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Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  2,569 ratings  ·  122 reviews

Praise for Venture Deals

"My biggest nightmare is taking advantage of an entrepreneur without even realizing it. It happens because VCs are experts in financings and most entrepreneurs are not. Brad and Jason are out to fix that problem with Venture Deals. This book is long overdue and badly needed."
Fred Wilson, Managing Partner, Union Square Ventures

"Feld and Mendelson pac

Hardcover, 219 pages
Published July 7th 2011 by John Wiley & Sons (first published July 5th 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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This is one of those books that I wish I had read before forming our business. It is overwhelming to think about all the legal details that go into investment deals and the terminology has been foreign to me. This book cleared up the things I didn’t understand and explained in layman’s terms what these deals really mean, what I as an entrepreneur should worry about and which terms I should not really worry about. This book is now my go-to Bible for the investment deals we will enter as our busin ...more
This book was OK and potentially very useful for anyone working through a term sheet when seeking venture capital. In that particular circumstance, I think that it is indeed a wonderful explanation of various factors. In fact, that is what the book set out to be. However, there was very limited real-world examples that gave a context for understanding the particular point being discussed. The subject is definitely difficult to speak about because of all of the legal protections and regulations r ...more
Five stars because it's crucial since there's nothing else comparable at this time.

The thing to remember about this book, if you're an entrepreneur, is that it's written by two VCs. Everything you read should be taken critically. The information is still exceedingly useful. There are no overt howlers in this book intended to take advantage of entrepreneurs (or not many and not intentionally). It is written, perhaps unavoidably, with a VC bias, and presents traditional VC-friendly terms as standa
Vlad Kitaynik
Nice and clear explanation of how raise money in US for your startup. Not usable in Ukraine or Russia. Should write one for Ukrainian reality:)
Rebecca Paget
Covers a broad area with good summaries. Would have liked a deeper explanation in parts and more varied examples.
Karan Goel
Aug 23, 2015 Karan Goel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Karan by: Ben Gilbert
[Gifted by Ben Gilbert] A very high recommendation. If you know very little about venture capital and fund-raising, grab this book and read it cover to cover. Do it twice. If you have raised capital before, it's better to just skim it. The book is very well written and does assume basic knowledge of tech startup concepts and vocab. I read a lot about startups online and offline, both from VC's and entrepreneurs. But that content is so fragmented that sometimes you get conflicting views. That, IM ...more
Mārtiņš Vaivars
An excellent primer on venture capital financings.

The book discusses a lot of the issues relevant for any startup founder - how venture capital deals are structured, what is the relevance and impact of various terms on the term sheet, how to raise money, how to negotiate with VCs, how VC funds work. The explanations are very helpful, and should help any first-time founder. Authors have managed to provide a balanced perspective between the interests of the VC and the entrepreneur.

The book is writ
Venture Deals tackles an often overlooked aspect of starting a business – raising the money. Although Venture Deals, like The Founders Dilemmas, tends to look at high revenue potential startups, the look at the early utilization of Angel Investors, individuals who believe in your business and want to help, should be of interest to the more modest small business owner.

Angel Investors differ from most Venture Capitalists (VC) in that generally they sincerely want to see you succeed. It may come as
Extremely helpful in understanding the incentives of lawyers, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists and how they play out in a termsheet. Absolute must read for every entrepreneur!
As good as a book on the ins and puts of taking on investment for your startup could be. Every entrepreneur who plans to take on funding ought to read this one.
While the subtitle is very promising, it is not correct. This book will not make you smarter than a lawyer and a VC. It will however give you a great place to start to ask questions. The authors even admit that this material is a bit dry. It is not a page turner like a murder mystery book, but I will still recommend it to anyone that feels like entrepreneurship is in their future. There are many lesson that you'd rather learn from the book rather than via experience.

If you approach the book exp
Michael Reibel
Aug 01, 2012 Michael Reibel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Entrepreneurs
This book should be on every entrepreneurs curriculum! It explains in simple terms the ins and outs of the process of negotiating a term sheet.
Mike Rogero
The book is a step by step look at the process and terms of a venture deal aimed at entreprenures raising their first round. It delivers plain language review of the key terms of the relevant investment documents, as well as experienced advice on which ones should be focused on and which ones to accept some standard terms.

The advice is certaintly all solid, but as it is aimed at novices, if you have been through a couple of rounds of financing it is questionable if you would get much out of thi
Kelly Reid
begin the process with certainty, intent and presumed success. no "thinking about" or "considering". you are or are not raising money.

set a timeline and an amount; how much do you need to get your company to a meaningful milestone? we chose 18-24 months paying 2-3 engineers, which came to around 300k. pick a specific number, not a range.

investors love to join an oversubscribed round. Don't set your target too high or you might scare away Angels who don't feel like they can make a dent.

Except the
Rodrigo Rivera
Das Thema Startups ist im Prinzip von Founder Stories und Inspirationsbücher gesättigt. Auf der anderen Seite ist Entrepreneurial Finance durch Fachliteratur dominiert, die häufig nicht auf ein Tech Startup anwendbar ist (z.B Valuation anhand von DCF). Für den Gründer, der durch eine Finanzierungsrunde durchläuft, gab es sehr wenige Informationsquellen. Weiterhin gab es traditionell in der Vergangenheit ein Interesse seitens Investoren, das Vokabular von einem Term Sheet so kompliziert und unver ...more
Kim Pallister
(cross posted from

I'd had Brad Feld's book on my to-read list for some time after I started reading his blog (which is worth subscribing to). I got hold of it recently and put it into the pile of stuff I'm trying to worth through by end of year. It was pretty easy to digest so I made short work of it.

Venture Deals comes from a unique perspective as Feld and Jason Mendelson (his coauthor) have both been on the receiving end of VC deals before going on to become VCs themselve
Chris Johnson
This had really, really good information on deal structure, how VC firms work and how Silicon Valley thinks.

The utility would be 5 stars. The other thing I loved was its relative brevity. It had 170 or so pages, probably 70k words, and the restraint that they showed was a feature. I hope that the Kindle brings more brevity to the business bookshelf because most of the business books I read are too long by half. (Michael Lewis, I'm talking to YOU.)

It helps us to understand the startups we're work
Had a friend who was a Partner at a biotech VC recommend reading this. It's 'the bible' of the VC field and incredibly interesting and useful for any founder looking to raise financing. Very specific to angel, seed and VC Series financing - so would only be interesting if you're interested in that world

That being said, it's very insightful, completely pulls the curtains back, and it's a must read for anyone thinking about starting a company
Pranav Ghode
Feld and Mason finally got together all the jargon of venture deals together. While they have explained the complexities of Venture capital and tries out outline the best practices, I feel there is a lot of scope to improve this book further and simplify it. If improved, it can easily become the bible of Venture Capital concepts and practices for an entrepreneur.
Dvir Oren
venture deals
be transparent
have business plan ready
create basic product first
pick your investors carefully
if you don't know what to do or say let them act first

I recommend this to entrepreneurs, never considered funding until now, and this is a great introduction
Excellent and highly informative while managing to maintain a relatively conversational style. A few of the technical legal bits required some dissection before understanding, but Feld typically does a good job here of including the bottom-line English explanation on those elements. Very pragmatically and honestly written, and definitely a great reference resource to return to after reading through.
Jeremy Keeshin
Really good book. Recommended about startups/venture financing and I found it was very helpful in learning "how things work." It's a clear book with a good perspective and the authors seem to be experienced and know what they are talking about.
Alex Devero
Great book covering all the areas any entrepreneur might need through his career. Book offers many advices on how to deal with venture capitalist when looking for founds and pitching your company to investors. Skip it only at you own risk!
Pamela Day
If you are a founder seeking funding this is a REQUIRED read.

Wish they would do an addendum covering syndicates and the impact of AngelList.

The Foundry Group, Feld and Mendelson are solid. Read everything they write.
Matthew Martin
A great dictionary and how-to manual for a Founder who will raise or is raising venture funding. I especially like how this book highlights what parts of a terms sheet are important and which ones don't matter.
Josh Steimle
I didn't actually finish the book, because it's not so much the type of book you read front to back, beginning to end, as it is a reference book. You start reading it, then you skim it, then you come back to it when you need it. But as reference books go, wow, this is a great one for any entrepreneur who ever plans on raising funding, whether it's from angels or VCs or other. I can't tell you how much I wish this book had been around 10 years ago. This book should be required reading for any cou ...more
Upon reaching my one-year mark at the accelerator I'm working for, I finally got around to reading this book. The authors do a great job simplifying pretty complex legal matters into common English, and presenting both pros/cons for both the investors and entrepreneurs in each legal term. There were moments I felt like some legal terms were stated, "This is something to watch out for, and it's important!" but no further details were given. I wouldn't recommend this book who is just getting intro ...more
Read it via audiobook. Concise and efficiently packaged resource on navigating various nuances of the VC ecosystem, and as a result provides one perspective of the startup lifecycle, from early funding to acquisition. Goes over financial, legal, and tax-related considerations and the interests of the various parties involved in venture funding and acquisition. In spite of the subject matter being the type of details that I would imagine makes otherwise "visionary" product people's stomachs turn, ...more
Anton Fisher
Indispensable reading for any entrepreneur looking for outside financing.

Would appreciate a few additional details for Canadian startups (analogues to 409A and 83(b) for example).
The start-up life isn't for everyone. It is a strange path that in which most of the time you feel like your failing, and it is only usually only at the end that you feel vindication for all the hard work. Most of all, as collegiate and tribal as startups are, it is a very lonely road where its hard to find people that you can discuss your angst with and can share the context. That is why books like this one ought to be treasured: it is straight and pragmatic talk about all the milestones you'll ...more
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India 1 2 Jul 20, 2014 11:40AM  
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Brad has been an early stage investor and entrepreneur since 1987. Prior to co-founding Foundry Group, he co-founded Mobius Venture Capital and, prior to that, founded Intensity Ventures. Brad is also a co-founder of Techstars.

In addition to his investing efforts, Brad has been active with several non-profit organizations and currently is chair of the National Center for Women & Information Te
More about Brad Feld...
Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City Startup Life: Surviving and Thriving in a Relationship with an Entrepreneur Startup Boards: Getting the Most Out of Your Board of Directors Burning Entrepreneur: How to Launch, Fund, and Set Your Startup on Fire Startup Boards: Reinventing the Board of Directors to Better Support the Entrepreneur

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“as you'll learn, there really are only two key things that matter in the actual term sheet negotiation—economics and control.” 0 likes
“Failure is a key part of entrepreneurship, but, as with many things in life, attitude impacts outcome” 0 likes
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