New Early-Stage Funding Nomenclature: The Color

I propose a new early-stage funding nomenclature. Talking in terms of millions of dollars is both too specific and too fuzzy to be useful. Even when you know the amount, it’s hard to put it in context without knowing everything else being funded right now. We need a new system normalized to the current world of seed and Series A venture financing.

Enter the “color”. Based on the recent $41m financing of Color.com by Sequoia and Bain, I propose a system whereby “color” would be the base unit. We would then use metric prefixes to describe financings larger, smaller, etc than that amount.

For those of you unfamiliar with metric (read: Americans), it would work like this:

10 microcolors = 1 millicolor ($41,000)
10 millicolors = 1 centicolor ($410k)
10 centicolors = 1 decicolor ($4.1m)
10 decicolors = 1 color ($41m)
10 colors = 1 dekacolor ($410m)
10 dekacolors = 1 hectocolor ($4.1b)
10 hectocolors = 1 kilocolor ($41b)

So, rather than saying company XYZ raised $20m, we would henceforth say it raised about 50 centicolors, or 0.5 colors, whatever you’re comfortable with. I think it’s easier to say 50 centicolors in cases like that, but the the Financing System Internationale (FSI) would provide that flexibility. Similarly a small seed financing of $50k would be 1.1 millicolors. You see? Much better. [-]

[Kudos to Eric Norlin who did some of the foundational research underlying this new system.]

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  1. The Early Stage Venture Investment Trap
  2. Universities and the Further Perils of Early-Stage IP Investing
  3. Favorite Three Questions for Early-Stage Companies
  4. Time-to-Greatness at Early-Stage Companies
  5. The End of the Early-Stage IPO