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Series F - Issue #43: The Future of Venture Capital

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Series F

January 28 · Issue #43 · View online

The Future of Venture Capital


👋🏻 Happy Sunday and welcome to another edition of Series F!
I’ve got this whole process down to just over 2 hours each week now, which is way more manageable for me, so I do hope you are still enjoying the new format! If not, then bug me on Twitter.
Curated by @neilswmurray

Upsetting the Apple Cart 🍎
“In many ways Wennmachers is an architect of Andreessen Horowitz, the prestigious investment firm that has backed hundreds of startups, including Facebook, Airbnb, and Twitter. Or, at least, she’s the architect of what the firm appears to be—and her presence has left an indelible imprint on the hundreds of businesses that have come into contact with the firm. Because of her, Silicon Valley looks very different than it did even a decade ago.”
Why this matters?
  • This excellent profile of Margit Wennmachers demonstrates just how important brand, positioning and story-telling are for a VC firm.  Most interestingly it shows how Andreessen Horowitz are able not only to leverage this for perception of their own brand but are also able to shape the whole industry into their vision of the future.
  • This is taking VC content-marketing to whole new levels. While most VCs concentrate on producing quality content (it’s worth noting that a16z are one of the best at this too) this is about owning and directly influencing the wider discussion.
  • Europe are way behind the Valley in this respect, with only the last couple of years seeing the top firms even produce consistent levels of content. It will be interesting to see how long it takes the big players in Europe to take even more control of their and “the” story. (N.B: The only strong example that comes to mind is Bryce Keane at Atomico, see point 4 below)
  • With a potential tech backlash around the corner, the industry is going to need more Margits. I’d not only expect this type of profile to be more and more commonplace at VC firms over the next few years, but also for them to be pretty central to their operations.
Due Diligence 📚
1. If this study is successful, you could lose your job to a robot sooner than you might think ~> Can You Pick Managers Better Than an Algorithm?
2. The role of LPs in improving diversity in the industry is VITAl, as ultimately it starts there. Here’s How Investors Like Melinda Gates Are Helping These VCs Tackle Tech’s Bro Problem
3. While this is a great interview with Arlan Hamilton of Backstage Capital ~> Why This VC Is Betting on Women, People Of Color, and LGBTQ Founders
4. Having big pockets is one thing, but the larger VC firms are having to work harder and harder to prove their worth. At the centre of Atomico’s value-add proposition is their growth acceleration team, this is a great look at exactly what that is ~> The State of Atomico: up close and personal with one of Europe’s premier venture funds and its ‘growth acceleration team’
5. I’m really not a big fan of these types of tools, as ultimately relationships and introductions win out in my book. However, there is something to be said of the discovery aspect, as often founders don’t know where to look/understand the full spectrum of potential investors available to them ~> Raise your seed round with VCWiz
6. Y Combinator are looking to have a positive impact on the Series A market while they increase the rate of successful Series As for YC companies ~> YC Series A Program
7. A nice summary of what I’ve talked a lot about over the last few weeks regarding investors tapping into founders etc ~> Scout networks are latest VC salvo in war for founders
Always Be Closing ☕️
That’s all for this week, all feedback and correspondence welcomed on neil@thenordicweb.com or @neilswmurray
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