Kai Bond On Dealing With Investors Or Potential Acquirers
For a founder, the journey to a financing or liquidity event can be very stressful. In his conversation with GHOGH host Jamarlin Martin, Kai Bond shares his keys on dealing with investors and potential acquirers and lays out a roadmap for how to make yourself attractive to investors.
Kai is managing partner at Comcast Ventures Catalyst Fund which invests in Black and Latino founding teams at the seed and Series-A stage. Before Comcast, Kai was the general manager of the Samsung Accelerator in New York. A repeat entrepreneur, Kai has founded three companies including pixietv, which was acquired by Samsung in 2014.
On closing deals
Kai stresses the importance of not letting your foot off the pedal of running your business when an opportunity for an acquisition emerges. He talks about a time when a company wanted to acquire his business, and at the last moment pulled out of the deal. While the moment was very disappointing, he had remained focused on the business and was able to get right back to work once the deal fell through.
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 46: Kai Bond
Jamarlin talks to Kai Bond, managing partner at Comcast Ventures Catalyst Fund. They discuss the Fyre Festival being flagged during due diligence and Kai’s observation that most African-American entrepreneurs are under-negotiating. They also discuss a Washington Post article suggesting Facebook is psychopathic.
Kai also highlights how important it is to make sure you’re connecting with the decision-makers to get your deal across the finish line. Kai says he hadn’t connected with the CEO of the potential buyer, creating a gap in his ability to influence the CEO’s decision when choosing between the two companies they were considering.
Are you preparing for a potential acquisition? Here are some resources to help you prepare:
- What You Need To Know About Mergers & Acquisitions: 12 Key Considerations When Selling Your Company
- 18 Key Issues In Negotiating Merger And Acquisition Agreements For Technology Companies
- Demystifying deal making: Lessons from M&A veterans
- 10 key lessons about tech mergers and acquisitions from Cisco’s John Chambers
On researching before pitching
Kai advises entrepreneurs to take the unfortunately overlooked step of researching the investor you plan to pitch. Not doing so, in his words, “That’s just sloppy, right? There’s no excuse for that. You can do that walking from Broadway, Lafayette stop to our office, 250 feet. You could pull up our website and see what we’ve invested in, the last five deals we’ve done. So that’s a red flag for us.”
Not sure how to go about researching a potential investor and prospective client? Here are some resources to get you started:
- How to Really Research Your Investors Before Asking Them for Money
- 18 Places to Research a Prospect Before a Sales Call
- Do You Know About These 6 Creative Ways to Research Prospects Online?
Know your numbers
Finally, Kai advises founders to have a strong understanding of the economics of their business. Founders that don’t have a good handle of their numbers are a red flag for Kai. “When I was a founder, I was living and breathing those numbers every day. That was breakfast, lunch, dinner, midnight snack, looking at and running a custom profile of analytics and trying to figure that out. And to me, if somebody doesn’t understand that as a founder, I feel so distant from them because that just seems so core to the mission.”
Trying to figure out what numbers you should be tracking for your business? Here are some recommended metrics to keep an eye on:
There are so many things to keep track of as a founder. Kai provides helpful advice on things like not letting up on running your business, doing your research on investors, and knowing your numbers to make sure you don’t put your business in a bad spot. Let’s GHOGH!
Kwame Som-Pimpong leverages relentless research, a knack for connecting dots, human-centered design approach, and effective communications strategy to help organizations realize their strategic objectives. Over a 10-year career, Kwame has supercharged grassroots political organizing efforts, assessed the effectiveness of U.S. federal agencies, managed an international program, founded a digital media startup, and advised government agencies on delighting their end-users. He earned a BA in Political Science from Davidson College and Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.