“Mostly, we’ve done convertible notes from family offices and angel investors, doing checks between $50,000 and $250,000,” Chapin told me. “We’ve raised almost $4 million in that way.”
The rationale for bypassing traditional VC was twofold. One, he didn’t think there were many VCs who were well-positioned to intelligently back C-Combinator’s mission. But perhaps more important, why should a founder surrender the substantial equity that VCs seize if she doesn’t have to?