Recent Posts By Aaron Harris

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"Angels," Angels, and VCs

by Aaron Harris8/12/2019

I’ve recently noticed an uptick in the number of “angels” that aren’t actuallyangels. These investors are institutional funds (read, LP dollars), the detailsof which aren’t generally disclosed until the founder sees a strange entity nameon the signature lines in the docs.1This is different than investing through a trust or fund that represents aninvestor for legal reasons. This is investors pretending to be individual angelswhen, in reality, they are fronts for groups of investors.

When to Shut Down a Startup

by Aaron Harris7/29/2019

YC Partner and Tutorspree cofounder Aaron Harris onwhen to shut down a startup.Read Aaron’s post On Shutting Down here.

Investor Funnels for Series As

by Aaron Harris5/29/2019

Our third batch of the YC Series A Program is wrapping up and the companies arekicking off fundraising. As we gear up for those raises, we wanted to share somethings we’ve learned.First, an update on Series As at YC.In the last year, YC companies raised over $1.1B across 111 Series As. Thatincludes two Series A batches. Our first batch included 12 companies, 11 ofwhich have either raised their As or are in post-term sheet diligence.

Don’t Over-Optimize Fundraising

by Aaron Harris3/15/2019

It seems to me that many founders approach fundraising as they would a mathproblem. They think that there’s a single correct answer. This usually leads toover-optimization, which is a mistake. Optimization presumes that incrementalchanges improve fundraising and/or company outcomes. It does not.Because fundraising is never the deciding factor in the success of a company,founders should instead look to use a regret minimization function whenfundraising.

A Guide to Preemptive Funding Offers

by Aaron Harris2/7/2019

Funding rounds happen in one of two ways. Either a founder asks for money andgets it, or an investor offers money and the founder accepts it. This may seemsimple, but the dynamics are complicated.I’ve written about how founders should fundraise. However, inrunning YC’s Series A Program, I’ve noticed how many companies raise moneywithout any process at all.

Things We’ve Learned About Series As

by Aaron Harris1/25/2019

One year ago, we announced the Series A program (YCA) to bring moretransparency and consistency to fundraising. Six months ago, we announced thefirst Series A Batch. Here’s how ithas been going, and a bit of what we learned.In the last year, YC companies raised over $945mm across 95 Series As.

YC Series A Program Investor Access

by Aaron Harris1/16/2019

Our second YCA batch is now in session. These companies are about to startfundraising and we want to give more investors the chance to invest in YCcompanies. We’ll be doing that through a new portal we built. We will only beextending invitations to a limited group of Series A investors.These invitations will go out on 1/23.If you’d like access to that system, or to be considered for it in the future, please apply here[