Author: Elan Zivotofsky

While American VC slowed in 2016, 4 reasons why Israel saw continued momentum

In early 2016, many pundits predicted a more tepid investment environment, characterized by a slowing venture capital market, a more rational valuation environment, and potential correction in the public markets.  There was a feeling that we were due for a bit of a “hangover” from the 2014-15 startup investing frenzy – which had been driven largely by walls of new capital from the likes of sovereign wealth funds, increased corporate venture money, and family offices. (For more on that, see our thoughts from early 2016 here.) And, indeed, the end-of-year data for 2016 has exposed what everyone pretty much knew: In 2016, venture capital funding in the US was down year-over-year, following five years of consistent growth in funding. According to data provided by Pitchbook, VC funding dropped roughly 14% – from the impressive $79.2 billion funneled into US-based startups in 2015, to a more modest sum of $68.3 billion in 2016. Perhaps even more telling is the decrease in the number of deals done in 2016 vs. 2015: 10,486 in 2015, compared to 7,966 in 2016. And exit activity...

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6 trends that will shape the tech industry in 2017

This is a featured post by OurCrowd Partner and Head of Investments Elan Zivotofsky.  Is 2017 just another year to watch for tech innovation? The answer is, of course, yes. But there are specific sectors we are watching more closely as entrepreneurs leverage the power of new computing paradigms and the advent of true artificial intelligence. Reflecting on the past year and looking forward to the year ahead, here are some thoughts about the trends that will shape the technology industry, and by extension, the world in 2017. 1. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are going mainstream In 2016, you probably heard Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) as buzz words. The New York Times recently featured “the great A. I. awakening”. Until recently, the practical uses of AI and ML have been quite specialized and limited, due to the need for large amounts of expensive computing power, storage and large sets of unique data. Now, AI – driven by a unique way of “teaching” computers called Deep Learning – will be much more broadly utilized across a...

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Who’s afraid of the big bad bear? An internal memo on startup investing during a down market

Last month, I traveled to the VC and financial capitals of the world – Silicon Valley and New York City – for meetings with VCs and potential investment opportunities, plus a few days of meetings at CES, the largest consumer technology conference in the world. Being another tough week for the financial markets, it was an interesting time to take such a trip. Here are some of my thoughts that I wrote up initially as an internal memo after returning, and decided to share with our broader community. While we generally spend our time focusing on the micro side of investing – companies, their teams, the competition, the technological and business advantages — it is important that we remember that investment opportunities do not exist in a vacuum. We need to raise our eyes to view the broader picture. Below, I discuss: The overall global investing environment What it means that valuations are coming down Takeaways: Private market investing during a public market downturn But… good companies will continue to be built, raise capital and create wealth OurCrowd in the...

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