Where did venture capitalists go to college?

 The educational backgrounds of VC investment professionals are in some ways surprisingly diverse, even if the population of investors generally isn’t. Still, there are some definite trends to suss out at all levels of the educational continuum, and that’s what we’re going to do today. Read More

Corporate bio VCs are backing more rounds and making bigger bets

 Biotech is a lot like venture capital. Vast amounts of research, testing and marketing go into a wide range of therapies. But in the end, it’s just a tiny fraction that deliver most returns. That similarity may be why most of the biggest biotech and pharmaceutical companies have a long history of engaging in the venture business as startup investors, spin-out creators and strategic partners. Read More

2018 VC investment into crypto startups set to surpass 2017 tally

 For months now, much of the media attention on the crypto space has been directed at ebbs and flows in the price of bitcoin on one side, and whiz-bang ICOs on the other. The price of the most valuable cryptocurrency, Bitcoin (specifically the BTC chain), has backpedaled significantly from highs set in December 2017. The chart below shows pricing data from the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index… Read More

A peek inside Alphabet’s investing universe

 Chances are you’ve heard of Google. You’re likely a contributor to one of the 3.5 billion search queries the website processes daily. But unless you’re a venture capitalist, an entrepreneur or a slightly obsessive tech journalist, you may not know that Google, or, more properly, Alphabet, is also invests in startups. And, like most of what Google does, Alphabet invests… Read More

An inside look into a venture negotiation

 The actual negotiation of venture rounds remains unnecessarily murky. First-time entrepreneurs are often at a loss for mapping the business values they hold to specific terms during a negotiation. Moreover, many wonder what terms even come up for discussion and why VCs and entrepreneurs may care about a particular term, but barely mention another. Read More

Five myths of pre-seed investing

 Pre-seed has risen in prominence in recent months due to the growing gap between what founders are seeking at the seed stage and what the market is offering, yet conversations around pre-seed come with preconceived notions and false assumptions about the companies and investors who care about early stage funding. To break down these misconceptions, we’ve assembled a list of 5 common… Read More

The portion of VC-backed startups founded by women stays stubbornly stagnant

 It was a tumultuous year for the technology industry, with sexual harassment, pay gaps and under-representation of women often dominating the headlines. And while sexism was not born in Silicon Valley, sexual harassment is proving to be toxic for business. As part of our larger Q4 and 2017 coverage, let’s see how the venture industry invested in women last year. Read More

US & Canada VCs favor late-stage giants over upstarts in Q4

 Startup investors in the U.S. and Canada have been putting a little less money to work across a lot fewer deals in recent months. After three quarters of rising investment at early through growth stage, VCs have cut back in the fourth quarter of 2017. We look at some of the key data points for the just-ended quarter and year, including early and late-stage funding, round counts, M&A and IPOs. Read More

Winning deals as a new venture capital fund

 This is my third time joining a new firm and second time starting one of my own. One would think that I would remember the challenges of building up a new firm, like a type of muscle memory, but I always forget how hard it is to stay relevant and have a seat at the table for top-tier deal flow. Read More

Did the tide of global VC start to turn in Q4 2017?

 The U.S. has led the world in venture capital investing in a number of ways, but does the U.S. market also serve as a leading indicator for the rest of the world? It’s something to keep an eye on for the next couple of quarters. Downturns may be contagious, even if they take some time to incubate. Read More

Looking back at SoftBank’s big year

 While VCs vie to fund massively scalable businesses, they tend to view their own industry as size-constrained. Common wisdom is that with a limited supply of successful startups, greatly inflating the amount of available capital to invest in them leads to asset bubbles. This year, SoftBank’s Vision fund has been putting that assumption to an unprecedented test. Read More

The new reality of mobile AR and computer vision venture capital

 Mobile AR from Apple, Google and Facebook and computer vision/machine learning (CV/ML) are focusing the minds and wallets of VCs in Silicon Valley, China and beyond. The $2.5 billion invested in AR/VR so far this year was balanced across AR and VR, but now mobile AR and CV/ML are the new hotness. I spoke to a few friends about how the investment market has evolved. Read More

70 years of VC innovation

 How old is venture capital? Probably as old as the first hunter/gatherer. Yet, until the mid-20th century, it was mostly practiced by wealthy individuals and families. Modern VC was initiated by French-born American Georges Doriot in 1946, who founded the world’s first publicly owned VC firm. Since then, VC has not stopped finding new ideas to provide an edge for success. Read More

Where venture capitalists invest and why

 Entrepreneurs looking to raise capital are often told that investors like to keep things close to home. Is that true? The question influences where people locate companies. After all, if investors are only willing to invest in their own backyard, you might be better off starting your next company as close to capital as possible. Unless, of course, the conventional wisdom is wrong. Read More

What happens when you sell your startup?

 This is the final installment in the series “A Startup Takes Flight.” We started by creating a company — the Internet of Wings, a provider of drone-delivered chicken sandwiches that pivoted into general food delivery — and examined some of the most common financing terms entrepreneurs and VC investors discuss. It’s time to get our investors a liquidity event… Read More

New seed funds pursue AI, hard tech and the Midwest

 Stories about seed funding often contain sappy metaphors about planting seedlings and nurturing them to maturity. In reality, it’s a brutally Darwinian business: most companies fail, successful ones get diluted and exits commonly take a decade or more. That said, seed also has the highest potential returns of any investment stage. Here are some trends we observed. Read More