More…

Comments No Comments »

Fed Chair Janet Yellen predicted moderate growth this year and beyond, explaining that economic headwinds are waning.

More…

Comments No Comments »

In recent years VCs have been rushing to add value by hiring non-investors to help their portfolio companies. I touched on this subject last week when I wrote that Capitalism is being replaced by talentism. This week I want to talk a little more about what VCs are actually doing.

This is a list of the funds that are working hardest to add value beyond capital, strategic advice, and the partners’ contacts. These are just the ones I know. Please shout if you know other examples and I will update. (Note: I haven’t included accelerator programmes or incubators. They do add value, but they are different to venture funds.)

  • Andreessen Horowitz: organise executive briefings where portfolio CEOs meet senior execs at potential customers, have a large talent function to hire for their companies (and have built software to support it), have staff dedicated to helping portfolio companies network effectively
  • Google Ventures: has teams that help portfolio companies with design, engineering, recruiting, marketing and partnerships
  • First Round Capital: built a software platform to help entrepreneurs collaborate, have a talent team, run a large number of events for their portfolio
  • OpenView Partners: has teams to help their portfolio companies with recruiting and sales and marketing
  • Index Ventures: has a ‘platform team’ of nine people, key activities are organising functional support communities for their portfolio execs and running events
  • Greylock: have a data scientist who helps their portfolio
  • NextView Ventures: have a director of platform
  • True Ventures: run an undergrad programme
  • Spark Ventures: have a director of platform, primary activity seems to be events
  • Founder Collective: hired a journalist to help their portfolio with PR
  • Playfair Capital: recently hired a Facebook recruiter to hire for their portfolio
  • Balderton Capital: have a head of PR and content, a data scientist, and a talent and development analyst

And there’s us. Forward Partners has a team of eight to help our partners with product, design, development, customer acquisition and recruitment.

That’s the activity. The major trend is that there’s more and more of it over time.

The challenge is that it’s hard to find ways to make a difference, particularly across a large multi-sector portfolio. Jay Acunzo, director of platform at NextView Ventures recently wrote on Techcrunch:

In the last three months, every frustrated director [of platform, at a VC] I’ve met with (and there have been multiple) had the same complaint about a lack of focus confusing their work and yielding generic-sounding, ineffective projects.

As I wrote last month, focus is one way to address the challenge. We only invest in early stage ecommerce companies so there is a lot of commonality in the problems they face and we have built a team focused on those areas. OpenView partners has done something similar for expansion stage software companies. As Joe wrote in his Techcrunch post, one option for VCs with less focused investment strategies is to build sector and stage focused value add capabilities.



More…

Comments No Comments »

(Bloomberg) — The world looks headed for peak gold this year. Record output, spurred by a 12-year bull run that fizzled in 2012, is ready to…

More…

Comments No Comments »

Major insurers in some states are proposing hefty rate boosts for plans sold under the federal health law, setting the stage for an intense debate this summer over the law’s impact. In New Mexico, market leader Health Care Service Corp. is asking for an average jump of 51.6% in premiums for 2016. The biggest insurer in Tennessee, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, has requested an average 36.3% increase. In Maryland, market leader CareFirst BlueCross …

More…

Comments No Comments »

David Stockman explains why the stock and bond market could be on the verge of a collapse.

More…

Comments No Comments »

<p>Millions of barrels of untapped oil that U.S. shale drillers discovered during the boom years are about to disappear from their inventories.</p>

More…

Comments No Comments »

Never before have so many investors thought so little for so long.

More…

Comments No Comments »

In all this talk about whether the economy will be strong enough to support the first policy change of this cycle, and how utterly sad it is to even have to argue about it, the larger issues about the exact operational framework remain largely unexamined. The intent of the FOMC is to undergo an orderly transition from extraordinary policy positions toward a setting more like normal. To go from A to B is not as simple as plugging in a new number, a fact that Federal Reserve officials are very quietly dealing with. The Fed has a repo problem, one that has been around since August 2007, which…

More…

Comments No Comments »

The surprising math on how we spend

More…

Comments No Comments »

Li Hejun, once considered China’s richest man based on his stake in a solar company, made a lot of money as local stock markets boomed. On Wednesday, he lost a big part of his fortune.

More…

Comments No Comments »

The Chevrolet Corvette had a stellar 2014. Now its parent company is betting that streak will continue.

More…

Comments No Comments »

Many companies will continue to suffer amid overproduction, says Jeff Reeves.

More…

Comments No Comments »

The president’s healthcare law sliced America’s uninsured rate down to historic lows by expanding coverage for tens of millions of Americans. At the same time, however, the number of insured people who still lack access to robust…

More…

Comments No Comments »

One-third of high earners get by this way

More…

Comments No Comments »