inspiral + venturecapital   178

Andreessen Horowitz's Spin Master Built Silicon Valley As You Know It | WIRED
For two and a half decades Margit Wennmachers has quietly shaped the public image of Silicon Valley. Now Andreessen Horowitz’s spin master reckons with the era of big tech.
MargitWennmachers  profile  interview  AndreessenHorovitz  venturecapital  publicrelations  SiliconValley  Wired  2018 
january 2018 by inspiral
Inside the Eccentric, Unstoppable Deal-Making of Masayoshi Son - Bloomberg
The Japanese billionaire has changed the startup game with his aggressive investing and enormous checkbook. Does he know what he’s doing?
MasayoshiSon  SoftBank  profile  venturecapital  investment  startup  Uber  Alibaba  Didi  Brain  Bloomberg  2017 
january 2018 by inspiral
When Will the Tech Bubble Burst? - The New York Times
Of course, no two booms will unfold exactly the same way. We are now eight years into this bull market, making it the second longest in history, behind only the run-up of the late 1990s. No bull market lasts forever, and while it is clear that we are entering the late stages of this cycle, it is impossible to say whether this moment is like 1999, or 1998 — or earlier.
tech  startup  bubble  venturecapital  review  critique  NYTimes  2017 
august 2017 by inspiral
A Backlash Builds Against Sexual Harassment in Silicon Valley - The New York Times
The upheaval over sexual harassment in the technology start-up industry mushroomed on Monday, with the resignation of a prominent Silicon Valley investor who said he had been “a creep” and more women saying they would come forward to talk about their experiences.
startup  venturecapital  sexism  harassment  500Startups  review  critique  USA  NYTimes  2017 
july 2017 by inspiral
Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, and the on-demand economy is a bubble—and it’s about to burst — Quartz
But just because massive companies like Airbnb are finding success in the travel sector doesn’t mean that on-demand delivery of goods and services in other areas has been solved. Other than ride sharing, lodging, and food delivery, mass-market adoption for on-demand uses is shaky at best. (In fact, we’re not even sure if the on-demand economy is technically legal.) Instead, venture capital is fueling the space and essentially subsidizing services. But VC money does not make your company invincible, and you can only finance growth through venture money for so long—even Uber and Lyft are burning through a ton of cash.
startup  sharingeconomy  venturecapital  profitability  review  critique  loyalty  competitiveadvantage  Uber  Airbnb  Lyft  Ola  Instacart  Deliveroo  Quartz  2017 
may 2017 by inspiral
Flipkart to Raise $1 Billion With Plans for $1 Billion More - Bloomberg
Flipkart Online Services Pvt has completed a $1 billion fundraising and aims to raise as much as $1 billion more over the next few months, according to people familiar with the matter, giving India’s largest e-commerce company capital to battle back against rising competition.

Flipkart secured its latest funding on Friday at a valuation of about $10 billion, said the people, asking not to be named because the matter is private. Backers in this round so far included Microsoft Corp., EBay Inc. and Tencent Holdings Ltd., but the valuation was a decline from Flipkart’s $15.5 billion in 2015. The company said it doesn’t comment on “market speculations” as a matter of policy.
Flipkart  venturecapital  ecommerce  India  Bloomberg  2017 
april 2017 by inspiral
Venture capital is going to murder Medium
But I don’t think we’ll grow old together, Medium and I. I suspect it’ll end quite tragic, actually. $132,000,000 is a lot of money after all, and that’s how much venture capital Medium has been dipped in. Before having a prayer or a song about how to turn into that multi-billion-dollar business it must to satisfy the required rate of return.
Medium  webjournalism  publishing  profitability  venturecapital  review  critique  SignalvsNoise  2017 
january 2017 by inspiral
Fraud in Silicon Valley: Startups Show Their Unethical Underside
Fraud is not new in tech, of course. Longtime investors remember when MiniScribe shipped actual bricks inside its hard-disk boxes in an inventory accounting scam in the 1980s. The ’90s and early aughts brought WorldCom, Enron, and the dot-bombs. But today more money is sloshing around ($73 billion in venture capital invested in U.S. startups in 2016, compared with $45 billion at the peak of the dotcom boom, according to PitchBook), there’s less transparency as companies stay private longer (174 private companies are each worth $1 billion or more), and there’s an endless supply of legal gray areas to exploit as technology invades every sector, from fintech and med-tech to auto-tech and ed-tech.
startup  venturecapital  fraud  ethics  review  critique  Theranos  Zenefits  HamptonCreek  FaradayFuture  HyperloopOne  Fortune  2016 
january 2017 by inspiral
Is it a good time to start a software company? – Medium
Here are the questions I am thinking about:
In this phase of software’s deployment, what will distribution of the winners look like?
What is the next ‘platform’ in software?
What is the next boom industry post-software?
What are the valuable assets to capture from the last boom and redirect towards the next one?
software  startup  opportunity  review  investment  venturecapital  author:SamGerstenzang  Medium  2016 
december 2016 by inspiral
Can Uber Ever Deliver? Part One – Understanding Uber’s Bleak Operating Economics | naked capitalism
There have been hundreds of articles claiming that Uber has produced wonderful benefits, but none of these benefits increase consumer welfare because they depended on billions in subsidies. Uber is currently a staggeringly unprofitable company. Aside from the imposition of unilateral cuts in driver compensation, there is no evidence of any progress towards breakeven, and no one can provide a credible explanation of how Uber could achieve the billions in P&L improvements needed to achieve sustainable profits and investor returns.

Uber’s growth to date is entirely explained by its willingness to engage in predatory competition funded by Silicon Valley billionaires pursuing industry dominance. But this financial evidence, while highly suggestive, cannot completely answer the question of how an Uber-dominated industry would impact overall economic welfare.
Uber  startup  ridesharing  profitability  review  critique  venturecapital  NakedCapitalism  2016 
december 2016 by inspiral
The Tech Bubble Didn’t Burst This Year. Just Wait - Bloomberg
Startups’ struggles to grow and woo venture capitalists are only half the story, though, because the VCs themselves are more flush than ever. With global interest rates low, Silicon Valley remains a safe-looking diversification strategy for investors, especially wealthy Middle Easterners and Russians with little regard for rates of return. These investors have poured money into new funds raised by the likes of Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. (Bloomberg LP, which owns Bloomberg Businessweek, is an investor in Andreessen Horowitz.)
venturecapital  startup  investment  bubble  unicorn  Airbnb  Uber  Bloomberg  2016 
october 2016 by inspiral
10 things you didn't know about Europe's tech scene | VentureBeat | Business | by Omar Mohout
So while Europe might be a single market, it’s definitely not a single tech scene. That fact makes it difficult to feel the pulse of the European tech. But if you take a close look, you’ll quickly notice that there is interesting stuff happening in Europe – to the point that we’re spotting young EUnicorns, the European answer to Silicon Valley’s unicorns! In order to get a good overview of the scene, Sirris.be, the non-profit I work for that maps Belgian tech startups, recently looked at all of the European tech companies that have raised at least $1 million in 2016. The data (you can view it here), which is comprised of more than 1,100 transactions from 30 countries, reveals 10 surprising insights. Here they are — the good, the bad, and the ugly of the old continent:
startup  review  fintech  Europe  London  Paris  Berlin  Stockholm  Barcelona  Munich  Amsterdam  Copenhagen  Dublin  Milan  Ghent  Krakow  Lausanne  Porto  Helsinki  UK  Germany  France  Sweden  Belgium  Ireland  Finland  Switzerland  university  accelerator  venturecapital  B2B  B2C  marketplace  Venturebeat  2016 
september 2016 by inspiral
The CIA’s Venture-Capital Firm, Like Its Sponsor, Operates in the Shadows - WSJ
In-Q-Tel provides only limited information about its investments, and some of its trustees have ties to funded companies
InQTel  venturecapital  CIA  military  innovation  review  USA  WallStreetJournal  2016 
september 2016 by inspiral
India’s WhatsApp rival Hike raises $175M led by Tencent at a $1.4B valuation | TechCrunch
India has a new tech unicorn. Hike, a four-year-old messaging app, today announced that it has closed $175 million in funding led by new investors Chinese internet giant Tencent and manufacturing firm Foxconn. The Series D round values the company at $1.4 billion, founder and CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal confirmed to TechCrunch.

Tencent, the company that pioneered messaging with WeChat, is the big name here, but existing investors Tiger Global, Bharti and SoftBank also took part in the round, which takes Hike to more than $250 million raised to date. Hike added some strategic U.S.-based investors to its roster earlier this year, but its last major funding was a $65 million Series C that closed two years ago.
Hike  mobilemessaging  investment  Tencent  venturecapital  review  India  Techcrunch  2016 
august 2016 by inspiral
Fat Protocols | Union Square Ventures
This is a big shift. The combination of shared open data with an incentive system that prevents “winner-take-all” markets changes the game at the application layer and creates an entire new category of companies with fundamentally different business models at the protocol layer. Many of the established rules about building businesses and investing in innovation don't apply to this new model and today we probably have more questions than answers.
Blockchain  venturecapital  review  opportunity  applicationlayer  protocollayer  author:JoelMonegro  UnionSquareVentures  2016 
august 2016 by inspiral
India tech: Reality call
Funding fervour has cooled but the battle for users in a market of 1.2bn people still lies ahead
India  startup  venturecapital  valuation  review  critique  Flipkart  InMobi  MuSigma  Zomato  Ola  PayTM  Quikr  ShopClues  Snapdeal  FinancialTimes  2016 
august 2016 by inspiral
In praise of failure — Benedict Evans
None of this means that failure is good - failure is horrible and painful for everyone. You're not supposed to fail. Nor does it mean that doing stupid things is good, nor that screwing up is good. It certainly doesn't mean that no tech company that failed ever did something stupid or screwed up, nor that no VC has ever made an investment that they shouldn't have. People screw up in tech all the time. But failure is part of risk, and failing, by itself, does not mean that anyone was stupid, or screwed up. Failure just means you tried. 
venturecapital  startup  risk  failure  advocacy  ROI  review  BenedictEvans  2016 
august 2016 by inspiral
China is flooding Silicon Valley with cash. Here’s what can go wrong. - The Washington Post
At the heart of the bitter, under-the-radar dispute between China’s online shopping powerhouse and Quixey, whose tech enables users to search within apps, is a culture clash — one that is emblematic of both the promises and the perils involved in Silicon ­Valley’s relationship with China. Experts say that relationship — ­always delicate, always mind-bogglingly complex — has reached a new inflection point, as unprecedented amounts of cash from China have poured into Silicon Valley.

The flood has had a profound effect on the region’s start-up boom. Over the past two years, Internet giants such as Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent — sometimes referred to as the Amazon, Google and Facebook of China — as well as dozens of private investors, family offices, local municipalities and state-owned enterprises have raced to capture a stake in the region’s cutting-edge technologies.
startup  investment  venturecapital  SiliconValley  China  USA  review  critique  culture  WashingtonPost  2016 
august 2016 by inspiral
Why Uber Keeps Raising Billions
Every time Uber raises another $1 billion, venture capital investors and others may find it less attractive to back one of Uber’s many rivals: Didi Chuxing, Lyft, Gett, Halo, Juno. In other words, Uber’s fund-raising efforts have seemingly become part of the contest: It’s not just a rivalry over customers and drivers; it’s a war of attrition, a mad scramble to starve the competition of cash.

At the moment, Uber’s success has had the opposite effect: It has spawned a long list of rivals, big and little guys who say, “We can do it too.” But over time, as the smaller competitors run out of cash — after heavily subsidizing riders in an effort to steal business from Uber — venture capitalists should be less inclined to put up even more cash to go up against Fortress Uber.
Uber  ridesharing  venturecapital  investment  competition  DidiChuxing  NYTimes  2016 
june 2016 by inspiral
Why Taiwan is far ahead of mainland China in high-tech — FT.com
Not a single comment I’ve seen focused on perhaps more obvious reasons China’s tech ambitions are proving so hard to realize: a weak system of patent protection, widespread online censoring and restrictions on the free flow of information, a venture capital industry which, though now large, has an aversion to backing new directions in R&D. In Taiwan, none of this is true.
innovation  startup  tech  critique  intellectualproperty  patents  censorship  GreatFirewall  venturecapital  China  comparison  Taiwan  author:PeterFuhrman  FinancialTimes  2016 
june 2016 by inspiral
Ground Control To Silicon Valley - BuzzFeed News
Code Conference couldn’t have come at a weirder time in already strained relationship between Silicon Valley and its chroniclers. Media people are flabbergasted at tech investors defending Theranos; tech investors are appalled that anyone in the media could defend Gawker. Both sides also seem a bit chastened by what slipped past their attention (see again: Theranos). Tech investors seem certain that there’s a media conspiracy to hurt them. Media people got their Thiel conspiracy theory confirmed. And there’s a phalanx of public relations people in between. As “tech” progresses faster and faster and into new areas, the tech press becomes increasingly untrained to keep it in check. So, what better time to share some venture-backed meat and guarded small talk?
CodeConference  Recode  conference  ElonMusk  JeffBezos  SundarPichai  KaraSwisher  WalkMossberg  NickDenton  venturecapital  journalism  Buzzfeed  2016 
june 2016 by inspiral
The Tech Boom’s Second Cities - The New Yorker
The shift toward tech has brought people to Silicon Valley cities like San Francisco and San Jose, of course, as happened during previous tech booms, but tech executives and investors have been somewhat more cost-conscious this time around. That has meant opening offices and hiring tech workers in secondary cities outside of Silicon Valley. Austin and Seattle have been big beneficiaries of that movement, as have some smaller cities, like Salt Lake City. In 2013, when the small-business blog at the Times started a series on what it called “startup cities” outside of the then-obvious tech capitals, one of its first posts was a profile of Austin.
SiliconValley  SanFrancisco  alternative  Austin  Seattle  SaltLakeCity  startup  venturecapital  NewYorker  2016 
may 2016 by inspiral
How Will Blockchain Change Banking? How <em>Won't</em> It? | Bank Think
Blockchain entrepreneurs and incumbents alike are working to resolve the limitations of the antiquated financial system by using blockchain technology to devise new ways to perform the eight core functions of financial intermediaries.
blockchain  banking  financialservices  innovation  identity  payments  settlement  creditworthiness  clearing  venturecapital  insurance  accounting  review  AmericanBanker  2016 
may 2016 by inspiral
The Music Industry Buried More Than 150 Startups. Now They Are Left To Dance With The Giants. — Medium
In my mind, it would have been in the long-term best interests of the recorded music business to enable the widespread success of thousands of companies, each paying fair but not bone-crushing royalties back to labels, artists and publishers. But the high royalty rates imposed upon startups, even after clear signs over the past 19 years that the strategy killed companies, prevented a healthy ecosystem from emerging. It’s a bed the music industry made for itself, and now it is left to lie in it.
music  startup  critique  monopoly  venturecapital  author:DavidPakman  Medium  2016 
may 2016 by inspiral
The ‘tech bubble’ puzzle | McKinsey & Company
For all the differences between the tech start-up markets of today and those of 2000, both periods are marked by excitement at the potential for new technologies and businesses to stimulate meaningful economic change. To the extent that valuations are excessive, the private markets would appear to be more vulnerable. But perspective is important. The market capitalization of the US and Chinese equity markets declined by $2.5 trillion in January alone. Any correction to the roughly half a trillion dollars in combined value of all the unicorns as of their last funding round is likely to seem milder than the correction of the last technology bubble.
startup  valuation  venturecapital  IPO  review  USA  China  McKinsey  2016 
may 2016 by inspiral
Fintechs' Goals Are Changing, VCs' Appetite Is Not | American Banker
Late last year, we wondered if the fast-growing fintech sector was overheating. At that time, we thought the answer was a qualified "yes"— that some companies were overvalued and there were signs of a bubble forming.

Well, if there is a bubble, it sure hasn't burst yet.

Global fintech investment rose 75% in 2015 to $22.3 billion, according to Accenture. In the first quarter of 2016, financial technology ventures received $5.3 billion in funding, a 67% increase over the same period last year, according to Accenture’s analysis of CB Insights data, which tracks money from venture capitalists, private equity firms, and corporate investors. In North America, fintech investment grew 44% to $14.8 billion in 2015 and the U.S. continued to dominate the sector with 667 fintech deals, a 16% increase over the previous year.

As the fintech market matures, the dollars invested are shifting from startups that position themselves as disruptors to those seeking to collaborate with the financial services industry. And greenfield areas are being discovered for fintech investment, like insurance, blockchain and secured lending.
fintech  venturecapital  investment  growth  bubble  review  insurtech  blockchain  securedlending  USA  Accenture  CBInsights  AmericanBanker  2016 
april 2016 by inspiral
Venture Capital Disintermediation is Coming — Medium
This is an antifragile (convexity) strategy that combines high risk and high payoff with low exposure, to produce consistent returns with low volatility. The system I envisage would give public investors access to a broad portfolio of private companies that would be far safer than investing in a handful of public stocks today. It’s just a vision, but you can see plenty of signs that we are heading in this direction.
startup  venturecapital  critique  investment  index  disintermediation  opportunity  author:DavidSiegel  PullNews  Medium  2016 
april 2016 by inspiral
Insurance Tech Startups Are Invading the Multi-Trillion Dollar Insurance Industry | Matthew Wong | LinkedIn
From policy-comparison engines to tech-enabled health coverage and insurance tools for on-demand workers and use cases, startups are invading the multi-trillion dollar insurance industry — and investors are chasing them. Here's a brief rundown of what's happening in the world of insurance tech startups.

Companies targeting the insurance tech space raised $2.12B since 2010, a whopping $1.39B of which has come since the start of 2014. 2015 is already the biggest year on record for insurance tech, as the chart below highlights, spurred by Zenefits’ huge $500M round.
insurance  insurtech  startup  investment  venturecapital  growth  healthinsurance  review  CBInsights  2015 
april 2016 by inspiral
Insurance Tech Startup Funding Hits $2.65B In 2015
Investors in insurance tech look beyond health insurance and beyond the US market as deal activity hits a multi-year quarterly high in Q4'15.
insurtech  venturecapital  startup  funding  growth  CBInsights  2016 
april 2016 by inspiral
What’s the point of InsurTech (and what are the incumbents doing about it)? | Daily Fintech
Earlier this week, a packed house attended a TechUK meeting in central London under the heading “Insurance Disruption”. The stage was shared by two insurers, three startups and a global SI. This was a coming together of the established and the emerging worlds of insurance and InsurTech. The subject: digital innovation and the transformation of the insurance industry.
insurance  innovation  insurtech  venturecapital  entrepreneurs  startup  MassMutualVentures  CommerzVentures  incubators  accelerators  StartupBootcamp  innovationlabs  MundiLab  AxaLab  LumenLab  Pinnacle  ManulifeLOFT  AllianzDigitalAccelerator  disruption  review  author:RickHuckstep  DailyFintech  2016 
april 2016 by inspiral
What Happened When Venture Capitalists Took Over the Golden State Warriors - The New York Times
After racking up a historic N.B.A. season, the team’s owners — most of them from Silicon Valley — think their management style deserves some of the credit. Are they right?
GoldenStateWarriors  basketball  JoeLacob  profile  management  venturecapital  NYTimes  2016 
april 2016 by inspiral
The ‘minimum viable product’ infection | FT Alphaville
And so we arrive at the death of the SME enterprise and the rise of the winner-takes-all monopolist venture, with dubious consequences for the provision of the basic goods and services that society already knows it wants and is prepared to pay for.

So we ask you readers, is MVP an innovation catalyser or more of an economic infection? For us at least the jury’s still out on this one.
startup  venturecapital  investment  minimumviableproduct  critique  FinancialTimes  2016 
march 2016 by inspiral
The Music Startup Meltdown — Cuepoint — Medium
What this does mean is the music startups have to be ten times better, and smarter, and more focused on profit than they were before. In the long run, the space might be smaller, but it’ll be better, with more fully-realized products. We just have to hold on tight as we pass through the eye of the storm first.
music  startup  venturecapital  decline  critique  author:CortneyHarding  Cuepoint  Medium  2016 
march 2016 by inspiral
Inside Instacart’s fraught and misguided quest to become the Uber of groceries - Quartz
Maybe it still seemed possible to Mehta then, but a lot has changed for his company in the months since. While many startups “pivot,” Instacart’s turn—shifting its contractors to employees—removes one of the core idiosyncrasies that might have made its Uber-for-X model viable. On a fundamental level, the Instacart that wowed investors and sped to a $2 billion valuation no longer exists. Perhaps it never did.
Instacart  delivery  startup  revenues  profitability  venturecapital  review  critique  Quartz  2016 
march 2016 by inspiral
Capitalism’s operating system has gone off the rails: An interview with Douglas Rushkoff | Dangerous Minds
In his latest book, Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity (Portfolio/Penguin), media/technology theorist and PBS documentarian, Douglas Rushkoff asks “Why doesn’t the explosive growth of companies like Facebook and Uber deliver more prosperity for everyone? What is the systemic problem that sets the rich against the poor and the technologists against everybody else?”

Rapid technological improvements have created unforeseen societal chaos and this change is just starting to pick up speed. Our economic operating system—the “program” at the heart of Capitalism itself—is deliriously out of control. The economy no longer serves the human race, just a tiny elite sliver of it. The rest of us, whether we realize it or not, to a certain extent toil on their behalf. Think about it: How did the Waltons become the richest family in America, amassing a collective fortune of around $150 billion, if not by siphoning off a micropayment from every single gallon of milk, bottle of shampoo or box of Hostess Ding Dongs sold there? Bud and Sam Walton might have started Walmart, but all their offspring did was win the lottery at birth.

If you think that sounds predatory—and it should—just wait until you get a load of what the big technology firms have in mind for us…
DouglasRushkoff  interview  capitalism  SiliconValley  startup  venturecapital  sharingeconomy  automation  critique  DangerousMind  2016 
march 2016 by inspiral
China venture capital fact of the day - Marginal REVOLUTION
The country’s government-backed venture funds raised about 1.5 trillion yuan ($231 billion) in 2015, tripling the amount under management in a single year to 2.2 trillion yuan, according to data compiled by the consultancy Zero2IPO Group. That’s the biggest pot of money for startups in the world and almost five times the sum raised by other venture firms last year globally, according to London-based consultancy Preqin Ltd.

The money’s in what are known as government guidance funds, where local and central agencies play some role. With 780 such funds nationwide and a lot of experimentation, there’s no set model for how they’re managed or funded. The bulk of their capital comes from tax revenue or state-backed loans.
venturecapital  growth  government  China  author:TylerCowen  MarginalRevolution  2016 
march 2016 by inspiral
The Most Active Financial Services Firms and Strategics Investing in Bitcoin Startups
Within financial services, firms that have investments in the space include Spanish banking group BBVA, investment management firm Fortress as well as exchange behemoth, NYSE Euronext. Within the broader group of strategics, Google Ventures has been an active corporate VC in the digital currency space — with investments in companies including bitcoin options exchange LedgerX, recently-shuttered startup Buttercoin and Ripple Labs.
blockchain  startup  investment  financialservices  venturecapital  GoldmanSachs  BBVA  Fortress  GoogleVentures  NewYorkLife  TransamericaVentures  AXAStrategicVentures  VerizonVentures  OrangeDigitalVentures  Visa  Mastercard  AmericanExpress  CBInsights  2016 
march 2016 by inspiral
The potentially nefarious intentions of VC-created content — A tech reporter weighs in — Medium
What is it that makes the skills a person picks up as a journalist so valuable in becoming a venture investor? Kia believes that the roles are actually quite similar, and both types of people share one characteristic — you might call them a bit of an adrenaline junkie.
“…we both get these really early advanced looks at these potentially promising startups or promising founders or ideas or products. It’s sort of the excitement and the thrill of potentially discovering a gem and I think both categories of people do that in their own way.”…”Then we also use some of the same, I don’t know if I want to call them skills, but the whole idea. That spidey-sense of what might be interesting or what has potential. Obviously investors will take a little bit more data into consideration as much as it exists really. I think they are very similar actually and people probably get some of the same thrills and excitement from it.”
Another, often unspoken benefit that venture firms get when they bring on a reporter? Access to their network.
“Then I think a lot of people won’t necessarily admit that, but I think when you hire a reporter, especially one that has a well known reputation, there big brand names. That will almost draw it’s own deal flow. Founders and entrepreneurs and startups will recognize it and will come to them. I think there’s probably a small unspoken bet that this brand will bring its own kind of quality flow of startups.”
venturecapital  contentmarketing  journalism  review  critique  startup  Quibb  Medium  2016 
march 2016 by inspiral
For Silicon Valley, the Hangover Begins - WSJ
These changes are eroding the idea that drives Silicon Valley’s economy: Work hard, secure venture capital and get rich. With valuations falling, the other side of the equation is reappearing: Failure is often just around the corner.
startup  venturecapital  valuation  decline  review  USA  WallStreetJournal  2016 
february 2016 by inspiral
Smart Africa: Venture capitalists aim to tap mobile tech wave
Venture capitalists are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into Africa-focused start-ups as they look to tap into a second-wave of technological advances building on the rapid spread of mobile phones.
From e-commerce to health and financial services, international investors are targeting fledgling companies in particular across Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria, three hotbeds for innovation.
venturecapital  startup  tech  Africa  growth  opportunity  FinancialTimes  2016 
february 2016 by inspiral
Smart Africa: Smartphones pave way for huge opportunities
The future of technology for Africa is not in playing catch-up. But in looking at the things we lack and using each of those gaps as an opportunity for us to invent something we can use to leapfrog the rest of the world
telecoms  startup  opportunity  leapfrog  venturecapital  mobilecommerce  mobilepayments  MPesa  FinancialTimes  2016 
february 2016 by inspiral
What Most People Don't Understand About How Startup Companies are Valued | Bothsides of the Table
Markets set valuations for startups and no single investor or groups of investors “talking down the market” can force the market prices lower. There’s enough historical data to refute this claim
People like me who speak up aren’t wishing for a massive reckoning. For any future potential gain in more rational prices we have a lot more short-term pain helping our portfolio companies through the tough market
Private markets have been over-valued for years. Just as with the late 90s there is no new “business model” that defies the laws of gravity. Companies are valued based on the expectation of future profits. A reversion to the mean should be expected
If you believe the outlook will make funding more difficult (in time and price) you owe it to yourself to keep your burn rate in check so you can last longer until you need money and either “grow into your valuation” or at least get through a period of time where raising capital is more difficult
startup  valuation  venturecapital  angelinvestors  bubble  author:MarkSuster  BothSidesoftheTable  2016 
february 2016 by inspiral
Venturefund.io lets startups show investors traction in real-time
Is there a better way of pitching potential investors in your startup than just requesting a meeting and taking along a slide deck? How about letting them access your growth metrics so they can see how you’re performing in real-time?

VentureFund.io is a new service that wants to help entrepreneurs show off that golden quality investors tend to look for – traction. The service is free for startups to use, and allows them to connect up popular cloud-based services like Google Analytics, Mixpanel, Stripe and Braintree.
startup  traction  venturecapital  metrics  integrations  GoogleAnalytics  Mixpanel  Stripe  Braintree  VentureFund.io  TheNextWeb  2016 
february 2016 by inspiral
Cheap cab ride? You must have missed Uber’s true cost | Evgeny Morozov | Opinion | The Guardian
Uber’s game plan is simple: it wants to drive the rates so low as to increase demand – by luring some of the customers who would otherwise have used their own car or public transport. And to do that, it is willing to burn a lot of cash, while rapidly expanding into adjacent industries, from food to package delivery.

An obvious but rarely asked question is: whose cash is Uber burning? With investors like Google, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Goldman Sachs behind it, Uber is a perfect example of a company whose global expansion has been facilitated by the inability of governments to tax profits made by hi-tech and financial giants.
Uber  ridesharing  venturecapital  taxation  critique  comparison  Kutsuplus  Finland  Guardian  2016 
january 2016 by inspiral
Pando: Unicorns on fire: Funding falls dramatically in the fourth quarter, along with exits of all kinds
In the third quarter, venture funding hit dot com funding levels with 2008 deals and $38.7 billion raised. In the fourth quarter, we saw the lowest deal tally since 2013, with just 1743 deals raising some $27.3 billion.

Funding fell 30%, deal activity fell just 13%. Why one more than the other? In a word: Mega rounds.

Mega rounds were cut in half in the fourth quarter, compared to the previous quarter. In the third quarter there were 72 rounds for more than $100 million. This past quarter there were just 39 of them. In dollars, collective mega rounds made up $20 billion in funding in the third quarter and just $11.7 billion in the fourth quarter.
venturecapital  startup  unicorn  funding  CBInsights  PandoDaily  2016 
january 2016 by inspiral
State of Startups 2015
This is First Round's effort to provide an in-depth snapshot of what founders across the entire tech ecosystem are thinking and doing, what they're excited about and worried about, and how they're seeing the market. We surveyed venture-backed founders from everywhere — less than 25% from the First Round community — and received over 500 responses, volunteering their experience and opinions.
startup  venturecapital  funding  bubble  survey  research  challenges  FirstRoundCapital  2015 
december 2015 by inspiral
Booming London technology sector attracts record funding from US investors - London & Partners
New figures compiled by London & Partners, the Mayor’s promotional company for the capital, show that London-based tech firms attracted $795.2m from US investors in 2014, more than doubling the previous record figure from 2012 of $296m. Investment from the US into the UK as a whole also set a new record of $1.35 billion, compared to the previous record of $582m received in 2012.¹
London  startup  investment  venturecapital  growth  USA  London&Partners  2015 
december 2015 by inspiral
Tech’s big valuation correction means the system is working the way it’s supposed to - Quartz
But it’s also the case that these are immature, volatile companies, often run by inexperienced executives, operating in uncertain markets. In many cases, this is why they’re attractive. But over time, many firms—even the ones that were just looking great—will simply not be able to sustain their unprecedented growth, or turn their wildly popular products into wildly successful businesses. Valuations for unprofitable companies are inherently highly speculative. A deviation by a single key factor could throw off the whole calculus substantially. Thus, many of these corrections or down rounds.
startup  venturecapital  valuation  critique  Square  MatchGroup  Dropbox  Snapchat  Zenefits  MongoDB  BlueBottleCoffee  Evernote  Rdio  IPO  Quartz  2015 
november 2015 by inspiral
The Blurring Of The Public And Private Markets – AVC
So, as you can see, we are slowly witnessing the blurring of the lines between the public and private markets.

But maybe the biggest “tell” is the recent brouhaha over Fidelity’s public markdowns on its holdings of well known startups. One of the many reasons companies don’t want to go public is they don’t want to have to deal with a valuation that moves around all the time without their ability to manage it. Well guess what? If you raise from certain investors in the late stage growth market, you are doing that, even if you didn’t realize it.
venturecapital  valuation  public  private  comparison  critique  author:FredWilson  AVC  2015 
november 2015 by inspiral
VCs and PE firms are at war with each other · Martin Varsavsky | English
VCs invest in change. PE firms bet on the status quo. VCs invest in blowing it up. When PE firms buy a chain of restaurants, they want people to keep buying food the same way, they buy a chain of drug stores, they want people to buy drugs the same way, they buy a car part maker they want people to buy and drive cars the same way. PE firms just want a growing, predictable economy, but what they don’t want is what entrepreneurs and VCs are doing to them: changing the world as they know it. For every PE model there is a VC disruptor.
privateequity  venturecapital  comparison  investment  innovation  stability  MartinVarsavsky  2015 
november 2015 by inspiral
How Much Does Venture Capital Drive the U.S. Economy? | Stanford Graduate School of Business
The VC industry specializes in investing in innovative companies with a huge potential for growth. Because these investments are risky and most of these companies fail, VC funds seek to invest in companies where small investments can generate huge returns. That naturally leads to a focus on certain industries. The industries most impacted by investment have been technology (for example, Apple, Google, or Cisco), retail trade (Amazon, Starbucks, or Costco), and biotechnology (Amgen, Celgene, or Genentech).
venturecapital  review  opportunity  impact  sector  tech  biotech  USA  Stanford  2015 
october 2015 by inspiral
Default Alive or Default Dead?
Here's a common way startups die. They make something moderately appealing and have decent initial growth. They raise their first round fairly easily because the founders seem smart and the idea sounds plausible. But because the product is only moderately appealing, growth is ok but not great. The founders convince themselves that hiring a bunch of people is the way to boost growth. Their investors agree. But (because the product is only moderately appealing) the growth never comes. Now they're rapidly running out of runway. They hope further investment will save them. But because they have high expenses and slow growth, they're now unappealing to investors. They're unable to raise more, and the company dies.
startup  revenues  profitability  critique  venturecapital  PaulGraham  2015 
october 2015 by inspiral
The Funded, The Good and The Dead – DIGITS to DOLLARS
So the question then becomes who will survive? There is no clear answer to this. Many CEOs I have spoken with are aware that the clock is ticking. They are trying to raise every round of funding quickly to build up a war chest. In the aftermath of the 1990’s dot.com collapse, part of the gloom was caused by the unpredictable nature of which companies shut down. Webvan and Pets.com both raised huge amounts of money (for the times) less than a year before collapsing.
venturecapital  bubble  recession  startup  review  DigitstoDollars  2015 
october 2015 by inspiral
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