Day: March 2, 2021

Proptech startup States Title, now Doma, going public via SPAC in $3B deal



Real estate tech startup Doma, formerly known as States Title, announced Tuesday it will go public through a merger with SPAC Capitol Investment Corp. V in a deal valued at $3 billion, including debt.

SPACs, often called blank-check companies, are increasingly common. They exist as publicly traded entities in search of a private company to combine with, taking the private entity public without the hassle of an IPO.

When it floats later this year, Doma will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol DOMA. The transaction is expected to provide up to $645 million in cash proceeds, including a fully committed PIPE of $300 million and up to $345 million of cash held in the trust account of Capitol Investment Corp. V. 

CEO Max Simkoff founded San Francisco-based Doma in September 2016 with the aim of creating a technology-driven solution for “closing mortgages instantly.” While it initially was founded to instantly underwrite title insurance, the company has expanded that same approach to handle “every aspect” of closing and escrow.

Doma has developed patented machine learning technology that it says reduces title processing time from five days to “as little as one minute” and cuts down the entire mortgage closing process “from a 50+ day ordeal to less than a week.” The startup has facilitated over 800,000 real estate closings for lenders such as Chase, Homepoint, Sierra Pacific Mortgage and others.

The name change is designed to more accurately reflect its intention to expand “well beyond” title (Read more...)

Head of Communications & Marketing – NVCA



Job Title: Head of Communications and Marketing
(title commensurate w/ experience)
FLSA Status: Exempt
Department: Communications
Reports To: President/CEO
Location: Washington, DC
Travel: Yes
Prepared Date: 03/01/2021

SUMMARY:

Lead communications efforts of a national trade association representing the venture capital (VC) industry and the companies they support. Lead strategic communications and public relations activities, including the conceptualization and execution of integrated communications campaigns in support of association priorities; and serve as the primary point of contact with the media and official spokesperson of the association. Reporting to the President and CEO, the successful candidate will work collaboratively across all departments on a broad range of association activities, including public policy advocacy, venture capital trends and research, member relations, new business development, and event production.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

Strategic Communications: Develop and oversee execution of integrated strategic communications plans in support of association’s mission and key priorities.

Media Relations: Cultivate strong relationships with the media and proactively secure coverage of association and its priorities. Serve as the first point of contact for media inquiries, field and respond to all inbound inquiries, and manage spokesperson opportunities for NVCA staff and members.

Public Policy: Work as a partner to the government affairs team in support of core policy objectives of the organization and its members. Develop integrated communications campaigns to build awareness of NVCA’s position and activities on core public policy issues.

Research: Collaborate with the research team on the development and release of annual, bi-annual, and periodic research projects, as well (Read more...)

How to incentivize risk taking right out of your organization


This post is by Giff Constable from giffconstable.com


I recently heard a leader say, “We’re looking to promote people who are good at making decisions and who are right more often than not.”

I’ve heard that sentiment shared before. It sounds awfully good until you start thinking through the implications of that last part within a larger organization.

Remember that when it comes to promotion, your people will watch what you say and what you do. The very second you make a statement like the above, your people will all ask themselves, “What can I work on where I have a chance of being right more often than not?”

The answer: initiatives where there is predictability. In other words, they will work on optimization.

Now, don’t get me wrong, optimizations for a business that is scaling or at scale are a powerful thing. In scaling mode, there’s lots of low hanging fruit. At scale, you have scale! A 0.5% improvement on a large enough number is a big number!

But if all of your people are working on optimizations, you’ve just put a countdown timer on your business.

There is a general truism in investing that I think translates to many other realms as well: the greater the upside you seek, the greater the risk you have be willing to take on. For example: VCs take on a lot of risk to chase 10-100x returns; PEs take on much less risk to chase 3-5x returns.

Where do your bigger innovations come from when people feel a (Read more...)

Retail Zipline raises $30M as it helps retailers adapt to the pandemic



When I first wrote about Retail Zipline in 2019, the startup was focused on building a communication platform that would help corporate decision-makers in retail communicate with individual stores. As you’d probably guess, the startup saw some changes in 2020.

“When COVID first hit, you might think a company that’s primarily focused on retail would be in trouble,” said co-founder and CTO Jeremy Baker. “But it turns out that a product that helps retailers communicate critical information when everything is changing is no longer a nice to have.”

In other words, where Retail Zipline might previously have been used for coordinating sales and promotions, it suddenly became a channel for managing things like health and safety protocols and communicating about furloughs and closures.

Co-founder and CEO Melissa Wong said the platform supports both engagement (a company executives sending a message to retail associates) and execution (translating a broader corporate strategy into an in-store experience). While you might think that execution was the only thing that mattered in the middle of a pandemic, Wong argued that the engagement side was also essential, particularly when employees felt they were putting themselves at risk.

“The engagement part means that we can explain to a retail employee what we’re doing to protect you during this crisis, and your role as part of this company and this brand,” she said.

Retail Zipline screenshot

Image Credits: Retail Zipline

She added that the company has doubled its customer baes during the pandemic and seen revenue increase 2.5x. Retailers using (Read more...)

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi | Go Anywhere, Get Anything


This post is by Greylock Partners from Greymatter


Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi sat down with Greylock general partner Reid Hoffman to discuss the past, present and future of the mobility and delivery business that now operates in 71 countries around the world and employs around 20,000 people globally. He also shared his perspective on M&A (including Uber’s recent acquisitions of Postmates and Drizly), autonomous vehicles, the complexities of working in highly regulated industries, and how his personal and professional background shaped the way he approaches leadership today. This episode was recorded during Iconversations, Greylock's new virtual speaker series event.

What’s New on VC+ in March?


This post is by Louise Stoddart from Visual Capitalist


If you’re a regular visitor to Visual Capitalist, you know that we’re your home base for data-driven, visual storytelling that helps explain a complex world.

But did you know there’s a way to get even more out of Visual Capitalist, all while helping support the work we do?

New to VC+ in March 2021

VC+ is our members program that gives you exclusive access to extra visual content and insightful special features. It also gets you access to The Trendline, our new members-only graphic newsletter.

So, what is getting sent to VC+ members in the coming weeks?


Shattering the Glass Ceiling

SPECIAL DISPATCH: The Most Influential Women in Business and Finance

Every year, women contribute $5 trillion to global wealth.

Ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8, in this VC+ special dispatch we’ll look at global progress that’s been made in women’s economic rights, from rising earning power to their participation in the C-suite level.

We also look at some of the most influential women in the business and finance world today.

Publishing date: March 4 (Get VC+ to access)


VC 360: A Critical Analysis

SPECIAL DISPATCH: Evaluating visual design from a third-party perspective

As part of this regular VC+ series, we’ll look at how various media outlets have covered the global COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

From vaccine development to data on the doses sold by each manufacturer, we’ll dissect some of the most popular visualizations over the last few months.

Publishing date: (Read more...)

The Line Is Too Short


This post is by Jeff Carter from Points and Figures


The other day I was shooting baskets.  I haven’t shot in two years.  But, I haven’t shot regularly for years and years.  Of course, when I was in my younger days up until I was around 20 I shot every day for at least an hour or more.  My stroke was pretty grooved. I love to shoot. It’s zen for me. Of course, my legs don’t like it much when I shoot. I feel like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz.

I walked up to the charity stripe and knocked down 10 for 10 without warming up.  It was an outdoor court and the basket was a fan-shaped metal backboard (no painted square) with a post.  It was shaky.  Easier to shoot at a square board with a square.

I don’t know why people in D1 or pro basketball are such poor free-throw shooters.  Lebron only shoots 69%. There are physical things I see when I see a poor shooter, but for some people, it’s just mental.  When I was in high school, I put a smaller rim inside my rim on my driveway. The regulation rim fits two basketballs.  The rim I put in fit one and a half.  It really sharpens your eye when you do that.  I swear I could teach any D1 team to shoot free throws and average over 70%.  My high school team averaged 78%.  The shot is not that hard.

I have been watching some NBA games and college games (Read more...)

4 Things Entrepreneurs Must Know In Today’s Environment



When the pandemic first halted travel and in-person meetings, many speculated how the venture capital industry would respond. While deals have been historically tied to face-to-face meetings, the industry quickly adapted. By the third quarter of last year, U.S. VC fundraising set new records, and U.S. IPOs raised over $58 billion from 152 companies. 

At the same time, it became clear that the pace of dealmaking, which used to be a long, structured in-person process, had changed. Now, it involves a constant flow of virtual interaction, information and communication. As a result, investors may be able to come to an investment decision in a matter of weeks, not months. 

Entrepreneurs may be wondering how to keep up with the new pace and stand out in this new remote and digital-first environment. Here are four tips, which are acutely important for early-stage entrepreneurs, from an investor who has been actively looking for and closing deals during the pandemic. 

 

1. Proactively reach out even when not looking to raise 

Almost a year into the pandemic, it’s clear investors have still employed a targeted investment strategy and evaluate sending any outbounds against this. However, at the end of the day, investors want to increase and maintain deal flow. If entrepreneurs want to connect with new investors, they should proactively reach out — even if they’re not currently and actively looking for financing. As deal timelines shorten, it becomes more important to start building a relationship with your potential investor. Even better, (Read more...)

Movie: My Octopus Teacher


This post is by Valet from Feld Thoughts


After my blog post Book: The Soul of an Octopus I received a flurry of emails telling me I needed to watch the movie My Octopus Teacher on Netflix.

I watched it last night and it was beautiful.

I’m fascinated by which blog posts generate email responses. Sometimes is zero. Sometimes it is a lot. This one was a lot.

Octopuses are crazy interesting. And Craig Foster is pretty awesome.

Thanks everyone for the email with the recommendation.

The post Movie: My Octopus Teacher appeared first on Feld Thoughts.

Go Anywhere, Get Anything


This post is by Reid Hoffman from Reid Hoffman


In February, Greylock kicked off “Iconversations,” a new speaker series featuring “icons” across tech, finance, media and culture. We were thrilled to welcome Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi as our first guest to the virtual event.

Khosrowshahi, who previously served as CEO of Expedia before taking the reins at Uber in 2017, sat down with Greylock general partner Reid Hoffman to discuss the past, present and future of the mobility and delivery business that now operates in 71 countries around the world and employs around 20,000 people globally. He also shared his perspective on M&A (including Uber’s recent acquisitions of Postmates and Drizly), autonomous vehicles, the complexities of working in highly regulated industries, and how his personal and professional background shaped the way he approaches leadership today.

You can listen to the conversation on the Greymatter podcast here.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Reid Hoffman: Hi everyone, Welcome to Greylock’s very first Iconversations – our virtual speaker series featuring the most innovative and brave culture makers, tech visionaries, and other icons who are influencing how we live, work and play.

Today, it is my great pleasure to introduce Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi as our featured guest. Dara manages Uber’s fast-growing business in 63 countries around the world and leads a global team of more than 22,000 employees. Dara, thank you so much for being here.

Dara Khosrowshahi: Thank you for having me. It’s an honor to be your first. Iconversations [guest]. Very cool.

RH: The honor is ours. This is awesome. So today we’re (Read more...)