Inside Revolut and Monzo’s mammoth funding rounds – Sifted


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by "Venture Capital" - Google News. The original is [linked here]

Inside Revolut and Monzo’s mammoth funding rounds  Sifted

Inside Revolut and Monzo’s mammoth funding rounds – Sifted


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by "Venture Capital" - Google News. The original is [linked here]

Inside Revolut and Monzo’s mammoth funding rounds  Sifted

The Merits of Bottoms Up Investing


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by Brett Bivens. The original is [linked here]

"Throw that crystal ball out, you can’t predict anything. What you can do is recognize when lightning strikes." — Peter Fenton, Benchmark

"The financial markets are far too complex to be incorporated into a formula." – Seth Klarman


For venture investors, a clearly articulated investment thesis is part and parcel to a good elevator pitch — the way that those you are doing business with quickly size you up.

LPs want to back VCs that possess a strong point of view on the future that they are deploying capital against. Founders, used to being led astray, want confidence that they fit within a VC’s investment mandate and are therefore not wasting their time. And in building relationships with other VCs, a clearly articulated thesis becomes a way of developing influence, staying top of mind for co-investors or increasing the likelihood downstream investors will mark up your earlier bets.

Tell a better story, fundamentals be damned.

To be sure, a cogent investment thesis in the right hands is a powerful thing. As USV’s Rebecca Kaden recently noted, the best thesis-driven firms often develop their perspective in a very organic fashion.

But the peril lies in the idea some investors have about their own skills in developing a fully explanatory, a priori investment thesis that neatly predicts the future. To paraphrase Ashby Monk from his exceptional essay on structural advantage in venture capital, "I’m willing to bet that the gods of venture capital are not nearly as divine as Continue reading “The Merits of Bottoms Up Investing”

SoftBank plans to invest $1 billion from Latin America fund, with eyes on 650 firms – The Japan Times


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by "Venture Capital" - Google News. The original is [linked here]

SoftBank plans to invest $1 billion from Latin America fund, with eyes on 650 firms  The Japan Times

SoftBank plans to invest $1 billion from Latin America fund, with eyes on 650 firms – The Japan Times


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by "Venture Capital" - Google News. The original is [linked here]

SoftBank plans to invest $1 billion from Latin America fund, with eyes on 650 firms  The Japan Times

‘Indian VC market is under-invested’ – Livemint


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by "Venture Capital" - Google News. The original is [linked here]

‘Indian VC market is under-invested’  Livemint

Building high performance startup teams


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by Ross Sheil. The original is [linked here]

Originally published at https://rossysheil.com on February 3, 2020.

‘There’s no talent here, this is hard work. This is an obsession. Talent does not exist’ — Conor McGregor

I recently spent 2 weeks in San Francisco with a group of cross-functional leaders at Stripe from engineering, product, operations and revenue exploring best practices for building top-performing teams and it prompted a reflection on the best teams I’ve led and been a part of during my career. Whilst there are no mechanical set of steps a leader can implement to build a top-performing team there are behaviors and success patterns which an impactful leader encourages and optimizes towards to create the best conditions for a team to do their most valued work. Taking a 30,000 foot view the true function of a leader is to see beyond the individual, the role, the targets and the objectives to row in behind the social and business systems that ensure a team and its constituent relationships are greater than the sum of its parts.

Breaking it down the reality is that building teams and managing humans is equal parts art and science with a shot of unpredictability thrown in for good measure. As a startup founder or leader at early stage you are tasked with building a company and gradually moving from high output individual contributor to manager of people and resources wearing multiple hats projecting yourself through individuals and teams in an effort to deliver on the goals for the business. I’ve been through this journey a few Continue reading “Building high performance startup teams”

How can Europe win the global startup war?


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by Ross Sheil. The original is [linked here]

Originally published at https://rossysheil.com on February 1, 2020.

The European startup ecosystem comes of age

Since the ’60s Silicon Valley has acted as the epicentre of innovation for startups across the globe home to the world’s largest technology companies and an established asset class of venture capital which has served as it’s driving force. As an ecosystem, it has had the equivalent of a multi-decade monopoly and head start on other geographies which continues to compound sitting on top of the global startup ranks decades later.

I often think of Y Combinator as a symbol of the success the US has experienced with startups and a yet to be replicated jewel of any other ecosystem taking global talent from across the world and producing 100 companies valued at over 150 million USD and 19 companies valued at over 1 billion USD.

These are the top @ycombinator companies of all time, based on valuation #startups #venturecapital
1. Stripe
2. Airbnb
3. Cruise
4. DoorDash
5. Coinbase
6. Instacart
7. Dropbox
8. Ginkgo Bioworks
9. Gusto
10. Flexport
https://t.co/S9yc64ZkQF

– Jose E. Puente (@jepuente_telco) October 3, 2019

If Y Combinator is to Silicon Valley what Silicon Valley is to the rest of the world, nowhere else has this feat been emulated so consistently in a single entity but the tides are changing and this super hub model is evolving to a globally distributed one with different blueprints being adopted around the globe from the government-driven Chinese approach to the corporate-driven one made dominant by the USA.

Continue reading “How can Europe win the global startup war?”

10 Life-Changing Lessons I Learned From Naval Ravikant


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by Sergey Faldin. The original is [linked here]

#3. Self-esteem is the relationship you have with yourself.

PHOTO BY REBECCA GREENFIELD FOR FORTUNE

Naval Ravikant is the founder of AngelList, an angel investor, and a modern-day philosopher.

He is one of my heroes, and here are the ten lessons I’ve learned from him.

#1. Reading will change your life

In his interview with Shane Parrish, Naval said, “I always spent money on books. I never viewed that as an expense. That’s an investment to me.”

When I went to school, I was taught that books should be read from cover to cover — and that you can’t start a new book until you finish the one you were reading right now.

Thankfully, I am not at school anymore. And thanks to Naval, I don’t finish books anymore. I read whatever I am interested in; I jump around, skip sections, and close the book once it becomes too boring.

I now treat books like blogs, where each chapter is a blog post.

“Everyone I know is stuck on some book. I’m sure you’re stuck on some book right now. It’s page 332, you can’t go on any further but you know you should finish the book, so what do you do? You give up reading books for a while.”

The lesson here is to permit yourself to quit once it becomes boring.

There are too many interesting books in the world (in fact, each day more books are printed out then you would possibly read in your lifetime), so there’s no point in trying to finish a Continue reading “10 Life-Changing Lessons I Learned From Naval Ravikant”

The Laws of Investing


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by Morgan Housel. The original is [linked here]

Think of how big the world is. And how good animals are at hiding. Now think about a biologist whose job it is to determine whether a species has gone extinct.

Not an easy thing to do.

A group of Australian biologists once discovered something remarkable. More than a third of all mammals deemed extinct in the last 500 years have later been rediscovered, alive:

We identified 187 mammal species that have been missing (claimed or suspected to be extinct) since 1500. This number includes all such mammals for which we were able to find key variables for analysis. In the complete dataset, 67 species that were once missing have been rediscovered.

A lot of what we know in science is bound to change. That’s what makes science great, what makes it work, and what distinguishes it from religion. Science is filled with rules, evidence-based theories, and probabilistic observations. Laws – immutable truths lacking exceptions – are rare. Most fields only have a handful.

But the handful of laws that exist have a special function: they’re the great grandmothers, the old wise men, of the day-to-day theories and rules used to discover a new truth. There’s a hierarchy of science: laws at the bottom, specific rules above that, then theories, observations, hunches, and so on. The higher you go on the pyramid the more exciting things become. That’s where discovery and opportunity live. But everything at the top of the pyramid must respect the laws at the bottom.

The idea Continue reading “The Laws of Investing”

RT @DavidSacks: Most startups are doing too many things. They don’t make tough prioritization decisions until they start to run out of cash…


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by Bill Gurley (@bgurley). The original is [linked here]

Polychain Capital Is Raising a $200M Crypto Venture Fund, Slide Deck Reveals – Yahoo Finance


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by "Venture Capital" - Google News. The original is [linked here]

Polychain Capital Is Raising a $200M Crypto Venture Fund, Slide Deck Reveals  Yahoo Finance

How to think about different types of funding for your early stage startup


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by Archimedes Accelerator LLC / ADV's Venture Trends Board. The original is [linked here]

One of the things that I’m noticing is that the early stage financing scene is changing quite rapidly. It may not feel like it — it’s still hard to raise money of any form, but there are a lot more options now than say even 5 years ago.

Traditionally, you have a lot of tech startups flocking to venture capital firms to raise money, because VCs have done a great job, as an industry, in marketing themselves. But the vast majority of startups who seek VC funding are not the right profile for that type of funding. As an entrepreneur, this is something I didn’t understand — what types of funders are out there and who is a good fit for what?

For example, angels and VCs are often lumped together in the same category. Afterall, they both invest in early stage startups on an equity-basis (this includes investing in convertible notes and convertible securities as well)  But they could not be more different. (See my post on closing angel investors)

In this post, I want to talk about different categories of funding beyond equity-based financing. These are categories I’d not even thought about as a founder. Here are the rough categories of financing options for early stage founders:

1) Equity financing (priced / notes / convertible securities)
2) Revenue based financing
3) Debt financing

…and some permutation of the above!

giphy

Image credit: Giphy

1) Equity financing

This is the one that everyone knows about or at least has Continue reading “How to think about different types of funding for your early stage startup”

A tweet thread about debt vs equity since that seems to be a hot topic these days. cc @joshmuccio 1) First, what do these terms even mean? What does it mean to be a debt investor vs an equity investor? …


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by Elizabeth Yin (@dunkhippo33). The original is [linked here]

Big Money Bets on Bitcoin (BTC) and Blockchain As $200,000,000 Crypto Venture Fund Reportedly Takes Off


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by Daily Hodl Staff. The original is [linked here]

Blockchain innovators are drawing in rounds of venture capitalists who are betting big on cryptocurrencies and the rise of digital assets. Ratcheting up support for crypto-based startups, a flurry of high-profile investments from big players, such as Polychain Capital, Pantera and Peter Thiel are establishing the sector as a hot target.

While blockchain remains the most coveted skillset on the planet, developers worldwide are focusing on building sophisticated infrastructure and onramps that will give users an easy way to adopt digital assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and stablecoins, as well as introduce people to emerging platforms that use digital tokens for customer loyalty points and rewards.

Enter Polychain Capital. According to an investor slide deck, the crypto investment firm is gearing up for its second crypto venture capital fund, reports CoinDesk.

The company plans to raise $200 million through minimum investments of $1 million to launch a fund for crypto startups – with 40% of investments supporting existing blockchain tech and 60% targeting new solutions.

Polychain Capital counts among its co-investors a solid list of Silicon Valley and New York venture capitalists. Last year it joined Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in a Series B round for AngelList spinoff and token sale manager CoinList, raising $10 million. Polychain’s portfolio includes companies that have completed investment rounds with participation from Union Square Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia Capital.

Polychain, which invested in Coinbase through its first fund, opened its second fund at the start of this year Continue reading “Big Money Bets on Bitcoin (BTC) and Blockchain As $200,000,000 Crypto Venture Fund Reportedly Takes Off”

Gen Z and the Future of College


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by Brian Wallace. The original is [linked here]

GenZ is changing the way people do college, but why? This generation is poised to become the most highly educated generation of all time as well as the most diverse generation of all time, but despite this high level of education GenZ still expects a struggle when it comes to careers and being able to make ends meet. In such a strong economy, why is this a concern?

 

In December of 209 nearly 150,000 new jobs were created, and by January of 2020 the unemployment rate in the United States fell to 3.5%, one of the lowest rates in decades. Unfortunately these numbers don’t paint the full picture. The fastest growing jobs are in retail, healthcare, and hospitality sectors, jobs without a great prospect for career and wage growth over time. 

 

What’s more, the creation of high wage, high hour jobs is falling, while the creation of low wage, low hour jobs is growing. While in the past a strong economy has meant wage growth, GDP growth, and a decrease in inflation, that is no longer the case. The reduction in hours and wages is equivalent to the loss of 3.1 million jobs, and nearly half of working Americans are living on $18,000 a year or less.

 

GenZ is preparing to fight as hard as they can for a place in the rat race. They know that in order to secure the type of job they will need to live independently and take care Continue reading “Gen Z and the Future of College”

Why startups are raising more venture debt as VC dollars near all-time records


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by Alex Wilhelm. The original is [linked here]

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between.

As I write to you, SaaS and cloud stocks are busy setting fresh all-time highs and as we’ve seen, venture interest in modern software companies is pushing more money into the sector. But despite it appearing to be an incredibly good time to raise equity funding, venture debt and revenue-based financing appear to be having a moment.

So why are more folks talking about and raising debt to help power their startups, even when valuations are high and there is a lot of venture capital to be raised?

As with all explorations of complex, evolving trends, there’s no one answer. But, some data from a 2019-era survey on venture debt and a conversation I had with equity-free SaaS finance shop Element Finance’s John Gallagher (Element is a Scaleworks spinout) help explain what’s going on. Let’s start with how big the venture debt world is and how fast it is growing and then turn to what’s powering its expansion.

Rising debt

The data we’re going to discuss is directional and probably pretty accurate, which is just fine for what we want to do today: detail a general trend of rising venture debt volume over the past few years to confirm what we’ve presumed to be a trend for some time.

Thanks to a report from last year undertaken by Kruze (a startup accounting and HR consultancy), what the firm Continue reading “Why startups are raising more venture debt as VC dollars near all-time records”

Boulder venture firm opens $100M fund for automotive startups – Boulder Daily Camera


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by "Venture Capital" - Google News. The original is [linked here]

Boulder venture firm opens $100M fund for automotive startups  Boulder Daily Camera

Boulder venture firm opens $100M fund for automotive startups – Boulder Daily Camera


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by "Venture Capital" - Google News. The original is [linked here]

Boulder venture firm opens $100M fund for automotive startups  Boulder Daily Camera

SoftBank’s Troubles Leave Startups Vulnerable


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by Cory Weinberg. The original is [linked here]

Priorities shifted quickly late last year at Oyo, a startup Indian hotel chain backed by SoftBank. Executives had prioritized revenue growth, but now they were asking a different question in meetings: How can we be ready for an IPO?

The realization underlines a harsh new reality for many companies backed by SoftBank: Support from the world’s largest tech investor is no longer a sure thing. Instead, some startups might now be compelled to find other sources of financing, or even to go public sooner than they would have preferred to raise much-needed capital. The urgency could be especially acute for the roughly one-fifth of the 90 or so companies in SoftBank’s Vision Fund portfolio that haven’t publicly announced new funding in the past year (see chart below).