I learned to drive a car at age 19 on a warm Santiago de Chile night, in an unusual way. A friend named Jose Pedro resolved to teach me after dinner at his apartment, suprised to learn I didn't know how. It was past two am, and without anyone on the streets, it would be safe, he assured me. As we sat in the car, he showed me how to manage the three pedals and the gear shift, and explained the how the clutch worked. Then the lesson started.
In Q2 2015, VC investment totaled $16.7B, about a 66% of the $28B deployed in Q2 2000. And the trends shows no sign of stopping. A big contributor to this growth are nontraditional investors including mutual funds and hedge funds, which now account for approximately 40% of dollars invested. and while the market is similar to the dotcom era in some regards, it is substantially different in others..
When asked why he took Zendesk public this week, CEO Mikkel Svane replied, "At some point you have to move out of your parent's basement." It's a witty quip with some truth to it. Evolving into a public company is a step for about 25-30 venture backed IT companies per year, and it can be a worthwhile, if strenuous, journey.
Earlier this week, we examined the trends in the major categories of startup investment including eCommerce, Software, Social Networking and Education. But which lesser known startup sectors are starting to raise venture dollars? Where are founders finding unique opportunities to innovate?
"People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it." This line from Simon Sinek's TED talk captures the power of a values based marketing campaign. Simon contrasts feature-based marketing - start with *what* the company is selling continue to *how* they do it and finishes with *why* - to value based campaigns which reverse the story-telling order. Values campaigns start with the why.
In the last six months, VCs have invested more than $57B according to Mattermark data, which puts 2015 on pace to exceed 2000 as the year the most venture capital will be deployed, ever. Which sectors are benefitting from all these venture dollars?
In every sales process for every SaaS startup, there is one ultimate internal champion advocating the purchasing decision. And it's their budget that will be used to pay for it. So, which departments within customers spend most on SaaS?
According to ChiefMarTec, in 2015 there are 1875 marketing technology companies, up from 947 last year. If the number of marketing software companies is any indication, there is a huge expansion in the number of SaaS companies in almost every segment including sales tools, engineering productivity, finance, and human resources. This fragmentation trend has been happening for quite some time.
About two years ago, we examined the new Second Seed, a tactic employed by startups who raise an initial seed round, achieve a set of milestones and raise a second seed round, before raising a series A. During the two years since that analysis, this trend has continued.
This time last year, I analyzed the state of the startup acquisition market. Two key trends surfaced. First, the larger acquisitions were becoming larger. Second, that the total number of acquisitions in 2014 would achieve a 5 year high. As of mid-2015, the first trend continues while the second seems to have faltered.