Stage wants to catch the Series B knife
Denver-based private equity firm Stage Fund is raising $50 million for its second fund to buy startups that are struggling to raise their Series B rounds.
- Targeted industries include e-commerce and consumer packaged goods.
Why it matters: About half of the companies that raise Series A never go on to raise another round, but between 20% and 30% are still good businesses, according to Stage general partner Krista Morgan.
Between the lines: Most founders are conditioned to think they need to solve everything with money, she said.
- Stage's approach is to provide some money and clean up the cap table, giving startups more time to find their footing.
- It also can provide founders with a meaningful exit, even if not the one originally envisioned.
Example: ThirdChannel, which provides contract labor for retail stores, saw its revenue plummet at the outset of the pandemic and needed to raise more money.
- Stage saw promise in the fledgling business and restructured it, providing finance, fundraising, and back-office capabilities so Third Channel could focus on selling its services.
- Stage now is seeking to sell ThirdChannel, which it says is profitable and growing 100% year over year.
The bottom line: There are good companies that won't achieve the exponential growth required by many VC models.
- But they can be transformed into profitable businesses that are attractive to strategic acquirers, Morgan argues.