How to hook this angel: Aydin Senkut

Bambi Francisco Roizen · October 16, 2009 · Short URL:

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

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.

Image Description

Bambi Francisco Roizen

Founder and CEO of Vator, a media and research firm for entrepreneurs and investors; Managing Director of Vator Health Fund; Co-Founder of Invent Health; Author and award-winning journalist.

All author posts

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Interviews" series

More episodes

Related Companies, Investors, and Entrepreneurs



Joined Vator on

Social sharing online communities for dog and cat lovers.



Joined Vator on

Weatherbill provides a financial services platform for managing weather risk.


WeatherBill, founded by former Googler David Friedberg, helps businesses weatherproof their revenue. WeatherBill offers custom weather contracts to protect businesses from financial loss caused by bad weather and provides tools to increase revenues through weather-related marketing promotions.

Businesses in industries ranging from construction and travel to agriculture and outdoor entertainment use WeatherBill’s tools to guarantee revenues in the face of uncertain weather. A requirement to qualify for coverage from WeatherBill is a net worth of over $1 million, and unlike insurance, there is no proof of loss or claims process required for payout. If the weather happens, you get paid. Each user can define what “bad” weather is and create a customized contract to match that need (e.g. excess rain for an amusements park or severe drought in the case of a farm).

Users select a weather station via a Google Maps mash-up and choose the weather conditions they want to protect against. These options include temperature and precipitation level, and the specific parameters can be selected by the user.

WeatherBill hedges its own risk via its weather algorithm and ongoing partnership with a large hedgefunds.

WeatherBill has launched in Canada, the UK, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany and Norway in addition to the US.




Joined Vator on

We're creating a better, more efficient way for consumers to discover and buy food from artisan producers. Attitudes are shifting when it comes to food, and people want to know more about the food theyʼre eating, particularly who's making it, what it's made of, and where it comes from. We are creating an online community that will make it easy for high-quality artisan producers to sell their products direct to consumers and for foodies not only to buy food, but to learn about and share the products they love.



Joined Vator on

Disqus, pronounced discuss, is a service for blog comments. Disqus enables bloggers to make the conversations on their blogs more interactive and manageable. Our distributed comment system connects readers across blog communities, while empowering publishers in promoting their content.



Joined Vator on

Rapleaf helps companies build personalized services for their customers.

BrightRoll, Inc.


Joined Vator on

Led by a team of Internet advertising veterans and engineers, BrightRoll has served billions of advertisements since we got started. We achieved this growth by enabling agencies and brand advertisers to execute smart video ad campaigns across the industry’s leading publishers, including over half of the top 250 websites in the United States.

Dozens of advertising agencies work with BrightRoll to execute campaigns for their premier brands. By offering full site disclosure, detailed performance reports and flexible targeting, we provide advertisers with the reach, frequency, scalability, and transparency needed to achieve their goals.

Hundreds of branded publishers work with BrightRoll to maximize the value of their online inventory. We are fortunate to work with many of the Internet’s leading branded publishers, including multiple television properties, and most of the leading high-volume video sites.

BrightRoll is headquartered in San Francisco, CA, and has sales offices throughout the United States.


Aydin Senkut

Joined Vator on