Category Archives: Investment

Boutique Venture Capital Firm

In an update from Silicon valley a new VC firm has been launched.

“Andreessen, a co-founder of Netscape, knows a thing or two about what young, inexperienced, brainstorming whiz kids might face in the big bad world.

Netscape’s appearance in the mid-1990s is considered the internet’s Big Bang. Netscape served up the first eye-popping IPO of what was to become the dot-com boom and at one point its eponymous browser had 90% of the market.”

Marc Andreessen launched Boutique Venture Capital Firm with business partner Ben Horowitz  VC  fund last Monday with an initial capitalization of $300 million that the pair intends to invest in “anything that involves chips and computers” at a clip of $50,000 to $50 million per start-up.

“they they won’t invest in anything they don’t understand, period. This includes a lot of “cool stuff,” the eternally-boyish Andreessen explains, like clean and nano technology.

If you get to make a pitch a decision won’t be long in coming because it’s only the two partners deciding. But don’t bother to cold e-mail them with your Google-killing idea. You need an invitation to this party  — a referral from somebody you both know and that they respect. This rule, however — more bean-counter than dreamer-friendly — is pretty much disposed of almost as quickly as it is enunciated. “We’ll probably read the e-mail,” they say, shrugging and shooting each other a look after a moment’s reflection.”

Continue reading over here Marc Andreessen Forms Boutique Venture Capital Firm

Halo Fund

Here is a summary of the Halo Fund. Please download and read the full pdf pitch book (2mb) for all the details. About 17 pages. Click here Halo Pitch Book 190509

Executive Summary
• The Halo Fund No 1 provides a ‘fund’ approach to Angel investing. It gives investors a unique opportunity to gain access in a cost effective manner to a portfolio of New Zealand early-stage, high growth investments. It does so by partnering with New Zealand’s most experienced Angel investors to invest in new technology companies in dynamic, high-value sectors like software, bio-technology, and medical diagnostics.
• The Funds Manager is a joint venture between seven of New Zealand’s leading Angel groups – comprising Angel investors from throughout the country – and the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund (NZVIF). It will be overseen by a Board of Directors with a deep wealth of experience in business and expertise in early-stage investing. Through its relationship with NZVIF’s Seed Co-Investment Fund (SCIF), it will immediately gain access to a range of New Zealand’s most exciting young companies.
• In addition to drawing upon the skills and expertise of Co-Investors, the Fund offers investors a structured investment product in a market that to date has been largely unstructured.
• The Fund will invest in over 30 businesses across a broad portfolio of companies (diverse in terms of geography, Co-investors, and industry sectors) and will be unique in that individuals can gain exposure in a reasonable timeframe to a diversified portfolio of early-stage investments in New Zealand.
• The Fund will be a passive fund, drawing on the expertise of experienced Angel investors from across New Zealand’s early-stage investment community. These individuals bring decades of industry specific experience in founding companies, acting as CEOs, carrying out IPOs, and exiting investments.
• The Fund presents an ideal opportunity for new and existing Angel investors to enter the market in a diversified manner and become familiar with Angel investing, while assisting to develop the next generation of world-class New Zealand businesses.

Increased Clarity as to Habital Investors

This news snip just in from the Simpson Grierson Corporate Advisory team.

“Last week Dan McEwan was convicted of offences under the Securities Act 1978 (Act). In delivering its judgment, the court clarified who qualifies as an “habitual investor” under the Act.

This is an important judgment, as it is the first time a court has attempted to define who may be considered an “habitual investor”, not requiring the protections afforded by the Act.

However, the decision of the District Court (Ministry of Economic Development v Stakeholder Finance Limited, Agnes Water Acquisitions Limited and Robert Daniel McEwan, District Court, Auckland CRI 2007-004-028150, 9 December 2008, Cunningham J) is expected to be appealed to the High Court.

To find out more read Simpson Grierson latest Corporate Advisory FYI (December 2008).

Moores Law Idea

About 8 or 9 years ago there was a real glut of conferences on the impact of the internet and most presenters felt obliged to talk about Moores law which applied then to hardware mostly.

In fact we are surrounded by lots of “business cycles” and ripple effect such as the innovation cycle – start something new, refine it by bringing down costs and so on over time, while expanding and changing markets in new and interesting ways.

Increasingly more people are realizing that there are parallel and social effects in other technology related areas like software and business cycles for instance.

Two of the thinkers I really like on the wider tech implications are Paul Graham and David Cowan.

Paul has a large number of very helpful essays and this one from October ’07 really caught my eye – he was talking about The Future of Web Startups.

(This essay is derived from a keynote at FOWA in October 2007.)

There’s something interesting happening right now. Startups are undergoing the same transformation that technology does when it becomes cheaper.

It’s a pattern we see over and over in technology. Initially there’s some device that’s very expensive and made in small quantities. Then someone discovers how to make them cheaply; many more get built; and as a result they can be used in new ways.

Computers are a familiar example. When I was a kid, computers were big, expensive machines built one at a time. Now they’re a commodity. Now we can stick computers in everything.

This pattern is very old. Most of the turning points in economic history are instances of it. It happened to steel in the 1850s, and to power in the 1780s. It happened to cloth manufacture in the thirteenth century, generating the wealth that later brought about the Renaissance. Agriculture itself was an instance of this pattern.

Now as well as being produced by startups, this pattern is happening to startups. It’s so cheap to start web startups that orders of magnitudes more will be started. If the pattern holds true, that should cause dramatic changes.

David Cowan recently speculated in a video that we are now at the stage where perhaps every 18 months or so it becomes half as expensive to roll out an application to the web in some kind of echo of Moore’s law.

The mathematical element is not as important as the key point that many more thousands of developers, entrepreneurs and business people everywhere are using the latest software tools and technologies to accelerate just about everything.

From my perspective many of these observations come across like that ancient story of the blind men describing an elephant. The elephant is large and each man describes a different part of what sounds like more than one animal.

So where is all this heading? To read more go here