venture capital

SVB Collapse Threatens Africa’s Fragile Tech Sector

The implosion of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) is sending shockwaves around the world, reaching all the way to Africa, where fragile tech startups are worried that more banks will fail, destroying their supply of much-needed venture capital.

A vendor talks on a smartphone inside a market on Broad Street in Lagos, Nigeria, on Monda

Pro Athletes Are Going Pro in Venture Capital

Once relegated to “dumb jock” roles on the gridiron or the field house, modern day sports figures are using their brand and money to be movers and shakers at Donald Trump’s Republican National Convention and as Silicon Valley venture capitalists.

Stephen and Ayesha Curry (Omar Vega / Invision / Associated Press)

Chinese Company Buys Majority Stake In Gay Dating App Grindr For $93M

Gay dating app Grindr has long been viewed as one of the great “bootstrapping” success stories of the tech world, self-funded from inception through years of dramatic growth. It was therefore surprising to see the company sell off 60 percent of its shares to a huge corporate investor for a cool $93 million.

The Associated Press

VC Investors want Business Plan–and Funeral Plan

Venture capital investors love business plans that promise terrific upside, but they increasingly want a “funeral plan” in writing that explains what the entrepreneur can and will do if their start-up suffers from business problems or slow growth.

The Associated Press

NBC Bets $200 Million on BuzzFeed

NBCUniversal continues its big-bucks leap to catch up to millennial “cord-cutters” and “cord-nevers” by spending another $200 million to buy a bigger stake in BuzzFeed. The move comes less than a week after NBCUniversal invested $200 million in Vox Media.

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Marketing Tech Hottest Sector for VC Fundings

Marketing technology is emerging as one of the hottest sectors for business tech investing, according to the PitchBook Blog. Marketing tech companies in the first six months of 2015 raised $1.62 billion in 157 venture capital deals, and 205 companies were acquired for a total of $4.3 billion.

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Dumb VC: Homejoy Charges $19 an Hour, Loses $12 an Hour

Uber is now valued at almost $51 billion, a valuation that puts the “on-demand mobile service” (ODMS) leader at the level of Facebook in 2011. The company’s fund-raising success has spurred a vast number of “Uber for X” start-ups that are building corporate empires with legions of outsourced contract workers. But the “gig economy” seems to be operating the same money-losing business model as the “Dot-com Bubble.”

Homejoy Toilet Paper (Cindy Ord / Getty)

Number of VC Deals Falls as Investors Chase ‘Unicorns’

Global venture capitalists invested $56.31 billion in 4,894 deals during the first half of 2015–the lowest number of deals recorded by the Pitchbook blog over a six month period in the last 25 years. The major reason for a smaller number of companies being funded is that venture capitalists are throwing huge amounts of money at a small number of “unicorns.”

Unicorn dog (Frederic J. Brown / AFP / Getty)

Uber Taking Another Slurp of VC Cash at $50 Billion Valuation

If Robin Leach visited the headquarters of Uber today, it would be all “champagne wishes and caviar dreams” as the ride-hailing service that just closed a $2.8 billion venture capital deal three months ago at a $40 billion valuation is on track to slurp up another $2 billion of venture capital pixie dust at a valuation of $50 billion or higher.

Uber (Reuters)

Israel’s OurCrowd Revolutionizes Investing, Startup Funding

JERUSALEM, Israel — The future of tech investing is housed–barely–in a stone spice warehouse on the Hebron Road in Jerusalem. There are, I am told, bullet holes in the walls, from the days when the building faced the boundary with Jordan. On the day I visit, it sounds like a war zone–a battle of drills and hammers, fire alarms and telephones, as the company expands into neighboring space. Only two years old, OurCrowd is revolutionizing startup funding–and growing rapidly.

OurCrowd (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)