Raising venture capital has pretty much worked the same way for years. Entrepreneurs hop on a plane or in a car and travel to make their pitches to the folks who hold the purse strings.
But CapLinked is looking to change the equation a bit, allowing private “deal rooms” to be established online in which entrepreneurs invite investors to participate. Led and backed by former PayPal executives, CapLinked today announced a new feature called Deal Rocket launched in conjunction with Microsoft BizSpark.
In addition to the private deal rooms already operating on CapLinked, participants in Deal Rocket will be able to easily submit their companies to more than 100 angel groups and early-stage venture capital firms.
“Deal Rocket makes it easier for startups to share their capital raises with multiple early-stage investors at once,” said Claire Lee, Head of Industry Partnerships for the Emerging Business Team at Microsoft. “Since CapLinked is an open platform, they will also be able to invite prospective investors they meet through other channels to view the same deal.”
The Deal Rocket service is only available for companies in the Microsoft BizSpark program, but there are plans to expand it to other companies in the CapLinked system shortly.
The way entrepreneurs go about raising cash is changing rapidly, especially with the rise of social networking. AngelList has quickly caught on, and a number of entrepreneurs are turning to it and other online channels to syndicate deals. CapLinked goes a step further than some of these services, allowing deals and pitches to be scrutinized within private online deal rooms.
That means investors in Seattle and San Francisco could easily collaborate on putting a financing together for a hot startup company. To date, more than 55,000 individuals and 6,000 companies have used the site.
CapLinked raised $525,000 earlier this year, including participation from venture capitalists and former PayPal execs Peter Thiel, Dave McClure and others. The company, led by former PayPal marketing exec Eric Jackson, has been described as a LinkedIn and Salesforce.com offering for matching entrepreneurs and investors.