Venture Capital

 

FX Outlook; Startups; Technology; Venture Capital; Asia; Europe; U.S.
August 05, 2016 Posted by
Brexit continues to dominate the world’s business headlines. But, stress levels in the financial markets have dropped.  The EU’s post-Brexit show of unity calmed fears that the EU or Eurozone will fall apart any time soon.  The Fed will see two more jobs reports before September’s key meeting, and we will have a clearer view of the Presidential and Congressional elections. We expect lighter, quieter trading in August.
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Technology; Venture Capital
July 25, 2016 Posted by

  As seen in  Global Corporate Venturing , July 2016 issue.   We often talk a good game in Silicon Valley about how entrepreneurship is a global phenomenon.  In the last week of June, we lived it. Headlined by President Obama, the Global Entrepreneurship Summit  (GES) drew some of the biggest names in technology together with more than 1,200 entrepreneurs from 170 countries, government leaders and Silicon Valley executives to Stanford University to put a spotlight on expanding entrepreneurship around the globe. From the start, the call was for championing entrepreneurship to help reduce global tensions and demonstrate a different path for youth living in troubled regions. Secretary of State John Kerry, who opened the seventh annual White House-sponsored summit, made it clear that economic opportunity is directly linked to peace, and economic policy is tied to foreign policy. We don’t often enough connect the bottom line to efforts to make a safer world.  I applaud Kerry’s call to action for this next generation of entrepreneurs, and those in the current generation, to support them. Kerry proposed that the young entrepreneurs focus on three "generational challenges":  creating education tools to excite youth who may be at risk of radicalization, building a low-carbon emissions future and developing software solutions to root out corruption and encourage transparency. "You may not believe that all of these issues automatically fall within your responsibility, but let me you tell you ... we need your creativity in order to address each and every one of them," Kerry told the entrepreneurs. "You have a fundamental interest in how these questions are answered," he said. "You want to be able to operate a business without the fear of a terrorist attack. You want to be able to take advantage of the great economic openings in the green energy market. You want to be able to open your enterprises without having to pay a bribe." He called on all of us to join the effort. I was delighted to see how many corporates are supporting the initiatives being discussed and happy to see that a key focus of the event was not only on youth, but also women.  Discussions at the summit around expanding opportunity for women ranged from how to provide more access to the highest echelons of Silicon Valley to the need for more loans to female entrepreneurs in the Congo. Silicon Valley Bank released its latest data on women in technology leadership at the event. The annual Innovation Economy Outlook  revealed that 66 percent of U.S. startups reported no women on their boards and 46 percent have no women in executive positions. If we think those doors are hard to open, consider this: Patricia Nzolantima of the Congo called on investors at the GES to support entrepreneurial women in developing nations. She described the process for when women go to the bank in her country, the bank asks whether “they have a house to give to finance” their project. These women don’t have houses. “Our dream is to have our own bank, a women’s bank,” she said.     In his introduction of Secretary Kerry, Silicon Valley Bank CEO and President Greg Becker  shared his thoughts on what makes a successful entrepreneur. “We have seen some crazy ideas come to life -- so we know a thing or two about success, and about failure,” Greg said.  “Over time, we have recognized that partnerships and relationships seem to be what matter most to influence a company’s probability of success.” Gatherings like this, which provide a platform for government, corporations, investors and entrepreneurs to come together and share ideas, expertise, support and capital are so valuable for all of us. It really brings home to me that those of us in technology and corporate investments have a global mission and together we can make real change happen.  

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FX Outlook; Startups; Technology; Venture Capital; Asia; Europe; U.S.
June 08, 2016 Posted by
The strong U.S. economic data, coupled with hawkish comments from Fed officials, led to increased odds of a rate hike, giving the dollar its best month of 2016 in May.
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FX Outlook; Startups; Technology; Venture Capital; Asia; Europe; U.S.
May 12, 2016 Posted by
Two opposing forces were at play in currency markets during April: a weaker U.S. dollar countered by a stronger Japanese yen. Interestingly, both currencies were highly influenced by the inaction of their central banks.
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Analytics; Technology; Venture Capital
May 09, 2016 Posted by

In late March, Spotify raised $1 billion in convertible debt from TPG, Dragoneer and clients of Goldman Sachs. The financing, like many recent investments in large private technology companies, is designed to fund company growth, as Spotify intends to increase its already large base of 30 million paying subscribers .  But unlike last year’s significant pure-equity plays in Lyft ($1 billion in total financing, with half coming from GM) and SoFi (also $1 billion), the recent Spotify funding has significant covenants. 

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Analytics; Technology; Venture Capital
May 05, 2016 Posted by
The nearly seven-year bull market that followed the 2008 financial crisis decelerated in 2015, largely due to global macroeconomic headwinds. This continued in the first part of 2016, which began with the worst two-week start to any year on record. Market turbulence has many technology companies postponing their IPOs; in fact, there was not a single U.S. tech IPO in Q1 2016. And nine companies withdrew their IPO filings entirely, waiting for better market conditions before making their public debut.
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Analytics; Technology; Venture Capital; U.S.
May 02, 2016 Posted by
As startup valuations soared over the last five years, the sources of capital funding these companies changed. The type of investor who fueled the unicorns’ rich valuations and mega-rounds included multibillion-dollar firms such as Tiger Global and Fidelity Investments. With abundant cash, capital costs near all-time lows and fewer attractive opportunities in the public market, mutual funds and hedge funds turned their attention to the private market.
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FX Outlook; Startups; Technology; Venture Capital; Asia; Europe; U.S.
April 28, 2016 Posted by
A UK departure from the world’s largest economic bloc has gone from a distant unlikelihood to a very possible reality—and markets are speculating on what that reality might mean for the UK economy.
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FX Outlook; Startups; Technology; Venture Capital; Asia; Europe; U.S.
April 18, 2016 Posted by
The resulting choppy markets caused a flight to safety due to U.S. Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen’s comments this week. The Japanese yen and Euro strengthened along with currencies in emerging markets & commodity currencies as the threat of higher U.S. interest rates receded.
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Technology; Venture Capital
April 11, 2016 Posted by

Alex McCracken shares his thoughts on fintech. 

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