Venture capital – Marianne Bluger http://mariannebluger.com/ Wed, 25 May 2022 01:12:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://mariannebluger.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/favicon-2-120x120.png Venture capital – Marianne Bluger http://mariannebluger.com/ 32 32 (BPRW) MAC VENTURE CAPITAL CLOSES STARTUP AMP GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES BOOT TOUR WITH $2 MILLION CONFIDENCE VOTE | Press Releases https://mariannebluger.com/bprw-mac-venture-capital-closes-startup-amp-global-technologies-boot-tour-with-2-million-confidence-vote-press-releases/ Tue, 24 May 2022 15:04:12 +0000 https://mariannebluger.com/bprw-mac-venture-capital-closes-startup-amp-global-technologies-boot-tour-with-2-million-confidence-vote-press-releases/ (BPRW) MAC VENTURE CAPITAL CLOSES STARTUP AMP GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES SEED ROUND WITH $2 MILLION CONFIDENCE VOTE Game-Changing VC Backed by Hollywood’s Hottest New Studio Backs Africa’s First Blockchain-Based Entertainment Platform (Black PR Wire) Global – MaC Venture Capital – a Los Angeles-based seed-stage VC that invests in visionary founders – has just closed a $5.6 […]]]>

(BPRW) MAC VENTURE CAPITAL CLOSES STARTUP AMP GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES SEED ROUND WITH $2 MILLION CONFIDENCE VOTE

Game-Changing VC Backed by Hollywood’s Hottest New Studio Backs Africa’s First Blockchain-Based Entertainment Platform

(Black PR Wire) Global – MaC Venture Capital – a Los Angeles-based seed-stage VC that invests in visionary founders – has just closed a $5.6 million funding round for African startup AMP Global Technologies , with a healthy investment of $2 million. MaC is affiliated with entertainment juggernaut MACRO, which has garnered 15 Oscar nominations and 3 wins since its inception in 2015.

Ghanaian-born, Harvard-educated AMP Global Founder and CEO Derrick N. Ashong created the company’s Take Back the Mic (TBTM) platform, powered by an Ethereum-enabled blockchain, to reward fans and creators for building movement around great content. Fans earn points on the platform which they can redeem for digital currency that buys them mobile data. Africa has the highest mobile data prices in the world, making it harder and more expensive for young people to get online.

As a proof of concept for the company’s technology, Ashong has leveraged his experience working for the biggest names in entertainment, including Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and ABC-Disney, to create an original interactive content property that has rewarded fans and artists for using the TBTM platform. to start the show. The web series became two Emmy finalists for “Outstanding Interactive Program”.

Ashong then turned that initial success into a full-scale mobile video service in his home continent of Africa. Streamed and curated by Take Back the Mic (TBTM) users, The microphone: Africa The interactive TV series defied the Covid pandemic in its inaugural season, filming simultaneously in six countries with local filmmakers and winning the 2021 Gold & Silver Telly Awards, beating Netflix, HBO and Disney+. Season 2 added Ethiopia, Morocco, Senegal, and Tanzania to the six home countries of Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Africa, and expanded its reach broadcasting from nine to over 20 countries, while also streaming on the TBTM mobile platform. . AMP Global Technologies went on to win a Murex D’Or award in March 2022 for International Innovative Media at the “Middle East and North Africa Oscars”.

“MaC was literally our number one pick, so getting that vote of confidence from them means the world,” Ashong said. “[MaC Managing General Partner] Marlon Nichols’ impact on Silicon Valley cannot be overstated, while [General Partner] Charles D. King’s influence in Hollywood needs no introduction. As a company at the crossroads of technology and entertainment, we are honored and delighted to work side by side with our models. »

Commenting on his decision to lead MaC’s investment in AMP Global Technologies, Nichols said, “The decision to partner with AMP Global Technologies was simple. AMP is a unique platform that not only leverages blockchain technology to inspire users to access and engage with award-winning content through its play-to-win model, but it also champions and provides monetization opportunities for creators, distribution partners and global brands. I am proud to work alongside a team that focuses on the mutually beneficial relationship between technology, culture and entertainment. ”

About AMP Global Technologies

AMP Global Technologies is building the world’s first blockchain-based video entertainment platform, Take Back the Mic (TBTM), which rewards creators and fans for creating movements around great content. Their flagship program, the interactive talent competition and documentary series, The mic, earned 2 Emmy Award nominations, 2 Telly Awards (Gold & Silver) against Netflix, HBO and Disney+, and a Murex D’Or Award, as well as nearly 1 billion worldwide media impressions and 5 panels Times Square billboard in New York. AMP Global has just opened its Dubai office, adding to its presence in Hollywood, Buenos Aires and Mauritius, East Africa.

About MaC Venture Capital

MaC Venture Capital is an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in technology startups by leveraging shifts in cultural trends and behaviors. Our diverse backgrounds in technology, business, government, entertainment, and finance allow us to accelerate entrepreneurs to the brink of their breakthrough. We provide crucial hands-on support for building and scaling category-leading businesses, including operational strategy, brand building, recruiting, and mission-critical introductions.

The content and opinions expressed in this press release are those of the authors and/or companies represented, and are not necessarily shared by Black PR Wire. The author(s) and/or companies represented are solely responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the content of this press release. Black PR Wire reserves the right to reject a press release if, in Black PR Wire’s opinion, the content of the release is unsuitable for distribution.

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This Major Venture Capital Firm Is Launching A $600 Million Metaverse Fund For The Gaming Industry https://mariannebluger.com/this-major-venture-capital-firm-is-launching-a-600-million-metaverse-fund-for-the-gaming-industry/ Sat, 21 May 2022 16:04:10 +0000 https://mariannebluger.com/this-major-venture-capital-firm-is-launching-a-600-million-metaverse-fund-for-the-gaming-industry/ Venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley Andreessen Horowitzor a16zplans to launch a new $600 million metaverse fund. What happened: In a recent blog post, Andreessen Horowitz announced the launch of the fund, which would support innovation in the gaming industry and help build infrastructure for the metaverse. “As games evolve into virtual worlds and […]]]>

Venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley Andreessen Horowitzor a16zplans to launch a new $600 million metaverse fund.

What happened: In a recent blog post, Andreessen Horowitz announced the launch of the fund, which would support innovation in the gaming industry and help build infrastructure for the metaverse.

“As games evolve into virtual worlds and online services, the demand for the tools and services needed to create great games is skyrocketing. Of course, this infrastructure is important for games in their own right. Yet, we also believe that the coming metaverse will be built by game companies, using game technology,” said Andreessen Horowitz.

According to the company, the fund will be used to develop game studios, consumer applications featuring supporting games, and the metaverse framework.

Also Read: New ‘Blue Chip NFT’ Fund Launched with Andreessen Horowitz Team, Alexis Ohanian Among Investors

Why is this important: “Games are driving innovation across the consumer ecosystem, pioneering the best user engagement, retention and monetization mechanisms, such as microtransactions, battle passes and web tokens. 3.0,” the blog post read.

“Over the past decade, games have undergone a dramatic transformation from mere packaged entertainment to online services that more closely resemble social networks and large-scale consumer technology companies,” the company added. .

In May, the company said it was looking to invest around $500 million to support Indian startups.

Earlier this year, the company announcement plans to raise $3.5 billion for its crypto venture fund and $1 billion for another fund focused on seed investments in crypto startups.

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Venture Capital Giant Andreessen Horowitz Launches New $600,000,000 Metaverse Fund https://mariannebluger.com/venture-capital-giant-andreessen-horowitz-launches-new-600000000-metaverse-fund/ Fri, 20 May 2022 22:05:44 +0000 https://mariannebluger.com/venture-capital-giant-andreessen-horowitz-launches-new-600000000-metaverse-fund/ A Silicon Valley-based investment firm is launching a new $600,000,000 metaverse fund in its latest drive to embrace crypto assets. In a new company blog post, Venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz announces the launch of Games One Fund, a fund dedicated to supporting innovation in the gaming industry and building the underlying infrastructure of the […]]]>

A Silicon Valley-based investment firm is launching a new $600,000,000 metaverse fund in its latest drive to embrace crypto assets.

In a new company blog post, Venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz announces the launch of Games One Fund, a fund dedicated to supporting innovation in the gaming industry and building the underlying infrastructure of the metaverse.

Andreessen Horowitz says he plans to use the fund to invest in game development studios, consumer apps that offer supporting games, and the metaverse framework itself, which the company says is the future of the game.

“Long term, we believe that games infrastructure and technologies will be the key elements of the metaverse…

As games evolve into virtual worlds and online services, the demand for the tools and services needed to create great games is skyrocketing. Not only is this infrastructure important for games per se, but we also believe that the coming metaverse will be built by game companies, using game technologies.

According to the company, video games have undergone a radical transformation over the past decade, becoming social media-like networks that can utilize Web 3.0 digital assets.

“Over the past decade, games have undergone a dramatic transformation from mere packaged entertainment to online services that are more social media-like and evolve like consumer technology companies…

In addition, games also drive innovation across the consumer ecosystem, paving the way for best-in-class mechanisms for user engagement, retention, and monetization, such as microtransactions, battle passes and web 3.0 tokens.

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What dentists can learn from venture capital https://mariannebluger.com/what-dentists-can-learn-from-venture-capital/ Thu, 19 May 2022 15:11:07 +0000 https://mariannebluger.com/what-dentists-can-learn-from-venture-capital/ Venture capital funds disbursed into many different areas of healthcare, including dental care, have increased by more than 50% year over year.1 So love it or hate it, you can benefit from venture capital interest and dental infusion. The influx of money presents opportunities for both new and experienced practitioners. If you’re planning to retire […]]]>

Venture capital funds disbursed into many different areas of healthcare, including dental care, have increased by more than 50% year over year.1 So love it or hate it, you can benefit from venture capital interest and dental infusion.

The influx of money presents opportunities for both new and experienced practitioners. If you’re planning to retire soon, the market is hot, and you may have an easy fix if yours is an independent practice. If you own an independent firm, you have a unique opportunity to see how an entity that focuses its decisions primarily on profit evaluates options. This is different from what dental care has historically prioritized: patient care.


Also by Nicole Rose Yen:

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Calculations and Considerations When Purchasing Patient Records


How do you attract the attention and fortune of venture capitalists? Start with a clearly defined end goal. It sounds simple enough, but practice owners are often reluctant to clearly articulate their goals because they feel it’s too restrictive. This is not the case with venture capital. You can always pivot, but if you don’t know where you’re aiming, you might miss the hit. Since venture capitalists generally exist to make money, we can learn a lot from how they assess opportunities and then select certain opportunities to turn them into reality. The number one rule of venture capital is to start with the defined end goals.

Define your end goals

If you haven’t thought about your end goals, start by listing when you’d like to retire, your ideal annual retirement income, and then how much time you’d like to spend at the office each week before retirement. Date. Once these figures are listed, rank them in order of importance. These clearly defined goals will serve as a metric to which you can return as opportunities arise. Find that compass and respect it. Does that mean you have to commit to only 25 hours at the office every week? Absolutely not. But if you’re not responsible for the goals, you won’t be able to coordinate your efforts.

Examples of scenarios

What does this look like in practice? Let’s go through the scenario of someone at the start of their career with a primary goal of spending no more than 30 hours in the clinic and a secondary goal of increasing profits, but not at the expense of more time in the clinic . A supply representative walks into the dental office and notices that he doesn’t have a scanner and hasn’t integrated CAD/CAM into the office. Should the new dentist only buy the scanner or the complete system? Experience from other clinics shows that CAD/CAM systems not only require a higher initial investment in equipment cost, but also a significant amount of technical training. However, being at the beginning of the dentist’s career, the high initial costs and technical training work to their advantage in achieving their primary and secondary goals, resulting in a reduction in chair time per prosthetic patient and also a reduction laboratory costs.2

On the other hand, for a dentist about to retire (disregarding strategic positioning for his clinic’s exit strategy), the investment will likely only eat into the 30 hours allotted for clinical hours without much time to realize the reward. Stay true to your goals.

Not only does a venture capitalist have a clearly defined end goal; they also have consideration thresholds. We have all heard of the main one: the return on investment (ROI). If a venture capitalist looks at your clinic, industry standards suggest they expect to close the deal at least 35%. That doesn’t mean you can skip budgeting, but it does mean that if you’re going to be investing time and money in a second clinic, equipment, or new staff, you should have a calculated return on investment and plan for that. run to get the numbers in pencil.

After defining your goal, find an opportunity that you are passionate about and calculate the return on investment. Let’s use the CAD/CAM machine. Start by listing all the variables that having a CAD/CAM machine would change with an estimate of what would change, and ignore those that would not change (eg admin salaries, rent, etc.). See Figure 1 for an example calculation.

Before you execute, remember that we’re not just asking if it’ll make you more money, we’re asking if it fits your goals. What other milestones do you want to achieve and by when? Will you need the capital tied up in equipment before you break even? These milestones come with their own ratings, but we can calculate how long it takes to get your money back on the CAD/CAM machine (Figure 2).

Once you’ve assessed the opportunity and determined that it’s a good fit with your goal, it’s time to execute. You’ve already done the math, so the next step is to check the projected actual and adjust from there. Keeping an eye on the financial performance of your investments will not only help you know where you stand, but also estimate your return on investment for future investments.

While some see the injection of venture capital into dental care (and broader health care) as the decline of patient care, it’s an opportunity that the owner of an independent practice focused on the patient can use to improve their own practice. When pitching your next investment opportunity, remember to consider not only whether it has the potential to increase revenue and improve patient satisfaction, but more importantly, whether it aligns with your defined end goals. .

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the May 2022 print edition of Dental economy magazine. Dentists in North America can take advantage of a free print subscription. Register here.


References

1. Anderson DG, Potter MJ, Morris DE. Venture Capital Investment in Healthcare: How to Succeed in a Booming Market. November 24, 2021. https://www.hfma.org/topics/hfm/2021/december/healthcare-venture-investing–how-to-succeed-in-a-white-hot-mark.html

2. Rodgers C. CAD/CAM Technology. February 1, 2013. https://www.dentaleconomics.com/money/article/16393531/cadcam-technology

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Use global markets to your advantage https://mariannebluger.com/use-global-markets-to-your-advantage/ Tue, 17 May 2022 13:15:00 +0000 https://mariannebluger.com/use-global-markets-to-your-advantage/ Dating Group CIO Bill Alena is a RevOps and CVC executive with over 20 years of experience in digital media and online dating. Getty For businesses to survive in today’s ever-changing business environment, they must innovate. This is true whether your organization is a scrappy startup or a global enterprise. But for large companies, maintaining […]]]>

Dating Group CIO Bill Alena is a RevOps and CVC executive with over 20 years of experience in digital media and online dating.

For businesses to survive in today’s ever-changing business environment, they must innovate. This is true whether your organization is a scrappy startup or a global enterprise. But for large companies, maintaining a culture of innovation can be difficult. Startups have it in their DNA, but as companies grow, they often get bogged down in processes, bureaucracies, and false security.

This is one of the main reasons why many Fortune 500 companies that existed around 50 years ago no longer exist. They were unwilling to adapt to changing market conditions. Movie rental company Blockbuster is perhaps the poster child for what happens when businesses go sedentary. In 2008, Blockbuster CEO Jim Keyes said, “Neither Redbox nor Netflix are even on the radar screen in terms of competition.”

Obviously, this quote hasn’t aged very well.

Growth Strategies

However, not all companies are used to resting on their laurels. General Electric (GE) is a prime example. The company has stood the test of time and has become one of the most diverse companies in the world. Historically, large corporations such as GE have approached innovation initiatives through R&D – General Electric Research Laboratory was the first industrial research center in the United States.

The other way starving companies grow is by relying on teams of M&A professionals to scour the wilds for good prospects to acquire. The theory is that buying a successful product is less risky than building it from scratch. However, both R&D and internal M&A have their pros and cons. This is why a third vehicle known as corporate venture capital has started to reappear.

Although CVC has its roots in Pierre S. du Pont’s investment in General Motors, it is still a relatively young specialty. But it’s growing fast. Ten years ago, Estimated AdvisoryCloud there were over 10,000 chief investment officers (CIOs) and C-level investment executives in the United States alone. According to a Zippia Analysisthis estimate is now over 17,000 investment officers.

HVAC activity on the rise

Venture capital funds come in different shapes and sizes. But traditionally, they are affiliated with large companies interested in participating in innovation within the targeted industries. And CVCs represent a rapidly growing segment of the financing market.

According to CB Insights, HVAC activity reached record levels in 2021, with investments reaching $169.3 billion. CB Insights also reported that 221 new CVCs were created during the year, with fundraising activity up 142% year-over-year from the prior year.

For context, Dating Group is quite active in the CVC space. We are moving forward with a layered approach, with a traditional venture capital fund to invest in startups at all stages and a recently launched accelerator. The accelerator is designed just for early-stage startups with which we can offer a myriad of expert support tools that go way beyond money.

Keeping an eye on global markets

With so many CVCs competing for strategic investments, as well as VCs, private equity, investment banks and more, it can be difficult for CIOs to find the right companies to invest in, with the right terms. . But following a good strategy can make all the difference. The one who has worked wonders for many comes from the Oracle of Omaha himself, Warren Buffett. As Buffett so aptly said, “Be afraid when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are afraid.”

This applies to both CVCs and retail equity investors, as investing in quality companies during market corrections is always a great strategy. In some European countries, there will soon be many investment opportunities, especially in the technology sector. Here is a brief analysis of my thinking in this regard.

A focus on Europe

Some of the brightest and most promising technologists in the United States hail from Eastern European countries such as Belarus and Russia. Although founders in the region often run US-based companies, many have maintained overseas engineering and R&D operations. But on February 24, 2022, the invasion of Ukraine changed everything.

Markets collapsed and thousands of talented tech workers were displaced. Today, these highly skilled professionals call Cyprus, Malta, Poland and other countries home. And there is no doubt in my mind that many will blaze new trails with ideas and innovations that could be worth billions. As such, regions not traditionally known for technology may soon become hotbeds of innovation.

An AI boom in small countries

Right now, motivated and skilled professionals working in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) are busy building new networks, incubators, labs and consortia in countries like Cyprus and Armenia. Some even build them without a central location. Their goal is to develop new projects and businesses that advance the field of AI. According to StatistaThe global AI software market is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years, reaching around $126 billion by 2025.

AI will be a driver of the global economy for years to come. Everything from healthcare and retail to concepts like Web3 and the Metaverse will rely on AI applications. All of these are huge markets in themselves. For example, Statista anticipates the metaverse alone will reach $678.8 billion by 2030.

Final Thoughts

Specifically, the dating world is ideally placed to thrive in AI and the metaverse. Personally, I see a large influx of early-stage startups attacking this space, with much of the development work coming from Eastern Europe. At my company, we are actively pursuing investments in applications that we can potentially acquire and technology platforms that can be added to our O&O properties.

That said, a smart strategy for CIOs looking to follow Buffett’s advice is to capitalize on this trend. Get out there and get involved in the areas where the tech exodus from Eastern Europe is taking away talent and entrepreneurs. This is where you might find the next big thing.

The information provided here is not investment, tax or financial advice. You should consult a licensed professional for advice regarding your specific situation.


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Venture capital funding for tech start-ups plummets https://mariannebluger.com/venture-capital-funding-for-tech-start-ups-plummets/ Sun, 15 May 2022 14:26:38 +0000 https://mariannebluger.com/venture-capital-funding-for-tech-start-ups-plummets/ Venture capital funding for Irish tech start-ups plummeted in the first quarter of the year, despite an overall increase of more than 50% in financial support for the tech sector as a whole. Figures showed a “potentially worrying” fall in the value of deals below £10m, according to figures from the Irish Venture Capital Association’s […]]]>

Venture capital funding for Irish tech start-ups plummeted in the first quarter of the year, despite an overall increase of more than 50% in financial support for the tech sector as a whole.

Figures showed a “potentially worrying” fall in the value of deals below £10m, according to figures from the Irish Venture Capital Association’s Venture Pulse survey, with seed capital down by £30m. 50%.

Offers

Transactions worth a total of 380 million euros were announced in the first three months of 2022, an increase of 52% compared to the same period a year earlier.

The number of deals fell by almost a third, from 74 in 2021 to 50 in 2022, indicating that investors were participating in higher value deals.

The VenturePulse survey covers equity raised by Irish small and medium-sized businesses and SMEs headquartered on the island of Ireland.

Information is provided internally by members of the Irish Venture Capital Association and also includes information published elsewhere where IVCA members were not involved. .

Among the top deals in the first quarter were Irish unicorns: fintech Wayflyer’s €134m fundraise and food ordering platform Flipdish, which raised €94m.

Envirotech Exergyn raised 32.7 million euros. Other important agreements were concluded in life sciences, software and cybersecurity.

“All the growth comes from eight deals worth over €10m each, three of which are over €30m,” said Irish Venture Capital Association chairman Nicola McClafferty.

Momentum

“While the momentum carried over from last year has continued for more established companies raising big rounds, some of that momentum appears to have stalled for early-stage companies.”

Transactions below €1m fell 31% to €8.9m, while those between €1m and €5m halved to €34.5m from at the same period of the previous year. It was a similar situation with transactions between 5 and 10 million euros, which totaled 11 million euros during the quarter, down 51% year-on-year.

Nearly 80% of funding in the first quarter came from international sources, raising concerns about the potential impact of macro factors.

“While this is to be welcomed and underscores the quality of Irish tech companies and their appeal to international investors, we have previously expressed concern about where any shortfalls would be made up if the global economy were to contract,” said Sarah-Jane Larkin, Executive Director. , IVCA.

Funds

She also welcomed the announcement of the government’s €90 million seed fund scheme in February aimed at start-ups, noting the nearly 40% drop in seed funding in the first quarter.

Global uncertainty is clouding the outlook somewhat.

“The venture capital industry around the world experienced a downturn in the first quarter due to an uncertain global economic outlook and the war in Ukraine,” McClafferty said.

“While challenging market conditions may persist, we also know that many great companies are being created and built during downturns, so we look forward to data for the next few quarters.”

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Connecticut venture capital fund enters growing cannabis market with $1.25 million investment in edibles – Hartford Courant https://mariannebluger.com/connecticut-venture-capital-fund-enters-growing-cannabis-market-with-1-25-million-investment-in-edibles-hartford-courant/ Sat, 14 May 2022 09:27:13 +0000 https://mariannebluger.com/connecticut-venture-capital-fund-enters-growing-cannabis-market-with-1-25-million-investment-in-edibles-hartford-courant/ The Connecticut venture capital fund is one of the first institutional investors to venture into the growing cannabis business, committing $1.25 million to a maker of edibles aimed at improving energy, concentration and mental health. Connecticut Innovationswhich has over 200 portfolio companies and $300 million in assets under management, invested in 1906 New Heightswhich manufactures […]]]>

The Connecticut venture capital fund is one of the first institutional investors to venture into the growing cannabis business, committing $1.25 million to a maker of edibles aimed at improving energy, concentration and mental health.

Connecticut Innovationswhich has over 200 portfolio companies and $300 million in assets under management, invested in 1906 New Heightswhich manufactures pills combining “moderately dosed cannabis” with medicinal plants.

Connecticut Innovation invests in sustainable technology, or green technology, consumer and healthcare products, technology companies, and venture capital funds with the goal of creating jobs in Connecticut. It’s taking a new direction in cannabis, viewing 1906 New Highs as an emerging field, said Lauren Carmody, vice president of marketing and communications.

“We love the science behind it,” she said. “It could open the door to other entrepreneurs.”

1906 New Highs products focus on energy, cognitive focus, mental health and happiness and are alternatives to alcohol and pharmaceuticals, according to the company. Founder and CEO Peter Barsoom said the products are not targeted for depression, which is a clinical condition.

According to the company, the pills promise “fast acting” and “precision effects” to deliver a range of benefits, including greater energy and focus through herbal remedies and caffeine; euphoric medicinal plants to promote happiness; and an aphrodisiac to boost intimacy and arousal.

For 1906 New Highs, which employs 80 people, Connecticut Innovations’ investment is a “significant milestone,” Barsoom said. The industry has attracted few institutional investors, as many wait for Congress and the president to change federal law listing marijuana as a controlled substance.

The private company, founded in 2015, said its name refers to 1906 when cannabis was last “widely accepted as a beneficial medicine”.

Governor Ned Lamont signed legislation last year allowing the sale of recreational marijuana to adults 21 or older who can purchase and possess up to 1.5 ounces, or up to 5 ounces locked up at home or in the glove box or trunk of a vehicle.

The state is creating an industry, running lotteries to obtain licenses to grow, distribute, manufacture, and sell cannabis.

1906 New Highs applies for a license in Connecticut as a food and beverage company, and if it were to win a general lottery license, it would, however, follow with research and development and manufacturing, Barsoom said. It is one of 122 applicants for the general lottery, which it says has better odds than the 7,245 applicants for retail licenses or 2,945 grower applications.

If he were to fail the lottery, Barsoom said he would find another way to establish a manufacturing operation. The company does not compete in the market Social Equity Council Lottery which was created to promote the cannabis trade in black and other underrepresented communities.

What is missing is institutional support that could unlock billions of dollars of cannabis investment. Companies cannot access capital available at banks that fear losing their federal charters, said Todd Harrison, founding partner and chief investment officer at CB1 Capital, an investment manager specializing in the supply chain of cannabinoid-based wellness products and therapies.

Due to the size and lucrative potential of the cannabis industry, federal law could change this year, he said. He says his view is in the minority.

Five things you need to know

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We provide the latest coronavirus coverage in Connecticut every weekday morning.

“Our feeling is that this is all going to go away,” Harrison said. “It will take time. The banking problems will go away this year.

The US House of Representatives voted in April to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, but the Senate has yet to act.

Access to capital is also limited by brokerage firms that have opposed buying cannabis stocks, instead of only allowing them to be sold. The result, Harrison said, is “pushing back the institutions.”

Up to 96% of US cannabis stock owners are individual investors, he said.

Harrison highlighted the medicinal and other beneficial effects of cannabis, a growing industry that can boost jobs and investment.

“It’s real money. It’s real jobs,” he said. “It’s about getting well. It’s not about getting high. It’s a really good plant. »

Stephen Singer can be reached at ssinger@courant.com.

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INX International launches $50 million venture capital fund https://mariannebluger.com/inx-international-launches-50-million-venture-capital-fund/ Tue, 10 May 2022 13:36:25 +0000 https://mariannebluger.com/inx-international-launches-50-million-venture-capital-fund/ INX International Ink Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of SAKATA INX, announced the formation of INX Venture Capital to make minority investments in technology and materials science startups of strategic interest to the printing inks and printing inks value chain. coatings. INX Venture Capital will be a $50 million investment program and will focus on […]]]>
INX International Ink Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of SAKATA INX, announced the formation of INX Venture Capital to make minority investments in technology and materials science startups of strategic interest to the printing inks and printing inks value chain. coatings.

INX Venture Capital will be a $50 million investment program and will focus on categories including sustainability and circular economy solutions, digital printing, business and manufacturing automation, and customer services. brand owners.

“Our corporate venture capital program represents an extension of INX’s innovation toolkit, furthering our mission to lead the printing inks and coatings industry by providing safe and sustainable solutions that enhance the customer experience,” said Shane Bertsch, vice president of strategic planning and innovation. “We look forward to marrying our focus on creating value for customers, brands and consumers with our curiosity for new technologies and new business models.”

“As one of the largest ink manufacturing companies in the world, we believe our technical expertise and industry connections can help entrepreneurs build great businesses that positively impact people’s lives. consumers and our planet,” added Bryce Kristo, CFO of INX. “We are excited to deploy INX’s resources to help our portfolio companies evolve.”

INX Venture Capital is stage-agnostic, focusing on early-stage startups that have demonstrated “product market fit” and have started generating revenue. The fund will also pursue certain seed and growth stage opportunities. Typical checks range from $1 million to $3 million initially, with reserves for follow-on investments.

INX Venture Capital will have a global investment mandate, focusing on opportunities in its core markets of North America, Europe and South America, in concert with SAKATA’s global innovation efforts INX.

The fund is managed jointly with Touchdown Venturesa leading provider of managed enterprise venture capital services.

“We are excited about the capital investment, industry expertise and operational excellence that INX can bring to its portfolio companies,” said Scott Lenet, co-founder and president of Touchdown. “We believe INX Venture Capital will be an ideal partner for entrepreneurs and venture capitalists looking to pioneer and develop new, innovative technologies applicable to printing inks and coatings.”

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venture capitalists: many venture capitalists prohibit parallel investments. Yuri Milner’s DST cheers him on https://mariannebluger.com/venture-capitalists-many-venture-capitalists-prohibit-parallel-investments-yuri-milners-dst-cheers-him-on/ Sat, 07 May 2022 12:29:23 +0000 https://mariannebluger.com/venture-capitalists-many-venture-capitalists-prohibit-parallel-investments-yuri-milners-dst-cheers-him-on/ Many venture capitalists frown or even prohibit their partners from using their own money to make side investments in startups. At DST Global, the investment group headed by Russian-Israeli billionaire Yuri Milner, personal investing is institutionalized. A prevailing philosophy in venture capital is that allowing partners to negotiate personal investments can put their interests at […]]]>
Many venture capitalists frown or even prohibit their partners from using their own money to make side investments in startups. At DST Global, the investment group headed by Russian-Israeli billionaire Yuri Milner, personal investing is institutionalized.

A prevailing philosophy in venture capital is that allowing partners to negotiate personal investments can put their interests at odds with those of the company. An investor can choose to increase the value of a startup he owns using money from his employer, thereby increasing his paper wealth.

DST sees things differently. The firm does not generally invest in start-ups, so it allows partners to do so individually or to pool their cash. It requires that every deal be pre-approved by the compliance department, a company spokesperson said. DST does this, according to interviews with several founders who have taken partner money, because it allows them to spot entrepreneurs the company might want to invest in later. And it often is.

This practice is a little-known example of how Milner defies Silicon Valley convention. Milner is the richest and most powerful Russian in global technology, and his position has come under intense scrutiny in the past two months since his native country invaded Ukraine. His companies have publicly condemned the war and Milner has donated to Ukrainian relief efforts, most recently pledging $100 million to Tech for Refugees on April 28.

Milner, a dual citizen of Israel and Russia, rose to prominence with hugely lucrative bets on Airbnb Inc., Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Facebook and Twitter Inc. He built his first fortune – which is now worth 3 $.8 billion, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index – with funding from Kremlin-linked sources. DST said it had not mined Russian silver for over a decade.

Personal investment was another controversial and ongoing element of DST’s formula. Here’s how it works: if a partner finds a young startup they want to invest in, they write a personal check, a so-called angel investment. If other partners wish to support the same company, they finance the operation via a fund that they control. There are at least two: an older fund called Apoletto and a newer fund, Gemini, a spokesperson said. These are sometimes referred to in corporate disclosures as DST Global Partners.

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Side investments happen in other companies, but they are rarely as organized and commonplace as at DST. “It’s interesting to have a business model around this,” said Emily Pahnke, who teaches venture capital and entrepreneurship at the University of Washington. “By investing earlier than the fund’s investment thesis, they are putting their hands in the door and keeping it open.”

Partner funds typically invest just under $25 million, the DST spokesperson said. Part of the talk is that the startup could get backing from the main DST fund later, although that isn’t guaranteed, said people familiar with the investment talks who asked not to be identified because the talks were private. Any future investment will be subject to due diligence and analysis by the company, the spokesperson said.

Ryan Petersen, the founder of freight startup Flexport, recalls an approach from DST partner Rahul Mehta in 2015. Mehta explained that Flexport, then valued at around $100 million, was too small for DST, which likes invest once companies are at least five years old. times the size, Petersen said. Mehta negotiated a small investment from the Apoletto fund and made no promises about DST’s future money, Petersen said.

Two years later, DST led Flexport’s next funding round, valuing the company at over $900 million, and Mehta was named a board observer. At this point, Mehta “was already very useful,” Petersen said. Flexport is now valued at $8 billion.

Renaud Laplanche already had a connection with DST when he was ready to start his latest business. DST backed its previous startup, Lending Club, which burned hot before Laplanche was ousted over concerns about the company’s loan disclosures. For his next fintech venture, Upgrade, Laplanche has secured money from the DST Partners Fund. “From their perspective, the initial investment gave them an idea of ​​where the business is at,” Laplanche wrote in an email.

In November, DST co-led a $280 million investment in Upgrade. “They already knew a lot about the company,” he wrote.

Something similar happened with Indian car market Cars24, where a personal investment spawned a $200 million round led by DST in 2020, said Vikram Chopra, the founder and CEO.

DST makes many of these transactions, but they remain in the minority, a spokesperson said. Partner funds are used for more than start-up investments. Apoletto contains a public equity portfolio valued at more than $800 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Regulatory filings from Robinhood Markets Inc. and DraftKings Inc. list Apoletto among shareholders, alongside DST.

Funds benefit from a virtuous circle. The vast majority of that $800 million is rooted in stock that partners receive as part of their earnings from DST investments, including from Airbnb and DoorDash Inc. These can potentially be sold for cash for make more start-up investments.

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How Telstra Ventures uses data science to improve venture capital investing https://mariannebluger.com/how-telstra-ventures-uses-data-science-to-improve-venture-capital-investing/ Fri, 06 May 2022 15:50:00 +0000 https://mariannebluger.com/how-telstra-ventures-uses-data-science-to-improve-venture-capital-investing/ We’re excited to bring back Transform 2022 in person on July 19 and virtually from July 20-28. Join leaders in AI and data for in-depth discussions and exciting networking opportunities. Register today! The venture capital industry has played a vital role in fast-growing cutting-edge technologies. Yet it has been a laggard when it comes to […]]]>

We’re excited to bring back Transform 2022 in person on July 19 and virtually from July 20-28. Join leaders in AI and data for in-depth discussions and exciting networking opportunities. Register today!


The venture capital industry has played a vital role in fast-growing cutting-edge technologies. Yet it has been a laggard when it comes to embracing the new technology itself.

About five years ago, Mark Sherman, CEO of Telstra Ventures, decided to change that by strengthening its data science team. Telstra Ventures has hired Jonathan Serfaty, a former LinkedIn engineer, as head of data science. Serfaty had worked on LinkedIn’s lead prospecting pipeline, which matched well with the deal pipeline used by VCs.

It took a few years to get things off the ground, but Telstra Ventures is already starting to see impressive results:

  • Telstra Ventures now sources 15% of new deals from data science recommendations and data science tools have informed 100% of all deals since 2020.
  • 57% of data science transactions generated an additional turn within the year, compared to 33% for transactions from the old method.
  • Data science source transactions grew fourfold in reported valuation, compared to a 2.4x increase for transactions from traditional channels.

The new approach is still in its infancy, but it is extremely promising. Sherman expects the company to be able to find up to half of its new contracts using the latest data science techniques within five years. This approach works because Telstra Ventures focuses on companies that have already done enough business to generate a data lead.

“It wouldn’t work as well if you tried to do the same thing with pre-seed and seed funding, because there’s not as much digital exhaust,” Sherman said.

What to model

Creating a digital model of a startup in an emerging market is a bit more complex than modeling a public company in an established market, Serfaty told VentureBeat. It has invested significant resources in tools for exploring the Internet in search of public information and organizing the appropriate mix of third-party data services.

They have developed metrics to characterize how companies interact with customers, their growth rate and the connection between players in a market. Serfaty said: “There is so much hidden and unknowable information. We look for proxies that are at least directionally good enough to be useful.

Many of these models take advantage of graphical data modeling techniques that Serfaty has worked with to improve lead prioritization for LinkedIn’s sales team. He told VentureBeat, “We measured a lot of signals from inbound accounts and leads to figure out how to prioritize leads for the sales team. It’s a similar problem to what we’re doing here.

Improve the venture capital pipeline

A venture capital deal pipeline has three key components: sourcing, benchmarking, and adding value. Supply is the process of detecting momentum within a market segment. Benchmarking is comparative financial analysis to understand a company’s strengths and prospects. Adding value is about finding ways to improve business prospects or value. Telstra Ventures has developed data science tools to improve these three processes.

With sourcing, the traditional venture capital approach is to rely on inbound or outbound lead generation. An inbound process may involve gaining exposure in a field that attracts startups in that field. An outbound approach is to research the market and network to find businesses in a specific area.

The data science effort helps identify and prioritize candidates for outreach. This takes advantage of multiple proxies that correlate with various success metrics, but are easier for startups to measure. That’s 15% of companies with the outsized returns mentioned above.

Data science teams also help investors evaluate companies identified through other channels before proceeding further.

“Data science touches every investment we make, whether inbound or outbound,” Sherman said.

Telstra Ventures also makes extensive use of new data science tools in the benchmarking phase. Although venture capitalists have always done analytics, the latest data science workflow takes things to a new level. For example, the data science team has developed tools to generate over two hundred KPIs that can help compare the performance of different companies.

According to Sherman, ten years ago most decisions were based on intuition. Now, by comparing this much richer set of metrics, his team has a much higher confidence interval to make investment decisions.

The data science workflow also helps Telstra Ventures improve the value-add phase by identifying specific weaknesses to mitigate and opportunities to pursue.

Telstra Ventures specializes in helping businesses cultivate more revenue-generating relationships. Serfaty’s team has developed various graphical analysis tools to identify and prioritize pre-qualified prospects and determine the right contact to get the ball rolling.

It took the Telstra Ventures team a while to figure out how these new data science tools could fit into their workflow. Now investors are starting to suggest adjustments for better models and new metrics to track, Serfaty said.

For example, investors have requested network information to help them understand how they are connected to a company and who to contact for an introduction, as well as tools to help research and map sectors to thematic research.

“Additionally, as the VC landscape evolves, we’ve received suggestions on how we can monitor and evaluate Web3 businesses,” Serfaty said.

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