This is the AngelList syndicate for Hack VC (managing director: Ed Roman).
If you're interested in backing our syndicate or participating in our micro-funds, and want to learn more about our success rate, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for a complete list of investments and performance of those investments.
We are only interested in investing in startups that have venture-class returns. So most of our deals are done alongside seed funds and VCs, to help provide sufficient runway for the startup, to provide follow-on capital for future rounds, to confirm it's venture-class, and to have help watching the deal. In the case where a startup is too early for VCs or funds, we'll validate that they're interested in a future round prior to syndication during diligence.
We're very selective and turn-down 98% of the dealflow that we see (even venture-led deals, since often times difference of opinion, rather than FOMO, is what creates outsized returns in venture). We are a stage-agnostic investor, but prefer early-stage (pre-seed, seed, and Series A).
What we look for in startups: long-term defensibility at-scale, ideally with strong network effects or high switching costs, and can produce outsized returns, one or more unfair advantages, a well thought-out distribution model, and attractive unit economics, ideally with recurring revenue. We are not trying to go for small exits or quick wins, since that strategy rarely works for investors (small exits favor entrepreneurs, not investors).
Read our "Angel Investing Tips" document here -- http://bit.ly/1dlMD6a
HOW WE ADD VALUE TO DEALS
The biggest problem most startups have is hiring engineers, and we help solve that -- we can help startups hire engineers via our developer communities that we manage. We also offer mentor CEOs in the areas they need help. We typically schedule a monthly recurring catch-up where we brainstorm for how we can be value-added. The purpose of this is to help the company get to the next milestone, but also to give us follow-on investment opportunities when they company starts to inflect.
Each of the tactics above are strategies we use to get opportunities to invest in low-access high-signal deals.
ABOUT OUR LEADERSHIP
Our Managing Director, Ed Roman, has a long-standing strong track record as a professional investor. He has run 3 startups which gives him domain experience in the sector focus that Hack VC invests, helping him to make informed investment decisions. Ed is thorough and often perform venture-level diligence for early-stage deals. He has 7+ years of investing experience and is a full-time investor. Ed often educates/trains new investors as he believes that by building strong co-investor relationships it enhances dealflow, and gives a wider network that he can tap into for diligence.
Ed has led 3 AngelList syndicates, and has managed 3 separate angel funds on AngelList. The syndicates include Hack VC, the open-source syndicate, and the enterprise security syndicate. His syndicates have among the highest track records of securing institutional capital, and he has been leading syndicates since the early days of AngelList. He also mentor at many accelerators Ed was formerly a life coach, focused on helping others with being their word, and having integrity. Ed has a reputation to be cautious and thorough in his diligence process.
Most recently, Ed led innovation for Pluralsight, which is democratizing professional learning. Pluralsight acquired HackHands, where Ed was recently CEO. HackHands accelerated developer productivity via realtime mentoring. Ed now serves on the board of Pluralsight. Ed is the founder of hack.summit(), the largest programmer conference (and the largest virtual conference) in history with 80K+ attendees. He also founded the hack.pledge() movement, which helps developers get free mentoring. He spearheaded a "Medium.com for developers" project as well which has hundreds of thousands of monthly active users.
Prior to this, Ed was founder & CEO of Ghostfire Games. His game Rage of the Gladiator won critical acclaim as a top-rated Wii title. It's available on Nintendo 3DS, Android, and won a game-of-the-year award for iPhone/iPad. Ed also created the world's largest Java community (450K members), TheServerSide (acquired by Precise Software), and wrote a best-selling book on Java, Mastering EJB.
Tom Chi is the creator of Google Glass, and also co-founded GoogleX (which is where self-driving cars, drone delivery, and more were pioneered). Tom has worked in a wide range of roles from astrophysical researcher to Fortune 500 consultant to corporate executive developing new hardware/software products and services. He's played a significant role in established projects with global reach (Microsoft Outlook, Yahoo Search), and scaled new projects from conception to significance (Yahoo Answers from 0 to 90 million users). Tom has pioneered and practiced a unique approach to rapid prototyping, visioning, and leadership that can jumpstart innovative new ideas as well as move large organizations at unprecedented speeds. These approaches have benefitted over a dozen industry-leading companies. His current focus is delving into human development issues with social entrepreneurs around the globe, rebooting the fundamental frameworks of entrepreneurship itself, and teaching a limited number of workshops to select organizations.
Kevin is an enterprise security specialist. He's highly effective at building a go-to-market plan that creates the traction needed for later rounds. He was the co-founder of Vontu, one of the first Information Security startup accelerator in the Bay Area, which was sold to Symantec. He also created, founded, and brought to life a whole new category of security protection: Data Loss Prevention. Modern DLP (now deployed widely in G2000 accounts worldwide) basically began in Kevin's basement. He's the primary author of the search algorithms that gave Vontu crucial competitive advantage. Additionally, he's the primary author of the widely copied "Vontu RA playbook" -- a sales playbook that created large amounts of the traction that eventually led to the successful exit of Vontu. Kevin has also served in a variety of operational security roles (throughout the past two decades) as one of the very early stage adopters in the saga of Internet security startups.
Over the past 25 years, Josh has operated and invested in both public and private growth companies in the CRM, EMR, and health benefits administration categories. Josh is an active advisor and investor in early-stage health companies that support outcomes-based-care in diagnostics, chronic-condition-management, and billing & reimbursement services.
Josh was CEO of Keas (acquired by Welltok), a healthcare SaaS company, that provided health benefits administration to employers and their employees. Prior to Keas, Josh was CRO for YouSendIt (Hightail) and prior to YouSendIt, Josh served and Chief Strategy & Revenue Officer for TicketsNow (acquired by Ticketmaster). Prior to working in early stage companies, Josh spent a decade at AOL where he was General Manager of eCommerce, after having served five years in Corporate Development. Josh started his career on Wall Street in corporate finance at the Chase Manhattan Bank.
We believe that to be the most effective at anything in life, you need to focus. Our focus is generally on enterprise SaaS, marketplaces, and software infrastructure. These "boring" categories of startups are where we've found the most predictable / best returns are to be had.
We've been investors for over 7 years, and have been fortunate enough to invest or advise some great startups. The deals we invest in come from a referral network of other entrepreneurs we've helped, through paying-it-forward with them by mentoring at incubators, helping startups fundraise, as well as advising CEOs. We also collaborate with VCs, who both use us for advice on their deals, as well as send us dealflow, and protect our deals by co-investing with us. We've helped raise millions for startups over the past few years and have a strong relationships with other co-investors. We look for startups with traction, a strong team, in a big market.
Here are a few highlights of the startups we've invested in or advised:
• Canva [Disrupting Adobe Photoshop]: http://www.canva.com, valued at over $1B
• Ripple Labs [XRP cryptocurrency]: http://www.ripple.com, valued at over $1B
• Pluralsight [Netflix for developer education]: http://www.pluralsight.com, valued at over $1B
• Sauce Labs [testing for websites]: http://www.saucelabs.com, valued at over $500m
• Nav.com [Credit Karma for SMBs]: http://www.nav.com, valued at over $100m
• AngelList [platform for startups]: http://angel.co, valued at over $100m
• Protectwise [Enterprise Security for Internal Networks]: http://www.protectwise.com, valued at over $80m
• ScriptDash [Disrupting Walgreens]: http://www.scriptdash.com, valued at over $50m
• Molekule [Disrupting Air Purification]: http://www.molekule.com, valued at over $50m
• Weave [SMB communications platform]: http://www.getweave.co, valued at over $50m
• NodeSource [Node.js Enterprise Software] http://www.nodesource.com, valued at over $50m