With 2021 on deck, our thoughts turn to baseball. Spring training is less than two months away and we hope the pandemic is finally in the bottom of the ninth.
The VCapital team wanted to reach out one last time in 2020, hoping that you, yours, and everyone you care about are healthy and continuing to make it through this challenging year as well as possible. If that is not the case, please know that our hearts go out to you.
We also wanted to share some of our thoughts on the year from a venture capital perspective. Consistent with our affection for baseball analogies, it seems like the right moment for a seventh-inning stretch to reflect upon our seasons with you.
Our Midwest VC ballpark, and Chicago in particular, leads the U.S. in tech investor ROI. ChicagoInno recently reported: “It's a designation Chicago first earned in 2016 and has held onto in years since, and it's become a central rallying cry among local tech boosters as evidence of Chicago's booming startup scene. The metric is based on "Median Multiple On Invested Capital," or MOIC, which is calculated as the ratio of exit value to the amount of capital raised. From 2006 through September 2020, Chicago startups have given investors a 4.8X return on their investment, which outpaces New York, Seattle, and San Francisco, which are second, third, and fourth on the list, respectively.” More here.
While every day is a new ballgame, the challenge of the pandemic required an owner's long-term perspective, certainly a focus for all venture capital investors.
- The experienced insights from VCapital founder Len Batterson kept the team motivated and encouraged, as expressed in his article: Venture capital is all about innovation. He recognized that not only would the economy eventually rebound but that changes driven by the pandemic would accelerate innovation on many fronts, creating further opportunities for venture capital’s rich returns.
- Field General and co-founder Jim Vaughan, while not able to meet investors in person this year for "cheeseborgers," continued to make it easier for individual investors to add alternatives to their portfolio with a first-ever video conversation with colleague Rich McMenamin about How to Diversify Differently. Investor updates and founder interviews were delivered via Zoom. Jim also was a guest interviewee on the topic of the Future of Venture Capital.
- The virtual scouting landscape did not stop partner Ryan Kole and his passion for entrepreneurship and mentoring. Always looking for that next star for the VCapital lineup, Ryan remained connected to many organizations, such as Young Start-up Ventures, 1871, Workbox, Gener8or, YCombinator, and more than we have room to list here...
No season is off-season. The rest of the VCapital team stayed strong all year and kept in shape by communicating regularly. Our box score stats might look a bit like this:
- Grew our bench strength in our portfolio with two new exciting investment opportunities: EDJX and Ocient.
- Increased investment behind two of our biggest sluggers: Intensity Therapeutics and Atlas Space Operations.
- Profiled key players in our portfolio companies, consistent with our belief that winning teams are powered by superstar players and managers:
- Launched a brand new website with direct links to the secure investor portal, portfolio news updates, and feedback forms.
- Delivered monthly updates and quarterly investor reports in a new, user-friendly format.
- Started our Heavy-Hitters Club (ask Jim) and began a series that honors our growing group of investors.
Happy New Year to all.
Your involvement with VCapital matters to us. We are grateful for your trust and your support. Our search for investment opportunities to customize portfolio strategies and strengthen your personal financial legacy is our priority. Let’s continue to stay in touch.
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