CRV QuickStart == CRV QuickMarketing

It’s nice that Charles River Ventures is getting some press for offering loans to early-stage companies, but this is more of a marketing exercise than a financial one. Most venture firms have been offering convertible notes for ages — yes, sometimes even at the seed stage — so forgive me if I don’t get too worked up about CRV getting a little press for the practise.

[Update] Tim has some good comments here, including a useful perspective from Bryce at OATV.

Comments

  1. If that is the case why does this seem like something new? It is not something I have heard specifically mentioned before, personal ignorance aside.
    While I have heard of negotiating converible debt rather than using equity for funding, is that the same as having a dedicated product aimed directly at this market (seed stage, prototype build out)?
    Any pointers to others offering this kind of product would be interesting to hear about.

  2. Paul,
    It is certainly not something new that a VC would offer a bridge note to Series A … however, I do think the new here is that they formalized the process. Also, that they dropped the B/S of trying to tie it to a Series A valuation and terms.
    I posted here on the topic, and linked to several others that offered interesting perspective on the CRV program.

  3. You’re missing the big picture, theyve formalized and streamlined a process for getting seed investments done. In the past when venture firms did seed investments, they were more as one offs or for “friends of the firm”.
    I also think a big part of this is the fact that they have made the standard terms public on their site. Reduces the amount of information asymmetry in the negotiation process.