Agile VC

Where Do Venture Capital Dollars Actually Come From? This Visual Explains

Agile VC

Most folks reading this will know that many startups were built in part with the help of venture capital. Most attention goes to tech companies ranging from Google to Genentech, but some non-tech companies like FedEx and Starbucks also raised VC early in their lives.

Playing Startup

Agile VC

I’ve observed what may be an emerging trend, at least in some startups, that I find somewhat unsettling. It has an impact at an individual level, a company level, and an ecosystem level.

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Not Everyone Is “Killing” It: How & When to Admit It

Agile VC

Note: This post also published at NextView’s blog for seed stage companies The View From Seed. The startup ecosystem is often full of hyperbole, which is perfectly understandable when you think about it.

Seduced By Growth, But Terminal Scale Still Matters

Agile VC

We’re off to a fresh start here at the beginning of 2016. Looking back at 2015, the standout theme in the VC/startup ecosystem was unicorn hunting. We started the year enraptured by the “Age of Unicorns” with this cover of Fortune in January 2015 : Illustration: Jeremy Enecio.

Square IPO: Is Square A Good Payments Business?

Agile VC

Square filed its S-1 several weeks ago and is now in the middle of its IPO road show process.

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Introducing Growth Guides – Practical Help for the Seed Stage

Agile VC

We’re launching a series of platform initiatives here at NextView in 2014. Today we’re pleased to announce the first in a series of Growth Guides. What’s a Growth Guide? Well our focus here at NextView is helping exceptional seed stage companies get things off to the best possible start. Simply put these Growth Guides are a step-by-step playbook which cover a specific need that seed stage companies may face in their first 12-24 months.

Alibaba S-1: Sizing Up A Giant

Agile VC

As I’m sure you’ve heard, Alibaba officially filed to go public yesterday.

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Alibaba S-1: How Well Do They Monetize?

Agile VC

My first two posts on this mammoth S-1 covered a high-level sizing of Alibaba and a deeper dive into some of Alibaba Group’s governance which in some ways mirrors the Politburo structure. Today I’m going to analyze monetization across Alibaba’s various businesses.

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What TAM Really Means

Agile VC

It’s widely known we VCs focus on just a couple of key dimensions when making our investment decisions: team, market, product / technology, and investment parameters or “deal” While all of these parameters are loosely connected and there are many paths to “yes” at the end of the day market size is the prime reason VCs pass on otherwise credible opportunities.

Angel Investing: Know (What Motivates) Thyself

Agile VC

I was recently talking with another member of LinkedIn’s founding team. It’s been awhile since we worked together on a daily basis so a lot was just general catch up, but one of the primary reasons for our chat was that this person was starting to become a more active angel investor and was just looking for feedback. I’ve had similar conversations in the last year or so with other folks looking to begin, or ramp up, their activity as angel investors.

Autonomous Vehicles: Can You Get There From Here? (Part 2)

Agile VC

This is the 2nd post in a series about self-driving vehicles and it explores how autonomous cars could become a reality.

The Rise & Fall of Great Venture Firms [Part 1] ? AGILEVC

Agile VC

I happen to be fascinated by the history of the VC industry, and one of the things we discussed at a recent offsite are the common threads behind the rise and fall of great venture capital firms. NextView's still in its infancy

Mobile Payments: The Trillion Dollar Industry That's Never - AgileVC

Agile VC

Mobile payments are the trillion dollar industry that everybody's been waiting for but has never materialized. At first glance, mobile payments seem like a no brainer consumers [seemingly] want the convenience of paying

Should Apple Buy Hungary?

Agile VC

Yesterday was Apple’s shareholder meeting and as many of you know, there’s obviously been healthy debate about what they should do with the ~$137 billion in cash they’re sitting on.

The End of ?Internet? Companies ? AGILEVC

Agile VC

In the wake of the undue frenzy leading up to and now ex post recriminations about Facebook's IPO, the mainstream media and normal folks keep wondering if the non-existent bubble for internet companies has now popped

Change Collective: Helping Create A Better You

Agile VC

Change Collective announced their seed round today , in conjunction with their broader launch of the company. I thought I’d share a little of what makes us enthusiastic to partner with Ben, Derek, and their team to help them as they build their business. I first met Ben about 5-6 years ago. This was before we started NextView and at the time Ben was still building Zeo, the prior company he co-founded.

The Difference Between Apple & Facebook ? AGILEVC

Agile VC

Apple and Facebook are both platforms, in the sense that their software and user networks are utilized by countless software developers to build their own businesses. In 2011 Facebook paid out $1.4 billion to developers and

Farmeron ? Why SaaS for Cows is Incredibly Exciting ? AGILEVC

Agile VC

Farmeron announced the closing of its $1.4M seed round today. NextView is thrilled to have co-led this round along with our friends at SoftTech VC and Farmeron's existing investors 500 Startups, Seedcamp, and TAG

First Mover Fallacy

Agile VC

When we meet with entrepreneurs and ask about their competitive advantage or special sauce, one of the common responses is first mover advantage. ”We’re the first company to do X in an rapidly growing market” or similar. I’ve always felt being the first mover is a comparatively weak advantage and have been thinking about this more recently.

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Running a Startup Board Meeting

Agile VC

There’s a lot of good suggestions out there for how early stage startups can approach (or improve) board meetings. Some of my favorites are from Brad Feld (also this one from him ), Andy Payne , and Steve Blank. All three have perspective as both entrepreneurs and as investors / advisors in the startup board room. There’s a range of different approaches from the somewhat traditional to the more radical (e.g. single slide board mtgs).

Microsoft, Near Death, & Enterprise Cloud

Agile VC

We all woke up to the news that Microsoft is buying Nokia for ~$7B (ok, not the carrier infrastructure biz but the main part of Nokia that anybody cares about).

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The Future of Internet & Cars

Agile VC

Ferdinand Porsche’s electric car, circa early 1900s. I’ve been doing some thinking about the future of cars and the impact of the internet.

There Is No Subprime Model for VC

Agile VC

I was having breakfast this morning from someone I know from the LP world. We were talking about what’s “working” in the broader VC ecosystem and this person expressed their enthusiasm that today there are a range of different models that are producing attractive returns for LPs.

Our Investment in SkyVu / Battle Bears – Taking Mobile Games Into New Territory

Agile VC

We’re pleased to announced NextView’s investment in SkyVu Entertainment, along with Lightbank and angel investors.

The $100M+ Club: A New Universe of Buyers ? AGILEVC

Agile VC

For the last 5-7 years the universe of potential acquirers web-based businesses has been fairly concentrated. On the consumer facing side, the number of companies doing multiple acquisitions of $100M+ was extremely short

Small Tablets Are Further Atomizing Ubiquitous Computing

Agile VC

I’ve been enjoying my iPad Mini for a couple months month now.

Why VC’s Don’t “Crossover” Invest

Agile VC

A little more inside baseball from the VC biz… why VC’s rarely make “crossover” investments, with capital from multiple funds the VC firm manages invested in a single startup (see note 1). I was talking with an entrepreneur recently about this phenomenon.

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Ubiquitous Computing and the Misguided Frenzy About “Mobile”

Agile VC

i*Pad [eye- pad ] noun – a $700 version of Words With Friends.

Putting Twitter’s IPO in Perspective

Agile VC

As many of you know, in the past I’ve done a series of posts deconstructing the S-1s of VC-backed internet startups going public.

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Why Average VC Returns Don’t Really Matter

Agile VC

The VC industry (both the GP part and the LP part) pays attention to the sector’s returns, but the broader tech ecosystem only occasionally tunes in. Typically it’s when Cambridge Associates releases their benchmark data on the VC asset class ( here’s a 2010 example article from TechCrunch ) or an organization like the Kauffman Foundation publishes a white paper ( a 2012 example article from Business Insider here ).

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Great Companies and the Teams IN FRONT of Them

Agile VC

It occurred to me that we usually refer to entrepreneurs associated with a startup as being “behind” the company or phenomenon. As in Mark Zuckerberg, the Harvard drop-out behind Facebook or so-and-so, the folks behind startup X. Upon further reflection it seems like this phraseology has things backwards… we ought to be talking about the teams in front of a new or important concept. I mean this not simply as a paean for entrepreneurs.

The VC Shakeout: Are We There Yet?

Agile VC

[ This also appears as a guest post at PandoDaily ]. Over the weekend, I read Sarah Lacy’s PandoDaily article that the VC shakeout is taking too long. It’s rather thoughtful and definitely worth reading if you haven’t had a chance to yet. There are some obvious structural reasons why a shakeout in the venture capital industry takes a long time.

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When Does Zynga Become a Value Stock?

Agile VC

Draw something… other than this painful chart. Zynga’s faced a lot of pressure in the public markets recently.

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The Unbundled Mobile Software Stack

Agile VC

I’ve been using Google’s Chrome browser on my iPad Mini for about a month now. There are several things I prefer over Apple’s Safari, including the bookmark and search history sync with my other Chrome usage (on laptop) and some small UI touches. But for now there’s no way to make an OS-level switch to make Chrome my default browser. So if I click on a URL in another app, say an email reader or Twitter or whatever, iOS me to use Safari.

Facebook Paid

Agile VC

Like most folks in the tech ecosystem, I’m still slightly slack-jawed this morning by the announcement late yesterday that Facebook is buying WhatsApp for approximately $19 billion in total consideration. There are so many remarkable aspects of this event… from the sheer size, to founder Jan Koum’s personal story, to the way it caught most people by surprise, to Sequoia’s stunning return (more on that below).

The Imperceptible, But Very Real Boom

Agile VC

I believe we’re going to look back in 2-5 years and realize that we’ve been in a once a decade boom for internet & software startups. It doesn’t feel much like a boom actually. The macroeconomy has been stuck in a tepid recovery in the US, a period of decelerating growth in emerging markets, and a double dip recession in much of Europe.

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Tacking Towards Founder

Agile VC

I had the pleasure of giving a talk on entrepreneurship at UPenn last week, which happens to be my alma mater. I’m always thrilled to speak with undergraduates who are interested in startups.

Making Good Decisions Still Means You're Sometimes Wrong.

Agile VC

Making Good Decisions Still Means You're Sometimes Wrong. December 13, 2011. One of the hardest things for me as a VC remains telling entrepreneurs I like and respect that we're passing on their investment round. I often tell these

Our Investment in Cloze ? AGILEVC

Agile VC

Today Cloze has started to talk more publicly about their funding and also is starting to open their product more broadly. The company has been in stealth mode for the last couple months but I wanted to take this opportunity to

Boston Startup Talent: Leaky Bucket or Everlasting Spring?

Agile VC

One of our portfolio companies, Plastiq , announced yesterday that they raised a $10M Series B led by Khosla Ventures and are planning to move their headquarters from Boston to San Francisco.