Tag: Investors

13
Oct
2020
Posted in software

Eric Liaw and Tom Loverro Named on the 2020 GrowthCap’s Top 25 Software Investors List

IVP, a premier later-stage venture capital and growth equity firm, is pleased to announce that Eric Liaw and Tom Loverro have been named to the 2020 GrowthCap’s Top 25 Software Investors List. The list highlights the most exceptional private capital investors who have demonstrated deep software sector expertise, high leadership acumen, exceptional investment judgment, and consistent professional performance over a sustained period of time.

“It’s an exciting time to invest in later-stage software companies,” said Eric Liaw. “Companies are targeting hundreds of millions of users in ever larger global markets, allowing them to grow faster than ever and generate significant revenue within a very short timeframe. The acceleration of digital transformation drives a massive opportunity for our current and future portfolio companies. It is an honor to work with many talented entrepreneurs and partner with them to create the market leaders of the future.”

“IVP invests in the fastest-growing technology companies and software is the majority of what we do,” added Tom Loverro. “We partner with exceptional management teams to build software companies of consequence.”

IVP manages $7 billion in committed capital and is one of the top-performing firms in the venture capital industry. The firm has backed innovative companies such as CrowdStrike, Datadog, GitHub, Glossier, Grammarly, HashiCorp, Hopin, Klarna, MuleSoft, Slack, Snap, Supercell, TransferWise, Twitter, and UiPath and remains committed to its focused strategy of supporting innovation at the growth stage and partnering closely with exceptional management teams.

About Eric Liaw

Eric joined IVP in 2011. He is focused primarily on later-stage investments in high growth companies across a variety of sectors, including enterprise software, Internet, and mobile. Eric serves as a Board Director or Observer for IVP portfolio companies Aiven, App Annie, Deputy, Glossier, The Honest Company, IEX, Lulus, MasterClass, NextRoll, Supermetrics, and ZipRecruiter and led IVP’s investments

11
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Silicon Valley is famously liberal. Then, investors and employees started clashing over race.

SAN FRANCISCO — The day after President Donald Trump told the Proud Boys, a far-right group with a history of inciting violence, to “stand back and stand by,” during the first presidential debate last month, tech investor Cyan Banister tweeted that the group had “a few bad apples. “

The open defense of an organization that has been deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center is one extreme example of an increasingly public reactionary streak in Silicon Valley that diverges from the tech industry’s image as a bastion of liberalism. Some libertarian, centrist, and right-leaning Silicon Valley investors and executives, who wield outsize influence, power and access to capital, describe tech culture as under siege by activist employees pushing a social justice agenda.

Curtis Yarvin, dubbed a “favorite philosopher of the alt-right” by the Verge, has become a familiar face on the invite-only audio social network Clubhouse, in rooms with investors such as Facebook board member Marc Andreessen, the founder of Andreessen Horowitz, which invested in the app.

Cryptocurrency startup Coinbase recently sought to restrict political speech by employees, a move many interpreted as a return to the company’s more libertarian roots because it came in reaction to internal discussions of Black Lives Matter.

Tensions are running high even at some of the biggest tech companies. The crackdown on employee speech in response to social activism over the past year has spread to Facebook, Google and Pinterest, among others.

In September, Facebook restricted spaces for political discussions after employees protested the company’s moderation policies against hate speech affecting Black users. Pinterest shut down a Slack channel used to submit questions for company meetings and turned another Slack channel read-only, opting to use a different tool for up-voting. Employees, who had used both channels to question leadership about

08
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Amid a boom in SPACs, few women investors

If you’ve been following the SPAC boom, you may have noticed something about these blank-check vehicles that are springing up left and right in order to take public privately held companies. They are being organized mostly by men.

It’s not surprising, given the relative dearth of women in senior financial positions in banking and the venture industry. But it also begs the question of whether women, already hustling to overcome a wealth gap, could be left behind if the trend gains momentum.

Consider that studies have shown women investors are are twice as likely to invest in startups with at least one female founder, and more than three times as likely to invest in startups with female CEOs. It’s not a huge leap to imagine that women-led SPACs might also be more inclined to identify women-led companies with which to merge and take public.

More, the SPAC sponsors themselves are reaping financial rewards. In return for sponsoring a SPAC in its pre-IPO stage, sponsors typically receive 25% of the SPACs founder shares, which can mean a lot of money in a short amount of time, given that SPACs typically aim to merge with a target company in two years or less. In fact, even if the SPAC performs terribly — say the company with which it merges is later accused of fraud — those sponsors get paid.

Eventbrite cofounder Kevin Hartz, who is overseeing a $200 million SPAC, explained it to us in August this way: “On a $200 million SPAC, there’s a $50 million ‘promote’ that is earned.” But “if that company doesn’t perform and, say, drops in half over a year or 18-month period, then the shares are still worth $25 million. (Hartz himself called this guaranteed payout “egregious,” though he and his partner in the SPAC, Troy

04
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Why Investors Should Focus More On The Infrastructure Supporting The AI Revolution

Guest Post by Basil Alomary

AI has been heralded as the catalyst for a new industrial revolution. While the potential for massive impact is very real, venture investors looking to capitalize on growth ought to spend more time considering the enabling infrastructure.

Although applications are myriad and diverse, from drug discovery to driverless cars, practical adoption in the enterprise has been lackluster. Only 1 in 20 business leaders would describe their companies as “implementing AI widely across the organization.” 


The starting point for identifying these investment opportunities is the deconstruction of the AI workflow—extracting each step in the process, from aggregation to deployment and seeking efficiency, scale and access.


An infrastructure-first approach to investing has the potential to yield greater venture returns with a lower risk profile. Looking at the smartphone market, for example, it’s unlikely that an investor in 2005 could have accurately projected that today Google, an internet search engine, would have a mobile business that is 5x larger than Nokia’s. That said, making broad investments in major chip manufacturers would have accurately identified Qualcomm as being a provider whose parts have supported the rise in mobile technology. 

Innovations in AI are exciting, but it’s less difficult to identify and bet on, the technologies supporting AI rather than predicting who will provide the voice assistant of the future. The starting point for identifying these investment opportunities is the deconstruction of the AI workflow—extracting each step in the process, from aggregation to deployment and seeking efficiency, scale and access.

What does it mean to operationalize AI?

The process

02
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Investors Load $500 Mn Into Uber’s Trucking Business

Uber on Friday said an investment group led by Greenbriar Equity is pumping $500 million into its trucking unit.

The preferred stock financing values Uber Freight at $3.3 billion, and comes as the San Francisco-based company’s core ride-sharing service is stalled due to the pandemic.

Uber Freight matches truckers to shippers in much the way the ride service connects passengers with drivers in the so-called on-demand economy.

While Uber’s ride service has suffered due to people hunkering down or being reluctant to get into cars with strangers due to Covid-19 risk, the freight unit, which launched in 2017, has grown.

“We have led the industry with technology, transforming dated and analog processes to ensure that both shippers and carriers are equipped to succeed in a rapidly changing industry,” said Uber Freight chief Lior Ron.

Uber said it will retain a majority stake in Freight, using the money to expand the logistics platform and speed up technology innovation.

“We are excited to support Uber Freight in the next stage of its development,” said Greenbriar managing partner Michael Weiss.

“We believe that carriers and shippers will be increasingly attracted to the convenience and simplicity that Uber Freight offers in a complex marketplace.”

Uber said its freight unit which connects shippers and drivers was valued at more than $3 billion in a new financing round Uber said its freight unit which connects shippers and drivers was valued at more than $3 billion in a new financing round Photo: AFP / Josh Edelson

Greenbriar has been involved in the logistics sector for decades and brings expertise that Uber Freight can tap into, Weiss added.

Uber reported a $1.8 billion loss in the second quarter of this year as the Covid-19 pandemic caused its shared-ride business revenue to plunge.

Meanwhile, California has filed lawsuits against Uber and Lyft for alleged wage theft by misclassifying drivers as independent contractors rather than employees, in violation of a recently enacted