/5
...controls, validating the molecule in more than one model, elucidating the precise mechanism, showing dose response, understanding pK, dealing with complexities like isomers and formulation challenges – all of these are costly and time-consuming, but may be necessary for...3/x
Read 5 tweets
15 Jan
Academic-led early stage biopharma co's, particularly those that haven't yet raised institutional capital, can face a chicken-and-the-egg issue. They may need an experienced operator to help refine strategy & kickstart fundraising. But w/o capital, it can be hard to attract...1/5
...entrepreneurs to the project. One way to move the ball forward is w/ advisors. Many operators who have had significant success w/ past co's decide to retire from full-time operational work, but still enjoy being part of the ecosystem. They can serve as consultants, board...2/5
...or SAB members, informal advisors. If they're excited about your technology, some may do significant work on your behalf, incl. making connections, for a small equity grant. Of course, VC firms with a focus on "venture creation" may be interested in forming a co. around...3/5
Read 5 tweets
18 Dec 20
Suggestions for biopharma co’s on positioning BD efforts to investors: 1) Don’t suggest that you’ll partner out your lead program. Generally inv’s will appreciate licensing deals for the revenue they bring in to reduce dilution as well as for the validation they provide. 1/12
...However, once a program is in the hands of a partner, it’s rarely viewed as a reason to invest in and of itself. Licensing out Asian rights could be acceptable and reasonable; these deals are achieving higher upfronts than a few yrs ago. But there are some pharmas who...2/12
...will want worldwide rights in an acquisition. Partnering in Europe further reduces the universe of likely M&A buyers. Still, as long as US rights are retained – or in some cases, a US co-promote (opt in to co-promote is a bigger maybe) – inv’s may still see the asset as...3/12
Read 12 tweets

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