I'm a human that appreciates great ideas, with even greater people behind them. My official job title is an early stage VC @ Mangrove Capital Partners. To put it into context - my job mostly consists of rigorous travelling around Europe, working with exceptional entrepreneurs and discovering their unique insights as I go. Everything that I do in life comes back to my idea of the world being afloat with opportunities. One only needs to go out and find them! More on www.yannickoswald.com
Yannick has helped me navigate the world of venture capital and has provided invaluable insight powered by years of experience in the businesses. He has helped me realise our business shortcomings and emphasise our strengths. If you’re a founder I highly recommend speaking to Yannick.
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Yannick, I’m convinced you can’t grow business without advertising (well maybe except if you’re Tesla). Have you seen succesful consumer products that were able to grow without paid user acquisition? How important is it for startups to advertise well?
Asked by Audrius Janulis
Great question Audrius and thanks for reaching out!
You can, BUT only very few can. Rare are those exceptions like Skype or Facebook, who have inherent virality, or runaway product successes like Google.
Marketing, and finding great distribution hacks in the early days, is probably the most underestimated skill in tech. When I talk to founders, I expect them to realize this before I would consider an investment. In my opinion, without great marketing you can't exist....
More on this here 👉 https://www.yannickoswald.com/post/distribution-distribution-distribution
Why Cash is King!
One of the first things I often discuss with my SaaS founders are the pros and cons of monthly vs. annual subscription plans. This choice is always a trade-off between short term revenue growth vs. receiving more cash on day 1.
So, what’s the best choice? More here...
Thanks for reaching out Florian Sorg
Great is 80% annual plans, good is 50-60%
In the first two years, you would like to grow 300-500% yoy for B2B (starting basis 50k-500k), 500%-1000% for B2C (starting basis 20k-50k)
Regarding product development, the best consumer teams I have come across ship and test one or multiple new versions per week, and at least one feature a month in the first 2 years
I never look at LTV as it doesn’t make much sense in the early days... I only look at engagement, especially after month 6 for annual plans to predict churn in month 13 (as I mostly invest in the company before that).
More in this post https://www.yannickoswald.com/post/why-are-investors-obsessed-with-churn
Hope this helps. Please feel free to DM me for any further questions. Thanks!
Yannick, could you share what is your process/thinking behind positive decisions to invest in tech companies?
Asked by Justas Janauskas
Great question! 5 things:
1. A founder that has a crazy dream, a vision to change the world
2. Shared conviction with the entrepreneur about his vision, and willingness to support him all the way
3. Great early signs that she/he is onto something real (product, metrics)
4. Conviction that the founder will be able to raise future capital, that she/he can excite other investors ‘when at a table with them’
5. A deal that makes sense to both of us regarding the stage of the company
(more on https://www.yannickoswald.com/post/timing-is-everything-don-t-go-out-fundraising-before-you-ve-read-this)
Andris Berzins yes, their personal story. Difficult to do well when in front of a small group of relatively senior people. So I ask them to be prepared. It is nice to kick off with a good first impression