Slack’s Path to IPO

The VC community has been watching Slack’s listing on the NYSE intently, as Slack has used the unconventional direct listing approach which carries a lot of risk but also potential reward for the existing shareholders. Thus far it has looked to be successful, with a whopping 22-27x implied multiple on annual revenue, even though Slack is not profitable yet.

Here are two interesting datagraphics that have been prepared by analysts in the US about Slack’s pathway to the IPO exit:

https://equityzen.com/path-to-ipo/slack/

https://pitchbook.com/news/articles/tracing-slacks-tracks-from-founding-to-direct-listing-datagraphic

NZ’s first FDA-granted Breakthrough Device

Congratulations to the team at Surgical Design Studio (SDS) and the University of Auckland for achieving a Breakthrough Device designation from the FDA – the first medical device in New Zealand to do so. SDS have a novel device to help those suffering from gastrointestinal diseases, transforming their recoveries from surgery by reducing complications and improving quality of life.

Read more here: https://www.uniservices.co.nz/node/786

Four Simple Pitch Tips

Melanie Perkins, CEO and co-founder of Australian unicorn Canva, has shared four pitch tips with Forbes. They’re surprisingly simple, but they carry a lot of truth with them and are key for any sort of presentation, whether you are pitching for millions in investment capital or engaging with public audiences.

Read more here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2019/06/06/four-remarkably-simple-pitch-tips-from-an-entrepreneur-who-turned-her-idea-into-a-25b-unicorn

Rocket Lab not afraid of competition

Stuff has some excellent reporting today on an interview with Peter Beck, founder and CEO of Rocket Lab, discussing the huge amount of activity in the space start-up ecosystem and the challenges that brings. Of particular interest is the comment that most of the start-ups will fail, and with that a lot of investors will lose money and may become disillusioned and lose interested in space, which harms the industry as a whole. But to some extent, Rocket Lab has to just do the best job it can – it only has limited control over the competitors, and the focus has to be on beating the extremely high difficulty threshold of succeeding in space.

Read more here: https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/113066131/rocket-lab-is-keeping-tabs-on-117-rivals-but-thats-not-what-is-keeping-founder-peter-beck-busy

$300mil Govt Fund for Venture Capital

The NZ Superannuation Fund has put out a press release that provides a lot more detail about the much anticipated $300mil “Series A” venture capital intervention fund, designed to help companies in the $2mil-$15mil valuation range. Commonly known as the “valley of death” in NZ investment circles, many companies at this stage end up having to go overseas to find capital. Using a small portion of the government’s superannuation contributions is a positive signal that there is strong belief that this asset class can produce good returns over a long time-frame. However, it may take awhile before request for proposals and managers are appointed – we expect it to take at least a year to get to the point where this funding actually becomes available.

Read more here: https://investmentnews.co.nz/investment-news/nz-super-primed-for-new-300m-venture/

Momentum Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Matū is proud to sponsor the Momentum Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award, a new part of the Kiwinet Research Commercialisation Awards. The award recognises a highly motivated New Zealand university student who has made significant progress developing an idea that can change the world. This student is making outstanding contributions to commercialisation and innovation, or has created an innovative businesses in New Zealand through technology licensing, start-up creation or by providing expertise to support innovation.

We are sponsoring the award because we think that it’s crucial that the next generation of young entrepreneurs be recognised for the contributions they are making to the entrepreneurship and investment community. Innovation generally faces a critical human capital shortage, and the more bright young people we can encourage to move in this direction, the stronger the community becomes and the more impact we can have on producing good outcomes for society.

Read more about the award, and apply here: https://www.momentum.ac.nz/. Entries close Wednesday 19 June!

Zenno Astronautics on the first part of their journey

University of Auckland student start-up Zenno Astronautics hopes to use electromagnetic propulsion to help keep satellites in space, rather than having them fall back down to Earth too quickly. An interesting and wide-reaching interview, Managing Director Max Arshavsky tells the story of their early plans, how they manage their company and seek investment, and why they’re trying to do it from New Zealand.

Read more here:
https://m2magazine.co.nz/m2-success-summit-local-vs-space/

CORE sold for $45mil

A company that provides cargo tracking services to the US Postal Service and global airlines has been sold for $45 million to Canadian company Descartes. The best part of the story is that CORE Transport Technologies is a company based in Nelson! Largely staffed by local graduates from NMIT, it’s a great story of how local companies in the regions can achieve big outcomes.

Read more here:
https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/112798574/nelson-tech-company-sold-for-45m

Both Sides of the Table – Governance for Early Stage Companies

Mark Suster from Upfront Ventures, an early-stage investment fund based in Los Angeles, has written an excellent series on how to run a governance board for an early-stage company. It’s great because it’s written for both management teams (i.e. founders and CEOs) as well as board members, and has a lot of honesty. It also serves to highlight why early-stage governance is so different to governance for later-stage established companies.

Read more here:
https://bothsidesofthetable.com/startup-boards-ee3ad0389040