2017 Year in Review
By Angela, December 19, 2017
This has been a critical year for us at Version One, as well as our ecosystem in general.
The market frenzy surrounding crypto and blockchain challenges how VCs will evolve over the next years. In fact, the amount of money raised by startups via ICOs has surpassed early stage VC funding for internet companies.
There is no shortage of blockchain projects and we continue to spend significant time figuring out the best approach to investing in crypto/blockchain.
To date, we have approached blockchain in two ways, making a total of five investments this year. We’ve invested in the infrastructure (the picks and shovels): Blockstack, Coinbase, and Citizen Hex, as well as in funds: Polychain and Metastable.
While the disruption of VC has been predicted many times, we believe that this wave of decentralized platforms will be the biggest disruptor to hit the VC industry over the next decade. Decentralized platforms will not take over all available investment opportunities, but this is the start of a new era for VC investing. If you’ve missed some of our thoughts in this space, here are a few of our blog posts from the year on blockchain:
- Why Blockchain is so disruptive for venture capital
- The four waves of crypto disruption
- The shortcomings of ICO funding
But 2017 wasn’t just about the decentralized Internet. We have also focused heavily on bioscience/genomics, particularly as a driver of personalized medicine. Partly inspired by Angela’s own experiences navigating the current world of healthcare, we revisited and refined our healthcare thesis. Just last week, we shared our approach to investing in this space: we back startups that take a full stack approach that empowers consumers to collect health data easily and affordably, to become a “biobank” where this data can power personalized recommendations.
This year we have made two investments in bio/genomics: Gencove and another investment that has yet to be announced.
And of course, we still back companies that leverage network effects outside of crypto and bio.
In addition to these seven investments mentioned (five in crypto and two in bio), we also invested in an AI/ML platform that provides trust and safety at scale (to be announced).
How has our existing portfolio performed in this environment?
We currently have 31 active companies across both our funds. Nine of these raised new capital in 2017: two seed extensions, one Series A, three Series B, two Series C, and one Series D. And we also had three exits.
When we reflect on what we wrote in last year’s “year in review”, we realize that we are now gaining more clarity on what the next platform will be. In the upcoming year, we will continue to look forward to crypto and bio… and be opportunistic around network effects that exist in VR/AR, autonomy, etc., as we do still love marketplaces, social platforms, and applications of AI/ML. If you’re enthusiastic about these themes as an entrepreneur, investor, or operator, please reach out!
And as always…
We want to take this time to thank everyone who is a part of the Version One community – LPs, colleagues, partners, portfolio companies, friends, and followers. Your support means everything to us. You inspire us every day and we’re so grateful that we get to do what we love each and every day.
Warmest thoughts and best wishes for a wonderful holiday and a very happy new year!
– Angela & Boris 🙂