Agile VC

Denouement

Agile VC

Reading Time: 5 minutes. Like many things in life, the VC/startup ecosystem is one of cycles. Looking back over the last decade it’s remarkable to see how the emphasis has shifted across cycles and what the overarching narrative was.

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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.

Chewy S-1: Category Leadership + Conveyor Belt Into Consumers’ Homes

Agile VC

Reading Time: 7 minutes. This post also appears on NextView’s blog. Chewy has rapidly grown from a startup to a multi-billion commerce company, establishing itself as the leader in pet e-commerce.

Building Healthy Innovation Ecosystems for Your Projects

Speaker: Nick Noreña, Innovation Coach and Advisor, Kromatic

In this webinar, Nick Noreña will walk through an Innovation Ecosystem Model that he and his team at Kromatic have developed to help investors, heads of product, teachers, and executives understand how they can best support innovation in their own ecosystem. He'll also go over metrics we can use to measure the health of our ecosystems as we build more resources for innovators.

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.

Slack S-1: Will APRU Drive Long Term Value?

Agile VC

Reading Time: 6 minutes. This post also appears on NextView’s blog. Slack dropped their S-1 a couple weeks ago. Even before that, we all knew that it was among the most rapidly growing SaaS companies in recent years and a product used (and loved) by millions of people.

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Lyft S-1: Kicking Off the Decacorn Bonanza of 2019

Agile VC

Reading Time: 7 minutes. This post also appears on NextView’s blog. I’ve been looking thru S-1s for many years, out of intellectual curiosity to better understand how remarkable businesses work.

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 Road to Autonomous Vehicles & Our Investment in Optimus Ride

Agile VC

Today Optimus Ride announced a $5.25M seed round of funding to continue developing their unique approach to autonomous transportation.

Friday Funism – “Favorite Future”

Agile VC

Reading Time: 2 minutes. This post also appears at NextView’s blog. Another phrase we use internally at NextView pretty often is that of a “favorite future”. Early in NextView’s history, when we were raising our first fund (e.g. sometime back in 2010 or early 2011) one of the limited partners we met with asked us what our “favorite future” was for NextView.

Hardware, IoT, and the Long Arc of the Internet

Agile VC

We’re preparing to make our third investment with a hardware component here at NextView.

Revenue = Product Market Fit

Agile VC

Most consumer web/mobile companies focus on user growth and usage early in the company’s lifecycle before shifting to monetization.

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.

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.

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Why Do Consumer IPOs and B2B IPOs Get Treated Differently?

Agile VC

Reading Time: 3 minutes. This post also appears on NextView’s blog. 2019 is off to an exciting start for IPOs of VC-backed startups. In just the last month or so we’ve seen Lyft go public ( my analysis of the company’s S-1 here ) and more recently, Zoom and Pinterest. Zoom is a B2B company Pinterest and Lyft are obviously B2C companies. All three have different business models… SaaS, media/ad, and consumer transactional. All three are impressive and valuable businesses in their own right.

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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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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.

What If Self-Driving Cars Actually Increase Car Ownership?

Agile VC

Conventional wisdom is that when self-driving autonomous passenger cars arrive, they’re likely to decrease individual ownership of cars.

Punch & Pie: How Should Co-Founders Divide Equity?

Agile VC

I like to say that “there are only co-founders” — it’s extraordinarily rare for a successful business to have just a sole founder. But not all co-founders are equal in terms of title, ownership, responsibilities, and so forth.

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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

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Our Investment in Konekt: Picks & Shovels for the IoT Gold Rush

Agile VC

Today Konekt announced their $1.3M seed round. We were pleased to lead this round along with a great group of other co-investors. And I’m excited to collaborate with co-founders Ben Forgan and Patrick Wilbur as they build their IoT connectivity platform.

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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

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.

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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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.

Starting a New “Walkabout”

Agile VC

Some VCs describe themselves as “thematic” or “thesis-driven” investors. These folks typically hone in on an industry sector or type of company, immerse themselves in the subject, meet as many similar companies as possible, and then invest in some.

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.

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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.

PayPal Unshackled – Now Is the Time

Agile VC

eBay announced today plans to separate itself into two companies, one the core eBay marketplace business and the other is the PayPal payments business. This is a move that’s been contemplated by folks both inside the company and outside for many years.

GrabCAD’s Acquisition: From Talinn to London to Boston

Agile VC

GrabCAD today announced their acquisition by Stratasys (NASDAQ: SSYS). All of us at NextView extend our congratulations to founder Hardi Meybaum and the rest of the GrabCAD team.

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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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Alibaba S-1: How Alibaba Is Governed Like China’s Politburo

Agile VC

One of the first things that caught my eye when I started reading the Alibaba Group S-1 was a section on page 7 of the filing regarding something called the “Alibaba Partnership” It quickly struck me that the Alibaba Group’s corporate governance in some ways mirrors China’s Politburo.

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Our Investment in The Outline

Agile VC

“Sometimes, there’s a man, well, he’s the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that’s the Dude…” – The Stranger , The Big Lebowski. Today we announced our investment in The Outline, a new digital media company founded by CEO Josh Topolsky.

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Self-Driving Vehicles: The Future Always Takes Longer to Arrive (Part 1)

Agile VC

Preface: As a consumer, I am excited by the prospect of autonomous vehicles and the individual and collective benefits they can provide. As an investor, I am also bullish about the innovation wave already in its early innings around mobility and autonomy.

Entrepreneurial Success & Alchemy

Agile VC

I watched the first episode of HBO’s Silicon Valley last night. Yes I know I’m several weeks behind at this point, but I wasn’t sure if I was going to get into this series (still not sure actually).

The Rise & Fall of Great Venture Firms [Part 2]

Agile VC

Last week I wrote about some of the common factors that have led great VC firms to stumble or even fade from existence entirely. I wanted to follow-up with some observations of paths to greatness for a select group of firms.

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Why Entrepreneur Advisors Matter

Agile VC

As the holiday season is behind us and 2015 is firmly underway, we wanted to take a moment to both announce and celebrate the collection of top entrepreneurs who have agreed to return as our Entrepreneur Advisors. These individuals have all graciously agreed? to continue their prior commitments to NextView-backed startups and entrepreneurs. We’re excited and feel incredibly lucky to have them back on board: Niraj Shah & Steve Conine – Co-founders of Wayfair.

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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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.

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.

Tim Devane’s Next Chapter

Agile VC

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been a bit over two years since Tim Devane joined us as a Principal at NextView. Tim joined our investment team as the first non-founder, and also as the first NextView team member based in our New York office. It’s not easy to pave a path with no one before you, but Tim has done just that and done it admirably.