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New Investments, Fresh Capital, Recent Exits, Mark Momentum for Benhamou Global Ventures PALO ALTO, CA –(Marketwired – June 28, 2017) – Benhamou Global Ventures (BGV), an early-stage venture capital firm with deep Silicon Valley roots and an exclusive focus on enterprise information technology opportunities in global markets, announced the final close of their third fund with $80 million of investable capital. Investors in the third fund include both existing LPs as well as new international and institutional LPs including several US, European, Israeli and Chinese investors. Extending the strategy of fund BGV II, BGV III will focus on enterprise IT sectors including cyber security, cloud-based infrastructure services and applications, web scale infrastructure, advanced analytics and artificial intelligence as well as industrial Internet of Things (IOT). The firm will continue its cross-border investment strategy, identifying and investing in promising companies originated in Israel, Europe and Asia and helping them build a presence in Silicon Valley. BGV has made 5 investments from the BGV III fund recently: Bayshore Networks, an emerging leader in Industrial IOT cyber security was completed in March 2017 and was syndicated with Trident Capital. The company secures and protects critical Industrial IOT assets. Secret Double Octopus (SDO) is an Israeli cyber security company whose breakthrough technology enables a password-free environment with trust channels established via a mobile phone app. That investment was completed in April 2017 and was syndicated with JVP, Iris Capital, and Liberty Media Ventures. Sherpa Digital Media, an emerging leader in Augmented Reality for the enterprise, was completed in June 2017 and was syndicated with Rally Ventures. The company securely manages, measures and automates video content and reaches customers, prospects and employees across all devices and locations. 6d bytes, an emerging leader in robotics, machine vision and AI, was completed in June 2017 and was syndicated with Partech and leading angel investors such as Plug and Play. The company is transforming the way the food and beverage industry approaches the preparation and serving of healthy foods. Drishti, a computer vision spin-off of SRI (Stanford Research Institute, Menlo Park) joined the BGV portfolio in June 2017 and was syndicated with Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). It provides a highly innovative solution to improve the efficiency of human operators in manufacturing assembly lines. “We are grateful to enjoy the support of exceptional repeat and new investors in fund III to implement our investment strategy,” said Eric Benhamou, founder and general partner of Benhamou Global Ventures. “The sales of Grid Dynamics (acquired by TeamSun) and of Zentri (acquired by Silicon Labs) in Q1 2017 are a further evidence of the success of the BGV model.” The partners of BGV III are Eric Benhamou, Anik Bose, Eric Buatois, Yashwanth Hemaraj, Marina Levinson, Amir Nayyerhabibi, Janice Roberts based in BGV’s Palo Alto office, and Barak Ben Avinoam (based in BGV’s Tel Aviv office in Israel). About Benhamou Global Ventures BGV is an early-stage venture capital firm with deep Silicon Valley roots, with an exclusive focus on enterprise technology opportunities in global markets. BGV currently has 25 active companies in its portfolio. The BGV team of 8 investment professionals has successfully built and implemented a cross-border venture-investing model with companies from Israel, Europe and Asia. Eric Benhamou, former chairman and CEO of 3Com, Palm and co-founder of Bridge Communications, founded the firm in 2004. Comprised of an experienced partnership team of global operating executives and investors, BGV is often the first and most active institutional investor in a company and has a powerful network of technical advisors, executives and functional experts who actively engage with its portfolio companies. The company has offices in Palo Alto, California and Tel Aviv, Israel. For more information, visit www.benhamouglobalventures.com.
Source: http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/bgv-closes-third-fund-makes-new-investments-2224138.htm
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Benhamou Global Ventures (“BGV”) is an early-stage venture capital firm with deep Silicon Valley roots and an exclusive focus on enterprise information technology opportunities in global markets. BGV currently has 20 active investments across its fund II and fund III portfolios. With offices in Palo Alto, California and Tel Aviv, Israel, the BGV team has been able to successfully build and implement a successful, cross-border venture investing model. The fund was founded by Eric Benhamou, former chairman and CEO of 3Com, Palm and co-founder of Bridge Communications. BGV often comes in as the first institutional investor in a company, and their network of technical and functional experts actively engage with their portfolio companies. BGV’s Investment Thesis: They are investing in tech companies at the intersection of enterprise digital transformation, early stage and cross border innovation. Digital transformation is changing the way enterprises buy, rent, build, optimize and secure IT infrastructure and applications. This is creating a new generation of technology companies in cloud ($125B market), mobility/IIOT (expected to reach $10T within 15 years) and cyber security ($75B market). An increasing proportion of such technology innovation is occurring outside the U.S. (i.e., Israel, Europe, India, China etc) fueled by the emergence of regional technology hubs.  Many of these startups seek to build cross-border companies by establishing U.S. presence and headquarters that leverage their offshore R&D.   Reflecting this trend, VC investments outside the U.S. have grown from $1.3Bn to $57Bn from 2005 to 2015 BGV applies a value-disciplined and active approach to make seed and series A investments in enterprise startups at the intersection of the above trends.  They focus on companies that contribute to very critical business outcomes – business resiliency, productivity, agility and customer centricity. The team is seeking out startups that are capital efficient, deliver quick value to customers and are focused on unleashing enterprise productivity.  Post-investment BGV plays an active role in utilizing their 100+ years of collective operating experience in building enterprise IT companies and assists its portfolio companies as they “cross the chasm” and identify strategic partnership opportunities with larger industry players. A third of BGV’s portfolio is comprised of cross-border startups and they play an active role in helping them set up a US presence and connect to the Silicon Valley ecosystem. How Does BGV’s Portfolio Fit In? BGV invests in 3 types of deals that leverage the above trends including highly disruptive new category creators, superior fast followers and special situations (i.e., spin outs, pivots and or recaps). Totango is an enterprise customer success management technology company with HQ in Silicon Valley and R&D in Israel.  The company addresses a white space within enterprises.  It focuses on the fast growing market opportunity of SaaS companies whose continued success depends heavily upon their ability to manage customer retention, churn, upsell and lifetime value. The Customer Success function has become a large part of enterprise sales today. It aims to streamline the onboarding process, maximize user engagement, minimize churn and increase the upsell success rate of a subscription business.  BGV led and syndicated the most recent equity round, and also assisted in key hires and strengthening the board with industry experts. Bayshore Networks is an IIOT cyber security startup addressing a key pain point in an old sector undergoing digital transformation.  The company enables the operational technology (OT) part of the industrial enterprises to connect to the internet securely while protecting their manufacturing assets from cyber-based threats. Bayshore enables asset intensive industries that are seeking operational efficiencies by bridging their IT and OT environments securely, collecting the big data and applying the analytics required to unlock the value of these assets. BGV participated in the Series A syndicate and has introduced the company to a number of scale-up strategic partners. Blue Cedar Networks is a spinout from Mocana.  The company secures data at rest and data in motion being accessed by mobile devices.  In today’s era of perimeter-less organizations, the app has become the endpoint for establishing the security controls that protect critical organizational apps and data.  The company’s disruptive non-client centric architecture enables enterprises to protect their assets and empower their users across the Extended Enterprise—employees, partners, consumers, re-sellers, distributors and all other non-employees who need access to enterprise data. BGV led the spinout and Series A financing and subsequently played an active role in shaping the company’s strategy, introducing the company to several strategic partners and hiring key executives. Thank you to Eric Benhamou, Anik Bose and the BGV team for assisting us with this post.     Source: http://www.alphavp.com/news/2017/04/benhamou-global-ventures-enabling-digital-transformation-enterprise/
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Bethesda, MD–(Marketwired – March 20, 2017) – Bayshore Networks, the leading provider of cyber protection for industrial infrastructure, today announced the closing of its Series A venture capital investment. With a final investment from Benhamou Global Ventures (BGV), the round was oversubscribed at more than $11M, bringing total investment in the company to $15M. Bayshore will use the investment to aggressively grow go-to-market channels, and further develop its industry leading industrial cyber protection platform. “The market for Bayshore’s industrial cyber protection solutions is expanding quickly,” said Mike Dager, CEO of Bayshore Networks. “Industrial cyber protection is now a key strategic initiative for large enterprises, utilities, and governments alike. We’re experiencing rapid growth because unlike passive visualization and reporting packages, Bayshore’s comprehensive industrial cyber protection platform stops industrial cyber threats before they start.” “We are impressed with Bayshore’s experienced management team and differentiated technology,” said Anik Bose, General Partner at BGV, who has joined Bayshore’s Board of Directors following the investment. “There is a compelling global need for industrial cyber protection solutions, and we believe Bayshore is well positioned in this burgeoning market.” “Bayshore’s innovation in the emerging Industrial IoT cyber protection market is well recognized. We led Bayshore’s Series A in support of their pioneering technology in a critical market that is largely untapped to date,” said Alberto Yépez, managing director of Trident Capital Cybersecurity. “We are happy to have BGV join us in supporting the company’s growth.” About Bayshore Networks, Inc. Bayshore Networks® is the leading provider of industrial cyber protection. The Company’s award-winning technology unlocks the power of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), providing enterprises with unprecedented visibility into their Operational Technology infrastructure while safely and securely protecting ICS systems, industrial applications, networks, machines, and workers from cyber threats. Bayshore’s strategic partners include among others Arista, AT&T, BAE, Cisco, Dell, SAP, VMware, and Yokogawa. Bayshore is a privately held company headquartered in Washington, DC and backed by Trident Capital Cybersecurity, Yokogawa, Samsung Next, and BGV Capital. For more information, visit www.BayshoreNetworks.com About Benhamou Global Ventures BGV, is an early-stage venture capital firm with deep Silicon Valley roots, with an exclusive focus on enterprise information technology opportunities in global markets. BGV currently has 17 active companies in its portfolio. The BGV team has successfully built and implemented a cross-border venture investing model with companies from Israel, Europe and Asia. The fund was founded by Eric Benhamou, former chairman and CEO of 3Com, Palm and co-founder of Bridge Communications. Comprised of an experienced partnership team of global operating executives and investors, BGV is often the first and most active institutional investor in a company and has a powerful network of technical advisors, executives and functional experts who actively engage with its portfolio companies. The company has offices in Palo Alto, California and Tel Aviv, Israel. About Trident Capital Cybersecurity Trident Capital Cybersecurity (TCC) is a $300 million fund that invests primarily in early stage and select growth equity companies. The firm is well positioned as the venture capital firm with the best connections in cybersecurity. Its 47-person Cybersecurity Industry Advisory Council, including industry CEOs, customers and former top-level government leaders is commended for its insights, connections and go-to-market support for TCC’s portfolio companies. TCC’s current portfolio companies include 4iQ, Appthority, Bayshore Networks, ID Experts and IronNet Cybersecurity. Managing Directors Alberto Yépez, Sean Cunningham and Don Dixon jointly lead the investment team and together have made 30 cybersecurity investments during a nearly 20 year period of investing at Trident and Intel Capital. For more information, visit www.tridentcybersecurity.com. CONTACT INFORMATION Public Relations Contact: Bayshore Networks, Inc. pr@bayshorenetworks.com
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Anik Bose, BGV General Partner shares his perspective on the digital transformation of manufacturing and the challenges associated with mingling the worlds of information technology and operational technology. The explosive growth in sensors, data and analysis is bringing asset intensive industries into a new era of unprecedented connection and information. This transformation offers these industries the ability to significantly improve their operations and achieve higher levels of productivity. It is estimated that every 1% increase in production efficiency in manufacturing represents $200,000 saving per day per plant in a large manufacturing operation.  This specific example was illustrated by FANUC, a top two industrial robot vendor in the world (e.g., if the utilization rate of a large factory goes up from 85% to 88%, the factory will save $600 K per plant per day. The greater the complexity of the supply chain, the higher the value creation potential. To unlock this value manufacturers are increasingly looking to adopt big data and analytics to improve operational efficiency and increase product quality, across multiple verticals such as pharmaceuticals, chemicals, energy and automotive systems. However, this comes with some inherent challenges due to the complexities of mixing the Information Technology (IT) and the Operational Technology (OT) worlds. To deliver on the promise of the inherent value creation potential we need to build stronger connections between IT and OT at both the technology and organizational levels. The challenge lies in the fact that each system was purpose-built, but neither was designed to work with the other. Technology Challenge In today’s enterprise there is a substantial communication gap between IT and OT technologies. Each uses its own method of connectivity, from the physical connectors and buses that data rides on, to the language each uses to convert bits and bytes into human readable and actionable information. Industrial devices have been designed for long life cycles and as a result use varied physical communication layers, mostly proprietary to their industry. The first step to connect such legacy industrial systems to the IIoT is to provide some type of conversion from these application specific physical buses to open, ubiquitous physical interfaces such as Ethernet and wireless. There is also a need to aggregate smaller, simpler devices like non-networkable sensors or electric circuits into a networked gateway device, in order to transmit the sensor level signals onto standard network interfaces and then into the primary Internet communications protocol – TCP/IP. The biggest challenges to this proposition come from the:
  1. Large number of devices and sensors
  2. Need for low power and low bandwidth connectivity and
  3. Fragmented nature of the vendor market
While a custom protocol can be useful in a single given application, it creates a hurdle in accessing the data required to realize the benefits that digital manufacturing offers. In contrast, IT networks use the same open standards and protocols found on the Internet. The Internet was founded on open standards like TCP/IP. Application specific protocols are layered on top: HTTP/S, SMTP, SNMP, MQIT etc. The Internet uses programming languages like JavaScript, Java and Python and presents information using technologies like HTML5 and CSS, all of which are open. To achieve the promise of Digital Manufacturing, OT and IT technologies must converge, allowing connection and communication. Today, the existing systems and protocols have created “islands of connectivity” caused by the lack of interoperability between open and proprietary protocols. This convergence between them is likely to be enabled through an evolutionary transition beginning with solutions such as protocol gateways, OPC servers and middleware. In the long run, OT/IT convergence will demand a flattened architecture and seamless communication between assets, utilizing open, standards-based protocols and programming. Another area, which is critical for this IT/OT convergence, is the security aspect. The OT systems had inherent built-in security due to the physical separation of the networks – these systems were “air-gapped” from the IT systems. Connecting OT systems creates points of failure that can cause real disruption to the business. Imagine a ransomware attack holding up a factory floor for ransom. Enabling the convergence of IT and OT systems in a secure way is essential for this transformation. People Challenge The above challenges are further compounded by the different skill sets and resistance to change that exists between IT and OT teams. Traditionally there have been separate departments for IT and OT – with different people, goals, skills and projects. Continuing to operate separately not only creates a significant barrier to the adoption of technologies that fall outside the operations- teams’ comfort zone but also exposes companies to fault or security risks that could significantly impact production. To rectify this situation, the strategies of the IT and OT departments need to be aligned and IT and operations managers need to have some common and goals and targets. Joint projects will harmonize duplicate or overlapping systems and processes, and promote the development of the interdisciplinary skills now missing in most companies. This is a significant cultural shift that requires time, trust and a progressive plan. Simple pilot projects are a great way to offer tangible value, train resources and progressively develop the skills of IT/OT skills in the team members. Getting started BGV portfolio company Bayshore Networks (www.bayshore.com ) enables industrial enterprises to connect to the internet securely while protecting the manufacturing assets from cyber-based threats.   The company’s product enables asset intensive industries that are seeking operational efficiencies to bridge their IT and OT environments, collect the big data and apply the analytics required to unlock the value of digital manufacturing and mobilize its workforce into the connected world. One key use case is granular secure remote access to industrial devices.  While traditional VPN allows a remote maintenance technician to dial into the OT zone, but the problem is that once that maintenance technician is inside the OT zone, they have access to all industrial devices (Siemens, ABB, Yokogawa, etc), which is a major security problem.  This is why traditional VPN is not a viable tool to enable secure remote access for the OT networks.  Bayshore’s granular Layer 7, secure remote access solution allows remote workers to dial into specific PLC’s, without giving access to all industrial devices. Other use cases range from providing CIP compliance for Utility customers (i.e., ability to enforce/block NERC-005-5), protecting data and systems from attacks initiated through IOT apertures for Data Center customers and safely/securely connecting IT/OT to enable OT data transformation for Manufacturing customers.
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Anik Bose (BGV General Partner) shares his perspective on the industrial internet of things (IIOT). Over the past 18 months we have seen a sizeable chunk of our deal flow coming from the IIOT sector. During this time we have also engaged in active dialogue with larger technology firms that are playing an important role in the IIOT eco-system. This blog attempts to synthesize our perspective based on our interactions. Early Days The Industrial Internet of Things is a mega trend that is expected to transform existing businesses and create new ones – see chart below summarizing the research findings from the McKinsey Global Institute report (published in June 2015). 9settings However, we are still in the early days of this transformation and actual deployments have barely scratched the surface. 451 research states that optimizing operations is the most common reason for deploying IIOT solutions, especially amongst manufacturing and utilities enterprises. While enhancing customer targeting is critical for retail, reducing risk is more important for financial and government segments. Security concerns, along with a lack of end-to-end solutions combined with a scarcity of skilled technical resources are currently inhibitors of enterprise IOT adoption. Another data point is that most VC backed company commercial traction in this sector has been at the infrastructure layer – hardware, networking, security and data. Hardware layer (chip) investments include Tessel, Pinoccio, Spark and Arduino. Networking/Cloud infrastructure investments include Ayla Networks, Jasper Networks, Iotera, PubNub and SigFox. Security investments include Mocana, Bastille Networks, Bayshore Networks and Weaved. Data infrastructure investments include Decision IQ, Maana, PingThings and Mnubo. CB Insights has categorized the IIOT into 9 emerging categories – 6 horizontal and 3 vertical ones – see the following chart: CBInsights market map Challenging Traditional VC Models IIOT is challenging the traditional VC model across several dimensions:
  • A key theme of IIOT is transforming existing businesses through operational efficiencies, not just creating new ones. This requires start-ups in this arena to establish collaborative models with incumbents instead of do-it-alone models in order to create and capture value. This will likely result in a bias towards M&A exits rather than billion $ IPO’s.
  • Most traditional VC’s lack domain knowledge around not-so-glamorous IIOT use cases and are therefore unable to provide this value add to start ups. This is another reason for startups to work with VC’s with deep operational experience in this industry as well as collaborate with larger players earlier in the process for product definition and validation.
  • New business models are emerging as VC funded ideas do not need to be just broad and finely tuned (as in other sectors). In fact many IIOT startups are narrowly focused on specific problems and vertical markets. Such a “vertical solution” approach is often outside the comfort zones of most traditional VC’s. Furthermore issues around data privacy and data ownership are creating their own challenges around data monetization for startups.
Increasingly important role of Corporate VC’s Large technology vendors are being strongly influenced by two IIOT vectors: a) How it will impact their existing products, customers and markets; b) What new adjacent market growth opportunities it will create for them. Consequently corporate VC’s are pursuing aggressive IIOT eco-system investments as part of their overall strategies to identify new businesses or identify technologies to transform existing ones. According to a recent CBInsights three out of the top 4 investors in IIOT are corporate VC’s – Intel, Cisco and Qualcomm with True Ventures being the only pure VC firm. A few examples to elaborate on emerging corporate IIOT strategic themes:
  • GE is making investments around building smarter industrial machines and delivering business process improvements to its traditional customer segments such as aviation, rail, healthcare, power and oil and gas through advanced analytics. Key investments include being a founding member of IIC, Predix Industrial data lake development and eco-system investments to seed and identify best of breed IIOT analytics applications.
  • Cisco is focusing its efforts on the theme of intelligent and secure-IIOT infrastructure and is partnering aggressively with industry incumbents like ABB, Honeywell and GE to deliver complete solutions. Key investments include ruggedized industrial networking infrastructure, acquisition of Jasper Networks and investments in PaaS cloud connectivity startups.
  • Intel is touting IIOT as a key driver of its virtuous cycle of growth (data center and memory being the other drivers).   Key investments include IOT SoC chips and investments in IIOT applications and infrastructure to create demand for its chips.
Finally the fragmentation of IIOT tools provides an additional opportunity for larger players like Cisco and GE to play a solution provider or systems integrator role with enterprise customers – e.g. knitting together their own solutions with startup company best of breed technologies. In fact, in many scenarios many startups are being forced to work with large integrators after going through a success proof of concept, where they were able to demonstrate superior capabilities against the same system integrators. Implications for Early Stage Investments To be successful in early stage investing in this sector will require:
  • Startups delivering core solutions instead of technology building blocks alone. BGV portfolio company Intellivision (intellivision.com) a leader in video analytics and smart connected IOT cameras is a good example. The company delivers full video analytics solutions for surveillance and smart connected homes. In an era of robotics, drones and automated vehicles, where a multitude of sensors help in control and maneuverability, computer vision has become a critical technology need. While open source solutions like OpenCV provide a good starting point, accuracy and real time are features one cannot compromise on. IntelliVision has some of the highest accuracy rates and is integrated directly into chipset. In order to win with this strategy, you have to have best-in-class solutions with proven performance metrics.
  • Focus on Analytics and Cybersecurity – the sectors where startups will be best poised to create and capture value. Analytics innovation will be driven two factors: a) Tsunami of MegaData – According to IDC 40% of all data generated by 2020 will be machine generated, yet most companies remain ill prepared to leverage this for competitive advantage; b) Latent Economic Value – McKinsey and ABI estimate that $11.4 trillion will be created from IIOT driven productivity improvements. A big driver of this will be analytics ($25B from Maintenance analytics alone). Innovations in Machine Learning (Neural Networks/Deep Learning) – are beginning to deliver the data science needed to deliver insights from the above. This spans issues such as ability to scale, improved signal to noise ratios, lack of labeled data for training, and the use of deep learning models that adapt as the contextual environment changes. Companies like Predikto (predikto.com) – Predictive Maintenance for Transportation Verticals along with Sentient (www.sentient.com) – AI platform employs deep learning to a number of verticals and Maana (www.Maana.com) – Data mining and machine leaning solutions for IOT) are promising early stage companies in this area. Cybersecurity will be the another area of significant value creation opportunity for startups because of two reasons: a) The surface area of attack for IIOT is immense due to factors such as – Cloning of things, malicious substitution of things, eavesdropping attacks, Man-in-the middle attacks during key exchanges, firmware replacement attacks, routing attacks, Privacy threats and extraction of security parameters; b) Security is fast becoming the #1 bottleneck for broader IIOT deployments (451 research findings that the #1 concern inhibiting IIOT deployments amongst enterprises is security). Companies like Bayshore Networks (www.bayshorenetworks.com), Device Authority (www.deviceauthority.com) and Bastille Networks (www.bastillenetworks.com) are good examples of startups in this space.
  • Developing Solutions for Vertical markets – We believe that there will be an emergence of IIOT full stack vertical solutions startups that can deliver solutions required by enterprises instead of having to pursue a DIY strategy with consultants and SI’s. Deep product experience, filling in a gap that is not available within the SI world, is a necessity to win in this market. A common challenge such investments face is questions around the size of the total and serviceable addressable markets (TAM and SAM.) Contrary to a broad approach, startups have to choose a “niche market” that they can dominate. A successful strategy for such full stack vertical solutions startups is to have a viable “bowling alley” strategy (http://chasminstitute.com/) where they seek a beachhead that will allow them to leverage their success in the initial niche market to attack an adjacent related niche market.
Bowling Alley Source: http://www.caneval.com/vision/innovation/innovation2.html
  • Partnering with Larger Eco-system Vendors – Finally startups will need to leverage the domain knowledge possessed by strategic partners around IIOT use cases to shape their product and technology development earlier at earlier stages of their life cycle.
  • Cross-border start ups – According to the McKinsey Global Institute report on the Internet of things, “over the next ten years the potential number of IoT uses is likely
to be higher in developing economies. The applications that drive the most value in developing economies differ from those in advanced economies and, in some cases, because there are no legacy technologies to displace, developing economies can “leapfrog” in IoT implementations”. The high volume of estimated installations in developing economies reflects the shift of global economic growth to those areas, which has important implications for companies that compete in IoT equipment and service markets. China will be one of the largest users of IoT systems in factories as well as in other settings. Countries with oil and 
gas operations—among the most important early adopters of IoT—will also be major geographic markets.” Cross-border startups that can address these international market opportunities will be well positioned for success.
Conclusion The IIOT value chain and eco-system is a complex one, this combined with the important role of existing industry incumbents makes for a complex start up value creation and capture journey. Value creation from early stage investing in IIOT will require a different model, one that is more aligned:
  • Around balancing vertical investment bets instead of purely broad horizontal ones
  • With the DNA of corporate partnering required to collaborate with incumbents in the early days to deliver complete enterprise solutions rather than pursuing purely go it alone value building strategies
  • Towards return models with a bias more towards M&A exits than Unicorn IPO exits
 
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