Contributed by Nova Spivack, CEO and Founder of Bottlenose.
I am very pleased to announce that Bottlenose has received funding from ff Venture Capital, led by John Frankel. John has been advising Bottlenose since December of 2011 and prior to our launch.
This brings our total angel funding to just shy of $1mm, and if you look at what we’ve built and launched within that budget, I think you will agree that it is a pretty amazing accomplishment. In fact, it would have cost almost any other company many multiples of this to build what we have created so far.
Of course it is great to be endorsed by an early stage fund and to receive additional capital for our vision. This speaks to the fact that what we have built at Bottlenose is of value and is starting to get noticed. But the reason I am excited to be formally working with ff Venture Capital goes beyond just the vote of confidence or the money.
ff is doing something that makes them quite different from ANY other early-stage investor. They are the only early-stage tech investment group that I know of that is seriously providing “institutional quality early-stage capital.”
They offer a unique set of value-added services to early-stage startups that makes them completely different from any other early-stage fund I’ve encountered (and I’ve met almost all of them).
Effectively they are like the early-stage equivalent of much larger, later-stage funds like Andreessen-Horowitz. But perhaps they are even more value-added.
Why do I say this? Because ff doesn’t merely invest or advise, they provide a set of back-office and business advisory services that actually help early stage companies operate and grow.
Most VC firms and even early-stage venture firms claim they provide a lot of value add, but the truth is, other than their Rolodexes and money, and the occasional strategic suggestion, there is not much they really do to help startups. ff is different.
ff provides a set of services to make the job of running and building a startup easier. For example:
- They provide turnkey accounting and CFO services to their startups – you can literally outsource your back-office to them, at cost. They handle bookkeeping, accounts receivables and payables, financial reporting, and financial planning and projections. They bring a team of experts with decades of financial experience to this.
- They provide recruiting services to help extend your reach when hiring key people. These include TheResumater and an extensive network to help source candidates.
- They provide an active knowledge and lead-gen network that includes all their early-stage CEOs as well as angels and advisors, in key cities around the world. This network works behind the scenes to help their startups raise funding, get customers, hire, and build partnerships. As a member of this network you can participate in chapters in key cities, as well as national level meetups such as CEO dinners, idea sessions and networking events.
- ff has a dedicated in-house team that provides hands-on strategy, intellectual property, and operations support. They have a full-time in-house strategy team that gets involved in each startup after they invest. This team works on competitive analysis and positioning, patent analysis and patent strategy, business development and business strategy. This also includes daily, weekly, and monthly advice on product and business development.
Seriously, what other venture firm – big or small – does all this?
In fact, ff has the highest ratio of firm employees to funds raised of ANY venture firm in the world. Most venture firms just hire partners and a tiny support team. ff not only has partners and support staff, they have hired full-time strategic and operations services team members too.
These guys are betting on the upside, not getting rich off of their LP’s up front. I respect that, and it is very aligned with the mentality of the entrepreneurs they work with.
I think they are pioneering a new model for early-stage venture investing that’s all about giving their portfolio companies advantages, leverage and scale that they could never afford on their own. And so it is not surprising that ff happens to be one the top performing early-stage funds in the USA.
If you are entrepreneur with a really ambitious vision, and the team and product to back it up, you really should consider ff as an investor. I don’t think there is a better early-stage firm in tech investing anywhere today.
And that’s why I’m thrilled that Bottlenose is now part of the ff family.