We met a lot of tech startups and IT companies during the past year. Some of them we managed to find ourselves, others were introduced to us via our network. (you can send us your company pitch via the form on our website). Among pitching startups, there were various products and technologies ranging from specialized social networks to upgraded internal combustion engines. Luckily there were many decent investment opportunities that were worth studying more thoroughly, rather than a quick scan of the deck.
We are glad to present the results of our past year pipeline in the form of infographics below:
We assigned each company in our pipeline to one of 18 industries, which we thought was most appropriate for each. As you can see, most often we received companies fitting into the Search/Classifieds/Aggregators category, which is a stable trend for us YoY. For instance, this industry category came second in our pipeline ranking back in 2018. Professional and Corporate software crossed the past year’s goal line second and third respectively, which wasn’t surprising to us because we specialize in these areas. At the same time, compared to 2018, we noticed some considerable changes. For example, Blockchain is losing its positions, while the share of companies related to Big Data is increasing.
We also try to track and analyze valuations across all pitching startups, see the snapshot below:
In their decks, founders show the required funding amount more often than the valuation. The fact that a lot of companies were sending us pitch decks raising below $1M demonstrated that many founders of pre-seed startups don’t do a lot of research about investment criteria of investment funds.
Leta Capital invests at late Seed, Series A and early growth stages. Hence it’s not surprising, that we most commonly get pitch decks from companies of these stages. Nevertheless, we should note that nowadays valuations and raised amounts differ considerably across various regions, industries and stages. For some, “Seed” means pre-product idea stage, while for others, “Series A” is a minimum of $10 million worth of investment.
We selected some real and interesting companies from our pipeline which although didn’t fit into our criteria, still seemed interesting and (sometimes) funny enough to mention:
- Service for dog walking. After googling the name, first, you will laugh at it, and then the company’s results will laugh at you. It turns out that the dog-walking market is already very large. And there are numerous options for strategic monetization of additional services and products that are important for dog breeders.
- An app for finding a public toilet (which is active, actually). Let’s be honest, many of us were in a situation of rushing in search of a toilet, especially when travelling or staying in an unfamiliar neighbourhood. I wonder if this industry is expecting further uberization or a p2p model? Initially started out as a search engine, and then — “share your toilet when not in use”.
- The pinnacle of the evolution of modern communication is a fun app where the users can share their emotions and communicate with friends using a virtual 3D Raccoon. Quoting the app’s developers: “you don’t need to invent words for chatting.” Why do you need words at all when there is a raccoon there for you?
- Another interesting project is the creation and production of virtual characters based on neural networks and CGI. Which kind of makes sense: why would we need the celebrities and influencers made of blood and bones, when there is an unpretentious doll ready to do anything we want? I think we will see more and more startups like this in the next few years, as such projects are gaining momentum around the world these days.
We are super keen to hear your comments, feedback or any questions.
Do you run an innovative tech startup? We are investing in early-stage revenue-generating software startups across the world and would love to hear from you! You can reach us at leta.vc