12 ‘flexible VCs’ who operate where equity meets revenue share

Previously, we introduced the concept of flexible VC: structures that allow founders to access immediate risk capital while preserving exit and ownership optionality. We list here all the active flexible VCs we have identified, broken into these categories:

  • Revenue-based
  • Compensation-based
  • Blended-return streams

Revenue-based flexible VCs

These investors are paid back primarily based on a percentage of revenues.

Capacity Capital

Chattanooga, TN-based Capacity Capital was launched in 2020 with a primary focus on the southeastern U.S. Jonathan Bragdon, its CEO, describes Capacity as “a team of founders-turned-funders making non-dilutive, founder-aligned investments of $ 50,000-$ 300,000 in post-startup, post-revenue businesses planning to 2x revenues in 12-24 months. Investments are typically in exchange for a capped, single-digit revenue share and a right to equity under certain circumstances.

If the company sells or raises enough capital, the investment converts into an agreed-upon percentage of equity. If the company grows without raising additional equity funding, founders redeem most of the equity right, based on a pre-agreed return amount. With a portfolio that includes food, tech and services, the fund is industry-agnostic and focused on the overlooked and underrepresented with high-margin business models.”

Jonathan sometimes refers to their investments as “micro-mezzanine” because “mezz is typically structured as a contractual periodic payment, with some equity-like upside, but subordinate to other debt … so most lenders look at it like equity. But, it is typically shorter term with fewer control mechanisms than equity (i.e., not VC). I wanted [a term for] something similar (between debt and equity) but on an extremely small scale.”

In addition to a fund, the overall Capacity organization provides direct mentorship, consulting and connects founders to a broad network of talent, diverse forms of capital and existing resources focused on the post-startup stage of growth. The founders, LPs and venture partners have a long history in local startup ecosystems in the Southeast including LaunchTN, The Company Lab, CO.STARTERS and several other regional funds and resources.

Greater Colorado Venture Fund

Greater Colorado Venture Fund (GCVF) is a $ 17 million seed fund that invests in high-growth startups in rural Colorado using equity and flexible VC structuring.

A typical GCVF flexible VC investment is $ 100,000-$ 250,000 for up to 10% ownership, of which 9% is redeemable, with a sub-10% revenue share and 12-month-plus holiday period. GCVF specializes in providing critical support to founders based in small communities, while connecting them to an unfair network well-beyond their small-town headquarters.

GCVF is pioneering the future of venture capital and high-growth startups for all small communities. With Colorado as an ideal pilot community, the GCVF team (which includes Jamie Finney, a co-author of this article) has helped grow multiple staple initiatives in the rural Colorado startup ecosystem, including West Slope Startup Week, Telluride Venture Accelerator, Startup Colorado, Energize Colorado Gap Fund and the Greater Colorado Pitch Series.

Recognizing the need for creative investment structures in their Colorado market, they co-founded the Alternative Capital Summit, creating the first community of flexible VCs and alternative startup investors.

They share their learnings on flexible VC and pioneering rural startup ecosystems on the GCVF blog.

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What happens when you decouple Zoom’s/Google Meet’s (webrtc) backend infrastructure from the front-end and bring Video Calling to 3.5 Billion people who are not connected? Raspberry Pi + Radio + Router + Omni Antenna = 1KM WIFI Hotspot for Calling and File Sharing

Trango Station’s WiFi hotspot enables HD video/audio calling and file sharing in the remotest and highest of places. Its minimalistic hardware (an antenna, a router and a small pi computer) is what sets it apart. No fiber optics, no tower, no sophisticated infrastructure required.

Next Challenge 👉 If this station can connect one village, why not two nearby villages by connecting two wireless hotspots created by trango station. So if two villages can be connected with each other, why not three four or five. Trango Station will make it possible.

Take it for a spin at web.trango.io . (You can also make online Video, Audio Calls. They are P2P, E2E encrypted and serverless.)

Details:

What started as an internal experiment at our factory has mushroomed into a passion project for all those involved. After creating a mechanism to make HD Video/Audio Calls and Share Files on the local network (which works well for all sorts of offices, factories and hotels, we decided to move further upstream and think of off-grid uses( (villages, remote areas), where people do not have access to the internet and how they can utilise our backend software. So here’s what we did:

We configured Trango to run on any SBC (Raspberry Pi), then we connected that Pi to a router. This made it a server with routing capabilities. Next we attached a Radio to the router (converts data into signals and vice versa). Finally, we connected an Omni antenna to the radio and created a full blown Wifi Hotspot + Trango Server which is portable in nature and simple to set up.

To our surprise, it worked extremely well when we tested in nearby villages. People were able to make Video, Audio Calls and even share files with each other in a 500 meter distance from the Wifi Hotspot using any smartphone or laptop. We wanted to further push the limits to we tested the Trango Station in a completely off-grid, remote and high altitude area. Our tests were successful there as well. So now we have simple solution using open-source software and off the shelf hardware to connect lets say a whole village. But our next challenge is to connect a neighbouring village with that particular village ( Picture 2). This would mean creating a Bus Network, where every village is connected to each other in a chain. Every Trango Station (Wifi hotspot) would serve as a relay node, enabling all the villages (Trango Stations) to communicate with each other. We have the hardware figured out, (in addition to the omni antenna, a directional antenna will be added).

On the software end, we would need to decentralise the discovery server and its temporary database which allows users to see who else is connected to that particular network. For this, we are looking into distributed databases and ledgers and hope to be achieving a solution soon. Since our project is open-source, anyone is more than welcome to contribute to this.|

Link to Original Post:
https://www.reddit.com/r/trango/comments/jf8xiz/videoaudio_calling_without_the_internet_for/

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