FAQ

Member Participation

What is the definition of a Keiretsu Forum member?

Membership is by invitation only. A Keiretsu Forum member is:

1. An active private equity investor.

2. A trusted and respected member of the business community.

3. A contributor of time, wisdom, and expertise to Keiretsu Forum's funded and soon-to-be funded companies.

4. Enjoys building relationships with other members and the companies funded.

How do I become a member?

We arrange personal meetings with potential members and our team for both sides to understand each other and discuss synergies.

We also invite angel investors interested in learning about the benefits of Keiretsu Forum membership to attend one of our meetings as a guest. This will provide you with an opportunity to see our process and for us to meet in person. After you have attended a Keiretsu Forum meeting, the next step is to complete our membership application and to schedule a meeting with the local Chapter President to discuss your investment interests.

Is there a minimum investment amount per year?

No, there is not. We believe that the members should invest in the deals that present at Keiretsu Forum only if they are satisfied with their due diligence and if the deals fit their investment strategy, and not because they need to "meet a minimum". 

Can I attend a Keiretsu Forum meeting as a guest?

Yes, we invite angel investors interested in learning about the benefits of Keiretsu Forum membership to attend one of our meetings as a guest. This will provide you with an opportunity to see our process and for us to meet in person. Please see the calendar of upcoming events.

What is the "6-month rule"?

We recommend to our new members not to invest in the first 6 months of their membership. This initiation period will give you an opportunity to participate in the due diligence process and collective mind-share atmosphere of Keiretsu Forum.

What is the membership structure?

70% are individual angel investors, 10% small VC funds, 10% corporate investors, 5% academic members and 5% sponsors and Forum Resource Members (FRM).

How many members does Keiretsu Forum have?

We are a global angel investment network. When a member joins a local chapter they become a member of the global network of over 2,500 angel investor members world-wide. Each chapter is limited to 150 members to allow for the members to get to know each other and to maintain close collaborative relationships. When a chapter reaches capacity, if there is a critical number of investors nearby, we evaluate the opportunity to launch a new chapter to accommodate investor member interest. For the number of members of a specific chapter, please contact the local Chapter President.

Does Keiretsu have co-investment funds for members and non-members to invest in?

Yes, Keiretsu Capital is the exclusive world-wide fund partner of Keiretsu Forum and manages angel co-investment, venture and real estate funds for its investors.  These funds are a benefit of membership but are also open to non-member investors. To learn more visit www.keiretsucapital.com.

Global Network

When did Keiretsu Forum start?

Keiretsu Forum was founded in September 2000 by Randy Williams in the San Francisco East Bay.

How many chapters does Keiretsu Forum have?

Keiretsu Forum has 51 chapters on 3 continents (North America, Europe, and Asia). To contact the local chapter that is closest to you, please visit the contact page.

What are the benefits of being affiliated with Keiretsu Forum?

Our community of global chapters enables:

1. Support of our portfolio companies and presenting entrepreneurs with equity and resources in different capital markets.

2. Building additional quality deal flow for our members.

3. Collaborative business and social relationships among chapters.

4. Job creation and economic impact in the communities where we have presence.

We have shifted the paradigm of local angels investing locally, and we are supporting entrepreneurs with capital and resources globally.

Application & Presentations

What is the selection process for companies that present to the Keiretsu Forum?

1. Complete on-line application

2. Committee pre-screening and sign application document.

3. Appear for member-led deal screening

4. Make investment pitch at monthly Keiretsu Forum meetings (3-4 companies; the number of members in attendance depends on the specific chapter)

5. Due Diligence (takes anywhere from 2-3 weeks to 5-6 months depending on the company's industry and stage. Members collaborate in the due diligence but invest as individuals)

6. Multi-Chapter Investing (companies that receive investment traction from one chapter may present to other chapters for additional funding).

What are the investment criteria?

1. Some of the investment criteria used to evaluate investment opportunities that come to the Keiretsu Forum are:

2. Revenue is sustainable and recurring.

3. Sustainable margin expansion.

4. There is pain: a need with customers clamoring to pay for a solution. Existing paying customers.

5. Market opportunity – initial vertical market has to be large and compelling.

6. Sustainable competitive advantage with no foreseeable threats from disruptive technologies or other players.

7. Experienced and driven management team with mix of technology skills for proper execution. Clear successes and failures we can see and discuss.

8. Pre-Money valuation has to be negotiable.

9. Proprietary products or channels of distribution with no foreseeable threats from competing methodologies, technology or channels.

10. The company has to be profitable within 2 years and more importantly this is the last round to profitability.

11. Long-term cash generation capability. Within 3 – 4 years from inception, the company should be able to have the capability to fund itself from internal cash flow in the absence of continued funding.

12. Exit strategy.

13. Intellectual Property - clearly defensive and protected.

14. Knowledgeable Board of Directors with proper mix of strategy, technology and operational skills to support the management team.

What are the sectors you generally look at?

Forum members invest in high-quality, diverse investment opportunities in emerging technologies, life science/healthcare, clean technology, consumer goods, aerospace, food tech, real estate and any other segment with high growth opportunity.

What is the stage of companies presenting?

Companies that apply to Keiretsu Forum are typically early-stage with some revenue traction. They usually have received some funds from the founders, friends, family and individual angels before they reach us.

What materials do we need to bring at the Deal Screening?

No materials are needed.  At the Deal Screening the Keiretsu Forum team will provide each attendee a copy of the Executive Summary that the entrepreneur has provided to them. While the presentations are played from a Keiretsu Forum laptop, it is recommended that an additional copy of the presentation is carried on a flash drive as a backup.

When do we have to arrive at the Deal Screening and the Forum?

You will have the Agenda and the time when your company will present one week prior to the Deal Screening / Keiretsu Forum investor meeting. We suggest that you arrive at least 30 mins before you are scheduled to present and take under consideration the traffic conditions and the time it takes to park and find the meeting conference room.

When will we know whether our company has been selected to present at the Forum?

Keiretsu Forum staff will follow up with you no later than the following working day of your presentation at the Deal Screening. In addition to the decision, we provide feedback from the member discussion on your company.

What materials do we need for the Forum?

Keiretsu Forum staff prepares a Booklet for the Keiretsu Forum, which has all the required materials, including the Executive Summary of each company that has been provided by the entrepreneurs. We will require you to provide basic information required for the booklet in a prescribed format.

Are we going to run the presentation from our company's laptop?

All presentations are run from the Keiretsu Forum laptop and LCD projector. You will have to e-mail us your Power Point presentation before the Deal Screening and Keiretsu Forum investor meeting so that we can upload it on our laptop and enable smooth transition of the presentations. As a back-up, you are asked to have a laptop with you and the presentation on a USB drive.

How long are the presentations?

Deal Screening: 10-minute core presentation on 7-10 Power Point slides followed by 10-minute Q&A Keiretsu Forum: 10-minute core presentation on 7-10 Power Point Slides followed by 10-minute Q&A

Is there a presentation fee to the Keiretsu Forum?

Yes. Please contact the Entrepreneur Director of the chapter where you are applying for more information.

Is there a success fee if funding happens?

Yes. Please contact the Entrepreneur Director of the chapter where you are applying for more information.

How large are the investment rounds?

Keiretsu Forum does not invest as a fund. Members make individual investment decisions. The rounds have been from $250K to $2M. The individual investment amounts are from $25K to $500K. The largest investment an individual member has made was for $2M. If you receive financial traction from the Keiretsu Forum, you will be receiving individual checks from members.

How many companies that presented to the Forum have achieved funding directly from Keiretsu activities?

Investment interest that companies receive depends on the specific company, industry, management, stage and other factors. What we've been able to see from past presentations is that there are 5-7companies that present at the deal screening, 3-4 of them are selected to come to the full Keiretsu Forum meeting and 1 or 2 of them receive investment traction from the Keiretsu Forum members. Again, investment traction depends on a number of factors and is different for each meeting for different chapters.

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