Seed Stage Founders Undervalue Angels With Marketing & Comms Expertise

Why Bringing These Two Skillsets Onto Your Cap Table Early Is Worth It

Hunter Walk

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In 10 years of venture investing I don’t think I’ve ever participated in a seed round which had less demand than supply. From a macro sense, you can thank the bull run our industry was in for the last decade. And then specifically there’s surely some social proof dynamics as well — I’ve always believed that if Homebrew commits to your seed round the risk of not raising the amount you want basically goes to zero (equally so, since we see many opportunities from coinvestors, there’s often already capital coalescing around the startup).

Photo by Diego PH on Unsplash

In addition to our dollars, we are eager to help founders with the construction of their cap table, not just generically with the highest profile folks available, but more specifically where they might get some help along the way. Some angels are what I’d call Type O Negative in that they are so universally beloved and dynamically useful that we’d welcome them into *any* investment. More often though it comes down to a combination of circumstances: in what industry is this startup building? What expertise do the founders personally have? Who else is already committed to the round and what do they bring to the table? And of course the angel needs to be interested themselves. Plus all the puzzle pieces in terms of allocations need to fit. It’s not as easy as it used to be!

So while every seed round, and every startup, is its own special unique situation, I will say that there’s a set of skills that I often see underrepresented and which we advocate for including: marketing and communications. I could speculate *why* this gap exists (there are a number of reasons), but rather use the following paragraphs to make the case for including these folks (people like Jen Grant and Ashley Mayer, who we’ve had as advisors for Homebrew companies, and routinely seek to bring into funding rounds whenever they’d like).

  1. Founders Often Don’t Come From These Backgrounds…

Founders seem to disproportionately come from engineering, product and sales/business unit career paths. Seed cap tables are about adding new perspectives and abilities, not just another 10 angels who share the…

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Hunter Walk

You’ll find me @homebrew , Seed Stage Venture Fund w @satyap . Previously made products at YouTube, Google & SecondLife. Married to @cbarlerin .