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Investment process

Do you invest in particular areas or industries?

We are currently focused on science-intensive innovations across a variety of verticals, including Artificial Intelligence, FinTech, Robotics, Big Data, Cloud, Consumer Mobile, Advertising, and Autonomous Vehicles. However, we are entrepreneurial in the way we allocate our capital and we are open to exploring opportunities from other industries as well, so don’t get discouraged if your startup doesn’t fall into those categories!

What is your investment process and how long does it take?

We are a small team of investors, so we can be flexible and proactive depending on mutual interests. However, the less time we have to make a decision, the more certainty about the company’s success we have to have. All in all, the answer varies case by case. There are some basic steps everyone goes through. Here’s what you can expect:

1. Initial review: Every startup undergoes an initial review process. Our investment team will review your investor presentation and we’ll determine whether the business fits our basic investment criteria - whether the field of operations is appealing to us, the market is attractive enough, what the team has accomplished, how ready is the product, etc. Most of our screening occurs during this initial review process.

2. Initial meeting: Your first meeting (or phone call) will be with a member of our investment team - our organization is flat and a call with any member carries the same value. We let the founder do most of the talking, and hope they use the opportunity to dig into the specifics of their team, business and product or technology. We also will respond to any additional questions the founder has about GVA Capital. This usually lasts 30 to 45 minutes.

3. Second meeting (If necessary): If you’ve made it past that meeting, you’ll sit down with another team member. This is our chance to focus on particular areas of the business where we have questions.

4. Follow-up (If necessary): We make all decisions as a team. We will often introduce promising founders to an Investment Director or Managing Partner for an additional conversation to ensure that all questions are addressed.

5. Due diligence: If these conversations go well for both of us, we will proceed to the due diligence phase where we will make reference/diligence calls and invite you to meet for a more in-depth diligence session. You will be provided with a due diligence checklist with items we’ll be looking for during our review. This is the final step in the process before a decision to invest is made.

6. Final Decision: After the diligence is over, our team will discuss your company in great detail with the goal to give you a final answer usually within 24 hours of the meeting.


Selection criteria

Do you invest outside of the United States

Yes, we review all the investment opportunities independently of the country of origin. If you are an early-stage startup based outside of the U.S. and looking into U.S. expansion, we can also connect you to our team at HACKT - a landing program and hardcore business development engine for foreign startups in Silicon Valley.

How do you weigh different criteria in your decision-making process?

No, we do not value different criteria differently as we look your whole story in its entirety. When going through our decision-making process we will look very closely at the team, the importance and potential of the problem you aspire to solve, and your technology.

However, we put probably the biggest emphasis on the product or service that you are creating. Is it just the raw idea? Do you have a beta version? Do you have customer traction? We highly value entrepreneurs that have rolled up their sleeves to prove the value of their products and have actually built something. Your customers’ feedback is the best feedback!


Terms

Do you have a strict ownership requirements?

No. We like to own enough of the company to make sure that we can dedicate meaningful time and resources to help you build.

Will you sign my confidentiality agreement / NDA ?

We will not sign an NDA just to see your pitch deck. We understand you might be sensitive to sharing your idea, but think about the following: requiring us to sign an NDA stops you from getting valuable feedback about the solution to the problem, which most likely will need refinement and criticism. So, instead of focusing on the idea itself, focus on the problem it's trying to solve.

If we are going to do a deep dive on the technical part of your innovation or the code itself, and there is something completely novel, then you can use an NDA as we’ll be looking at everything you're doing.

Will GVA Capital only ivest if it can lead the round?

We don’t necessarily require a lead position. However, if we are interested in the investment opportunity it’s in our best interest to have a meaningful stake in every company in order to be able to spend enough time to assist the founders. We have a long track record of partnering with outstanding VCs and angels.

What's the average round size GVA Capital participates in?

Most of the rounds we’re a part of range from $1M to $7M, but we’ve gone lower and higher in some cases.

How much do you usually invest in a new company?

Typically, our initial investment in a startup ranges from $50K to $350K, but we’ve gone higher and lower in some cases, depending on the nature of the startup (hardware vs software), type of round (bridge, seed or series A), company’s potential and investment criteria of the round. We support our companies with follow-on investments. We can also invite other investors on board and help you fundraise.


What's it like to work with us

What makes GVA Capital different?

We are not your daddy’s typical Venture Capital firm. We are a “startup” VC - opportunistic, risk-takers and pretty fearless.

We can find a way to close a $20M deal while managing a microfund. We can open a hedge fund because it’s fun and a great learning opportunity. We can create a landing program for foreign entrepreneurs because we believe in their mission. We can obtain a broker-dealer license because why not. We can travel all the way to Kazakhstan because we heard they were making something cool in transportation. We can negotiate with a whole power plant to cut the costs for our startups to test their product line. We can even buy a an old Catholic church because it looks awesome and save it from demolition. In fact, we did. We can do a lot because we’re different.

How do you help your companies?

1.Global Business Development: We have access to extensive resources that can help with R&D, manufacturing, and testing products overseas while substantially cutting costs. Through our parent company and our own network we also have direct connections to customer and partner relationships for global business development on every continent.

2.Advice - experts: Over several years we’ve been working with a wide range of experts across a multitude of industries and markets, including engineers, scientists, strategists, CEO’s, sales and marketing professionals, product designers and influencers, just to name a few. So, when you need help, we find you the right person from our network to help you with your issues over a coffee chat or a series of meetings.

3.Co-investors / fundraising: If you give us permission, we will pitch your startup to our partner VC’s and Angel Investors inside and outside of Silicon Valley. We believe in our founders and always promote them in any way possible. We will screen for investors that best fit for your company, pitch them your startup and write a compelling intro disclosing our commitment.

4.Strategy: We play an active role in our entrepreneurs’ endeavours. We focus on building a community, not just a network. We are hackers, engineers, product designers, entrepreneurs, investors and just very badass overachievers who made it to Silicon Valley from all over the world. As successful global entrepreneurs ourselves, we are always happy to help with brainstorming sessions and pitch deck formation. We dedicate time to meet our founders and be that additional pair of eyes to screen through your work, coach you through interpersonal challenges within your team, identify your product roadmap and help with whatever we can.

5. Hiring: Hiring for your startup is the hardest thing to do. It’s harder than fundraising or building your first product. We are happy to help you with our vast network in Silicon Valley and outside of it, from writing intros or providing trusted leads to people whom we believe in and who are searching for a job.


Reaching out

I want to email you. Where can I do that?

You can send pitch decks to giveitashot@gva.capital and general questions to sorrynopitchdeck@gva.capital. It might take us a while to get back to you, but we’ll do our best!

If you are interested in our HACKT landing program, reach out to our HACKT team at info@hackt.com.

Where are you offices?

GVA Capital - San Francisco (906 Broadway San Francisco CA 94177)
GVA Capital - Sunnyvale (Plug and Play Tech Center, 440 N Wolfe Road Sunnyvale CA)

How shoud I get in touch with GVA Capital?

We value referrals from people leading and employed by GVA Capital portfolio companies, partner VC firms for co-investing, angel investors, industry experts, or other entrepreneurs. It gives us more data to work with.

A direct referral will get a quicker response, but don’t hesitate emailing us yourself (contact details can be found at the bottom of the page). We believe that good ideas can come from anywhere. Our team reviews every investment opportunity regardless of how we received them.