Vertical Velocity

deal architect

I predicted 2016 will be the year of verticals in the enterprise software space. This morning Jose Duarte, CEO of Unit4 updated us about the Higher Education acquisition they made a few months. Industry Commentary Vertical Markets (Banking, Retail etc We are off to a good start.

Vertical or Horizontal

A Crowded Space

The conventional wisdom is to say that horizontal marketplaces will be replaced by vertical marketplaces. And why not – if you are designing a vertical marketplace you can have the user experience custom tailored to that vertical and provide a better experience.

[Asia] Tech In Asia Buys GameSaku In Acquisition Blitz


Just a week after Tech in Asia ( ) completed its acquisition of fellow Singapore-based blog SGEntrepreneurs (SGE) for an undisclosed sum, the startup and technology blog today announced that it has also acquired Indonesia-based gaming blog GameSaku from Apps Foundry.

Asia 268

Quickly Unpacking The $1.4B Acquisition of Harry’s


5/ DNVB Ceilings and Floors: Does this mean we will see even more digitally-native vertical brands (DNVBs) getting more funding on the belief they can grow into multi-billion dollar outcomes? Believe it or not, this will now be the second blog post on this site about a billion-dollar exit for a shaving-related startup. It was just about three years ago when the startup world learned that Unilever had decided to plunk down a cool $1B to buy LA’s Dollar Shave Club.

Quickly Unpacking SAP’s $8B Acquisition Of Qualtrics


In the wake of what is now considered the second-highest enterprise SaaS acquisition in history, below are some quick takeaways that are on my mind: 1/ The Efficiency Of Silicon Slopes – By now it should be no surprise that Utah’s tech ecosystem is on fire. With SAP’s global reach, merging experience-level data with SAP’s own data sets across other enterprise verticals is in line with the giant’s behavior in M&A. Qualtrics recently filed to go public.

Go Vertical

Seeing Both Sides

Yet, in my own work with various incubators, I am often struck by the lack of vertical focus. billion acquisition by SAP of HR software company SuccessFactors (which barely got any coverage from the tech press), I was further struck by the opportunity.

Twitter’s Acquisition, Chirp & Managing Developer Relationships

Both Sides of the Table

I think Twitter made a minor gaffe by announcing their Blackberry app and their acquisition of Atebits (Tweetie) before the Chirp conference. And I saw a lot of this first hand in Salesforce’s acquisition of my company, Koral, which was a content management company.

Scaling Techstars Horizontally

Feld Thoughts

There are two common ways to scale a system – horizontally or vertically. Scale Vertically (or “scale up”): Add resources to a single node in a system, typically involving the addition of CPUs or memory to a single computer. Think of vertical scaling as building a bigger monolithic machine and horizontal scaling as add more machines to the system. You can scale vertically and horizontally at the same time. Techstars horizontal scaling vertical

Amazon acquires robotics group Kiva for $775m – trend to vertical integration continues apace

The Equity Kicker

Yesterday Amazon announced the $775m acquisition of robotics group Kiva Systems. This is interesting because it is another move by a major internet company to vertically integrate its value chain. This is a strategy also employed by Google and Apple, and this acquisition by Amazon has echoes of Google’s deal last year to buy Motorola’s handset division. These squat orange robots automate part of the shelf picking process for ecommerce companies.

Strategy Roundtable For Entrepreneurs: Top 10 Vertical and Social Web Trends For The Decade


This curriculum is based on the various questions entrepreneurs have asked me over these 64 sessions, spanning financing, positioning, customer acquisition, marketing, sales, channel, and various other early stage, startup-related issues. On Jan.

Wonderist Agency Acquires Merger Labs


Co-founders, Laura Maly and Michael Anderson, struck a deal with Galvez that led to the acquisition of Merger Labs , effective January 1, 2018. In the News mergers & acquisitions

Merger 141

6 PPC Tactics for Account-Based Marketing Campaigns


Or, at the very least, narrowly targeted verticals.). Still, if you’re targeting a narrow vertical rather than a specific company (or don’t have the data for a true company- or target-specific ABM campaign), Similar Audiences can be useful. Acquisition

PPC 126

Search Intent: How to Analyze and Optimize Your Site


Those informational queries are often the highest volume terms a site targets—key drivers of awareness and acquisition. That context can help sites rank in a vertical like recipes, where search engines can’t differentiate a good chocolate chip cookie from a life-changing one.

Search 122

5 Content Marketing Strategies for Niche B2B Industries


AcquisitionThe “classic” idea of content marketing—cranking out SEO-focused articles, ranking for hundreds of keywords, generating visitors, leads, and paying customers—doesn’t work in all industries. I worked with a company that manufactured moisture-resistant flooring adhesive.

B2B 136

Israeli High Tech Exits On First Half of 2017 Slowdown and Potential Explanations

VC Cafe

The report sums up the exits of Israeli high-tech companies in merger & acquisition deals and initial public offerings, as well as buyout deals, from 2012 to H1/2017. However, the total sum of Israeli acquisitions by Israeli firms is still only 21% of 2016’s average annual amount.

7 Easy and Effective Customer Segments to Target in Facebook Ads


According to the Nanigans Facebook Advertising Benchmarks Report , there’s been a 92% year over year CPM increase for the ECommerce vertical. Facebook Custom Audience campaigns will help you cover the gap, and get some real mileage out of your acquisitions.

Bitesize Tuesday: Tracx, Innovid, Kenshoo, uTest and More Investment Rounds [recap]

VC Cafe

A number of investment rounds and acquisitions took place in recent weeks and it’s worth taking note. With verticals such as web, gaming, mobile and desktop software, utest has managed to tap into the vast market of companies that don’t have in-house QA teams.

Why Tech Will Transform Tomorrow’s Construction Site


Plangrid and Building Connected have made headway penetrating the market, and their recent acquisitions by Autodesk means they will be taken more mainstream with such a strong backer. by Ramzi Jreidini , CEO of Handiss.

Global 179

3.5 Notes From Our Most Substantial Venture Exit So Far

Hunter Walker

BuildingConnected , a leading construction tech SaaS startup, was acquired for $275m as part of Autodesk’s push into the vertical. Aligned Cap Tables Are a Godsend: Especially when the founders are considering an early acquisition, aligned cap tables are a godsend.

Why large companies acquire small companies

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

In terms of acquisition, they ask more specifically: “How can we trade balance sheet assets (cash, equity) in exchange for executing our strategy better?”. To get there, Atlassian has to go beyond its traditional market of developer teams and branch out into other verticals.”

Mark Siffin: The Visionary Genius Behind Maefield Development


Maefield Development is a privately-owned, vertically-integrated real estate development firm headed up by Chairman and CEO Mark Siffin , who has been with the company since its formation in 1991.

Is Freemium Compatible with Enterprise Software?

Venture Chronicles

Some enterprise products are not appropriate for freemium models but almost exclusively the result of high COGS and/or specific industry vertical issues (e.g. Build your website for throughput and efficiency in support of customer acquisition through the trial experience. Enterprise Software Marketing business models customer acquisition freemiumSure it is… despite the gnashing of teeth that regularly flares up when the discussion of freemium is engaged in.

Key investment themes

Version One Ventures

Vertically integrated commerce (investments: Julep , Frank & Oak ): Last September, I wrote an article for TechCrunch outlining why vertically integrated retailers represent the next wave in e-commerce. Vertical SaaS (investments: Frontdesk , Jobber ): In the new era of enterprise software, the winners will be purpose-built, vertically sliced tools. It also means lower customer acquisition costs and lower capital requirements.

Startup goal: be the leader when technology approaches 10% adoption

The Equity Kicker

In the UK Music and Video, Books and Electricals are all verticals with ecommerce penetration of over 40% (see here ) and the opportunity for new businesses looks like it’s largely behind us. We are investing heavily in these verticals.

Why I Doubled Down on YouTube Investments with MiTú

Both Sides of the Table

I have been saying privately for years now that I believe online video will evolve into fragmented distribution (my next online video post) and vertical production. By “vertical production” I meant that many online video production companies will have a strong vertical focus that will help them win the battle to sign up talent, build stronger & more loyal audiences and align with stronger advertiser relationships because they serve more endemic audiences.

Introducing NextView III and Our Focus on the Everyday Economy

View from Seed

Others take bets on certain verticals or business models, such as marketplaces, SaaS, or enterprise technology. Sunrise , a calendar app we invested in from our first fund, was used every single day by millions of consumers prior to their acquisition by Microsoft.

Born Global or Die Local – Building a Regional Startup Playbook

Steve Blank

Creating a vertically oriented regional ecosystem is a pretty amazing accomplishment for any country or industry. channel partners and Chinese manufacturers and customer acquisition and activation programs outside their home country.

Global 310

Why I’ll Sometimes Fund a Startup And Tell Them to Stop Making Money

Hunter Walker

There’s an increased belief (maybe reality for some), that seed VCs want to see revenue before investing in verticals like SaaS, marketplaces, commerce.

Demand Generation: Turning Tactics into Strategy


Bogdanovich, who’s worked with dozens of companies on Salesforce integration and marketing automation, sketched an order of operations for data acquisition and deployment in demand gen campaigns: Bring clean data into the CRM. There’s a building. In a back room, a guy peels potatoes.

Demand 129

Why Lightspeed invested in Bonobos

Lightspeed Venture Partners

Today we’re announcing that Lightpseed and Accel are investing in Bonobos , a vertically-integrated men’s apparel etailer. In Shoedazzle, we are also investors in what we believe to be the leading pureplay vertically-integrated women’s apparel etailer as well.

Hourglass of Focus

A Crowded Space

Once the product / market fit is established and acquisition channels are better understood, the startup can enter the next phase. Founders should have a clearer idea about which customer verticals work the best and focus exclusively on those.

Benchmarking Performance: Your Options, Dos, Don'ts and To-Die-Fors!

Occam's Razor

Any big changes in your marketing/customer acquisition strategy over the last time period (more money doing Search, less money in Email, elimination Facebook as it does not work, etc., And you also have, perhaps more useful, the industry wide acquisition strategy distribution.

Discovery: How Sales Sets Customer Success Up To Succeed


This includes knowledge of the industry/vertical (inclusive of specific problems your solution typically helps solve), historical context of the customer themselves, and intel about competitor inroads (when possible). by Tim Conder, VP of Customer Success at Bolstra.

The evolution of an investment theme

The Equity Kicker

IBM has just announced the acquisition of social recruitment business Kenexa for $1.3bn, the latest of a string of ‘social’ enterprise software businesses to be acquired this year. Other prominent deals done this year are Salesforce’s acquisition of BuddyMedia for $689m , Oracle’s acquisition of Vitrue for $300m , and Microsoft’s acquisition of Yammer for $1.2bn.

Should Apple Buy Hungary?

Agile VC

I had read somewhere that Apple’s cash pile was equivalent to Hungary’s GDP so I tweeted out the suggestion that perhaps an activist shareholder should push an acquisition of Hungary rather than thinking small (e.g.

A visual guide to pitching

Version One Ventures

We want to see traction – specifically, how quickly you can capture the initial market or vertical** that you are targeting, and how engaged these early users are. Some example questions include: what are your strategies for customer acquisition?

10 Tools for Understanding and Dissecting an Industry

VC Cafe

So he teamed up with a few PhDs and set off to write a book about each major vertical – Healthcare, Technology Media and Telecom, Energy and Industrials, Retail and Consumer Goods, etc. A

When to sell your company

Version One Ventures

Vertical markets: Expanding from books to other media verticals seemed unrealistic, considering both the music and movie verticals had a rapidly shrinking share of physical goods. Acquisitions: We had acquired companies both upstream ( Bookfinder , a major price comparison engine that sent up a large amount of traffic to us) and downstream (Fillz, a channel manager software that helped our sellers sell on other marketplaces ).

Looking Back On Tech, Startups, And VC In 2018


Governments blocking acquisitions, the curtailment of company expansion, more scrutiny on overseas operations of U.S. This was the big consumer behavior story of 2018, behind the rapid rise of digitally-native vertical brands (like the breakout , Hims), and the rise of prosumer-level data applications (like breakout Airtable). It’s that time of year, time to look back and reflect on the most significant storylines in the tech, startup, and VC world.

Russia 130

The only 2 ways to build a $100 million business

Version One Ventures

Generally speaking, there are two ways (and only two ways) to scale a business to hit that $100 million threshold: Your business has a high Life Time Value (LTV) per user, giving you the freedom to spend a significant amount of money in customer acquisition. Your business has a high viral co-efficient (or perhaps even a network effect) that lets you amass users cheaply without worrying too much about the monetization per user or spending money on paid acquisition.

A visual guide to pitching

Version One Ventures

We want to see traction – specifically, how quickly you can capture the initial market or vertical** that you are targeting, and how engaged these early users are. Some example questions include: what are your strategies for customer acquisition?

Visualizing the Interactions Between CAC, Churn and LTV

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

But it’s surprising to me how many companies with recurring/subscription revenue don’t understand the interactions between the elements that make up customer acquisition cost (CAC), churn and lifetime value (LTV). (Guest post by Gordon Daugherty.

Unique ways to solve today’s talent crunch

Version One Ventures

Today’s trend of acqui-hires can result in some dissatisfied technical teams post acquisition. These are good avenues for finding very smart people in your vertical, particularly global or small market candidates who may not be visible otherwise. If you are looking to build out an entire team or department, you can always look into making your own acquisition. Finding the right engineer, UX designer or marketer can make all the difference for your start-up.

Canada 101