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Sharp Elbows Among Seed VCs

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Many of us in the seed stage ecosystem have noticed a shift in the way seed rounds are coming together. Historically, seed rounds were syndicated among several different firms.

Repeat Founders and the Risk of a False Positive

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A number of blog posts recently have mentioned this, but we seem to be experiencing a rise in repeat founders starting new businesses and raising seed capital.

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Remote Employee

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Throughout human history, our working environments have gone through several huge shifts. From hunters and gatherers to farmers and traders, from farmers to industry factory workers, and from factory workers to the modern day office employee.

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Friday Fun-isms: “Avoid Swiss Army Knives”

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An inevitable question that founders face is “how is your product different?” Whether it’s asked explicitly or not, most investors that you speak to have probably seen or heard of a company that does something pretty similar to yours.

Are MBA Founders More Diverse?

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Original research on gender diversity and fundraising amongst HBS founders. Historically, there has been a general bias against MBA founders — a skepticism around their grit and hustle.

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

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Chewy has rapidly grown from a startup to a multi-billion commerce company, establishing itself as the leader in pet e-commerce. Chewy sells tens of thousands of products from many 3rd party brands, as well as its own private label brands (though latter remains <10% of sales).

Building the Best Seed Syndicates

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As I like to say, fundraising tends to move slow until it moves fast. It feels like a bit of a grind in the early and mid stages of a process, but in a successful fundraise, things tend to heat up at the end and move at a breakneck pace once you drive towards final allocations and a close. At this point, founders find themselves in a luxurious situation of being able to build the best possible syndicate.

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

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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. But now we have a chance to really dig in and understand Slack’s business a bit better.

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Why Do Consumer IPOs and B2B IPOs Get Treated Differently?

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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.

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Friday Fun-ism: “Time Kills All Deals”

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This week’s Friday Fun-ism goes hand-in-hand with a previous, “ It moves slow until it moves fast.” The venture fundraising process for founders has a certain rhythm to it, and so a lot can be read into the timing and pacing of the conversations.

Back to The Future: Power of SMS-Native

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It is the one message-space on your phone that you always pay attention to: SMS text messages. Not just “messaging” broadly, as there are numerous apps where people send and receive communications & messages.

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A Conversation with 2020 Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang

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Exploring The Everyday is an interview series exploring interesting individuals or companies who are trying to make an impact on the lives of everyday people. You can learn more about this series here. Universal Basic Income is a hot dinner party topic around the country right now.

The Road Less Traveled: Non-Standard Early Stage Funding Paths

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As the seed stage that atomized and series A rounds have become larger and more traction based, the paths to series A have changed. The baseline path to series A has tends to look something like this: Raise $0?—?$500K

Nobody Announces Their Seed Round Anymore and That’s a Mistake

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Five years ago, as the mania around seed fundings was accelerating, Founders were very eager to announce their seed round to the world. It marks the beginning of the journey with hard work & the real business success to be accomplished ahead, but a milestone nonetheless.

How to tell the difference between a good interviewer and a good hire

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The last thing you want to do is go through all the time and energy of finding and hiring a new employee only to find out, after you’ve extended the offer, that they’re not a good fit. It happens all of the time.

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Advice On How To Make Your First Analytics Hire

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Recently, I’ve been working with a few of our portfolio companies to help them think about how to recruit and interview their first analytics hire.

Introducing NextView III and Our Focus on the Everyday Economy

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What will the future hold? It’s a question every VC asks themselves and the entrepreneurs they invest in. Some conclude that certain sectors or technologies — like AI, blockchain, VR — will define the next decade.

Introducing the Hitchhiker’s Guide to New York City Tech

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New York City is a dream but can also be a navigational nightmare, equal parts crammed circus and rat race mixed at warp speed. This holds for the city’s tech sector. NYC Tech is bursting at the seams with nightly networking events at floors and floors of co-working spaces.

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

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Lyft’s S-1 dropped on Friday. 2019 is shaping up to be the year the dam broke for decacorn IPOs, with Lyft, Uber, AirBnB, Pinterest, et al in the queue. I’ve been looking thru S-1s for many years, out of intellectual curiosity to better understand how remarkable businesses work.

Exploring The Everyday: Janji Wants You To Change The World By Running

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Exploring The Everyday is an interview series exploring interesting individuals or companies who are trying to make an impact on the lives of everyday people. You can learn more about this series here , or read our past interviews here.

After Organic – The Next Multi-Decade Food Megatrend

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We are entering a really interesting phase in the food industry that I think most people don’t fully realize. For the last 20+ years, the dominant trend among grocers, restaurants, packaged food and beverage companies and others have been a market shift towards natural and organic products.

How to Build a Great Product Before Hiring Your First PM

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Most startups don’t have the luxury of hiring an experienced PM early in their journey. Many founders have to turn to brute force to figure it out, even when they themselves don’t have practitioner product management experience.

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Meet Our Newest Investment: Properly

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A home is arguably the most important asset both financially and emotionally for a family. As a result, the unnecessarily complex and manual process one experiences today with traditional real estate brokers and agents can cause selling that home to be an emotional and stressful experience.

Home Is Where the Innovation Is

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If a man from 1987 stepped into a time machine and emerged in 2017, he would find the modern world fantastically different in many ways. Mobile computing means that he has the world’s information and entertainment at his literal fingertips.

Exploring The Everyday: Better Meat For a Better Future

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Exploring The Everyday is an interview series exploring interesting individuals or companies who are trying to make an impact on the lives of everyday people. You can learn more about this series here , or read our past interviews here.

Friday Fun-isms: “It Moves Slow Until it Moves Fast”

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We are going to try to establish a fun new blog series every Friday called “Friday Fun-isms”. These are a collection of phrases and sayings that we often say internally at NextView or with the founders we work with. These posts aren’t meant to be super detailed, but a bit of a peak into our thinking and hopefully a reflection of something interesting or helpful. Our first Friday Fun-ism is one that I always talk about when it comes to fundraising: “It moves slow until it moves fast”.

How Much Traction Do I Need to Raise from Seed VCs?

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A couple weeks ago, my partner Rob penned a blog post about the “shape of traction” which really resonated with a number of folks. The quick summary is that the shape of a startup’s traction (with time/product-quality on the x axis and traction on the y axis) and isn’t at all a linear path.

Our Thesis on Work: Equalizing Opportunity

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When we talk internally about our themes at NextView, the focus is less on areas or sectors, but more about shifts in human behavior and preferences. We share some of the categories we are interested in on our website, but the themes we pursue are based on the way end-user behavior is changing as these categories are being transformed by technology.

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The VC Meeting Map: What to Expect After a Successful First Pitch

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Nearly all of the guidance for meetings with VCs is centered on the very first meeting: how to get it, how to prepare a pitch deck , how to run the meeting , etc. But then the tactical advice stops. What about the rest of the VC fundraising process?

Why We Invested in The Nudge

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Sometimes we just need little push to take action. A little motivation to make things happen. And having a plan already put together makes things just that much easier. Yep, sometimes all you need is just little a nudge. Enter just that, The Nudge. It’s a “planner friend in your pocket,” as the team calls it. A personal digital lifestyle advisor which sends SMS-based ideas about things to do (with a link to an detailed entire plan to make it easier to follow through).

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Mattermark’s Clever Origin Story and Why Their CEO Loves Arguing with VCs [Traction #11]

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The NextView podcast Traction explores all the clever, creative, and atypical things entrepreneurs do to make initial progress against the odds. If startups should do things that “don’t scale,” then this podcast asks a simple question: What ARE those things?

City Made: Why NYC Is A Great Place To Be An Entrepreneur

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New York City is a tremendous place to be an entrepreneur.

Playing Startup

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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.

Startup Competition Slides: A Common Red Flag in Pitches

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Guess what is often the worst slide in an investor pitch deck ? For me, it’s the competition slide. At best, it’s a list of competitors plotted in some 2×2 or Harvey-ball chart that isn’t terribly helpful. At worst, it’s hurtful.

“Seed Is the New Series A” – Making Sense of the Confusion

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A few weeks ago, Manu Kumar wrote an excellent post detailing the current state of the seed financing landscape. Read it – it’s excellent. I agree with most of the things that Manu wrote, and I’ve been thinking about the topic quite a bit over the last several days.

Accidental VC: When Should Startups Announce Seed Funding?

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Accidental VC is a series of short posts written by me, Jay Acunzo. Though I never planned it, I somehow wound up working in VC as NextView’s VP of platform.

Welcoming Dorothy Ren to the NextView Team

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I’m very pleased to announce that Dorothy Ren has joined the investment team at NextView! Dorothy will be based in our New York office and will be focused on expanding our relationships with high-potential founders and operators in the New York startup community.

Should Every Company Have a “Singles” or “Prime” Day?

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Yesterday was Singles Day in China, celebrated on 11/11 each year and theoretically to honor young adults who are not in relationships. In practice it is essentially an invention by retailer Alibaba who holds massive online sales on this day across their platform (Taobao, Tmall, etc).

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The Startup Copycat Fallacy

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Another d2c gourmet pet food company ? Another full-stack short-term rentals startup ? Another affinity-based co-working space?

What I’ve Learned in the Last 5 Years as a VC that I Didn’t Appreciate in the First 5

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It occurred to me yesterday that I’ve been in the VC business for over 10 years. I’ve been writing checks for 8 years, and was lucky to get my start in the industry with the team at Spark Capital where I was able to witness some amazing early investments as part of that team.

VC’s Doing the Work to Build Investment Conviction

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I once had a VC mentor (only) half tongue-in-cheek tell me that “all investment diligence is merely an exercise in confirming what you have already decided during the initial pitch.”

If CAC is the New Rent, How should You Operate Differently?

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Five to ten years ago, it was thought that digitally-native brands and e-commerce retailers had a distinct cost advantage because they didn’t have to pay for legacy physical infrastructure (e.g. storefronts with long-term lease commitments), which represents high fixed costs and reduced margin.

Rethinking the Standard Fundraising Deck

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I see hundreds of fundraising decks each year. I’ve been doing this for eight years now, so I’ve been able to see some longitudinal trends during that time. There are a couple trends that I have noticed emerge over the last few years that I think have become industry standard.