early stage – Marianne Bluger http://mariannebluger.com/ Sat, 19 Mar 2022 15:44:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://mariannebluger.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/favicon-2-120x120.png early stage – Marianne Bluger http://mariannebluger.com/ 32 32 Coinbetter: web3 venture capital funds appear frequently and key leads will appear in 2022 https://mariannebluger.com/coinbetter-web3-venture-capital-funds-appear-frequently-and-key-leads-will-appear-in-2022/ Fri, 18 Mar 2022 20:50:28 +0000 https://mariannebluger.com/coinbetter-web3-venture-capital-funds-appear-frequently-and-key-leads-will-appear-in-2022/ In 2021, Web3 has become a buzzword in technology, crypto and venture capital. With the growing popularity of Web3 around the world, venture capital funds born around Web3 have exploded, and large-scale venture capital funds focused on Web3 are being formed. Coinbetter found that after entering 2022, the amount of Web3 funds launched by venture […]]]>

In 2021, Web3 has become a buzzword in technology, crypto and venture capital.

With the growing popularity of Web3 around the world, venture capital funds born around Web3 have exploded, and large-scale venture capital funds focused on Web3 are being formed.

Coinbetter found that after entering 2022, the amount of Web3 funds launched by venture capital institutions exceeded 100 million US dollars. Among them, there are many well-known investment institutions including DCG and so on.

The 17th of Marchand, The Spartan Group, a crypto venture capital firm, announced the launch of a $100 million Web3 fund. Former CoinMarketCap VP Shaun Heng joined Spartan Group and led the fund’s operating entity, Spartan Labs.

Just a few days ago, a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group (DCG) partnered with African cryptocurrency exchange Luno to create an investment arm, Luno Expeditions, leveraging 7 years’ experience from DCG in supporting Web3, DeFi and cryptocurrency startups to support global fintech and crypto, Web3 startups, expanding their investment activities to cover more early-stage companies in the early stages pre-priming and priming; Venture capital firm Bessemer Venture Partners also plans to use $250 million of existing funds to invest in Web3 companies. DeFi, infrastructure and other technologies.

These are just a handful of the investment world in 2022.

Data from DeepDAO.io, a data analytics platform, shows that in 2022, the web asset management scale 3 of 216 top DAOs reached $9.5 billion.

The scale of these huge investments is a microcosm of global venture capital interest in Web3. It is predictable that with the popularity of Web3 around the world, more and more institutions will join these ranks.

The Mystery of the Web 3

What exactly is web3? It must also start from web1 and web2.

In 1989, the World Wide Web (World Wide Web) was released, officially announcing the arrival of the Internet. From the birth of the World Wide Web until 2004, it was the era of the web1. The Internet in the age of Web1 is composed of static web pages, mainly various websites to provide content and users to read the content, and can only see the content that the website operator wants to display, and users cannot control the content of the website. The representative products of this period are search engines and portals.

The concept of web2 was proposed by initiator Tim O’Reilly at the O’Reilly Media Web2.0 conference in 2004. He believes that web2, as a new model for building the Internet, is innovative in that that the content is “read-only”. becomes “interactive”, users can not only receive content, but also create content, is a network environment that emphasizes user-generated content. The representative products of this period are blogs, RSS and social networks.

Around 2016, blockchain technology swept the internet and the concept of web3 underwent huge changes. The Web3 paradigm is user-created, user-owned, user-controlled, and protocol-distributed. Therefore, web3 is also known as the Internet of Value. In the words of Reuters-linked reports, web3 is a decentralized internet based on blockchain technology.

If web2 is an upgrade iteration of web1, then web3 is more like a “revolution” of web2. Josh Stark, one of the main contributors of Ethereum technology, believes that web3 is a set of technologies aimed at rebuilding control of the Internet, and web3 is the rebellion of traditional Internet users against the current Internet world, representing the idealistic pursuit of the Internet by geeks.

Upgrading from web1 to web2 did not solve the centralization problem. On the contrary, with the online transmission of a large amount of information and data, the problem of centralization has become increasingly important.

Blockchain’s characteristics of decentralization, lack of trust and inviolability provide Web3 advocates with weapons to realize the vision of Web3, so that Web3 has the opportunity to fundamentally change the traditional power structure of the Internet world. in principle.

Coinbetter’s Deep Thoughts on the Web 3

At present, the general framework of the Web3 world has been basically formed.

Coinbetter believes that the core blockchain infrastructure of web3 is complete and a series of well-known public chains such as Ethereum, Solana, Polygon, and Avalanche have emerged. Subsequently, basic technical components such as inter-chain bridges, decentralized protocols such as storage, computing and networking also appeared one after another.

Building these frameworks provides sufficient conditions for Web3 developers, enabling Web3 practitioners to further develop dApps with the conditions and capabilities, thus laying a solid foundation for Web3 application scenarios.

From the application scenarios of web3, it can be roughly categorized into Defi Category, NFT Category, Game Category (including GameFi and Metaverse) and Content/Social Category.

It can be said that DeFi is the first application scenario of the Web3 landing. DeFi provides users with a series of financial tools, including Exchange, Payment, Credit/Lending, Derivatives, Asset Management, etc. According to relevant data from Defi Llama, in March, the total locked volume of DeFi reached $113.73 billion.

The popularity of NFT is far higher than that of Web3, and the transaction volume of NFT applications in collectibles, art, games and other fields is far ahead. Relevant data shows that the total trading volume of NFT in 2021 will reach 19.6 billion US dollars.

As for GameFi and the Metaverse, the hype in 2021 is still fresh in my mind. With the continuous advancement of web3, it is predictable that more and more web3 landing scenarios will appear.

Judging from the current information, some exchanges have already carried out a drastic exploration. For example, FTX will work on the expansion of Web3 in Africa.

Naturally, as an old-school exchange with a keen sense of smell, Coinbetter has also found that the application space and development potential of web3 is very large. With the support of the development plan, Coinbetter will strive to build key infrastructure, such as cross-chain bridges, to meet users’ needs to transfer funds across major ecosystems; creating ways for global users to participate in and understand the Web3 economy, including providing opportunities for the exchange of educational resources and a popular science conference room; actively listed related tokens, users can easily use Coinbetter to trade related Web3 tokens.

As an important part, Coinbetter will also allocate funds from the $5 million fund to establish a special investment fund to provide excellent and potential Web3 projects with various services to accelerate their growth. Going forward, the market will see more Coinbetter crawls on Web3.

Although web3 is still at an early stage of development and faces many problems and challenges, and the public is much less aware of it than web2, Coinbetter firmly believes that web3 can bring changes that affect social relationships and the real value of the company. Therefore, the exploration of web3 will continue.

Web3 is imperative and unstoppable.

If you have any ideas and questions about the three sectors of NFT/Gamefi, DAO and Web3.0, please contact us. Coinbetter Market Brand Cooperation Email: [email protected]looking forward to communicating with you.

Media Contact
Company Name: Coinbetter
Contact: Media Relations
E-mail: Send an email
The country: Singapore
Website: https://www.coinbetter.com/

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Stellantis launches venture capital fund with an initial investment of 300 million euros | Tech News https://mariannebluger.com/stellantis-launches-venture-capital-fund-with-an-initial-investment-of-300-million-euros-tech-news/ Wed, 16 Mar 2022 13:58:00 +0000 https://mariannebluger.com/stellantis-launches-venture-capital-fund-with-an-initial-investment-of-300-million-euros-tech-news/ MILAN (Reuters) – Automaker Stellantis said on Wednesday it has launched its first venture capital fund to invest in startups developing technologies that can be deployed in the automotive and mobility sectors. The fund, called Stellantis Ventures, will initially invest 300 million euros ($330 million) in both early-stage and post-stage startups, the company said in […]]]>

MILAN (Reuters) – Automaker Stellantis said on Wednesday it has launched its first venture capital fund to invest in startups developing technologies that can be deployed in the automotive and mobility sectors.

The fund, called Stellantis Ventures, will initially invest 300 million euros ($330 million) in both early-stage and post-stage startups, the company said in a statement.

The move is part of Stellantis’ broader strategy set out earlier this month in the company’s first business plan.

Chief technology officer Ned Curic said the creation of the fund was part of the group’s efforts to transform itself into a “mobility technology company”.

“Stellantis Ventures will accelerate our transformation by adopting new technologies developed by innovative startups, while fostering their growth potential,” he said.

The automaker said its venture capital fund would act as a “strategic investor” and help startups integrate new technologies into the group in a short timeframe.

Investments will target areas such as sustainability, competitiveness and in-vehicle technology as well as vehicle marketing, sales and financing.

(This story refiles to correct a typo in the fourth paragraph)

(Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari; Editing by Mark Porter)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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Antler East Africa, a venture capital fund secures Ksh. 228 million IFC and We-Fi https://mariannebluger.com/antler-east-africa-a-venture-capital-fund-secures-ksh-228-million-ifc-and-we-fi/ Fri, 11 Mar 2022 09:13:36 +0000 https://mariannebluger.com/antler-east-africa-a-venture-capital-fund-secures-ksh-228-million-ifc-and-we-fi/ To support the growth of East African tech startups, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has announced an investment in the Antler East Africa fund. Antler is an early-stage venture capital fund, focused on developing the next generation of technology leaders. IFC’s $1.5 million investment in Antler East Africa, along with $500,000 from the Women’s Entrepreneurs […]]]>

To support the growth of East African tech startups, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has announced an investment in the Antler East Africa fund. Antler is an early-stage venture capital fund, focused on developing the next generation of technology leaders.

IFC’s $1.5 million investment in Antler East Africa, along with $500,000 from the Women’s Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, or We-Fi, will support the company’s new incubator program to be launched in March and will focus on supporting women entrepreneurs.

Antler will provide a support network including one-on-one coaching, workspace, and training to startup founders accepted into the program. The program will support teams that have an idea and want to turn it into a business, as well as start-up teams looking to grow and raise capital. Through the incubator program, Antler expects to make 35 new investments in early-stage startups over the next three years.

According to the IFC-Google report, eConomy Africa 2020Kenya’s internet economy, for example, has the potential to grow from $7.42 billion in 2020 to $12.84 billion by 2025, and up to $51 billion by 2050. support this growth in Kenya and other East African countries, IFC works with partners like Antler to provide local tech startups with capital and support systems that allow them to launch and grow their businesses while by creating jobs.

Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu, IFC Regional Director for East Africa, said, “Africa’s digital economy is growing and it’s critical that our investments and partnerships empower more entrepreneurs to take advantage of this growth. By supporting Antler, we can help East African entrepreneurs, including women, bring their ideas to life or take their startups to the next level, contributing to the digital transformation of the region.

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The February 2022 US Venture Capital Funding Report https://mariannebluger.com/the-february-2022-us-venture-capital-funding-report/ Fri, 04 Mar 2022 15:27:13 +0000 https://mariannebluger.com/the-february-2022-us-venture-capital-funding-report/ More than $20 billion in new financing for February; up 149% year-on-year. Today, I take stock of the state venture capital and seed funding during the month of February nationwide, where more than $20 billion was invested in US startups. By analyzing some publicly available data from our friends at CrunchBase, we break down the […]]]>

More than $20 billion in new financing for February; up 149% year-on-year.

Today, I take stock of the state venture capital and seed funding during the month of February nationwide, where more than $20 billion was invested in US startups. By analyzing some publicly available data from our friends at CrunchBase, we break down the overall statistics for all funding transactions by funding stage (Early Stage [Angel, Pre-Seed, Seed]series A, series B and advanced stage [Series C+]) including mention of notable rounds.


the TechWatch Media Group public drives global progress and innovation. With its regional media properties (NYC Tech, LA Tech, London Technology, Paris Tech, Boston Technology), TechWatch Media Group is the highway of technology and entrepreneurship. There are a number of options to reach this audience of the world’s most innovative organizations and startups, including placing a prominent brand in a high-visibility post like this, which will be read by the vast majority key influencers in business and beyond. Learn more here.



The average round in the United States in February was $3.8 million Tweet that
The median US first round for February was $2.4 million Tweet that
$1.0 billion was invested in the first rounds in the United States in February Tweet that


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The average Series A round in the US in February was $15.1 million Tweet that
The median US Series A round for February was $11.8 million Tweet that
$2.9 billion was invested in Series A rounds in the United States in February Tweet that


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The average Series B round in the United States in February was $43.8 million Tweet that
The median Series B round in the US for February was $28.0 million Tweet that
$3.5 billion was invested in Series B rounds in the United States in February Tweet that


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The average late-stage round in the US for February was $150.3 million Tweet that
The median late-stage round in the United States for February was $85.7 million Tweet that
$12.6 billion was invested in Series C+ in the United States in February Tweet that


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$20.0 billion was invested in startups in February in the United States through 628 transactions Tweet that
Venture capital funding in the US in February was +6% from last month and +149% from the same period last year Tweet that


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Manchester opens for venture capital firm after £85m raise https://mariannebluger.com/manchester-opens-for-venture-capital-firm-after-85m-raise/ Wed, 02 Mar 2022 07:33:14 +0000 https://mariannebluger.com/manchester-opens-for-venture-capital-firm-after-85m-raise/ A venture capital firm that invests in high-growth tech companies in the metaverse, artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity space is opening an office in Manchester after closing an £85m funding round . Of course Valley Ventures is strengthening its northern presence in cities including Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastyle as it aims to support more businesses […]]]>

A venture capital firm that invests in high-growth tech companies in the metaverse, artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity space is opening an office in Manchester after closing an £85m funding round .

Of course Valley Ventures is strengthening its northern presence in cities including Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastyle as it aims to support more businesses in the region’s high tech clusters.

The investor, which already has offices in London, Dublin and Cambridge, has completed an £85m initial closing of a £95m UK software technology fund.

This includes a £50 million foundational investment from the British Business Bank through its Enterprise Capital Funds (ECF) programme.

Sure Valley plans to invest in 25 software companies across the UK through its new fund.

Managing Partner and Co-Founder Barry Downes said: “We are delighted to develop our existing London and Cambridge hubs, opening a new office in Manchester.

“Many cities, including Manchester, as well as Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle, have become vibrant tech hubs for start-ups.

“As entrepreneurs and founders ourselves, we have been at the other end of the table and therefore understand the challenges start-ups face when it comes to funding.

“A local presence will position us ideally to execute exciting deals in this region and we are always ready to travel across the UK to meet exceptional leaders, invest in their businesses and help them scale and grow in the markets. international.”

Ken Cooper, General Manager, Venture Solutions, British Business Bank, said: “The British Business Bank Enterprise Capital Funds program plays an important role in the development and maintenance of an effective venture capital offer in the United Kingdom By lowering barriers to entry for emerging fund managers and those targeting poorly served areas of the market.

“Our core commitment to Sure Valley will support investment in high-potential, early-stage software companies that are driving change in the disruptive technology sector, across the UK, with the new Manchester office bolstering its presence in the North.

Investment Minister Lord Gerry Grimstone added: “The AI ​​and immersive technologies sectors are major British success stories and investments like this from Sure Valley Ventures ensure that start-ups in northern regions can access the funding needed to help them be at the forefront. of global innovation.

“It’s fantastic to see this investment in the North of England, which demonstrates the attractiveness of the UK for investment as we continue to improve all parts of the UK.”

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How one of Europe’s best-known venture capital teams selects its opportunities https://mariannebluger.com/how-one-of-europes-best-known-venture-capital-teams-selects-its-opportunities/ Mon, 28 Feb 2022 16:28:33 +0000 https://mariannebluger.com/how-one-of-europes-best-known-venture-capital-teams-selects-its-opportunities/ Simon King is a fund manager at Octopus Ventures. He explains the team’s approach to investing in early-stage companies and how they spot potential winners. There’s an old adage in venture capital investing. “Invest in class A teams with class B ideas, and never the other way around.” When Netflix was founded in the 90s, […]]]>

Simon King is a fund manager at Octopus Ventures. He explains the team’s approach to investing in early-stage companies and how they spot potential winners.

There’s an old adage in venture capital investing.

“Invest in class A teams with class B ideas, and never the other way around.”

When Netflix was founded in the 90s, it wasn’t the streaming service we know today, but a DVD rental company by mail. PayPal started life as Confinity, a company developing security software. Slack, used in offices around the world, was a byproduct of a failed video game.

You get the picture.

Few successful companies end up doing exactly what they set out to do. So when you invest in a start-up business, you should expect that they won’t be selling the exact same thing by the time they find success.

Things are changing. Challenges are met. New opportunities arise.

As a venture capital team, you have to be open to that. You invest in fantastic management teams and help them succeed. It always comes down to the team. The ability to sell is essential – sell a product to potential customers and sell a vision to employees and investors, the people who part with money to help achieve that vision.

Have the vision

There are a few simple market factors that we need to see before investing in any business. A large addressable market is essential. Usually this will be a market valued at over £1 billion. The business must also be able to grow rapidly in a relatively short period of time and have a good chance of expanding into new markets or crowding out incumbents to meet the investment criteria.

We will also seek competitive advantage, usually in the form of significant intellectual property.

Beyond that, Octopus Ventures tries to see opportunities that have been overlooked. A fundamental part of this is valuing the diversity of backgrounds within the investment team. You need a diversity of opinions when evaluating start-ups. A team with a tunnel vision simply cannot assess opportunities. Take Elvie, for example, a company Octopus has invested in that has great potential. It designs and manufactures health technologies for women, such as a silent portable breast pump. Many investors did not see the opportunity, considering the area taboo.

In fact, Elvie had a fantastic opportunity to tap into a huge underserved market that had been overlooked by big pharma.

Hiring from diverse backgrounds and creating a culture of openness gives you a better chance of spotting these kinds of opportunities.

Venture capital teams then need to be able to sell portfolio companies that may have reached a value of hundreds of millions or even billions. Octopus Ventures’ network and reputation in acquisitions enables them to ensure the best exits for companies, founders and, ultimately, investors. Although it is important to remember that venture capital investing is high risk and not all businesses will be successful.

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CEO of Santa Rosa start-up bets on venture capital to fight climate change https://mariannebluger.com/ceo-of-santa-rosa-start-up-bets-on-venture-capital-to-fight-climate-change/ Tue, 15 Feb 2022 16:27:09 +0000 https://mariannebluger.com/ceo-of-santa-rosa-start-up-bets-on-venture-capital-to-fight-climate-change/ Editor’s note: All across Sonoma County, in boardrooms and on assembly lines, in garages and living rooms, in government offices and schools, people are taking on global warming. “People here are trying to think big and change the world. We have to try things, even if we fail,” said Geof Syphers, CEO of Sonoma Clean […]]]>

Editor’s note: All across Sonoma County, in boardrooms and on assembly lines, in garages and living rooms, in government offices and schools, people are taking on global warming.

“People here are trying to think big and change the world. We have to try things, even if we fail,” said Geof Syphers, CEO of Sonoma Clean Power in Santa Rosa, itself a climate experiment when it was founded. in 2014 to provide cleaner electricity than PG&E sold.

The Press Democrat launches an occasional series on innovators. We invite readers to submit stories of people locally involved in climate change. Email our editor, rick.green@pressdemocrat.com.

Venture capitalists might finally be interested in funding startups working on climate issues.

That’s the view of Keith Rose, CEO of Operant Networks in Santa Rosa, which hopes to attract venture capital funding.

“Over the last year and a half, huge amounts of money have been invested in ClimateTech, because VCs are starting to see that it’s not an existential problem 50 years from now – it’s today. It’s going mainstream, it’s likely to accelerate, and now is the time for them to step in,” Rose said.

ClimateTech companies try to solve climate problems with technology. Operant Networks, a ClimateTech company, is developing a way for solar rooftops, electric vehicles, solar and wind farms, other power generation equipment, and the network to talk to each other reliably, securely, and affordably.

Its customers will likely be utilities and power generation companies.

Since its inception in 2016, Operant Networks has received more than $7 million in government grants, Rose said. This year, it plans to begin the transition from pure research to commercial activities and already has a Fortune 100 client, he said.

This triggers the need for investors to fund growth.

“We are actively pursuing our first round of institutional funding in 2022. We are seeing interest and have active communication with some investment firms who seem excited about what we are doing,” Rose said.

He does not yet have permission to identify the Fortune 100 company, and it is too early to identify a venture capitalist, he added.

Rose gives Elon Musk and his electric vehicle company, Tesla, the most credit for attracting venture capitalists to climate startups.

“They proved that ClimateTech is not only real, but here and now. Tesla really led the charge,” he said.

The roots of optical networking can be found at Agilent Technologies in northeast Santa Rosa (now Keysight Technologies), where in the early 2000s several Agilent engineers talked to each other about the dangers they saw from global warming.

In 2005, some left Agilent to start Solmetric, which manufactures solar products in Sevastopol. Soon other people from Agilent joined, including Randy King who is now Operant’s Chief Technology Officer. Rose came later from San Francisco.

In 2014, Solmetric was acquired by Vivint Solar, a residential solar provider, and King and others began to notice that residential solar providers were struggling to communicate reliably with their solar installations.

In 2016, then friends Solmetric or Agilent formed Operant Solar, now Operant Networks, to solve this problem.

King, a physicist, mathematician and engineer, leads the company’s technology breakthroughs, Rose said. King’s personal goal is to help develop solar power until it becomes the main source of electrical energy.

“Right now, we could build a grid that’s one-third solar, one-third wind, and one-third natural gas, if only we added intelligence to the grid. That’s where Operant comes in. Eventually we can get to 100% distributed renewables,” King said.

Operant has seven full-time employees working remotely in five states, Rose said. They are mostly software engineers, sitting in front of computers, developing software code and having lots of video meetings.

King and Rod Sugiyama, vice president of operations, are in Sonoma County. Rose is in New Jersey. The other four are in Washington, Texas and Iowa. Chairman Dave Bass is also in Sonoma County.

Operant has benefited from working with programs that help early-stage startups, including Clean Tech Open, Alchemist Accelerator and currently Creative Destruction Lab in Vancouver, Rose said.

“What we are tackling is very large and complicated from a technological point of view. They have been very, very helpful to us,” Rose said. Operant has partnered with University of California Los Angeles, National Renewable Energy Lab, Sandia Labs and others.

Over time, Operant’s focus changed, Rose said.

The team believes that replacing fossil fuels with carbon-free energy to power the power grid is an important response to global warming. They say much of that energy will be decentralized away from today’s giant power plants. Think solar and electric vehicles on rooftops, tapping and feeding into the grid.

The industry calls these distributed energy resources, or DER. They are part of a movement called Electrify Everything.

In this scenario, a combination of solar and battery farms, wind power, biofuel and hydrogen plants, rooftop solar and electric vehicle charging stations will join geothermal, hydropower, nuclear or otherwise to provide clean energy to the 21st century grid.

How do they communicate with each other and with the network, securely, reliably and economically?

“That’s when the light bulb went out for all of us,” Rose said. “Now you have to coordinate all these distributed assets as if it were a single power plant. You will have a huge communication and cybersecurity problem on your hands that no one knew how to solve. In the end, the power grid needs to work. We believe we have the technology to solve this problem.

“That’s why the Department of Energy gave us so much funding,” he said. “They see a huge tidal wave of networked devices coming onto the network in the future. They recognize that some pieces of the puzzle are unsolved, and this is one of them.

Geof Syphers, CEO of Sonoma Clean Power, where most Sonoma and Mendocino counties buy their power, said while he’s not familiar with Operant technology, he agrees the future of the grid lies in much more distributed energy resources, with less emphasis on giant power plants and the ability to control devices will be essential.

In 2015, Sonoma Clean Power created GridSavvy to encourage customers to coordinate the operation of their electric vehicle chargers, smart thermostats and heat pump water heaters with the needs of the grid.

“It’s a long research project to build a much more sophisticated grid,” Syphers said. “Since then, we have been learning.”

Operant has funded his software research through several grants from the United States Air Force and the Department of Energy.

Mary Fricker is a retired Democratic newspaper business reporter. She lives near Graton. Contact her at mfricker@sonic.net.

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Venture capital must integrate ESG to support the companies of the future https://mariannebluger.com/venture-capital-must-integrate-esg-to-support-the-companies-of-the-future/ Mon, 14 Feb 2022 10:07:30 +0000 https://mariannebluger.com/venture-capital-must-integrate-esg-to-support-the-companies-of-the-future/ Venture capitalists need to implement strong ESG due diligence to help them create long-term multi-stakeholder value. This will give venture capital funds a business advantage, as they will better identify and mitigate material problems with new investments. On the other hand, venture capital funds that take a reactive approach to ESG will be caught up […]]]>
  • Venture capitalists need to implement strong ESG due diligence to help them create long-term multi-stakeholder value.
  • This will give venture capital funds a business advantage, as they will better identify and mitigate material problems with new investments.
  • On the other hand, venture capital funds that take a reactive approach to ESG will be caught up in future regulation.

In February, the UN PRI published a work document detailing the development of environmental, social and corporate governance in venture capital, highlighting attitudes and perspectives towards ESG among venture capital firms globally. ​​

Although conversations around sustainable finance have grown significantly over the past 12 months, the venture capital industry has been slow to embrace ESG, let alone integrate it into decision-making. Like defined by the CFAESG investing represents the environmental, social and governance criteria that investors are increasingly using as part of their analysis to identify material risks and opportunities for growth.

Venture capitalists have a unique opportunity to accelerate the growth of companies of the future, not just with capital but with the advice they provide along the way to scale. Making ESG considerations material earlier in the venture capital lifecycle helps prepare them for the challenges as they evolve.

Strong ESG due diligence leads to long-term multi-stakeholder value creation

A review of Stanford’s social innovation article found that only a handful of “top” 50 funds to date have made public ESG, or sustainability, commitments on their own channels. Similarly, a recent report by Amnesty International to study found that almost none of the world’s largest venture capital funds factor human rights into their investment process. So far, only one ESG topic, diversity and inclusion, has captured the attention of VCs.

“Under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, all business actors – including investors – have a responsibility to respect human rights, which includes the need to exercise human rights due diligence before making investment decisions. Venture capital funds that choose not to conduct human rights due diligence violate this responsibility. »

—Michael Kleinman, Director, Silicon Valley Initiative, Amnesty International/AIUSA

Despite major funds lagging behind, there is ample evidence to suggest that more and more funds are prioritizing ESG action and collaborating to shape best practice through industry initiatives as VentureESG and ESG venture capital.

Venture capitalists need to be vocal about which business models they would or would not invest in, and define a framework for how they plan to integrate human rights and ESG into due diligence. Historically, stakeholders such as employees, regulators, suppliers, civil society organizations, investors and “end users” were not formally considered in the traditional venture capital due diligence process. , which has been to the detriment of the venture capital community.

Deliveroo’s experience of launching into public markets shows why this due diligence is so important. After the IPO, amid controversies over the misclassification of runners as “independent”, institutional investors like Aviva, M&G and Aberdeen Standard publicly declared that they wouldn’t invest: a fundamental impact on the bottom line of the many venture capitalists and angels who had funded the company up to that point. As incubators for the companies of the future, venture capitalists have a responsibility to assess the prospect of potential harm to stakeholders and any unintended consequences of the company’s product or platform. And, of course, to protect their bottom line and reputation.

Image: Data from the 2022 PRI Report on Responsible Venture Capital Investing.

ESG allows for a more holistic mapping of hardware issues

ESG due diligence can improve decision-making in early-stage and growth-stage venture capital because it takes a long-term, holistic view of the business. Long-term thinking is important for venture capital, due to the longer-term time horizons of investments.

“At present, very few standards and suitable tools are available for venture capital; while the PRI and SASB have developed excellent tools for asset managers and buyout companies, they don’t quite cover where venture capital is: fast-moving companies, often on markets created from scratch. We are at the very beginning of the VC ESG journey and need to be diligent now in order to create long-term, multi-stakeholder value.

—Dr Johannes Lenhard, researcher and lecturer, University of Cambridge

Using an ESG framework that prioritizes material issues by sector helps investors understand which issues could materially impact the business going forward.

Take the example of a game company. Stakeholders could be categorized here as parent safety groups; children’s charities; game rating authorities; Suppliers; employees; or investors. Material issues may include child safety; responsible product design to avoid gambling addiction; privacy and data security; cloud consumption; and digital carbon. Once these potential issues have been identified, the company can then develop a material issue action plan, along with a list of disruptive ESG scenarios and mitigation measures. VCs who incorporate ESG due diligence often work with the company once invested to help mitigate these issues.

One of the reasons for the slow adoption of ESG due diligence by venture capitalists may be that they find it difficult – and time-consuming – to highlight material issues in all cases, as they invest in inherently new technologies, products and platforms that may deviate from traditional systems. frames.

While existing frameworks can provide a good starting point, they are not entirely fit for purpose when it comes to any early-stage venture capital investment: as Lenhard pointed out above , SASB, for example, does not have a set of industry-specific standards for new technologies, such as games, blockchain and web3, new biotechnology processes or the role of AI. New, developed and adapted tools are needed.

The venture capital industry must also consider the broader technological regulatory environment, including in the area of ​​artificial intelligence. When VCs investigate ESG matters, interviewing the responsible AI is a key part of the analysis. Indeed, various controversies have pointed out that without proper oversight, AI can reproduce or even exacerbate human biasto lead to discriminatory resultsand can cause job displacement.

In 2019, the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution at the World Economic Forum brought together an informal multi-stakeholder group of leaders, known as the Global AI Council (GAIC), with a keen interest in creating a positive future with AI systems. advanced AI.

One of the Council’s objectives is to provide strategic guidance to the global community on priorities for AI governance and cooperation, as well as the policy implications of advancing AI.

The project takes place over several months and brings together a diverse group of individuals including science fiction writers, economists, policy makers and AI experts.

The council aims to open up the possibilities for its positive economic future by utilizing the creativity and expertise of these participants, as well as opening up the process to a much wider range of contributors.

She is also in the process of initiating a second thread of the project, in parallel with the workshops: a film competition in partnership with the XPRIZE Foundation. Participants will create short films showcasing their ideas for a future economy in a concrete form that speaks to individual aspirations and fears.

Growing public concern about the potential misuse of AI has created cross-party demand for trustworthy AI systems and led to increased global political activity. Yet the most ambitious policy response to date has come from the EU, where the European Commission has published its Artificial Intelligence Law – a comprehensive regulatory proposal that classifies AI applications into four distinct risk categories:

  • Unacceptable risk: these use cases will be prohibited (e.g. social scoring).
  • High risk: they will be subject to quality management and compliance assessment procedures (e.g. CV sorting software, robot-assisted surgery, credit score, facial recognition systems).
  • Limited risk: they will be subject to minimum transparency obligations (e.g. chatbots).
  • Minimal risk: they will not be confronted with any additional provisions (for example, anti-spam filters).

Venture capitalists that have portfolio companies operating in high-risk areas (e.g. healthcare, banking and insurance, transport, employment) should take a proactive approach to ESG before the implementation of these regulations. They also need to consider the impact of broader sustainable finance regulation on their funds, such as the advent of SFDR and the EU Sustainable Finance Taxonomy. Failure to heed this regulation will incur a significant cost in terms of regulatory risk, avoidable harm, reputational damage, missed growth opportunities, and ultimately undermine their bottom line.

Today we are witnessing a broader shift from shareholder capitalism which promotes the interests of a group of stakeholders to stakeholder capitalism, which incentivizes companies to serve the interests of all their stakeholders, including employees, consumers and citizens at large. As responsible investors, VCs should welcome this move and rethink their due diligence and portfolio management process to move this new environment forward. It starts with integrating ESG into their processes.

If you are a VC and you don’t know how to carry out this transformation, do not hesitate to contact us. At the Forum, we have built a global, multi-stakeholder community to help you with this process.

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Japanese fusion energy startup is a venture capital darling https://mariannebluger.com/japanese-fusion-energy-startup-is-a-venture-capital-darling/ Fri, 04 Feb 2022 03:18:24 +0000 https://mariannebluger.com/japanese-fusion-energy-startup-is-a-venture-capital-darling/ On February 2, Kyoto Fusioneering announced that it had raised 1.33 billion yen ($11.7 million) in an oversubscribed Series B financing, the second round of financing arranged for a company by equity investors. -risk. Kyoto Fusioneering is a Japanese engineering company dedicated to solving the problem of global warming through the development of nuclear fusion […]]]>

On February 2, Kyoto Fusioneering announced that it had raised 1.33 billion yen ($11.7 million) in an oversubscribed Series B financing, the second round of financing arranged for a company by equity investors. -risk.

Kyoto Fusioneering is a Japanese engineering company dedicated to solving the problem of global warming through the development of nuclear fusion power, which does not produce carbon dioxide. Spun off from Kyoto University in October 2019, it is Japan’s first fusion energy start-up.

As stated on the company’s website: “Kyoto Fusioneering’s mission is to meet the challenges of reactor engineering and technology, while cooperating with fusion developers around the world, to rapidly accelerate the growth of the smelting industry.

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Aramco launches $1 billion venture capital fund https://mariannebluger.com/aramco-launches-1-billion-venture-capital-fund/ Wed, 02 Feb 2022 15:06:10 +0000 https://mariannebluger.com/aramco-launches-1-billion-venture-capital-fund/ Aramco announced the launch of Prosperity7 Ventures, a billion dollar venture capital fund. Aramco Chief Technology Officer Ahmad Al-Khowaiter launched the VC fund at the LEAP 22 technology conference in Riyadh.Prosperity7 is designed as a global financial venture capital, with a long-term vision to support the development of next-generation technologies […]]]>




Aramco announced the launch of Prosperity7 Ventures, a billion dollar venture capital fund. Aramco Chief Technology Officer Ahmad Al-Khowaiter launched the VC fund at the LEAP 22 technology conference in Riyadh.
Prosperity7 is designed as a global financial venture capital, with a long-term vision to support the development of next-generation technologies and business models that will bring prosperity and positive impact at scale.

Ahmad Al-Khowaiter, Chief Technology Officer of Aramco, said: “Thanks to the breadth of the Saudi Aramco ecosystem, its vast resources and its extensive footprint in geographies and sectors, Prosperity7 can present unprecedented opportunities for scalability and impact. This potential would help create a stronger foundation for the success of its portfolio companies. »

Investments include early-stage companies, blockchain, fintech and industrials, healthcare, and education solutions. Its headquarters are in Dhahran, with offices in Palo Alto, New York, Beijing and Shanghai.

The fund is named after Dammam Well-7, the first oil well to extract commercial oil in Saudi Arabia, also known as the “Prosperity Well”.








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