1. How were you introduced to Pond?
Pond was introduced 4Home through an EIR from Pond who was looking for an opportunity in the connected home space.
2. How was your experience in securing initial funding from Pond?
We went through a quick but thorough due diligence process with Pond where they analyzed our business model and technology and interviewed the technical staff. We then negotiated the terms of the investment and there were a series of gives and gets until both sides were comfortable. The entire process took less than 4 weeks and once the decision was made, we were funded immediately.
3. In what ways has Pond helped you in your journey to build a successful company?
As this was my first tenure as a CEO, I leveraged the expertise of the Pond team on a near-daily basis. Pond has several ex-CEOs that have started companies and guided them through successful exits. Pond provided guidance on many issues that arose with 4Home based on near-exact circumstances they've faced in their previous companies.
4. When problems arose, how has Pond helped in getting you past them?
Pond is great at laying out multiple scenarios and predicting the results of the various options based on past experiences. I found this very helpful in my decision making process especially as it related to problem resolution.
5. What have you found to be the most valuable contributions from Pond?
Pond's ability to analyze market opportunities and the applicability of our products was extremely helpful as we built out our product roadmap.
6. How has Pond supported you along the way?
Obviously, the financial support pond provided "saved" our company multiple times. Pond understands how to see beyond the current circumstances and can identify a result that is worthy of continued support, even though there are clearly risks in getting to that result.
7. What sort of strategic guidance has Pond provided you as the company has grown?
As we worked on landing a key customer, Pond helped 4Home develop critical strategies on how to maneuver the political landscape of a fortune 100 company. They understand the relationships that need to be built and when it's appropriate to take risks in building those relationships.
8. If your company has been sold or gone public how did Pond contribute to the successful outcome?
Pond has key, high-level relationships and contacts in multiple industries. They were able to bring in potential buyers through these relationships. Pond was also very reasonable in the negotiation process and did not make unreasonable demands that could have slowed or killed the opportunity.
9. How has your experience with Pond differed from your experience with other VCs?
I viewed working with Pond as more of a direct partnership rather than a arms-length relationship that is often experienced between a VC and its portco.
10. How has Pond been to work with?
Working with Pond has been tough at times but always fair. They were always available to have discussions on any matter.
11. What would you say to prospective entrepreneurs thinking about working with Pond as a Venture Capital investor?
Pond didn't give up on 4Home and always looked for reasons to fight on rather than reasons to quit. I admire the fact that they still understand that to evaluate risk and reward, you have to use a logical, analytic process devoid of emotion. I believe that this quality is becoming rarer among VCs.
12. What would you say to prospective LPs thinking about investing in Pond IV?
Based on my experience, I believe that the Pond team has the background, experience, and analytical process to properly evaluate opportunities. They don't react emotionally to any situation and know how to leverage their external relationships as do their evaluation. They understand the delicate balance between risk and reward and are not afraid of taking chances for the right opportunity.
Leon Hounshell - 4Home