Venture Capital is About Human Capital

Both Sides of the Table

Gregg Johnson, CEO of Invoca For the first 5 years or so after I became a VC I didn’t talk much about what I thought a VC should be excellent at since frankly I wasn’t sure. Most VCs did well academically and had enough career success that a venture firm was willing to give them an investment role or they were able to raise their own fund. It’s easy to think the role of a VC is to have strong opinions about markets, trends, tech dynamics and so forth.

Changes in the Venture Capital Funding Environment

Both Sides of the Table

The funding environment for tech startups is an ever shifting ground as we go through predictable shifts that go hand-in-hand with the slowing of the overall market. Prior to then the concept of “seed funds” barely existed and as I’ve argued before the seed fund phenomenon was largely driven by: Open source + horizontal computing + Amazon AWS. There was an explosion in number of startups both because it was cheap and there was tons of available capital. VC Infighting.

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Venture Capital Q&A Session

Both Sides of the Table

We received so much positive feedback from our This Week in Venture Capital show walking through valuation calculations & term sheets that we decided to do a Q&A show this week to address topics that entrepreneurs want to learn about.

Report: Strong Q1 2020 In Venture Capital, But Downturn Expected

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The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) says that Q1 2020 venture capital investments had a "strong showing" in Q1, however, it expects that the impending economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic will slow activity through the rest of the year. According to the NVCA, and its PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor, there was $34.2 nvca venture capital pandemic covid19 quarterly investments

A Deep Dive into What Has Really Changed in Venture Capital

Both Sides of the Table

I’ve heard a lot of people question whether there is too much money in venture capital chasing too few great deals. “We’re Others believe that new business models are emerging that could replace venture capital all together. Every year I try to answer the question of “what has changed in the Venture Capital industry” and this year my colleague Chang Xu and I took a deep dive through the data and called many of our peers for confirmation.

It’s Morning in Venture Capital

Both Sides of the Table

Many observers of the venture capital industry have questioned whether its best days are behind it. There are obvious reasons the industry has had less-than-desirable returns, including: massive over-funding of the sector, huge increases in inexperienced venture capitalists that took a decade to peter out, and the massive correction in the value of the public stock markets that closed many exit opportunities for half a decade. The Funding Problem. Morning in VC.

This Week in Venture Capital – Episode 2

Both Sides of the Table

I was on This Week in Venture Capital (TWiVC) again this week with Jason Calacanis. Especially when he’s surrounded by Danny Rimer (who funded Skype, MySQL, Last.FM PLUS RELATED FUNDING …. In my mind, not a typical VC investment.

Why Venture Capital is So Much More Compelling Now

Both Sides of the Table

It’s not hard to find people willing to write the narrative that “venture capital is not an asset class” or “venture capital has performed terribly.” It had an influence on the people who fund our industry in a negative way as many asset managers who fund our industry read this flawed report. That’s a shame because many of these people missed out on what will be a few great VC vintages.

Kevin O'Connor, ScOp Venture Capital, On Startup Success and Investments

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This morning's interview is with Kevin O'Connor , a longtime investor and serial entrepreneur, who is now running venture capital investment firm ScOp Venture Capital. Congrats on the new name for your venture capital firm. Just this past September was a year with Amazon, when I left, and we started investing in September under the new name, ScOp Venture Capital. It's always hard with venture capital.

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The top 10 cities for $100M VC rounds in 2018 so far

TechCrunch LA

Jason Rowley is a venture capital and technology reporter for Crunchbase News. The SaaS VC gap: China & other markets trail the US. Early-stage SaaS VC slip snaps recovery as public software stocks soar. 2018 is already a record year for venture funding worldwide.

This Week in Venture Capital – Episode 4

Both Sides of the Table

This was the first episode where Jason wasn’t on the show, which gave me the chance to have another VC on the show to discuss deals. Rustic Canyon is an LA-based, but geography-agnostic VC that is currently investing from a $200 million fund. VC Financings: 1.

Why I Look for High Conviction, not Consensus, in Venture Capital Decisions

Both Sides of the Table

One of the least understood parts of the venture capital industry and venture capital firms is how investment decisions actually get made. Often if it’s a bigger firm (say 4 partners or more) and it’s a super small investment for their fund size (let’s say $250-500k when they normally invest $5-7 million) they will just require 1 or 2 partners to decide. The beauty of venture capital is that on any given deal I can only lose one times my money.

Why We Must Have Zero Tolerance for Sexual Misconduct in Venture Capital

Both Sides of the Table

I titled this post “We Must Have Zero Tolerance in Venture Capital” but of course I could just say “zero tolerance anywhere” because that’s true. As a VC let me specifically just speak out for our industry. Please read the image below that comes from the testimony of Trae Vassalo (then a VC at Kleiner Perkins) about the actions of her male counterpart Ajit Nazre This is the kind of s**t that women have to put up with from exploitative men in power.

Venture Capital Fundraising On Uptick

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It looks like it's going to be a good year for venture capital -- fundraising, that is, according to numbers released by Dow Jones Monday. venture funds raised $13 billion in the first six months of the year, a 31 percent increase in fundraising activity compared with the first half of 2011. billion raised by 40 funds last year in the same period. venture capital fundraising finance dowjones

Understanding Changes in the Software & Venture Capital Industries

Both Sides of the Table

In this three-part series I will explore the ways that the Venture Capital industry has changed over the past 5 years that I would argue are a direct result of changes in the software industry, not the other way around. Venture capital is in the process of its own creative destruction with new market entrants and new models of innovation at the precise moment that our industry itself is contracting. Tech Market Analysis VC Industry

This Week in Venture Capital with Jason Calacanis

Both Sides of the Table

I was on This Week in Venture Capital today with Jason Calacanis talking about the big VC deals at the moment and talking about the VC industry. Box.net ( raised $15 million led by Scale Venture Partners and included DFJ and USVP. Tags: VC Industry

Is Venture Capital A Path To Riches?

InfoChachkie

Who makes more money, entrepreneurs or venture capitalists? Jason concludes that: A top founder takes much more risk, at least on paper, but can make a lot more than even the best VC of all time. A pretty good VC probably makes more than a pretty good and successful founder. A mediocre VC makes a lot, lot, lot, lot more than a mediocre founder and if lucky and has good partners, can make more than a pretty good and successful founder.

Science Inc. Eyes New Venture Capital Fund

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founded by Michael Jones, Peter Pham, Gregory Gilman, and Tom Dare, appears to be launching efforts to raise a new fund. The firm already has an existing venture capital fund which invests in its portfolio companies. science venture capital investment startup incubator acceleratorSanta Monica-based startup studio Science Inc.

NVCA Cheers Proposal To Let Banks Invest In VC Funds

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The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) said this week a proposed modification to the Volcker Rule would allow commercial banks to once again invest in venture capital funds as limited partners (LPs), which it says would allow more capital to be available for venture firms to invest in startups. nvca national venture capital association startup funding investment

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Riot Ventures Looks To Raise Second Venture Capital Fund, Worth $75M

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Venice, California-based Riot Ventures , led by Stephan Marcus and William Coffield, has launched an effort to raise $75M for its second venture capital fund, the firm disclosed this week in a regulatory filing. According to the filing, the firm has yet to record an official commitment to the fund, which is not unusual at this early of a stage. startup financial financing growth capital venture ventures riot

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VC Funding Season Ends Next Week

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my series on Raising Venture Capital. I’m sure I’ll spark the ire of some VC’s for saying so, but there is certainly such a thing as black-out days in venture capital. So why is Funding Season over for the rest of the year?

U.S. Venture Capital Deals on Pace to Exceed $100B in 2018

Xconomy

Once considered a passing phase, the concentration of capital into fewer, larger venture capital deals appears to be the new normal. Fueled by so-called mega-funds, investment in U.S.-based

Changes in Software & Venture Capital – Part 2 of 3

Both Sides of the Table

Yesterday I wrote Part 1 of the series on the changes to the software industry over the past decade that has led to changes in the venture capital industry itself. Amazon in turn led to the formation of an earlier stage of venture capital now led by what I call “micro VCs&# who typically invest $250-500k in companies rather than the $5-7 million that VCs used to invest. Or at least venture-style returns. Hedge funds out to be, well, hedge funds.

The VC Inclusion Clause #MovingForward

Both Sides of the Table

Upfront Ventures has a deep-seated commitment to equality in funding & building diverse teams across all ethnicities, nationalities and genders. If you’re an entrepreneur who would like to see this clause in more startups please ask your VC to include it in future term sheets and link to it from their home page. “We We can unequivocally say this has started to work in the companies that we have funded since this clause was inserted. diversity venture-capital

FactoryFour Raises $5M in Venture Capital Funding

L.A. Business Journal

Manufacturing software maker FactoryFour, which recently opened a new Culver City office, received a $5 million round of funding led by Menlo Park, Calif.-based based venture capital firm August Capital, with participation from Refactor Capital

Illumina Ventures Raises $230M Venture Capital Fund

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Illumina Ventures , the early-stage venture capital investor which was founded by San Diego-based life sciences equipment maker Illumina , says it has raised $230M for its first fund. The venture capital investment fund said it is focused on genomics, and will invest in companies in the areas of life science research, clinical diagnostics, novel therapeutic platforms, and other technologies impacting human health.

What Do LPs Think of the Venture Capital Markets for 2016?

Both Sides of the Table

At the Upfront Summit in early February, we had a chance to have many off-the-record conversations with Limited Partners (LPs) who fund Venture Capital (VC) funds about their views of the market. While I’m not an LP, the following post represents my discussions with more than 100 LP firms – specifically ones that do fund VCs – and full survey data from 73 firms , so I’ve tried to capture the essence of what I’ve learned.

Dell Technologies Goes Public About $100M Venture Capital Arm

Xconomy

Austin —Dell Technologies is publicly unveiling a venture capital investment arm that has been quietly investing in startups since the operation was run by EMC, the data storage giant that Dell agreed to acquire for $67 billion in 2015. Called Dell Technologies Capital, the investment arm plans to provide funding to about 20 startups this year, Scott Darling, president of group, told Bloomberg , which first reported the news this morning.

Embark Ventures Raising $50M Venture Capital Fund

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Los Angeles-based Embark Ventures , a new venture capital fund led by Yipeng Zhao and venture capitalist Peter Lee, is raising a $50M venture capital fund, according to a recent SEC filing by the firm. The filing says the firm has so far raised $45M out of a $50M target in the fund, from six limited partners. Lee was previously at investor at Baroda Ventures, and Zhao was at ZMYX Global Investment, a Chinese equity investor.

Angel / VC Funding in A Frothy Market

Both Sides of the Table

Adeo asked me to speak about fund raising. I generally don’t like to speak about fund raising in a frothy market. VC Funding in a Frothy Market. Raising Venture Capital Startup Advice VC IndustryI had the privilege of keynoting at the Founder Showcase tonight in San Francisco. If you’re bullish you seem like a Cramer-esque cheerleader and if you’re bearish you sound like a party pooper. But Adeo asked so I obliged.

Kobe Bryant Launches $100M Venture Capital Fund

L.A. Business Journal

Kobe Bryant has launched a $100 million venture capital fund

Want to Raise Venture Capital More Easily? Clean Up Your Own Shite First

Both Sides of the Table

I know that the tone of the title and post will seem a bit aggressive for a post from a venture capitalist on fund raising. If you want to raise venture capital more easily the advice could be quite practical and counter-intuitive. Not so VC.

Can VC’s Invest Across Two Funds?

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of a series that I’ve been working on called Understanding Venture Capital. In one of the posts I spoke about how the size and vintage of funds might affect you when you’re raising money. And VC’s don’t like to invest across multiple funds.

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Razer Plans Venture Capital Fund

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Irvine-based videogame accessory and hardware maker Razer is planning on launching a new, corporate venture capital fund, starting next year, according to a report. razer venture capital videogame accessory hardware corporate investmentRazer, which is led by Min-Liang Tan, reportedly plans to invest in companies, which it plans to incubate and help with its international business. Razer has its U.S.

VC Seed Funding is Dead, Long Live VC Seed Funding!

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my ongoing series about Raising Venture Capital. A few years ago it became fashionable for large VC’s to do seed funding. If the large VC doesn’t agree to do your A round then you’re in a bit of trouble. They have a large-ish fund.

Bad Notes on Venture Capital

Both Sides of the Table

On the phone … Me: So, you raised venture capital? I have never come across a sophisticated A, B or C round venture capitalist who thinks convertible notes are a smart move for entrepreneur or investor. ’ But do you want to start a relationship with your most important supplier – that of capital to fuel your business – by avoiding talking about his or her expectations in terms of rights or privileges? This week.

Latest Data Show Venture Capital Industry on Pins and Needles

Xconomy

venture industry is also exhibiting some fatigue as we finish the 88th month since the last recession. According to the National Venture Capital Association and PitchBook , this past quarter $15 billion was invested in 1,810 deals , which compares unfavorably to both the prior quarter ($22.1 Have investors drifted, becoming less dogmatic about hitting interim milestones with as little capital as possible? billion raised by venture capitalists.

Bird investor Upfront Ventures eyes $250M growth fund

TechCrunch LA

Upfront Ventures , a Los Angeles-based venture capital firm, has filed paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to raise its third growth-stage investment fund. Though the firm typically invests at the seed and Series A, capital from Upfront Growth III will be used for follow-on or late-stage deals. One of the oldest VCs rooted in LA, Upfront previously closed on $400 million for its sixth flagship early-stage fund in 2017.

The Coming Brick Wall in Venture Capital & Why This is Good for US Innovation

Both Sides of the Table

This is the final part of a 3-part series on the major changes in the structure of the software & the venture capital industries. The result was a massive increase in startups & a whole group of new funding sources: both angels & “micro VCs&#. But … Downsizing Venture Capital. The venture capital business itself is going through an even more fundamental change than just the entry of a new category at the earliest stage.

Insights: Venture Capital: The Times, They Are A-Changin'

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For our Insights and Opinions section today--where we feature the thoughts and opinions of the local high tech community--we have an article from Jeff Grabow , of Ernst & Young, talking about the changing world of venture capital : The VC environment isn''t what it used to be. The venture environment has evolved and understanding three key trends in that evolution can be critical to getting your company funded.

Bonfire Ventures Launches $60M Venture Capital Fund

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Los Angeles-based Bonfire Ventures said this morning that it has officially launched with its first fund, a new $60M fund aimed at early stage startups. The fund was founded by longtime Southern California technology investors Jim Andelman and Mark Mullen, who are joined by Leah Volger, formerly of Google and Santander InnoVentures. investor volger leah mullen mark andelman investment capital venture ventures bonfire

Core Innovation Capital Announces $100M In Second Venture Capital Fund

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Los Angeles-based fintech investor Core Innovation Capital announced this morning that it has closed its second fund, which is at $100M so far. As part of the funding, the company said it has just made an investment in Fundera, a New York company which provides a service to help small business owners shop and compare personalized credit recommendations. Core Innovation Capital says it has also invested in a couple of yet-unannounced companies, which are in stealth mode.

How Much Should You Raise in Your VC Round? And What is a VC Looking at in Your Model?

Both Sides of the Table

There’s a quick litmus-test conversation any early-stage VC will have with the founder and it’s one that you should be as prepared for as your elevator pitch. It goes something like this … VC: “How much money are you raising?” Founder: “$8–10 million” VC: “What’s your current burn rate?” VC: “So at a constant rate of burn rate you’d be raising enough for 2.5–3 Usually that’s the point in the meeting where a VC realizes that this meeting isn’t going to go very well.