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The Thanksgiving Issue - Announcing SignalRank Corporation

The Thanksgiving Issue - Announcing SignalRank Corporation
By Keith Teare • Issue #285 • View online
This week my new FinTech startup, SignalRank Corp, closed a $5m funding round. The company is focused on changing the rules of seed investing in favor of seed-stage companies and their seed investor. As more and more Decacorns are born, how do the early risk-takers secure their legacy?

Contents
Editorial
This is Thanksgiving. And I have a lot to be thankful for. My family, my health. And, not least, the 4000 or so people who subscribe to That Was The Week on Revue. And also the 5000 plus who subscribe to the Linkedin version of That Was The Week and the 20,000 who follow it on Medium. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, and thank you. Having almost 30,000 weekly readers is a wonderful antidote to my tendency to procrastinate. Every Thursday I collect my thoughts and get to write for a really smart group of people and that makes me want to do a good job.
This week I have something else to be thankful for. In last week’s video, I dropped that SignalRank Corporation has successfully closed a round of financing. The company raised $5m plus in seed financing with a wonderful group of investors.
With investors associated with Softbank, Tiger Global, KKR, Blackrock, Dodge & Cox, Benchmark Europe (Balderton), and others we feel that the next phase for the company is set on solid foundations.
The founding team has been working together for over 12 months and represents many of the areas we will need to excel at.
SignalRank is a FinTech company in the venture space. Its vision is to help seed investors and startups build deeper, longer, relationships as the number of unicorns and decacorns explodes. As funding rounds happen faster, and at accelerated valuation increments, seed investors face new challenges in the context of expanded opportunities.
SignalRank’s CTO and head of data science, Shawn Purcell, is credited with involvement in Netflix’s algorithm development, in Amazon’s A9 search engine, and most recently as part of Twitter’s data analytics efforts. He is leading the development of two algorithms used at SignalRank to aid in the formation of partnerships. These are called GPRank ™ and CompanyRank™.
Kayvan Baroumand was founding COO at Plug and Play and CEO at Nest GSV. His relationships with Angels, Seed fund managers, and VCs are second to none. These are our future partners.
Rob Hodgkinson, a fellow Brit here in the Bay Area, with backgrounds at Rothschild Ventures and Beringea has experience in allocating capital to early-stage opportunities in partnership with investors in those companies.
Matt Melkonian has over 2 decades of capital management and allocation. He is COO at SignalRank. And Jonathan Gottehrer has a two-decades-long set of experiences in raising capital for major projects.
I am thankful for their participation.
So what is SignalRank? Our Crunchbase profile says
SignalRank Corporation is a FinTech company in the Venture space. It focuses on the seed stage asset class and uses data analytics to allocate capital to the best seed fund managers for their top performing companies. GPRank and CompanyRank are two proprietary algorithms it leverages to automate capital allocation. The company invests from balance sheet. Its customers are seed stage investors with outstanding companies in their portfolio.“
There is a lot more that could be said but that is for later. In short, our plan is to raise up to $1 billion through several phases and invest it as an allocator using automated algorithms that are transparent to our partners.
We will work through partnerships. We will not be making direct investments into companies, but always through those partnerships. We are an operating company, not a fund.
We plan to list Signalrank within a reasonable time frame. At that time, ordinary investors will be able to own our shares as a way of owning stakes in high-growth private companies far earlier than would normally be the case, but without much of the risk normally associated with owning stock in private companies. Alex Wilhelm at Techcrunch talks about Sequoia’s changes in the context of “permanent capital” this week. SignalRank at maturity will be a special kind of permanent capital for the seed stage ecosystem.
Our initial product will be rolled out during the first part of 2022 and will then be visible on our website. If this editorial is not clear on what that’ll be, that is by design. We can talk more about it once it is in place. But, if you are a seed investor, start talking to us now. We can be reached at info@signalrank.co, linked on our website.
This week’s news is almost exclusively about developments in venture capital. Crunchbase’s Gené Teare (yes my wife) writes two fabulous pieces about the rise of Decacorns.
The trend is clear
And the number of investors benefitting is long
Read Gené’s writing to drill down. But the short story is that the best companies are raising more capital at higher valuations in shorter timeframes than ever before. This is driven by the ubiquity of cloud and mobile computing. Almost any human being can be a customer of a startup. And so growth happens on a scale previously unseen. Company valuations are the consequences of that.
It’s a great time to be a seed investor. It is also a great time to build a startup. The rise of growth investing accelerates those trends and creates new challenges and opportunities. SignalRank is trying to be part of solving the challenges and realizing the opportunities.
So once again, happy thanksgiving to you all, and to my new colleagues and investors.
Video
The Thanksgiving Issue
The Thanksgiving Issue
The Year Of The Decacorn: 2021 Shatters Records For Number Of New Startups Valued At $10B+
Adventure Capitalism
As Sequoia changes its model, other permanent-capital VCs weigh in - TechCrunch
The solo GP's rise in Europe: Why venture capitalists go solo - Sifted
More Institutional Investors Embrace Crypto VCs as Pantera Capital Raises $600 Million
Tiger Global: How to Win
VC Firm Hambro Perks Eyes First London SPAC Listing Under New Rules - Bloomberg
For Founders
10 Questions to Ask Before You Believe in a Business Model
When it comes to fundraising, you’re more important than you think
Startup of the Week
2021 PitchBook university rankings: Top 50 colleges for founders - Hint it's California First
Tweet of the Week
Maren Bannon
Key metrics for a Saas startup to raise Series A:

ARR: $2-2.5m
YoY growth: 3-4x
Gross margin: 70-80%
New logo ARR: $100-200k

More details in this great post from @AldaLeuDennis
https://t.co/97tv98uklF
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Keith Teare

That Was The Week is a editorialized and curated weekly look at developments in tech, startups and investing

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Keith Teare, Palo Alto, California