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How to hook this angel: Aydin Senkut

Investor in Mint, Aardvark, Disqus is still looking to place bets

Investor interview by Bambi Francisco Roizen
October 16, 2009
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/b39

Aydin Senkut, an early-Google employee-turned angel investor, is becoming known as one of the more prolific seed-to-early-stage investors in Silicon Valley, having invested in 40 companies since 2006. His portfolio consists of some well-known consumer Internet companies, such as Mint, which was recently sold to Intuit for $170 million, Aardvark, Disqus, Dogster, BrightRoll and Rapleaf.

Aydin, who's taken a hiatus from investing since he's become a new father to son Henry, plans to continue investing this year. So far he's invested in 10 companies, including Practice Fusion, Crowdflower, Weatherbill, Outright, Foodzie and Bump Technologies. He plans on investing in a couple more startups before the year is up.

So, what is he looking for and at what valuation?

He's looking for small, scrappy, cash-efficient teams with great IP, and typically in the consumer Internet space. He'll commonly invest between $25,000 and $100,000.

In this interview, Aydin talks about what he's looking for; how to get his attention as an investor; and, what should early-stage companies expect their valuation to be when raising an early-stage round?

Surprisingly, the range is fairly steady from 2006/2007, when a company could expect a $2 million to $4 million early-stage seed/A round investment. According to Aydin, early-stage companies could probably price themselves between $2 million and $6 million, pre-money.

"There's still a lot of cash in the industry," Adyin explained.

Of course, if no one else cares about your company, Aydin suggested, even $2 million is too high a price.

Watch for more insight about valuation and how to get funded by Aydin.


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