Oh-hyoung Kwon (FuturePlay): We always look not for what customers might look for in the next month or two above, but for what will change our lives in the next 5-10 years
Oh-hyoung Kwon is a growth-oriented individual who is part of a rapidly growing company builder/venture capital firm. He is passionate about connecting dots between people and resources. Oh-hyoung is always eager to connect with startups, blockchain enthusiasts, capital market professionals and creative thinkers. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? How I became a venture investor? I don’t know, it just happened. I started my career as an accountant at Deloitte. After graduating from college, I thought accounting was something you need to understand to be in the business world because it is the language of the business. I did that and I’ve got a little bored. Then I transferred myself into a more business-oriented position, moved from the US to Vietnam and spent there about 2,5 years developing businesses. After that I came back to Boston and joined a fintech startup. From […]
Hsien-Hui Tong (SGInnovate): The first thing we look at is not even technology – it’s the market opportunity
Hsien-Hui Tong is Executive Director at SGInnovate. He brings his in-depth knowledge and experience in the Business Development and Venture Capital spaces across Australia, Europe, Singapore and the US. Prior to joining SGInnovate, he was the Managing Partner, Asia Pacific for Wassax Ventures. He has also served as the CEO of the National University of Singapore Society (NUSS) and Vice President at Staples. In the early 2000s, he co-founded a data mining company, which was sold to a global bank two years later. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I started from the entrepreneurial side of the table. About 15 years ago I was the founder of a data-mining company. It was a huge opportunity at that time when we came to the market. We sold that company, and for a number of years, I worked for multinational companies. When I came […]
Dmitry Chikhachev (Runa Capital): We mainly enter at Series A, when a company is making some first revenues which solve a massive and painful problem.
Dmitry Chikhachev is General Partner and Co-Founder at Runa Capital. He co-founded Runa in 2010 and has led many early-stage investments in deep tech companies, including Nginx (acquired by F5 Networks for $670M; read the story), Capptain (acquired by Microsoft), and MariaDB, as well as many B2B SaaS companies, including Ecwid, Critizr, and Simplifield. He is based in Luxembourg and predominantly focuses on startups from France, Benelux, and the United Kingdom. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? Well, that’s a long story starting back in the fall of 2009. I exited my previous project, Uvenco; it was manufacturing and operating vending machines. I took a month off to think about what I’ve got to do next. As usual, I sent emails to my contacts that they shouldn’t write to my corporate email anymore, but use my Gmail account. One of the first […]
Stephen Chandler (Notion Capital): The qualities that we’re looking for in teams are some real ambition and a desire to change the world.
Stephen Chandler is Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Notion Capital. He is an entrepreneur, investor and company builder with 20 years experience founding, funding, running, advising and investing in technology businesses. He is Winner Investor of the Year 2020 at the Investor Allstar Awards (and shortlisted in 2019). How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? The team at Notion is a team of ex-entrepreneur operators who turned investors. Prior to setting up Notion we founded, built, and exited a number of tech businesses together, some of the early success stories in the SaaS. We were passionate about that business model, about the opportunities it represented around the world, and how disruptive it is going to be. We’re also very passionate about Europe beginning to create some large category-leading outcomes in the technology sphere. Europe always had tremendous entrepreneurial and design talent, but there […]
Jörg Rheinboldt (APX): We don’t look at industries, we look at the market horizontally. We invest in everything that’s digital as long as we understand it.
Jörg Rheinboldt is Founding Managing Director at APX. He started his first company denkwerk in 1994. In 1999, he co-founded Alando.de AG, which was acquired by eBay six months later. After five years as eBay.de’s managing director, he started to invest as a business angel. In 2007, Joerg co-founded betterplace.org. He is an active board member at multiple companies including Bahlsen. Additionally, he is on the entrepreneurial board of a number of universities such as WHU, ESCP, and Zeppelin University. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I started “the classic way”: I founded companies and one of them, Alando.de AG, worked really well – we sold it to eBay, and then we built eBay Germany and eBay Europe. I did it for 5 years. During that time I started to do very early stage angel investments and have been doing that ever […]
Tom Kelly (IDEO and Design for Ventures): We have a team of venture capitalists in the startup community in Japan all the time and we are always looking for things.
Tom Kelly is Partner at IDEO and Founder and Chairman at Design for Ventures (D4V). He joined IDEO in 1987. He is also is the best-selling author of Creative Confidence, The Art of Innovation, and The Ten Faces of Innovation. He is also Executive Fellow at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and holds a similar role at the University of Tokyo. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I’ve worked around venture capital almost my whole career – I live and work in Silicon Valley all my entire adult life. In the IDEO, we’re always working with startups that were venture-funded, that’s how I got to know some of the VC firms over the years. And it’s always looked like an interesting part of the equation that makes startups successful. When I started going to Japan I discovered that entrepreneurship […]
Cindy Padnos (Illuminate Ventures): We tend to invest in teams and companies that are a little bit further along versus raw startup.
Cindy Padnos is Founder and Managing Partner of Illuminate Ventures, an early stage Micro VC firm focused on Enterprise cloud and mobile software investments. Cindy has deployed over $100 million in venture funding to help dozens of start-ups reach successful outcomes including prior portfolio companies Red Aril (acquired by Hearst Corporation) and WildPockets (acquired by Autodesk). How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I had the opportunity to work with several other firms as a venture partner before deciding to launch my own firm, Illuminate Ventures. Prior to ventures capital, I had spent most of my career working in and starting software companies before I decided to go on the investing side of the table. My first experience working in venture capital was not one I had planned on: Shortly after the SaaS procurement software company that I had founded was acquired, I […]
Cristian Dascalu (GapMinder VC): focus a lot on testing and validation before doing other actions. That will save a ton of time in the future
Cristian Dascalu is Partner at GapMinder VC fund. He actively investing & accelerating startups in Eastern Europe, digital innovation & tech startups expert. As an entrepreneur, Cristian co-founded a series of businesses and major projects aimed at the development of the tech startups and digital innovation areas such as GapMinder VC, ClujHUB, Techcelerator, Digital Transformers, TechFest, TEDxCluj, NASA Space Apps Challenge Romania and others. Starting in 2012 he launched ClujHUB, the second co-working space in Romania, being a key contributor to the regional startup community. With a Master in Economics (specialization Management & Marketing) and strong capabilities in sales, management and business development. Cristian is a creative thinker, strategist and passionate developer of communities in the innovation and digitalization areas. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I have a business background, started in Cluj with the hub and coworking space to several […]
David Blivin (Cottonwood): Our focus is the early founding stage of hard science-related companies – Materials, Robotics, Photonics, Energy.
David Blivin is Founder and Managing Director of Cottonwood Technology Fund I, II and their Euro Fund. He was also previously the Founder and Managing Director of Southeast Interactive, the first and largest information technology-focused fund based in the Southeast of the US. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? It happened over time. I was initially working at Montrose Capital, a merchant bank based in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park. Merchant banking is more like leveraged buyouts, later stage, cashflow-positive companies. But because we’re based in Research Triangle Park, we were surrounded by a lot of innovation. It was back in the early 90s, with lots of entrepreneurs looking for capital and there were very few sources based in that region. So, even though we were a merchant bank, most of them did not understand the difference; they just knew we were […]
Georgi Mitov (BrightCap Ventures): We look in the long run and make sure there is a win-win setup between the investors and founders
Georgi brings extensive background both as a founder and an executive in large technology companies. Before establishing BrightCap, he was part of the leadership teams at two successful startups, Sciant and Aviaso, sold to two global technology leaders in those sectors, VMware and Honeywell, respectively. During the last few years, Georgi has been leading Honeywell’s aero business in Bulgaria and has been responsible for the product marketing of the fuel efficiency product used by over 35 airlines Lufthansa, Etihad, Turkish Airlines, British Airways. Georgi has been influential in supporting his companies in various roles – from product design and marketing to software development. Georgi graduated stomatology from Sofia Medical University but has dedicated his career to technology, taking up programming as a student in Sofia Math High School. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I came from a software engineering background. My […]
Tomer Michaeli (Viola FinTech): We understand that in order to build big companies you need to be patient, you have to wait, you have to persevere, and this is the DNA of our group
Tomer is a General Partner at Viola FinTech. He invests in Fintech, Insurtech, and Regtech companies and he serves on the boards of Planck (Israel), Inshur (US & EU), Tookitaki (Singapore), Omnius (Germany) and Easyknock (US). Prior to joining Viola, he was the co-founder and VP Operations at Fundbox, a leading global FinTech company in the credit and payments sector. Before co-founding Fundbox, Tomer served as a principal at Viola Ventures (formerly Carmel Ventures), where he spent 5 years building early-stage technology companies such as Wanova (acquired by VMWare), DesignArt (acquired by Qualcomm), LiveU (acquired by Francisco Partners), SundaySky and others. Before joining Viola, Tomer served in various technical and management positions for 10 years in an elite technology unit of the Israel Defense Forces. He earned his M. Eng. Cum Laude in Biomedical Engineering from the Technion, Israel’s Institute of Technology, his B.Sc. in Physics, Mathematics & Chemistry from […]
Agate Freimane (Norrsken VC): We’re looking for impact tech startups that have a positive impact on people and/or the planet.
Agate Freimane is General Partner at Norrsken VC. She was Investment Director at Norrsken Foundation, Head of Investment at BrickVest. She also worked at Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partner´s offices in London and New York focusing on investments in Europe and the United States, and in INvestment Banking at Citigroup. She was Founding Member of Top Tier Impact and Co-founder of Bright Mentors. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I started my career in finance at Morgan Stanley investment banking and spent 6 years there, but I was always interested in startups and everything to do with it, so after Morgan Stanley, it was not a coincidence that I jumped on to the startup side and joined a fintech startup called BrickVest as one of their first employees. I saw first-hand what it takes to build and launch a tech startup and […]
Thiago Rodriges is Senior Partner & Deal Crafter at The Craftory. He worked as Chief Executive Officer of Itaitinga Participações SA, Associate at AIG Capital Partners, Managing Director at GP Investments, Deputy Director at Caianda Participações SA, Director-Investor Relations at BRT Holding 1 SA, and Principal at Fogo de Chão Ltda. He was also a Champ of the Brazilian Fight Club.
Peter Lasinger (3VC): I love what I do and I am really lucky to be in a spot where I could work with the most inspiring and ambitious people
Peter is a venture capital investor and adviser to boards. He is a co-founder and general partner of 3VC (former capital300) a leading venture capital fund. Before that Peter has been an investment professional for a EUR 70 million seed fund and has been a manager at Accenture’s IT strategy and M&A practice. He holds a Ph.D. in IT and business administration, has founded a SaaS company and lectures at universities. If you are looking for an investment and interested in partnering with capital3000, the best and most efficient way is to submit your pitch via https://www.capital300.com. You will get feedback as fast as possible. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I have to go a little back with that. Of course, we are a team, but everybody has a different experience. It’s important to understand where we come from and what […]
David Millar (TechX Accelerator of The Oil & Gas Technology Centre ): We are focused purely on new technologies for the UK oil and gas sector
David Millar is TechX Accelerator of The Oil & Gas Technology Centre. He brings over 15 years’ experience across start-ups, operators and service companies such as ABB, Shell, BP, ENI and Wood, developing and delivering organizational learning, improvement and technology innovation programs with great success. He joined TOGTC in 2017 from Wood where he held several senior operational contract roles, was awarded their Global Innovation Core Value Award in 2016 and set up and the company’s global ‘Innovation for Growth function’ which pioneered their digital-focused eWorking program. A few starting words about your fund First of all, TechX at Oil and Gas Technology Centre in Aberdeen has been running accelerator programs for just over 3 years. Now we’re starting our third cohort. We are relatively new as an organization and were set up and funded by the UK and Scottish governments. We are focused purely on new technologies for the […]
Heidi Roizen (Threshold Ventures): On average our investment period is somewhere around 6-7 years. It’s longer than the average marriage in the United States. Take your VCs very carefully
Heidi Roizen is a venture capitalist, corporate director and ‘recovering’ entrepreneur. She’s a partner at Threshold Ventures as well as being a corporate director for DMGT (LSE:DMGT), Invitation Homes (NYSE:INVH), Planet, Memphis Meats, Lumity and Polarr. For fun, she co-leads Stanford’s Threshold Venture Fellows Program in the Management Science and Engineering department and also serves on the Advisory Councils for the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence and Stanford Technology Ventures. Heidi started her career as co-founder of software company T/Maker and served as its CEO for over a dozen years until its acquisition by Deluxe Corporation. After a year as VP of Worldwide Developer Relations at Apple, she then became a venture capitalist in 1999. Heidi has undergraduate and MBA degrees from Stanford and is the proud mother of two kids and two rescue dogs. She loves working with entrepreneurs and executives to build great companies. She loves doing […]
Robert Siegel (XSeed Capital and Piva): Investing in companies that are doing some very progressive things
Robert Siegel is a Partner at XSeed Capital and a Venture Partner at Piva. He is also a lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Prior to joining XSeed, he was General Manager of the Video and Software Solutions division for GE Security, Executive Vice President of Pixim, Inc., Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Weave Innovations Inc. He also served in various management roles at Intel Corporation, including an executive position in their Corporate Business Development division. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? My first experience to venture capital was as an entrepreneur. I was working for a software company, and we raised venture capital money in the early 90s. One of our investors was a gentleman by the name of Bruce Dunlevie, one of the founders of Benchmark. Bruce was an incredibly accomplished and impressive person, and I saw […]
PassiveLogic, a company founded in 2016 with HQ in the Western US and 27 employees as of October 2020, creator of a platform for improving the effectiveness of buildings, has got $16M of Series A investments from Keyframe Capital, Addition, RET Ventures, A/O Proptech and NERP, reaching $19.2M of total investments from 7 investors.
Demium is the fastest-growing pre-team pre-idea startup incubator in Europe. It identifies and develop best in class digital entrepreneurial talent and connect them with human and economic capital through their proven start-up builder framework. With 50+ companies in the portfolio, 12 incubators, 500+ entrepreneurs in residence and a capital hub in London, they are now focused on scaling Demium throughout south-western Europe, to help them fulfill their ambition to launch 100 startups per year. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? Everything started 10 years ago. I was working for one of the wealthiest people in the country at his asset management company. That’s how I got into the world of finance. Afterward, I became a partner and launched my own firm that was called A7 Group, A7 Capital and A7 Conference with Maria Barabash. That was the beginning of my entrepreneurial life […]
Temporal Technologies, a company founded in 2019 and Headquartered in the Greater Seattle Area in the US with 14 employees as of October 2020, that develops its open-source microservices orchestration platform for running mission-critical code at any scale, has secured $18.75M Round A funding from Sequoia Capital, Madrona Venture Group, Amplify Partners, Addition, getting the total amount of investments made in it to $25.5M from 4 investors. The financing will go to grow its existing open source community and develop a Temporal cloud offering. Unicorn Nest Dataset Insights The founders of the startup are developers of the Cadence project (an open-source project at Uber Technologies Inc.). The success of Cadence made them think of their own full-fledged business in the industry. They are the only developers offering the end-to-end- process visibility to control data better and, what is more important, recognizing and working out errors appearing. This approach helped the […]
Daniel Blandón (Simma Capital): You have to trust yourself and be confident for 100% that you are doing something that makes sense
Daniel Blandón is a managing partner at Simma Capital. It is an early stage and growth stage micro VC in Latin America, Colombia. Before Simma Capital, Daniel was working in INVX, an investment vehicle that he founded in 2014 and since then invested in 11 companies in Colombia. At Simma Capital, they are in the stage of fundraising and already started investing in early and growth-stage companies that are cofounded by outstanding teams, are scalable, have solid unit economics, and are connected with Colombia and the rest of Latin America. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I was always interested in investing. From an early time in my life, I used to invest in different kinds of assets. It was something that was inside me. In 2010 we met with foreign friends and started investing together. We do our best but it […]
Riccardo Cirillo (Disruptive Investment Platform (DIP) Capital LLP): there’s a reason why we have two years and one month, which means that we are supposed to listen at least twice than what we talk
15+ years in the Private Equity and VC industry, Business Angel, entrepreneur. In 2017 Riccardo has founded DIP (“Disruptive Investment Platform”) an Investment platform focused on tech-based disruptive new businesses, sponsored by Platina Partners LLP, and raised a first €40 million fund (DIP fund I). In 2010 he joined the London/Paris based private equity and infrastructure investment firm Platina Partners, becoming a Partner in 2011 and Managing Partner in 2014. In particular, in Platina Riccardo has driven the renewable energy funds in the main European countries and India. As managing partner of the energy team in Platina, he has been managing a portfolio of assets involving c.ca €2bln of equity and project financing debt. Prior to Platina, he was the founding partner and CEO of Atmos SpA, a private equity investment group based in Milan with a focus on renewables and cleantech. At Atmos he invested in wind, solar PV, […]
Point Pickup, a company that provides the final-mile delivery model for many of the US-based eCommerce organizations, founded in 2015 and based in East Coast New England with 17 employees, has attracted $30M Round A funding from BBH Capital Partners as the next investments after the seed Round from private investors and Connecticut’s CT Innovations. The company offers same-day delivery service that can be ordered using its app and is the only platform offering pre-scheduled deliveries with favorite drivers while accommodating on-demand requests. Unicorn Nest Dataset Insights BBH CP is the only investor of the Round, it is a venture wing of the Brown Brothers Harriman partnership bank. It is quite an unusual investment for a bank organization. Of course, BBH CP declares diversity in its investment interests, but there are two things: this is the first known investment BBH CP made in 20 years, and its parent structure BBH […]
Lucius Cary (Oxford Technology Management): It is possible to make good returns by investing small sums into science startups
Lucius Cary is Founder and Managing Director at Oxford Technology Management. After forming and raising finance for his first business in 1972, he founded “Venture Capital Report” in 1978 and was its managing director for 17 years. In 1996 became Chairman of VCR in order to concentrate on Oxford Technology Management’s investment activities. Oxford Technology Management raised its first fund to invest in start-up and early-stage technology companies in 1983. In 2003, he was awarded an OBE for services to business. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? After school, I did an engineering apprenticeship with the Atomic Energy Research Establishment, Harwell. And I then went to Oxford and I read Engineering for 3 years. Then I went to Harvard Business School to try to learn something about business. When I came back from there, I decided that I wanted to start my […]
Skilljar, a customer training platform for enterprises to accelerate product adoption and improve customer retention, founded in 2013 with HQ in the Greater Seattle Area and 103 employees as of October 2020, obtained $33M in funding from Round B led by Insight Partners with the participation of existing investors Mayfield, Trilogy Equity Partners, Shasta Ventures. The funding will go to expand Skilljar’s team, fuel go-to-market programs, and accelerate product development. The total investments to the startup reached $53.1M from 12 investors. Unicorn Nest Dataset Insights After we analyzed the deal in detail, we found out quite clear syndicate relations between SV, Mayfield, and IP. SV and Mayfield are in the top 3 of their respective lists of preferred co-investors. For example, Skilljar’s Round A in March 2018. SV and Mayfield not only entered the Round together but also were both lead investors. IP also invests quite often with these two […]
Roman Scharf (capital300): Start with co-founders, continue with key hires and hires in general and get the best people you can
Roman Scharf is co-founder and partner of capital300. Roman has worked in various leadership positions in European companies until he landed his first coup in 2005 with his own VoIP startup Jajah, the first European company to be funded by Silicon Valley powerhouse Sequoia Capital. Through Jajah Roman lived and worked in Silicon Valley for 10 years, before returning to Vienna for capital300. Jajah was acquired by Telefonica (BME:TEF) for USD 270 million. Before Jajah, Roman co-founded and lead Ecotech Software in Germany until it has been acquired by Rockwool International AS (CPH:ROCK-B). After Jajah, Roman co-founded Talenthouse Inc., the World’s leading creative collaboration platform for brands & agencies. In December 2019 Talenthouse merged with Ello and Zooppa to become TLNT Group now connecting marketeers with 50 million aspiring creators in 175 countries. Roman has valuable contacts with the Silicon Valley ecosystem and experience in the areas of branding and […]
Peter Pham is Founder and Managing Director at Phoenix Capital. He is an author, international fund manager, and a registered financial director by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA). In 2013 he published his first book entitled The Big Trade: Simple Strategies for Maximum Market Returns. He currently manages the portfolio of a global hedge fund and runs an asset management company. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I came from a finance background. As you can see now, at these pandemics times, many people were affected, in some places you can see things like riots and uprising. What happens for finance people, when they witness something like that, is basically 2 pathways. One is they continue to trade stocks and invest in stocks. The other way is that people could be drawn into real businesses, operating businesses. And when people from […]
BEGiN learns to get $50M Series C investments to launch the first comprehensive early learning program
BEGiN, the developer of the proven early learning program HOMER, the award-winning education technology company that creates learning products to bring children the highest quality education, founded in 2011 and based in the Greater New York Area, with over 50 employees (legal entity Conscious Content Media, LLC) discovered Series C $50M financing from LEGO Ventures, Sesame Workshop, 3one4 Capital, Trustbridge Partners, Interlock Partners to launch the industry’s first comprehensive early learning program across digital, physical, and in-person experiences, co-develop curriculum alongside trusted partners such as Sesame Workshop, and launch globally through distribution partners such as Gymboree Play & Music. The total investments in the startup reached $107.8 from 29 investors. Additionally, Liquidity Capital contributed $25M in trajectory-based funding for growth. Unicorn Nest Dataset Insights BEGiN’s basis is the HOMER system it acquired in 2017 (at the time, HOMER was a digital system to teach children to read). BEGiN improved the […]
Alain le Loux (Cottonwood Technology Fund): My recommendation number one would be to manage fundraising as a fulltime project, especially in the high-tech where you always need to prepare for the second round
Alain le Loux has 20+ years of experience in technology on board level positions (former member of the Executive committee of corporate Getronics PinkRoccade) and as CEO at startups. Alain studied at the Technical University of Twente and graduated in 1994 with a double degree. He became a successful angel investor before the Cottonwood period. Now he is an expert in strategy, marketing, product launching, pricing, and international business acceleration. In the past, Alain was one of the founders of the European Accelerator Program for the European Institute for Technology and Innovation and coached more than 200 high-tech startups in Europe. Alain has a huge network and direct access to a lot of corporates and all relevant ecosystems in Europe (Paris, Berlin, London, Helsinki, Stockholm, Leuven, Munich, etc.). Alain graduated in 2001 cum laude for an Executive MBA at Business School Nederland. How it all started? How did you decide […]
ShipBob, Ecommerce Fulfillment Solutions for Online Brands, a company founded in 2014 with HQ in Chicago and 600+ employees, helping 3600+ Ecommerce online businesses to be more successful online by providing end-to-end fulfillment solution, has raised Series D Round of $68M in primary funding from SoftBank Vision Fund, Menlo Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures, Hyde Park Venture Partners, Hyde Park Angels, and Y Combinator, totaling the overall investments to $130.5M from 29 investors. The new capital will enhance the company’s capabilities to bring world-class fulfillment to more customers, fuel growth, expand its software platform, and scale its global fulfillment network. Unicorn Nest Dataset Insights ShipBob has been originally building as a default eCommerce logistics solution for all direct-to-consumer brands around the world, and options developed in the platform can help the startup to reach the goal. ShipBob built its entire fulfillment technology stack, from its merchant-facing software to its warehouse management […]
RoadRunner Recycling, a company providing tech-powered solutions for commercial waste recycling which helps businesses lower recurring costs for diverting waste from landfills, founded in 2014 and based in Northeastern US (HQ in Pittsburgh) with around 190 employees as of September 2020, has rounded Series C financing in the amount of $10M from Valo Ventures and Avery Dennison, in addition to the original Series C of $28.6M, reaching $84.1M of the total investment in the startup from 9 investors. The money generated will be spent to expand end-to-end waste and recycling management services, to at least 10 new markets across the US. Unicorn Nest Dataset Insights This spin-off Round tells the investors are strongly sure about the future of RRR and its success in recycling the outdated and inefficient recycling sector. And that is quite understandable taking into consideration that RRR since it was founded back in 2014 expanded to serve […]
Mitra Lohrasbpour (South Park Commons): There is no time or space to waste on people that are a drain on our happiness
Mitra joined South Park Commons from Nava Public Benefit Corporation, the software company responsible for the improved healthcare.gov insurance marketplace. At Nava, Mitra spearheaded business development efforts and won contracts also to build new VA benefit appeals and Medicare incentive payments systems. Prior to Nava, she led revenue analytics and international expansion efforts at Dropbox. Mitra began her career at Bain as a management consultant and is on the board of LeanMarket. She graduated from MIT How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I’ll describe both my journey and how our fund was formed because they are merged. We have a bit longer of an origin story than a traditional venture fund. In 2015 Ruchi, the head of our fund was rapping a decade-long career at Facebook and Dropbox. She wanted to push pause on, going back to the grind and catch up […]
Blueboard engaged $9.3M Series A investment to develop new rewards and incentives options for its platform
Blueboard, an employee recognition and incentives platform powered by hand-curated experiences (both in-home and out in the world), founded in 2014 and incorporated in the SF Bay Area with 67 employees as of September 2020 headhunted Series A Round of financing in the amount of $9.3M from Origin Ventures, Bullpen Capital, Greycroft, Plug and Play, Gaingels, Martin Babinec, with total investments of $15.8M so far from 14 investors. The Blueboard platform makes it easy for companies to give meaningful employee rewards, incentives, and gifts—from one-of-a-kind to once-in-a-lifetime experiences; unlike cash or gift cards, experiential rewards are the best tool for motivating and engaging your employees, especially while we’re working remotely. Unicorn Nest Dataset Insights The funding history of the startup launched as a kickstart from one of the biggest startup accelerator of the World, 500 Startups, with rasing a pre-seed Round from a bunch of super angel investors. That step […]
The number of exits of portfolio startups is one of the core metrics of a venture fund. To generate revenue for their LPs and attract investors in the future, VCs try to come up with smart and viable investment strategies. It requires finding a balance between portfolio diversification and limited expertise of funds’ partners.
Marcelo Astrachan (Darwin Capital): You should define what are your business objectives, what are you looking for, what are your interests, and based on that you restrict what you should read
Financial intelligence combined with a deep knowledge of business operations: Darwin Capital brings together the best of both worlds to bring new air and innovate the capital market. With a long experience in leading international ventures and projects, the founding partners bring to each case an understanding that only hands-on executives can have about conducting business. These resources are placed at the service of our customers through a complete advisory service. From companies looking for financial support to acquisition projects, Darwin Capital is ready to treat every new project as unique, attentive to its specificities. The final objective, however, is one: to do everything so that our customers multiply their value, properly prepared for mergers and acquisitions. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? First of all, I’d like to thank you for the invitation. It is an honor to participate in your […]
Jean Sini invests as General Partner at venture firm Partech. He’s been investing since 2011, and has backed Treasure Data (sold to ARM in 2018 for $650m+), Canva (currently valued at $6b), People.ai (backed by Lightspeed Ventures, a16z, and Iconiq), Antheia, ProdPerfect, Clubhouse, Datakin, Firefly and Medigate amongst others. A repeat founder with 20+ years of software engineering experience, Jean’s held CTO roles at Activeweave (sold in 2007), Mint.com (acquired by Intuit for $175m in 2010), One Kings Lane, Fountain (acquired by Porch in 2015) and Cadre. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? A very gradual process. I started investing in startups, as an individual, close to 10 years ago, long before joining Partech. At the time, I had been living in San Francisco for 15 years, and was busy building startups, typically as VP of Engineering or Chief Technology Officer. For […]
Alloy, a developer of an identity verification platform used to check frauds and make identity management effective and simple for banks and financial institutions, founded in 2015 with HQ in New York City (legal name First Mile Group, Inc.), the number of employees is about 70, attracted Series B investment of $40M from Canapi Ventures (that led the Round), Avid Ventures, Felicis Ventures, Bessemer Venture, Primary Venture Partners, and Eniac Ventures. With previous Series A $12M financing the total investment reached $55.8M from 15 investors. The new funds will be used to build out its sales, marketing and engineering teams, and product development. Unicorn Nest Dataset Insights Canapi Ventures led the Round. The business profile of the fund fits ideally to Alloy, as Canapi’s strategy is “transforms financial services with API driven technology through strategic investments and partnerships”. Fund’s partner Walker Forehand, who joined the Alloy board, said they would […]
Observe.AI, a leading company in Contact Center AI that specializes in the fields of machine learning, enterprise, big data, and analytics, founded on July 19 2017 and also known as Z21 Labs, Inc., with HQ in SF Bay Area and around 120 employees, received $54M Series B financing from Menlo Ventures, Next47 Ventures, and NGP Capital, in addition to the Round A $26M, totaling funding to $88.1M from 14 investors. The money received will help Observe.AI «to continue its momentum by helping the world’s top brands accurately transcribe and analyze every call while providing deeper visibility into customer service operations». Unicorn Nest Dataset Insights Observe.AI demonstrated excellent growth last year, that’s why investors show confidence in this startup. Since previous reports, Observe.AI hired over 100 employees and got over 150 customers with revenue growing 600%. Menlo Ventures has been closely following the transformation of the customer service landscape, and been […]
Samuel Harrison (Blockchain.com Ventures): Our fund is focused on blockchain technology and our purpose is to figure out which sectors are going to use blockchain fast enough to make a good financial return for investment
Samuel Harrison is Founding Partner at Blockchain.com Ventures, a Venture Capital Fund anchored by Blockchain.com & Lightspeed Venture Partners. Previously he led Naspers Ventures early-stage tech investments and blockchain efforts, was Apple featured iOS app publisher and Angel investor in 30+ companies. If you’re raising capital for a blockchain project, please reach him out. Invested in Origin Protocol, Theta.tv, DappRadar, Nodle, Securitize, Zerion, Enjin, Amber, Wintermute, Blockdaemon & more. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I started my career at Morgan Stanley in London, with a finance background. But I found myself spending quite a lot of time in the tech world. I was building apps on iOS during my spare time and Bitcoin was also new dabbling that was discovered by accident. My housemate at that time was paying me his share of our rent for the house in Bitcoin. And […]
Stephen Socolof (Tech Council Ventures): We love to partner with corporates on developing new venture opportunities!
Stephen Socolof is Managing Partner at Tech Council Ventures. He has been a technology investor for over twenty years. His interests are in enterprise software (particularly applications of AI/ML), infrastructure required to collect, store, and process data, internet of things, wireless, and environmental and materials technologies. He is currently on the board of StratIS IoT, SunRay Scientific, and Vydia as well as the public company Everspin Technologies, an investment of his prior fund. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I had been a consultant for large companies on the topic of innovation and on how to improve the productivity of research and development. I was recruited from that job to Lucent Technologies in 1996, when it was formed, to help with the efforts that were going on – to drive more innovation out of Bell Labs and do more commercialization. I was […]
Scott Lanphere: (TLNT Holdings): The advantage of investing is that you can switch industries if you want just by changing your investment focus
Private equity investments in the US, Europe, Asia and the Middle East spanning 30 years ranging between growth capital, small, medium and large buyouts and later stage growth investments. Private Equity Investment Experience:28 Investments, €9 billion cumulative Enterprise Value (€7.5 billion pre add-on acq.), €1 billion cumulative Equity Investment (2.62x & 50%+ IRR (source: KPMG)) Deal Origination, including Cold Call platform in Environmental, Healthcare and Specialty Chemicals industry. Further direct investment experience in Crypto, Blockchain, FinTech, Gambling, Retail and Media companies Geographic Experience: Europe, US, Middle East, SE Asia & ChinaMember of the Investment Committee since 1998,Member (or past member) of the Board of Directors of 39 companies across Europe and the US Financing Experience:• €5.7 billion of debt capital raised, including 9 public debt issuances (among these were the first non-Sovereign debt issuance in Poland (1997) and the first corporate High Yield issuance in France (1999));• 4 PIK-note / preference placements […]
Ouster grabbed $42M from Series B financing to fund product development and worldwide sales acceleration
Ouster, a Hi-Tech company founded in 2015, with 160 employees as of September 2020, and HQ in San-Francisco and offices in Paris, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, and Suzhou, that created the automation revolution with high-resolution lidar sensors (robotics and computer vision systems), and served over 800 customers in 15 markets, attracted Series B financing Round of $42M from Fontinalis Partners, Tao Capital Partners, and Cox Automotive, reaching $140M investments from 13 investors. The money attracted will go to develop more products and promote worldwide sales. Unicorn Nest Dataset Insights In spite of pandemic-induced delays in the self-driving vehicle industry, Ouster raised Series B Round of $42M. The Round B financing is less than the previous one of $60M directed to prepare the main set of 3 products and build the factory. Because of COVID Ouster had to cut 10% of employees and stop manufacturing at its factory in SF. So […]
Alejandro Gonzalez (Redwood Ventures): a rule that should be in a mind of every entrepreneur – do not raise capital if you don’t like accountability
Redwood Ventures is an industry-agnostic venture capital fund that seeks to invest in the early stages of technology-based startups How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I’ve been involved in the entrepreneurial ecosystem my whole life. I started my first company 15 years ago when I was at university. I didn’t know about venture capital, but we wanted an uprising from the university to be accelerated in a university accelerator. So when I was in the process of the accelerator we met with some investors and they told us about the venture capital business and I liked it a lot. Then when the time came up, like 3 years after that I sold the company and I wanted to start my first venture capital fund. I raised a little bit of money to invest Mexican capital into Silicon Valley companies. That was my […]
Dr. Carlos S. Baradello (ALAYA Capital Partners): You have to strike a balance between being a dreamer and a doer
Dr. Carlos Baradello is an investor, corporate advisor, university professor, and public speaker. A leading innovation and entrepreneurship practitioner, Carlos draws his understanding from his broad global business and academic experience, deep technical knowledge, and understanding of the reality innovators encounter in organizations both large and small. His experience working with hundreds of entrepreneurs around the world has enabled him to gain key lessons in the creation of sustainable social and economic value across multiple sectors, and their global growth. Carlos’s interests include new global business creation, venture funding, business acceleration for “born global” startups, and global scaling for “foreign-born” startups in emerging economies. He is the founder of the University of San Francisco’s (USF) groundbreaking Silicon Valley Immersion programs and former Associate Dean of its Global and Executive Programs. In addition to his teaching responsibilities across four continents as a member of the faculty at the Hult International Business […]
Startups often underestimate their chances to find cross-border investments and receive funding for the required purposes. UN decided to learn more about the reasons and consequences of such decisions and interviewed 230 funds around the globe to find out how cross-border deals work for them, what spheres of interest attract VC-funds, where they prefer to invest, on what stages, and much more information. This research aimed to be useful both for startups and for investors to see key directions for cross-border deals and might help to review the investment strategy. Cross-border is a new black According to the research, only 6% of funds are going to reduce the number of cross-border transactions, while 36% are going to increase it. This means COVID-19 crisis might have a short-term impact on investment plans now, but ⅓ of funds will increase their investments in the nearest future. Funds from Latin America, Western Europe […]
Mark Linao (AET Fund): We’re focused on investing in the future of entertainment – Gaming, Interactive content, and things like that in Media.
Mark Linao is Partner at AET Fund (Akatsuki Entertainment Technology Fund). He was a senior multi-disciplined engineer at aerospace and defense firm Raytheon. He has also worked at the Rubicon Project and Amazon. After that, he was an Associate at Technicolor Ventures eventually transitioning to Director of Corporate Development and Strategy at Technicolor. How it’s all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I’ve been working in мenture for almost 7 years now; I’ve started off as an associate in another firm. And before that, I worked at a startup. While working at the startup and meeting with a lot of venture investors, I started to think that it might be a good role. I became interested in investment as a career, because being an investor in an emerging company, be with entrepreneurs and partner entrepreneurs was always very appealing to me. That’s how my passion […]
Itamar Novick (Recursive Ventures): As a founder, you should think long and hard whether you want to build a business or build a VC backable startup
Itamar Novick is the Founder & Partner of Recursive Ventures, a micro Seed fund backing amazing tech entrepreneurs,working with over 40 Mobile, IoT, and SaaS companies. His portfolio includes companies like Peerspace, MileIQ, Honeybook, Zendrive, and Airdog. Itamar was previously a venture capitalist at Morgenthaler Ventures and a Venture Partner at UpWest Labs, the Israeli accelerator in Silicon Valley. Before moving to the “dark side” of VC, Itamar was head of product at Gigya, the leading social tools provider for web and mobile publishers, and spent several years in product and engineering management roles at a variety of companies big and small. Itamar also serves as Chief Business Officer at Life360, the biggest mobile Family Network, with over 80 million registered families globally. The Life360 app keeps families safe when they’re out and about, in their car, or at home He holds an MBA from Berkeley-Haas and a Computer Science […]
Remy de Tonnac (ETF Partners): You must identify in your network 1-2 well-intended people who know and like you, who understand your business and have no conflict of interest.
Remy de Tonnac is Partner at ETF Partners in London, UK. He was CEO at Inside Secure, Gemalto and so on. He was also Venture Partner at Vertex Ventures. He joined ETF Partners in 2016. He is driven by the desire to demonstrate that technological innovation offers compelling answers to one of the most pressing problems of the world – achieving sustainable prosperity. How it’s all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? So I am over 60 years old which is considered to be very old in the new technologies world. A long time ago I was a co-founder of the company Gemplus, in 1987. In those days venture capital did almost not exist in Europe. It was starting in the UK. It was quite difficult for us to raise money; we were talking to banks which did not understand that business. And I remember […]
Amitabh Sinha (ah! Ventures): If you’re looking to be a really successful startup founder, and this may seem strange, I would say read fantasy. It gives you one thing – impossible is a state of mind. It’s not a fun
Amitabh Sinha is a serial entrepreneur, start-up evangelist, advisor, mentor, ecosystem builder and facilitator active in the start-up domain since 1999. In a career spanning more than 21 years, Amitabh has worked across domains as diverse as Petroleum, Consulting, Chemicals, International Trading, Pharmaceuticals, Manufacturing, Brand Communications, Venture Capital, Financing, and Industry representation. He has been associated with SME Chamber of India, Start-Ups Council of India & Packaging Industry Association of India in honorary roles evangelizing industry, creating facilitating networks, expanding small industry footprint, and representing small businesses. Amitabh is a frequent speaker at various fora and talks on a variety of subjects including business logic, business building, scaling, funding and financing, professionalization, small business growth, organizational culture building, and lateral thought. Amitabh also actively consults with businesses in a professional capacity on scaling, growth hacking, business strategy, and customer experience. How it all started? How did you decide to enter […]
NeuroPace, a Silicon Valley-based medical technology company with 146 employees as of September 2020, founded in 1999, HQ in Mountain View, California, that initially focused on the treatment of epilepsy (this debilitating neurological disorder affects approximately 1% of the planet population) and developed the recognized RNS System, raised a $67M funding Round led by Accelmed Partners with the participation of Revelation Partners, Soleus Capital, KCK Group, OrbiMed Advisors, and unnamed strategic investor in form of $33m of new equity capital and $34M through convertible debt from the prior funding Round. The overall amount of investments in NeuroPace has reached $208m. Unicorn Nest Dataset Insights The lead investor is Accelmed Partners, investment company focused on value creation for medical device companies and technologies. Despite prefering to invest in Israeli companies rather, it seems AP is going to foster significant value growth by leveraging its expertise in HealthTech and its presence in […]
Kartik Desai (Asha Impact): VCs look for disruptive innovation that can be delivered profitably with reliable execution
Kartik Desai leads Asha Impact, an impact investment platform for Indian HNIs and family offices, and a not-profit trust to engage with the government on development finance. Prior to Asha, he was a Vice President at Lok Capital and Aavishkaar, the two largest impact funds in India, and before this an investment banker with Merrill Lynch. He has also done consulting work for organizations including the UNDP and the Rockefeller Foundation and launched a social enterprise providing a co-working and culture center for underprivileged youth in New Delhi. Kartik was born in Delhi and raised in Geneva and New York, studying at Wharton and Columbia, before he returned to India in 2005 to begin his career journey as a pioneer in impact investing. What is your story of coming back to India and joining the venture investment business? I was born in India and raised in Geneva and the United […]
Jeffrey Stewart (Global Public Offering Fund): It’s important to have advisors who are going to disagree with your thoughts, but that you respect. The key here is a respect
Inventor, Entrepreneur, and Investor focusing on technology-enabled business. At GPO Fund they back visionary Founders who want to accelerate their aspirations to disrupt and dominate global industries. Fund believes the private venture capital markets are broken, resulting in unnecessary fundraising cycles, a lack of transparency, misalignment of incentives across funding rounds, inflexible holding periods for investors, and outcomes that are often suboptimal. GPO Fund invest in rapidly scaling, growth-stage global tech firms whose strategy can substantially benefit from access to international capital markets. Interested in technology-driven business models in the fields of emerging markets, education, clean-tech, network effects, B2B SaaS, blockchain, big data, and financial services. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I was a technology entrepreneur. My co-founder and I started our first businesses in the mid-nineties at the early days of the world wide web. Since then we started several […]
Ravi Belani is Managing Director & Founder of the Alchemist Accelerator. He is also a Fenwick & West Lecturer of Entrepreneurship at Stanford University. Alchemist is a venture-backed accelerator focused on accelerating the development of seed-stage ventures that monetize from enterprises. CB Insights rated Alchemist the top accelerator in 2016 based on median funding rates of its grads. The organization provides seed investment into companies it admits (typically $36K) and provides founders a structured path to traction, fundraising, mentorship, and community over the course of a 6-month program. Their backers include many of the top corporate and VC funds in Silicon Valley and Europe — including Khosla Ventures, DFJ, Cisco, GE, Next47 (Siemens), and Salesforce, among others. The accelerator seeds around 75 enterprise-monetizing ventures/year. Notable alumni include LaunchDarkly, Rigetti Quantum Computing, mPharma, Matternet, and MightyHive. How’s it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture and investment business? […]
Niklas is an ESCP Europe Master graduate. He worked for digital and high-tech companies as a Roland Berger consultant and gained experience in Private Equity with Quadriga Capital. As a Head of International Business with PEC Group, he scaled up the company from 50 to 120 employees and accompanied the M&A sell-side process to Hilti AG. In his role as Junior Partner at Freigeist, he sources new deals and supports portfolio companies to realize their strategy. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? Freigeist was started by three founders. Frank, Marc, and Alex have been building up and investing in companies over the past 20 years. After selling their own company to Fujifilm in 2008, they wanted to invest part of it back into the startup community. When the investments started to pay off, they discovered their new business model. Then, Marcel and […]
Juan Arango (Keiretsu Forum Rockies): We review absolutely everything and can do due diligence on whatever you throw at us
Juan Arango is Executive Director of Keiretsu Forum Rockies at Keiretsu Forum Northwest. He builds Angel Groups. He is passionate about fueling emerging technology companies by helping them build and fund their new ventures, while providing professional angel investors tailored deal flow that fit targeted funding strategies. Juan sources a network of 55 chapters worldwide within the Keiretsu Forum angel group organization, 40+ angel groups within the Angel Syndication Network (ASN), and a growing number of brand name national accelerators to locate deals and syndicate for funding. How it’s all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? The idea behind the creation of Keiretsu Forum was that in the year 2000 Randy Williams, a big real estate investor in the Bay area in San Francisco was pitched left and right by people that had interesting companies, but he didn’t know what was good and what was […]
Dr. Marcel van der Heijden (Speedinvest): Follow the money and just not die is a key thing. Make sure you take care of your mental and physical health
Marcel’s long-term, versatile, and international experience in the IT, internet, and mobile industry has challenged him to take on leading technical roles in business development. Both (his own) startups and global market leaders have benefited from his expertise and dedication. Marcel holds a Ph.D. in Physics, which shapes his highly analytical way of contributing towards outstanding success stories in the industry. Before joining Speedinvest in 2012, Marcel managed the EMEA-hosted applications business and a partnership with a global operator within Microsoft. As a Partner at Speedinvest, Marcel provides hands-on cooperation and support to portfolio companies in the complex field of technology. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? It was really a serendipity. When I was in university during my PhD I founded some companies. With one of them, we managed to raise quite a bit of money at the end of the […]
Dutchie, a company selling marijuana online for the legalized markets, founded by Ross Lipson, Samuel Ellis, and Zach Lipson in July 2017 with the first 3 dispensaries in Bend, Oregon, where their HQ is currently located with 102 employees, serving 1300 stores in 32 markets (that’s 10% of the Global legal cannabis market), and processing around 75,000 orders per day, molded $35m during Series B from Thrive Capital, Casa Verde Capital, Thirty Five Ventures, Gron Ventures, and Howard Schultz, totaling $53m of investments. These days they processed their ten millionth order since the beginning, and their business model seems to be prosperous. Unicorn Nest Dataset Insights Cannabis is one of the fastest-growing industries in the World. Dutchie processes 10 percent of all legal cannabis sales worldwide, and powers 25 percent of all legal dispensaries across markets and 301 cities in the United States and Canada. So, it is no wonder […]
Venture industry itself is risky, full of surprises and requires attention. Information is a new air, but it can be used in different ways, and sometimes might be harmful for the market. COVID-19 is a perfect example that happened only half a year ago: internet and media were overdosed with materials predicting the future of all VC industry and startups market. Eventually, all this data could influence a company with premature decisions and intensify the crisis. That’s why it is crucially important to define and understand the media landscape. For this purpose, one of the methods of automatized linguistics is being used. It is called sentiment-analysis and together with the UN we will discover how big is its power. Meet the basis Sentiment-analysis already entered your life, starting from Barack Obama election campaign back in 2008. There are definitely a lot of examples even before, but Obama’s social media campaign […]
Maarten ter Keurst (PureTerra Ventures): Focus more on who you need to know rather than what you need to know
After leading a successful turnaround for a large direct marketing organizations Maarten moved to Shanghai in 2013, where he has consulted foreign SMEs in the water technology sector on market entry strategy in China as a run-up to PureTerra. Maarten is an expert in deal structuring, financial modeling, managing Chinese networks, partner selection and has an intimate knowledge of the global water technology sector. He holds a MSc in Economics from Tilburg University and has attended executive courses at London Business School. How it all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I came to China more than seven years ago. Very quickly I joined the mother company of PureTerra Ventures, which was founded by two Dutch entrepreneurs who came to China 25 years ago. They set up a number of businesses and did very well for themselves. With one of their businesses they organized the […]
Jacqueline van den Ende (Peak Capital): We look at 4 main criteria, we call it T-Score. We evaluate Team, Thesis, Traction, and Timing.
Jacqueline van den Ende is Partner at Peak Capital. She is an entrepreneur and investor passionate about building high impact ventures. In the Philippines she founded Lamudi Philippines and over the past 3 years grew it to be the clear market leader in online real estate. Prior to that she worked as an investment professional in a leading private equity firm. Prior to HAL Investments she founded a non-profit company which now employs over 200 students in three countries. How it’s all started? How did you decide to enter the venture investment business? I personally have a bit of a mix career as an investor and a venture builder. As a student, I started my first company and then I accidentally ended up in private equity. I wasn’t looking for a role in investing, but I’ve got an opportunity to join HAL Investments. I worked there for 3.5 years and […]