July 02, 2020

Some Thoughts on Lemonade’s IPO

When GV first invested in in 2016, the insurance industry was ripe for disruption. As I at the time, the market was enormous — and the incumbents, still clinging to their filing cabinets and archaic business processes, were plagued with low levels of customer satisfaction. A generation of young homeowners was looking for a streamlined, mobile-first experience; and renters (often ignored by the industry) needed an easier way to protect their belongings.

Lemonade CEO Daniel Schreiber and GV’s Tom Hulme Lemonade CEO Daniel Schreiber and GV’s Tom Hulme

At the time I'd just spent six months studying opportunities in the fintech space, where we had identified some opportunities in payments, and had struggled to find a new type of insurance player. That changed when Lemonade co-founder and I met at a Founders Forum event in London, and I was immediately struck by his integrity, his ambition, and his clarity of thinking about a very complicated industry. Daniel's vision for Lemonade was the antithesis of the insurance industry's endless paper trails and slow claims process. Later that summer, the funding round came together very quickly; we partnered with Daniel, his co-founder , and the Lemonade team even before they released their first product.

japanese20matare成熟30I've always believed that a company's empathy for its customers is a leading indicator of success, and to this point the Lemonade team puts a customer focus at the center of everything they do.

japanese20matare成熟30Since those early days, Lemonade has built on its promise to take the headache out of insurance for homeowners and renters. As a full-stack insurer, it redesigned almost all of the traditional insurance value chain to keep premiums low, and offer renters and home insurance quotes algorithmically. Customers sign up in a simple workflow, and submit claims within minutes on their mobile devices. I've always believed that a company's empathy for its customers is a leading indicator of success, and to this point the Lemonade team puts a customer focus at the center of everything they do, consistently earning them an industry-leading Net Promoter Score (NPS).

From the beginning Daniel and Shai set out to make Lemonade's culture different from that of the insurance incumbents. Starting with the first product launch, when Daniel and Shai , they made transparency a core value at Lemonade. The team their reflections on what's working at the company, and what needs improvement, and offer a radical candor rarely seen in any industry, let alone the traditionally secretive world of insurance.

The team also put social impact at the heart of the Lemonade model: when customers sign up, they nominate a nonprofit to receive any unclaimed money at the end of the year. In 2019, the company to 26 charities chosen by Lemonade customers themselves.

On behalf of GV, I congratulate the entire Lemonade team as they ring the NYSE bell this morning. Here's to the disruption you've created, the good you're doing and the long time horizon you plan to work to maximise both.

May 28, 2020

Congratulations to ThousandEyes on Joining Forces with Cisco

When I first met co-founders and in 2015, I immediately knew they were the kind of entrepreneurs that I love to support. They are technical, curious, and intensely focused on addressing a deep enterprise pain point: increasingly, CIOs and CTOs are concerned about their lack of visibility into cloud applications and third-party services. ThousandEyes resolves this by providing a view across every network an organization relies upon. , I jumped at the chance to work with this team.

ThousandEyes CEO Mohit Lad and co-founder and CTO Ricardo Oliveira From left to right: ThousandEyes CEO Mohit Lad and co-founder and CTO Ricardo Oliveira

japanese20matare成熟30Fast forward to today, and ThousandEyes has built a broad customer base that delivers a comprehensive, collectively-powered view of the internet. Because of the growth of distributed workforces, this is a significant and timely development. More large enterprises will depend on network intelligence to improve digital experiences. ThousandEyes has the team and technology needed to light the way.

japanese20matare成熟30It has been a privilege to partner with Mohit, Ricardo, and the entire team as they built ThousandEyes to this point. Please join me in congratulating them on their continued success as a part of the Cisco family.

May 26, 2020

Scandit Series C: Mobile Computer Vision Means Business

Twice a year, I choose a new industry or technology to study, and then spend six months learning everything I can about the topic. I've focused on genomics, epigenetics, fintech --- and early in 2018, I took a deep dive into computer vision, which is how computers gain high-level understanding of visual images.

japanese20matare成熟30I was curious about how computer vision might work behind the scenes to power transactions in retail, transportation, logistics, manufacturing and healthcare. Just as barcode scanning has made these industries more efficient, computer vision can supercharge workflows for things like mobile point of sale, mobile shopping, self-checkout, inventory management and proof of delivery.

In July 2018 I , a Zurich-based company founded by pioneers from MIT and ETH Zurich. Scandit's CEO, , envisions a world where computer vision and augmented reality drive logistics and contactless payments. Due to recent events companies across every industry are increasingly turning to computer vision and personal smart devices to create safer contactless environments for employees and customers.

Scandit co-founders Christof Roduner, Christian Floerkemeier, and Samuel Mueller. From left to right: Scandit co-founders Christof Roduner, Christian Floerkemeier, and Samuel Mueller.

japanese20matare成熟30Samuel and his team were quick to respond to the pandemic with the launch of a free , designed to speed up the data collection needed for COVID-19 testing. Healthcare workers use the app to capture and export patient and specimen data on their mobile devices, so nobody has to risk passing germs through pen and paper.

It takes more than just technical excellence and a compelling vision to build the next great startup

japanese20matare成熟30Scandit earns no money from this app; they built it to help ease an aspect of this current global crisis. It's this kind of community commitment that sets Samuel and his co-founders and apart from others. They maintain a tireless work ethic and value impeccable attention to detail. During our board meetings in Zurich, I've observed the deep trust between them, and their keen understanding of each other's strengths. It takes more than just technical excellence and a compelling vision to build the next great startup; it takes dedicated people, productive co-founder relationships, and the ability to adapt to rapidly evolving business needs. This is where the Scandit team shines.

Today, as its latest funding round, we're proud to support this remarkable team.

May 19, 2020

COVID-19: Moving from Fear to Owning Our Future

A conversation on COVID-19 with Dr. Sue Desmond-Hellmann

This morning GV brought together a group of leaders across technology, healthcare, and public policy to discuss the impact of COVID-19 with Dr. Sue Desmond-Hellmann. A GV advisor and who has spent forty years as an innovator in life sciences and business, Dr. Desmond-Hellmann has been on the front line of some of the most devastating diseases in our lifetimes. She began her career as a physician during the HIV epidemic in San Francisco in the 1980s. Years later, she became CEO of the Gates Foundation, where she worked towards eradicating polio throughout the world.

"The remedy to COVID-19 is leadership."

Our conversation ranged from ways society is changing as a result of the pandemic and current progress in developing a vaccine to opportunities for the technology world to help and how startups can navigate through this challenge.

japanese20matare成熟30Dr. Desmond-Hellmann observed that in every health crisis she's seen, medicine is only part of the solution. "The remedy to COVID-19 is leadership," she said. "If you consider the history of other pandemics we've collectively faced, people look toward humanity and want real leaders to emerge."

She also considered the mental health implications of this pandemic. "Fear can be healthy," she said. "But we must move from fear to ownership of our future in times of crisis."

April 27, 2020

The Road to ROME's Series A

Exploring the human genome to develop novel therapeutics

Dr. Rosana Kapeller is a brilliant scientist with bold ideas and a refreshingly direct work style. I first met her when she was Chief Scientific Officer of . From that first meeting, I always hoped we'd have the opportunity to work together. In March 2018, when she was contemplating her next move, we met for dinner near our offices in Cambridge.

ROME CEO Rosana Kapeller ROME CEO and Co-founder Rosana Kapeller

That dinner was one of the most memorable meetings I've ever had as an investor. For hours, we discussed our experiences in the medical field, a shared passion for computational chemistry, and the promise of using computers for small molecule development. She had a lot of ideas and wanted to start something new.

GV was looking to start our incubator effort, where we would support the formation of early-stage companies. What if Rosana developed her new venture inside GV as our first-ever life sciences entrepreneur-in-residence? A few months after that dinner in Harvard Square, she .

japanese20matare成熟30As she began her residency at GV, Rosana was deeply curious about something called repeatome. We all asked, what's that? Rosana and her David Ting and Ben Greenbaum told us that 60% of the human genome consists of "repeats" --- repetitive sequences of nucleic acids. For decades, scientists have mostly focused on just two percent of the genes that encode proteins in drug discovery. The rest, which is largely comprised of the repeatome, is often dismissed by many as junk DNA. Rosana had a hunch that something powerful is hidden in that "junk".

Exploring the human genome to advance medicine is one of the most meaningful things we can do in our lifetimes to improve health.

Today we're thrilled to congratulate Rosana and her team on of their new company, . ROME sits at the crossroads of machine learning, virology, oncology, and immunology, and prosecutes the founding team's thesis that therapies targeting the repeatome can transform the way we approach oncology and treat autoimmune diseases. While the science is still nascent, the early data is very promising.

Exploring the human genome to advance medicine is one of the most meaningful things we can do in our lifetimes to improve health. I can't think of a better person than Rosana to drive this work forward for all of us.

April 17, 2020 / Crosspost from

A Fine Line

Some thoughts on GV’s latest investment in Stripe

For all of Silicon Valley's talk of "disruption" we are now living in a time of true disruption. The COVID-19 pandemic has altered lives in ways big and small all around the world. It would perhaps be more terrifying if it wasn't so surreal. We will get through this, but our reality on the other side will be forever changed.

japanese20matare成熟30Part of that change which is already taking place is an acceleration of business online – both companies moving their entire book of business there and companies already there scaling in ways not imagined. While this has been happening slowly but surely over the past three decades, the COVID situation is forcing the hands of many because the real world options just aren't viable right now.

japanese20matare成熟30Thankfully, there are tools and services which have been built in recent years which can help with this transition and related challenges. Perhaps the prime example is .

Stripe Logo

When we first invested in Stripe in 2016, the company was seven years into their journey to . They had certainly executed on that goal up until that point, but it still seemed like the early days. In the intervening years, that has proven to be the case. But recent weeks have shed a whole new light on that mission. That's why I'm proud that GV has to provide more capital and further partnership for this cause at this important time.

Millions of businesses now rely on Stripe to function. But it's the ones that didn't realize they would have to all of a sudden which are top of mind. As are newer types of businesses that are being thrown into the challenges of scaling overnight– such as in the telemedicine space, with companies like , which Stripe now supports.

With the world as it is right now, it's a unique and certainly challenging time to be investing. At the same time, everyone knows that great companies will be built in this crucible.

On the flip side, companies already at massive scale are seeing an influx of demand that could not have been predicted. Companies like , , , , – even – are all being stretched to their limits. And Stripe is helping each of them try to handle the demand.

At the same time, again, we will exit these trying times. And when trying to think about what the world might look like at that point, it seems pretty clear that Stripe will be a pillar of business and commerce of all shapes and sizes.

Newly public companies like and , which are providing invaluable connections to millions of people in our current situation, are running their business on Stripe. And private companies like our newest portfolio company , which is for individuals to set up businesses on the web, are also running on Stripe.

And so even in a time when most companies (rightfully) have to think about scaling back on some goals and ambitions, it's imperative that Stripe keeps forging ahead.

With the world as it is right now, it's a unique and certainly challenging time to be investing. At the same time, everyone knows that great companies will be built in this crucible. And some already great ones will prove their mettle and become .

japanese20matare成熟30Stripe is a business that emerges from our current turmoil stronger because they've helped support millions of other businesses in this time. And, as the world heals, helps countless businesses rebuild or get started.

It's not just a fantastic mission or a valuable one, it's a crucial one.

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