Value Added Investing
Blu consists of approximately 20 former entrepreneurs and operators, together with additional like-minded and experienced affiliate co-investors. We have diverse business backgrounds that include starting, growing and successfully exiting start-ups and managing large divisions within large companies.
We are engaged investors who bring this business experience to our portfolio companies. We assign two Blu principals to each portfolio company—one to serve on the Board and the other to act an observer. They regularly draw upon the expertise of the other Blu principals to support the company. We provide guidance on how to scale, go-to-market, recruit talent, and budget and forecast. Blu also regularly re-invests in well-performing portfolio companies.
Blu has been an active investor team helping provide timely guidance and feedback on financing strategy, business development, market direction, product development, partnership introduction, and operations. They are very pro-active in helping address issues early and in interacting in a positive way with the management team to find resolution before the problems arise. Blu’s support has been very critical to our success to date and we value them as a financial partner in our venture.
Ken Lee, CEO Vangogh Imaging
We are looking for the following characteristics in our portfolio companies:
A passionate, technical, management team that understands the domain of their start-up.
A capital efficient business that has already developed a minimum viable product.
Clear differentiators to the competition or barriers to entry.
The team should include a strong manager, someone with proven sales experience, and past experience working together.
Current, highly satisfied paying customers and traction in the market.
A clear exit strategy in 3-5 years that will provide at least a 3-5x return.
An understanding of a large market and the competition. The product should addresses a strong need in that market.
A simple and logical revenue model.
Valuation which corresponds to our return expectations with an exit to a strategic buyer.
Blu has been more than an investor. Drawing on the deep experience and broad contacts of their members, Blu has provided leads to potential business partners and have helped with recruiting key talent who have become important parts of our team.
Michael Rowny, CEO Pixspan
I can’t say enough about the support Blu is giving. In addition to our Board Member, other Blu team provide sales leads and financing structure advice. Their deep bench in the full range of operational issues is exceptional.
Adam Roth, CEO StreamLink Software
How do I pitch to Blu Venture Investors?
Get a referral to one of the principals and introduce yourself. Pitch to one of the principals first and ask them to be your sponsor. Fill out the required questionnaire and submit your pitch deck.
What amount does Blu typically invest?
We generally invest $250K-$1M in the first round. We can lead follow-on rounds for high performing portfolio companies. We often co-invest in syndicates with other groups in the region.
How long will the process take?
From first pitch to the full group, through due diligence, to completing all of the documentation can take 1-4 months.
When does Blu invest?
Blu invests in early-stage companies, typically Seed Stage or Series A, but after a minimum viable product is developed and there is some traction in the market. We often serve as lead investor, but are also willing to be part of an investment syndicate led by another investor, provided we have the ability to be actively engaged with the company.
What does Blu Invest in?
- Technology companies. Typically, they have SaaS and/or enterprise software models and can be in diverse domains such as Cybersecurity, Internet of Things, Digital Media, and non-invasive Biological Sciences.
- Technology companies targeting solutions for the U.S. Department of Defense, Homeland Security and Intelligence Community sectors.
- Special situations including acquisitions and spin-off re-structurings.
BVI has been an invaluable asset to Immuta. Richard has gone above and beyond our expectations providing advice, opportunities and friendship. We could not ask for a better partner or investor.
Matthew Carroll, CEO Immuta
- Identify the problem
- Explain your solution—product—technology
- Business model—how will you make money?
- Go-to-market strategy—how will you acquire customers?
- Competition—a realistic assessment of your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses.
- How will you overcome them?
- Experience of management team and advisors
- Realistic financial projections and technical milestones
- Use of funds
- Exit strategy
- Deal terms
- Conclusion—why invest?
The support LATISTA received from Blu was instrumental to our success as a company and helped lead to a successful exit. Blu not only provided financial support but BLU members David, Ed and Joe (serving on our board) were expert resources in designing and implementing the firm’s strategy. Blu also provided us the valuable guidance for a successful exit. We are truly grateful to David, Ed and Joe and the entire Blu team.
Andrei Lavrov and Chris Ramsey, Co-Founders of LATISTA
To become a portfolio company, a prospective investment must receive a majority vote from the principals at the following stages:
After a screening meeting to the full group. The company will then begin the due diligence process.
During and after the due diligence process. This more comprehensive stage typically takes 1-3 months.
After all the deal terms and conditions have been finalized.
The team at Blu are experienced investors/advisors, who are willing to invest their most precious treasure “their time” helping my company grow.
Ted Olsen, President PathSensors, Inc.
Blu Venture Investors is very unique. Our interface is also a board member with significant executive experience. His input on strategy, execution, and positioning for maximum success has made a material difference in LKC’s business results and strategic positioning. Other Blu members are very responsive to ad hoc requests and very willing to help. I am very pleased with our Blu Venture Investors relationship.
James J. Datovech, President LKC Technologies, Inc.