Is this real life?

You know the popular YouTube video “David after Dentist“? The one with the kid that is so drugged up from the dentist that he has no idea what is going on and in a fit of confusion asks “Is this real life?” Well that’s exactly how I feel right now. MANteresting has turned in to something bigger than I could have ever anticipated. I was originally only planning on writing one post about the site this Friday, since that is when we will officially be one month old. I planned to share with you some pretty incredible statistics about our growth as well as provide a laundry list of websites that have featured us.

But yesterday, at about 4:30 in the afternoon, Jesse and I got an email from a VC group based in San Francisco saying our website was “growing rapidly” and had “piqued” their interest. One of the founders of the VC was “impressed by the site and wanted to find out more about the team behind it and the company’s financing plans.”

At first I was absolutely pumped. I literally threw my fists in the air and let out a triumphant scream. “We have people who might want to give us money”, I thought to myself. I started clapping hysterically with excitement. Girl Ninja begged me to stop because my claps were so loud. After a minute or two of absolute joy, my excitement quickly turned to skepticism.

Truth is, this is not the first entity to reach out to us and ask if we were interested in taking on partners. We’ve had some offer their skills, some offer their connections, and others offer their money; all so they could get a stake in MANteresting. We’ve turned them down every time.

So I hopped on Google and researched the VC to check out their credibility. I was pleased to find Groupon and a few other major players in their portfolio. What’s more, they seem to always pour $1MM or more in to each company they partner with. Needless to say, these guys don’t mess around.

I have a phone call with someone at the VC today and should have a better understanding of their level of interest after it. They could very well be data mining, just trying to learn about us without any actual intention of partnering. They could also send this email to 1,000’s of other start-ups each year, seeing who bites. They could also think we are cash poor and are in need of financing from outside sources, Simply trying to take advantage of a struggling company.

But….what if they really are interested and see the potential behind MANteresting? What if they have a six or seven-figure partnership in mind? Could you imagine? I’m not putting all my eggs in one basket and expecting this to be the case, but even getting to contemplate the possibility is absolutely incredible.

If anyone out there has any insight in to what this call might entail or suggestions as to important questions I should ask them, I’d love any insight/knowledge/help you could offer up. It has to be a good sign that they emailed us right?

Alright Ninja, play it cool, don’t act as excited as you are 🙂

Favorite nail from yesterday: Never say anything.

20 thoughts on “Is this real life?

  1. That is amazing!!! I think you are right to be skeptical though – and this is probably a good attitude to have with them during your call. My advice is to try your best to contain your excitement! Let it be known that you have had a lot of other interest from investors and that you will need to take some time to consider their offer. Ask for things to be mailed to you for you to review. In other words.. PLAY HARD TO GET!!

  2. Congrats, lil doode! Who would have thought all of this would have stemmed over another website and discussion on the internet.

    Amazing.

  3. Congratulations on getting interest from VCs Ninja! even if you don’t take the offer – it’s nice to know that you have some investors watching.

  4. “It has to be a good sign that they emailed us right?”

    Maybe yes, maybe no. Don’t commit to anything or sign any contracts before consulting an experienced professional in this area. Replay “The Social Network” and pay particular attention to how Eduardo signs papers screwing himself out of millions.

  5. That was really fast!… But I’m not surprised..
    The site has great design, and the content gets better every day.

    Good luck with your voice call.

  6. Very exciting!! Can’t wait to hear how this progresses. Remember the wise words of The Gambler: “Know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, know when to run”. 😉

    Fruit stripes and I have a love/hate relationship.

  7. Awesome, things are progressing nicely!

    I know I said this in an earlier comment, but as your fake CMO it bears repeating: lawyer up, the sooner the better. If you can find a mentor type person in the VC or Angel community near you, it might be good to pick their brain as well.

  8. Good luck. Remember this phrase, “I have to check with my partner or professional advisor (attorney or whoever)”. There absolutely no reason to feel pressured into anything.

  9. I’d suggest asking for a written summary of what they’re offering (after the initial conversation)- it’s easy to make generalizations & maybe’s on the phone. A written summary will help you decide how serious they are about the offer/how much time you want to spend pursuing the opportunity.
    Good Luck!

  10. I’m excited for you! It is neat to be able to read about this from the beginning and see how it develops 🙂 thanks for keeping us looped in. Cant wait to see how the call goes!

  11. Hey Ninja. I think it’s super excited that you’re being scouted out by VCs. Congrats! The market’s hot but getting funding is tricky so it’s great when you’re being approached to be funded vs. the other way around. As someone who’s fully immersed in Silicon Valley startup scene, I’d advise you to be careful about what you write on your blog about the process. Right now, this site is directly connected with Manteresting, and it’ll likely b read fairly thoroughly during the due diligence process. Also, I suggest reading this article by Mark Suster on how to figure out whether the person contacting you or you’re talking to has any influence or authority over decision making: http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2009/06/28/ninas-and-egg-breakers-pitching-a-vc/

    In general (thought not always) if your’e talking to an analyst at a VC, they will have much lower (if any) influence on decision making than if you’re talking to at least an associate, or preferably a principal, if not a partner.

    Not sure if your co-founder has any experience raising money or navigating these waters..but I’m sure y’all will sort things out :). If you’re friends with any Personal Finance companies, reach out to their CEOs/Co-Founders…they might be willing to give you a few tips on the process. Read everything you can (look at Mark Suster’s blog for sure, it’s one of the best) and don’t get too excited about anything until the ink’s dry on the papers.

    Sorry if this was some unsolicited advice. Just want you to be able to succeed is all. All this is super exciting news in general and I’m very happy for you.

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