The Truth About the Scooter Economy — An Insider’s Perspective


This post is by Mark Suster from Both Sides of the Table - Medium


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The Truth About the Scooter Economy — An Insider’s Perspective

“Bird Zero” that are custom designed by the company

There is a story arc of the electric scooter market that took the world by storm in 2018, was second-guessed late in the year and has quietly re-emerged as a powerful force of growth where few really appreciate the speed and scale of what has happened. I’d like to share some insights with you.

  • Act I was the invasion of scooters that seemed to be taking over many urban environments in 2018 and literally seemed to come out of nowhere. This led to massive funding rounds at Bird, Lime and others. It became such a quick part of popular culture that Jim Carrey rode a Bird in an opening segment of the Jimmy Kimmel show (hilarious if you haven’t seen it).
  • Act II was “revenge of the luddites” in which some local governments banned them and some annoyed citizens stole them or broke them. (luddite is literally the term for the people in England who put wrenches in the machinery in the industrial revolution and broke things to prevent progress).
  • Act III was the “I told you so” comeuppance of anybody who was sure that the electric scooter market would fail. The valuations were too high! There was seasonality, theft, tough unit economics and slowing funding rounds.

We are now in Act IV. As an insider I thought I’d offer some views of where I believe we’re at in Act IV and maybe some perspective of the future.

Invisibility & Acceptance

The adoption of Bird was so rapid in 2018 that we went from cities that one day had never seen a scooter to thousands of people riding them daily. They were new, they were strange, they were ridden mostly by young people — they were highly visible. The company started the year with no revenue and at its peak had a run rate well in excessive of $100 million / year. Pause to think about how remarkable that truly is.

The world all around us is filled with invisible things that don’t disturb us because they’ve always been there. If our streets were clear and uncrowded we might be outraged to suddenly have cars along our sidewalks, emitting carbon in our air, honking horns or crashing into pedestrians. But they’ve always been there. We’ve come to accept them as a fact of life and we let ourselves be inconvenienced by their presence and pollution without much thought. They’re invisible. They’re acceptable.

Year two in the life of electric scooters is just that — invisible. They are no longer remarkable in Santa Monica or Venice or in many cities in America, Europe or South America. As drivers we look out for them, as

Continue reading “The Truth About the Scooter Economy — An Insider’s Perspective”

Why Has Seed Investing Declined? And What Does this Mean for the Future?


This post is by Mark Suster from Both Sides of the Table - Medium


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Seed investments are down by any measure (funds, deals, dollars) over the past 3 years in deals < $1 million AND in deals between $1–5 million. What gives?

Over the past month a colleague (Chang Xu) and I sifted through data on the venture capital industry (as we do every year) and made a bunch of calls to VCs and LPs to confirm our hypotheses. We published our initial findings in our deep dive on the VC industry in which we showed that:

  • Venture Financings for “traditional VC” is relatively flat over the past 5 years (up only 4% compounded annually)
  • The venture industry as a whole grew massively, mostly due to the IPO window for tech startups being pushed from 6–8 years a generation ago to 10–12+ years today.
  • As a result of the IPO window shifting we saw a massive inflow of public-market capital into the latest stages of venture. Round sizes of > $100 million or more now account for 47% of all VC dollars (62% if you count rounds > $50 million)
  • This has made venture capital significantly more valuable for VCs and LPs who invest in the best companies

As part of our study we noticed a trend many have spotted but few have explained — why the hell has seed financing declined so much in the past 3 years??

In this post I set out to explain why the seed market emerged as its own category in the first place and why it’s declined as of late. (if you want to download the deck it’s here on SlideShare)

Why Did The Seed Market Emerge in the First Place?

You might like to think that a bunch of savvy venture capitalists saw a market niche for raising smaller funds or perhaps there was a generational shift where disgruntled junior partners spun out of bigger firms to start their own gigs. Well, both of those things happened but they were lagging indicators.

The reality is that as a result of two major trends the costs of starting a technology startup went down massively. Between 1999–2005 the costs went down by 90% and between 2005–2010 they went down a further 90%. I launched my first startup in 1999 so I know the economics of launching from first-hand experience.

By 2005 it was significantly less expensive to launch a startup so it should be no surprise that the real innovators in the super early-stage ecosystem were all founded around this time or in the few years to come: Uncork Capital, True Ventures, First Round Capital, Baseline and then shortly thereafter Forerunner Ventures, Founder Collective, IA Ventures, Crosscut, Floodgate and so many more that I’m sure to get in trouble for not listing

Continue reading “Why Has Seed Investing Declined? And What Does this Mean for the Future?”

To Allocate Capital To Women, VCs Need to Talk to More of Them


This post is by Jeff Carter from Points and Figures


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My good friend Waverly Deutsch runs the Polsky Center of Entrepreneurship at Chicago Booth.  I really like her a lot because she is so frank.  When we are going through the early paces of the New Venture Challenge, or one of the other entrepreneurial challenges that Chicago Booth has, Waverly doesn’t mince words.

I think that is one of the things that I really liked about Booth.  Professors were direct.  Not so at other schools.

I don’t always agree with Waverly on some points but that’s okay with both of us.  In those disagreements you find common ground and you often find solutions if you manage them well.

I was talking to her the other day and it caused me to search for some of her publications.  I thought this was apropos given all that is going on in Entrepreneurship.  West Loop Ventures has five portfolio companies, and two are Continue reading “To Allocate Capital To Women, VCs Need to Talk to More of Them”

A Provocative Tweet by Axios Writer Dan Primack


This post is by Jeff Carter from Points and Figures


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This tweet generated some good responses.  If you are interested in this sort of thing read the whole thread.  I think it’s really important for entrepreneurs to know how a good VC thinks.  Understanding their motivation will help them with their pitch, and who they target.  I highly recommend reading the book Venture Deals by Brad Feld.

VC math is very very difficult.  The Holy Grail is to return 3x the fund size after fees.  Many funds are raising huge funds.  I don’t see how the math is going

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Continue reading “A Provocative Tweet by Axios Writer Dan Primack”

Founders: Please don’t allow anyone to screw your early backers


This post is by Christoph Janz from The Angel VC


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Understanding the mechanics of founder re-ups in financing rounds

This post will likely not make me more popular and might offend some people. But if your core beliefs on how business should be done are at stake, you can’t try to win the popularity contest.

If you know me a little you’ll probably agree that like everyone at Point Nine, I’m a pretty nice guy. We’re trying hard to make venture capital a little more human, and we really mean it when we say that we aspire to be good VCs. I’m pretty sure that almost all if not all of the more than 200 founders we’ve worked with over the last ten years would confirm this. 
I’m not saying this to brag or to say that we’re perfect (which we are not, of course). What I’m hoping is that the reputation of being a nice, founder-friendly VC,

Continue reading “Founders: Please don’t allow anyone to screw your early backers”

BlueOcean Ventures ll’s blockchain-powered VC fund targets medical innovation


This post is by Stewart Rogers from vc – VentureBeat


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In everything from AI to scan for diseases and cancers to blockchain to provide global health care for patients, today’s emerging technologies are making a real difference in medicine. To further that trend, BlueOcean Ventures ll announced the launch of SwissVCToken, a security token offering (STO) platform dedicated to the sale of its BOV To…Read More

Sizing up a strategic VC: The questions we wish people asked


This post is by Jeff Stolte, Providence Ventures from Venture Capital – VentureBeat


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SPONSORED: Presented by Providence Ventures Entrepreneurs can easily scour the news wire for articles related to the age-old question: “What Should I Ask a Prospective VC?” As opposed to retreading familiar ground, I’d like to tackle the topic from a perspective near and dear to my heart: Namely, the nuances of inviting a “Strategic” investor into…Read More

Chance Du: From $3,000 a year in China to $20 million in global crypto assets


This post is by Stewart Rogers from vc – VentureBeat


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EXCLUSIVE: If you are brave enough and willing to take risks, you stand to succeed in any greenfield market. And the world of blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, and distributed ledgers is no exception. Coefficient Ventures founder and CEO Chance Du started from humble beginnings. Du grew up in the rural outskirts of Sichuan Province in China,…Read More

VNX launches a blockchain platform to democratize the VC industry


This post is by Stewart Rogers from vc – VentureBeat


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As the blockchain technology space matures, we‘re seeing an increasing number of platforms designed to help traditional markets tokenize, decentralize, and take advantage of distributed ledgers. VNX Exchange is now launching a European digital asset marketplace aimed at bringing liquidity to the $620 billion global venture capital industry. It has…Read More

The First Time Fund


This post is by Jeff Carter from Points and Figures


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It’s interesting how a “first time fund” often isn’t a first time fund.  Generally, VC funds are spin outs.  A partner is with a big firm and then spins out and raises a fund.  To me, that’s not really a first time fund.  It’s a spin out fund.  Fred Wilson talks about a “hard raise” and I am sure it was hard but it wasn’t as hard as a lot of them.

Spin out funds don’t have as hard a time raising capital as real first time funds.  They know where to go, already have relationships, and already have been in the game.  Some funds started out with one partner being politically connected.  They have a political benefactor that gives them a slug of capital to get going which makes the water safe for more investors.  Some funds are simply connected.  That’s how they really get started.

When you are

Continue reading “The First Time Fund”

Deals Get Screwed Up


This post is by Jeff Carter from Points and Figures


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A lot of the time we point to deals getting screwed up and Harvard Business School writes a case about some entrepreneur somewhere that made the wrong decision or didn’t execute and blame for failure gets delivered upon them.

Often times, this is the case.  But, not always.

Sometimes a VC firm will totally screw up a deal because they don’t have the company’s best interest at heart.  They are only concerned with themselves.  One of the things we have been very cognizant of as we build out our fund is to be very transparent with entrepreneurs.  In some cases, they don’t like the transparency.  It chafes on them.  But, while we might be incorrect it’s the way we see it.

I have always been transparent.  It comes from my time on the floor and the time I spent at USAFA.  I probably share too much.  It can be used Continue reading “Deals Get Screwed Up”

163. The ‘Softbank Effect’, Financial Discipline and the Interworkings of a Top Seed Investment Firm (Joe Medved)


This post is by Nick Moran from The Full Ratchet


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Joe Medved of Lerer Hippeau joins Nick to discuss The ‘Softbank Effect’, Financial Discipline and the Interworkings of a Top Seed Investment Firm. In this episode, we cover: The focus at Lerer Hippeau The adoption and integration of the Binary Capital Portfolio Why they dropped ventures from the name Joe’s…

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Can’t-miss advice on funding a health care startup (VB Live)


This post is by VB Staff from Venture Capital – VentureBeat


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VB LIVE: The potential to disrupt health care with technology at scale is huge. It just takes a venture capital partner, paired with your own expertise in health tech. Join this webinar to learn how VC partnerships can help you navigate through the regulations and complicated nature of health care, and get your startup thriving. Register here for f…Read More

Can’t-miss advice on funding a health care startup (VB Live)


This post is by VB Staff from vc – VentureBeat


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





VB LIVE: The potential to disrupt health care with technology at scale is huge. It just takes a venture capital partner, paired with your own expertise in health tech. Join this webinar to learn how VC partnerships can help you navigate through the regulations and complicated nature of health care, and get your startup thriving. Register here for f…Read More

GamesBeat Summit 2018: Uncovering the best opportunities in games investment


This post is by Jen Larsen from vc – VentureBeat


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post





VB EVENT: Our latest speakers for GamesBeat 2018 can look into the future of VC for games: Eric Goldberg, Nabeel Hyatt, Greg Milken, and Gordon Rubenstein. They’ll be talking about the biggest opportunities in games, and what’s offering the best returns right now, plus tackle the big questions: Is esports reaching its peak? Is augmented…Read More

Snyk, from first check to leader in dev-friendly open source security


This post is by Ed Sim from BeyondVC


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




We are thrilled to announce our investment in Snyk, which is a developer-first security solution that helps companies use open source code and stay secure. We couldn’t be more excited to be leading this new round of capital again with Canaan Partners and including Heavybit, FundFire, and Peter Mckay (Co-CEO of Veeam) (see Techcrunch for more coverage).

Our initial journey goes way back as we were investors in Guy Podjarny’s previous company, Blaze.io, which sold to Akamai in 2012. For the next few years we collaborated on several co-investments and what ultimately attracted us to Guy’s new company (along with co-founders Danny Grander and Assaf Hefetz), was their bold vision to create a new platform for securing open source components with a dev-first focus. At the time we seeded Snyk in late 2015, open source library usage was growing significantly and solutions were either security first which slowed down dev or dev first but not with enough security built in. With the movement towards continuous integration and deployment, it was clear a new solution was needed.

In a little over two years, Snyk has gone from “founder market fit” to “product market fit” and this new round will allow the company to build out is product offering and expand its Fortune 500 customer base.

With over 120,000 developers using the platform, 100,000 projects protected, 350,000 downloads per month, and notable partnerships with Heroku, JFrog and Microsoft Sonar, Snyk has proven it can get developers to fully adopt a security solution, and the importance of having the strongest database of known vulnerabilities in open source

Funding rounds are always a great opportunity to look back and see how the company’s initial thesis has held up and what has improved or changed. See below for Snyk’s initial vision from late 2015, much of which remains the same today; developer velocity increasing, security isn’t dev-friendly, how do you bridge the gap, esp. in open source world where much of it is third party code.

There have clearly been some tweaks to the model since then, but what is most exciting for us is watching Snyk go from idea and vision in a non-existent market to one where the question of how developers are securing open source components is becoming mainstream. And given some high profile security breaches like Equifax in Sept. 2017 where it was due to unpatched open source vulnerabilities, you can see why the interest in solutions like Snyk’s are gaining rapid adoption.

While the need for dev-friendly open source security may seem obvious today, especially with the stats above, how did we frame our initial investment? Here‘s what got us Continue reading “Snyk, from first check to leader in dev-friendly open source security”

Snyk, from first check to leader in dev-friendly open source security


This post is by Ed Sim from BeyondVC


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




We are thrilled to announce our investment in Snyk, which is a developer-first security solution that helps companies use open source code and stay secure. We couldn’t be more excited to be leading this new round of capital again with Canaan Partners and including Heavybit, FundFire, and Peter Mckay (Co-CEO of Veeam) (see Techcrunch for more coverage).

Our initial journey goes way back as we were investors in Guy Podjarny’s previous company, Blaze.io, which sold to Akamai in 2012. For the next few years we collaborated on several co-investments and what ultimately attracted us to Guy’s new company (along with co-founders Danny Grander and Assaf Hefetz), was their bold vision to create a new platform for securing open source components with a dev-first focus. At the time we seeded Snyk in late 2015, open source library usage was growing significantly and solutions were either security first which slowed down dev or dev first but not with enough security built in. With the movement towards continuous integration and deployment, it was clear a new solution was needed.

In a little over two years, Snyk has gone from “founder market fit” to “product market fit” and this new round will allow the company to build out is product offering and expand its Fortune 500 customer base.

With over 120,000 developers using the platform, 100,000 projects protected, 350,000 downloads per month, and notable partnerships with Heroku, JFrog and Microsoft Sonar, Snyk has proven it can get developers to fully adopt a security solution, and the importance of having the strongest database of known vulnerabilities in open source

Funding rounds are always a great opportunity to look back and see how the company’s initial thesis has held up and what has improved or changed. See below for Snyk’s initial vision from late 2015, much of which remains the same today; developer velocity increasing, security isn’t dev-friendly, how do you bridge the gap, esp. in open source world where much of it is third party code.

There have clearly been some tweaks to the model since then, but what is most exciting for us is watching Snyk go from idea and vision in a non-existent market to one where the question of how developers are securing open source components is becoming mainstream. And given some high profile security breaches like Equifax in Sept. 2017 where it was due to unpatched open source vulnerabilities, you can see why the interest in solutions like Snyk’s are gaining rapid adoption.

While the need for dev-friendly open source security may seem obvious today, especially with the stats above, how did we frame our initial investment? Here‘s what got us Continue reading “Snyk, from first check to leader in dev-friendly open source security”

Flushing Money Down the Toilet


This post is by Jeff Carter from Points and Figures


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




It’s St. Patrick’s Day.  May the luck of the Irish be with you.  Many people think that startup investing is pure luck.  It’s not.  Some people like to say before you startup invest you should take a bunch of $100 bills and flush them down the toilet.  Or, burn them in a grocery bag.  That’s not it either.

It’s funny because there is risk in startup investing but while I understand where the shorthand came from I don’t necessarily think it’s a good correlation.

One time I gave a piece of advice to a person that wanted to be a VC after a successful career.  I asked, “Have you ever given someone $50k where you had no control and they lost it?”  This person had not.  I said, “I suggest you do that a couple of times before you become a VC because not only does it make you Continue reading “Flushing Money Down the Toilet”

VC Offsites – Our Approach


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts


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I regularly get asked by other VCs about how we do our offsites.

When we started Foundry Group in 2006, we had a very deliberate quarterly process in an effort to learn each other and become highly effective at working together. For the first three years, we were disciplined about the timing and process, used an outside facilitator, and always spent one night away together as a group. This was intense and rocky for the first few years, as we had to work through a lot of stuff as individuals and as a team, even though we had all be working together since the early 2000s at our prior firm.

Around 2010, as we started to feel like we had hit our stride working together as a team, we shifted from a facilitator driven model but maintained our quarterly rhythm. Recently, after adding Lindel, Moody, and Jamey to

Continue reading “VC Offsites – Our Approach”

The Problem of Product Market Fit in Crypto


This post is by Jeff Carter from Points and Figures


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Over the past several weeks, I have had a lot of conversations with various people in various disciplines about the crypto markets.  They all were shaking their heads.  It’s easy to look at the price of some cryptocurrencies and the amount of money invested and shake your head.

However, a thought occurred to me the other day.  One of the things VCs always look for when they invest is product/market fit.  Of course, that means different things at different stages.  Seed product market fit doesn’t look like Series C product market fit.

Do any of the companies doing ICO’s meet the standards of venture capital product market fit at any stage?  If I was listening to a pitch, I’d ask a lot of questions around product market fit.  I’d also ask about governance but that is a different issue.

It occurs to me if I was a crypto investor the Continue reading “The Problem of Product Market Fit in Crypto”