Every time we make an investment it’s slightly different, but this is the general process you can expect.
You might be introduced to us directly, or you share your initial pitch deck directly with us here - no warm intro required! Either way, we’ll take a look at your deck and let you know what we thought within a week. Not sure what an initial pitch deck should include? Here’s an example from Nick.
If we’d like to hear more about your idea, one of our investment team members who is most passionate about what you’re doing will get in touch to learn more based on the initial deck you supplied. The conversation is always friendly, but you should expect you'll be challenged on a few things, usually related to what we look for in founders. This is your chance to interview Blackbird as well. Ask any questions you have - and don’t be shy about pushing us either!
The investor you met will discuss your startup with the rest of the team at our weekly investment meeting. Whether we are keen to move forward or not, you’ll hear back from the lead investor pretty quickly. This is also when our version of due diligence starts, and you’ll start to work with your partner on pitching to the full investing team. Not sure what this longer pitch deck should include? Sam has a handy guide here.
You’ll pitch most or all of our investing team, who will have heard a bit about you from the lead investor in advance in the form of our investment writeup. These writeups generally include why the lead investor believes your startup will become a generational company. So our team will come excited, curious and ready to learn from you!
You can pitch virtually or come into one of our offices to present, but as our investment team is split across Australia and New Zealand, some of us will be dialling in regardless. You’ll present your deck first, followed by some questions from the Investment Team.
After the meeting, your lead investor will collate any other key questions we have into a single document. Once these and any other questions are answered, we’ll hold an investment committee meeting, review all of the above and reach a final decision.
One of our values is that founders come first, so we work hard to make any required due diligence fast, seamless and helpful. The best fundraisers often create a ‘data room’ so that investors can preemptively answer key questions about your business - LegalVision have a good explainer here.
If we are not going to invest, we want to tell you no quickly and also tell you the key reasons that contributed to our decision.
The opposite of a no is a yes! Now we start working on a term sheet for you. We try to work from standard docs as much as we can to make it quick for you and minimise pain, time and lawyers in the future. If you accept the term sheet we then move forward with our legal due diligence - this is just the information we need to wire the money. Once this is complete, you’ll receive a money transfer soon after for the agreed capital. We can also introduce you to like-minded investors around the world and locally who have co-invested with us in the past if it’s something you need.
Once the docs are done we begin onboarding you and your team into our Blackbird community and the magic really starts happening. You’ll meet other founders, get support from our Founder Success team on common startup challenges like talent, hiring and PR, and be invited to take part in our Founder Academy, a program designed to help you build the foundations for a great business and build connections with other Blackbird founders.
At each step of the fundraising journey, we promise to move at blistering speed, be transparent and truthful, and to make the process as straightforward as we can.
For every founder we meet and say no to, we send them an NPS survey ranking us on a score of 1 to 10 on how likely they would be to recommend Blackbird to other founders. The possible scores range from -100 to +100. Here’s how we have scored all time:
If you’re looking for a quick answer, you’ve come to the right place. These are a list of questions we get asked a lot.
Our goal is to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars right at the beginning of a company’s life before there is product or revenue, earn a courtside seat to the best companies by building a great relationship with them and then invest hundreds of millions over their lifetimes.
We have invested as little as $30,000 in a seed and in some cases $5M in a Series A.
We prefer to make our first investment into a company at the pre-seed, seed or Series A round, but we will invest in later rounds too.
We pride ourselves on not being rigid investors. The very definition of novel is "not like anything before". We get excited when something doesn't easily fit a category or seems strange.
We invest broadly from software to space and have invested repeatedly in deep tech areas such as healthcare technology, robotics, autonomous vehicles and alternative protein. We also update our investment thesis with every fund - read our current thesis here as well as previous ones.
We invest in founders that have a strong connection to Australia or New Zealand. Maybe you’re based here? Perhaps you lived in New Zealand for a certain time? Maybe one of your co-founders is Australian?
Whether you are geographically placed in Australia or New Zealand is far less important to us.
We invest in Australians and New Zealanders because everything we have done at Blackbird has been about building a community of founders here that give us a chance to meet tomorrow’s great founders.
We love to invest pre-product and pre-revenue and most of our first cheque investments fit this bill (pun intended).
How convenient - we recently wrote a blog on the qualities we look for in founding teams! Read it here.
We've covered that above, but keep an eye out for a blog on this soon.
You'll pitch most or all of our investing team, who will have heard a bit about you from the lead investor in advance in the form of our investment writeup. These writeups generally include why the lead investor believes your startup will become a generational company. So our team will come excited, curious and ready to learn from you!
You can pitch virtually or come into one of our offices to present, but as our investment team is split across Australia and New Zealand, some of us will be dialling in regardless. You’ll present your deck first, followed by some questions from the Investment Team. Keep an eye out for a blog with more info on this coming soon.
We love to see how your team is thinking about the product roadmap, a financial model that underpins your strategy and a cap table with any existing investors, as well as evidence from your customers, previous investors and other stakeholders.
Every deal is different, but we prefer to draw as much as possible from the Australian Investment Council Open Source Funding docs. We prefer clean industry standard terms.