we

phenomenal people

Investment Strategies

1. Venture Capital

  • Early stage (the earlier, the better)from day one to Series A, we want to be your first big check

  • Founder-driven (not thesis-driven)great founders are more valuable than great ideas and thus no category or industry is out of scope

  • Big capital commitments: from $250K to $2 million, we rarely lead, but we rarely let the lack of a lead stop us from investing

  • Early stage support that actually matters: it’s your business – we get out of your way when you don’t need us and are ready when you do with coaching, advice, emotional support (you will need it), introductions (lots of introductions), cheerleading routines (we’re good at it), and even free drinks (you may need these too) 

2. Growth Equity
& Buy-Out

  • Focus on B2B SaaS: interested in any vertical or horizontal SaaS business (the ‘nichey-er’ and ‘less sexy’, the better)

  • Small to medium size businesses: target businesses doing $5 to $15 million ARR, usually boot-strapped, but not always

  • Capital for growth and/or liquidity: financing between $5 to $50 million to drive growth and/or let you ‘take some chips off the table’

  • Partnership model for growth: ‘shoulder-to-shoulder’ model to create, staff, and execute the strategy and plan to take your business and people to the next level of growth

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Venture Capital

Focus

As early as possible! Anything pre-Series A is in-scope, whether that’s Pre-Seed, Seed, Post-Seed (or whatever else you are calling the round)

No! We are interested in EVERYTHING. Unlike other VC investors, we are not thesis-driven; we are people-driven. We put very little stock in our own crystal ball prognostications about the future. We want great founders and operators who can navigate the future for us and for their businesses. As such, there is no category, business model, technology (or lack thereof), or industry that is categorically out of scope. And we are interested in any business or idea that can generate VC returns, whether or however tech is involved

We focus on the US primarily, although from time to time we will look at entrepreneurs and businesses outside the US

Yes. Great entrepreneurs and operators can come from anywhere, from any background, and in any shape or size. We love first-time founders (and those who have been around the block too). We love solo founders (even if we think it’s nice to have a co-founder and someone in the trenches with you when starting a business). And we are not beholden to a silly rule and mythology that says only engineers can create big “unicorn” companies (more than 30% of “unicorn” companies have zero engineers on their founding team). We look first and foremost for great operators and entrepreneurs (or those who have the makings of great operators and entrepreneurs)

Yes, of course. If you’re pre-Series A, we want to talk, no matter how early you are. Product and revenue are proof points of your abilities as a great operator and entrepreneur, but they’re not always necessary for us to get conviction to invest 

Process

We look for great operators and entrepreneurs first and foremost, that is, business leaders who understand their business’ unit economics from day one, are looking to build big, lasting businesses, who have the capability to learn and grow, and who have the hustle and resilience necessary for the marathon that is ‘entrepreneurship’

We invest in businesses that have the potential to generate VC returns, that is, 10x or more on our invested capital. That’s a big hurdle and not every business has this potential. That said, here’s what this also means for us:

1) We do NOT only invest in tech: tech-enabled and non-tech businesses can also generate VC returns for early stage investors like us;

2) We do NOT have a silly rule about TAM’s that are ‘too small‘: we’ve learned over the years that great entrepreneurs can create huge businesses in markets considered ‘too small’ by typical VC investors, and we think that’s great;

3) We do NOT only invest in businesses that have the potential to become a ‘unicorn’: if your business has the potential to become a ‘unicorn’ (or even bigger), we are certainly not going to discourage you in that pursuit; however as early stage investors, we are just as interested in businesses that might not be ‘unicorns’ but still generate amazing returns for you, your team, and your investors

Our process is fast and focused on getting to know you and your business as deeply as possible. We start with a conversation first to gauge our mutual interest in moving forward. Diligence is a series of continuing conversations with you to better understand you as a person, a professional, a leader, an operator, and of course an entrepreneur. 

We try to get you a ‘yes’ as quickly as possible and a ‘no’ as quickly as possible. Unlike many other VC’s, we believe in saying ‘no’ and giving constructive feedback (vs. ghosting you or giving a fabricated ‘no’). When we say ‘no’, it doesn’t mean you’re not going to be a huge success. We are often wrong. It only means we are not your ‘right-fit’ investors at that moment

We make decisions as a team. Investment decisions require full Partner agreement. Non-Partners, even Associates, participate fully in the decision-making process and all our discussions. Unlike other VC firms, our Associates’ voice does matter and does influence our decision.

Investment

Our check size can be anywhere from $250K to $2 million. Check size varies based on size of round

Unlike other VC investors, we are agnostic as to the form of investment (although we of course care about terms as you do too). If we decide to invest, we are going to make sure you get our capital as quickly as possible and in whatever mode is the fastest, best solution for you, the company and its investors

We rarely lead rounds, but we also rarely let the lack of a lead stop us from investing if we have conviction to invest. We like to be a big check (sometimes as big as or bigger than the lead) and a good partner. Where we have conviction and you need a lead, we will from time to time step in as lead, but we think of ourselves as the “lead of last resort”. And if we have conviction about you and your idea, the lack of a lead will not stop us from investing

Working together

Our philosophy overall is that your business is your business. Founders have the front row seats – they run the business. Investors are in the cheap seats – we invest, we get out of your way when you don’t need us, and we jump in when you do. We support our teams in the same way that our best investors have supported us when starting and running our own early-stage businesses:

1) On-demand advice, coaching, and emotional support:  our Partners spent a part of their careers as partners at a big management consulting firm. In that role, our Partners used to provide advice and counseling to the CEO’s of Fortune 1000 companies, who in turn paid millions of dollars a month for this support. We offer this support for free to all our founders whenever it is needed. To be clear, we rarely have the answers, but we always have good questions, and we often know someone who does have an answer (if not ‘the answer’)

2) Introductions, introductions, introductions … and more introductions: we believe introductions and relationships are one of the most valuable resources for any early stage company scaling to a Series A (and beyond). We at Blue pride pride ourselves on not having grown up as investors. We also have a broad base of LP’s with senior roles and deep experience and expertise across industry. All this means we have large networks that do not look like a typical VC, i.e., relationships that span industry, geography, and company within and importantly, outside tech (from financial services to healthcare to industrials to apparel and more). We bring this extended network to bear for our founders

3) Community: we don’t try to load your calendar up with CEO forums, Digital Marketing presentations, best practices sessions, or anything else similar. We leave that to other VC investors. We do however connect you with our other Portfolio founders and let you use that connection however you want. And once a year, we do host our Blue Founders Retreat. This is a largely unstructured and paid-for retreat where we get out of the way and let you connect with other entrepreneurs facing similar challenges and on similar journeys

Ask any of our founders. 

We will be there by your side if it works out or doesn’t work out. And we have a track record of investing in our founders on their second startup, third startup, and beyond. If we invest, we are investing in you and a long-term relationship

Getting in touch

It’s easy. Just send us an email at blue@bluecollective.com or use the ‘Contact’ page here on the website. We respond to everyone (even if sometimes we might run a bit slow), and we rarely say ‘no’ to a conversation

For a ‘pitch’, we do want to see a pitch deck. But that’s it. Otherwise bring yourself and your excitement. And of course we are always here to offer advice in advance of a ‘pitch’ too

Same answer as above. Just email us at blue@bluecollective.com or use the ‘Contact’ page here on the website. We are happy to chat wherever you are in the process

2. Growth Equity & Buy-Out

Focus

No. We invest in B2B SaaS companies across industry or category and whether a vertical or horizontal play. We especially like those categories that others might call ‘too nichey’ or ‘un-sexy’ – these are not bad words in our vocabulary

We are looking for founders or operators that want to take their business to the next level of growth and/or who want to ‘take chips off the table’. We are most excited about businesses with the following characteristics:

  1. ARR between $5 and $15 million
  2. Annual growth between 10% to 30%
  3. Annual retention higher than 95%
  4. Typically boot-strapped, but not always
  5. Majority of revenue from SaaS vs. on-prem

We are most interested in any B2B SaaS company in North America, Europe, and/or Australia / New Zealand. This is not to say businesses in other regions are ‘out-of-scope’ though

This is very much a personal decision of founders, management teams, and owners based on their overall vision and current situation. If you are looking to 1) turbo-charge the growth of your company and take it to the next level and/or 2) take some chips off the table, then we’d love to chat with you. 

We are growth-focused investors and a team with a lot of years spent building, advising, and operating B2B SaaS businesses. Where we’ve had success in our careers (and what we like doing) is driving growth in a B2B SaaS company, whether through improvements to sales and demand-gen or through smartly executing on M&A. If this where your business needs help, then we might be a good partner for you

Process

We want to chat first and understand your story, the story of your business, and what you think is achievable in the future. If you are interested in capital and we are excited, we move very quickly to an LOI and then just as fast through diligence and to close. Diligence for us is a fast and intense process of getting to know you, your team, and your business. Like other investors, our diligence involves a full review of your business’ performance, customers, financials, team, and more. Unlike other investors, our diligence also involves joint creation of the go-forward growth strategy. We create this with you and agree in advance of close how we will support with more than just capital – i.e., our time, our expertise, our people, our networks, and more

We make decisions quickly and as a Partnership. We know B2B SaaS businesses very well and can form a judgment quickly as to whether your business would benefit from partnership and capital from us. 

We move fast. We can get to an LOI based on 1-2 conversations and a few pieces of data from you. We can move from LOI through diligence to close in 1-2 months. Through all this, we invest all our time into what we expect to be a long-term relationship with you, your team, and your business. 

Investment

Check size may range from $5 to $50 million and is highly variable based on the company and growth plans

We typically look for a controlling interest in a company, although often this will happen over time and through a series of investments. 

Working together

We work in partnership with management teams. We have been in your shoes, and we know how to grow B2B SaaS businesses. We jointly create the go-forward, growth strategy and plan during diligence. And we work with you post-investment to execute on the plan, with our time, our people, our expertise, our networks, and more. Our focus is always on growth, and we are best when helping companies drive growth through 1) demand-gen; 2) sales; and 3) M&A. That’s what we’re good at and what we like doing the most. So if that’s what you’re looking for, we will form the right partnership to make that happen

No. We treat our operators as we have liked being treated in the past in your shoes and how we would want to be treated. We invest only where we think there is a ‘growth story’, not a ‘cost story’. That’s what we think is exciting and what we’re good at

We are fair-value investors. We will tell you what we think your business is worth it, and we will also work with you to ‘bridge the gap’ through creative structures wherever possible

Getting in touch

Just email us at blue@bluecollective.com or use the ‘Contact’ page here on the website. We would love to hear from you even if you don’t think you quite fit our ‘typical’ business criteria. It’s never too early (or late) to have a chat