ACTIVIST VC BLOG

Crossing the Delaware: Legal Differences

We’ve discussed the reasons for and legal mechanisms of turning a foreign company into a Delaware corporation in previous blog entries. However, one needs to understand the differences between a Nordic company and a Delaware company in order not to make potentially costly mistakes. The same applies when someone familiar with Nordic regulations and practices invests in a US […]

Read more >

Avoid expensive mistakes: foreign options and US tax

In general, we love options and think they are a useful and necessary tool for startups: Options are great for aligning the interests of a company’s key people and the VC: options reward increasing company value and realizing it in an exit However, it is a good idea to keep the company cap table pretty […]

Read more >

A Quick ICO Update

In Febuary, I wrote about the boom in ICO (Initial Coin Offering) Activity and concluded that ICOs still have some significant teething problems. It turns out I was neither entirely wrong nor quite alone in questioning the phenomenon. The Wall Street Journal reported recently that it found 271 cryptocurrencies (out of 1450 reviewed) that had evidence of fraudulent activity. […]

Read more >

VC in Europe: Finally Growing Up

Invest Europe just released the annual European VC and PE activity report called “2017 European Private Equity Activity“. Since we looked at the State of VC in Finland in this blog a few weeks ago, we thought it also makes sense to take a European-wide view on the VC activity as well. The Industry Grows Up (Finally!) […]

Read more >

CEO and the Art of Board Maintenance

A good startup board puts the CEO and the management team into the center of their activities. Likewise, a smart CEO should pay some attention to supporting the board and think how to get the most added value out of the board. Getting most out of the Board – three commandments for CEOs Below is some […]

Read more >

Board – resource or burden?

Board performance and best practices have been studied exhaustively, but mostly from a big company perspective. But are the same teachings valid also in a VC-funded startup? The long and winding road Let’s have a look at the roadmap of a typical VC-funded company: Sailing uncharted waters – Business is based on new and often […]

Read more >

State of VC in Finland

The Finnish Venture Capital Association FVCA held its 2018 spring meeting on April 12 to gauge the state of VC in Finland. The atmosphere was positive and rather excited with a record number of members – over 320 – attended the meeting. The positive sentiment is also reflected in the growth of FVCA membership: there […]

Read more >

Venture Capital – Engine of Growth

Venture Capitalists should be experts in seeking and supporting extreme growth. And they actually are. Numerous academic studies show that VC creates substantial value: faster growth, more patents, new jobs etc. Major impact on economy And the value is not only theoretical: the real-life economic impact of VC is phenomenal. You need some evidence? Let’s […]

Read more >

Large VC syndicates: risk or resource?

The startup journey to success is challenging: a constant stream of difficult decisions based on incomplete information. And the path is often much longer than anticipated, stretching the funding need. So, a large VC syndicate might look appealing: plenty of money and a wide pool of experience and support to draw from. However, the reality can be […]

Read more >

The anatomy of a US Flip

As promised in our last blog entry, we will now cover the mechanics of a Delaware flip in more detail. While there are many ways to do a flip, one of the more common ways is described below. (In our example, we use Finland and US as the origin and target countries.) Incorporate a new company […]

Read more >

Should I flip my startup to the US?

There is a clear leader in the sport of flipping tech companies to US: Israel has pushed over 250 companies to NASDAQ. So, should you also consider a Delaware Flip and move your startup to US? Flips in the Nexit Portfolio A flip to a new growth market is a common method for an Activist VC to […]

Read more >

The hottest trends in VC

We  have read the latest Venture Capital studies to see the key trends in the market: what is hot and what is not. As a result, we 1. Compiled some of the most interesting trends 2. Added  few of our own conclusions and predictions. The links to the sources we have used are at the […]

Read more >

ICOs: Snake Oil or the New Normal?

From a humble beginning in 2014, ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) have become a major boom in startup funding: the global ICO volume during 2017 was about $6 Billion. This number is still far below VC activity which was over $160 Billion globally in 2017. However, when we consider that less than 10% of the global […]

Read more >

Exit: Preparing for the battle

In our mind, guidance for exit is one of the most valuable things a VC can bring to the table – and  it is naturally an important task for our Company Canvas process. Exit is also a fairly complex process – a constantly moving target with multiple different paths like: IPO – The most sought after […]

Read more >

Young guns vs. old farts: who wins the startup game?

We love stories of young guns under 30 starting hugely successful companies: Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook when he was 20 Larry Page and Sergey Brin were 25 when starting Google Microsoft: Bill Gates was 19 and Paul Allen 22 Katrina Lake was 27 when she founded Stitch Fix And the list goes on. Is creating successful startups […]

Read more >

Why VC’s seek 10x returns

When a VC firm turns down an investment claiming that there is not good potential for 10x return, the reaction is sometimes pretty incredulous. From a founder’s perspective, building a business that creates a 5x return on investment might sound very good. To understand why VCs seem to seek very high multiple returns, we need […]

Read more >

Strategy: Where to play and how to win?

A simple way to define the strategy is ask two key questions: Where to play? and How to win? Where to play – Defines what markets and customers the company will serve, and more importantly, which ones it won’t. How to win – Defines the general approach how to find success, differentiate and win customers. Strategy […]

Read more >

Glossary – VC jargon explained in plain English

In this Activist VC Glossary, we translate some commonly used but still sometimes obscure venture capital jargon to plain English. Should you come across any terms you think are important but you cannot find in this list, let us know and we’ll be happy to add them. Acquisition The terms merger and acquisition mean slightly […]

Read more >

Good companies always get funded, right? WRONG!

Surprisingly, I quite often hear local Nordic industry experts claiming that all good startups always get funding – that they will get international funding even if there is no local money available. And from this, they infer that the availability of local funding is not really a bottleneck for growth companies. I believe this is […]

Read more >

The Lure of Corporate Venture Capital

Increasingly often, high tech startups are offered funding by Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) players with seemingly attractive terms. The CVC may also offer synergies, network and other support your business that a regular VC may not bring to the table. This sounds good, but is there a catch? Potential mismatch An entrepreneur should keep in […]

Read more >

Europe vs. US – The hidden truth of VC performance

A recent study by the London School of Economics shows that when comparing the right parameters, European VC actually performs equally well as US venture capital. Why does the European VC industry have such a bad reputation? The reputation of the VC industry in Europe still suffers from the unreasonably large weight of investments made […]

Read more >

CEO – The Most Important Success Factor

We believe the CEO is the single most important success factor of a startup. And the most important way for a VC to add value for a typical portfolio company is to ensure having the right CEO in charge and helping her to succeed. So, it should not be a surprise, that the CEO is […]

Read more >

Our Portfolio Management Secrets

Now it is time to get down and dirty. In this blog entry (and several that will follow), I will describe in detail the process we use to monitor the portfolio companies and help the management teams achieve our common goals. Tools: Slack and Company Canvas First of all, we use Slack within Nexit. We […]

Read more >

The Activist VC Manifesto

In our two decades of Venture Capital, Nexit has adopted a set of six key operating principles. We call them the Activist VC Method and will share them with you now. In Venture Capital, things don’t always go as planned – in fact, they rarely go. Early stage companies are pivoting while searching for a scalable […]

Read more >

Nexit Who?

In a nutshell, Nexit Ventures is the largest, oldest, and most experienced VC fund in Finland with numerous exits to leading global tech industry players. Nexit Ventures team members have launched and developed numerous successful high-tech companies and also worked for world-class corporations. In doing this, we have picked up vast amounts of experience and expertise and […]

Read more >