Let's have a look at the notable news as of 16.02.23
We know we can't cover everything, so please feel free to share any other interesting stories in the comments below! We're curious to know what caught your attention.
- Change Ventures updates Baltic Startup Funding Report, region growing but slowing
The Baltic region is experiencing a slowdown in funding, according to the latest report from Change Ventures. However, the firm notes that the long-term health of the region's startup ecosystem remains strong, with growth and Series A funding rounds remaining above pre-2021 levels. Despite the dip in funding, Estonia still leads the region in terms of startups per capita, and the report covers a range of additional topics, including valuations and revenue traction, equity investments versus convertible notes, and more.
2. How Proptech-enabled innovations are changing the way we live and work
Proptech is the new buzzword in real estate, offering cutting-edge technological integration for both renters and homeowners. With advancements in technology, proptech has the potential to change the way people think about homes and offices. In this roundtable discussion, entrepreneurs gathered to discuss proptech's impact and how it has transformed the market. AI, process improvement, and changing consumer expectations are some of the driving forces behind the proptech revolution. This conversation covered the rapid changes in tenant management, the impact of AI on the industry, the significant advancements and efficiency that proptech brings to the industry, and the support and recognition that the proptech industry needs to bring about further transformation in the real estate industry.
3. If Sequoia, Paradigm and Thoma Bravo settle a new lawsuit, it could upend VC
A class-action lawsuit filed against Sequoia Capital, Paradigm, and Thoma Bravo accuses the venture capitalists of promoting FTX, a now fallen crypto exchange, to the detriment of its users. The complaint alleges that the investors provided FTX with an "air of legitimacy," through various actions including tweets, glowing pieces, and interviews. While none of the information is new, and the investors did not do anything out of the ordinary in terms of their public comments, a trial could have widespread ramifications for the entire venture industry. The potential problem is that it could prove difficult to prove that these investors were trying to dupe anyone. Meanwhile, institutional investors in FTX lost a staggering $550 million on the exchange.
4. Which investor has backed the most European unicorns?
Sifted has launched a new European unicorn investor ranking, revealing which VCs have backed the most European unicorns. Topping the list is Accel, with 29 European unicorns backed. Other notable investors include Index Ventures and Eurazeo. The ranking also shows that over half of the unicorn backers focus on early-stage deals, with Global Founders Capital having backed the most unicorns at the seed stage. Surprisingly, some famous VC names like Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia don't feature high up on the list. The full ranking can be found here.
5. Is the UK doing enough to support its tech startups?
The UK government's ambition to make the country the world's next Silicon Valley has been put in doubt by recent policy decisions. The launch of a new ministry for science, innovation and technology appears to double down on the promise, but the withdrawal of funding from Tech Nation, the lack of visas for attracting talent and the removal of tax relief for research and development are causing concern. The cuts have left start-ups and investors alike feeling unsupported, while visa holders are left with uncertainty about their future status.
6. Rise of ‘zombie’ VCs haunts tech investors as plunging valuations hammer the industry
The venture capital industry may face a rise in “zombie” firms struggling to raise new funds, warn investors. With rising interest rates, fears of a recession and a slide in technology valuations, venture capitalists expect hundreds of firms to become “zombies”. Such firms cease writing new cheques to founders, focus on managing their existing portfolios and prepare to eventually wind down. Zombie VC firms typically arise during downturns and are unable to raise their next fund. With LPs becoming more picky about where to invest their cash, investors expect a wave of new VC funds to face difficulty in raising money, meaning a lot of these new VC firms are unproven and have not been able to return capital to their LPs.
7. Morocco venture capital firm seeks more investments in Israeli tech startups
Moroccan venture capital firm UM6P Ventures is eyeing up to four Israeli startups to add to its portfolio this year as it seeks to invest in early-stage firms in biotechnology, agrotech and alternative proteins. UM6P Ventures CEO Yasser Biaz said the company, which was founded to boost scientific innovation in Morocco and Africa, plans to help scale up biotech solutions on the continent with the help of Israeli technologies. Biaz noted that since Israel and Morocco formalized ties in 2020, cooperation has begun to bear fruit. The venture fund made investments in two Israeli startups last year.
8. Bill Gates and Prime Minister launch new UK cleantech coalition at Imperial
Imperial College London recently hosted Bill Gates and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to launch a new initiative, Cleantech for UK, aimed at supercharging UK cleantech innovation. The coalition of investors and venture-builders with combined funds of over £4 billion will accelerate the translation of the UK’s scientific research into world-leading cleantech scale-ups, and will connect the UK’s policy-making community with those creating, incubating, investing in and scaling cleantech companies. With a showcase of leading UK cleantech scale-ups, Cleantech for UK aims to advance UK climate leadership and drive economic, social, and environmental progress.