Venture capital’s role in the commercialization of innovative companies and technologies is as prevalent as ever, increasing the need for VC PR strategies to highlight firms’ successful deal flow and industry authority. Below is a roundup of recent VC PR media coverage:
“Venture capital funding globally almost halved in the first six months of 2023, data from research firm PitchBook showed, highlighting a lack of enthusiasm on the part of investors as well as less demand amid sharply higher interest rates.
PitchBook said large investors weren’t actively participating in venture funding and outsized deals that had pushed deal values to records were no longer happening. Venture capital funding globally hit an annual record of $745.1 billion in 2021.
Many firms that secured funds in 2021 are still sitting on a considerable amount of money and feel little need to come back to a market that expects much lower valuations, investors said. But they added that a moderate pickup in demand could emerge in the second half.”
“There’s good reason to believe that the massive correction in venture capital activity that we’ve seen over the past six quarters has run its course. More importantly, we’re seeing early indications that we have already seen the bottom of the private-market investing downturn.
Raising venture capital does not confer success upon a startup; building a large, growing and profitable business does.
Regardless, given how startups are often built and run, venture capital activity can provide a useful proxy for a startup’s accomplishment, as it provides a measurement for how optimistic private-market investors are about the businesses that they fund. Going one level higher, venture capital totals can be considered a reflection of trailing startup growth rates and how efficient they have been lately. From either perspective, more is better.”
“The House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party sent letters to four separate U.S. venture capital firms, including Qualcomm’s venture arm, expressing “serious concern” about their investments in Chinese tech startups.
Of particular concern to the lawmakers are investments in artificial intelligence, chipmakers and quantum computing companies in China. They also noted that some of the companies to receive U.S. money have been linked to the profiling and tracking of Uyghur ethnic minorities in China.
The U.S. Commerce Department has also considered steps to ensure U.S. technologies can’t be overly leveraged by China to advance its own AI efforts. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that the agency was weighing further limits on advanced chips used for AI that could be exported to China.”
“We are in the final 10 years of venture capital as we have come to know it. A.I. is going to remake the startup industrial complex, from its core. Venture firms will have to remake themselves into a combination of people and A.I.
A.I. will also change things for startup founders. With the next generation of A.I. tools, it’s plausible that three very talented people could get to $100 million in revenue with automated workflows. For software-centric companies, after an initial setup by humans, A.I. can be used to replace sales, customer service, a lot of the product design and coding, bookkeeping, and legal contracts. Vision and project management will be all that’s left to do. And with fewer employees, there’s a lot less time spent hiring, firing, and managing people. So that’s what startups can aim for: lean, three- to five-person teams run by aggressive, visionary generalists. A.I. can do the legwork.
The startup industrial complex grew fat on itself. It might be entering its declining years in terms of producing alpha. Not only has the competition increased by orders of magnitude, but software and data are already making the market more efficient. There are more investors looking at more available digital data on startups from sources like Pitchbook, DealBook, Crunchbase, CB Insights. The patterns of what makes for a great tech startup investment are becoming widely known due to blogs, conferences, accelerators, and angel investing courses. And now there’s A.I. to accelerate all of that.”
“Climate tech has seen its fair share of ups and downs over the past year. While the latter half of 2022 saw a boom for climate tech following the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in August — defying the downward trend for the broader tech industry — in 2023 so far, venture capital funding for climate tech startups has slowed to its lowest pace in nearly three years. But this doesn’t mean climate tech has reached a bust, either.
While venture capital funding might be down for climate tech companies, investors continue to make strategic bets on promising startups. In April, Congruent Ventures, one of the first venture capital firms to focus on early-stage climate-oriented startups, raised more than $300 million for a ”Continuity Fund,” which aims to help existing portfolio companies grow their business from early stages into full commercialization. This is double the assets it previously had under management, at $175 million
As climate tech firms abound, more talent is needed to make it all happen. Between August and January, companies announced more than 100,000 climate tech jobs. And with many tech workers having been laid off since then, climate tech startups are enjoying a growing labor pool to recruit from. Many traditional tech jobs, from engineering to marketing and human resources, are needed in climate tech.
Despite the recent downturn, there is a bright future for climate tech — in particular as the benefits of the IRA start to take root. The IRA makes the single largest investment in climate and energy in U.S. history, directing nearly $400 billion in federal funding to advancing climate solutions in hopes of lowering the country’s carbon emissions by the end of this decade and in pursuit of achieving a net zero economy by 2050. The law overhauls and expands federal clean energy tax credits, providing incentives for businesses and consumers to deploy zero-carbon energy and other climate tech solutions.”
“Venture capital and investment firms poured $201.4 million into crypto projects last week with eleven companies announcing funding rounds. The largest rounds belonged to a $54 million raise for metaverse startup Futureverse and a $40 million Series A round for RISC Zero, a provider of zero-knowledge proof tools for developers.
Infrastructure projects continued to show resilience against the crypto winter this week with six of the funding rounds belonging to this category: RISC Zero, Cosmic Wire, Manta Network, Echooo Wallet, Side Protocol and Over Protocol. RISC Zero and Manta Network are also both focused on zero-knowledge technologies, a rising cryptographic way of mathematically validating transactions while maintaining privacy.
In other venture capital news this week, Fortune reported that crypto-focused firm Polychain Capital had raised $200 million in an initial close for its fourth venture capital fund. Polychain has not confirmed those details.”
“Valhalla Ventures has launched a $66 million venture capital fund to invest in startups in the deeptech and gaming sectors.
The debut fund will focus on seed-stage companies in deeptech, such as materials science, biology, energy generation/storage, and space technology, as well as novel and underfunded gaming firms with an emphasis on social experiences, said Devan Malhotra, general partner and head of Valhalla’s gaming practice, in an interview with GamesBeat.
Valhalla is closely tracking the booming ecosystem of deeptech companies forming around SpaceX and has already invested in two firms founded by ex-SpaceX engineers. They include K2 Space, which is building high-powered satellite platforms for the next generation of space development, and Starpath Robotics, which aims to refuel vehicles like SpaceX’s Starship on the lunar surface.
Malhotra, Matthew King and Rohan Pujara started the fund. It’s their first fund, but they’ve been investing together since 2020. They’re fans of games but have also taken a lot of interest in deeptech. They didn’t have a lot of experience and so they broke into the industry by making investments via special purpose vehicles. They invested $27 million via SPVs, which raise funding for each investment. Through the SPVs, it invested in eight companies across deeptech, gaming, and blockchain.
The team is looking for the edges and the patterns among companies that demonstrated success. That was one reason they invested in startups led by former SpaceX engineers, who had a faster approach to engineering as a rule, Pujara said.”
Supply Change Capital’s new fund puts it among a growing group of women-led venture capital firms that closed on sizable debut funds this year.
They started raising for the fund in 2021, and it took them about two years to close the $40 million, which they attribute to some factors that included that limited partners wanted to see how they invested as a team and that they are investing in both technology and consumer companies, 75% and 25%, respectively. However, Cadena and Harris say that by having investments in both areas, they can better understand the pain points they hear from their portfolio companies.
‘The demand side is where we really felt like we have a unique lens to bring to this market,’ Harris said in an interview. ‘Where we see opportunity, and where we see consumers are underserved, is delivering the next food over the next couple of generations. They are focused on those changes, and the need is both in terms of the technologies available to help get them the products they’re looking for, and the actual products getting on the shelf.”
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