Bobby Guelich is no stranger to taking risks. After beginning his career at mega hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, he headed west to attend Stanford University’s prestigious Graduate School of Business. He spent his summer interning at Oscar, when the company was still in its nascent stage and had only a handful of employees. As his internship came to a close, he met with the CEO, who asked him to join the team permanently. After a significant amount of soul-searching, Bobby realized that given the team he’d be working with, and the company’s mission, this was a no-brainer.
Trust issues in the workplace are at an all-time high. It seems like the tech industry is plagued by scandal after scandal, and employee turnover is on the rise. Although conflict resolution, mentorship, and issues with management have always been tricky to navigate, in this charged environment employers realize there has never been a more important time to provide employees with resources to address these challenges.
The NGC tradition in the city has always been especially strong, considering New York's stature as the retail capital of the world. After all, with the city's dense concentration of diverse needs, interests, and customers, there’s plenty of opportunity for businesses to step up and fill those needs in new and innovative ways. Today, NGC companies make up over 30% of NYC-based companies valued at over $100 million.
Being great at social media marketing is not easy. Companies are hiring dedicated teams to bolster their social media efforts. In early 2016, I met with Brian and Zach, and they explained their vision of SelfMade, and their plan to democratize social media. They intended to offer a combination of professional photo-editing services with social marketing capabilities to provide the support of a virtual creative director and social media marketing team to individuals building their brands.
We’re on a roll now! Initial Q3 data shows modest but steady growth in seed deals in NYC, both in completed deals and dollars raised. To date, 39 deals have been reported, up 5% from this time last quarter and 15% from Q3 last year. These deals raked in a total of $69.7MM in funding, up 4% from Q2 and 16% from Q3 2016.
Preliminary figures for Q3 seed deal activity in NYC show modest but steady growth in both completed deals and dollars raised. Areas that saw the most activity in Q3 include Enterprise SaaS, Real Estate, and eCommerce startups. Beauty showed particular strength this quarter, with emerging brands leveraging technology and high-quality, natural ingredients for differentiation.
We here at Primary are hugely bullish on NYC Tech, as you no doubt know. We have witnessed an exhilarating and inspiring change over the last 8-9 years as the financial crisis dramatically transformed the topography of our labor market for information workers in NYC, and the startup and tech communities have been the primary beneficiaries.
Vestwell changes the game for retirement planning. CEO Aaron Schumm launched the company in 2016 with the goal of using technology to modernize and simplify the process of setting up a 401(k) plan for plan sponsors (employers) and participants (employees), while reducing the costs involved for everyone. This combination of modern technology, coupled with a human touch, is a unique proposition for this industry and is generating significant buzz.