Member Spotlight: Thomson Reuters Ventures

For this deep dive, we spoke to Tamara Steffens, Managing Director of Thomson Reuters Ventures.

Tamara Steffens, Managing Director, Thomson Reuters Ventures.

Tell us about your firm. What makes it different?

Thomson Reuters Ventures is a $100 million enterprise technology fund with the backing and resources of Thomson Reuters at our disposal. When we invest, we are seeking to accelerate the growth of the companies we invest in by enabling access to TR’s assets and expertise. We are a financially driven fund with a strategic component, investing off the balance sheet while being thoughtful about strategic value-add to Thomson Reuters.   

What defines your portfolio?

We are focused on investments in Series A companies, but will do some opportunistic seed and/or Series B if it’s the right fit. We look to write $3-$5M initial checks targeting 3%-10% ownership. We operate in markets that we have a presence in today and are aligned to the current strategic direction of our products, such as tax tech, legal tech, fraud/risk/compliance, and news/media. We also explore adjacencies, and technologies that are complementary to the markets we operate in, like fintech, insurtech, enterprise data tech, AI/ML and NLP, as well as companies building in markets we don’t operate in today but share the characteristics of content-driven technology businesses.    

Tell us about the current VC landscape in your geography/region

Our team is based in NYC, and it feels like a vibrant time to be in the venture ecosystem in New York. There is a significant resurgence happening with the NY tech scene post-pandemic. Both startups and larger technology companies are moving to NYC. This has driven notable venture firms to open new offices in NY followed by talent moving in and around the city. The number of meet-ups, happy hours and industry events are spiking even amidst the current conditions in public markets. It feels like New York is gearing up to be one of the most important tech and innovation hubs for the next 10-20 years.   

What are the benefits of being an NVCA member?

The NVCA connects players in the innovation ecosystem through impactful programming that adds a lot of value to us as investors. We attended the NVCA dinner in NYC, and the Gala in SF, and were able to establish meaningful relationships to exchange deals and best practices. The conversations around current legislation and the venture landscape were beneficial in informing how we are investing, and we value being able to share ideas with the network of bright minds that the NVCA has brought together.   

What’s ahead for your firm in 2022?

At the beginning of the year, we were just getting off the ground. Over the past few months, we’ve started to get rolling with our team ramped up, our first handful of investments done, and our CVC brand becoming established in the market. Our team, and TR as a whole, is very excited for the second half of 2022. We are seeing deal timelines return to a more normal pace, valuations go through a healthy reset, and founder focus shifting to a healthier mindset balance of growth and profitability. At the same time, long-term trends around digitization, cloud, professional productivity, proliferation of AI/ML, and the evolution of the future of professionals is intact. With that set-up, we are very bullish on the early-stage investment and company-building landscape over the next several years. We think we are well positioned to create a lot of value for founders and for Thomson Reuters.