While soaring swiftly to their mountaintop destination, entrepreneurs give their best six-minute pitch to their VC chair lift-mate before racing down the slope and back into the lift queue. This is Peak Pitch, the highly anticipated annual event that Primary has been fortunate to host for the past 11 years at Hunter Mountain. This year’s entrepreneurs were an inspiring representation of the diverse canvas of the NYC Tech, but FinTech won big, with all 3 winners representing the sector's growing strength.
Scott Buxton is the VP of Finance at Datadog. A recent transplant from the West Coast, having worked with technology companies of all types in his 10-year tenure at Deloitte, Scott brings a truly unique perspective to Datadog. As the company’s top finance hire, Scott focuses on maintaining open lines of communication and building a clear finance roadmap that establishes his team as true business partners of every department in the company. Read on to see how he accomplishes those goals and why he’s so happy to be a part of the NYC Tech community.
The most talented founders, with a combination of compelling vision and great salesmanship are able to secure funding in any environment. Our friend Andrew Dreskin, co-founder and CEO of Ticketfly, has exactly those chops, which enabled him to successfully raise the seed round that I led in 2009, during the depths of the Great Recession. We sat down with him to relive his fundraising experiences and gather some advice for entrepreneurs starting down a similar path.
While Grubhub represents the first wave of change in online food ordering, having the largest impact on dense, urban markets, it’s left broad swaths of territory untouched - namely the smaller cities and towns that dominate the rest of the country. As customers continue to demand greater levels of convenience and automation, Slice represents Online Food Ordering 2.0, allowing mom and pop shops in geographically untapped markets to flourish under the wing of innovation.
As a media/conference company, Shoptalk is certainly a nontraditional investment for us (or for any venture firm, for that matter). But when presented by nontraditional founders, who have shown time and time again that they not only get the job done, but surpass everyone’s expectations along the way, you don’t say no.
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.