The failure of due diligence (in Fintech)

For as long as there has been business, there has been fraud, and ‘cooking the books’ is about as old as it gets. In recent years, the extreme focus on revenue has produced dangerous incentives for founders and investors to cut corners. Those chickens are now coming home to roost. Now a regular feature in tech… Continue reading The failure of due diligence (in Fintech)

Deus ex machina

for VC, the success of AI is existential Imagine entering VC in 2020, full of enthusiasm about a wave of technology that felt unstoppable. Your peers are impressed; it’s a prestigious industry that is perceived as commanding a lot of power (and capital). You have to put aside your personal thesis in favour of the… Continue reading Deus ex machina

Adverse selection and venture capital

There’s a weird phenomenon among VCs where the less successful they are, the more evil they become to founders to squeeze more money out of their best startups out of necessity which then becomes a vicious cycle of adverse selection. Garry Tan, President & CEO of Y Combinator Including the above, criticism of venture capital… Continue reading Adverse selection and venture capital

Larian’s unfair advantage

This post was inspired by two things I saw recently: The connection between these two items is not obvious, but it is interesting. The lemon problem WeFunder, for the uninitiated, is a crowdfunding platform for (primarily) technology companies. It allows community-oriented startups to sell a small % of ownership to their users and supporters. Unfortunately,… Continue reading Larian’s unfair advantage

“Why don’t VCs set marks with 409a valautions?”

This is a question I saw on Reddit’s often-comical /r/venturecapital, which I thought was interesting enough to write out a decent response to. It hits at the root of a few major problems in the asset class which are always worth addressing. A 409A valuation, named after Section 409A of the United States Internal Revenue… Continue reading “Why don’t VCs set marks with 409a valautions?”

It’s all about identifying outliers

What startup investors can learn from sports betting Early stage investing is a complex and relatively new practice, which makes it fertile ground for analogies which can help explain the more abstract concepts to both newcomers and veterans alike.  In this particular case, grappling with the intrinsic value of pre-revenue startups, there’s an interesting parallel… Continue reading It’s all about identifying outliers

Startups are the clients of Venture Capital

As a founder learning the ropes of venture capital, you might see VCs as asset managers, with LPs as their customers and your equity as the asset being managed. This is heavily implied by the chain of responsibility: you are required to report your progress to your VC investors who want to see milestones crossed… Continue reading Startups are the clients of Venture Capital

LPs should encourage VC evolution

In a previous article I wrote about the threat of consensus in venture capital. A few days later, Eric Tarczynski shared a fascinating thread about the journey with Contrary, his VC firm. He addressed this point about consensus with admirable candour, summarised here in two points: It’s unusual to get such an unvarnished look at… Continue reading LPs should encourage VC evolution

AI as a Utility

Investors don’t really need to invest in net new companies to get exposure to AI’s potential halo effect; If all your portfolio companies start to integrate with the right existing tools on the market, they could bloom too. It’s the promise of horizontal tech. Natasha Mascarenhas, TechCrunch In a previous post I used the games… Continue reading AI as a Utility

Generative AI and the Games Industry

This post looks at applications of generative AI in the context of the games industry, but much of the same logic can be applied elsewhere. Adapting to technological evolution With every new technology revolution – web3 most recently, and now AI – there follows a large herd of true believers. It can do all things,… Continue reading Generative AI and the Games Industry