Is it time to have a common app for startup founders? • TechCrunch
Venture capitalists can control capital, but one currency they always pursue is elusive and evolving: deal flow. Betting early on the next big startup is enough to cement a fund’s total return (and more) — and help that brave investor make a name for themselves.
This reality makes Afore Capital’s latest product launch all the more benevolent. The venture capital firm, which just closed a $150 million fund in May 2022, is launching what it describes as a common app for founders of pre-seed startups. Similar to the popular undergraduate college admissions app, a startup Common App would allow founders to seamlessly pitch multiple investors using the same basic form and pitch deck — all at once.
Here’s how it works: Afore Capital has an accelerator-like program, Afore Alpha, which offers a standard pre-seed deal to founders. The app includes questions about the founding team, pitch deck, recent wins, inspiration, and interestingly, whether the startup has applied or interviewed at Y Combinator for the company’s internal benchmarking process. .
These agreed to a lead investment of $1 million via a $10 million post-money SAFE, a deal which Afore says represents five times the capital and five times the valuation offered by accelerators like YC and Techstars.
From now on, the same founding teams who apply for the Afore program will automatically have their application sent to around thirty investors from the venture capital firm’s network. The cohort, which Afore calls pre-seed experts, includes Allison Barr Allen of Trail Run Capital, Allison Pickens of the New Normal Fund, Em Herrera of Night Ventures and Rex Salisbury of Cambrian Ventures.