I’m glad to see that true seed stage investing seems to be coming back into vogue. With so many large VC funds lamenting the lack of gigantic exit opportunities, I couldn’t understand why there wasn’t a quicker move in the industry to make smaller investments. I never bought the argument “well, it costs as much to invest $500,000 as it does to invest $10 million”. No, it doesn’t. The amount of homework you do can go way down. The cost of the new associate to evaluate deal flow doesn’t cost as much as your senior partners. Your legal fees can be much lower as you simplify and standardize your deal terms. WSJ yesterday pointed out, SV Angels (http://svangel.com/) is putting $150k bets into 45 companies. The terms? The same as later stage investors will get in the deal. What did that cost? It may take a little longer to exit, but the exit value you need to be happy will be at a more human-scale number.
For the record, Ben Franklin Technology Partners have been investing in $150,000 tranches for over a decade. Glad to see our style is finally in fashion.