By going public, a firm gets access to the entire world of possible investment. This can give it access to substantially more capital than most firms can get through private shareholders or venture capitalists. Typically a firm will launch in IPO when it reaches a plateau in what it can achieve through private capital and will use those funds to expand or continue growing.
“Our business has evolved significantly since we first launched our technology growth equity strategy over five years ago with a small team of five. Since that time, the growth of our business and the number of compelling investments we’re seeing around the globe have allowed us to not only expand our team, but also our technology experience, network and geographic reach,” said Dave Welsh, KKR partner and head of Technology Growth Equity, in a statement. “With the addition of a tech industry veteran like Rob to our team, we’re excited to continue to build for the future and position ourselves well to capture the many investment opportunities we see ahead.”
Decibel will have all the independent hallmarks that define a successful venture capital firm – it will move at the pace expected of the early stage market, have its own management company and personnel, and be able to make independent investment and governance decisions to support its entrepreneurs. Decibel will have a unique advantage in being able to access the resources that have defined Cisco’s success in this space – our people, founders, go to market capabilities and customers. Decibel adds another, complementary dimension to Cisco’s ability to tap into the entrepreneurial ecosystem – something that has defined our company in the past and will continue in the future. Cisco Investments will continue its charter – investing and partnering with best in class companies in Cisco’s core and adjacent markets.
Part of that is because of plans that the company has for the year ahead, which include a lot more investment in technology and growing headcount by at least 20 percent this year “especially in engineering, product, design, and research.”
We’ve seen an interesting trend in Europe over the last few years. The average amount of time VCs are spending reading a deck has increased and not by a small amount. We’ve seen an increase of more than 20 seconds between 2018 and now, even while the length of the standard fundraising deck has stayed stable. It’s still within the industry average (both in and outside of the U.S.) of 19-20 pages. With page length staying stable, that extra time on a deck means VCs are willing to spend more time assessing an investment.
Investment into private companies is growing. The number of public companies is falling, and it’s taking longer for private companies to go public. The companies staying private are worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Hell, even The Economist dug into the private company boom, noting that “[i]nstitutional investors are rushing headlong into private markets, especially into venture capital, private equity and private debt.”
Today, venture capital is a qualitative exercise. Very little quantitative analysis goes into helping investors source, qualify, decide, and manage investments. Recently a few boutique firms have appeared to try quantitative venture investing. A few progressive existing firms are building internal tools to create quantitative insights. But most firms are way behind the curve on this.
Meanwhile the acquisition by Facebook, no matter what form it takes, looks like a good fit given the U.S. company’s investment in next generation platforms, including VR and AR. It is also another — perhaps, worrying — example of U.S. tech companies hoovering up U.K. machine learning and AI talent early.
China says its investments in Africa are aimed purely at driving economic development, and many countries have welcomed improvements to their infrastructure that have aided the flow of commerce. But some projects have left governments, including Kenya’s, saddled with billions of dollars of debt to China and sparked distrust and resentment.
Beyond the economic, this partnership crosses many areas of mutual interest. People-to-people contact has built since the 1840s. We have co-operated in the areas of Pacific development, environment, agriculture and diplomacy. We've built greater understanding around immigration, investment and climate change. New Zealand companies even make films and TV programmes in China — an opportunity not dreamed of just a decade ago.
Health data management company Seqster said this week that it has received a strategic investment of undisclosed size from Takeda Pharmaceuticals of Japan. Seqster, a software-as-a-service firm based in San Diego, plans to use the new funds to accelerate the adoption of its interoperability technology for enhancing clinical trials, patient engagement, and outcomes.