Case Study: Komli Media

An Entrepreneur Focuses on What Matters

Valuative Speaks with Amar Goel, Founder & Chairman, Komli Media

Amar Goel, Founder & Chairman, Komli Media

Komli Media | Amar Goel, Founder & Chairman

What does Komli Media do?

Komli Media is a leader in digital advertising across Asia Pacific. We have two main businesses, a media business and a technology platform business. Our media business sells media in both premium and performance solutions across display, mobile and video. Our technology platform business provides solutions such as audience measurement and real-time bidding to the media ecosystem in India, Australia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.

Prior to Komli, how much experience did you have with term sheets/raising venture capital?

I’ve been involved in raising over $100 million in venture financing in my career, and hiring over 1,000 employees. While I’m certainly not the most seasoned person out there, I’ve been through a number of decent-sized fundraisings with a few companies. I’ve presented to probably 150+ venture capitalists, and I’ve had several well-known firms like Sequoia, DFJ, and Norwest as investors.

How would you describe Valuative to fellow entrepreneurs?

Valuative provides you a great way to look at various outcomes, and see exactly what everybody makes. It shows you where the value is. That allows you as an entrepreneur to really understand what you’re getting into when you sign a term sheet.

Most entrepreneurs really have no idea what’s going to happen with the terms in their capital structure at exit. There are all kinds of terms like liquidation preferences and participation features that can have a big impact on outcomes for employees and founders. Oftentimes, what you think is going to happen is different than what is actually going to happen.

So I’d recommend Valuative to every entrepreneur. Every entrepreneur should get some data to really understand the decisions they’re making.

And while I haven’t been a VC, I’ve seen even some venture guys not fully appreciate how these terms work in different scenarios. So I’m kind of shocked that people are doing oftentimes complex deals without this kind of software. So I guess I’d recommend it to VC’s as well (laughs).

Name:

Amar Goel

Company:

Komli Media

About Us:

Komli Media is Asia Pacific’s leading digital media technology platform.

Komli’s digital advertising technologies enable marketers to reach, acquire and foster audiences and publishers to maximize their revenues. Komli Media provides marketers with innovative solutions across brand marketing, performance marketing, social media, and video advertising.

Capital Raised:

$21 million

Investors Include:

Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Norwest Venture Partners, Nexus Venture Partners, Helion Venture Partners

To get specific, can you tell us how you used Valuative?

We were raising a later round of fundraising, and we were considering several different term sheets. We needed to understand the impact of the various terms on the company.

What made it challenging was that, having done a few rounds of financing, we had an existing set of terms for each investor, some of which were slightly different. It becomes hard to model each of those individually and really understand the ramifications of each class on the prior class. I’ve even seen situations where early investors didn’t fully understand how the terms of later rounds of financing would impact their returns.

How was the analysis helpful? How did it impact your deal?

First, Valuative boiled the issues down to what matters from a financial point of view—how does the exit scenario impact the entrepreneur, employees and each investor.

Even though I’ve had a decent amount of experience with fundraising, I don’t do this every day. So the information that Valuative provides is hugely helpful to make sure we have all the information we need to get to the right financing terms for us.

Second, Valuative helped shape our deal strategy. I’ve done a few deals that had [preferred stock with] participation features, and Valuative really helped us understand the impact of participation on future vs. prior classes of preferred. That allowed us to change our negotiation strategy with new and existing investors and to come up with a round that everyone was happy with.

If you hadn’t had Valuative, what would you have done?

Without Valuative, we probably would have made some incorrect assumptions. We don’t do this for a living. It’s not like we have some spreadsheet already worked up on our own. We can go work it out, but frankly as an entrepreneur sometimes we don’t even fully understand the impact of all of these terms. You try to go build your own model, but, realistically, it’s not as easy to do what-if analyses as it seems or to do as many analyses as Valuative allows you to do.

Net net, if you try to rig up something on your own, you don’t do nearly as good of an analysis. Worst case scenario—and I’ve done this before in my career—you make mistakes about how certain terms work. Once you’ve closed an investment, those mistakes can’t be undone.

It’s not that we don’t have the time to do it. If we really need to, we’ll make the time to build a model. But the model we would build in those two days we’d spend on it isn’t nearly as thorough or as useful as what you get with Valuative. Valuative lets you see exactly what happens in hundreds of different scenarios, easily and visually.

To sum up, what would you tell fellow entrepreneurs about Valuative?

You should use Valuative. It’s worth your time. If you have super-simple terms and it’s a Series A, then maybe things are a little more straightforward. But the moment you have various preferences, caps, non-standard terms—anything slightly complicated—it’s definitely worth it.