In: Venture Capital

Fundraising in a downturn: Lessons from the last cycle
March 6, 2016

GUEST:
At the recently concluded SaaStr Annual, every founder I met had the same question: “What is happening with SaaS valuations? Should I be worried?”
The answer to the first part of that question is covered in excellent detail here and here. Rather than rehash that shift, let’s try to answer the second part by looking at how software venture financing reacted to the 2009 downturn. Many of the conclusions are intuitive, but perhaps the numbers can shift the collective discussion from “Is the sky falling?” to “Here’s what we are dealing with.”
The software funding picture in 2009 In 2009, invested capital in software companies fell 34% year-over-year, from $6.1 billion to $4.0 billion. Interestingly, most of that contraction was driven by fewer deals getting done (-26% year-over-year) while average check sizes stayed relatively constant (-11%).
That shift brings us to Takeaway #1: There’s a “flight to quality” during market downturns — high quality companies are still able to rai..

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The future of coding bootcamps
March 6, 2016

GUEST:
Almost two years ago, I wrote a couple of features on the potential of the coding bootcamp industry, including one published here on VentureBeat. I talked to founders and other stakeholders from more than a dozen bootcamp companies at that time and have been an armchair follower of the sector since then. But recently I did some research for a private equity investor in education, online learning, and edtech who has been looking at coding bootcamps, and I thought I would share some observations on what I rounded up about the current status of this market.
There isn’t enough independent information about bootcamps The motivation for this investor’s inquiry was the perception on his part that there is so little serious reporting or research on bootcamps, which I think he’s right about.
Consider some of the questions I raised two years ago:
Does this model only work for the cream of the crop, or can it scale to less prepared or less motivated students who make up most of the mar..

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How Google Play could fix the frustrating, impenetrable Chinese mobile gaming market
March 6, 2016

Check out more of our 20th anniversary of Pokémon coverage this week at GamesBeat. China has a massive mobile gaming market, but it’s not a viable option if you’re a Western developer. That could change if Google returns to the world’s most populous country.
Smartphone and tablet gaming generated $5.5 billion in spending from Chinese players last year, according to Asia market-intelligence firm Niko Partners, but only a tiny portion of that went to foreign developers. This is for a few reasons that (such as cultural differences), but many studios don’t even attempt to deal with those because it is too difficult to navigate the market’s splintered Android market. Google left China in 2011, so the country doesn’t have Google Play. Instead, between 200 and 400 independent Android stores have popped up in its place.
Android’s fragmentation has led to an ecosystem where developers from Europe, the United States, and elsewhere have no choice but to team up with local Chinese publishers tha..

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How Startup Valuation Works
March 6, 2016

How would you measure the value of a company? Especially, a company that you started a month ago – how do…

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USA remains the leader in venture capital deals
March 6, 2016

2015 Venture capital deals map

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