How Valor Invests: 2018

Valor Ventures will make 4-5 investments in 2018. Here's how you can be one of them.

We love to partner with pioneers with a plan.

At ValorVC, our purpose is activating real-world innovation through financial discipline and entrepreneurial empowerment. We partner with returns-driven investors who want transformational results. Headquartered in Atlanta, we are an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in software companies headquartered outside of Silicon Valley growing at >25%Our venture platform attracts top founders by adding value and has three scalable components:

1) Our monthly Trial Trailblazer program attracts founders who want to trial their software with the major enterprise customers who sit on our Innovation Council.

2) Valor’s Startup Runway Foundation earns first looks at the top 10% of minority and women founders in the Southeast. Startup Runway is the largest pitch event for women and minority founders in the region. 40% of tech founders are women or minority yet they receive < 10% of venture capital.

3) Our Real-world Innovation Spotlight program brings our portfolio to New York and San Francisco for targetting campaigns around meeting top global media and next potential investors. This allows our founders leverage the best of both worlds: great access to opportunity combined with great cost of living back home, at headquarters.

When we make an investment, a founder joins our family of portfolio firms and we put you on our Valor growth platform.

The ValorVC platform does three things:

  1. Customer Insight. Our monthly Trial Trailblazer program connects large company CIOs, CMOs, and COOs with emerging software on a monthly process. We are proud to know we kick off pilots and betas for our startups every month through our Innovation Council.
  2. Startup Spotlight. Every fall, we host a NYC media tour that introduces our founders to top national media in their industry.
  3. Investor Insight. We know we may be your first investor, but we’re probably not your last. Through our network of quality, professional software investors, including the Kauffman Network of “top 5% investors,” we help you set up your next raise before you need it.

Here’s a deeper look at how we’re investing in 2018.

Stage and age–early, but not concept

We’re data-driven early stage investors. Because we’re looking at data, the stage we’re investing in is crystal clear: you have customers who pay you for a product that works. Even though you dream of a bigger, better product, and lots more customers, where you are today is clearly on the map. It’s not an idea. For a few early customers, you’ve already become a destination. We’re looking for companies that have 25% month over month growing MRR in a SaaS or PaaS model.

Valor and judges at Startup Runway

Your early customers are raging fans. You’re doing something so right it can never be done any other way once a customer has touched your approach. This is not just your belief, but it’s the market’s reaction as well in the first few quarters of your sales.

Where

We invest exclusively outside of Silicon Valley. We call it the venture frontier. We know the frontier is where history is made. So far, we’ve invested in Atlanta, GA; Effingham, IL; Brooklyn, NY; and Austin, TX. To make sure we can support our founders, the closer you are to Atlanta, the better.

Why

The best way to build the future is “to invent it.” We’re investing to make money and to make a future that’s more enjoyable for all of us through smarter tech. Thus, the valuation we invest in matters.  We’re looking to partner with founders at a fair value, relative to their progress in the market at the time of investment. From there, we can and will help them scale with capital and connections.

Who

We’re focused on the early-stage software founder with a hypergrowth software business.

We are one of the only venture firms that benchmarks our pipeline to make sure see all the active opportunities at our age and stage of investment.

Our stance in the market has gotten attention from tech founders from all types of backgrounds who are looking for a high value-add early stage investor/partner.

From our unique, full-spectrum pipeline, it makes sense that our growing portfolio is diverse, inclusive, and incredibly high growth. We don’t believe in diversity pledges.  Commitment to inclusion lives in actions, not hashtags.

What

Our partnership has strong beliefs, always updating as the future arrives, about software and what’s going to make a difference.  Our convictions are not the mainstream mania. If you’d like to know what we think, read our blog, The Real Deal, or come see us at a Valor event. We invest in:

  • B2B software–your customer is primarily a business
  • Currently growing 25%+ month over month
  • No fashion, un-virtualizable hardware, pure ecommerce, or pure B2C startups

How

We write Series Seed and Series A term sheets. We develop a real, fact-based, face-to-face longterm relationship with founders, often participating on their board and bringing consistent product support and enterprise sales connection through our lifetime as an investor.

“Forget what you know about buying fair businesses at wonderful prices; instead, buy wonderful businesses at fair prices,” says Warren Buffet.

It could not be truer today when there are thousands of wonderful businesses created every year in the United States–and few of them have the twin discipline of fair prices. Without that, the wonderful part of their business fades fast.  Our term sheets are short, founder-friendly, to the point, and focused on financials. Love to share one with you if you’re building something like we’ve described.