Melody Peng

From service to product company: hear from the experts on how to do it successfully

Our team just got back from Dreamforce 15 in San Francisco. At the conference, our CEO BJ Lackland participated in a session with Jason Lemkin and Aaron Ross. Jason is the Partner of Storm Ventures, and founder of SaaStr. Aaron Ross is the author and Co-Founder of Predictable Revenue. Their discussion focused around funding and scaling SaaS businesses, and how to successfully transition from a service company to a product company.

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Six hidden risks of startup fundraising

When you’re looking to finance your startup's growth in the most cost-effective way, you have to think about the true cost of capital that’s associated with each funding option. What is important to you? Staying in control? Protecting your personal assets? To gain a deeper insight into the pros and cons of different funding options, see our guide How to Choose the Best Funding Path for Your Startup.

But the cost of capital is only one factor. In this post, we look at the non-monetary risks associated with fundraising

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Top 5 things to consider before getting convertible debt

The intricacies of convertible debt can seem overwhelming to first-timers, but understanding the fundamentals of convertible debt structure is essential to making the right choice for your company. Here are the top five things to keep in mind when you're considering convertible debt.

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Entrepreneurs fess up: the key reason why their promising startup crashed

A few months ago, we published a post on five reasons why startups fail. People don’t like to talk about it, but startups, or early stage technology businesses are risky. Statistically, 9 out of 10 startups fail.

Of course, it is hard to pinpoint one specific reason or event that causes the failure, but recently we found CBInsights’ roundup of startup post-mortems very revealing. Plus, it’s always good to hear it directly from the entrepreneurs.

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Hyper Martial Arts kicks it up a notch with $400K Lighter Capital investment

Launched in 2009, Hyper Martial Arts provides a platform for world-class martial arts athletes to showcase their skills and talent. Hyper is a mix of traditional martial arts styles, including self-defense, sparring, competition forms, and weapons. The company’s curriculum is taught at about 600 training facilities in the U.S. and more than a hundred abroad. In addition to promoting an emerging subculture, the company also offers anti-bully training sessions for kids.

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Why is convertible debt so popular for early-stage startups?

Getting financing for your tech startup during the early, pre-revenue stages is always a challenge. That’s why, for the past decade or more, many entrepreneurs have been turning to convertible debt rounds with angel investors to get by until they gain revenue and traction.

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Washington Technology Industry Association made a video about us!

As a source of funding for early-stage technology companies, Lighter Capital is proud to be a member of the Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA). One of WTIA’s main goals is to double the venture and angel capital invested in high-tech startup companies in our state by 2020, which is very aligned with our mission and product. Even though our funding is debt-based, we are great alternatives or supplement to equity financing for early stage technology companies.

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5 ways to maximize your startup's valuation

Your startup valuation is essentially what investors think your company is worth, which has a huge impact on your company when you raise money. The higher your valuation, the less equity you have to give up for a particular dollar-amount of investment.

Here are five tips for maximizing your company’s valuation in the eyes of investors.

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Founder compensation: how much should you pay yourself?

Seattle entrepreneur Dan Price from Gravity Payments made headlines a few months ago when he announced that his employees would make $70,000 a year as minimum wage. In order to pay for this company-wide salary increase, he also slashed his own wage from $1M a year to $70,000.

While his decision seemed bold and admirable at the time, just a few months later his company is struggling and his decision to make this salary change has gotten a lot of criticism and backlash. All of which begs the question: if you're running a company (especially if the company is still in the early stages), how much should you pay yourself?

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Which kind of valuation do you need and when?

Valuation comes up constantly in reference to startups. But it can be confusing because sometimes the same word is used with very different meanings.

Several different types of valuations come into play for startups. For example, there are the staggering and not necessarily realizable private company valuations that everyone hears about. There are public market valuations that reflect what investors believe stocks will be worth in the future. And there are 409A valuations.

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