We will continue to grow our investment practice focused on the core sectors and geographies we already address, and continue to apply and refine our data-driven methodologies in a high-touch model. Capital-as-a-service will run over-the-top and allow us to scale to new geographies and sectors. We’ve modeled our approach to capital-as-a-service much the same as the startups we admire. Six months ago we kicked off a stealth experiment to develop an MVP, both assembling the underpinnings of an infrastructure platform and developing the basic customer experience for the entrepreneur. In our pilot, we evaluated nearly 3,000 companies and committed to funding several dozen of those, across 12 countries and many sectors, without a single traditional venture pitch. In fact, in most cases the data-driven approach allowed us to reach conviction around an investment opportunity before we ever even spoke to the founders. Worth noting that when we recently looked at CEO demographics, we found that 42% were female and the majority nonwhite.
The reason that too many dollars are chasing too few opportunities is because the anatomy of traditional venture capital hasn’t changed in the past 30 years. Face-to-face interactions and human judgement, followed by (at best) a few thin Excel models and relationship-driven diligence creates a high propensity for bias and a low propensity for scale. This is a classic example of a sector ripe for disruption. Today, every industry is being revolutionized by the application of data: from healthcare to logistics to media and beyond. If the operative question is whether early-stage investment decisions can be better made with data than intuition, using virtually every other discipline as a guide the answer is almost certainly yes.