55 Top Stories this Week for Startups, Venture and Angel Investors

Venture Trends Newsletter, Issue #5

This newsletter gathers together this week’s most interesting content related to the Venture capital ecosystem. I curate this from my personal reading. I email it as a newsletter on Saturday, Pacific time, each week. There is little or no commentary included, it is the things I found compelling or interesting. There is a free version, and a paid version that includes access to paying subscribers only, including 1 on 1 time on request.

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I accept payment in crypto currencies also.

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I help startups tell their story at https://archimedes.studio

In this week’s issue there are some amazing things to highlight.

  • Bill Gurley on Startups — doing too many things
  • 24 Red Flags for Venture Deals
  • 17 Laws of Investing
  • The Rise of Debt as a Funding Mechanism
  • The Re-emergence of Crypto Investing
  • New Venture Funds in Africa, Female Founders in Africa
  • 10 Life Changing Lessons from Paul Graham
  • 6 Proven Ways to Increase your Startup Valuation
  • 4 Tricky VC Questions and How to Answer Them
  • ….and lots more

The 17 Indisputable Laws of Investing

Collaborative Fund

Think of how big the world is. And how good animals are at hiding. Now think about a biologist whose job it is to determine whether a species has gone extinct. Not an easy thing to do. (Thanks to Howard Lindzon for the link)

Most startups are doing too many things

@bgurley Tweets / Saved by Keith Teare 

Bill Gurley (@bgurley) retweeted: Most startups are doing too many things. They don’t make tough prioritization decisions until they start to run out of cash. A good thought experiment is to ask, what would you do in that situation? 
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Polychain Capital Is Raising a $200M Crypto Venture Fund, Slide Deck Reveals — Yahoo Finance

Yahoo Finance / Saved by Keith Teare 

Cryptocurrency investment firm Polychain Capital is raising $200 million for a second fund aimed at venture investing, a funding goal that would top its first venture fund by $25 million. 
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How to think about different types of funding for your early stage startup

Elizabeth Yin / Saved by Keith Teare 
One of the things that I’m noticing is that the early stage financing scene is changing quite rapidly. It may not feel like it — it’s still hard to raise money of any form, but there are a lot more options now than say even 5 years ago. Read More

A tweet thread about debt vs equity

@dunkhippo33 Tweets / Saved by Keith Teare 

A tweet thread about debt vs equity since that seems to be a hot topic these days. cc @joshmuccio 1) First, what do these terms even mean? What does it mean to be a debt investor vs an equity investor? 

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Big Money Bets on Bitcoin (BTC) and Blockchain As $200,000,000 Crypto Venture Fund Reportedly Takes Off

The Daily Hodl / Saved by Keith Teare Blockchain innovators are drawing in rounds of venture capitalists who are betting big on cryptocurrencies and the rise of digital assets. Ratcheting up support for crypto-based startups, a flurry of high-profile investments from big players, such as Polychain Capital, Pantera and Peter Thiel are establishing the sector as a hot target. 
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Gen Z and the Future of College

The Merkle Hash / Saved by Keith Teare 

GenZ is changing the way people do college, but why? This generation is poised to become the most highly educated generation of all time as well as the most diverse generation of all time, but despite this high level of education GenZ still expects a struggle when it comes to careers and being able to make ends meet. Read More

Why startups are raising more venture debt as VC dollars near all-time records

Fundings & Exits — TechCrunch / Saved by Keith Teare 

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between. As I write to you, SaaS and cloud stocks are busy setting fresh all-time highs and as we’ve seen, venture interest in modern software companies is pushing more money into the sector. Read More

Boulder venture firm opens $100M fund for automotive startups — Boulder Daily Camera

Boulder Daily Camera / Saved by Keith Teare 

A Boulder venture capital firm plans to close on a $100 million fund for investment in automotive technology companies this week. Fraser McCombs Capital, which shares offices in Boulder and San Antonio, Texas, opened a $150 million fund on Tuesday and has yet to receive any investments, according to disclosures with the U.S. 
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SoftBank’s Troubles Leave Startups Vulnerable

The Information / Saved by Keith Teare 

Priorities shifted quickly late last year at Oyo, a startup Indian hotel chain backed by SoftBank. Executives had prioritized revenue growth, but now they were asking a different question in meetings: How can we be ready for an IPO? 
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20VC: How Founders Should Think Through Distribution and Customer Acquisition Today, The Challenges of the Digital Advertising Duopoly Currently & How To Structure Company Post Mortems Effectively with Gabriel Weinberg, Founder & CEO @ DuckDuckGo

The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch / Saved by Keith Teare 

Gabriel Weinberg is the Founder & CEO @ DuckDuckGo, the Internet privacy company that empowers you to seamlessly take control of your personal information online, without any tradeoffs. 
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Funding female founders will add billions to Africa’s economy 

Ventureburn / Saved by Keith Teare 

Recently, I hosted a pan-African entrepreneurship accelerator for female founders which comprised of a week-long in-person training programme hosted in Kampala, and an eight-month virtual support programme, to train female entrepreneurs on growing their business. 

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Where top VCs are investing in construction robotics


Fundings & Exits — TechCrunch / Saved by Keith Teare 

Venture capital has been flooding the various subverticals under the robotics umbrella in recent years, and the construction space is one of the largest beneficiaries. Last November, we surveyed 13 of the top robotics-focused VCs to find out which areas of robotics are exciting them most going into 2020. Read More

How Do You Prove Product-Market Fit?

Powered by Battery / Saved by Keith Teare 

Just like your business can’t run without cash, your product won’t succeed unless it genuinely fits your target market. Product-market fit is particularly essential for enterprise-software companies transitioning from an idea to a minimum viable product (MVP) and beyond. Read More

Four Things I Wish I Knew as the New CTO of a Startup

The Startup — Medium / Saved by Keith Teare 

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

When I first became a CTO of a startup, I was young and inexperienced. I was technically capable, had led multiple software projects and had a great track record on delivering software projects on time and within budget. Read More

Image Credits: Getty Images under a Bloomberg license

10 Life-Changing Lessons I Learned From Paul Graham

The Startup — Medium / Saved by Keith Teare 

#10: The way to get startup ideas is not to try to think of startup ideas.Paul Graham is a computer scientist, author, and, as the founder of Y Combinator (an early-stage startup accelerator) is arguably one of the most famous people from Silicon Valley. Read More

As 5 more startups join the $100M club, are we just making a pre-IPO list?


Fundings & Exits — TechCrunch / Saved by Keith Teare 

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between. Today we’re adding five names to the $100 million annual recurring revenue (ARR) club and listing all preceding members in a single post. 

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how startup valuation works infographic

6 Proven Ways to Boost Your Startup Valuation

Medium / Saved by Keith Teare

Companies are products — I was in the third hour of a so-called management meeting (one of those meetings you have with people interested in buying your company), in the huge glass room of an investment bank in New York, when I had this epiphany:When you talk to a potential buyer for your company, they ask you the same questions a customer would ask about your product. It’s because they’re looking for the same things from buying your company that they would look for in buying a B2B service or product:An opportunity to save costs. Maybe you are doing part of what they are doing, but more efficiently.An opportunity to increase revenue. If you are in synergy with them or with a company in their portfolio, the revenue post-merger will be greater than the sum of the revenues of the two companies pre-merger.Reliability.Efficiency.

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Fin Venture Capital Archives — AlleyWatch

AlleyWatch / Saved by Keith Teare 

The latest venture capital, seed, pre-seed, and angel deals for NYC startups for 2/12/2020 featuring funding details for Radar, Aiera, and much more 

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Google saved YouTube, so Big Tech isn’t always harmful to start-ups, argues top Silicon Valley investor — CNBC


CNBC / Saved by Keith Teare 

Michael Moritz, Sequoia Capital Scott Mlyn | CNBC Sequoia partner Michael Moritz defended Google’s 2006 acquisition of YouTube, saying it “saved” the video service in the $1.65 billion deal, as it was being ravaged by copyright threats over unlicensed music that users were posting. 

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During my talk at @StartupGrind this morning with @checkwarner, audience asked for a list of pre-seed funds. Who are your favorite investors focused on this stage?


@Maren_Bannon Tweets / Saved by Keith Teare 

Suneera Madhani, cofounder and CEO of payments startup Fattmerchant, which appeared on Forbes’ … [+] Fintech 50 for the first time this year. Photo credit: Fattmerchant

Fintech 50 2020: The Newcomers

Forbes / Saved by Keith Teare 

Reported by Jeff Kauflin, Michael del Castillo, Ashlea Ebeling, Antoine Gara, Sarah Hansen, Samantha Sharf, Kelly Anne Smith and Hank Tucker. 

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Norwood from Unsplash

Why You Need a Brand Narrative, Not a Brand Story

The Startup — Medium / Saved by Keith Teare 

Dynamically grow your brand using social media

Social media presents a tremendous opportunity for growing and sustaining brands to thrive. By embracing the call and response nature of social media, brands are nurtured through thousands of moments, each comprising a collective whole. 

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Red Flag List for VC Deals

Medium / Saved by Keith Teare 

Red Flag List for VC DealsI was watching an episode of a Chinese-version Shark Tank show on my flight back to the States from China. I found many red flags in the startup ideas pitched in the episode, and I decided to write down a list of red flags that I noticed in my VC career. Read More

Mapped: The Ins and Outs of Remittance Flows


Visual Capitalist / Saved by Keith Teare 

Mapped: The Ins and Outs of Remittance Flows The global immigrant population is growing at a robust pace, and their aggregate force is one to be reckoned with. In 2019, migrants collectively sent $550.5 billion in money back to their home countries — money transfer flows that are also known as remittances.Read More

The Power of Storytelling and Leadership in an Era of Climate Change

The Startup — Medium / Saved by Keith Teare 

The Power of Storytelling and Leadership in an Era of Climate ChangeStrategies and techniques for amplifying Corporate Reporting I recently attended a forum for finance professionals hosted by one of the world’s largest professional bodies — Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) — learning about the myriad of issues facing the profession with the ‘new normal’ — the climate crisis. 

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Silicon Valley Venture Capital Survey — Fourth Quarter 2019 — First Look — JD Supra

JD Supra / Saved by Keith Teare February 11, 2020 Silicon Valley Venture Capital Survey — Fourth Quarter 2019 — First Look Fenwick & West LLP 

We analyzed the terms of 188 venture financings closed in the fourth quarter of 2019 by companies headquartered in Silicon Valley. 

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Why You Probably Need More Money That You Think To Be a Professional Angel Investor

SaaStr / Saved by Keith Teare 

Q: How much money do you need to be an angel investor? You can dabble, but to do it right, you’d want to have at least $5m+ total to invest in all assets. So that you can do $500k-$1m in your angel investments. Read More

New $100m Nuwa Capital fund to target MENA, East African startups

Ventureburn / Saved by Keith Teare 

Former Wamda Capital managing partner Khaled Talhouni has launched Nuwa Capital, a new fund to invest in tech startups in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region, as well as in East Africa, Pakistan and Turkey.

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Battery Ventures closes two funds totaling $2 billion 

WNWN-FM / Saved by Keith Teare 
By Jane Lanhee Lee SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters)

Battery Ventures, a tech-focused venture capital firm, on Wednesday said it had raised $2 billion in two new funds, a sign of investor interest in start-ups despite some high-profile stumbles including office space leasing company WeWork. 
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205. Unicorn vs Pegasus, The Softbank Effect, & Impacts of a Recession on VC (Jason Calacanis)

The Full Ratchet / Saved by Keith Teare 

205. Unicorn vs Pegasus, The Softbank Effect, & Impacts of a Recession on VC (Jason Calacanis) Jason Calacanis joins Nick to discuss Unicorn vs Pegasus, The Softbank Effect, & Impacts of a Recession on VC. 

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4 Tricky VC Questions and How to Handle Them. 

1. Where are you in your process? 

2. What are your pricing expectations? 

3. What are your existing investors doing? 

4. What kind of an exit are you shooting for? 

@robgo Tweets / Read More

Irish Fintech Startup Fenergo Raises $80M

Crunchbase News / Saved by Keith Teare 

Irish fintech startup Fenergo has raised $80 million in a new funding round, the company announced Wednesday. Subscribe to the Crunchbase Daily The fresh cash brings Fenergo to about an $800 million valuation, according to the Irish Times. 
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I think the word “need” here is the key issue. 

Despite raising hundreds of millions and in some cases billions, some of these private unicorns are still far from profitability with still questionable unit economics. 

And now in “need” of more capital Not a position of strength. 

@bgurley Tweets / Read More

WeWork Aims To Be Free Cash Flow Positive By 2022

Crunchbase News / Saved by Keith Teare 

WeWork laid out a 5-year plan on Tuesday, including goals to be free cash flow positive by 2022 and have $1 billion of free cash flow by 2024. Subscribe to the Crunchbase Daily The announcement comes as the company closes a $1.75 billion credit line from Goldman Sachs and soon after WeWork appointed a new CEO, real estate executive Sandeep Mathrani. 
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European VC’s stellar decade drives unicorn stampede

PitchBook News; Analysis / Saved by Keith Teare 

The past decade has seen Europe’s venture capital ecosystem go from a nascent market to a full-fledged industry. By the end of 2019, there were 40 European startups with a valuation of more than $1 billion, according to PitchBook data. Read More

20VC: Lessons from 150 Angel Investments into the likes of Carta, Gusto, Airtable and Superhuman, Creating Algorithms and Models For Investing At Seed & Why Younger Investors Have An Advantage When It Comes To Finding Deals Early 

with Jude Gomila

The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch / Saved by Keith Teare 

Jude Gomila is the Founder & CEO @ Golden, creating the world’s first self-constructing knowledge database built by artificial and human intelligence. To date, Jude has raised from some of the best in the business including Founders Fund, a16z, SV Angel and one of my dearest friends, Josh Buckley. Read More

Europe’s top Series A venture capital investors — Sifted

Sifted / Saved by Keith Teare 

There are plenty of ways to assess venture capital firms. Some have enormous amounts of cash and others have heaps of household names in their portfolio, some have very shiny offices and throw excellent parties, others are “founder friendly” and like to write Medium posts. Read More

Oxx, a new European VC dedicated to SaaS, raises $133M fund 

TechCrunch / Saved by Keith Teare 

Oxx, a new European VC dedicated to SaaS, raises $133M fund Oxx, a relatively new European venture capital firm founded by Richard Anton and Mikael Johnsson, has raised $133 million to back “Europe’s most promising SaaS companies” at Series A and beyond. Read More

UK Start-up Funding Soars But Seed-stage Businesses Miss Out 

Forbes / Saved by Keith Teare Britain’s high-growth businesses smashed fund-raising records last year, new research reveals, but concern about the ability of early-stage companies to raise investment continues to mount. Read More

How Our Journey with Snowflake Began

Tomasz Tunguz — Venture Capitalist at Redpoint / Saved by Keith Teare 

How Our Journey with Snowflake Began The debate about partnering with Snowflake went back and forth during the investment committee meeting. It was March 2014. My partners, Satish and John, had met the company and were proposing to lead the Series B. Read More

Old Time Venture Capital and Nasdaq 20,000

Howard Lindzon / Saved by Keith Teare 

When I was a kid I loved the movie ‘Slaspshot‘ (1977) with Paul Newman. It was a low budget, hysterical movie about a rag tag group of hockey players in a small town. There are a couple scenes that stand out in my head as the team went back and forth between ‘old time hockey’ (fighting) and a more modern game of hockey — no fighting, all skills. 

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How to Work with a Leader Who Doesn’t Care About Details

Harvard Business Review / Saved by Keith Teare Executive Summary Sometimes you work with a leader who is focused on big-picture ideas but isn’t interested in hearing the countless details that go into making initiatives successful. Read More

Facebook quietly acquired another UK AI startup and almost no one noticed

Fundings & Exits — TechCrunch / Saved by Keith Teare Over the last few years, Facebook has been busy building out AI capabilities in areas like computer vision, natural language processing (NLP) and ‘deep learning,’ in part by acquiring promising startups in the space. 

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11 Key GTM Metrics for B2B Startups

Andreessen Horowitz / Saved by Keith Teare 0/ There is a dazzling amount of inconsistency in what GTM (go-to-market) metrics are presented at board meetings of early stage B2B (business to business) companies. Here is my hit list of the most important, and why: Read More

US VCs are heading to Europe. Is it a gamechanger? 

Sifted / Saved by Keith Teare Sequoia, the Silicon Valley venture capital firm with a full stack of outrageously successful tech investments (think Apple, Google, PayPal, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Eventbrite, Airbnb, Stripe and WhatsApp), is opening an office in London. 

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How much bigger is a series B investment compared to series A?

SaaStr / Saved by Keith Teare Q: How much bigger is a series B investment compared to series A? While the answer of course is “it depends”, generally speaking, a B round should be 2x-3x the size of an A round. Why? 

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Starling Bank raises another £60M from existing backers

Fundings & Exits — TechCrunch / Saved by Keith Teare 

Starling Bank, the U.K.-based challenger bank founded by banking veteran Anne Boden, has raised another £60 million from its existing investors Merian Global Investors and Harry McPike’s JTC. 

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The Changing Face of UK VC 2020

Techworld.com / Saved by Keith Teare Last year we went on the search for the best and brightest women in UK venture capital. We were responding to a new wealth of data on the topic which that a glaring gender disparity in the small but powerful industry. Read More

The Distribution Of Series A Deal Size In The US

Crunchbase News / Saved by Keith Teare 

You wouldn’t be wrong for believing that venture capital is just a big bowl of alphabet soup. GPs invest the money of LPs. Performance is measured by metrics like TVPI, DPI and IRR. 

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Blog: Mostly VC

ELLIE CACHETTE / Saved by Keith Teare ​

The last two years have been brutal: discovering a market need, building the product fit, testing it (omg does it work?!) and launching it. Unlike a mobile app prototype — which for zero dollars a splash page can be set up with fake screenshots and nobody bats an eye — setting up an investment fund, particularly a fund-of-funds, requires copious amounts of legal paperwork and it’s about 100x more paperwork than any standard venture capital fund is required to do. Read More

A Novel Path to Homeownership

Andreessen Horowitz / Saved by Keith Teare 

VIDEO This is a written version of a presentation by Divvy Homes CEO Adena Hefets at the a16z Summit in November 2019. You can watch a video version on YouTube. I’d like to start by illustrating the importance of homeownership. Read More

Bitcoin (BTC) Platform Bakkt Reveals Plan to Disrupt $1,200,000,000,000 Digital Asset Industry With New Payments App

The Daily Hodl / Saved by Keith Teare 

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange and Bitcoin platform Bakkt, says it plans to disrupt the digital assets industry by bringing BTC and crypto payments to the mainstream. 

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Debt is Coming

alexdanco.com / Saved by Keith Teare 

Ten years from now, what seismic change will we reflect back on and think, “well that was pretty obvious, in retrospect”? Debt is going to finally come to the tech industry. We can hate it, we can criticize it, we can raise the alarm about how dangerous debt is to the VC model we’ve honed to perfection over decades. 

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Credits: Pixabay.com

Why Netflix’s Teams Are Insanely Creative.

The Startup — Medium / Saved by Keith Teare And the secret is focussing on people over process. Perhaps one of the best examples of Netflix’s unusual culture can be seen in its formal employee travel and expenses policy. 

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