Video: Early-stage VC Jeff Clavier on the State of Startup Investing

I recently had the opportunity to interview the “super angel” Jeff Clavier of SoftTech VC for our big feature on angel investment. If you missed the video, you’re missing out. Clavier dropped some good nuggets of information about his approach to investing, the Internet startup climate, and the big opportunities he wants to fund next. Clavier has made 75 consumer Internet investments in the last six years, 48 of them in the last two and a half. He had four exits in 2009: Mint to Intuit, Mixer Labs to Twitter, Ohloh to SourceForge and DanceJam to Grind Networks. And Groupon just bought another from his portfolio,

  • On the “pseudo-seed round”: $2-$2.5 million is typical these days, making seed rounds more like Series As. That can be a bit awkward for Clavier, who typically invests $200,000-$250,000 in each company.
  • Clavier’s advice for startups: “Make sure you don’t raise too much money, because you have to spend it.”
  • The biggest downside to a competitive market like the one we have today is hiring. There isn’t enough talent to go around and companies like Facebook and Twitter “hire by the boatload.”
  • What recent round does Clavier most regret passing on? I’ll give you a hint. The first part of its name is a number, and the second a shape. He had a chance to invest last summer and declined.
  • What opportunities is Clavier most excited about? The iPad as a platform, geo-location and big data.