My First Meeting with Sig

Aerial view of the Downtown Connector in Atlan...
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Sig Mosley is the god father of angel investing in Atlanta. At a GA Tech football dinner I attended last fall, John Imlay, for whom Sig manages Imlay Investments, stood up and said they they’ve invested in over 120 technology companies over the course of nearly 20 years. Investing in 120 companies in Atlanta and the Southeast is like Ron Conway investing in 10,000 companies in Silicon Valley — it really is that magnitude for the community.

Back in 2003, after having moved my company to Atlanta from Durham, NC one year prior, things were starting to take off. We were generating low six figures in revenue and I felt I needed to raise money for the business. For several months I talked to as many angel investors and VCs as I could in the community. The ATA was kind enough to select me to present to the group. After my presentation I was invited by Melanie Leath, Sig’s amazing investment colleague, to meet with them at their office in Resurgens Plaza, right near Lenox Mall.

The meeting was very cordial and polite. Sig asked a number of direct questions about the market, the team, progress-to-date, financial metrics, and how I would use the money ($300k). When Sig asked about revenue, I excitedly told him we had $200,000+ in revenue year to date. He then asked for me to break it down into license revenue, maintenance/support revenue, and services revenue. Upon doing that he taught me a lesson I’ll never forget: what I had described to him was bookings and not revenue. Only a portion of the bookings was recognized revenue and the rest was deferred until the obligation had been completed. I didn’t know anything about bookings, deferred revenue, and revenue recognition, but I was taught on the spot by the best.

At the end of the meeting I was kindly told my business didn’t have enough traction but that I should keep in touch as things progressed. I took the news in stride, decided not to raise money, and focused my time and energy on sales and marketing. Sig Mosley is the godfather of angel investing in Atlanta and I want to thank him for his contribution to the community and teaching me about software accounting.

What else? Have you had the chance to work with Sig?

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