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Needham’s Sonian, a provider of email archiving solutions, raises $4 Million December 20, 2010

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Needham’s Sonian, a provider of email archiving solutions, raises $4 Million from a group of investors including Prism VentureWorks and Summerhill Venture Partners.

Boston’s SensorLogic, a developer of machine-to-machine applications platforms, raises $5 Million December 20, 2010

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Boston’s SensorLogic, a developer of machine-to-machine applications platforms, raises $5 Million from a group of investors led by Sevin Rosen Funds, Boston Millennia Partners, UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund and Covera Ventures.

Novartis Option Fund leads a $30 million Series B financing round for Waltham’s Avila Therapeutics December 18, 2010

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Novartis Option Fund leads a $30 million Series B financing round for Waltham’s Avila Therapeutics.

In a deal that combines equity financing with an option on an early-stage research program, Novartis Option Fund led a $30 million Series B financing on July 27 for Avila Therapeutics, which uses its proprietary Avilomics platform to design and develop covalent drugs in the areas of cancer, autoimmune disease and viral infection (read a write-up from The Pink Sheet” DAILY, here). NOF is a $200 million fund that seeds innovative companies through initial and follow-on investments – the initial investment is coupled with a program option to provide early validation of the company’s technology. Avila says it will use the proceeds to advance its first program into clinical development – its lead programs are a protease inhibitor for hepatitis C (AVL181) and a molecule targeting the Btk kinase (AVL291), an emerging target in oncology and autoimmune disease.

The Waltham, Mass.-based company did not say which of those programs would advance to clinical development first, and neither company identified the therapeutic target of the program for which NOF has option rights. Avila says its drugs work through protein-silencing – the molecules’ covalent nature enables them to bond strongly, selectively and resiliently to disease-causing proteins, theoretically producing superior therapeutic outcomes. The drug candidates’ covalent bonding also makes them effective against mutations in disease targets, according to Avila.

Participating with NOF in the Series B were Avila’s original investors – Abingworth, Advent Venture Partners, Atlas Venture and Polaris Venture Partners. The four VC firms staked Avila with $21.3 million in Series A funding in 2007, and also made a convertible debt purchase this past May that initially brought Avila $5 million and eventually could yield $15 million.

How many stock options should executives at a startup company be granted? November 28, 2010

Posted by HubTechInsider in Acquisitions, Boston Executive Moves, Investing, IPOs, Staffing & Recruiting, Startups, Venture Capital.
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How many stock options should executives at a startup company be granted?

The Going Rates for Senior Executives’ Stock Options in the Boston area, 2011:

A President or CEO of a startup may typically receive anywhere from 6% to 10% of the company’s stock. The actual percentage of stock granted to the CEO will depend upon such factors as the company’s life stage and financial stability and revenue outlook when the new CEO signs on for employment. The earlier in the company’s formationary period the new CEO signs on, the higher the percentage of stock granted to him may be.

A Senior Vice President of a startup may typically receive anywhere from 1% to 3% of the startup’s stock. In general, and this is across many industries that startups participate in in the Boston area, those with a marketing and sales pedigree are rewarded toward the higher range and those with a financial orientation toward the lower range. This is often due to the fact that very top-notch marketing and sales executives are sinmply harder to find because of intense competition in the Boston area, and when they succeed, they add signigficantly to the bottom line of a startup company’s revenue outlook. In contrast, consider that senior Financial executives are essential to reassure skitish venture, angel and other early stage startup capital funding institutional and individual investors, but they can’t usually stake a claim to having increased sales.

A Vice President or a Key Manager of a startup company in the Boston area may expect to receive (or in the Boston area, may expect to have had to have negociated strongly for) .5% to 2% of a startup company’s stock. A Vice President of sales or a manager of technolgy would be liklier to command toward the higher end of this range of stock percentages, while a Vice President of finance or manufacturing would probably be at the lower end. As I outlined above with Senior Vice Presidents, those with marketing and sales expertise have the greatest amount of leverage. Executives and managers below these senior levels usually receive something less than .5% of the startup’s stock in the Boston area.

I should point out with some stridency that the above stock percentages that I have outlined can be misleading, and I advise starup senior management teams, hr directors, boards of directors, investors, and job seekers to take the above guidelines with care. In the Boston area, a great deal of savvy negociations by knowledgable parties, all armed with a great deal of stock option terminology and business experience, would have to be conducted to arrive at stock option structures like the ones above.

The actual percentage of a startup company that an employee receives in options is much less important than its potential value. Having 10% of a company that’s unlikely to exceed $1 million in value is much less desirable than having 1% of a company that has a good chance of being worth $100 million.

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About the author.

I’m Paul Seibert, Editor of Boston’s Hub Tech Insider, a Boston focused technology blog. I have been working in the software engineering and ecommerce industries for over fifteen years. My interests include electronics, robotics and programmable microcontrollers, and I am an avid outdoorsman and guitar player. You can connect with me on LinkedIn, follow me on Twitter, even friend me on Facebook if you’re cool.

I own and am trying to sell a dual-zoned, residential & commercial Office Building in Natick, MA. I have a background in entrepreneurship, ecommerce, telecommunications and software development, I’m the Director, Technical Projects at eSpendWise, I’m a serial entrepreneur and the co-founder of Tshirtnow.net.



Belmont’s SaveWave, digital coupon solutions provider, raises $2.3 Million in a Series A round of equity funding August 23, 2010

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Belmont’s SaveWave, (formerly known as Upromise) digital coupon solutions provider, raises $2.3 Million in a Series A round of equity funding from a group of undisclosed investors.

Boston’s Ayeah Games raises venture capital from Lead Dog and Eureeka Ventures August 23, 2010

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Boston’s Ayeah Games , a developer of “social reality games”, raises an undisclosed amount of venture capital equity funding from Lead Dog Ventures and Eureeka Ventures.

Beverly’s SiOnyx, black silicon maker, raises $6.3 Million July 1, 2010

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Beverly’s SiOnyx, a developer of black silicon used in imaging systems, raises $6.3 Million from a group of investors led by Harris & Harris, Polaris Venture Partners, and RedShift Ventures.

Wilbraham, Massachusetts based FloDesign, wind turbine manufacturer, announces their Series B round of $35 Million in equity funding June 28, 2010

Posted by HubTechInsider in green technology, Manufacturing, Massachusetts High Technology, renewable energy, Startups, Venture Capital.
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Wilbraham, Massachusetts based FloDesign, a maker of wind turbines that resemble jet engines, announces their Series B round of $35 Million in equity funding led by a group of investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Technology Partners, VantagePoint Venture Partners, and Goldman Sachs.

Westborough’s Boston Power Inc., a developer of lithium ion batteries, raises $60 MM June 28, 2010

Posted by HubTechInsider in green technology, renewable energy, Startups, Venture Capital.
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Westborough’s Boston Power Inc., a developer of lithium ion batteries, raises $60 Million in a Series E round of equity funding led by Foundation Asset Management, Oak Investment Partners, Venrock, and Gabriel Venture Partners.

Smart Destinations, Inc., a Boston developer of travel planning & booking services, raises $3 MM from MMV Financial June 27, 2010

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Smart Destinations, Inc., a Boston developer of travel planning, booking, and redemption of in-destination activities, raises $3 Million from MMV Financial.

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