Frequently Asked Questions
What is Heavybit?
Heavybit is an early-stage venture capital firm and the premiere investor in developer-first startups. Since 2013, we’ve worked with numerous Pre-Seed to Series A companies that have redefined how teams build, deploy, secure, and scale mission-critical software. More than just capital, we work directly with teams to help our technical founders achieve breakout success. Heavybit and its portfolio companies are pioneers in building bottom-up go-to-market strategies for enterprise software companies.
What types of companies do you invest in?
Founders who want intentional capital to create category-defining developer-first products. We invest in traditional developer tools, cloud native infrastructure, open source, DevOps, DevSecOps, etc. Heavybit offers team-based structured support and a platform tailored to your specific needs that incorporates our unique partnership, an active community of 600+ domain specific advisors, and fellow Heavybit startup founders. We’ve worked with founders in 15 countries and 35 cities.
When should I contact you?
It’s never too early to talk to us. We love to invest on day one with the first check but also join companies throughout their early-stage journey.
How should I contact you?
What is your typical investment?
We understand every venture is unique and today’s early-stage companies capitalize themselves on different schedules with a variety of instruments at their disposal. We adapt on a company-by-company basis. Our typical initial check size is $500k-$1M in a Pre-seed round, $1M-3M in a Seed round, and $3M-$5M in a Series A. We are hands-on investors who work with a small, concentrated portfolio of companies. We prefer to lead or co-lead the Pre-seed and Seed rounds we invest in. We do not lead Series A’s.
How does Heavybit work?
Once Heavybit invests in your company, we begin working with you to build your tailored curriculum and experience. In broad strokes, this includes a structured approach, a unique community of dev-first founders, and team-level learning and benefits.
A Structured Approach
Your partners will help you determine your key milestones for the next several months. In many cases this includes planning for major product and feature releases, pricing and positioning review, critical hires, and user acquisition and revenue targets. From here we build a curriculum of weekly activities tailored to your needs.
In the case we take a board seat, we want to offer best practices in board management including creating rigor around effective meetings, key data points & avoiding board issues. This includes regularly calendared prep & meetings, agenda & deck review, surfacing actionable board requests, and using regular updates to solidify trust and transparency.
Partner Office Hours
Heavybit pre-schedules twice monthly Partner calls (minimum) in order to ensure we offer strategic timely support and play an active role in your ongoing progress. We also work with you more frequently during critical times for your business.
Tailored Advisor Office Hours
Heavybit has a network of 600+ domain-specific advisors. From this pool we hand-select advisors for you, pre-brief them, and offer hour-long 1:1 meetings to discuss both tactical execution and the implications of your founder-level decisions. Advisors include technical founders and domain experts who’ve scaled developer-first marketing, product, sales etc.
Group Sessions are confidential, topic-specific online sessions with 3-4 founders who face similar challenges and share similar goals. These sessions are moderated by a domain-specific advisor. In some cases we also allow founders to invite early execs to learn from these sessions.
A Unique Community of Dev-First Founders
In addition to our broader community, our portfolio founders include more than 140 technical founders in 34 cities and 15 countries. See portfolio page for more details. We convene founders in a number of different ways including:
Heavybit curates founder sharing sessions based on teams with similar goals and challenges. Founder forum is a confidential, topic-specific online session moderated by a partner and including a small group of 3-4 founders. Founders tend to be at a similar stage of product-market fit.
This is a private, thread-driven Slack channel for Q&A amongst founders. Founders confidentially discuss their immediate challenges, share information like sales comp, pricing strategy, discovery questions, and customer intel.
Heavybit hosts 6-8 in-person founder-only drinks, dinner & social events each year. Some of these dinners include the entire portfolio, including late stage alumni founders, and some of these dinners are curated to include a smaller group of founders at a similar stage. This allows for comfortable off-the-record conversations and discussions throughout the year.
We make regular introductions and facilitate interactions between like-minded founders to ensure that teams can learn from each other and find new ways to partner. Introductions often yield joint promotional activities, intel sharing, and key technical integrations.
Customer Discovery 1:1’s
We also make introductions to select alumni founders in order to gain enterprise product and discovery feedback and to kickstart conversations with prospective customers within the portfolio.
Friends & Family Program
Heavybit’s Friends and Family Program lets portfolio teams offer each other discounted product & support.
Team-Level Learning & Benefits
Heavybit’s library includes 1,400+ educational resources for developer-first startup founders and their teams. We encourage teams to study the Library prior to requesting time with domain-specific advisors.
These monthly presentations are streamed online live and offer founders and early team members a chance to hear from experts in sales, marketing and product design. A complete catalog of Speaker Series videos lives in our Library. Founders and teams are encouraged to attend live to ask questions in real-time. Speakers are often invited back for 1:1 advisor office sessions in which founders can receive more in-depth and tailored advice.
DevGuild is a twice yearly conference featuring the CEOs, founders, and top execs at leading developer-first companies. In the past we’ve held conferences on community-building, product marketing, pricing, enterprise-readiness, content, demand gen and developer experience. The outcome of these conferences go beyond immediate learnings, and have included new hires, customers, and users for our member cos. Watch previous DevGuild talks here.
In addition to our main Founder-Only Slack channel, Heavybit’s Community Slack offers channels for early product, marketing, and sales peers to connect and share learning across the portfolio. These threads regularly grow into robust sub-communities and dedicated practitioner events.
Podcast Starter Kit
Heavybit has its own podcast network with developer focused shows from a variety of portfolio companies. We guide early teams in developing a show’s focus, offer design, editing and hosting free-of-charge while a show is getting started, and help teams promote some of their first thought leadership.
Heavybit helps early marketing teams create an editorial calendar & develop their content pipeline.
Event Organizer 101
Heavybit offers a primer on event programming, logistics, & promotion. This is typically done in support of your first marketing or community hires.
Heavybit offers portfolio companies access to our network of marketing, design, content, and production vendors.
Diversity & Inclusion at Heavybit
Heavybit has had a diversity and inclusion policy since 2014. This is different from an anti-harassment policy because we don’t just believe in creating a safe and participatory environment for women and traditionally marginalized groups, we believe they’re essential in shaping the future of software and want to make room for them to contribute. Some of the ways we embody this value include:
Diversity & Inclusion Policy
Pipeline & Outreach
Heavybit actively encourages women and founders from traditionally marginalized groups to apply to Heavybit. We’ve done so by seeking them out via joint events with women in technology groups, producing female founder dinner events, and hosting professional groups that support women and under-represented minorities. If you run a group focused on diverse founders, we’re happy to discuss ways to work together. If you’re a founder, we encourage you to apply.
Visibility for Diverse Experts
We believe that diverse domain experts should be given the forum to share their insights and we know our member companies and broader community are better for it. Our conferences feature at least 50% women and minorities on stage. As preparation for these types of events, we spend hours helping speakers prepare for their presentations and coach them through the process of presentation development. Heavybit also actively reaches out to diverse experts to publish their content and helps them shape the content and further distribute it to our community.
Hiring & Staff
Heavybit has always had an employment equity statement associated with its job listings. Perhaps more importantly, since our inception in 2013, our staff has always been fairly diverse with at least half of us being female, racialized minorities, and/or queer. That said, we own our privilege and recognize the need to continue to model diverse hiring practices to our portfolio companies. Some of the ways we’ve done that have been to create unconscious bias resources and events, and to introduce teams to stellar and diverse candidates.
Diversity & Inclusion Committee
Heavybit’s Diversity & Inclusion committee has met monthly since 2014, to design new proactive activities and events in furthering our commitment to a participatory culture.
While we believe an anti-harassment policy is the least we can do to create an inclusive culture, we know it’s just and responsible to be deliberate about the safety and participation of the community. We have an anti-harassment policy and procedure and take complaints very seriously.