New $15 million fund for Intuit QuickBooks developers

Today we're thrilled to announce a new $15 million fund to support Intuit developers and the QuickBooks platform. Working with Intuit, we launched the Lighter Capital Intuit Developer Fund for companies building apps on the QuickBooks platform, including QuickBooks Online, with its 2.38 million subscribers.

At Lighter Capital, we see strong potential in the Intuit developer ecosystem, and we want to help companies developing QuickBooks apps for small and medium-sized businesses get to get to the next level.

"As more SMBs turn to the cloud for core business functions and services, we believe we'll see increasing demand for developer apps to serve the QuickBooks Online community,” our CEO BJ Lackland told ProgrammableWeb. 

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October Deal Roundup

Welcome to November! Our busy fall continued in October. We funded 13 companies, including nine new clients and four returning clients. Welcome to our new clients and congrats to our returning clients on your continued growth!

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Managing your SaaS startup’s burn rate

Here’s the deal with raising growth capital for your startup: it will only last you so long, and you’ll spend it far faster than you ever imagined. Managing your burn rate, or the pace at which you spend your cash, requires a balanced approach to risk. There’s no getting around it; you need to spend money to make money. So, at certain times in your startup lifecycle, you’ll hit the gas pedal and blow through some money to make things happen. On the other side, you should be prepared to slow down (or pull the emergency brake) if you’re moving through your capital too fast.

The thought of finally obtaining the funds to take their business to the next level, and the possibility that it could all slip away (or burn up, if you will) keeps many founders up at night. Founders find themselves fixated on questions like how much runway is left? What’s the zero-cash date? Knowing how to calculate your burn rate, and keep it low, are fundamental to startup success. Read on to see how it’s done.

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How to pitch investors

8 tips for pitching startup investors

Scoring capital for your early-stage company can feel like winning the lottery—it can seem more about luck than skill. VCs and other investors are notoriously opaque, with decisions based on concerns you don’t know and can’t control: who they funded last year, their recent successes and failures, what industry reports they read over breakfast.

From a heartburn-induced bad mood to suspicion of anything that resembles a prior startup disaster, funders have myriad reasons to say no. So what factors can you control? How can you optimize your pitch to get them to yes?

Start by ensuring you’re nailing the basics. Here are eight tips to guide you.

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Recent Deal Roundup: September 2017

Happy Fall! September was another busy month for us at Lighter Capital.
We funded 12 companies, including five new clients. We provided follow-on funding to an additional seven clients.

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Answers to 4 Key Questions about Raising Startup Capital

Whether you're looking for angel investors or considering debt financing, understanding your funding options and the capital stack is key to scaling your company. We recently joined forces with Foundersuite to present a webinar on this topic: "How to Raise Capital in 2017 (and Beyond)". The presentation included tips on how to raise different types of capital, get introductions, find and connect with investors, build momentum, and close a round of funding.

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Recent Deal Roundup: August 2017

If July was all about welcoming new companies to the Lighter Capital community, August was about balancing the old and the new. We funded 11 companies this last month—five new clients and six old ones.

We also funded our 300th deal, which is a huge milestone for us. We celebrated with a company-wide happy hour on a rooftop bar near our office. (Oh yeah, and rooftop ping pong!)

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the deals we closed in August.

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Lighter Capital closes its 300th deal

Yesterday we closed our 300th deal: a follow-on round for Mailprotector. We're aiming for 500 deals by July 2018, so hitting 300 is a big milestone for us.

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Sell high: your monthly subscription product, compounding, and revenue growth

Subscription models bring a new level of complexity—deferred revenue, monthly recurring revenue churn, customer churn—but it also brings benefits: sticky revenue streams that one-and-done business models can’t achieve, low cost of goods, and gross margins that increase with scale. One of the easiest levers to pull is the cost of your monthly subscription model.

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4 milestones to reach before raising your Series A

While seed funding is more abundant than ever (the number of seed-funded companies has quadrupled in the last four years), Series A funding is actually harder to get than it used to be. With a super-abundance of competent seed-funded companies, investors can afford to get choosy about their Series A bets.

Many companies want to raise their Series A before they're ready, but coming unprepared to such a competitive space can be detrimental to your company's future funding prospects or even harmful to your reputation. Investors who might have taken your business seriously six months down the road will write you off as someone who doesn’t take being prepared seriously. While there are few hard and fast rules about when to raise a Series A, there are milestones that will help you demonstrate to your future investors that you have traction and a road to profitability. Let’s take a look at four of the biggest indicators that your company is ready to seek its Series A.

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