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Series F - Issue #36: The Future of Venture Capital


Series F

November 19 · Issue #36 · View online

The Future of Venture Capital

👋🏻 Happy Sunday! 
After a rather quiet week last time out, this issue we are back with a bang, with a strong selection of some of the most interesting articles I’ve ever curated while doing this (particularly check out ‘compelling visions’)
Let’s get to it… 🚀

Upsetting the Apple Cart 🍎
Today, the very definition of what is “Seed Stage” is breaking down. Entrepreneurs who have raised as little as $250K — and as much as $5M — are fundraising describing themselves as “seed stage.” What used to be a distinct financing milestone has morphed into a gradient ~> The ‘Seed Stage’ is Now The ‘Seed Gradient’
In a world where the few are getting wealthier at the expense of the many, equity crowdfunding bucks this trend and champions all of us wannabe’s and gives us the chance to own a part of what might just be the next big thing ~> Democratizing VC through crowdfunding
Finnish fund manager FIM is introducing the first investment fund in the Nordic region, where a self-learning algorithm gets to pick all the stocks. Targeting returns of 3 percentage points above the MSCI World Index, the FIM Artificial Intelligence fund seeks to tease out patterns even an experienced fund manager may not detect ~> `Warren in a Box’ to Pick Stocks for First Nordic AI Fund
Erik Torenberg provides some rough & evolving thoughts on How Will Software eat Venture Capital?
Raising the Ratio 🙋🏾
Twenty-one percent of venture capital employees worldwide are women, but only 11% of senior positions are held by women, according to Preqin data released Wednesday ~> Preqin: Women make up 21% of venture capital employees globally
Female Founder Office Hours are offering forty 1:1 office hour slots with 10 female VC partners from Benchmark, Canaan, Cowboy, Forerunner, Freestyle, Lux, Sequoia, and Reach ~> Female Founder Office Hours
New Funds and Models 💸
In a fast-changing venture capital landscape, longtime investors Neil Sequeira and Trae Vassallo are taking a vintage approach with their new firm. Their new firm, Defy Partners, fits the trend of 2017 tech investing by launching with a first-time fund of a large size, $151 million. But as they go to invest that money, Sequeira and Vassallo say they’ll be bucking the zeitgeist ~> VC Veterans Neil Sequeira And Trae Vassallo Launch Defy Partners With $151 Million Fund
Vertically Speaking 📈
“2020 is right around the corner and Ruthven’s team is already thinking about 2030. He sees change coming on all fronts — he fears terrorism and climate change might increase and alter the patient population, a increased focus on prevention will create requirements for new spaces, and tech advances like Google Glass could fundamentally change the way doctors operate” ~> What would the ideal hospital look like in 2020?
If Internet and mobile technologies can be used to change real estate or transportation, why not healthcare? The Ezra Klein Show: VC Bill Gurley on Transforming Health Care
A short list of questions that potential employees and investors can ask founders touting AI ~> How To Cut Through The AI Nonsense And Find The Gold
Three main opportunities Savina van der Straten of Point Nine Capital sees for B2B software startups in the voice space ~> Voice is the next big thing Part 2
Crypto-Crazy 🤑
“As an entrepreneur who has raised more than $300 million of venture capital equity financing in my career, and whose company is holding an ICO in just a few days, I have mixed thoughts about the current ICO bubble” ~> Insider Reflections on The ICO Bubble
European Union regulators have issued two further warnings on ICOs, directed at both investors and participating businesses ~> More ICO Warnings As EU Issues Two Regulatory Statements
ICOs seem shiny and new—blockchains are involved, after all—but they are susceptible to many of the same old problems that have plagued penny stocks ~> The uncomfortable parallels between ICOs and the “penny stock” underworld
How high Bitcoin prices could reach before the average Bitcoin investor sells it? Very high, $196,165 per coin - roughly 30x the digital currency’s current value ~> How High Bitcoin Could Reach Before The Average Investor Sells It?
Math, motivations and value creation in crypto investing ~> Is Buying Tokens the new VC?
Compelling Visions 🔮
These venture bets on startups that “returned the fund,” making firms and careers, were the result of research, strong convictions, and patient follow-through. Here are the stories behind the biggest VC home runs of all time ~> From Alibaba to Zynga: 21 Of The Best VC Bets Of All Time And What We Can Learn From Them
How old is venture capital? Probably as old as the first hunter/gatherer. Yet, until the mid-20th century, it was mostly practiced by wealthy individuals and families ~> 70 years of VC innovation
The best companies seek out the most successful investors, and gains accumulate at the top ~> Why the Most Successful VC Firms Keep Winning
What GV looks for in companies, hot technology areas and why ICO’s are over-hyped, according to a general partner at the firm ~> How Google’s venture capital arm invests its billions
“If you do take a small check from a big fund early (seed round or earlier) … maybe just take one of these checks. Because each will be viewed as an implicit option on your fundraising future. No matter what the legal docs say” ~> Small Checks From Large Venture Funds: Maybe One is Enough
Investors in the West tend to stay in the West, VCs near the ocean tend to invest near the ocean — unless they act upon outside market forces ~> Where and why venture capitalists invest close to home
The nature of underperformance and why it pays to wait ~> Losing With a Winning Hand
How does a startup beat a massive tech company? ~> Why Amazon, Facebook and Google can all be beaten
Always Be Closing ☕️
Thank you all for reading and please continue to reach out with your recommendations and thoughts. I’m particularly happy to help anyone who is looking to understand the European and Nordic VC and startup space 👍🏻
All other feedback also welcomed at or @neilswmurray
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