Thoughts on raising a Micro-VC firm

(repost from innovation.firstrepublic.com) From San Francisco to New York, more than 250 micro venture capital firms now actively invest in early stage startup companies. Micro VC firms, which typically raise funds under $100 million, represent an extremely valuable option for entrepreneurs seeking the strategic financing and expertise to help grow their businesses. To better understand the micro VC market, and to identify some best...

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Micro-VC, from the eyes of an institutional LP

A lot of new Micro-VC firms have been formed over the past couple of years. A lot. For some, it may seem like anyone that has a good story and a PowerPoint can raise a fund. Having lived through the process vicariously through dozens of new managers, I can tell you that raising institutional capital can be very tough for first time managers.   And in many ways, despite the bull market we’re in, it’s much tougher to raise institutional...

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Swinging for the fences with Formation8

Swinging for the fences with Formation8

It’s safe to say that despite less than a full presidential term in existence, venture firm Formation8 has made quit the impact on the industry. With a rock star team, stellar early performance with exits from portfolio companies Oculus Rift and RelateIQ, and now nearly $1B in assets under management, it’s no wonder that they were dubbed by Fortune as the “hottest” venture firm since Andreessen Horowitz. With two successful entrepreneurial...

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The “craft” of Venture Capital with Homebrew

The “craft” of Venture Capital with Homebrew

Walking into the Homebrew (named after the famed 1970’s hobbyist computer club) offices in SF provides for a very different experience than what would be normally expected from a typical venture capital firm. Amidst rows of desks reserved for Homebrew portfolio company teams, sit Homebrew founders Hunter Walk and Satya Patel.  No opulent Partner offices and no unnecessary frills. Consistent with their operating DNA and Homebrew’s...

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Should your growth efforts include Asia? Through the eyes of Translink Capital.

Founded by Jack Ma in China in 1999 to becoming the largest IPO in U.S. history, Alibaba represents one of the most compelling tales of a Asia based start-up that has had a significant impact on the U.S. market. However, U.S. based tech startups continue to be the dominant source of disruptive technology for global markets. Perhaps surprising to many, early adopters of newer technologies typically have not been U.S. or Europe based...

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The art of consumer technology with Maven Ventures

The art of consumer technology with Maven Ventures

  Without equivocation, consumer technology has completely transformed our daily behavior over the past decade: It’s changed how we communicate to the world (Twitter/Medium). It’s changed how we share our lives (Facebook/Snapchat/LinkedIn). It’s changed the way we travel (Uber/AirBnb). It’s changed how we manage various aspects of our lives (Dropbox/Mint/Fitbit/GrubHub). As such, it’s easy to see why...

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Looking back on a decade at SoftTech with Jeff Clavier

Looking back on a decade at SoftTech with Jeff Clavier

Recently, I penned a few notes regarding recent exponential rise of “Micro-VC” (loosely defined as firms that raise sub-$50MM-$100MM funds to invest in seed stage companies). According to CB Insights, at least 135 firms such firms exist today! Jeff Clavier, founder of SoftTech VC is without a doubt a pioneer in the institutional seed investing space. The SoftTech team has made over 150 investments since inception (including companies such...

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The future of urban innovation

The future of urban innovation

  New start-up formation has happened at breakneck speeds over the past few years, thanks in no small part of course to game changing advances in technology and early stage financing, (Amazon Web Services, open source computing, Micro-VC, etc.).  And these shifts have given rise to massive innovation across a variety of sectors. One area that’s particularly interesting is the burgeoning urban innovation sector.Tumml is an...

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Entrepreneurship with Ann Miura-Ko

Entrepreneurship with Ann Miura-Ko

  We recently sat down with Ann Miura-Ko, General Partner at Floodgate, as she gave her views on the evolving nature of entrepreneurship within tech. Named as the most powerful women in startups by Forbes, Ann has led investments in several disruptive companies, including Lyft, TaskRabbit, and ModCloth. Ann also teaches entrepreneurship at the school of engineering at Stanford. Can you share Floodgate’s history and investment thesis?...

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The Alphabet of Founding Teams

The Alphabet of Founding Teams

  We recently sat down with Rob Siegel, General Partner at XSeed Capital, a seed fund based out of Portola Valley, to discuss founding team cohesion and the role it plays in a company’s success.  Rob’s investment areas include enterprise software, business operations where computational technology helps automate/improve company performance, and computing platforms that shape both business and consumer behaviors. He sits on...

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Thoughts on Venture Debt from WTI

Thoughts on Venture Debt from WTI

A couple of weeks ago, I published a post which posited that Venture Debt at the early stages is overused in today’s market and listed out some key considerations that companies must understand prior to taking on leverage. One consideration that I’ve opined on repeatedly is the concept of lender reputation and the necessity of choosing a Venture Debt provider that is aligned with you on all fronts, from personality to business...

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The evolution of the early stage financing market with Duncan Davidson, Bullpen Ventures

The evolution of the Venture Capital industry has been fairly dramatic over the past several years. A trend that’s emerged prominently in the early stage market is the massive supply of seed stage companies relative to supply of Series A capital. Bullpen Capital is one of the early pioneers in providing stage specific financing related to this phenomenon. The below is a transcript of a chat I recently had with Duncan Davidson, Founder and...

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Seed Fundraising tips with Ullas Naik, GP at Streamlined Ventures

I recently sat down with Ullas Naik, Founder and General Partner of Streamlined Ventures, to discuss the current seed fundraising market. Streamlined Ventures is a seed stage firm that focuses on investing in business application and infrastructure software companies. Ullas has nearly two decades of investing experience and previously 12+ years as a senior Partner at Globespan Capital Partners. Tell us a bit about why you formed...

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