venture capital – Tags Area Sun, 13 Mar 2022 22:14:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 venture capital – Tags Area 32 32 Longtime enterprise software exec moves to venture capital Sun, 13 Mar 2022 22:14:40 +0000

A Q&A with Nathan Owen, General Partner of Grand Ventures LLC

NOTathan Owen moved from software development to venture capital a year ago. Owen previously ran Grand Rapids Blue software developer Medora, which he co-founded in 2007 and left in October 2019, months before the sale of a major business unit to California-based software virtualization giant VMWare Inc. After Blue Medora, Owen spent a year as the chief operating officer of Boston software company HYCU Inc., where last year he helped raise an 87 Series A funding round. .5 million dollars. Since March 2021, however, Owen has been firmly planted on the other side of the startup table, joining venture capital firm Grand Ventures LLC as a general partner. Owen recently discussed the transition from entrepreneur looking for funding to venture capitalist executive.

Why switch to Grand Ventures?

It’s really about challenging myself. I’ve been an executive at enterprise software companies for 20 years now, in one capacity or another, mostly startups. I was lucky enough to raise $120 million (in venture capital) for four startups. I’ve always been intensely curious about the business of venture capital and what it looked like, and for me it’s a whole new experience to try professionally and a way to challenge myself. I’m touched every day by all the things I don’t know yet, but I’m learning.

How did you come into contact with Grand Ventures?

I’ve always been interested in the other side and have been keeping tabs on Michigan-based venture capital firms for a while. (Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Grand Ventures) Tim Streit and I had known and spoken for some time, and at some point we decided that I would join as general partner of the fund.

How does your experience translate into venture capital?

In venture capital companies, two of the most common profiles are banker types or people with a financial background – bankers or investment bankers. The other profile you see is operators, and that’s where I’m at: former operators who started and left businesses. We mainly do early-stage investments, so we deal with many companies that are just starting to generate revenue and the founding team is often made up of engineers. Helping these portfolio companies understand how they’re going to add sales and marketing, complement their leadership, and provide assistance to help them scale the business is kind of the role I play in the fund.

What’s it like to be on the other side of the desk during a pitch?

I had to go through a period of transition where almost all of the companies that have presented to you are flawed. It’s a good idea, but maybe the team isn’t there. Or it’s a very good team, but just an idea. Maybe they have a few customers, but not much traction. I had to go through a period of transition where nothing seemed good enough because everything was imperfect. Over time, I realized that was the nature of this job. All start-ups have a lot of work to do to complement each other, so I went through a transition from being more forward-thinking. Probably the big difference of being an operator is assessing where you are today and focusing on metrics and traction. When you’re a venture capitalist, you spend at least half your time thinking about what this business could be like if it had more capital and hired the right people. You do a lot more future casting.

What are your tips for startups looking for capital and investors?

There’s a lot to be said for people doing the early work to prove what we call product-market fit. In other words, push this idea as far as possible so that someone actually wants to buy it or buy it or use it. There have been times in venture capital when this was not always a requirement. You could come up with a great idea, but it’s increasingly out of place – often to the benefit of the founders – to get proof that someone cares about this thing to pay for it.

Secondly, there is an ecosystem that did not exist 10 years ago in (business) accelerators, which is a place that offers a step before venture capital. You can take something very early and they will work with you. They’ll bring in a range of experts to help you with things you don’t know – a lot of people don’t know much about finance, or they don’t know much about marketing – and you can incubate your business a bit so you can show a bit of revenue and show a fit to the market. Then you’re better prepared to go talk to a venture capitalist and answer the questions that venture capitalists want answered.

Fearless Fund partners with the Tory Burch Foundation and The Cru Wed, 19 Jan 2022 06:20:20 +0000

No more WWD

Fearless Fund, the first venture capital fund created by women of color for women of color, has partnered with peer coaching platform The Cru and the Tory Burch Foundation to provide a total of 75 women of small businesses run by women of color. grants between $10,000 and $20,000 for a total investment of several million dollars.

Each recipient will also receive resources and peer coaching services to help them continue to build and develop their professional goals.

According to Entrepreneur Magazine, Black women-owned businesses are the fastest growing economic force in the United States. In 2018, American companies raised a total of $130 billion in venture capital funding, but only 2.2% of that amount went to women-founded companies and less than 1% of total funding was allocated to businesses founded by women of color.

Fearless Fund, which has been around for 10 years, invests in high-growth, scalable businesses led by women of color across the United States. Their mission is to bridge the gap in venture capital funding for women of color founders who are building scalable, dynamic businesses for growth.

Arian Simone, President and CEO of Fearless Fund, said that in conjunction with the Tory Burch Foundation, these grants are for women of color whose businesses generate annual recurring revenue of at least $100,000. They don’t need to be in business for a certain number of years. Applicants will be required to complete a detailed application where they can tell their story and how the funds will be deployed should they win, and the level of impact the grants will have on their business. Simone said she plans for it to be an annual, ongoing program.

The Tory Burch Foundation is deploying grant capital for the program.

“Fearless Fund and The Cru are drivers of change. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with two organizations that are changing the landscape for women entrepreneurs of color, said Tory Burch, Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Tory Burch LLC.

Interested candidates must identify themselves as a female color-led for-profit company and complete an entry form by Feb. 9 to stand a chance of being selected.

The grants committee will decide who is the top 15 percent of the pool, and together with the Tory Burch Foundation, they will make the decision on recipients.

Simone said not only are capital resources necessary for women of color to grow their businesses, but education and community resources are also needed. Le Cru has a coaching platform. “We love that about the partnership because we know how critical that community is to the success of a female entrepreneur. The role of entrepreneurship can get lonely if you don’t have a community,” Simone said.


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Global venture capital funding continues on tear in October with $ 54 billion invested – Crunchbase News Thu, 04 Nov 2021 12:30:48 +0000


As we enter the final quarter of a successful funding year, the record pace of global venture capital funding continues.

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More than $ 54 billion was invested in more than 2,000 companies around the world in October. This is the fourth highest funding month in 2021, with year-over-year growth of 84% in October.

Two-thirds of global venture capital funding in October went to Series C and subsequent funding stages, with $ 36 billion invested in 302 companies, according to data from Crunchbase.

One-third of the funding has been invested in seed and start-up cycles, representing $ 18 billion in more than 1,700 companies.

New unicorns

Along with the growth in funding year over year, the Crunchbase Unicorn board of directors added 43 new companies in October. The most active investors in these new unicorns were Bessemer Venture Partners, 8VC, Sequoia Capital India, Insight Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Coatue, all with more than 10 investments over time in the current culture.

The new unicorns that have raised the most funds to date include London-based Zopa, which offers peer-to-peer loans; TIER Mobility, a Berlin-based shared electric moped company; and Medable, based in Palo Alto, Calif., which is transforming clinical research through patient data. Major industries for new unicorns include fintech, healthcare, crypto, data, and analytics.

The Unicorn Companies as a cohort raised $ 20.3 billion in funding, or about 38% of total global funding for October.

New world unicorns for the month 2020 to October 2021

Public debuts

The IPO markets for tech companies remained open with 34 venture capital-backed debuts in October.

The most valued company to go public last month was San Francisco-based GitLab, a development operations platform founded in 2011. Khosla Ventures, ICONIQ Capital, August Capital and GV were shareholders listed in its S -1, all with more than 5% possession.

WeWork eventually went public via a SPAC that valued the company at around $ 9 billion, a fifth of what it was valued in a round led by SoftBank in 2019.

Other public launches valued at over $ 4 billion include Charlotte, North Carolina-based billing and payment platform AvidXchange, London-based Babylon, an online healthcare platform made public through a SPAC, and the San Francisco-based Udemy learning platform.

Notable IPOs funded by venture capital in October 2021

Looking forward

Global funding for 2021 could exceed $ 600 billion based on the current funding pace, compared to $ 334 billion for 2020.

Venture capital has spread to more regions of the world, showing greater year-over-year growth for startups based in South America and Europe. This year was also a banner year for public debuts and mergers and acquisitions.

And there are still large amounts of capital available to deploy. Tiger Global announced the closing of a new $ 8.8 billion fund, Sequoia Capital has restructured its venture capital business into a single top tier and registered RIA fund, and seed funds of more and more important were announced by the main venture capital firms.

In other words, no slowdown is in sight.

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Funding and exits

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Funding rounds included in this report are seed, angel investor, venture capital, venture capital, and private equity rounds in venture capital backed companies. This reflects data from Crunchbase as of November 2, 2021.

Please note that all fundraising values ​​are shown in US dollars unless otherwise noted. Crunchbase converts foreign currency to US dollars at the spot rate in effect from the date on which funding rounds, acquisitions, IPOs and other financial events are reported. Even though these events were added to Crunchbase long after the event was announced, foreign currency transactions are converted at the historical spot price.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

Keep up to date with the latest rounds of fundraising, acquisitions and more with Crunchbase Daily.


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Bray-born entrepreneur joins high-tech venture capital fund backed by Bill Gates Sun, 27 Jun 2021 06:38:00 +0000


Conrad Burke, the Bray-born entrepreneur who previously founded Innovalight – a manufacturer of silicon ink for solar panels that was sold to DuPont – launched Meta VC Partners, a venture capital firm backed by Bill Gates and the former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold.

Francisco-based Meta VC is raising $ 100 million to invest in metamaterials – materials that have acoustic, electromagnetic, or other advanced properties at the micro or nanoscale, and are made from composite materials such than metal or plastic.

Their development began at Duke University in North Carolina – with whom Burke has worked and will continue to work closely – and at the University of California, San Diego.

Speaking to Independent Sunday, Burke said, “We aim to invest in four areas: first, imaging and sensors under development for autonomous driving, robotics and augmented reality. Second, wireless power and energy harvesting improvements in solar panels.

“Other high growth areas are faster optical computing technologies, where power consumption and processing speed are bottlenecks – and fourth, satellite and terrestrial communications networks. “

The company will invest anywhere from $ 2 million, with larger follow-up amounts. He has previously supported Neurophos, an optical AI chip company, and satellite communications company Mangata. Around 12 more investments are expected over the next 18 months.

Invention Science Fund, the incubator of Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures patent fund, where Burke previously worked, created two metamaterial companies – security firm Evolv Technologies and antenna maker Kymeta Corp.

Burke sold Innovalight to DuPont for around $ 60 million (€ 50 million) in 2011.

“It was probably the most enjoyable six years of my career. From pioneering research conducted at the universities of Minnesota and Texas, my team found a new way to improve solar panels using silicon nanomaterials.

“Building a startup is lonely and exhausting, with a lot of responsibilities, unknowns and an uncertain outcome – but it’s a lot of fun and very rewarding,” he said.


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