On the heels of this month’s news of Trello’s acquisition by Atlassian, we’re thrilled to be profiling one of the amazing sales resources in the PEN, Kristen Habacht, VP of Sales at Trello. As the first sales hire at Trello, Kristen’s work ethic, innovative spirit and strategic prowess have paid off handsomely, with Trello now widely regarded as the fastest-growing project management and productivity tool on the market.
As we reported in our Q4 NYC Seed Deal Report, seed investors in the city remain consistently eager to fund high-quality opportunities. Areas that saw the biggest growth this quarter were new financial offerings that give consumers modern, user-friendly ways to pay and manage their money, as well as infosec platforms that secure online transactions and prevent hacking. And healthcare continues to draw funds, with continued focus on new platforms that help to coordinate care and provide a better experience for specific patient populations.
2016 concluded not with a bang, but with a steady, if slightly muted, drumbeat that will herald the New Year with the promise of continued forward momentum. The quarter saw 42 seed deals in NYC, holding at a relatively steady pace from Q3 2016 but down 39% from Q4 2015. Total investment dollars were down just 4% from last quarter and 25% from this time last year.
A few weeks ago, we learned of the news that VTS and Hightower are merging in a deal that will create one of the largest real estate tech companies in the country, valued at roughly $300 million. The combined company will provide asset management tools for more than 5.5 billion square feet of commercial space across the US and UK. As a marriage of quasi-equals, it’s a union of the sort that is incredibly hard to pull off, but one that - if executed successfully - will be a game-changer for both companies, their customers and the commercial real estate market as a whole.
While this role has a highly valued voice in our investment decision-making process, this is not an investment position where the main focus is on working new deal opportunities. Instead, you will work closely with a number of early-stage startups on a variety of mission-critical initiatives. Your key objective will be to make sure Primary is doing whatever we can to provide hands-on operational support across our portfolio.
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.