2015: NYC En Fuego

The start of 2015 has been amazing in NYC, when you look at the velocity of VC funding activity.  I haven’t done a full analysis, but this is likely the most active month EVER in terms of big VC rounds being announced.  The impressive thing is the diversity in terms of sub-sectors being represented (some people still think this is a adtech & content town only).  I understand that VC financings is not the end game, but money does help in growing your company and getting to an exit.  Here is a list of $10M+ VC rounds that were announced in January 2015 (used CBInsights to get the data).

  1. Business Insider – $25M
  2. Datadog – $31M
  3. Giphy – $17M
  4. Mashable – $17M
  5. Earnest – $17M
  6. Button – $12M
  7. Persado – $21M
  8. Work Market – $20M
  9. Stack Exchange – $40M
  10. Taykey – $15M
  11. ClassPass – $40M
  12. Schweiger – $12M
  13. IRX Therapeutics – $32M
  14. Boxed – $25M
  15. Whistle – $28M
  16. Defense Mobile – $20M
  17. MongoDB – $80M
  18. Noom – $15M
  19. Reonomy – $13M

VC Funds Below $200M In Size

I have been actively tracking VC funds at/below $200M in size.  I am constantly asked for help from Founders who are trying to raise capital, so I created this resource.  This list is especially valuable as it gives Founders a sense of who has capital to invest.  Typically if a VC’s fund is less than three years, they have some “dry power” to make new investments. If you have any firms that should be added, please send me a tweet to @shaig with the details.

Link:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ar2jKST-_k4GdGlaRFltQlZVWDlNUkZ6VldoVzVicGc#gid=0

How Do I Rebuild My Twitter Feed ?

One of my new year resolutions was to nuke my twitter feed.  I was following about 500 people and I unfollowed all of them.

Rebuilding you twitter list takes some time, but here are the steps that I took to rebuild my list:

  1. Go through my DMs, which is any easy way to refollow people who are important for me.
  2. There are about ~50 people that I can easily remember to follow again.
  3. Use SocialRank - this awesome service gives you insights on which of your followers you should follow and who you interact with the most
  4. I go through my mentions area to see if there are some people that I should follow that I recently engaged with.
  5. I ask people who I should follow.   See this as an example.

Within a few days, I rebuilt my feed with about 250 people.  About 50 of those are people I didn’t follow before.

If you have any tips on this, please let me know.

Thoughts on OnDeck Capital IPO

ondeck

New York City based OnDeck Capital filed for their IPO.

This is how they describe themselves “OnDeck powers the growth of small business through lending and technology innovation”.

I’m excited about this upcoming IPO for several reasons.  First, this is going to be a positive event for the NYC tech scene, including several NYC based VCs who invested early and many of the employees (216 based in NYC per LinkedIn). Secondly, I’ve been in the financial services sector for over 15 years and haven’t seen many financial related IPOs, so that is nice to see and it is a trend.  Lastly, since the market downturn of 2008, majority of banks have lost their appetite to lend to small business, so this is a much needed product, which is one of the main drivers of their growth.

Some highlights:

  • They have choose the NYSE and will be traded under the symbol ONDK
  • Company started in 2007
  • Major investors are RRE (15.4%), IVP (14.4%), Village Ventures (10.8%), SAP Ventures (10.1%), First Round Capital (6.5%), Google Ventures (6.3%), and Tiger (6%)
  • Top line revenue has grown over 2.5x over the last year.  $107.6M (2014) vs $42M (2013).  Both figures are for 9 months.
  • They are at a $143.4M annual revenue run rate
  • Net loss has shrunk in the last year, which is great news considering revenue has grown over 2.5x.  $14.4M (2014) vs $18.8M (2013).   Both figures are for 9 months.
  • While sales/marketing expense has gone up, it is going up at a slower rate of 1.6x compared to revenue which has grown at 2.5x:  $21.8M (2014) vs $13.6M (2013).  Both figures are for 9 months.
  • Loans originated: $788.3M (2014) vs $290.9M (2013).  Both figures are for 9 months.
  • They are originating more loans (both number and dollars) directly vs indirectly.  43% (2014) vs 19.4% (2012).  This is % of total dollar volume loans.
  • 15+ day delinquency ratio has gone down from 8.9% (2012) to 5.4% (2014).

Better Health

Got my physical results last week, without getting into specifics, the doctor says I need to take better care of myself. So I set out to five goals for myself for the next 30 days:

1. No booze. I do a lot of entertaining/networking for my job and also watch a lot of ball games, so I tend to consume a fair amount of alcohol, this is going to be challenging but I’m mentally prepared.

2. No caffeine. I hardly drink any sodas but I do drink at least two cups of coffee a day, sometimes three, so this is going to be the most challenging part for me.

3. Participate in Movember. Will raise awareness for men’s health issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health. Will be raising money (see link) and also growing out a mustache (see pic below).

4. Trying to reduce the consumption of red meat and sweets.

5.  Lastly, doing a 3 day liquid cleanse during the 1st week of this new diet (see pic below)

20141103_085504B1rd7ojIMAE0p1C

Global Smartphone Market Share

smartphones

IDC recently published a report on global smartphone market share.   A few highlights from my perspective.

  • Apple market share as a % has gone down from 12.9% to 12.0%.
  • Xiaomi has more than doubled their market share
  • The majority of the devices are running Android, so it puts into perspective how large an opportunity Android is for developers that are thinking about a global audience

smartphones