The Startup Velocity Question

Sramana Mitra
2 min readApr 17, 2024

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What Hinders Acceleration in VC Funded Companies?

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I have been running 1Mby1M since 2010. I find myself saying to entrepreneurs ad nauseam that VCs want to invest in startups that can go from zero to $100 million in revenue in 5 to 7 years.

Startups that do not have what it takes to achieve velocity should not be venture funded.

Experienced VCs, over time, have developed heuristics to gauge what constitutes a high growth venture investment thesis.

However, 9 out of 10 venture-funded startups do not attain the kind of velocity that yields Unicorn valuation.

What happens to venture funded startups that fail to accelerate after Seed, Series A, Series B or later rounds of funding?

Among other things, they fail to raise additional funding. Runway runs out. Companies fold up or get sold for cheap. Entrepreneurs lose years of their lives. Hopefully they learn. If they have the energy, they start another company.

Yet, given that VCs invested in these companies after significant due diligence, these companies were considered high potential once upon a time.

It is worth considering what went wrong.

Is it Technology?

Is it the Product?

Is it the Market?

Is it the Sales Team?

Is it Positioning?

What CAN be fixed?

What CANNOT be fixed?

What is the RIGHT funding strategy at this juncture?

What is the RIGHT exit strategy?

A diagnostic is necessary.

The Human Element needs to be managed.

Let us dig deeper.

Looking For Some Hands-On Advice?

For entrepreneurs who want to discuss their specific businesses with me, I’m very happy to assess your situation during my free online 1Mby1M Roundtables, held almost every week. You can also check out our free Bootstrapping Course, our Udemy courses, YouTube channel, podcast interviews with VCs and Founders, and, to follow my writings, click “Follow” from here.

Photo by SpaceX on Unsplash

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