ACTIVIST VC BLOG

Nexit’s Best Exit Ever

We at Nexit have spent a few sleepless nights of late – but not to worry, it is a good thing this time: we just made a GREAT EXIT! One of our portfolio companies, Ekahau, has been acquired by Ookla, the global leader in internet testing, data, and analysis. Ookla, itself owned by Ziff Davis, […]

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The Great M&A Game

A brand new study called “Tech Startup M&As 2018” from our good friends at Mind the Bridge shows that the US is still the dominant force in tech startup M&A. As there is a lot of good stuff in the report, we will break down the findings into two blogs: In this blog post, we underline […]

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The VC/Entrepreneur Conflict

A VC has invested in a company and wants to proceed towards a highly profitable exit. Everybody’s interests should be aligned and there should be no conflict, right? In theory, yes. However, a VC and an entrepreneur look at the world from a fundamentally different perspective – which can cause friction. Cause for conflict: all-in […]

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Activist VC Blog: Current & Planned Posts

If you are a long-time and eagle-eyed reader, you might notice that we have changed the Activist VC Blog Table of Contents a bit. The Fall 2018 version that you see below has some editions and some cuts, based on reader feedback, requests, and also analytics. We are trying to focus on the themes you […]

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Live in the sunshine. Swim in the sea. Drink in the wild air.

Everybody spread the word We’re gonna have a celebration All across the world In every nation It’s time for the good times Forget about the bad times, oh yeah One day to come together to release the pressure We need a holiday If we took a holiday Took some time to celebrate Just one day […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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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!) […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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