My next chapter of VC: More data!
By Angela, February 07, 2017
On the heels of being named principal last week, I am humbled by Boris’s announcement and thrilled to begin leading deals for Version One. While many of you have already worked with me directly or read my thoughts on this blog over the years, I want to take the opportunity to share my goals: what I’m working on, where I can be the most helpful, and where I’d like to go from here.
Those of you who already know me understand that I’m quite data-driven. My love for data isn’t too surprising given my background and in my “next chapter” of VC, I plan to double down on data projects, including:
Building a stronger community around data science and learning
Through my work with Insight, I’ve been fortunate to connect with incredible data scientists and data-driven entrepreneurs. I’m looking forward to cultivating stronger relationships with data experts and thought leaders who can help Version One and our portfolio companies with building products, hiring, and more. Stay tuned for most posts on these topics in the coming year.
I’m also passionate about leadership development and am excited about connecting with those who are working on building and promoting a culture of learning, leadership, and inclusivity.
Creating a repository for startup data
Companies collect so much data but it’s usually silo’ed. By compiling and leveraging this data, we can help founders better understand the dynamics of their business to grow and scale accordingly. In addition, data can help us as investors better evaluate investment opportunities. This is particularly important in early stages when evaluations are certainly much less objective.
Over the years, we have blogged about ways that startups can structure their data – such as our metrics templates for marketplaces and social platforms. These are good starting points, but the data is still silo’ed so comparisons and benchmarking across companies are still done intuitively. We’ve also shared frameworks and benchmarks, but these have been more anecdotal than backed by data.
It may be an incredibly ambitious goal, but I’d like to centralize data to become the go-to fund for advice on KPIs and benchmarks on anything from operations to sales and hiring. Of course, we don’t have the same scale as large VCs where whole teams are tasked with building out these platforms. However, I’m looking forward to crowdsourcing some of the work and collaborating with others to shed more light on startup data.
Pushing my own knowledge on AI/ML
From my work in my PhD, I’ve built a solid foundation when it comes to statistics and data mining. However, it’s been some time since I’ve needed to exercise my technical brain for complex machine learning and AI. I’m hoping to carve out some time in the day to code/hack so I can make an even bigger impact.
Stay tuned for updates on our blog and follow me on Twitter for my plans on how this will all come to fruition!
Generally speaking, when it comes to investment themes, we at Version One are quite agnostic and instead are thesis-driven around network effects. As such, I’ve personally spent a lot of time on marketplaces, social platforms (i.e. messaging, networks, communities) and healthcare. I’m still excited about these categories, but as I recently wrote, we’re learning more about Blockchain, genomics, and other emerging technologies (AR, VR, robotics, etc.).
On a personal note, I am passionate about the democratization of knowledge, increased accessibility to healthcare, distribution of our wealth, and inclusion of the diverse. I am the daughter of a refugee (of Canada) and now an immigrant of the US. My family and I are forever grateful for the openness and generosity of others as we wouldn’t be where we are today without them. Given the current state of affairs which challenge everyone’s basic rights, it seems that investing in companies with these same values is more critical than ever.
If any of the above resonates with you, whether it’s on data, network effects, democratization, etc., please reach out to me. It doesn’t matter if you’re an entrepreneur, engineer, growth hacker, data scientist, student, professor or fellow investor… I’d love to learn from and work with you.
Finally and most importantly, thanks to our entire community – investor friends, entrepreneurs, our founders and LPs – who reached out with congratulatory wishes and continue to bring out the best in me. And of course, a special shout out to Boris for this incredible opportunity to build Version One together.