Day: August 3, 2021

Out of water

This post is by Om Malik from On my Om

Death Valley, CA. Photo By Om. Made with Leica SL2.

Sitting inside my concrete cocoon, mid-way between the soaring blue sky and the shaded San Francisco side street, I can see the blue waters of the San Francisco bay. It all looks and feels quite normal. The temperate morning with the occasional waft of chilly air reminds me of my good fortune to live in this beautiful city. I don’t like to think about the eventual big one.  

I have just showered. For some, success means being rich, famous, owning fancy cars, or big mansions. As long as I have lived, I have considered long, lazy showers the ultimate luxury. For me, the shower is an allegory of ambition and success. And soon, it might become a reminder of what we might be losing as a society. 


I grew up in Delhi before making America my home. My parents were neither rich nor poor. They were somewhere in the vast middle, which had its spectrum of success and ambition, where you sat on that spectrum defined what you had as part of your daily life. 

For most of my early life, my family didn’t have things that most take for granted — television, telephone, and even a refrigerator. Eventually, those luxuries would come into our household, some slowly, some very slowly. One of the things we couldn’t take for granted was water. Our family’s water came from a tap — and the water availability was as much an act (Read more...)

The Sad Truth of Buy Now Pay Later Services

This post is by Om Malik from On my Om

Square, the other company, started by Jack Dorsey, recently announced that it is buying Afterpay, a Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) company, for a whopping $29 billion. The BNPL category is hot. Max Levchin’s Affirm has gone public. Klarna, the emerging fintech giant from Sweden, has an offering. And even Apple is getting into the game. 

Tech leaders paint BNPL as a boon for those with no credit or bad credit. Truth is not as simple as The Markup points out. The regulators and lawmakers have started paying attention — but will that be enough? Not likely, because every time you visit a store, you get a chance to buy something without paying now!  

Read article on The Markup

How Gambling Swallowed Sports Media

This post is by Om Malik from On my Om

Betting on sports is becoming a disease so pervasive that soon we will wake up and talk about it how we talk about the opioid epidemic. Having realized that sports bettors consume more media than regular fans, media companies — from The Associated Press to The Bleacher Report to CBS, FOX, NBC and ESPN have signed deals with companies in the business of betting. And no one is a more prominent supporter than Bill Simmons, the founder of The Ringer, who once said, “Gambling is a part of sports; we may as well accept it.” This in-depth piece by Danny Funt is worth reading

Read article on Columbia Journalism Review

What’s New on VC+ in August?

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 August 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?

“VC 360: A Critical Analysis on Languages”

SPECIAL DISPATCH: Examining Attempts to Visualize Our World of Languages

Language is a common thread that binds humanity together. While there are some dominant mother tongues that are spoken by millions, there are still thousands of languages spoken around the world. Visualizing who speaks what language around the globe is no easy feat, though many have tried.

This recurring VC+ Special Dispatch looks at noteworthy attempts to categorize all the world’s languages in one place, and how effectively they communicate the message.

Publishing date: August 5 (Get VC+ to access)

“The Best of… Patent Drop”

NEW SPECIAL DISPATCH: A Roundup From Our Favorite Content Libraries

In our research and writing processes, we often come across resources that make us wish we’d thought of doing that first.

In this new VC+ Special Dispatch, we curate the best of content libraries that caught our attention (Read more...)

How to start a new Venture Capital Fund with Acquired.FM | E1258

This post is by jasoncalacanis from Jason Calacanis

00:00 Intro Ben & David from Acquired
00:56 David’s new fund Kindergarten Ventures fund
14:45 The costs of operating a fund & how David is doing it
18:49 Why LPs care about pro-rata
25:29 The scale of Jason’s syndicate & value VCs bring
30:17 Jason’s preemptive pro-rata strategy (Sequoia does this too)
35:50 The podcast strategy
39:23 Why All-In works
43:15 Jason’s investing goals
52:39 VC scout programs
56:11 The Mount Rushmore of Venture Capital

The post How to start a new Venture Capital Fund with Acquired.FM | E1258 appeared first on Jason Calacanis.

Which Country is the Cheapest for Starting a Business?

This post is by Omri Wallach from Visual Capitalist

Which Country is the Cheapest for Starting A Business?

Starting a new business isn’t as simple as coming up with an idea.

In addition to the time investment needed to formulate and create a business, there’s often a hefty capital requirement. A new business usually requires paying different fees for licensing, permits, and approvals, and many governments also have minimum on-hand capital requirements.

And costs are relative. Though it might be more costly to start a business in some countries on paper, affordability also takes into account relative income.

These graphics from use data from the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report to examine the startup cost for a small-to-medium-size LLC in the largest business cities across 190 countries.

The Cost of Starting a Business in Different Countries

From a pure cost perspective, the affordability of starting a business is extremely dependent on where you are located.

Some countries make the cost of business extremely low to encourage more economic activity. Others have high or nearly inaccessible fees to protect existing businesses, or to simply cash in on the entrepreneurial spirit.

CountryCost (2020 USD)% of Monthly Income
Timor Leste100.09
South Africa130.03
United Kingdom170.01
Pakistan (Read more...)

Christine Kim | Lessons from Scaling Product at Uber

This post is by Greylock Partners from Greymatter

Greylock investor Christine Kim shares the top five lessons she learned scaling product while working at Uber. Prior to joining Greylock in 2020, Christine spent five years at the ride-hailing business. where she led the product team that launched and scaled Uber Eats. The app started as a small pilot project that quickly caught on, and Uber Eats now generates $50 billion in revenue annually.

How public markets can help address venture capital’s limitations

British venture capital firm Draper Esprit recently moved its listing from the AIM to the main board in London, the LSE. The investing group also moved its secondary listing from Dublin’s Euronext Growth Market to its larger sister exchange, Euronext Dublin, which makes sense given its long connection to Irish capital.

Draper has always felt like something of an anomaly from our perspective, a generalist venture capital firm that was itself public. But this July, Forward Partners listed its shares on the AIM, and there are other venture firms in Europe that are also listed.

At first blush, the setup may seem odd; venture capital firms invest in companies that they hope to see go public one day — why would they float themselves? But Draper Esprit co-founder Stuart Chapman told TechCrunch in an interview that he finds it shocking “that venture capital backs some of the most mind-blowing tech advances in our history over the last 70 years, using the same legal structure as a 1958 property vehicle in New York.” It’s a reasonable point.

Perhaps fundraising success is part of why the venture model has not seen much disruption in recent decades, apart from rising fund sizes. But the model is not perfect. It can foist artificial time constraints on investors and force them to focus their deal flow into particular stages for fund-construction reasons. As we found out researching this piece, the public venture model highlights some of these limitations — and may be able to (Read more...)

Marvell nabs Innovium for $1.1B as it delves deeper into cloud ethernet switches

Marvell announced this morning it has reached an agreement to acquire Innovium for $1.1 billion in an all-stock deal. The startup, which raised over $400 million according to Crunchbase data, makes networking ethernet switches optimized for the cloud.

Marvell president and CEO Matt Murphy sees Innovium as a complementary piece to the $10 billion Inphi acquisition last year, giving the company, which makes copper-based chips, more ways to work across modern cloud data centers.

“Innovium has established itself as a strong cloud data center merchant switch silicon provider with a proven platform, and we look forward to working with their talented team who have a strong track record in the industry for delivering multiple generations of highly successful products,” Marvell CEO Matt Murphy said in a statement.

Innovium founder and CEO Rajiv Khemani, who will remain as an advisor post-close, told a familiar tale from a startup CEO being acquired, seeing the sale as a way to accelerate more quickly as part of a larger organization than it could on its own. “As we engaged with Marvell, it became clear that our data center optimized portfolio combined with Marvell’s scale, leading technology platform and complementary portfolio, can accelerate our growth and vision of delivering breakthrough switch silicon for the cloud and edge,” he wrote in a company blog post announcing the deal.

The company, which was founded in 2014, raised more than $143 million last year (Read more...)

Crypto and the Infrastructure Bill

This post is by Fred Wilson from AVC

I mentioned the infrastructure bill here last week. I continue to be impressed by the way Senators and the White House are working across the aisle to get a very big piece of legislation across the finish line. It is not done, but it sure looks like it will get done.

As I mentioned in the post last week, there is language in the initial draft of the bill requiring crypto “brokers” to report gains and losses to the IRS. The Treasury expects this provision to produce upwards of $30bn in new tax revenues over the next ten years.

I personally have no issue with crypto gains and losses being treated the same as stock gains and losses and we have been doing that at USV for quite a while now. But I do have concerns that the way “brokers” are defined in the context of crypto is very different than how it is defined in the traditional financial sector. The language in the initial draft is overly broad, infringing on privacy, and technically unworkable. Crypto industry participants like miners, wallets, smart contracts, and other kinds of hardware and software cannot carry the same obligations as “brokers” like Coinbase and Square Cash.

But here is the good news. The crypto sector has come together to get the language changed in a way that I have never seen before. Everyone in crypto is working together, staying on message, working all of the avenues, and creating the appropriate amount of pressure on (Read more...)