VNTR Capital News April 23, 2023 - News, Events, VC Reads
Venture Capital, Web3, and Private Equity - April 23 News, Events, and VC Reads
VNTR Capital Newsletter is delivered to 30k+ investors weekly to share the latest news, events, and articles from the global VC and startup ecosystem.
Scroll down for VNTR Capital Community News, Upcoming Events, and VC News/Reads.
VNTR CAPITAL COMMUNITY NEWS
We launched VNTR Flickr, which will serve as a platform to share the best moments and highlights from our events worldwide.
Lisbon — We hosted Igor Ryabenkiy as a keynote speaker, where he shared the best practices for investing in future Unicorns from the seed stage. Igor's new book provides "A Practical Guide for Novice Angels and Future Unicorns". Check out the photos from the event.
Silicon Valley — Our US tour will kick off in Silicon Valley with our first event, VNTR Investors Roundtable, on April 25th at Draper University in San Mateo. As the keynote speaker, Donna Griffit will be sharing the best practices for storytelling when it comes to engaging investors. Drawing from her new book "Sticking to My Story: The Alchemy of Storytelling for Startups" she will provide valuable insights to help startups master the art of storytelling and leave a lasting impression on potential investors.
Austin — After the VNTR Investors Roundtable in Silicon Valley, we'll head to Austin for our second event of the year in the city, which will take place as a side event to Consensus by Coindesk in Austin. Join us for the VNTR Investors Roundtable Austin on April 27th, featuring Miko Matsumura, General Partner with gCC Gumi Cryptos Capital as a keynote speaker. The event will also include presentations by Chagex and Paypolitan, followed by insightful discussions and roundtable introductions by all the participants. Please apply here if you want to present your venture at VNTR events.
Dubai — Get ready for an adventure of a lifetime with Crypto Hunters adventure reality TV show, as they launch the casting tour in Dubai on May 4th-5th. Apply now to join the reality adventure show and compete for the grand prize of $1m. If you can't make it to Dubai, don't worry - they will be hosting castings in different locations worldwide over the next three months. Don't miss your chance to be part of this thrilling experience! Join the Crypto Hunters Telegram community to follow the casting, side events, and show production.
Belgrade — Our Second Investors Roundtable in Belgrade will occur during TMRW Conference in Belgrade on May 13. TMRW team are planning a big show and after party hosting DJ Paul Kalkbrenner at Stark Arena.
Marrakesh — We are excited to announce our first VNTR Investors Roundtable in Africa on June 1- an official side event to Gitex Africa. Approved VNTR Investors will get a complimentary investor pass to Gitex.
May-June events — Join us at planned events in Miami, Bucharest, Marrakech, Madrid, Lisbon, London, Paris, and Toronto.
VNTR Weekend Summer Retreats — We're organizing 3-day weekend retreats in top European beach destinations so our community can come together and have fun. Apply to join
VNTR Membership — Our first cohort has been actively collaborating in biweekly Mastermind sessions, providing peer-to-peer support and actionable tasks to help each other grow. In addition, members have been receiving support with their connection requests, particularly when traveling to new destinations. As we prepare to launch our second cohort, we're excited to continue empowering active investment decision-makers with valuable resources and networking opportunities. Join us today to take your investment career to the next level.
Thank you to our partners:
Crypto Hunters TV Show is an innovative adventure-reality series that uniquely explores cryptocurrency and the blockchain world. The show provides an exciting combination of action, education, and entertainment as contestants embark on a thrilling global adventure to uncover the secrets of the crypto world. With a focus on accessibility and entertainment, the show aims to make the excitement of cryptocurrency accessible to a broader audience. To complement their strategy for untapped markets, the Crypto Hunters Mobile Game App will also be available. The game will be directly connected to the Crypto Hunters TV show and advertised prominently. Learn more and contact HK.
Changex is a unique personal finance mobile app that connects crypto and DeFi to the real world via in-wallet banking. The non-custodial wallet is live and the company continues building a swiss knife financial solutions by providing access to multi-chain crypto trading, fiat on/off ramp, proprietary products such as Leveraged Staking to leverage any POS asset, an IBAN account, and a Crypto Debit Card for unprecedented utility.Learn more and contact Gary.
Paypolitan is offering an all-in-one payment app: users can add various wallets or existing bank accounts to the app and pay. Paypolitan is a non-custodial solution aggregating existing sources of funding. The users’ funds stay where they are and the Paypolitan app simply initiates the payment from the source of funding to the destination account. Paypolitan is therefore using Open Banking APIs (EU directive PSD2 compliant) and is one of the first movers adopting it in Europe. Learn more and Contact Marco.
Upcoming VNTR Capital events:
Apr 27 VNTR Investors Roundtable Austin (During Consensus, 25% discount with C23VNTR code)
May 10 VNTR Investors Roundtable Dubai (During Crypto Hunters Casting Dubai)
May 13 VNTR Investors Roundtable Belgrade (During TMRW Belgrade)
May 19 VNTR Investors Roundtable Miami (During Bitcoin 2023 Miami)
May 28 VNTR Investors Roundtable Bucharest (During Bitcoin Bucharest 2023)
Jun 1 VNTR Investors Roundtable Marrakech (During GITEX Africa)
Jun 8 VNTR Investors Roundtable Madrid (During South Summit)
Jun 8 VNTR Investors Roundtable Lisbon (During Epic Web3 Conference)
Jun 13 VNTR Investors Roundtable London (During London Tech Week)
Jun 15 VNTR Investors Roundtable Paris (During Viva Technology)
Jun 27 VNTR Investors Roundtable Toronto (During Collision)
Jul - Aug VNTR Weekend Summer Retreats (exact dates and places to be announced)
RSVP to Upcoming VNTR Capital Events
Follow us on Social media: Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
UPCOMING VC EVENTS
Apr 26-28 Consensus by CoinDesk, Austin, USA (25% discount with C23VNTR code)
Apr 27-28 TechChill, Riga, Latvia
May 8-10 AIM Congress, Abu Dhabi, UAE
May 9 Bloomberg Wealth Asia Summit, Hong Kong (with VNTR Members access)
May 9-10 OMR Festival 2023, Hamburg, Germany
Ma 12-14 TMRW Belgrade, Serbia
May 16-18 SALT New York
May 16-18 ACA 2023 - The Summit of Angel Investing
May 16-27 Cannes Film Sestival, Cannes, France
May 18-20 Bitcoin, Miami, USA
May 19-20 Glitch Korea, Seoul, South Korea
May 24-25 Next Block Expo, Warsaw, Poland
May 25-28 Monaco Grand Prix, Monaco
Mat 27-28 Bitcoin Bucharest 2023
May 28-29 Emerge Dubai, UAE
May 30-Jun 4 Tech Week San Francisco, US
May 30-Jun 2 Innovex, Taipei, Taiwan
May 31-Jun 2 GITEX Africa, Morocco
May 31-Jun 1 Dublin Tech Summit, Dublin, Ireland
Jun 5-Jun 11 LA Tech Week, Los Angeles, US
Jun 7-9 South Summit, Madrid, Spain
Jun 14-17 Viva Technology, Paris (30% discount with FP3UHDUJ4)
Jun 25-25 Silicon Valley Comes to Tel-Aviv
Jun 26-29 Collision, Toronto, Canada
July 6-7 Block3000, Lisbon, Portugal
July 10-12 Block Down Portugal 2023, Algarve, Portugal
July 26 Bloomberg Sustainable Business Summit, Singapore (with VNTR Members access)
Oct 7-8 DeGameFi, Tbilisi, Georgia
Oct 15-18 Expand North Star Dubai Harbour, UAE
Oct 16-20 GITEX Global, Dubai, UAE
If you would like to submit VC-related events, please respond to this email or Telegram @byuric
Follow us on Social media: Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
Check out VNTR Capital upcoming events
Web3 Funding Continues To Crater — Drops 82% Year To Year
In the first quarter of the year, funding to VC-backed Web3 startups hit its lowest point since the very early days of the space as deal flow continues to slow. Venture funding plummeted 82% year to year, dropping from $9.1 billion in Q1 of 2022 to only $1.7 billion, per Crunchbase data. The funding number is also a 30% decline from the final quarter of last year, and the lowest total since the fourth quarter of 2020 — which saw only $1.1 billion — when many people had never heard of Web3. Deal flow also continued its pronounced drop, as only 333 deals were completed in the first quarter — down from 369 in the previous quarter and a sharp drop from the more than 500 announced in Q1 2022. The total number of deals is the lowest since Q4 2020.
VCs Challenged by the Downturn
While current startup difficulties deserve the most attention (broken cap tables, valuations lower than capital raised, slowing growth rates, etc.), venture firms, especially ones that deployed significant amounts of capital in 2020 and 2021, are challenged as well. Writing checks into startups whereby their real valuations are likely 30 – 70% lower, even after a couple years of growing, makes for an exaggerated J curve (rates of return are negative in the first few years due to the drag from management fees). Only, the story is worse, and more complicated.
2023 Private SaaS Company Valuations
Long-time readers of our work know we have strived to shed an objective light on the opaque, confusing, and volatile practice of valuing private SaaS companies. As a provider of debt financing for private B2B SaaS companies since 2007, SaaS Capital has provided funding to more than 100 firms. This puts us in a unique position to witness equity raises and M&A events. Using this information, we published our first private SaaS valuation framework in 2016 and, as the market has evolved, we have iterated on the methodology.
In Q2 2022, SaaS Capital released the most recent update on how to value private SaaS companies. This data-driven methodology is based on a statistical analysis of over ten years of data. While there are dozens of other factors impacting valuation, the research resulted in a downloadable Excel model using three primary variables that drive valuations.
Venture capital deals lose steam in India
The euphoria over venture capital deals in India — visible in 2021 and 2022 — has vanished, according to the latest KPMG Private Enterprises’ Venture Pulse report. The report says that VC investment in India remained relatively soft in Q1 2023 as investors intensified scrutiny of potential deals. While the fear of missing out drove a lot of investment in India in 2021 and early 2022, investors have since increased their focus on start-up performance and profitability. In absolute numbers, the deal value in Q1 2023 in India stood at $2.1 billion compared with $9.3 billion in Q1 2022 and $5.3 billion in Q1 2021. “Fintech continued to drive many of the largest deals in India in Q1 2023 including $445 million raised by PhonePe, $218 million raised by NoBroker, $200 million raised by KreditBee and $150 million raised by InsuranceDekho.
Tiger Global’s $12.7B Venture Fund Down 20% — Report
Tiger Global seems to be losing its bite. The crossover investment giant’s $12.7 billion fund — which was launched near the end of 2021 — had a paper loss of 20%, net of management fees, as of December, according to a report in The Information. The news comes just about a month after The Wall Street Journal reported Tiger Global had marked down the value of its investments across its venture capital funds by about 33%. Some notable writedowns from the firms’ Private Investment Partners XV include its entire $38 million investment in the now bankrupt FTX and FTX.US, as well other crypto and Web3 investments such as MoonPay, decentralized wireless network company Helium, and NFT startup Bored Ape Yacht Club, per the report. One of the largest hits Tiger took was in its investment in NFT marketplace OpenSea. The firm invested $126.8 million in the startup in November 2021 and January 2022. However, at the end of last year, Tiger had marked that investment down to $30.2 million — a 76% drop, according to the report.
4 problems venture capital can’t solve
As the technology industry retrenches and venture capital firms tighten their standards, savvy founders should consider this counterintuitive question: Even if my vision is compelling enough to secure funding, should I take it? Today’s marketplace is teeming with companies that simply grew too quickly, aided and abetted by their VC partners, and now find themselves managing the pain of down rounds, expense reductions, layoffs and a retreat from their boldest strategic gambles. Would it have been better for many of them to have not taken excessive levels of venture capital in the first place? This might seem like a strange question coming from me. As an investor, my job is to put capital to work. But the truth is, I see founders every day looking for money for the wrong reasons. They — and to some extent we, as investors — have lost sight of when venture capital can be an accelerant and when it can hasten the demise of what might have been a viable business.
Hey Tech, It’s Time To Build. In Healthcare.
In the past few months, the founders of Instacart, Spotify, and Coinbase have all started new healthcare companies. This may seem odd to some–why are these seasoned tech founders jumping into tech-driven healthcare?
In 2013, Marc Andreessen observed that the biggest, most successful companies have all done something that seemed completely “crazy” at the time of creation. The examples from the last two decades are clear. Sleeping in a stranger’s home? Airbnb. Getting in a stranger’s car? Lyft. Putting a personal computer in everyone’s home, and then in everyone’s pocket, and then on everyone’s wrist? Apple.
Series B funding: What it is and how you raise it in 2023
So you’ve checked off Series A funding, found product-market fit, your business model works and your startup is revenue generating. Good job — you're in the big leagues now. But, the work’s far from over. Now the focus turns to scaling, and to do that most startups look to raise a Series B round. But what exactly is Series B funding? How much should a founder raise? And what are investors looking for in a Series B startup in 2023? Sifted spoke to founders, investors and a lawyer to find out. Startups usually set out to raise a Series B round when they’ve got one thing on their mind — scaling. By the time a startup comes to raising a Series B, it should be really confident it has product-market fit, says Dan Chaplin, partner at Dawn Capital.
India To Become The World’s Largest Nation — Here’s How Its Startup Funding Scene Stacks Up
India will eclipse China as the world’s most populous country by mid-2023, the United Nations estimated on Wednesday. The South Asian nation is expected to have a population of 1.4286 billion by the middle of this year, surpassing China by 2.9 million people. Venture funding to the two Asian countries, however, runs counter to their population trends, Crunchbase data shows. In the past year, venture capital spending in India has fallen much more precipitously when compared to China, which garners more than twice as much VC spending as its neighbor. Amid a broader global venture funding pullback, VC dollars invested in India-based startups plummeted 75%, to just $2.4 billion, in Q1 2023 compared to the first quarter of 2022, Crunchbase data shows. That’s down from $9.8 billion in Q1 2022 and down nearly 25% from $3.2 billion in Q4.
Snapchat Is Joining the AI Revolution. Here's What You Need to Know About Snapchat's 'My AI'
Snapchat is the latest app to embrace artificial intelligence. On Wednesday, the social media platform launched its ChatGPT-powered AI chatbot "My AI" to its global user base. Snapchat users were greeted with a message from "My AI" that described itself as an "experimental chatbot." The feature was first introduced to Snapchat+ subscribers in February and has since sent nearly 2 million messages per day about movies, sports, and current events, according to a press release from the company.
The Party’s Still Over: The VC Downturn In 6 Charts
For VC investors and startups alike, this year’s first quarter was a painful hangover from 2022, the stunning year that ended the glitzy venture funding party that was 2021. For Q1 2023, the operative word is down: funding is down, deal flow is down, overseas investment is down. The only soaring numbers in the first quarter are those displayed in our Crunchbase Tech Layoffs Tracker. As for how we all got here, there are plenty of factors to choose from — rising interest rates, tumbling tech stocks, a war in Ukraine, weakening valuations, a stalled IPO pipeline, and let’s not forget Silicon Valley Bank. Now the question is: Has VC funding hit bottom, or do round sizes and deal counts have further to fall? We dive deeper into this year’s first-quarter numbers to find out.
40 years of VC: Where does Europe’s biggest VC hub stand today?
enture capital has planted deep roots in the UK over the past 40 years — and the country’s tech ecosystem has blossomed, maintaining its position as the largest market in Europe and rubbing shoulders with other world-class hubs such as the US. What predictions can we make for the future of VC in the UK? And how does it compare to its peers? Sifted chatted to the experts.
Series C Isn’t What It Used To Be
In startup life, getting to Series C is kind of like hitting middle age. You’ve been toiling away for a while now, and everyone knows what you do. Nonetheless, it’ll take a lot more money to keep forging ahead. Lately, U.S. investors have gotten much stingier when it comes to furnishing middle-aged startups with capital to continue on their journeys. One metric to measure this is Series C funding, which is down 74% in the first quarter of 2023 from year-ago levels. Since venture funding is down precipitously across stages, it should be emphasized that Series C companies aren’t the only ones facing leaner times. But because of the unique place this stage represents in the startup continuum — a sort of pit stop between finding product-market fit and prepping for exit — its decline seems to indicate sinking investor confidence in prospects for big investment returns.
PE firms perform financial feats
The first quarter of 2023 opened the year with unpleasant surprises and challenges for private equity, including a string of bank failures, a slowly reopening leveraged loan market and an unfavorable fundraising environment. But these adverse market conditions didn’t hinder PE-backed transactions in the US as managers found ways to eliminate these threats and get deals done, according to the Q1 2023 US PE Breakdown. PE firms in the US did more than 2,000 deals totaling $261 billion during Q1 2023. While the volume of deals declined 9.3% quarter-over-quarter, it remained well above pre-pandemic levels.
Blackstone sees a 'golden moment' in private credit after bank failures
One of the world's most storied asset managers sees a historic opportunity for growth in private credit. In the wake of a slew of bank collapses, including Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, and a few regional banks, Blackstone is reaffirming its position as a private credit provider. In its Thursday morning Q1 2023 earnings call, leadership emphasized the rising demand for private credit solutions from clients. "This is a golden moment for [private credit solutions]," Jonathan Gray, president and COO, said on the call. At Blackstone, total credit and insurance AUM increased 9% to $291.3 billion year-over-year, including $6.3 billion in inflows from its global direct lending strategy in Q1. Capital deployment reached $4.8 billion in Q1 and grew to $39.8 billion over the last 12 months. The firm's private credit strategy generated a gross return of 3.4% for the quarter.
Micro-fund managers feel deflated as LPs cool on VC
When Catharine Dockery set out to raise her second VC fund in September, she was hopeful that having significant markups in her first $25 million fund and a unique focus on segments often overlooked by traditional VCs—cannabis, alcohol, sex tech, gambling and addiction recovery—would send prior investors flocking to her new vehicle. Things didn't quite go as quickly as planned. "It was a very difficult market for fundraising," Dockery said. But after many meetings, she managed to convince LPs, which include family offices and wealthy individuals, that her investment category will continue to attract customers in any economic environment. This week, Dockery closed Vice Ventures' second fund at $25 million with commitments from investors including Andreessen Horowitz founder Marc Andreessen and general partner Chris Dixon, as well as Bradley Tusk, founder of Tusk Ventures.
Indian Startups Set For More Pain As Funding Crunch Worsens
A funding squeeze at Indian startups that has already led to layoffs and delayed stock listings is set to worsen as investors reckon with stretched valuations and faltering consumption growth, likely laying the ground for industry consolidation. Startups in India raised just $2 billion in the first quarter of 2023, 75% lower than the same period of last year, and the smallest quarterly number in nearly three years, figures from data firm CB Insights showed. At this run rate, startups may end up raising less than $10 billion this year, a far cry from the record $30 billion garnered in 2021 and $20 billion in 2022. The slowdown is a setback for startups as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has lauded their success by calling such companies the "backbone of new India". It could hurt India's economic growth and its jobs market.
Dry powder shortage on the horizon for European VC
European venture firms could face a shortage of capital as exits slow down, making it even harder to distribute returns to limited partners and in turn secure follow-on commitments. In the past few years, VCs have been deploying capital into startups at an unprecedented rate. Larger funds and the injection of nontraditional capital have increased available liquidity for new companies. A buildup of dry powder has led to more capital leaving VC funds than coming into them, and the difference has grown significantly in recent years: €84.2 billion in 2021 and €74.6 billion in 2022, according to PitchBook's Q1 2023 European Venture Report.
Unleashing the Green Economy: How Blockchain Can Transform Climate-Friendly Investment Opportunities
In the face of mounting urgency to address climate change, the quest for innovative solutions to foster sustainable growth and resilience is more critical than ever. Coming from the realm of digital currencies, blockchain technology emerges as a trailblazing force, poised to drive a transformative shift within the green economy and catalyze climate-friendly investment and innovation across a multitude of sectors. At its essence, blockchain operates as a decentralized digital ledger, meticulously recording transactions with unparalleled security and transparency across a vast network of computers. This revolutionary technology harbors the potential to redefine how governments, private companies, multinational corporations and communities adapt to and mitigate the multifaceted risks posed by climate change.
7 Tips From Female-Led VCs to Help You Attract Venture Capital for the First Time
Aspiring entrepreneurs with innovative ideas often face the challenge of securing the necessary funding to realize their vision. While there are various funding options, attracting venture capital is a popular choice due to the potential for substantial investment and support from experienced investors. But how can a startup attract venture capital? Attracting venture capital is challenging and requires careful planning, preparation, and a clear understanding of what investors seek. In the following article, The Recursive explores seven key steps, along with insights from women-led VCs, that help founders to spark VC’s attention and increase their chances of securing the funding needed to take their business to the next level.
History Repeats: Applying What We Know About Tech Stocks to a New Market
You know how people always say history repeats itself? Lately, I’ve been looking back on my years as an advisor in the 1990s and realizing just how true that statement is. This rush of interest in blockchain and cryptocurrency investing feels a lot like the early demand for technology stocks. Remember when the Internet was still new, during the time of the Dot Com Bubble and the advent of companies like Amazon? Investors saw the developing value of tech, and, as the pattern goes, stock prices soared based on the promise of vast wealth creation and disruption. However, as we learned in the subsequent “tech wreck” of the early 2000s, sometimes expectations have nothing to do with reality. Many investors lost everything and far more than they made in the previous bull market. This is typical of a bubble. Most investors enter at or near the high only to watch their wealth disappear in the ensuing correction.
Toxic bosses and unhealthy cultures: Why Europe’s VCs are tired and burnt out
ech workers in Europe have become a lot more comfortable talking about mental health. Some of the industry’s most high-profile founders, like Monzo’s Tom Blomfield, have openly admitted to struggling with burnout.
But it's rarer to hear about how the other half of the tech ecosystem, venture capitalists, are faring. Despite the image of a glamorous life jet-setting around Europe, VC is rife with untreated burnout and mental health struggles.
Over half of Americans fear ‘major impact’ by AI on workers: Survey
Nearly two-thirds (62%) of Americans think implementing artificial intelligence in the workplace will have a “major impact” on American workers within the next 20 years, leaving many employees “wary” and “worried” about what their future holds. An April 20 Pew Research report found 56% of the 11,004 adults surveyed in the United States said that AI would have a major impact on the U.S. economy as well. Another 22% believed AI will impact the economy to a minor degree. Only 13% of participants believed “AI will help more than hurt” American workers, whereas 32% thought the opposite. The rest of the participants predicted “AI will equally help and hurt” American employees (32%) or were unsure (22%).
India witnesses sustained private equity and venture capital funding in 2022 at $61 billion
Private equity and venture capital (PEVC) investments in India crossed the $60 billion mark for the third time in 022, but declined 12 per cent on a yearly basis to $61.6 billion from $69.8 billion in 2022, according to the India Private Equity Report 2023 by consultancy Bain and company, and the IVC Association. In 2021, India witnessed record PEVC investments on account of a rebound in consumption, a rise in digital infrastructure,a tailwinds from disruption in the Chinese supply chain on account of strict COVID-19 curbs.
Ethereum is going to transform investing
Ethereum is often depicted as traditional finance’s adversary in a Manichean struggle for decentralization. In reality, there isn’t any conflict at all. Rather than subverting the traditional financial sector, Ethereum is improving it. Soon, the two systems will be inextricably entwined. Ethereum’s core value propositions — self-custody, transparency and disintermediation — are enormously relevant to financial institutions, and they can be realized within existing regulatory frameworks. Ethereum has already taken the first steps toward institutional adoption, and with its unmatched network decentralization, it is all but destined to become the primary settlement layer for the world’s financial transactions.
Why Every Startup Needs an AI Strategy
Every company will be an AI company. Every startup needs an AI strategy - not just for fundraising or press appeal.
User expectations have changed. When one email composer window autocompletes sentences, every email product will need to follow. When one customer support bot provides a meaningfully better experience to answer questions, every competitor will match it.
Africa venture capital investments dipped slightly in 2022
Venture capital investments in Africa dipped slightly to $6.5 billion last year but avoided the sharp drop seen in most other global regions, data released by an industry group showed on Thursday. The investments, spread over 853 deals, represent a 1% decline from 2021 - a record year in Africa - according to the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA), which promotes private investment on the continent. That compares to a 32% contraction in global venture capital. "When evaluated against any year other than the stratospheric 2021, industry activity in Africa's venture capital ecosystem was very strong," AVCA wrote in a report accompanying the data.
Building an Actual Unicorn
It's always the sign of a great tweet when it leaves you thinking about it so much that you put off the thing you were planning on writing about and write about something totally different. Even when your baby was up until 1 AM and it's Saturday and you haven't started writing anything. You still can't bring yourself to write about anything else.