However probably the biggest shark tank success story: Ring. Ring didn't get a deal, but it is probably worth more then every other sharktank company combined.
NO sales after years, as opposed to a few, is a really big red flag. It generally suggests that the person is enjoying playing and being an entrepreneur and head-wanking about "business", while lacking the mental toughness to put him/herself out in the marketplace.
The founder's response is: "That would be a mistake, because ..."
Green infrastructure investments; lowish risk fixed income; licensed dealer in Canada.
We've also actively sought strategic investments from financial institutions (Royal Bank of Canada, a couple others) rather than raising from tech VCs. We've heard from a few clients that our brand-name shareholders made a difference in deciding whether or not to invest with us.
I haven't done too bad investing and have a few ideas myself for a fintech business (there are some opportunities relating to tax deductible pension investments in my home market) yet wonder whether, say, a 5% yield is sufficient for the average person to even bother taking a risk.
Second, if you don't mind, how's profitability? I assume it does need massive scale for the math to work out? How is sourcing users / are advertising fees working out, in terms of cost?
A company's origin story is simply a "get to know you" story same as at a cocktail party. Everything gets fudged because it's just a marketing statement.
eBay wasn't really started due to Omidyar's girlfriend's desire to sell her Pez dispenser collection, but that story explains the use case very simply and personalizes what (at the time) was a peer-to-peer, or C2C, model.
Tesla wasn't actually started by Musk but by saying so on their web site it drives home that the original founders are long gone and that Musk wants to be seen as the singular genius.
GE no longer says anything about Edison since saying so wouldn't add to its credibility.
A company age can be a first clue to whether they know what they are doing or not. But only a first clue.
I'm sure the counterpoint is that that's a short-sighted view of industries that have long lead times to even develop a working product (or service, what have you), but it doesn't seem all that surprising.
I lived in London UK from 2008 through 2013, and worked at two self-described start-ups.
One had been operating since 2006 (so ~5 years when I was with them), and the other had been a struggling (sans profit) business for just over 15 years. The MD of the latter would occasionally try to tidy up the truth by saying things like 'we're starting up a new exciting branch of the business', but mostly just used the s-word outright at recruitment fairs and in job ads.
I'm not entirely sure the practice worked in anyone's favour.
It's sad because every operator I know knows this yet succumbs to the myth-making "hack" because that's how you tell a "good story" that attracts much needed attention among media and the investment community. Traction, hockey stick curve, growth and all that jazz.
And to be fair, it's not entirely VCs's fault either. They have to deliver on their investment promises within a certain timeline. What's really terrible is that there's not enough discussion about this in the VC-backed entrepreneurship community to accept that this is the "game" that everyone has to play.
And in the very few cases where it's not, it's worthless as an example and incredibly dangerous to chase.
Put your head down, do the work, and enjoy the "overnight success" stories in a decade, if ever.
If you invest a startup that claims to have been founded only 2 years ago and says to have already acquired so and so number of users, you might assume a certain velocity of growth for that company. If it turns out that the founders had unofficially invested 5 years of labor rather than 2, you just lost 60% value in your investment assuming the company valuation was somewhat proportional to their "traction."
The biggest question in a startups lifetime is "will they be profitable?" not "have they spent enough on Google AdWords to make it look like usership is going up?"
Arguably, you're committing no wrongdoing by changing the date your startup is founded. After all, the date itself is rather ambiguous. Is it the first time you get a user? Push a line of code? Etc.
Then just click through via one of the links that shows up.
Chromium-based browsers: http://bypasspaywalls.weebly.com/ Used to be on the store but Google took it down.