For the week ended June 29, 2021
From the heat of West Texas to the heat of the Podunavlje! I’m working remotely this week from my wife’s hometown of Novi Sad (any Serbian founders that want to meet up for coffee — let me know!).
I’ll be based out of Tel Aviv for most of July and August — and looking forward to meeting everyone there in person again.
That’s it for now — on to the news!
July 14 / Accelerating GTM with the Cloud Giants
Udi Nachmany, VP Global Cloud Strategy and Alliances, Snyk
July 21 / Fireside Chat with Lenny Pruss, General Partner at Amplify Partners
Lenny Pruss, General Partner, Amplify Partners
September 29 / Fireside Chat with Ben Braverman, Chief Customer Officer at Flexport
Ben Braverman, Chief Customer Officer, Flexport
October 13 / Fireside Chat with Leigh Moore, VP of Marketing at Snyk
Leigh Moore, VP of Marketing, Snyk
FROM THE BLOG
The Great Acceleration of Seed Investing:
Can seed funds and accelerators work together?
Angular’s Brand Strategy:
Revisiting our brand as we launch our new website
Why we Invested in Levity.ai:
A no-code ML-powered workflow on every desktop
Why we Invested in Firebolt:
Next-gen cloud-native data warehouses (& Eldad Farkash)
EUROPE & ISRAEL FUNDING NEWS
- Netherlands/Payments. Mollie raised $800M for its software that provides a way for businesses to integrate payments into sites, documents and other services by way of an API.
- Israel/Security. Transmit Security raised $543M in the largest ever Series A in cyber for their mission to rid the world of passwords.
- Israel/Security. Claroty raised $140M to provide large enterprises with visibility, threat detection, risk, and vulnerability management, and the ability to secure their assets.
- Israel/Data Warehouse. Firebolt (an Angular portfolio company) raised $127M for its new kind of cloud data warehouse that promises much more efficient, and cheaper analytics.
- France/Communications. Aircall raised $120M for its cloud call center software.
- Israel/Talent. Gloat raised $57M for its AI-powered talent marketplace platform.
- Israel/No Code Operations. Tonkean raised $50M for its business operations platform.
- Norway/Content as Data. Sanity raised $39M for its content as data platform so teams can create new digital experiences.
- Norway/Freight. Xeneta raised $28.5M for its ocean and air freight rate benchmarking platform and container shipping index.
- Israel/SME Finance. Datarails raised $25M for its platform that lets SMBs use Excel to run financial planning and analytics like their larger counterparts.
- France/Crypto Data Provider. Kaiko raised $20M for its crypto market data platform.
- Israel/DevOps. Env0 raised $17M for its collaborative remote-run workflows management for cloud deployments.
- Israel/Cyber. Lightspin raised $16M for its context-based cloud security platform for cloud-native and Kubernetes environments.
Data Infrastructure roadmap: Bessemer put out a roadmap on data infrastructure. As with all their content, it’s incredibly thoughtful and valuable. At Angular, we have been tracking and investing in this space for a while. Firebolt, which just announced their $127M round, is one example. We have another cool one that is still in stealth mode. I’ll highlight one element of their thesis on collaboration: “Data teams value tools that simplify and enable smooth and productive collaboration. There is often friction in the modern data stack when data engineers hand off processes in the data pipeline to data scientists or data scientists request specific sets of data from data engineers. Often interaction between roles requires engaging in time consuming data pulls and building pipeline infrastructure that allows different data frameworks and formats to talk to one another. Transform Data is one such company that enables smoother collaboration by providing a shared interface where companies can define their most critical metrics and data definitions across teams. This coordination layer helps teams save time that would be spent searching for data or fixing errors, and instead enables companies to focus on running experiments that improve business performance while having a common understanding of the input and output data involved.”
Confluent goes public. Confluent went public and trades at a $13B market cap. “What does Confluent do? It built a streaming data platform on top of the open-source Apache Kafka project. In addition to its open-source roots, Confluent has a free tier of its commercial cloud offering to complement its paid products, helping generate top-of-funnel inflows that it converts to sales. Kafka itself emerged from a LinkedIn internal project in 2011. As we wrote at the time of Confluent’s $50 million Series C in 2017, the open-source project was designed to move massive amounts of data at the professional social network: At its core, Kafka is simply a messaging system, created originally at LinkedIn, that’s been designed from the ground up to move massive amounts of data smoothly around the enterprise from application to application, system to system or on-prem to cloud — and deal with extremely high message volume.”
HOW TO STARTUP
Slow down. Mel Fellay suggests that founders slow down after their big round and focus on getting a few things right. “If you’re one of those founders that just received a huge lump of funds in your first few months of starting a company. First off, CONGRATS. Secondly, slow down. Took us almost 24 months to reach $1M ARR but doubled in a little over a quarter later. Momentum comes quick.”
HOW TO VENTURE
One thing. If you read one thing this week on venture investing, read this piece in the Information on how new paradigms of VC behavior may be challenging more traditional firms such as Benchmark. The article highlights one anecdote — WorkOS’ decision to take financing from Lachy Groom over Benchmark — and uses that as a jumping off point to explore how the venture landscape is changing and how the way venture deals get done is changing with it — faster, more expensive, less dilutive, and more collaborative (at least with operator-angels). All these observations are true — but I think the article may rely too heavily on one anecdote to try to cast a shadow on easily one of the most storied firms in the Valley. My money is still on Benchmark and other firms like it. There is still room for the deeply artisanal approach that Benchmark takes. Broadly speaking, however, the concerns raised in the article are entirely valid, especially when applied to other, less differentiated (JC Penny, if you will) firms up and down the stack. Bottom line is that if Benchmark needs to revisit how they are playing the game, you probably do as well. “Benchmark’s preference for owning at least 20% of a startup has become harder to pull off as founders find themselves with more suitors than ever, according to numerous early-stage founders and investors. The high Series A valuations that in-demand startups now command mean founders can sometimes sell just 10% of their startups’ shares to raise the capital they need. And some founders want a longer list of investors in their rounds, which means they may not want the lead investor to buy too many shares.”
Firebolt raised a $127M Series B for its new approach to cheaper and more efficient big data analytics.
Aquant announced Service Insights, a powerful analytics tool which empowers service leaders with the knowledge to prevent customer disasters ahead of a negative Net Promoter Score or service escalation.