Tell us about your firm. What makes it different?
We are an operator-led & product-focused team of experts combined with extraordinary financial ‘’engineers.” Most of us have founded companies before or worked at Facebook, eBay, Whatsapp or Pinterest in their early days. We helped grow these companies internationally, and now we’re applying those unique learning experiences to our portfolio. Founders see us as members of their team — when things go well, we all celebrate and when they don’t go that great, we help them problem solve. The best opportunities to invest in are no longer exclusively in the traditional tech hubs. Rather, at TheVentureCity (TVC) we love to go to alternative places or emerging tech hubs in the U.S. and Europe to find entrepreneurs solving huge problems that affect billions of people through a different lens (and in a much more capital-efficient way!).
Where did your firm’s name come from?
“TheVentureCity” comes from the fact that there are still so many venture cities to be created around the world so that different players of the ecosystem can interact and help each other. At the time, there were only a few areas — the Bay Area, New York, Boston or London, Berlin and Tel Aviv. I thought to myself ‘wow, there is such a big gap and opportunity as there are unique entrepreneurs in so many other places that need our help. If we are successful it will create a network effect or more entrepreneurs, more Venture Capitals, and more fun — not only we will make a good multiple of our investments, we will also have also contributed to the creation of new hubs globally.’
What defines your portfolio?
Resilient, relentless, big-thinker founders building solutions to huge problems such as health-tech access to the base of the pyramid, or edge computing technology that will maximize infrastructures, or fintech applied to e-commerce solving the purchase/returns problem. We don’t invest in any business we don’t understand or know how to solve the potential problems the founders may face. So, Industries like fintech, commerce, health-tech, mobility, and connectivity are our targets, and we love business models such as B2B SaaS, marketplaces and network effects. We have a very diverse portfolio with founders from all over the world, and of course we are a VC built by female Hispanas and immigrants in our 40s!
How is the firm different today than when you first started?
We have built a community of founders, even with the ones that we decided not to fund but that we gave very detailed feedback and still catch-up with from time to time. We also have a network of sister VCs that we co-invest with — it’s a very special fund team where everyone believes that what we do is way more than investing — we are changing lives.
Why is your firm a part of NVCA?
We believe in the mission of NVCA and we learn a lot from the events, the deep dive studies, and the community you have built. We would love to become a key contributor of this big family — as investors we have a huge responsibility to sharing best practices with each others which is key for the overall success of our industry.
Tell us about the current VC landscape in your geography/region.
We invest in both U.S. and Europe. I would say that U.S. VCs are more operational and execution-focused, and European VCs are more traditional and old fashioned (I am European so this is constructive criticism!). There is huge potential outside of the traditional tech hubs in the U.S. and Europe, and in fact there are already more unicorns outside of the traditional tech hubs than inside.
What’s ahead for your firm in 2020?
Fund II! As well as several Series Cs of companies in our portfolio that we invested in their Seed and Series As, more community events (virtually), and more learnings and energy to tackle anything new coming our way! We also have a goal of 40 companies in our custom “accelerator” program — 17 down, 23 to go!
Describe your firm’s culture in 5 words or less.
People-over-pixels, product-led growth, international, execution, and passion.
Cassie Ann Hodges serves as Director of Communications at NVCA where she leads NVCA’s strategic communications, branding and content development, and media efforts to better support and empower the venture community, startups, and entrepreneurs. She also oversees the NVCA StratComm Peer Group network and programming.