Bye-bye equity. So long unicorn hunting. Say hello to RevUp, the next evolution in Betaspring’s mission to build great companies.
RevUp by Betaspring is the first accelerator for “revenue-first” companies--ventures where growth through revenue is the primary goal. RevUp companies receive $75,000 in investment and immersion in a three-month program focused on increasing customer acquisition and revenue. Unlike most accelerators, RevUp does not take equity. Instead, companies return the investment as a percentage of revenue over a 36-month period.
In working with hundreds of startups, we have seen the missed opportunities that the obsession with exits can produce. Today’s definition of ‘venture-scale’ ignores many companies that have the potential to be profitable and impact the world in major ways. RevUp is built for them.
“The world is missing something big by using a model that requires outsized exits to drive returns. By focusing on revenue-first startups, RevUp expands the number of great companies we can work with,” says Betaspring cofounder Allan Tear. “There’s more than one way to build profitable companies that make founders and investors happy. “
The RevUp accelerator uses a six-step process to help companies build the right internal and external resources to spur growth. Betaspring developed this process from our experience accelerating 89 companies and managing a portfolio that’s raised $50MM in follow-on funding and produced three exits.
“We’ve retained the best of what we developed through Betaspring and added new features, like a shared growth team, to enable companies to act fast on revenue-enhancing opportunities,” says RevUp Managing Director Melissa Withers. “RevUp supports a huge swath of companies that have the potential to be highly profitable, impact the world, and return value to investors. It’s an exciting alternative to the ‘go-billion or go-home’ philosophy of startup investing.”
RevUp targets companies generating $10-15K per month, with significant growth potential. These companies are technology-enabled and reach customers through repeatable processes. This includes, but is not limited to, companies in SaaS, software, e-commerce, consumer products, and technology services. For our inaugural session, we’ll accelerate 6-8 companies on a rolling basis between June 2015-January 2016. We are currently accepting applications and companies can learn more at revup.betaspring.com.
With RevUp, Betaspring was inspired by companies and founders that successfully use revenue as a primary driver of growth. There are many--93% of the companies on the Inc 500 list of fastest growing companies have not taken VC dollars.
“We're proud that Wistia's growth comes from customers that pay us because they find real value in our product. Revenue-driven companies align themselves directly with customer needs,” said Betaspring mentor and Wistia founder and CEO Chris Savage. “I'm excited to see what Betaspring will do with RevUp. I think the model has the potential to help more startups launch, grow, and stay aligned with investors.”
Putting Betaspring’s know-how to work for revenue-first companies is not in opposition to big-win venture capital. It’s complementary, widening the pipe to include startups and founders underserved by today’s options. RevUp creates more options for early stage companies that aren’t a good fit for VCs or those that chose to delay or forgo equity-based investment.
"As someone who built a customer-funded company through revenue, I'm excited to see RevUp help more founders succeed,” says Jeremy Hitchcock, founder and CEO of Dyn, one of the world’s largest Internet performance providers. “Not every company nor market opportunity is compatible with angel or venture funding. The world needs additional flavors of funding, and I'm glad to see Betaspring help make it happen."
RevUp is also good for investors--especially those who want to engage with fast growing companies without the constraints of the equity system.
“Built on Betaspring’s proven approach for identifying and accelerating high-quality ventures, RevUp is an exciting new way for investors to participate in early stage companies,” says serial entrepreneur and investor Bill Cesare, who is partnering with Betaspring to bring RevUp to the market. “RevUp’s model opens investors to a new stream of companies--those with the potential to be very profitable, but don’t rely upon an exit to generate a return. RevUp is a major innovation to how investors seek return on early stage investments, and a powerful way to help more founders be successful.”
Betaspring is a startup accelerator for early stage ventures. Founded in 2009, Betaspring, ranked among the top programs in the world, has accelerated 89 companies and the portfolio has raised $50MM in follow-on funding. The Betaspring portfolio includes three exits, including the acquisition of Tracelytics by Boston-based AppNeta in 2012. Among the first ten accelerators to launch worldwide, Betaspring has one of the longest track records and significant longitudinal data on company performance. These insights were a major driver of Betaspring’s decision to launch RevUp in 2015--the first accelerator for revenue-first companies that uses a non-equity investment approach. More at betaspring.com.
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