“What’s a Mezz?” Startup Finance Stages and Terminology

I was talking by phone today to a group of American Entrepreneurs in Nairobi, Kenya that were travelling throughout East Africa looking at companies to potentially invest in.  As part of their experience they noted that the entrepreneurs they met, much like their American and European counterparts, had little or varied understanding of the meaning of terms like "Seed", "Mezz" "Series B" and "Senior Debt' ...and thank god, because they were more focused and concerned about running their businesses then worrying about how to talk to VC flunkies!

As I see it - as members of the VC community, its our responsibility to teach and help entrepreneurs understand what the process looks like, and what the "typical" steps look like. And we do. No doubt, most of them understand already, but sometimes the stages, the names, etc...get shuffled around, or become ambiguous. We can help provide clarity and comfort with the model.

Towards that end, I was surprised that my web searching didn't provide a "ready to go" one pager, that made the stages clear...

So I made one.  Enjoy.

Venture Capital Stages