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Read Full Report from PwC / CB Insights

Two weeks ago, we highlighted Pitchbook data showing quarterly VC funding for female founders had dropped to three-year low in Q3 2020. Despite this contraction in funding for women-led startups, Q3 funding to US-based, VC-backed companies is the second strongest quarter ever.

VC investments to US-based companies hit a 7-quarter high at $36.5B, up 22% year-over-year and 30% from Q2’20. Other trends in the data include:

–Deal activity remained largely the same from Q2 to Q3, although Q3 deals are still down 11% year-over-year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
–Mega-rounds accounted for 54% of total funding, with 88 companies raising $100M or more in the US. Seed deals also rose for the second consecutive quarter.
–In terms of industry trends, four emerging areas attracted the majority of deal activity – Digital Health, Fintech, Artificial Intelligence, and Medical Devices.
–Colorado accounted for $250M of investment across 41 deals in Q3.


Interested in helping strengthen Colorado’s startup ecosystem in Q4? There are plenty of opportunities to get involved with RVC. Learn about industry trends in pandemic technology at the RVC Community Webinar: Industry Spotlight – Pandemic Tech on November 6. Use your expertise to mentor a company at the upcoming Pandemic Tech HyperAccelerator, happening November 9-14. Or, join us at Reversing the Trend: Funding Female Founders on November 19 to catalyze investment in women founders. We hope to see you at an upcoming event soon!

If you’ve read ANYTHING about cryptocurrencies and ICOs (Initial Coin/Token Offerings), you’ve read opinions from people who believe that the value of these coins will go up 100 times and others who believe that they will all crash to zero because there is “nothing there”.  If you believe either of these groups, you’ll be in big trouble if you’re an entrepreneur or angel/venture capital investor in this space.  Some cryptocurrencies will indeed go to zero and others will likely rise by 100X, but out of thousands of deals, how would you know how to pick the right ones?

It’s not just cryptocurrencies that have a lot of uncertainty today.  We’re seeing unprecedented change in blockchain, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, self-driving cars and more.  These trends are all going to become a big part of our future, but which companies are the ones we should invest in?

Experience can be a guide in helping decipher the trends in fast breaking industries. The cryptocurrency ICO market reminds me a lot of all the dot.com startups in the 1990’s who were going public without having much more than a URL like etoys.com, socks.com, pets.com, etc.

What happened during the .com boom?  Lots of companies got funded quickly and at valuations that didn’t make sense.  It kind of looks like the ICO boom now.  When companies get too much money too quickly, they tend to accelerate their failure rate because they haven’t figured out their product-market-fit or how to scale up quickly.  We’ll certainly see some of that in the current ICO boom, but, just like in the .com boom, we’ll also see some VERY BIG winners. Google and Amazon looked crazy in the 1990’s  but now they are today’s biggest companies.  We will see the same thing with blockchain, cryptocurrencies, AI, IoT, intelligent cars and more.

The people who predict wholesale failure or wholesale success are bound to be wrong.  The people who are diligent in digging into who the winners and losers will be with a futurist attitude will succeed.  Investors who think like the hockey player Wayne Gretzky who famously said “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” 

Great venture capital investors have to be like great hockey players and invest where the market is going to be.

Predicting the future is hard, but we’ve got some help for you.  The upcoming Angel Capital Summit, produced by the Rockies Venture Club will be focusing on Funding the Next Wave of Innovation.  We’ll be interviewing CEOs of companies that have gone through major trends in social networks, cyber security and more in order to learn how to identify and ride the trends.

The Angel Capital Summit will also feature 16+ companies that are riding the trends of their industries, pitching to angel and venture capital investors.  The event is open to the public and is free for RVC Keystone and Active Investor Members.  (If you’re not a member yet, click HERE for more information).

The Rockies Venture Club is the oldest angel investing group in the U.S. and is a non-profit organization focusing on furthering economic development by educating and connecting angel investors and great startups.