We are glad to hear from technology-enabled companies in any sector. That said, we have particular interest in fintech, sales tech, and edtech:
Investment management offers unusually high margins and unusually dissatisfied clients. That’s a recipe for VCs to turn analog dollars into digital dimes. We are co-leading a research project on innovation in the investment management industry, which became an Institutional Investor cover story. We plan to publish our full research paper in Fall 2020 (preview here). You may also be interested in our related presentation, Artificial intelligence in financial services.
Selected past investments at predecessor VC funds: Arcus, Clarity Money (acquired by Goldman Sachs Marcus), Distil Networks (acquired by Imperva), Drop Technologies, Earnest Research, Indiegogo, Ionic, Stratifi, Socure, Sure, Wonder.
COVID-19 forced many of us to work virtually. This is particularly challenging for sales, fundraising, and business development, which definitionally require building new relationships. Years ago, our founder wrote The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals Online, the first business book about how to raise capital, originate investment opportunities, sign clients, and win business partners working from your home. We are excited to invest in the next generation of tools to help people working virtually. People are much faster to use new technology in the search for romance than they are in business, which means you can see the future of business relationships by analyzing online dating.
The education industry is wide open for innovation, while at the same time it’s a model for how VCs can work with our companies. Our founder was Founder and CEO of an expert network, Circle of Experts, sold to Evalueserve, which provided hyper-targeted education from domain experts. He also founded HBS Alumni Angels of NY and evolved it into an educational organization, holding angel education programs in New York, Florida, New Jersey, Connecticut, Toronto, and San Francisco. Our founder has presented at universities including Harvard, NYU, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, and the National University of Singapore; and numerous business schools: Columbia Business School, Harvard Business School, Wharton, Technion MBA Program, and Yale School of Management. Wiley is publishing our book, Kickstart: Use Your Education to Accelerate Your Career, in Spring 2021.