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Series F - Issue #24: The Future of Venture Capital


Series F

August 27 · Issue #24 · View online

The Future of Venture Capital

👋🏻 Hello there! I have just crawled out of bed to send this from sunny Scotland where I am on a friends stag-do (bachelor party) with my head currently spinning worse than Conor McGregor’s…. 🍻
Luckily I put the majority of this issue together before the drinking began, meaning you get another curation of the last 7 day’s most interesting developments in the future of venture capital. Enjoy! 🚀
Curated by @neilswmurray

Upsetting the Apple Cart 🍎
Silicon Valley venture firm Social Capital plans to help startups go public without the dreaded IPO process. Social Capital is creating a shell company known as a “SPAC” that exists solely to merge with a startup. These types of transactions are not rare outside of the venture world but have little precedent with tech startups ~> Social Capital to help startups go public without an IPO
GM Quietly Deepens Silicon Valley Ties By Learning To Play Tech Incubator ~> The automotive giant is backing 500 Startups’ Demo Days in a partnership with the tech incubator forged late last year. The relationship with 500 puts “scouting on steroids – and we’re learning a lot about startup culture too,” Gary Smyth, executive director of GM’s Global R&D Laboratories, told Forbes.
Entrepreneur First is designed to remove and reduce the transaction costs associated with building a team — they build teams that wouldn’t have existed otherwise ~> Entrepreneur First builds teams that wouldn’t exist otherwise. Why is this?
The alternative to a Series A round is to carry on bootstrapping - developing the technologies, business model and customer base without recourse to a large injection of cash. But in the competitive technology market, is it really possible to scale up significantly without the help of VCs or deep-pocketed angels? Back To The Bootstrap - Living Without Series A Funding
Spotify executives have met with U.S. regulators scrutinizing the music company’s plan to skip a traditional share sale and list directly on the New York Stock Exchange, according to people with knowledge of the matter ~> SEC Is Studying Spotify’s Plan to Bypass IPO in NYSE Listing
Raising the Ratio 🙋🏾
Ellen Pao: “For a long time I didn’t challenge those stories, because I wasn’t ready to talk about my experience in detail. Now I am.” ~> This Is How Sexism Works in Silicon Valley My lawsuit failed. Others won’t.
New Funds and Models 💸
Laura Deming is not your typical venture capitalist. Then again, she isn’t typical in many ways ~> This 23-year-old just closed her second fund — which is focused on aging — with $22 million
Vertically Speaking 📈
Benedict Evans: “There are now several dozen companies trying to make the technology for autonomous cars, across OEMs, their traditional suppliers, existing major tech companies and startups. Clearly, not all of these will succeed, but enough of them have a chance that one wonders what and where the winner-take-all effects could be, and what kinds of leverage there might be.” ~> Winner-takes all effects in autonomous cars
In the race to launch autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence expertise is the prize ~> An inside look at Ford’s $1 billion bet on Argo AI
“IoT developers seem set on creating smart devices that no one wants to use. IoT has struggled because it has largely lacked the use cases that satisfy real needs or are able to successfully ignite the imaginations and desires of consumers” ~> We’re experiencing the Harry Potterification of technology
Emerging Markets 🌏
“Ask anybody familiar with the tech scene, and they’ll tell you that there is no shortage of funding available for startups. The supply of funds today far exceeds the number of genuinely amazing teams and ideas in Southeast Asia” ~> There has never been a better time to build a startup in Singapore
It sounds innocent enough - “mixed ownership reform.” That is the phrase the Chinese government is using to describe a program in which healthy private companies are encouraged to invest in debt-laden quasi state-owned enterprises ~> China is pushing its Amazons and Googles to spend hundreds of millions on failing companies
Crypto-Crazy 🤑
If you haven’t read this yet then you should: “Unfortunately, when real assets get involved, the tokens-are-magic-liquidity-engines thesis falls apart almost immediately” ~> On token liquidity
The proposal to issue crypto tokens would make the Republic of Estonia the first country with an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) ~> Estonia could offer ‘estcoins’ to e-residents
It seems like everyone is coming up with a price forecast these days, with some of the biggest banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. jumping into the action, while speculators to long-time investors are also making their bets ~> Bitcoin Analysts Compete for the Highest Price Forecast
Compelling Visions 🔮
Enterprises should explain the business potential of blockchain, artificial intelligence and augmented reality ~> Top Trends in the Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2017
For graduates of the world’s leading business schools, investment banking is out and consulting and technology firms are in ~> Banks? No, thanks!
HSBC Holdings Plc, Citigroup Inc. and Morgan Stanley see mounting evidence that global markets are in the last stage of their rallies before a downturn in the business cycle ~> Wall Street Banks Warn Downturn Is Coming
Technology entrepreneurship is fuelled by the relationship between founders and funders. The question for both is: how to engage with each other to build an effective relationship? Hunting v/s Farming: A Founder Friendly Evolution of Venture Capital
If it’s easier than ever to start a company, you might expect the number of new tech startups founded per year to be pretty high. Surprisingly, the data tells us a different story ~> Do We Really Live In A Golden Era Of Startups?
Which sectors are facing funding challenges and which are flush with cash? What’s the Pulse on 2017 Midyear VC Investment?
Simple, but useful ~> A Striking Explanation of VC Mechanics
Always Be Closing ☕️
As ever please send any feedback/comments to @neilswmurray or I promise to reply once this hangover clears. 😁
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