Pages tagged: 'Investors'

  1. On the Bounce

    2021 has seen a bounce-back in venture equity investment.  Some of this is post 2020 COVID related but is there something else going on? 

    October 22nd 2021

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  2. Investing in Stealth Mode

    Down rounds appear to be more frequent in recent months.  But surely down rounds regularly occur, even in “normal” times? Half a year on from the pandemic starting to hurt the economies, evidence has emerged that the number of down rounds is definitely increasing. 

    October 2nd 2020

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  3. Scale Up or Cover Up?

    Investing in fast growing scale up businesses that generate over 100X is the stuff analysts dream of.  Yet it can so easily all go wrong, no matter how deep your pockets are. Cast your mind back to 2012 and imagine that you’d been offered the opportunity to invest in a technology business that was changing the way people and businesses work.  

    November 15th 2019

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  4. Unfortunate Unicorns

    Unicorns remain the ultimate achievement for entrepreneurs and investors alike.  But away from the kudos of joining this exclusive club, are such goals the best target to aim for?

    July 2nd 2019

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  5. Too Late for the Gold Rush ?

    With smartphone sales stagnating and social media in the news for all the wrong reasons, it seems we’ve fallen out of love with technology. But isn’t innovation always in vogue?  

    January 18th 2019

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  6. Does AI Sometimes Mean Artificial Illusion?

    Artificial intelligence is a current hot topic for investors but much of what is hyped as AI may not be all that it seems. Hype is a term often seen around disruptive innovations and Gartner penned the hype cycle a couple of decades or so ago in order to describe the different stages (“peak of inflated expectations”, trough of disillusionment”, “slope of enlightenment”, “plateau of productivity”).  More recently, analyst Davey Jose at sombre bank HSBC modernised the picture, using terms like “hype mania”, “backlash” and “real application”. 

    July 27th 2018

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  7. Why Investing Isn’t One Dimensional

    Investors usually focus on buy price, exit price and perhaps how long in-between the two.  But we may be looking in the wrong direction altogether.  Earlier this year, Forbes magazine ran a headline declaring that we’ve come to a pivotal moment for investors, particularly for those in innovative businesses.  The article pointed out that some events stand out as watershed moments such as Bill Gates writing his “Tidalwave of the Internet” memo in 1995 or Steve Jobs holding up the iPhone in 2007.  So what was this earth changing event? 

    March 9th 2018

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  8. Execution Trumps Inspiration

    Many factors influence startup business success but is there one overriding factor?  Evidence seems to point that way. 

    February 8th 2018

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  9. Should Interest Rates Interest Tech Investors?

    So the BoE has finally signalled its intent to return to normalised monetary policy and raised interest rates.  It’s accepted that it will not have much effect on the incoming spike in inflation - caused mainly by exchange rates – but may well have a detrimental effect on already fragile economic growth.  Adding this to the headwinds of Brexit, does this signal danger for the tech investor or opportunity?

    November 2nd 2017

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  10. Post Brexit – Tech Blues or Blue Sky?

    UK tech is the best in Europe, but does Brexit pose a threat or opportunity?  In recent years the team at London’s Tech City has produced a healthcheck of technology across the country, called the Tech Nation report.  Even if you take some of the findings with a pinch of political salt (Theresa May wrote the Foreward), there does seem to be good news for the UK tech investors.

    April 6th 2017

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  11. Biggest may not be Best

    The brightest stars get most attention but are unicorn company returns quite so fabulous? Tech market analysts CB Insights keep a track of the world’s unicorn companies – those private companies valued at more than $1billion.  CB Insights reckons that there are now 183 such companies worldwide, with a combined value of $657bn.

    January 27th 2017

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  12. ARMing for Innovation

    Within weeks of the UK’s Brexit vote, Japan’s Softbank announced that it had agreed to acquire the darling of the UK tech scene – ARM Holdings -  for £24bn.  At a stroke, not only is this the largest purchase of British innovation but also removes the independence of the last of the UK’s “super unicorn” (i.e. >$10bn value) company. With the acquisition has the outlook improved – or worsened – for UK innovation?

    September 16th 2016

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  13. Worn Out Wearables?

    Ever since we realised that computers were really getting smaller, pioneers and visionaries have been trying to make them wearable.  As far back as the 1975 Pulsar produced the first watch calculator and in the mid 1980’s these devices were in their heyday.  Of course more recently, there has been a surge of smart watches but even Apple has failed to make a device that has really caught public interest.

    May 13th 2016

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  14. The Innovation Champions League

    The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor has just released it’s latest report on entrepreneurial behaviour and attitudes.  It’s an impressive piece of work – almost a quarter of a million interviews across 100+ countries with countless institutions and academic establishments contributing.  And they’ve been doing it for 17 years so it’s a well established and objective process.  It shows how well the UK is doing – and why innovation is key.

    March 17th 2016

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  15. Bulls, bears and unicorns

    Is the market turmoil making it harder for innovative companies to IPO – or providing opportunity?  In March 2014 King Digital, the makers of the hugely popular Candy Crush game, launched it’s IPO.  All the signs were good and the market was in stable bull territory.  However, in the first day prices tumbled from the IPO guide at $22 to less than $18.  For a $7bn company, it was the largest IPO failure for a tech business for some years.  The stock further declined to $12 over the next few months.  Yet today, those early investors may be thinking how smart (or lucky) they were when others are losing their heads.  So what is going on?

    January 29th 2016

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  16. Evolution of the Unicorn

    Forbes magazine runs a yearly Midas list – a set of 100 venture capitalists, investors and commentators who apparently have the knack of turning otherwise ordinary investments into gold.

    One of the consistent names on the list is Bill Gurley.  You’ve probably not heard of him, he works at Benchmark, one of the many Silicon Valley VC firms.  However, Bill has some notoriety as recently he’s been talking about the rise – and imminent fall – of unicorn technology companies.

    November 13th 2015

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  17. The More the Merrier?

    Crowdfunding is coming of age but choosing the right route can be an issue.  How can you be sure that the crowd does know best? You know when a sense of maturity is approaching a market when suddenly a number of review sites spring up.  So it is with crowdfunding.  

    October 9th 2015

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  18. Why Some Bubbles Burst

    Nick Woodman is one of those rare breed of golden geese that have made more than $1bn through a technology innovation.  In Nick’s case (he founded GoPro in 2002 to take action surfing shots) it wasn’t that he even made a technical breakthrough – he simply took existing technologies (firstly 35mm film and then digital cameras) and used them in a new and disruptive way.  GoPro was once the darling of investors but why did this tech hit a bad wave? 

    August 7th 2015

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  19. Disruptive is the New Norm

    Investors like disruptive businesses because they can potentially lead to outsize returns and the term has been around for a while now – it was first coined by Clayton Christensen in 1995.  But how do you identify the winners?

    July 3rd 2015

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  20. Technology Takeover

    This month Apple reported a net profit $18bn, topping ExxonMobil’s previous quarterly record of $15.9bn in 2012.  And if this wasn’t enough, the record profit was a huge 37 per cent up on the previous year.  Apple has now shipped more than 1billion iPhones, iPads and iPods. With Apple posting the largest ever corporate profit, is technology ready to become the lead sector across the globe?

    January 30th 2015

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  21. Perils of Investing in Our Own Image

    Every investment note on the planet contains a profile of the management team because the received wisdom is that execution matters more than inspiration.  Meeting the management team of a startup or growth company is de rigeur for almost every investor – yet it may be their biggest mistake.

    September 19th 2014

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  22. Why Technology Investments Shine

    Every index has its ups and down but on 11th April this year the technology focussed Nasdaq fell 3.1 per cent, the worst one-day percentage loss since 2011.  Why?

    July 18th 2014

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  23. Why Every CIO/CTO is a Venture Capitalist

    Crystal ball gazing in the search for disruptive technologies is a favourite pastime of investors, analysts and futurologists.  Predictions range from the obvious to the science fiction.  However, a recent report by Deloitte came up with a disruptor that was not a technology at all.  They said that every CIO and IT manager should stop focussing on keeping the lights on and minimising risk and instead should think like a venture capitalist.  Isn’t this is a recipe for disaster?

    June 6th 2014

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  24. Better Than Average

    Are you better than average at spotting which are the best tech investments to make?  Almost every tech investor believes that they have a particular insight or edge than make them better than the norm.  In reality, believing you’re better than average is all psychology and not based in reality at all.  However, more data from what really makes successful investors is starting to pop the self belief bubble.

    April 25th 2014

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  25. How Startups Can Avoid Failure

    Startups and small companies are the engine room of the economy.  In a report commissioned by Santander, SME’s also proved the most resilient during the recession and were by far the biggest job creators in the private sector, accounting for a full two-thirds of new UK employment.  Yet, with so much replying on startups, why is it that 90% of tech startups fail?  After years of work, real data is now becoming available.

    April 4th 2014

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  26. Making Seeds Grow

    This week the UK Chancellor announced that the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) is going to be made permanent.  You might be wondering why there’s been so much interest in simply continuing with something that’s already set up.  The reason is that whilst the big brother Enterprise Investment Scheme had been going for a while, the Seed version was a bit of an experiment.  So has it worked and what can be learnt for other aspiring tech sectors?

    March 21st 2014

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  27. Why There’s Money in Messaging - Eventually

    Facebook has just announced that it is spending a colossal $19billion buying the mobile instant messaging company WhatsApp.  This is one of the biggest deals in tech for a long time – reminiscent of the $25billion acquisition of Compaq by HP.  Now, $19 billion is a lot of money – it’s larger than the entire market cap of say Sony for example – and it’s over 10% of the value of Facebook itself ($170bn).  The key point is that messaging platform acquisitions don’t always work.  Whilst YouTube has continued to grow since it’s take over by Google in 2006, MySpace fell off the cliff after Newscorp spent $580million buying it in 2005.  So why has Facebook risked so much?

    February 20th 2014

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  28. Being Fast Moving Does Not Mean “Proceed Directly to Go”

    According to latest figures there is a record number of technology start-ups appearing not only in the UK, but in Europe, the US and Asia.  As the economic crisis of the late noughties starts to ease there’s a sense of needing to take advantage of cheap money before recovery starts to edge up pressure on interest rates.  But is there time to get a technology start-up going and proceed all the way to exit within this economic cycle?

    January 17th 2014

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  29. Rise of the Anti-Business

    In 2007 two men and a dog in Aberdeen set out to brew a new kind of beer and take on the leviathans that dominate the sector.  Roll on seven years and the self proclaimed anti-business business Brewdog has more than trebled every year, boasts 6,500 shareholders and even global drinks giant Diageo was forced into a humiliating public apology over it’s clumsy efforts to stifle them.  If this disruption can happen in an industry that’s over 4,000 years old, what does that tell us for the tech sector?

    January 3rd 2014

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  30. Giving it Away for Free Lands S1bn

    If you want to find out what people think, of you, your product, or even where you should go for the Christmas meal, the chances are you’ll use Survey Monkey.  It’s simple, easy to deploy, almost user foolproof – and the basic version is free.  So how come the company has joined the “unicorn” brigade of $1bn plus?

    December 10th 2013

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  31. Why There's Still Money in Hardcopy

    A London based enterprise Lifecake has just raised a further £700k to launch its new photo sharing service, specifically designed for families.  It's their monetisation approach that makes them interesting.

    November 25th 2013

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