A few weeks ago, P9 Family member Loom announced that it has raised $130 million at a valuation of $1.5 billion, making it the latest addition to the P9 Unicorn Club. In the last couple of months this club has gotten almost a little crowded: Mambu, Chainalysis, Clio, Westwing, and now Loom, have all entered this exquisite sub-group of the P9 Family.

Loom has brought the P9 Family unicorn count to nine, which is a̵n̵ ̵e̵x̵c̵e̵l̵l̵e̵n̵t̵ ̵e̵x̵c̵u̵s̵e̵ ̵t̵o̵ ̵b̵r̵a̵g̵ a good occasion for some reflection and celebration.

When Pawel and I started investing we would have never in our wildest…

Turns out most humans aren’t made for spending 10 hours a day in front of Zoom.

Don’t get me wrong: I love Zoom. We’ve been using it for years at Point Nine, and it’s been a huge quality upgrade over Skype and Google Hangout, which we had been using before. The company’s growth in the last 12 months has been truly spectacular and has catapulted Zoom into one of the most valuable companies in the world. When we talk about Zoom fatigue, let’s not forget that when the world went into lockdown a year ago, Zoom helped tens of millions of businesses, families, and schools to stay in touch. …

Valuable tips for making one of the hardest VP hires from experts at Delivery Hero, Zendesk, and more.

One of the most important hires a startup can make, usually between the Series A and the Series B, is a VP Marketing. It’s also one of the hardest hires to get right.

This post’s divided into five sections that’ll hopefully help you with this challenge:

  • Part 1: Deciding what kind of VP Marketing to hire
  • Part 2: Picking a hiring ‘anchor’
  • Part 3: Assessing candidates
  • Part 4: Interview tips
  • Part 5: When things go wrong

Let’s dive in!


Before we get started, it’s worth noting that every VP hire is important — and never easy. Maddy Cross, Partner at…

Between Board seats, deal-flow, sourcing candidates for the P9 Family, and coming up with (sometimes) funny jokes for our monthly newsletter, I feel pretty stretched these days. Therefore we decided to look for an Associate who will work closely with me to help me k̶e̶e̶p̶ ̶s̶o̶m̶e̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶m̶y̶ ̶r̶e̶m̶a̶i̶n̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶s̶a̶n̶i̶t̶y̶ increase our bandwidth to spot outstanding startups and to deliver a world-class service to our portfolio.

The role is similar to what some firms call “Chief of Staff”. This is a great job description from First Round. However, a “Chief of Staff” sounds like someone who’s managing staff, and that’s…

A few years ago, Rory O’Driscoll of Scale Venture Partners, an early investor in Box, DocuSign, ExactTarget, and many other large enterprise SaaS companies, published a fascinating article titled ”Understanding the Mendoza Line for SaaS growth”. The key message of the article is that “… most of the time, growth rates only decline, but do so in a way that is on average fairly predictable.” Looking at the data from 21 SaaS companies, Rory estimated that the growth rate for any given year is between 80% and 85% of the growth rate in the prior year. …

How does the SaaS Funding Napkin look like in this crazy year?

If you were hoping that this post would contain the definitive answers to these questions, I’ll have to disappoint you and ask you for some patience. Sorry. It’s not like we have no idea at all — we’ve obviously seen a lot of financing rounds, inside and outside of our portfolio, and we’ve made a number of new SaaS investments ourselves. But we’re hoping that some of the nice people reading this post will help us improve the quality of our answers.

But let’s take a quick step back. About four years ago, we tried to come up with a…

What can we learn from nuclear physics to make pro-rata discussions less radioactive?

One question that inevitably comes up in every investment round (except for a startup’s very first one) is whether existing investors participate in the financing, and if so, to what extent. As Fred Wilson wrote a little while ago, it’s become an increasingly controversial question in recent years and has led to many arguments between founders, early-stage investors, and later-stage investors.

Pro-rata 101

If you’re not familiar with the topic, here’s a quick primer. If you know the basics of pro-ratas, you may want to skip the next few paragraphs.

If a company raises capital by issuing new shares to a new…

If you’re an early-stage SaaS startup, still in the process of getting to Product/Market Fit, or doing your first experiments to attract and convert leads, you shouldn’t worry too much about customer lifetime value (LTV or CLTV) and related metrics. Sooner or later, you have to develop a good understanding of your LTV, though, since your LTV determines how much you can spend on acquiring a customer. In this post, I’ll look at a few different ways to estimate LTV and will try to explain why your LTV might be higher (or lower) than you think.

The simple LTV formula

The simplest formula to…

Tips & tricks for better video meetings

If you know Point Nine a bit, you probably know that we’ve always worked as a distributed team and have always had an a̶w̶k̶w̶a̶r̶d̶l̶y unusually geo-agnostic approach to making seed investments. When Pawel and I started P9 almost ten years ago, Pawel was in Berlin, while I was on a sabbatical on Barbados. The first investments that we did together included startups in Canada (Clio) and New Zealand (Vend). We did open an office in Berlin later on but have always kept our remote-friendly culture and our geo-agnostic investment strategy.

One thing that this entails is that I spend a…

From truffle pig to equal partner in four short years

I recently wrote that once in a while, we see a startup and know after the first call that we just have to invest in this company. Similarly, every now and then, when I interview a candidate for a portfolio company, I’m so impressed by the candidate that I’ll send the founder a WhatsApp message with something like “This is our Head of Sales. Let’s close her immediately!!! 👊🏽” before the interview is even finished.

It’s very rare, but when it happens, it’s an almost magical moment. One such moment occurred to me about four years ago when I interviewed…

Christoph Janz

Internet entrepreneur turned angel investor turned micro VC. Managing Partner at http://t.co/5WJ3Pepbcv.

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