NYC sub-sector trends in 2016

Many people ask what is happening in the NYC startup scene and they still assume it is mostly adtech, commerce and content.  That might have been true in the past, but it’s not what is happening now, at least based on anecdotes and what I’m seeing.  Decided to do use some data to see if this accurate.  Used Pitchbook to this query:

  • Seed and Series A rounds
  • rounds done in 2016
  • NY HQ’d companies

 

Below is the dollars & percentage breakdown of sub-sector activity.

The surprising trends will likely be that SaaS is leading all the sub-sectors.  Secondly, the trend in healthcare, big data, AI/ML will be an eye-opener.   Overall, NYC is really balanced in term of sub-sectors and isn’t overly dependent on one to drive future returns.

I would like to see more VR/AR related startups, given how much content companies and studios are based here.

What are you thoughts on this?  What are we going to see more of in 2017?

Industry Vertical Capital Invested (in M) Percentage
SaaS $313.77 17.7%
E-Commerce $286.55 16.1%
Mobile $272.14 15.3%
FinTech $250.60 14.1%
HealthTech $135.28 7.6%
Big Data $100.43 5.7%
Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning $72.75 4.1%
Marketing Tech $51.14 2.9%
Internet of Things $43.84 2.5%
Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability $36.84 2.1%
AdTech $33.19 1.9%
Manufacturing $30.75 1.7%
EdTech $22.08 1.2%
Cybersecurity $21.60 1.2%
Life Sciences $21.20 1.2%
Wearables & Quantified Self $20.75 1.2%
Virtual Reality $17.41 1.0%
Robotics and Drones $14.92 0.8%
3D Printing $10.05 0.6%
AudioTech $9.75 0.5%
Nano-technology $6.70 0.4%
CleanTech $3.00 0.2%
$1,774.74 100.0%

3x DPI ?

The goal of most Venture Capital funds is to drive a minimum of 3x the capital invested to their Limited Partners.  The terminology that is used and most important to dig into is DPI (Distributed to Paid In).

From time to time, you will meet some audacious General Partners, who will claim they can drive 5x DPI.

Most VC funds have a 10 years life span, meaning the 3x DPI goal should be achieved within this time frame.

Lets look at the publicly available data on Pitchbook.  I pulled up all VC funds that were in the 2006 vintage (meaning the fund started investing that year, so we are at the 10 year mark now).  Pitchbook had return data on 27 funds.  I realize that Pitchbook doesn’t have access to return data of all 2006 vintage funds, but for this exercise and to make my point, 27 is a decent sample size, considering there are 322 funds that are a 2006 vintage per Pitchbook.

Of the 27 funds:

  • NONE have a 3X DPI
  • ONE fund has 2x+ DPI (1 / 27 = 3.7%).
  • TEN funds have a 1x+ DPI (10 / 27 = 37%)
  • 17 funds has less than a 1x DPI (17/27 = 63%)

This post isn’t meant to discourage VCs or LPs, but do want to highlight that this is a very hard business to be successful at.  With so many new VC firms being formed and many  new LPs rushing into the VC industry, it is important to reiterate the point.

I’m not sure on the history of why 3X became the default return target by LPs, as opposed to 2.5X or 2X (will do some research on this).  I realize that LPs are looking for a 20%+ IRR, which is how they get to 3x DPI goal, but it is fair to say that they have misplaced expectations.  VCs are in the business of investing in outliers and therefore LPs are looking for the same, but based on this data and other available data, if you are generating 2x+ DPI, you are an outlier.

Below is the dataset that I am referencing:

6250001210802176

 

 

 

We are hiring in NYC

Silicon Valley Bank is continuing to hire in NYC.  The office has rapidly grown with the startup community and we are excited about the opportunities ahead.

My group is hiring and am looking to spread the word to find a candidate for this unique position.

We are looking for a senior professional who will work closely with emerging managers (if you don’t know this term, probably not a great fit for the role).  

The role is focused on helping emerging managers with how they go to market, how they think through their fundraising process and connecting them to our network, which will improve their odds of success in this difficult industry, where 3x+ DPI is expected by LPs.  This role is not an investment position (in startups or funds) but one where you enable great investors and earn the role to be their trusted adviser.

This person HAS to be passionate about venture capital, founders, startups, limited partners and technology.  In addition to having the passion, this professional needs to have contacts in the industry, ideally with existing emerging managers and/or LPs who invest in their funds.

This role is based out of our NYC office at Bryant Park.

This professional has to have the flexibility to have detailed conversations with the four groups posted below.

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If this sounds like you, please email me at sgoldman at svb dot com

Thank You

Looking for Mentors in NYC

As you may know, I’m involved with a non-profit called BUILD.  I was a mentor when I used to live in the Bay Area and it was a very rewarding experience during my four years with them.  In addition, I joined the NYC board of BUILD in January, to help them launch here.

The mission of the organization: Through entrepreneurship-based, experiential learning, BUILD ignites the potential of youth in under-resourced communities and equips them for high school, college and career success.

Some of the students who are enrolled in BUILD have no aspirations to attend college, we want to change that.  If it wasn’t for the students’ involvement in BUILD, they might not have graduated from high school.  As a mentor, you have the ability to positively impact the path that these students are on.

BUILD was founded in 1999 and it is finally launching in NYC, having proved out their programming/model in the Bay Area, Boston and in D.C.

This upcoming October ’16, 500 local high school Freshman will be enrolling in the BUILD program.

We need 100 mentors to support these 500 students.  As of now, we have 50 mentors committed and need another 50.

There is a significant time commitment by the mentors:

  1. Program goes the entire school year, October ’16 to May ’17
  2. One hour per week (some weeks off due to holidays/vacation breaks)
  3. Sessions are in the afternoon at the students’ schools (locations are in Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn)

Who are out Mentors?  They are professionals who are dedicated to serving the students and have the flexibility in their work schedule to spend time with them once a week.  Mentors are providing guidance from a business/life perspective, you don’t need to have a technical or startup background to participate.

If you want to get more information about become a mentor, visit the mentor site or if you feel you are ready to apply to be a mentor, email Miranda Bellizia at mbellizia@build.org .

Thank you for reading this far.

 

Fastest Growing NYC Startups?*

Although I’m familiar with Mattermark, I only recently started using the service.   As I got to play around with the functionality, I gravitated towards the metrics around number of employees and employee growth rate.

Given that startup revenue figures aren’t provided on any public databases that I’ve seen so far, the closest (but imperfect) way to measure the growth of a startup is by employee growth rate.  If a startup is doing well, generally speaking, they are hiring.   This is a broad statement but true in most situations. That being said, hiring a lot of people quickly, certainly doesn’t equal success and in some instances have actually driven companies out of business, due to spending too much money, but that is an entire blog post in itself.

I set out a few parameters in order to find the fastest growing midsize VC backed companies HQ’d in NYC, here was the search criteria:

  • 100+ employees
  • HQ’d in NYC
  • VC backed
  • Still private (haven’t exited)
  • 20%+ employee growth rate in the past six months
  • 2%+ employee month over month growth rate

The results (sorted by Employees Month over Month Growth):

fastest nyc startups

One ratio I thought was particularly interesting, was (Employee Count / Total Funding). If this ratio is high, you COULD derive a few things: 1) they are more capital efficient 2) likely to be generating significant revenue.  For example, look at Movable Ink, an enterprise software startup.  They have 139 employees and only raised $12.3M to date.   If you want to use this ratio, it would only be fair to compare apples (Enterprise SaaS) to apples (Enterprise SaaS), as opposed to apples (SaaS) to oranges (Hardware).

*Again, this is certainly an imperfect way to find the fastest growing startups or most capital efficient, but it can provide some insights on these two fronts.

 

VCs who lead seed deals in NYC startups

Sent out a few tweets last night:

While there is a lot of discussions (and some clarity) on how the opaque VC world operates, it is still hard to get data for Founders who are fundraising.   In particular, getting information on seed rounds is challenging as many rounds are not announced and the specific VCs who invested, aren’t always listed.  To make things even more murky, who actually led the round isn’t always disclosed.

While fundraising is supposed to be challenging for startups, we could make it slightly easier for Founders to identify who the active VCs are and more importantly, who are actually LEADING rounds.   Many of my discussion with seed stage Founders are about fundraising and there is a lot of confusion as to who leads rounds vs those who participate rounds, a very important distinction.  In order for a round to really come together, you need a VC who will lead the round, which typically means they are setting terms (“pricing”) and writing the largest check in the round.

The criteria I’ve set is as follows:

  1. NYC HQ’d startup
  2. VC has raised a new fund in the past 36 months
  3. VC has led (or co-led) two seed deals in the past 12 months in NYC (see point #1)
  4. Check size of lead VC is $500K+
  5. Round size is $750K to $3M (could be an equity or a convertible note instrument)

So with the parameters outlined above, I have gone out to several data sources to see what could be found, although it has not been fruitful, at least on the point of who lead the round and how much they invested.

Given that many of the VC rounds haven’t been announced, the data isn’t actually available yet, so I also solicited feedback from the community on which VC firms fit ALL of the parameters outlined above (in alphabetical order).

  • Accel Partners (SF)
  • Bloomberg Beta (NYC and SF)
  • BOLDstart Ventures (NYC)
  • Bowery Capital (NYC)
  • Canaan Partners (NYC and SF)
  • Collaborative Fund  (NYC)
  • Eniac Ventures (NYC and SF)
  • ff Venture Capital (NYC)
  • First Round Capital (NYC and SF)
  • Flybridge (NYC and Boston)
  • Genacast Ventures (NYC and Philadelphia)
  • Greycroft (NYC and LA)
  • Homebrew (SF)
  • IA Ventures (NYC)
  • KEC Ventures (NYC)
  • Lerer Hippeau Ventures (NYC)
  • Metamorphic Ventures (NYC)
  • NextView Ventures (NYC and Boston)
  • Primary Ventures (NYC)
  • Resolute Ventures (SF and Boston)
  • SBNY (NYC)
  • Scout Ventures (NYC)
  • True Ventures (SF)
  • Two Sigma Ventures (NYC)
  • Union Square Ventures (NYC)

I’m actually surprised the list is this long, thought it was much shorter when I sent out the original tweet.  That being said, my sense is that there is room for more players as some of these firms are focused on specific sectors, while other sectors aren’t covered as actively.  In addition, the market is growing and there is an increase in the amount of seed stage companies being formed.  Lastly, most of the firms listed above are leading on average two deals per year in NYC, so that means ~40 NYC based startups would have lead every year.  I would assume there are more than 40 high quality companies per year in NYC that should have a lead, so again, room for more players.

If you think I missed your firm on this list, please send me a note at sgoldman at svb and provide specific information on which deals you have led in the past 12 months, thank you.

This list was purposefully focused on seed deals.  I think pre-seed is a distinct category and deserves a separate post/list, might work on that, stay tuned.

I have received feedback from people on the parameters that I set out.  They were done thoughtfully based on discussions with stakeholders in the community.  Feel free to write your own post based on other parameters if you disagree with mine.

Series A firms in NYC

Recently, I had a conversation with a NYC based seed stage VC, who was lamenting that there aren’t enough NYC HQ’d VC firms who are leading Series A rounds for local startups.

Naturally, I asked the twitterverse a question on this topic, this was the response:

Series A firms

As you may know, the twitterverse can be wrong sometimes, so lets find some data. We did a query on Pitchbook with the following criteria:

  • NYC HQ’d firms
  • $100M+ fund that was raised in the past 3.5 years (typical deployment time frame)
  • Led investments in NYC HQ’d startups at Series A stage ($4M+ size rounds)
  • Excluded life science sector

The results provided us a total of 14 firms*:

  1. Bain Capital Ventures*
  2. Bessemer Venture Partners*
  3. Canaan Partners*
  4. Elephant Partners*
  5. FirstMark Capital
  6. General Catalyst*
  7. Greycroft Partners
  8. IA Ventures
  9. Lux Capital*
  10. RRE Ventures
  11. Thrive Capital
  12. Tribeca Ventures Partners
  13. Union Square Ventures
  14. Venrock Capital*

 

If you look at the number of Bay Area HQ’d VC firms, who are actively leading Series A investments in NYC HQ’d startups, that number is 20.

Ideally, you would have had more local Series A investors than non-local investors, so there seems to be room for a new Series A focused firm to set up shop in NYC.

*These firms have several offices across the US but have at least one investing Partner based in NYC.  Notably, only half of the firms listed have the entire partnership based in NYC.

Thanks to our summer Intern, Lorel Sim, for pulling up the data.

P.S. – if you believe your firm should be part of the fourteen firms listed, please provide data to support the assertion, email me at sgoldman @ svb.com