Questions we get asked all the time
As a VC we get asked many questions from founders about how we operate and invest. We made this list of the most asked questions to help you know us better and understand how we think and operate.
StageOne invests in the inception and early-stage deep tech startups. We focus on Business-to-Business focused startups, and developing enterprise technology, with most of our investments falling within five verticals: Cloud Computing & Software Infrastructure, DevOps and MLOps, Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Security, and Digital Twin. We have a range of different enterprise industries represented in our portfolio, ranging from HR Tech to Prop Tech to Mobility and Quantum Computing. If you believe your company falls within our verticals, please reach out — even if we decide to end up not investing, we always try to connect founders with relevant investors in the industry.
StageOne focuses on investing in companies with Israeli founders. While companies do not need to be based in Israel, most of our portfolio is headquartered either in Israel or in the US.
Ideally, we would invest in your company at the inception stage, typically before the initial company incorporation. We have made investments later as well, including pre-seed, seed, post-seed, and even A round, as long as those investments align well with our focus.
It’s never too early to approach StageOne when fundraising – we have invested in companies that were nothing more than an idea. We are looking for strong teams, promising market opportunities and disruptive technology, and these three principles guide our investment strategy, even more than timing. We invest as early as the first money in, with a check size ranging from $0.5M to $3M, and we allocate significant resources to continue to support our portfolio companies in later rounds post our initial investment.
Yes. StageOne generally prefers to lead the initial rounds it participates in, in some cases will co-lead as well.
Yes. StageOne participates in follow-on rounds and continues to ensure over time that we are active investors in our successful portfolio companies. We also strive to find relevant partnering funds to join us in our portfolio companies, those investors are typically top global funds.
StageOne tends to invest in early-stage startups, usually in seed rounds. However, we trust your judgment. If you think your company should still be of interest to us, please reach out, as even if we do not invest, we can always try to connect you with our friends’ investment friends.
StageOne strives to hold a 20% stake in the company we invest in. We also require board representation in most cases.
Most founders in our portfolio were introduced via a mutual connection, but we can also meet you through cold outreach. Once we have moved past the initial pitch meeting, we are known to be thorough yet quick with our due diligence, putting significant effort into vetting the founding team, technology, and business model. Founders and their teams should expect to meet all our partners, our broad investment team, and our venture partners prior to an investment.
In terms of timing, there is no set schedule for investment but on average, the investment process tends to take 4-6 weeks. However, we were able to move far quicker in the past and this process can be shortened if needed.
We use a “people first” approach – we are looking for founding teams that are hungry and responsible, with a proven record of resiliency and ability to drive change. What makes you different? What gives you your edge? How are you going to succeed where others have not? These founders should also be innovators, working toward developing cutting-edge deep technology products that have high potential to disrupt global markets. When we invest, we look for the right combination of a strong team, an innovative product, and a viable market and opportunity for growth. Once these three pillars are in place, everything else can follow.
There is a reason why our founders continue to come back with new start-ups and ideas – we are committed to providing guidance, collaboration and connection to our founders and portfolio companies because we know that building a successful company takes more than just monetary investment. We have an ethos of complete honesty and transparency and are driven by the idea that at the end of the day, we all have a shared goal.
All our companies have a StageOne partner on their board, meaning that StageOne will always be present for all corporate matters. We also set up weekly/bi-weekly meetings with our portfolio companies, and in most cases, our founders are in touch with StageOne on a day-to-day basis for advice, questions and check-ins.
We are focused on providing valuable mentorship to our portfolio companies, coaching, and connecting them using our proven experience and global networks of technologists, entrepreneurs and VCs. We help with raising money for follow-on rounds, assist in hiring and customer acquisition, aid with marketing and sales strategy, and devote our time and resources toward building up and developing each portfolio company based on its needs.
While many of the twists and turns of entrepreneurship are new to our founders, the chances are that we have seen it before several times. Our experience working with hundreds of companies across our team means that we know how to help our portfolio companies through every step of the way, whether it is in successful times or through crises.
We lead by example, StageOne is an active investor in follow-on rounds in our successful portfolio companies. Not only do we invest, but we are committed to opening our global network to help companies secure further funding.
Yes. StageOne has a vast global network of multinational corporations, VCs, technologists, investors, and entrepreneurs built up through our collective experiences across the industry. We are committed to utilizing this network to our portfolio companies, whether for networking, sales or follow-on round fundraising.
Yes. StageOne consistently sets up workshops and networking events for the senior teams of our portfolio companies, connecting them with leaders in the field and facilitating relationships across the fund.
Yes. StageOne portfolio companies tend to have at least one board seat in its invested companies.