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How to grow an European startup in the USA – Dos and Don’ts

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How to grow an European startup in the USA – Dos and Don’ts

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“How to grow a global startup in the USA - Dos and Don’ts of doing business as an European founder”

We'll try to cover all the basics, like choosing the right time, picking a location, handling bureaucracy, and getting local funding. and many more.

“How to grow a global startup in the USA - Dos and Don’ts of doing business as an European founder”

We'll try to cover all the basics, like choosing the right time, picking a location, handling bureaucracy, and getting local funding. and many more.

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How to grow an European startup in the USA – Dos and Don’ts

  1. 1. How to grow a global startup in the USA Dos and Don’t Markus Wagner, 15th of Sept. 2015 CEO - i5growth Inc. (Palo Alto), Chairmen of Adv. Board - i5invest capital (Austria/Vienna)
  2. 2. 2 | 17/09/2015 That‘s us CEE Austria:  M&A and later stage bridge or secondary capital in CEE  First money in investments in CEE companies with US potential  Fundraising  Corporate Development  Wanna join – Looking for M&A trainees! USA (San Francisco/Palo Alto):  US MARKET ENTRY / BUILDING STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS  European START-UPs  European Later stage tech companies  Growth hacking, marketing US  HR US  Looking for an US cofounder?
  3. 3. 3 | 17/09/2015 Portfolio Overview M&A and “First money in” - investments
  4. 4. US vs. Europe
  5. 5. 5 | 17/09/2015 MUCH MORE MONEY, MUCH BIGGER MARKET BIP Austria 2014: US$ bln 437
  6. 6. 6 | 17/09/2015 MUCH HIGHER VALUATIONS 17/09/2015 Factors that should be considered when talking about a bubble Interest rates are basically 0% Total tech investments incl. M&A close to 2000 Rising pre-money values IPOs with negative Earnings Rising tech salaries We are in Europe (with still big global potential) BUT: We need to improve the ecosystem and create serial entrepreneurs with international exits 1 2 5 3 4 - 2,000.0 4,000.0 6,000.0 8,000.0 0 200 400 600 800 Tech investments Number of Deals Investments (USD in m) 2 4 0 20 40 60 80 100 The percentage of IPOs with negative earnings 3 0 20 40 60 80 100 Pre-Money Valuations Later Round Second Round First Round (USD in m) 5 86000 88000 90000 92000 94000 96000 98000 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Software Engineer Base Salary (USD) Source: i5invest analysis, PwC, DJ VentureSource, Jay R. Ritter / Business Insider and Glassdoor / BI.
  7. 7. 7 | 17/09/2015 9/17/2015 66% 0.00 0.50 1.00 1.50 2.00 2.50 3.00 Europe USA Enterprise Value / Sales - Jan 2015 Enterprise Value / Sales How do capital markets look at Internet Companies? Source: Capital IQ & i5invest Analysis US-based companies trade at a 66% premium above their peers in Europe. Companies in the Anglo-Saxon Region trade at higher multiples in general. Does being in the US add value for the sake of being in the US? 0.00 1.00 2.00 3.00 4.00 5.00 6.00 - 1,000.0 2,000.0 3,000.0 4,000.0 5,000.0 6,000.0 7,000.0 8,000.0 9,000.0 10,000.0 United Internet AG (DB:UTDI) Yandex N.V. (NasdaqGS:YNDX) Telecity Group plc (LSE:TCY) Top 3 "European" Enterprise Value EV / Revenues 0.00 2.00 4.00 6.00 8.00 10.00 12.00 14.00 16.00 18.00 - 50,000.0 100,000.0 150,000.0 200,000.0 250,000.0 300,000.0 350,000.0 Google Inc. (NasdaqGS:GOOGL) Facebook, Inc. (NasdaqGS:FB) eBay Inc. (NasdaqGS:EBAY) Top 3 American Enterprise Value EV / Revenues What are the big players and their valuations? USD in bn MUCH MORE & BIGGER COMPANIES
  8. 8. 8 | 17/09/2015 Macro trend “Digital Globalization” • It never was that easy to go international • It never was that easy for GLOBAL COMPETION to steal your customers locally  If you want to build an sustainable company, you need to go international. If you want to go international (other than copy cat businesses and markets) – you need to go the US. If you aren’t there, you are irrelevant = not successful (ps.: definitely not the whole company needs to be there) NO OTHER OPTION TO GO THERE
  9. 9. Why startups come the US: 1. Fundraising 2. Doing Business 3. Selling the Company
  10. 10. Fundraising in the US?
  11. 11. 11 | 17/09/2015 What are investors looking for? 1. Amazing management team 2. Sources of credibility & trust: known team-members, angels, accelerators, … 3. Huge market size 4. Right cap table 5. HQ Office location: US / Silicon Valley / SF, Visa issues: none 6. User traction, great growth 7. Revenues - proof of revenue potential Your competitor’s founder team most likely looks like: …and raised US$ 5mln+ from Andressen Horowitz
  12. 12. 12 | 17/09/2015 You will find great startups from all over the world there Hundreds of accelerators, incubators Tens of thousands of startups Thousands of founder teams of ex-googlers, facebook, NASA, Tesla, Microsoft, EA, …
  13. 13. So, what do Americans think about Austrian tech companies?
  14. 14. 14 | 17/09/2015 …first thought
  15. 15. 15 | 17/09/2015 …second thought  You must not be an Austrian company, you need to be a company that is doing business in the US
  16. 16. Doing business in the US
  17. 17. 17 | 17/09/2015 Doing business in the US Step 1: Testing the waters / product market fit / building knowledge / fact finding / inspiration a) Go-Silicon Valley Program (WKO) 1-3 Month b) Individual trip (i.e. conference as trigger) going there for 2-3 weeks Step 2: Business Dev. Presence • Setup structure (subsidiary or HQ/flip, visa, tax, budget) • Building Business dev presence (exec, or someone you really trust, otherwise you get screwed) • Make money, look for partnerships, do business, gather world class expertise, learn new tricks, adopt strategic positioning • Tier 1 - Acclerator? Step 3: Serious presence • Business dev, sales, key account, marketing, product management, growth hacking
  18. 18. Fundraising and M&A - once you built business, traction and the network, you can do it
  19. 19. Come prepared
  20. 20. 20 | 17/09/2015 Where to go (go where the business is) NYC: Some finTech, ad Agencies, adTech, Media Companies LA: Agencies, Media Companies  LA Seattle: Microsoft Texas: HW, Datacenters, Network (Houston, Austin) SF/Valley: finTech, adTech, deepTech, Space, bigData, travel, education, biotech, payment, wearable, analytics, pharma, medTech, HW, Datacenters, Apps, gaming, …  global companies from all over the world Young, single, party, b2c, apps (VC, accelerators) Family, house/garden, Stanford, hardware, deep tech, b2b, b2c (VC, accelerators) Older, family, house/garden, network, storage, semiconductor, hw, deep tech, b2b
  21. 21. 21 | 17/09/2015 Come prepared 1/2 1. Create a great linkedin presence (premium) 2. Create a great Angel.co presence 3. Create a great crunchbase presence 4. Choose a time of interesting industry events 5. Look for the right place to work (bay vs. SF, …) 6. Look out for interesting accelerator programs 7. Look out for experts, evangelists in your space, they might become angels later 8. Meet competitors, connect with peers 9. Meet former employees of competitors and potential future team members 10.Act as you always have been there 11.Bring a unlocked phone, multiple credit cards (or check) 12.Bring English business cards, pitch deck, train the pitch
  22. 22. 22 | 17/09/2015 Come prepared 2/2 13.Watch silicon valley show: http://www.hbo.com/silicon-valley#/ 14.Start-up Class from Y Combinator Sam Altman in Stanford: http://startupclass.samaltman.com/ 15.Reading Advice: http://www.amazon.com/Zero- One-Notes-Startups-Future/dp/0804139296 16.Start to read techcrunch frequently 17.Watch great company pitches on youtube, i.e. TechCrunch Disrupt 18.Learn about growth hacking: #500Distro https://www.youtube.com/user/500startups 19.Look for the right meetups (www.meetup.com) 20.Go Silicon Valley - Austrian Pavilion Group DROP ME A LINE - THANK YOU!
  23. 23. Wondering if its the right time for your startup to test US/global waters? Look for US co-founders? Want join a global M&A and business dev team? Planning a trip to the valley?

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