Above the Crowd

Archive for the ‘Internet’ Category

The Ezra Klein Show: VC Bill Gurley on Transforming Health Care

November 15, 2017:

In November of 2015, I posted a tweet that declared Benchmark was interested in discovering Internet healthcare investments. Our firm has had the good fortune to invest in many two-sided networks that used information aggregation, supplier aggregation, and user generated content to attract and inform consumers and resultantly disrupt and change different industries. Examples of such companies include Yelp, OpenTable, GrubHub, 1stDibs, DogVacay/Rover, Zillow, and Uber. It only seemed logical to us that the same opportunity should exist in healthcare. Most people are aware that healthcare spending in the U.S. has risen to 17-18% of GDP and is grossly out […]

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On the Road to Recap:

April 21, 2016:

Why the Unicorn Financing Market Just Became Dangerous…For All Involved In February of last year, Fortune magazine writers Erin Griffith and Dan Primack declared 2015 “ The Age of the Unicorns ” noting — “Fortune counts more than 80 startups that have been valued at $1 billion or more by venture capitalists.” By January of 2016, that number had ballooned to 229 . One key to this population growth has been the remarkable ease of the Unicorn fundraising process: Pick a new valuation well above your last one, put together a presentation deck, solicit offers, and watch the hundreds of million of dollars flow into your bank account. […]

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In Defense of the Deck

July 7, 2015:

My partners and I have noticed an interesting trend over the past few years: an increase in the number of entrepreneurs who prefer to pitch us without the use of a presentation deck. On one hand, this is totally understandable. Many believe that PowerPoint decks are emblematic of the type of bureaucracy disparaged in Dilbert cartoons. Others want to appear “casual” and “conversational” and view the presentation as overly formal. But, going deck-less can be a risky move, and here is why. Investors are not solely evaluating your company’s story. They are also evaluating your ability to convey that story. Efficiently […]

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Investors Beware: Today’s $100M+ Late-stage Private Rounds Are Very Different from an IPO

February 25, 2015:

[An edited version of the following blog post originally appeared in a modified form in the pages of the weekend edition of the Financial Times last Saturday.] Every successful technology company raises money throughout its lifecycle, perhaps starting with a seed investment and progressing through Series A, B, C, late-stage investments, and, for the most successful companies, an IPO. Historically, different financial institutions specialized in different stages, because the assessment of risk and opportunity was considered unique at each stage — for example, a seed investor was unlikely to do late-stage financing, and vice versa. Over the last few years, the late-stage (pre-IPO) market has become the most competitive, the most crowded, and the frothiest of […]

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Uber’s New BHAG: UberPool

January 30, 2015:

“Can you take me Higher? To a place where blind men see  Can you take me Higher?  To a place with golden streets”      — Creed, Higher In their seminal 1994 book Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies , Jim Collins and Jerry Poras coined the term BHAG (pronounced BEE-hag) — an acronym that stands for “Big Hairy Audacious Goal.” Collins and Porras suggest that the very best companies set an audacious, very long-term goal that shines a light towards “an envisioned future.” BHAGs serve as a rallying cry for the company culture, an ambitious target for the future, and a focusing tool for corporate […]

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