This feature from The New York Times examines how the doctor-patient relationship saves lives as well as money and makes a case for reinventing the primary care delivery. For this week’s posts, click on the paragraph links. >>>
Sramana Mitra: The issue that we are seeing is that a lot of companies are not ready for a $5 million to $10 million Series A. We need funds that can do $1 million to $3 million Series A. That’s only viable if the fund sizes are relatively small. The larger fund sizes cannot do $1 million to $3 million Series A.
Darshan Vyas: Correct. I can only speak for Columbus right now. We have a good grasp of the investors that are interested in Series A. What we’re lacking are the investors that play the part we do, which is the angel investment. There’s a lack of resources to help entrepreneurs get off the ground. >>>
Sramana Mitra: I do want to finish by having you talk to us a little bit about what stage you invest in. You talked a lot about the segment and preference in B2B. Talk to us about stage as a concluding segment.
David Blumberg: We believe that there are many brilliant entrepreneurs all over the world. We are open. We are based in Silicon Valley but we have offices in New York and Tel Aviv. We’ve invested in companies all over the world. We’re open to you wherever you come from. We can help you with the networking and the ties in Silicon Valley. That’s our strength.
If you’re going for a global market, that’s important to you anyway. We invest in the early stage. Seed and Series A is our specialty. A >>>
Sramana Mitra: It’s the same kind of architecture that you are doing with your product. You’re catering to the pharmaceutical industry across their use cases and drawing hua ndred sources of data. You’re suggesting a similar architecture but catering to the end user.
William King: Yes. If you think about the great companies, Apple has been an evolution. The iPhone was very much an evolution. You’re right. There’s a continuum as well. You described it nicely. I do think this is an evolution. Health category is an interesting one because you have so many different constituents. It is so fragmented. How one goes about solving the problem of unity is really important. >>>
Sramana Mitra: It’s interesting to see that you guys are seeing AI in the midwest as well. It’s good to know that that’s a pervasive trend even in your part of the universe. From your fund’s point of view, what kind of ventures are you looking to invest in? What is your investment thesis and where do you really want to focus?
Darshan Vyas: We’re really interested in artificial intelligence. When we invest in companies, I try to identify companies where we can add value by incorporating our network into that company. If we can add value to that company, then we will make that investment.
Sramana Mitra: Help us understand where your network is so we can send those types of companies your way. >>>
Sramana Mitra: This is an area of differentiated well-merchandised consumer products in existing categories and sometimes even new categories. This is a very interesting area because Facebook has created an unbelievable platform for entrepreneurs to hyper-target. That hyper-targeting capability never existed until now. It’s amazing.
For $20, the kind of hyper-targeting you can do is incredibly efficient. There’s some good news for the consumer entrepreneurs who are trying to build something. There is some good news and bad news in the story that you told. Amazon has locked up distribution and logistics in such a tight way that all the big categories are locked up. However, the niche and new products is where the e-commerce opportunity is. >>>
Sramana Mitra: Do you have a sense of the state of the union of all that? It seems like Apple is taking a decisive position on trying to play a big role in the quantified self movement. What is your assessment? What’s happening? Who’s doing what? A small startup can’t take Apple on given where they are situated in the ecosystem right now.
William King: I would argue in reverse. A fledgling company has a distinct advantage over Apple. Apple is a well-known company with well-known products and has had great success with those products. They’re a data enabler. Can they help to push the quantified self? Of course. Will they use that in their marketing? Absolutely. Look at Watson in IBM. They talk about predictive and all of the things that Watson can solve. Apple has a long history of playing nice and not playing nice with other people’s datasets. >>>
Responding to a popular request, we are now sharing transcripts of our investor podcast interviews in this new series. The following interview with Darshan Vyas, LOUD Capital was recorded in September 2017.
Darshan Vyas, Co-Founder Managing Director, LOUD Capital, discusses seed investing in the startup eco-system in the Mid-West from Ohio.
Sramana Mitra: Tell us about LOUD Capital. What is the focus of the firm? How big is your fund? What size investments do you make? >>>