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Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist [Kindle Edition]

Brad Feld , Jason Mendelson , Dick Costolo
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)

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Book Description

An engaging guide to excelling in today's venture capital arena

Beginning in 2005, Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson, managing directors at Foundry Group, wrote a long series of blog posts describing all the parts of a typical venture capital Term Sheet: a document which outlines key financial and other terms of a proposed investment. Since this time, they've seen the series used as the basis for a number of college courses, and have been thanked by thousands of people who have used the information to gain a better understanding of the venture capital field.

Drawn from the past work Feld and Mendelson have written about in their blog and augmented with newer material, Venture Capital Financings puts this discipline in perspective and lays out the strategies that allow entrepreneurs to excel in their start-up companies. Page by page, this book discusses all facets of the venture capital fundraising process. Along the way, Feld and Mendelson touch on everything from how valuations are set to what externalities venture capitalists face that factor into entrepreneurs' businesses.

  • Includes a breakdown analysis of the mechanics of a Term Sheet and the tactics needed to negotiate
  • Details the different stages of the venture capital process, from starting a venture and seeing it through to the later stages
  • Explores the entire venture capital ecosystem including those who invest in venture capitalist
  • Contain standard documents that are used in these transactions
  • Written by two highly regarded experts in the world of venture capital

The venture capital arena is a complex and competitive place, but with this book as your guide, you'll discover what it takes to make your way through it.

Editorial Reviews


"One Book Every Entrepreneur Should Own" - Mark Suster, TechCrunch and GRP Partners

"...offers hard-headed advice on dealing with lawyers and venture capitalists, so you can make the right decisions for you and your business..." (, 30th January 2012)

"Long term horizons, coupled with clear analysis in the book, provide a clear understanding and historical perspective into financial crises" (Ad-Hoc-News, November 2011)


"Easily the best book I have ever read on start-ups and venture capital."
Tim Ferriss, author of #1 NY Times Bestsellers, The 4-Hour Workweek and The 4-Hour Body

Product Details

  • File Size: 440 KB
  • Print Length: 245 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0470929820
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (July 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #237,723 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
67 of 71 people found the following review helpful
By DROdio
(Note - although the book isn't available yet, you can get it on a Kindle immediately -- that's what I did)

I'm CEO of a tech company based in Silicon Valley, and I've been reading Brad's blog for a long time.

I wasn't sure how much new information the book would provide -- after all, just following the blogs of top Valley-based entrepreneurs and VCs provides a wealth of information (Brad Feld, Fred Wilson, Steve Blank, Mark Suster, pmarca, Sean Ellis, Ben Horowitz -- the list goes on)

But the book delivers in a few key areas: First off, Brad & Jason break down the entire process from soup to nuts. That's great for first-time entrepreneurs. I wouldn't be surprised if this book became the bible of startup incubator programs. There's enough detail to make it feel fresh, but it's not so dense that it's hard to get through. I would suggest a re-read though, especially if you're completely new to fundraising (like Dick Costolo says in the forward, if you don't know preferred stock from chicken stock).

The real value for more experienced entrepreneurs lies in the nuances of the fundraising process. If you've been through it before, you know that one misstep can be very costly, and there's absolutely a "code" to follow. Its described eloquently as VCs looking to do deals with those who can speak their language. So consider this a way to get fluent in that language, so you can focus on what's important to you, instead of junior mistakes.

For those looking to raise an angel round only: I've written a series of blog posts about our experience raising $1MM for our statup. The raise took us 14 weeks, and my goal is to help other entrepreneurs do it more quickly and efficiently. You can read about my "Fundraising Cribsheet Manifesto" at [...] . Hope it's helpful, and good luck!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading if you're starting a tech business July 17, 2011
You need to read this book if you are running a startup or plan to start a company soon. If you're like me, you've probably scoured the internet for this sort of information before. There are some fantastic blogs out there, but it's very difficult to find detailed and specific information. All you need to know about raising money is here, in a nice package. Go buy it now.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Become an insider July 17, 2011
It seems like a lot of deals that you hear about from the VC world are all done by insiders. Part of that is just perception, but part of it is reality: People who've done lots of VC deals get VC funding much more quickly and easily.

Part of that, clearly, is the track record. I think another part of it, however, is just the world of VC. The actual VCs are so busy that they just don't have time to give a whole education to the founders of the companies that are seeking funding. They want to deal with someone who speaks their language.

That's why this book is so useful. Any reader who really gets immersed in every page won't be able to help but emerge from the experience with an imprint of the language of VC. If you really read it, you'll have the advantage of at least sounding like an insider, someone who really has the language down. If you have the language down, well, that's the crucial first step.

If you were thinking of moving to, say, Portugal for more than five years, you'd probably buy a book and really try to learn some Portuguese before you go and keep it with you there. If you really want to get some VC, you are going to live in that world for at least five years. This is the book you need to read and study over and over for your journey.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like having a startup super-mentor on your shelf August 4, 2011
By foobar
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was very pleased to receive an advance copy of Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist the other day. After reading it, I've concluded that it's like having a super-mentor on your shelf.

I have been extraordinarily fortunate throughout my career to have been blessed with amazing mentors. Men like Will Harvey and Steve Blank have been there to help me, encourage me, and push me to do better. For any entrepreneur, these super-mentors are one of the secret weapons that can make a difference: answering difficult questions, making key introductions, or offering sage advice.

However, there is one thing that the best mentors do which is most important: they can help you figure out what the $@%@$ is going on. When things get really tricky, often we find ourselves asking the wrong questions, or not even knowing enough to ask.

When raising money, for example, you might think that most negotiations happen in a rational way, over just a few deal points that have a clear meaning. You might think that "company valuation" refers, naturally, to how much your company is - you know - valued. But this kind of thinking will get you in trouble fast. Because in reality, these negotiations hinge on hundreds of hidden factors, incentives, and sources of agency bias. Nothing is straightforward, especially if you haven't done it before. These are the moments when the truly great mentors stand out in their ability to cut through the BS and help you understand the motivations and systems that are driving seemingly incomprehensible behavior.

All of this is by way of saying that if you already have a mentor of the caliber of a Steve Blank or Brad Feld on speed-dial, you probably don't need to read Brad's new book Venture Deals.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read
This book is a must read for anyone that touches any part of the venture community from aspiring entrepreneurs to investment bankers to lawyers to investors to people that aspire... Read more
Published 4 days ago by John Logan Bartlett Jr
5.0 out of 5 stars The entrepreneur's bible for navigating venture financing
An essential read for every entrepreneur who is considering raising money. This will be your bible. I refer to it all the time and I'm so glad I read it.
Published 19 days ago by Luke Culligan Vernon
5.0 out of 5 stars Great how-to and behind the scenes look at how venture deals are...
Ventures Deals is a great how-to manual and behind the scenes look at how venture deals are forged and how to get the best deal. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Samantha Elghanayan
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Introduction for Entrepreneurs Who are Brand New to...
I first read this book a little over a year ago and am just now getting around to writing a review about it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jeremy K
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough, with useful examples - not legalese theory
Venture Deals is an extremely thorough read, and in short, I highly recommend it. The two main differences I find in this book is it is written in terms anyone can understand, and... Read more
Published 3 months ago by will
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read for Entrepreneurs Raising Money
Insightful. A very good read before approaching VCs. I read half the book (I think it's around 180 pages) in 2 hours. Read more
Published 4 months ago by SuperTechnology
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This was really a great book— a helpful resource I think for anyone interested in entrepreneurship, start-ups, and/or venture capitalism as well as a genuinely fun read. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jonah
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful and pleasant
The book is very useful and easily read. From my experience, VC books are either too dry or too informal. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Anna Louise Agerup
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, very easy to read as a first time entrepreneur.
I've read Venture Deals twice and each time I read it, I pick up new information. It is extremely relevant and will certainly become a useful tool as you discuss your startup both... Read more
Published 6 months ago by A. Mond
5.0 out of 5 stars The First and Last Book You Need for Fundraising
If you haven't read "Venture Deals", you should not be trying to raise money. Whether you are raising your first $100,000 of angel money or your umpteenth $1,000,000 of venture... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Stephan G. Regulinski
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