VC's do seeds for a reason It's worth reminding everyone that investors commit limited amount of money in seed rounds for a reason, and that is to manage their capital at risk; in other words, to have the option to not follow their initial money in a promising but fundamentally unproven project. The arguments between VC's in this regard center around
Here in London we're all very proud of the progress made over the last few years. Having come back from 4 years in Boston, I have been surprised by the level of maturity that we have achieved and how far we have come.
But London is a city of 9 million and our efforts and mindshare right now are still very much focused around Mayfair, Soho, City and the City Fringes. The question is: how do we successfully take innovation into Dalston, Hammersmith or even Croydon?
Perhaps the fast and furious progress London has made is best highlighted by the following data in the recent trade mission led by Mayor Boris Johnson (in collaboration with London &Partners):
- UK tech firms based in the capital attracted more than $1.4 bn in VC funding in 2014, double the amount in 2013.
- The UK has produced at Continue reading "Developing London tech clusters beyond Shoreditch: Croydon ?"
Atlas Venture announced at his latest annual meeting that the biotech and tech groups were going their own way. Since I did spend ten years there, let me give you my view on it.
Aligned, yet different
The two groups had a ton in common. Both are laser focused on early stage and have espoused a model of being super capital efficient and lean early and supporting hard and fast scaling once companies show promise.
Both groups have been innovating for a few years now in adapting fast to changing market conditions, with biotech showing the way in "asset light" and virtual companies and the tech group in pushing a high-velocity seed approach and more recently spearheading the development of Angellist Syndicates in Boston.
But as these strategies indicate, the rapid market evolution especially in tech meant the models were rapidly drifting further apart. Whilst the biotech guys would Continue reading "Cytokinesis at Atlas Venture: bio and tech take off"
I first invested in Zoopla in July 2007. At the time, a mere £500,000 to get the company going and back Simon Kain and Alex Chesterman in improving the real estate experience.
Last week, almost exactly 7 years after this first investment, Zoopla released its last set of numbers: 40 million monthly visits, six-months revenues of £38.8 million and a profit margin that is flirting with 50%.
As I left the last board meeting, I marvelled about how this management team had taken the business so far and so fast; this is not so much as statement about the top line as a statement about having built a sustainable, robust, profitable and extremely well run machine in such an incredibly capital efficient manner (the company only ever took cash from Atlas and Octopus and a few angels, and not that much of it).
Zoopla was launched in 2008 with
Now that I am leaving Boston I can talk about its startup ecosystem in all candor.
When I came over 4 years ago, it was essentially as an act of belief in my partner Jeff and in myself. To be frank, I did not expect much. Talk was of dreary winters and a boring town full of boring VCs with not much happening. For that was the perception of the region from afar.
I could not have been more wrong. I am starting to measure the progress that was made in the last four years, too.
When Oculus VR was sold recently, I know many people were surprised to hear Boston mentioned in connection with the company. Surprised to see the smiling face of Matrix Partners’ Antonio Rodriguez sporting an early prototype next to the press articles. I think most people assumed the company was based in California