Seed vs. Series Funding Rounds: The Difference

It’s one thing to fund your small business with the money in your savings and contributions from friends and family, but when you’re dealing with professional venture capitalists for funding, you really need to know what your fundraising options are.  At the very least, you should be able to differentiate between the Seed Round and a Series A. This will help you decide which of these options is best suited for your startup funding needs.  So, Seed vs. Series Funding Rounds: what’s the difference?

Seed Round

This is the money you raise to fund your initial product development and market research. The Seed Round is the capital a company needs to build a foundation for its new product. Usually, this is a series of investments from about 15 or so investors, which can garner anywhere from $50,000 to $2 million. However, founders also often benefit from the additional knowledge that experienced investors bring to the table.

In exchange for their investments, investors receive a preferred stock option or equity stake in the company. If you are starting a company then these funds help you to tweak your business model, while focusing on gathering crucial business partnerships. The Seed Round allows you to have more time to breathe and make changes to your original plan for action, optimizing your business model and strategy.

Of course, with venture capitalists on board and money in hand, if you’re the founder of the startup then these investors will expect you to actually know what to do with the money they invest in your business because now they are a part of your company.

Series A

Series A is a subsequent round of fundraising to the Seed Round, though it’s possible to skip the Seed Round and go directly to Series A. If the Seed Round is all about laying the roots for your foundation, then Series A round is about growing and strengthening the branches.

The name of the round is derived from the fact that these investors tend to expect Series A Preferred shares in exchange for these investments. Series A investors tend to expect that they are the first to receive those preferred shares (which is something to remember when seeking this type of funding).

In this round, the number of investors is usually smaller, but they’re often much bigger partners with larger contributions (averaging $2 million to $10 million). The larger amount of funding is the main reason why some founders “go straight to A’s,” but the downside is that you are often expected to give up a bigger piece of your startup for that bigger chunk of capital.

Seed vs. Series Funding Rounds: Which Is Better?

Seed vs. Series Funding Rounds: which type is best for your business? It’s really a case by case basis, but, in general, there are several good reasons why you may want to start smaller with the Seed Round. With the Series A, the greater investment amount of investment tends to increase the pressure on startup founders, so there isn’t as much time to make changes to the business model.  Startup founders also give up more control of their company, which is another piece to consider.

It’s best that you lay down the foundation of your new company before you going to Series A, but if that’s something you’ve already done, then you just might be ready to move to the Series Funding Rounds. Assemble the crucial components of your team, come up with a working business model, and optimize your distribution. Check off each of these goals, secure the funding, and then it’s up to you to use it wisely!

LA Startups Crew
Los Angeles Startups
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
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LA Startups Crew
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

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22 Best Invoicing Software for Startup

25 Best Invoicing Software for Startups

Whether you’re a startup or a freelancer, you need a good invoicing app that simplifies the invoicing process that saves you time and money. There are plenty of invoicing software options available today that allow you to easily send out personalized invoices. Also to make sure you get paid on time, without losing track of the payments that you are owed.

We scoured the web to find the best of the best invoicing app for you.  We looked for an app that, first and foremost, lets you make an invoice more quickly than you could in your word processor and ideally lets you get paid online or mobile.

When testing apps, we also considered pricing and usability, and we looked for apps with either unique or extensive features; those that do something no other app offers or handle everything from invoicing to accounting to project management and estimation.

Here are the 23 best invoicing apps you can try today.

1 Intuit Quickbooks

QuickBooks is a simple web-based accounting software package developed and marketed by Intuit. QuickBooks products are geared mainly toward small and medium-sized businesses and offer on-premises accounting applications as well as cloud-based versions that accept business payments, manage and pay bills, and payroll functions. We use Quickbooks for our company, it’s a great app.

2 Xero

Founded in 2006 in New Zealand, Xero is one of the fastest growing software as service companies globally. A beautiful cloud-based accounting app connects all of your staff anytime, anywhere, on any device. Give your staff access to the areas they need to do their job. And invite your advisor to collaborate with you on your business in real-time. Xero backs up your data and protects it with multiple layers of security including industry-standard data encryption and secure data centers.

3 FreshBooks

A cloud-based small business accounting software that enables you to quickly send invoices, track time, manage receipts, expenses, and accept credit cards. FreshBooks is simple and intuitive, so you’ll spend less time on paperwork and wow your clients with how professional your invoices look. One of the things we love is that FreshBooks integrates with lots of apps you already use to make running your business a breeze, here’s the list.

4 Bill.com

Bill.com is a US-based accounting software system, provided as a software as a service (SaaS) that integrates with accounting and banking systems. It enables you to easily get invoiced electronically, or drag, drop and enter bills yourself. And, send ACH Payments, or we can mail paper checks to vendors & contractors for you.

5 Chargify

Chargify is a web-based billing software for all of your Recurring Billing needs. Chargify manages billing for thousands of businesses and supports a wide range of billing scenarios from B2B to B2C. While the common business segments include SaaS, subscription boxes, agencies, consultants, and Web hosting, Chargify can handle any industry need that requires recurring billing.

6 Square

Square is a cohesive commerce ecosystem that helps sellers start, run, and grow their business. Square combines sophisticated software with affordable hardware to enable sellers to turn mobile and computing devices into powerful payment and point-of-sale solutions. Its tools help sellers make informed business decisions through the use of analytics and reporting. Sellers can manage orders, inventory, locations, and employees; engage customers and grow their sales, and gain access to business loans.

7 Wave

Wave is a company that provides a suite of financial services and online software for small businesses. Wave is headquartered in the Leslieville neighborhood in Toronto, Canada. Wave enables you to get paid on time, every time. You can set up recurring invoices and automatic credit card payments for your repeat customers and stop chasing payments. And, enables you to switch between automatic and manual billing whenever you want. Pretty cool feature.

8 Quaderno

Quaderno manages sales tax, VAT, and GST for you, automatically. It handles thousands of receipts every month from businesses of all sizes, all around the world. What’s cool about Quaderno is that it automatically calculate the correct tax amount for each customer and their location. And, Quaderno sends automatic receipts after every payment. Issue credit notes with every refund. Comply with local rules everywhere, including the US, Canada, Australia, and the entire EU.

9 Simple Invoices

Simple Invoices is the easiest way for freelancers to send invoices and get paid on time. Simple Invoices enables you to accept credit cards and PayPal payments in seconds. Freelancer friendly, try it.

10 Cushion

With Cushion, you can send invoices to clients by either downloading a PDF, copying a link, or sending an email directly from Cushion. On the surface, Cushion can generate and track invoices, but underneath, it can do so much more; like saving tax rates, so when you click to enter an amount, a helper will appear with a list of your saved tax rates. And, Cushion uses dates to track your invoices and visualize them in the schedule graph. Slick!

11 Zipbooks

ZipBooks is free accounting software that sends invoices, tracks time and expenses, integrates with your bank & lets you process credit cards. Simple, beautiful, and powerful, ZipBooks gives you the tools and intelligence to take your business to the next level.

Zipbooks enables you to customize your invoices according to your needs by adding your logo, specific colors, and contact info. Stay up to date by keeping track of customer payment and invoice history, overdue balances, and taxes collected. See when your customer has opened an invoice, and prepare and view receipts.

12 Accounteer

Accounteer is a cloud-based accounting platform for small businesses. It enables you to create invoices, track expenses and follow up on their finances with ease. Accounteer integrates with external services like banks, e-invoicing platforms, and e-commerce. You can quickly create sales invoices and offers with ease. With a few simple clicks, you can create your documents and send them digitally to your contacts reducing both time and cost. Using Accounteer out of the box reports you can easily track your receivables and make sure you get paid in time.

13 FreeAgent

FreeAgent is cloud-based accounting software targeted at freelancers, micro businesses and their accountants. FreeAgent lets you set up recurring invoices that can send themselves automatically, and nudge those pesky late-paying clients with automated reminders. It’s hands-free invoicing!

14 Due

Due has helped thousands of companies and freelancers get paid faster and increase their cash flow while offering a professional, branded approach to payment requests. Due also offers a wide range of payment options, including eCash, eChecks, and ACH, and domestic and international credit card process, as well as a digital wallet to store payment information and funds.

15 And Co

And Co is a company that develops and markets services as products for small businesses and freelancers. You can create an invoice in 20 seconds or less. AND CO automatically creates invoices based on your projects and contracts, alerts you of their payment and more.  Slick app!

16 Hello Bonsai

Bonsai is an online freelancing platform that helps companies and independent talent invoice better and faster. Bonsai enables you to create and customize invoices in seconds or generate them automatically from any proposal, contract or time sheet – this will save a ton of time. Try it today.

17 BallPark

Ballpark’s estimates and invoices help you streamline your process and make it easier for clients to pay you for your work. Ballpark enables you to create detailed estimates and send them to your clients for approval. Ballpark lets you know when clients have accepted or rejected your estimates so you can get to work.

18 Invoice2Go

Invoice2Go is a simple mobile and web app for invoicing, expense-tracking, and reporting tool for micro and small business owners. Say goodbye to hours of digging through files and boxes for receipts. Simply snap a photo to safely store it. You’ll thank yourself at tax time when you can export all of your expenses in seconds.

19 Momenteo

Momenteo is a cloud-based app that allows freelancers to easily manage their clients, invoices, expenses & travels while having a clear portrait of their financial health. It’s a fairly simple app to use – Invoicing is a streamlined 4 steps process: Prepare, Design, Send, Follow-up. Add your work done to an invoice, customize it to your tastes, send it to your client, add some payments.

20 Harvest

With Harvest, you can easily and quickly create invoices, customize logos, and invoice in different currencies. What’s great about Harvest is that it integrates with QuickBooks Online or Xero – it automatically copies all of your invoices over to them. Great for freelancers and young startups.

21 Invoicera

Invoicera is a cloud-based invoicing application with unparalleled features for various customer types, flexibility, scalability and flexible licensing powering more than 2M+ users and over 25 Enterprises generating more than 200M+ invoices each year. Invoicera comes with a range of features to manage a business effectively and efficiently. Here are 5 great features I like:

  • Easily convert purchase orders into invoices
  • Invoices are hyperlinked to the original sale and purchase in inventory module
  • Receive invoices and estimates from your vendors in one dashboard for hassle-free account payable management
  • Track invoice status in real time
  • Automate late fee and payment reminders to get paid quicker

22 OneUp

OneUp is an excellent online accounting software to run your startup.  OneUp is flexible, allow you to quickly create invoices from Quotes, enter Invoices by hand, or enter Sales Orders to fulfill customer POs. If your business uses Square Register, you can even connect to OneUp and your transactions will automatically appear in OneUp. When your invoice is ready, use OneUp’s built in the email system to put it directly in your customer’s inbox. I like the beautiful UX on the dashboard layout.

Find out how ZestFinance uses machine learning technology to help companies make accurate credit decisions.

 

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
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LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

Startup Should Create a Culture of Collaboration, Not Silo

Startup Should Create a Culture of Collaboration, Not Silo

A company needs its employees to work together.  For the organization to function well, it must have multiple people with different expertise and skills working together towards a single goal. Basically, a company needs its people to collaborate.

But moving fast, innovating, and excelling all at the same time is a hard thing to do. It’s even harder if you put people with varying beliefs, personalities and abilities together.

So the big question is, “How do we create a culture based on collaboration?”

Know the “Why”

Before anyone can collaborate, they need to know why they should do it in the first place. Some professionals may refuse to work with other people because they believe that they don’t need the help of others.

To convince these kinds of people, you need to show them that the project cannot be done by a single professional. Tell them that it will be faster and efficient if a group of people with special skills work together. Plant the seeds of cooperation early and you’ll see fantastic results.

Have a meeting and invite everyone involved in the project. Explain to them clearly why you need their services and why you need to solve this problem. If people know the “why”, then all that’s left for them is to “do”.

Use the UX Mindset

The user experience mindset or UX mindset for short is a way of thinking that puts the customer first. It reframes how you think and it will give you a new work perspective. Integrating the UX mindset into the team will instill cooperation.

People unite under the UX mindset because they have a common goal. Instead of bickering with one another, people will set aside their differences to create an amazing user experience.

Teach people to respect roles

Respect or to be more accurate, the lack of respect is one of the biggest reasons why people refuse to cooperate. Lack of respect stems from a feeling of loss, elitism, miscommunications, misunderstandings, and ignorance.

It’s hard to teach people to respect someone that they’ve just met. However “hard” does not mean that it’s impossible.

To remove lack of respect from your team, you simply need to show them respect. Respect can be gained by clearing up misunderstandings, having a positive outlook, and understanding the bigger picture.

An ignorant employee might complain that a certain job or role is useless but once you show them why the bigger picture, they will understand their foolishness and begin to show a little bit of respect.

Teach your people to accept and embrace change

The only true constant in this world is changing.  Change is something that happens all of the time but for most people change can be a bad thing.  Your people might be comfortable with the status quo and the thought of change is a scary notion for them.

However, change is needed for progress.  You simply need to convince yourself and your people that change can be good. You simply need to look at it from a different perspective. Show them that they’ll be getting more than what they’ve bargained for. All they need to do is to simply learn and embrace change.

Sure, some changes can be rough. And change may lead to tough times, but you have to take risks to move forward.

If this isn’t enough to convince them, then you can use change as a way to stimulate people. Frame the change as something that creates adventure and excitement. Frame it in a way so that they will learn to love the unknown.

Improve communication between team members

People cannot collaborate if they can’t communicate with each other. And standard communication isn’t enough, they have to communicate perfectly with one another.

Perfect communication between team members is hard and it isn’t just about telling people what to do. No, perfect communication is a much trickier task. You must teach your people to use the right words at the right time.

Improper communication can lead to arguments. The use of incorrect words might offend people and impact them on a subconscious level. Learn ways to reframe your words, because a single word can alter your intended message.

Effects of a Culture based on Collaboration

A culture that promotes teamwork and collaboration is ideal. There are tons of benefits from having your people work well together. But some of the most notable and most important effects would be…

An increase in creativity and morale

This is probably one of the most obvious and most notable effects of a collaborative culture. Teams are more creative and more positive since they get along well with one another. People will also feel better if the workplace promotes teaming up and working with others.

More innovative members

A culture that promotes working together will also promote new ideas and new opportunities. Team members are more likely to participate in meetings since they feel comfortable talking and sharing their ideas.

Innovation stems from the will to change. And if people are open to change and new opportunities, then they are welcoming innovation with open arms.

Better ROI

Achieving a culture based on collaboration is hard. It might even be impossible for others, but once you reach it, it would be worth your while.

When a team is collaborative, they work faster and better with one another. People are more content with their work and they will do their best most of the time. People are also more creative, and innovation blooms freely in the work area.

In the long run, the team will be able to produce quality products and the company will make more money in the long run.

Conclusion

Mankind is capable of creating wonderful and amazing things. I mean we’ve created airplanes that can fly in the air, we’ve harnessed the power of lightning, and we’ve created cities that can accommodate millions of people.

This is all thanks to collaboration and teamwork. Creating a collaborative culture in your workplace is a big deal. Expect better products, better relationships, and overall a better team.

Creating an ideal setting where people promote the idea of teamwork and camaraderie is hard but it is well worth it. If you’re a manager and aren’t doing this to your team, then you’re missing out!

Here’s a great read – Top 4 Tips for Building a Real Networking Community

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
×
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

8 Ways Your Company Can Save Money By Hiring Remote Worker

8 Ways Your Company Can Save Money By Hiring Remote Worker

Whether you’re a veteran or simply a new business owner, one thing is certain – overhead costs are a big pain in the @&&. So it’s a good thing that modern technology has helped today’s businesses cut down on costs.

You save a lot of money by not paying for office space, construction costs, electricity bill, rental fee, food expenses, and other expenses. You can simply hire your employees and have them work at home. It’s also a big benefit to the employee since they don’t have to worry about gas expenses or commuting expenses. They also work in the comfort of their own homes and they can set their own schedules as well. It’s a win-win situation for both the employer and the employee.

But if you’re still not convinced then take a look at these reasons that explain why hiring remotely can save you a lot of money.

1 Lower Operating Costs for Your Business

You don’t have to worry about renting office space, paying electric bills, paying water bills,  buying office supplies, providing for snacks, office repairs, buying hardware, fixing to plumb, and all those other expenses since most (if not all) of your workers are now working at home.

Based on a poll from Global Workplace Analytics, it was discovered that businesses and companies who allow their employees to work at home have reduced expenses and reduced company overheads of approximately $11,000 annually.

2 Your Remote Workers are More Productive

Working at home has a lot of perks. The most obvious perk would be that of time and travel expenses. Home workers don’t need to travel to the office which saves them a lot of time, they also don’t have to experience the stress of being caught in a traffic jam during rush hour.

Asides from the traffic, home workers have fewer distractions and they can devote 100% of their time and energy on work. Home workers have flexible work schedules that they can even take care of their children, cook their own food, and watch television. This flexible work schedule makes them more productive and it helps them produce high-quality outputs.

According to Tiny Pulse, about 91% of home workers state that they get more work done when they are working remotely.

3 Employee Turnover Will Be Reduced

A lot of employees are being replaced yearly. It’s costly to train new employees and it takes a lot of time and investment to make them as effective as the old ones.  You can convince your current employees to stick around by making them work at home.

According to the Global Workplace Analytics, about two-thirds of employees would switch their current jobs if they could ease the burden of commuting and deal with traffic. By relieving your employees the burden of traffic, you are also ensuring that they would stick around and work for you.

4 You will have more productive and efficient meetings

Payroll has reported that over 40% of office professionals see impromptu meetings as a major distraction in the workplace.

You don’t have to worry about impromptu meetings that hinder you from doing your work. Most impromptu meetings have little value to add and they are often used to kill time in the workplace. It’s even more annoying when people chat and goof around while waiting for the other workers to come to the meeting. You lose at least an hour of your work time in these meetings, an hour that you could have spent working on that project.

You can have more efficient and productive meetings if you have a lot of remote workers. Why? Because meetings have to planned and scheduled in advance which gives you and your employees more time to prepare for the meeting. So no more on the spot brainstorming or fooling around, you can now have meetings that help and improve your employees work rather than hindering it.

5 Your Workers Can Work Even on Sick Days

People in the office often take the whole day off when they call in sick. This would set back your profits and you’ll be at a loss. Remote workers, on the other hand, don’t have this problem.

Your remote workers can work from bed (if possible) when they’re sick. If they can’t work when sick it’s still okay since they have flexible work schedules that make it easy for them to catch up with work.

6 It’s Faster and Easier to Hire Remote Workers

Office employees undergo a very long and tedious hiring process. They undergo interviews, handle paperwork, background checks, and they have to be sorted out by the HR department. It would take a few days at best to hire a new employee.

Hiring a remote worker, on the other hand, can simply be done within a 24 hour period. There’s no bureaucracy that will slow you down.  However this comes at the cost of security and quality, you have to do the background checks yourself and make sure that they are up to par with your company’s standards.

7 You Don’t Need to Rely on Local Talent, You Have the World to Choose From

If your company is located in a big and thriving city. It’s very likely that your employees are also living in the city as well. The cost of living is high and you have to pay them a much higher rate.

However, you can pay remote workers much less since you don’t have to adhere to industry standards. You can pay someone a lower rate but with equal talent, whose living in a rural area and they’d still be happy about it. You can even completely outsource the work and hire workers from across the world.

8 You Can Work Remotely as Well

What’s so great about having all your workers work remotely? Well, it means that you don’t have to go to the office anymore! You’re basically working remotely as well. That means that you don’t have to worry about commuting/ driving, rush hour, and other daily work expenses. You now have more time to spend with your family and you can probably work while traveling the world.

And, here are 3 ways to build trust in remote teams

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
×
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.