I presented my startup idea to a well connected millionaire and he wants in on the startup. How should I structure the equity deal?
Whatever do you — don’t give up control. Price is what it is. The market sets the price.
The “problem” with non-professional venture investors is they often have control expectations you can’t, or at least, shouldn’t meet:
- They want to control the board.
- They want to control how much more money you raise (to minimize their own dilution).
- They want a LOT of say in how you run the company — too much relative to the $$$ invested.
- They want a lot of say on an exit / sale.
You do want to meet your fiduciary responsibility. Say, one board seat for now. Your job is to make all your investors good money, with 100% effort, in an ethical fashion. But the rest — you don’t want any of that.
So take the money if you need it. It’s green. Strike a fair deal. Just don’t give up control.
VCs and professional angels have their downsides, too. But they make enough bets, in a formulaic fashion, that the above issues don’t come up as much.