We've seen a recent wave of cash washing over innovations in autonomous driving, ML, sensors. Granted: that chart is dominated by Zoox's $790M and Xpeng's $708M investment levels [edited: Xpeng announced another $587M on August 3rd!], but you get the idea. I pay close attention when segments start capturing more "wallet share" of investors than … Continue reading Investing in Autonomous Transportation.
As an investor, I am more interested in finding out where knowledge ends and where a discovery process starts. It's astonishing in how many pitches entrepreneurs avoid "I don't know" and instead suddenly change topics or point to a statistic where when asked they cannot explain how that would be relevant to the question. "I … Continue reading “I don’t know.”
Deals seem to fall apart last second. Investors step away from their commitment. A large customers is having some hiccups just when you're closing the round. A partner leaves the venture firm just when you're trying to get the signatures. A clause with the employee stock options pool confuses a corporate investor and they put … Continue reading It’s not done until it’s done.
When you work in a high-risk industry of startups -- whether as an entrepreneur, an employee, a VC, or a consultant -- there will be failures. You know that. And you are always surprised how much they hurt. You would think by now surely you've learned how to cope with it. It's painful and frustrating, … Continue reading Why Do You Keep Doing It?
"If I ask CEO <x> about what your most transformational value on the board was over the last twelve months, what would she say?" My firm also invests in other venture capital funds, known as 'fund-of-funds'. I recently met a long-time friend from a great fund in enterprise software who I deeply respect. When I asked … Continue reading Do you Know Your Transformational Value?
One of my favorite analysts at 451 Research is Brenon Daly. One of his remarks at the recent RSA 2018 Analyst Breakfast caught everyone's attention: We see about 120 to 140 infosec transactions every year in our Tech M&A Database. There are about 2,000 infosec vendors we are tracking, and venture capital is adding more … Continue reading More Than A Decade of Supply for Infosec M&A Transactions
Europe seems to be on a roll. The European venture industry in 2017 saw €16.9Bn in venture capital deal value, a 13% increase year-over-year . And "2017 proved to be a rebound year for VC-backed IPOs, which raised over €3 billion across 53 offerings."  The SuperReturn/SuperVenture conference in Berlin was drinking its own Kool-Aid, and … Continue reading Dangerous Paths of European Venture Capital.
In Part I I've written about perception of great VCs, and in Part II I showed some data on actual meaningful exits with outcomes greater than $500m over the past ten years. Meaningful exits often take 9 to 11 years to materialize (e.g. FireEye was founded in February 2004 with IPO in September 2013; Forescout … Continue reading Most Successful Cybersecurity VCs: The Top Firms. (Part III)
Yesterday I published a quick survey what CEOs, CISOs, and cybersecurity professionals think are the most successful VCs. The answers were somewhat surprising: There was no clear leader, and very few picked VCs that had outstanding exits over the past 15 years. So why do so many supposedly great cybersecurity VCs -- the "most successful", … Continue reading Most Successful Cybersecurity VCs: The Last 15 Years. (Part II)
The firm I work for has a fund-of-funds business -- we invest in what we believe are the very best venture capital firms. We have reasonable insights into fund performance: who is driving returns, and which sector is successful. Market perception, however, is driving by people who are the loudest, by content, and by marketing. … Continue reading Most Successful Cybersecurity VCs: A Quick Survey. (Part I)