Gillian Muessig and Anne Kennedy are the managing directors of Sybilla Masters Fund – aka Mastersfund™ – which invests in women-led tech companies. Matersfund's investment model, which entails Structured Equity investments coupled with Redeemable Warrants, is designed to mitigate investor risk while significantly improving outcomes for both investors and entrepreneurs.
“We met as colleagues in the field of search engine optimization and became friends over years of building our brands as speakers at conferences around the world. Over the years, we took deep research dives into conventional Venture Capital and found that women receive just over 2% of conventional venture capital in the US and less than 1% throughout the UK and the EU. Aside from the few headliners you hear about in the press, women are simply not getting the capital needed to build their companies As women who built scalable companies ourselves, we found the gender issue in conventional venture capital, combined with the overall shockingly low investor returns, unacceptable.
According to a scathing Kauffman Foundation research report, an average of 80% of all venture-backed companies fail in 5 years, and approximately 16% will continue to operate without an exit, meaning the company either sells or holds an IPO. Hence, they return nothing to the fund. Merely 4% of venture-backed companies have a 'happy exit', defined as 3X or better returns to investors. The investment model, which requires fund managers to make wildcard bets on about twenty companies and burn about 96% in search of a unicorn company, is not practical for almost all startup companies. Conventional VC is designed to capitalize on companies building the root technologies of the future. It is not designed to capitalize on companies leveraging those technologies to build solid, mid-sized, privately held corporations. Different funding models are needed for different types of startups.
Months of research led us to develop the Structured Equity investment model used by the Mastersfund. We make initial investments using a redeemable preferred warrant in revenue-positive companies. We work with our portfolio company leaders at the moment when leadership is turning their attention from building a product to building a company. We help our portco's to increase revenues and gross margins and reach profitability. Then, we are able to make deeply informed decisions and make follow-on conventional VC investments in breakout companies.
We provide an investment model that helps companies establish a solid financial foundation, reach strong revenue goals, and by redeeming the Mastersfund warrant, put a few shares of stock back in their pocket at a very reasonable cost. And, we are able to provide our investors with earlier, steadier quarterly returns beginning as early as 36 months from the date of investment with an ROI that is commensurate with the risk of the asset class."
Anne Kennedy, Partner and Managing Director
Gillian Muessig, Partner and Managing Director
Outlines Venture Group is a women-led team that invests in tech startups. Their superpower is connecting and attracting well-versed partners, all experienced entrepreneurs and investors. They believe it takes both men and women to set things right, and both genders benefit when everyone is equally supported and rewarded in their efforts to build new and better products and processes.
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