Natalya Kasperskaya: Investors must not be trusted in any case

    Natalya Kasperskaya, co-founder of Kaspersky Lab and InfoWatch CEO, spoke about how startups can talk with investors, whether they can be trusted, and whether there will be a Silicon Valley in Russia. posted a transcript of the meeting in #tceh coworking on May 19th.


    Natalya Kasperskaya expressed her opinion on the work of investment funds. First, the fund must “sell itself” in order to receive funds from the market for investment. The fund needs a management company that will take 2% of the value of the fund. This money is needed to attract specialized experts and other specialists, and for salaries to lawyers and financiers in the state.

    According to Kaspersky, the biggest difficulty is that the fund employs people who are able to conduct transactions and not select projects. Such people try to make a deal with the best conditions, and not select the best project in order to help it develop.
    You can’t trust investors, what are you? In no case. You have the only way to live well - this is not to take an investor. This is the only way. Because investors fall into two categories: bad and very bad. There are no “good” investments, “smart money” and all this garbage.
    The fashion for startups has led to the replacement of the success story with the story of raising money. Entrepreneurs are measured by the amounts attracted by them, and not by the won market share for a small number of years. You can raise funds with the help of charm and a good presentation, because investors often do not understand a specific area of ​​business.

    The venture model only works in the United States. In the US, you can get a loan for business development. Natalia spoke about a familiar German company with a turnover of several million euros, which needed a loan of 10 thousand euros. The loan was refused because the IT company could not mortgage the property.

    Natalya Kasperskaya answered the question of how to find a "bad" investor and not run into a "very bad" one. Before the deal, you need to agree that the investor will not interfere in the business and products, the maximum is to bring customers and do advertising. It is better not to take an investor in a majority share: in case of a failure in the project, such an investor will throw out the founders and put in his general director.
    This CEO is usually an emasculated dude who graduated from an MBA, and yet does not understand your business. And he will definitely ruin him completely.
    It is important to carefully read the contract and not trust the lawyers that the investor provides. The task of the venture capitalist is to get as much as possible from the transaction. Be prepared for failure. But the most important thing in the negotiations is the ability to get up and leave.
    And one must be prepared for failure, this is very important. If you have this last opportunity in life, and you understand that you can’t do without this investor, then, unfortunately, you are in a very bad situation.

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