Maple

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Maple is a vertically integrated food startup in NYC.  They launched in early/mid 2015 and recently expanded their coverage area to midtown , which is where my office is.

I really liked their packaging and quality of the food (the most important part).

The only issue I had was their delivery time, they had indicated 35 minutes but actually took 55 minutes.

I’ve tried the UberEats service multiple times but didn’t like the packaging of the food but their delivery times were typically less than 10 minutes, so super fast if you are in a time crunch.  It is a bit of a apples and oranges comparison as Maple makes the food and UberEats is just delivering (for now).

This is a massive market which is evolving quickly.  Looking forward to trying other services out, including Sprig, which hasn’t launched in NYC yet.


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5 years in NYC

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I can’t believe it was five years ago that we moved to NYC!  (I don’t call it Silicon Alley or Big Apple)

Since moving here with my Wife (Kanya) and two dogs, we added two amazing children, Sophie is now four years old and Caleb is 18 months old. (Yes, I’m still reppin’ my Bay Area sports teams…this pic is from the Bronx Zoo)2015-09-27 17.36.42 copy

The startup scene has evolved dramatically.

An important KPI for an emerging startup community is the # of VC backed companies, ultimately you need to have exits though (but that is a function of time).

The # of VC backed companies that raised money in 2011 = 97

The # of VC backed companies that raised money in 2015 = 416… the is over a 4x increase!!!

On the exit front, there were zero $100M+ exits in 2011 and in 2015, there were three (Etsy IPO + Business Insider and Sunrise acquisitions).  In addition, there a lot of well established companies that are IPO ready and/or on the IPO track.

On the VC front, there were a handful of well established NYC HQ’d firms in 2011, Insight, Bessemer, Firstmark, RRE, USV, First Round, Greycroft, etc. Now there are 100+ firms who are actively writing checks,  and notably, there has been a massive amount of seed focused funds established in the past few years.

The SVB office, which was growing to 10 people when I moved here, is almost 50 people now.

We are still in early days for this startup community.   Over the next five years, we are going to get closer to the Bay Area in terms of investments and acquisitions (although I don’t expect NYC to be at the same scale, nor does it have to be a goal to be considered a success).

I am excited about several local initiatives that are going to propel the startup community.  One is Cornell Technion campus that is being built on Roosevelt Island.  It should be up and running at the end of next year, the goal is create a Stanford/MIT equivalent in NYC.  The second being CSNYC , whose “mission is to ensure that all of New York City’s 1.1 million public school students have access to a high-quality computer science education that puts them on pathway to college and career success”.  Lastly, we have many private organizations that are teaching people how to code, which will support the growing tech community.  Some of the programs include General Assembly, Flatiron School, Startup Institute, Codecademy, Coalition for Queens, etc.

 

I’m grateful to be part of this growing community, the future is bright!

Summer Internship 2016

Update on 1/29/2016:  I am currently reviewing the submitted emails and will respond by Feb 15th if we want to move forward with an interview.

 

We (SVB) are seeking an amazing intern for the Summer of 2016.

The past interns that I’ve hired have gone to do some interesting things in the startup/venture community:

  • Kevin Carter, who subsequently joined SV Angel as an Associate and is now a Partner
  • Chaz Flexman, who subsequently joined SVB full-time, then worked for A16Z and now is VP of Strategic Relationship at PCH International
  • Thomas Knowles, who subsequently joined the SVB venture arm and is now a Partner at Gratitude Railroad (a VC fund in Utah)
  • Dimitris Kouvaros who subsequently and recently became a Director at Newark Venture Partners (a new VC fund / Accelerator)

Here are the characteristics that she or he must possess:

  • PASSION for the startup community
  • Articulate (both in writing and presenting)
  • Takes initiative
  • Hard worker
  • Have an opinion (let me know which sector(s) you are excited about)

If this sounds like you and can clearly demonstrate the above characteristics, please send me an email at sgoldman at svb.com.  In the subject line, use: 2016 Internship.

A few key points to highlight:

  • This is a paid position (~$15 / hour)
  • Ideally, the candidate is currently a Freshman, Sophomore or Junior
  • Start date would be around June, flexible depending on your class schedule
  • Could be either full-time or part-time
  • Position is based in NYC
  • Ideally, the candidate lives in NYC, in case we would like to extend the internship beyond the summer
  • You get to work directly with me :)
  • All the work you will be doing is squarely focused on data/metrics regarding the startup/vc community.  A lot of ad hoc projects around venture funding/activity, sector analysis, portfolio reviews, assisting with blog posts, working with CRM, etc.
  • I will review applicants emails in January and will make a final hiring decision by the end of February

 

About SVB:

In short, we are the leading global commercial bank for entrepreneurs and investors.  A more detailed overview is provided below.

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Start Small

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A little more background on my recent tweets, see below.

I recently had a conversation with a VC who is in the process of raising his 1st fund.  My suggestion was to start small, acknowledging that management fees would likely be minimal or close to nothing.  The benefit of starting small is that the fundraising process will likely be slightly shorter and slightly easier (although it is never SHORT or EASY).  Institutional LPs want to see how you can manage a fund, so that faster you get started and show a track record, the faster you can have a chance of raising from those big LPs.  Many funds have shown the ability to start small and then raise significantly larger funds in a handful of years.

I also threw out the idea of…hold you breath…not charging any management fees on the first fund (i.e. no salary) but with a pre-negotiated amount of draw to cover non-salary costs.  I know this is shocker for some, but several managers have done this.  The trick obviously is how do you pay your bills with no salary?  Some had savings that carried them over for a few years, some had a significant other that helped them cover their living costs and some did consulting on the side.  Hard to pull off, but can make the fundraising process even faster if you are looking to optimize for speed.

Related, here is a post by a Charlie O’Donnell of Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, who raised an inaugural $8.3M fund and outlines the economics of his fund  http://www.thisisgoingtobebig.com/blog/2014/5/12/the-economics-of-a-small-vc-fund.html

Also a post by Notation Capital, which raised a sub $10M inaugural fund and how they capped their fees https://medium.com/@NotationCapital/a-million-dollars-in-fees-762009db0cc8#.uh0xauv93

 

Hiring An Associate in Menlo Park

We (Silicon Valley Bank – SVB) are looking to hire an Associate/Analyst ASAP.  The position will be in Menlo Park, at our Sand Hill Road office. Relocation expenses are not included.

The individual will be working directly with the SVB team that manages our venture capital relationships nationally and our big data team.

You WILL learn the inside baseball of venture capital.

To clarify, this is NOT a VC position, so you are not making investments or sourcing investment opportunities.

You are working on projects/reports, doing analytics, supporting the team and LEARNING about the industry.

We are looking for a recent graduate with a BS/BA degree.

You need to have work experience, preferably in an area that is related to the position but that is not mandatory.

You have to be a team player but also have the ability to work on your own.   Great communication skills are imperative.

You have to be passionate about venture capital and startups, that is the MAIN requirement.  If you can clearly demonstrate your passion about the space via a cover letter, we will give your resume a hard look.

We expect the individual who is hired to stay within their position for two years.

If you are very excited about the opportunity to work at SVB and learn, please email me at sgoldman@svb.com .  Subject line: Associate Position.

By the end of July, will respond to candidates who fit the above description/requirements.

Private Market Bubble

Semil Shah sent out this tweet with this image below that was put together by Tomasz Tunguz.  There are a few things causing this meteoritic rise of growth rounds from my perspective.

  1. There is a lot (and too much) private capital available for startups (private companies) right now.  This creates an opportunity to raise large rounds.
  2. Due to cross-over investors participating in the private markets, some of these startups don’t have to go public to raise money.  IPOs are partially used to create liquidity for investors (and employees) who participated in private rounds.  Many of these large rounds are now providing the same liquidity that IPOs used to create.
  3. Some might argue that the public markets are partly broken, which is driving the large market rounds.  Not sure I agree with this perspective though.

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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