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

Toxic VC and the marginal-dollar problem

 Venture capital should come with a warning label. In our experience, VC kills more startups than slow customer adoption, technical debt and co-founder infighting — combined. VC should be a catalyst for growing companies, but, more commonly, it’s a toxic substance that destroys them. VC often compels companies to prematurely scale, which is typically a death sentence for startups. Read More

Announcing the 2017 update to the Crunchbase Women in Venture report

 In the first Crunchbase Women in Venture report (April 2016), our goal was to establish a well-defined baseline against which to measure future progress of women in the venture business. As 2017 draws to a close, Crunchbase re-applied the methodology from the 2016 report to see what progress, if any, might be measurable. Here are the somewhat encouraging results from that analysis. Read More