As investors in both NextGen Commerce and SaaS, our investment in Latch equally excites both sides of our (now very well-secured) house. It’s a true ecommerce enabler, allowing for the free flow of goods and services in a highly secure manner. But what really sets the platform apart is its enterprise-first, revenue-first approach, which elegantly solves some acute property management pain points and drives a recurring SaaS revenue stream.
Within the U.S. healthcare industry, there is an estimated $750 billion in annual waste, $55 billion of which can be attributed to preventive failures, defined as poor patient education and outcomes that could have been avoided with preventive medicine. WebMD’s systematic failures have left the door open for a multibillion dollar business to step in and offer a more modern and innovative take on patient education. That business, we believe, is Kang Health, a platform that’s indexing the world’s collective health knowledge into an adaptive, personalized platform that empowers consumers to make more informed healthcare decisions.
Imagine a scenario in which you can avoid the dreaded IT support call and immediately have your issue resolved via a quick online chat. This simple premise is the vision of founder Ryan Denehy and the inspiration for our latest investment in Electric, a 24/7 automated intelligent support channel for immediate response to customer IT enquiries. Using a Slack interface, customers will be able to chat directly with a support specialist (an intelligent bot for low-level support, but escalating to a human if need be) for an instant response to their enquiry. It’s the stuff of dreams.
Last week, we stood in front of a packed house of 200-some eager entrepreneurs, operators, VCs and technophiles looking to further their stake in the NYC Tech ecosystem. A main focus of the evening was, of course, how far NYC Tech has come, especially over the past five years, but also focused on the ongoing challenges that remain on our road to becoming a fully proven, enduring enterprise tech powerhouse.
Women are now the final decision-makers on 85% of U.S. household expenditures. As a result of this growing dominance, it has become a nonnegotiable business imperative for companies to increase female representation at the top in order to understand and appeal to their largely female customer base. Indeed, as the tech world has moved from largely enterprise B2B companies to encompass more D2C ventures, the best way for companies to develop market-leading products and maintain a competitive advantage is to ensure that the voice of the customer is well-represented. The case for inclusion, therefore, has shifted from a “diversity for diversity’s sake” argument, to one that is based on smart business tactics and revenue generation.
Harish Peri is a product marketing force, having held leadership positions at Blackrock, Salesforce, Nielsen and now Head of Marketing at Lifion. Central to Harish’s success is his ability to listen to customers with a deep sense of empathy, and his ability to translate their pain points into impactful product development. Harish has a contagious energy, and is always eager to lend his unique perspective to members of the Primary Expert Network.
Q3 saw a steep dropoff in fintech deals, though NextGen Commerce saw a bit of a revival from previous quarters, with specific focus on consumer-oriented marketplaces and consumer education platforms. Healthcare platforms continue to attract investors, especially innovative patient communication tools, and space-age technologies - which have made a big splash on the West Coast - are increasingly finding a home in New York, with a number of drone, virtual reality and AI startups receiving funding in Q3.
The venture industry has been slower to reset from 2015’s red-hot funding and valuation rates than many anticipated, with many VCs responding to ongoing market uncertainty with diminished appetite for risk. Q3 2016 saw just 32 Seed deals, totaling $57.5MM. The quarter saw 29% fewer deals than Q2 and 57% fewer than this quarter last year. From a dollars standpoint, we’re now down 21% from Q2 2016, and 34% from Q3 last year. As it stands, the VC funding total for startups in 2016 is on pace to see a 25% drop from 2015.