What does “old-school” series A funding mean?
- trying to buy 15-20%+ of a company,
- that is reasonably capital efficient,
- and has at least product-market fit and some early traction,
- that hasn’t done endless seed rounds before the Series A,
- at a valuation <$19.9m, ideally in the $6m-$12m pre range depending on traction.
The “traditional” or “old-school” venture business of Series A investments was built on $3-$5m checks that bought material ownership.
This traditional model also rolled up nicely into early-stage VC partners each investing $50m or so over the life of a single fund (e.g., 3 partners x $50m each = $150m fund), because each partner could do 10+ deals, save room for later rounds, and have material ownership in each deal.
The endless seed, YC, AngelList, the explosion of non-professional angels, ramen efficiency, the dramatic increase in valuations, and so many other newer factors have lessened the number of “old-school” Series A deals.