The Seraf Compass

Timing Is Everything: Angel Investing Success

The Seraf Compass

Ask a great investor what factors are most critical in his/her success in selecting investments and you will probably hear some variation on the following list: Great Team, Great Idea, Huge Market Opportunity, and Innovative Business Model.

Early Stage Investment Syndication: Key Issues

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A very common practice in the investment world is syndication. Syndication allows multiple investors -- whether they be individuals, angel groups, VC funds, etc. -- to join together and provide the funding resources needed by one company.

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Stock Warrants: Sweetening the Deal for Angel Investors

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? One of the less understood and seldom used instruments in angel investing is the stock warrant. Warrants are essentially the same as the more familiar stock option. Both are a contractual right to buy a certain amount of stock at some point in the future, at a price agreed upon now

Rule #1 in Angel Investing - It’s All About the Team

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Great ideas are a dime a dozen. Living in the Boston/Cambridge area, we are surrounded by some of the most innovative researchers in the world working at institutions like MIT and Harvard.

The Best Sales Forecasting Models for Weathering Your Goals

Every sales forecasting model has a different strength and predictability method. It’s recommended to test out which one is best for your team. This way, you’ll be able to further enhance – and optimize – your newly-developed pipeline. Your future sales forecast? Sunny skies (and success) are just ahead!

Angel Investing in Challenging Times

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It’s amazing how the world economic situation changed seemingly overnight with Covid-19. One moment we were enjoying a healthy economy with a robust outlook on the future. Suddenly, a pandemic crisis sweeps over the globe creating uncertainty in all aspects of our lives.

Staging Capital: Angel Follow-on Theory

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Most startup companies have a continuous need for funds to help grow the business. You will hear the term “Follow-on” as a frequent catchphrase for this type of investing. For example, it’s common to hear one investor say to another, are you planning on “following-on” in this round?

Key US Federal Tax Issues for Angel Investors

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As we all know, the United States IRS tax code is extremely complex. Because the code includes some provisions directly affecting angel investing, understanding the tax rules is important for US-based angel investors. There are significant tax savings for angel investors who understand the rules

Not My Cup of Tea - Some Business Types Are A Better Fit for Angels

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Why do web and software businesses seem to get investment traction while real, down-to-earth business and manufacturing-intensive companies flounder to raise capital? It has to do with the type of investor model involved. The investor model has to match the type of company

Seraf Co-Founder Appointed to SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee

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We are proud to share that Seraf Co-founder Christopher Mirabile was recently appointed to the SEC's Investor Advisory Committee.

B2B Pocket Playbook: End-to-End Guide to Sales Enablement

Sales enablement is the strategic process of providing sales teams with the content, guidance, and mentorship needed to engage targeted buyers. It’s all about equipping sales professionals with the tools they need to put their best-selling foot forward. And if sales teams want to continuously sell better -- and faster -- their sales enablement process must have a game-winning strategy. It's time for you to start selling smarter - and hitting your sales number - with the best B2B database in the market. Get started today.

A Letter to CEOs: Encouragement and Advice

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As a follow-up to our message on Angel Investing in Challenging Times, Christopher and I tasked Raza with putting together an update and perspective piece for the CEOs of our portfolio companies. The letter outlines our thoughts on some of the challenges they will face in the near term.

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Fine Print: Understanding Key Deal Terms and How They Can Affect Your Returns

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It’s exciting news! The CEO of one of your investments tells you that a buyer expressed serious interest in acquiring her company for $30M.

Look Before You Leap - The Importance of Due Diligence In Angel Investing

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? There are as many different approaches to angel investing as there are investors. Some investors will tell you they invest based on their gut. After a 30 minute meeting with the entrepreneur, they are either in or out.

What's Your Core Investing Philosophy?

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Seraf Co-Founder Christopher Mirabile interviews several experienced angel investors from around the country to ask: What's Your Core Investing Philosophy?

Pressure Points: How to Ensure Your B2B Pipeline Passes Inspection

This eBook highlights best practices for developing a pipeline management process that helps sales leaders and their team C.L.O.S.E (you’ll see what we mean in this eBook) more revenue through data-driven prospecting, stage analysis, and subsequent sales enablement.

Spade Work: How Early Stage Board Directors Add Value

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Over the past few years, there has been much talk about the importance of investing both financial and human capital into the rapidly expanding entrepreneurial ecosystem. From our perspective, human capital is as important as financial capital in driving the long term success of startup companies.

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Key Risks of Angel Investing

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? Early stage investing is an inherently risky way to invest. The list of high level risks is long and includes financing risk, technical risk, and market risk. As angel investors, you need to be aware of the key risks you are taking with your investment

Angel 201: 4 Critical Skills Every Angel Investor Should Master

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Angel investing started to break into the mainstream in popular American culture in the early 2000s. It started with stories of individuals striking it rich from investments in companies like eBay, Yahoo, PayPal and Google.

Impact Investing: Best Reads and Podcasts

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Whether you are an experienced impact investor or just starting to explore the space, reading and listening to experts' perspectives can help expand your knowledge and provide new insights.

Marketing-Led Post-COVID-19 Growth Strategies

Businesses are laying off workers, shutting their doors (some permanently), and struggling to react to the radical destruction that coronavirus (COVID-19) is doing to our society and communities. Most have already sustained massive damage, and we still have yet to see the scope of impact of the global pandemic that has upended the globe. Any return to normalcy may seem far-off, but sales and marketing are on the front lines of restarting the economy. When the dust settles, we have a responsibility to turn our shock and grief into fierce determination, and lead the charge of responsible, strategic, sustainable future growth. However, there’s no team better suited to lead that charge than the marketing department. Marketers are uniquely positioned to provide creative solutions to aid their organization in times of change and chart a course for navigating success.

Angel Investing War Stories: Roller Coaster Rides and Lessons Learned

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One of the best parts about angel investing is all the great stories you gather over the years.

Scavenger Hunt: What To Look For In A Pitch Deck

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Deciding whether to invest in a good idea is hard. Even when its potential is clearly explained. Trying to make that evaluation without a solid explanation is an exercise in needless frustration.

Oxygen, Aspirin or Jewelry: Which Makes a Better Investment?

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Entrepreneurs fall in love with their products. It’s no surprise… their product is their idea and as they nurture it, it becomes like a child to them, and who doesn’t love their child!?

Read This First - An Entrepreneur’s Library

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Investing in early-stage companies is investing in entrepreneurs. Understanding how they measure up is partly a function of understanding how they think, or should think. Entrepreneurship has come a long way toward being a better-understood and accessible way of life.

How ZoomInfo Helps Overcome the Top Pain Points of Inside Sales

Recent digital transformation has shifted the B2B landscape by ushering in the era of buyer empowerment. With more access to user reviews, analyst opinion, and industry research, decision-makers are more informed than ever while navigating what is now known as the “buyer’s journey.”

How to Apply the 3 P's to Selecting Angel Investments

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The first approach we recommend for selecting investable companies is to screen each company by examining the Team, Market Opportunity and Product. That’s a great way to sift through hundreds of companies to find the few diamonds in the rough. But for serious angels with more solid prospects than they can possibly invest in, a second filter is needed

Seismic Forces Driving The Growth of Angel Investing

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It feels like there is more written about angel investing lately than ever before. This form of early-stage investing seems to be having its 15 minutes of fame. Is it a passing fad? I don’t think so.

Paper Chase - Tips and Hacks For Dealing with Angel Investing Paperwork and Communications

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Before Christopher joined the world of angel investing, he spent much of his early career as a corporate lawyer working in-house for a NASDAQ listed enterprise software company. The pace of customer and strategic deals and corporate housekeeping activities was unrelenting.

When Money is Not Enough: Angel Roles & Human Capital

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? When entrepreneurs seek out angel investors, the majority are looking for financial capital. Very few entrepreneurs understand the importance of finding smart investors who will invest both Financial and Human Capital. Read on for a look at what roles angel investors can perform for a startup company

Marketing Ops: The New Revenue Hero

As data continues to play a starring role in today’s B2B organizations, both marketing and sales operations professionals are poised to solidify their place as critical revenue drivers. In particular, the evolution of the Marketing Operations (Ops) role has created a new standard in marketing and has become a vital component of an organization’s success.

Apples, Oranges and Rotten Tomatoes: Owning A Diverse Portfolio

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I believe building a diverse portfolio is critical to success as an angel investor. But when I first sat down to write an article on diversification of angel investments, I knew right away I was facing a serious challenge. Numerous articles have been written on aspects of this topic

Preparing for the Inevitable: Angel Investors, Death & Taxes

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Things don’t always go exactly as planned in life or in angel investing. And just as in life, with angel investing, it pays to be prepared. So here are some thoughts on planning for the inevitable, and how to prevent catastrophes by fitting your angel investments into your estate plan from the beginning

Top Early Stage Investing Articles of 2019

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We have an annual tradition of bringing you the best early stage investing articles of the year, handpicked by our Co-Founders Hambleton Lord and Christopher Mirabile. Here are a few of our favorite, most interesting and informative pieces we read in 2019, in no particular order.

Impact Investing Conferences: 2020 Preview, Plus Full 2019 Review

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Impact investing is still a nascent, rapidly evolving field—which means professionals have to work extra hard to stay on top of best practices, news, and trends. One of the best ways to do this is to attend an industry conference.

What We Learned From Our Own Data-Driven ABM Strategy

ZoomInfo has created the following eBook to help other B2B organizations gain insights on how to launch their own data-driven ABM strategy. In this eBook, we will reveal the good and the bad from our own campaign and highlight some key takeaways on how to improve your ABM strategies moving forward.

Demystifying the Internal Rate of Return Measurement

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A lot of angels bandy the term IRR about, but its actual meaning and use sometimes feels like the question people are too embarrassed to ask. So to save everyone any awkwardness I’ve asked Christopher to take us through a quick review of the concept of Internal Rate of Return

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