Thursday, January 21

Private Equity

Private Equity

One final $100M ARR company and the startups we want to meet in 2021
Private Equity

One final $100M ARR company and the startups we want to meet in 2021

As we head toward the exits of 2020, we have one more name to add to our roll call of private companies that have reached the $100 million annual recurring revenue (ARR) milestone. Well, one and a half. But before we get into Nexthink and give Coalition a honorable mention, let’s talk about the startups we’re looking for in 2021. The $100 million ARR list came together by accident, a quirk of a news cycle that happened to have a few companies reach the threshold when I was in transition back to working at TechCrunch. So, when I got back into our WordPress install, the group of companies that had each recently reached nine-figure revenues was top of mind. But looking at $100 million ARR companies proved less useful than we might have hoped. Mostly what we managed w...
Which sectors won, and which ones ones lost, during the pandemic
Private Equity

Which sectors won, and which ones ones lost, during the pandemic

While food delivery and telemedicine gained, ride-sharing and co-working saw big drops With 2020 finally almost behind us (FINALLY!) we can begin to look back and take stock of what happened and how things shook out. Every single aspect of our lives was upended over the past 12 months, from the way we see our doctors to how we work to how we view education, and, frankly, some sectors were simply in a better spot than others to take advantage of that change. Telemedicine companies and food delivery soared as people turned to companies that would allow them to continue to live their lives from the comfort and safety of their own homes. Conversely, ride-sharing and co-working spaces took big hits as people suddenly had nowhere to go, and no desire to see anyone...
In the midst of COVID, healthcare companies saw their stocks shoot up in 2020
Private Equity

In the midst of COVID, healthcare companies saw their stocks shoot up in 2020

Companies like Health Catalyst, Progyny and Guardant all saw big increases this year While 2020 may have put undue strain on the healthcare system as a whole, it was also the year that the space saw a record amount of investment, with $21.8 billion invested across 1,539 deals in Q3, an 18 percent increase in dollars and deals from Q2. There were also some huge mergers and acquisitions made across the sector, like Teladoc and Livingo merging in an $18.5 billion deal, Illumina buying Grail for $8 billion, and Blackstone buying Ancestry for $4.7 billion.   The point is, even during the most trying times, or possibly because of them, the innovation side of healthcare is thriving. And that has allowed the publicly traded digital health companies (as well as some...
Fluent Forever Funded $4.9M for Personalized Learning System
Private Equity

Fluent Forever Funded $4.9M for Personalized Learning System

Fluent Forever Chicago, Illinois based. Developer company that uses a novel learning system to help its users master a new language faster. Fluent Forever was funded $4.9 million in a Series A financing round led by Denver-based Stout Street Capital. Other investors took part in this round The Syndicate, LAUNCH, Mana Ventures, Novus VC, Flight VC, Insta VC, Up ventures, Firebrand Ventures, Cultivation Capital, Spero Ventures, and Lofty Ventures. This company s a direct competitor to Duolingo, Babbel, and similar online language learning services. What sets it apart focuses on a personalized learning system that shows ear training, visual aids, and something akin to spaced-repetition for assisting you in memorizing unfamiliar words and phrases. In his first languages, CEO G...
Today’s Entrepreneur: Silja Litvin
Private Equity

Today’s Entrepreneur: Silja Litvin

It's easy to get caught up in your vision and not consider consumer needs or business requirements Today's Entrepreneur is Silja Litvin the founder and CEO of PsycApps. PsycApps is a digital mental health startup that is using gamification, AI, and chatbots to find a way how to get people suffering from depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses intrinsically motivated to stick to therapeutic digital programs. Silja Litvin was born in Germany but moved to southern California early in her life. Exposed to many diverse cultures early in life, she developed an insatiable curiosity for the human condition leading to her pursuing a degree in psychology. She began her master's degree at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, graduating in Clinical Psychol...
Why the End of the Year Is the Perfect Time to Review Your Finances
Private Equity

Why the End of the Year Is the Perfect Time to Review Your Finances

Whether you have a startup, a small business, or a large enterprise, chances are the year has passed at the speed of light for you. You were review and designing your marketing campaigns, availing growth opportunities, and looking through reports when the year-end arrived. While people dedicate this time of the year to holiday delights and festivities, this also happens to be the perfect time to do a review of your finances, whether you are just an individual with a 9 to 5 job or a small business. Why should you spend your end of the year for a financial review? Here are the top reasons. A Strong Visual of Your Financial Standing The most important thing about a year-end financial review is that it gives you a complete visual of where your business is standing at the mome...
Airbnb, Doordash and Palantir: how new tech stocks performed in 2020
Private Equity

Airbnb, Doordash and Palantir: how new tech stocks performed in 2020

After an up and down year for the market, most new tech stocks are riding high After a bunch of blockbuster tech IPOs underperformed in 2019, including Uber, Lyft and Slack, it looked like there was going to be a shift happening, with investors showing less patience for companies that were not profitable. Of course, 2020 didn't exactly go the way any of us thought it would, with COVID taking the stock market on a wild ride. The Dow started the year at 28,000 before dropping all the way down to 18,000 in March. It then came roaring back, hitting 30,000 for the first time ever in November. With that kind of uncertainty, it's not surprising that companies looking to go public held back for most of the year, but once the market bounced back they came out in forc...
XYZ Venture Capital’s Ross Fubini on VatorNews podcast
Private Equity

XYZ Venture Capital’s Ross Fubini on VatorNews podcast

Why a founder's deep knowledge and expertise are the criteria to invest in Bambi Francisco Roizen talks to Ross Fubini, founder and Managing partner at XYZ Venture Capital. XYZ focuses on fintech, enterprise and public sector (government). Many of the company’s initial investments stem from Ross’s relationship with Palantir, where Ross served as an advisor and executive coach.  Highlights from the podcast:  -- Fubini’s investment background at Kapor (early stage) and Canaan (multi-stage) taught him how to value founders with deep insight and experience to be able to execute swiftly.  While markets matter, execution solves a lot of problems, he said.  -- By focusing on founders, as an investor, Fubini can back a lot of them with very diverse backgrounds. It’s...
20VC: Lessons From Working with Bill Gates, How To Lead Without Authority and The Difference Between Leadership and Management & How Fundraising Changes In A COVID World with Quentin Clark, Managing Director @ General Catalyst
Private Equity

20VC: Lessons From Working with Bill Gates, How To Lead Without Authority and The Difference Between Leadership and Management & How Fundraising Changes In A COVID World with Quentin Clark, Managing Director @ General Catalyst

Quentin Clark is a Managing Director @ General Catalyst, one of the most prominent firms of the last decade with a portfolio including Stripe, Airbnb, Snap, Anduril, Deliveroo and Cazoo to name a few. As for Quentin, at GC he has led deals in the likes of Kernel, Coda, Commure just to name a few. Before entering the world of venture Quentin was the CTO @ Dropbox and before that he was the Chief Business Officer @ SAP. Finally, before SAP, Quentin spent an incredible 20 years at Microsoft in a variety of different roles play a key part in their hyper-growth.CLICK TO LISTEN ON ITUNESIn Today’s Episode You Will Learn:1.) How Quentin made his way from CTO @ Dropbox and 20 years at Microsoft to being an MD with General Catalyst today?2.) What were Quentin’s biggest management takeaways from his...
What are the Best Startup Name Changes in History?
Private Equity

What are the Best Startup Name Changes in History?

The tech industry has a rich history of startups that started with a pretty awkward name, and rebranded over time to the big brands we have come to know. Some of those changes are plain fun to remember. A few days ago, I tweeted this, and it led to a cool thread with plenty of examples and suggestions (Twitter at its best), so I thought I’d compile the results here for easy reference. This post is mostly frivolity, and *not scientific research*. In particular, there are nuances to a lot of those stories (e.g., Backrub was the name of the original Google algorithm, as opposed to the actual company name – still one of my favorite examples!). Having said that, a few semi-serious (althouh perhaps obvious) thoughts on the topic of startup names: Just like design, company n...