Blackdivine Venture

Our investments

Blackdivine Venture is the venture capital arm of Blackdivine, focused on early stage investment in technology-centric consumer Internet companies. Our investment policy is very different from that of many capital providers. We do not adopt an economy of scales logic when it comes to our investment portfolio. We do not hope to compensate losses incurred by 9 unsuccessful startups with a check we might cash on the occasion of the $200 million IPO of a star performer we invested in. We want to invest more than money into startups: we are willing to invest time and resources into a few projects that we deeply believe in.

We want to invest in real entrepreneurs

We are entrepreneurs at heart! We have started several companies in the past in the tech world, and we have enjoyed every moment. Along the way, we have learned so many critical pieces of knowledge and met so many awesome and highly capable people. We understand that starting a company is as much about product/market fit and fast reaching of break-even point than about meeting and working with great individuals. We are interested in the entrepreneurial adventure, in giving smart, trend-setting and hyper-active entrepreneurs the leverage they need to launch their revolutionary ideas.

Of course, we also wish to help entrepreneurs create an awesome service. A service that will change the way people work, play and live. A service that will grow rapidly from within today's bustling tech community and tower high among other successful web companies. We wish to help companies that will create real value based on useful service rendering, seamless user experience and outstanding technical solutions.

Most of all, we are looking for a strong fit. We want to personally follow the progress of the companies we invest in. We want to be there for fellow entrepreneurs when they really need it, be it in times of great victories or right in the eye of the storm. We want to get to know you and your team in order to appreciate the potential of a strong collaboration.

The companies we are interested in:

Our rule of thumb when it comes to investment is the following: we always keep to our areas of expertise! One can recognize great ideas that will make the lines shift if one is knowledgeable enough to observe the specificities of a project: the devil's in the details. Therefore, we are looking for entrepreneurs that are innovating within the reach of our own in-house specialties: Internet Businesses.
Since we want to create an effective synergy with our portfolio companies, we believe there needs to be face to face contact between you and us whenever one party feels it necessary. We would prefer you to be in one of the areas where we have offices or are often active. It does not mean that we are completely overlooking other locations, but we will look with more interest at files that are in the following metro areas: Los Angeles, New York City, Paris (France) and London (UK).

We are looking to invest at a very specific stage of the startup's life: around the time of launch. This is a very exciting time, since the solution already works (at least in a beta version), and because entrepreneurs finally get to gauge the fit between the solution developed and their target market. It is also a time of great danger for the company, since it is always essential to tweak the website functionalities, make radical technological choices and adapt sometimes greatly the business model. We believe that this is the time when we can bring the most to entrepreneurs, having gone through many launches ourselves and being able to help out at this critical time.

We are looking to invest anywhere between $15,000 and $200,000 of seed capital. We are ready to discuss the term sheet conditions with a company that we are really interested in, since we know every situation is unique.

Our offer

Blackdivine Venture is not a Venture Capital Fund. It is not an incubator either. However, we have designed a model in which we mix the best services of both worlds and blend them into an ecosystem that has proven to be a concrete help for startup firms in the first stages of their lives. We want to use our smart money to give entrepreneurs the opportunity to participate in the value-adding processes that take place within the Blackdivine realm.

Since each startup has specific obstacles to overcome, you might not deem every service listed useful, and the ones you do need might be tailored to your own specific issues. We want our offer to fit to each company we invest in, making a strong case for our adaptable and fast paced nature: there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all at BD Venture.

You will find below a list of all the resources and capabilities that we can put into our effort to accompany you towards success. The following will be used to help all the companies we invest in.

Capital

We are here to accompany you on your road to success, and the most obvious way we do this is by providing you the funds you need in order to develop your solution. What is more, we provide Smart Money; we want our money to create opportunities for you and your team to become even better entrepreneurs and to go farther down the road.

Top tiers service providers

Over the years, we have developed preferred ties with many professionals whose services are essential to a startup company's success. We therefore are in a position to give you access to specialized lawyers, HR experts, accounting, banks and VCs and many more.

Business Development access to decision-makers and corporate resources

Since we know many actors of the Internet industry, our contacts can help you in securing strong business leads. Therefore, building your first strategic partnerships and/or engaging with your first clients will be much easier than cold-calling prospects.

Technical and marketing knowledge-sharing

We have a pool of genuinely talented programmers and marketing professionals working with us. Although we don't dedicate our teams to the development of your company, we always adopt an open-door policy when you might have a question about how to go around a given problem, reach a specific goal or just need general advice. Being able to tap into this group of dedicated Internet specialists is very valuable to any startup, at all stages of the life of a company.

We are also able to provide other services that will help your company to scale faster and build a stronger ecosystem. We however can't guarantee that each and every company we partner with will benefit from those services, since it is a very personal Here are those services:

Office solutions

If you are at a stage of your company's life where you might profit immensely from being nurtured in an office environment, Blackdivine could welcome you in its offices in Los Angeles or In Paris (France) for a short period of time. This would entail access to office space, data center, phone lines, events, IT services…

Access to a large pool of entrepreneurs

Since we want to create an effective synergy with our portfolio companies, we believe there needs to be face to face contact between you and us whenever one party feels it necessary. We would prefer you to be in one of the areas where we have offices or are often active. It does not mean that we are completely overlooking other locations, but we will look with more interest at files that are in the following metro areas: Los Angeles, New York City, Paris (France) and London (UK).The perks of having been for a long time in the tech industry, and in the entrepreneurial world in particular, is that we got to know and appreciate many other entrepreneurs who are always on the lookout for great people to become future partners, business leads, technical helpers, future employees or looking for basic networking opportunities. Blackdivine is your open door into a strong community of smart, engaging and innovative entrepreneurs.

While it is not guaranteed that you will benefit from all of these services at the same time, it is possible that we help you in other ways that we have not thought of yet. The nature of our operational assistance is different for each startup, but we always focus on the entrepreneurs and their specific needs at a certain point in time, and we strive to bring our help in the best way we possibly can. We put the human aspect at the forefront of our investing policy because we believe that driving companies to success requires a strong, particular fit between entrepreneur and investor.

Initially, we would like you to write us an email so that we can know more about you. The next step will be us contacting you in order to design together the ideal frame of our cooperation, in order to study the feasibility of the investment for all parties concerned.

We are really looking forward to discovering you and your project.
Contact us now!

Frequently Asked Qestions

Who are we ?

Blackdivine is a leading internet company with multiple fast-growing, highly-related brands serving loyal consumer audiences with operations in the US and Europe. Blackdivine is privately held and profitable.

Where is Blackdivine?

Blackdivine's office is located in Los Angeles, New York, Paris and London. Our facility is designed to foster an open collaborative process of communication and information sharing among employees of Blackdivine and our operating companies.

How is Blackdivine different from Angel Investors and VC firms?

Most other funding sources have been moving upstream, looking for companies that have at least a beta/prototype, a business plan, and some structured idea where they are going. We are looking to become involved earlier then that. We are looking for great ideas and great people and will help develop great companies around them.

What do you look for in start-ups?

Blackdivine looks to invest in capital efficient businesses that are providing unique solutions to serious problems. While we favor experienced entrepreneurs, we're not opposed to funding first time founders who have a clear vision and are focused on executing. We like to play around with a working prototype, and get excited about areas where we have significant domain expertise and can add value. Overall, great management teams operating in large and growing markets that are solving unique problems that we can add value to are the best situations for us.

Does it have to be a web, software or IT idea?

Yes. We fund technology oriented companies, typically these are web-based.

How much will Blackdivine invest in each company?

We will offer each selected company/team a first investment of between $10,000 and $50,000, depending on the number of team members and other circumstances. In addition, each company will receive valuable service and counsel from top service providers, and priceless guidance from mentors, advisors and other participants. In return, we will receive a % passive equity stake in your company.

Do I need to have a business plan?

No, you simply need to send your exec summary or ppt. We are searching for companies who have identified a true market opportunity and a way to fill it.

Can a person apply by himself/herself?

Yes, although we are more likely to accept proposals from small teams as there is a lot to get done when starting a company. If we really like your idea and you apply by yourself, we may recommend other people to you who can join your team.

What services will Blackdivine provide?

Business talent, legal and accounting services and counsel, mentoring, office space, guidance from leading visionaries, seasoned entrepreneurs and investors, introduction to great business people and contacts to help you get to the next level.

Where do I live and work during Blackdivine?

You choose where to live and work.

What is expected of me?

We want you to stay focused and work hard to build your prototype or market-ready product. We also hope that you will be open to our ideas and suggestions. Other then that, we want you to enjoy starting your company!

Why are you doing this?

Because entrepreneurs help entrepreneurs! We are a group of entrepreneurs who truly enjoy helping startups And if you create the next Google or Facebook, our small, passive, non-voting stake in your company will be worth a lot of money and you will be worth much, much, much more. That would feel good all around.

Does it matter how old I am?

No (except that if you are under 18 you will need parental permission to participate). We care about your idea and your ability, but not your age. While we expect that most of our applicants will be between 18-35, great ideas happen at every age.

Does it matter where I am from?

We do not care where you are from.

Will you sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement?

No. We simply see too many ideas and too many companies to sign an NDA. While the more explicit you are about your idea the better we will be able to evaluate it, send us only as much information as you are comfortable disclosing.

I still have more questions. What do I do?

Send us an email.