Krishna Dunthoori, CEO of Apty

Introduction: When we think of great technology founders and operators, we usually think of the company where they hit it biggest. For example, when we think of Marc Benioff we think Salesforce, or when we think of Larry Ellison we think Oracle.

But when we look closely at the stories of billion-dollar tech founders, we often find these founders iterating within a technology area for years, even decades, before identifying the proprietary insight that catalyzes the billion-dollar company. This iteration can take the form of a founder (or founders) working at an established company for a long period and gaining…


by Aaron Holiday

Recently, there has been a pattern of founders raising multiple note rounds before Series A that result in upside down cap tables. An upside down cap table occurs when investors (in aggregate) own more of a startup than the management team and its employees.

Example Upside-Down Cap Table:

After speaking with founders, we heard several stories that explain why this is happening; however, there was one recurring reason: many founders are not fully aware of the impact of raising multiple notes ahead of a Series A, and they unknowingly dilute themselves much more than they desire. These…


by: Nnamdi Okike

2019 appeared to be a banner year for the technology markets. The year ushered in a boom in public market liquidity, with unicorns such as Uber, Lyft, and Pinterest going public before the end of Q2. Total capital raised in 2019 IPOs was projected to rival the year 2000, the highest in history, when $97 billion was raised. [1] Uber’s IPO valuation alone was more than all 2018 tech IPOs combined. Spending on both consumer and enterprise technology was robust, reflecting overall market confidence. On the B2B side, the U.S. enterprise software industry expanded by 19% from…


By Alessio Fanelli

The advent of machine learning has been one of the major catalysts for innovation in this decade, powering products like Alexa and Netflix’s recommendation system. At a high level, the goal of machine learning is to use historical data to train models that will help inform future decisions through prediction. In order for predictions to have a high degree of accuracy, the training set for the models needs to be both 1) large enough and 2) varied enough. …


Meha Patel, Associate at 645 Ventures

We’re excited to announce that Meha Patel has joined 645 Ventures as the newest member of our Investment & Research Team.

We’ve seen first-hand from our portfolio companies how new hires have a tremendous impact on organizational culture and help catalyze long-term success. When we seek to add new members to our team, we look for people who demonstrate a pattern of exceptionalism in their life’s journey, a tendency to be action oriented, a purity of motivation to help others succeed, and a desire to become a great investor. We saw all of those those qualities in Meha.

We first…


The Anatomy of Authentication
Password vs. Passwordless, Centralized vs. Decentralized

By Linda Lu

authentication | ɔːθɛntɪˈkeɪʃ(ə)n | noun
The process or action of proving or showing something to be true, genuine, or valid; In computing, authentication is a process or action of verifying the identity of a user or application.

Authentication: Why?

Businesses are dealing with large volumes of private, sensitive data (e.g. employee or customer’s personal data) on a daily basis. At the same time, they are also fighting malicious and deliberate attempts to breach their information systems. No enterprise is immune to hackers, and how they address this growing need…


By: Aaron Holiday, Nnamdi Okike, and Linda Lu

At the time of company formation, a startup founder’s decision to begin a new venture rarely appears to be a logical choice, due to the high risk and significant probability of failure for any startup. This decision is especially risky for founders who expect to build a billion-dollar startup. Out of the more than ten thousand tech startups founded each year, less than 20 typically go on to reach $1 billion-plus exits. This puts a founder’s probability of achieving this level of success at less than .2%, a very low probability.

However…


Interview with Michael Rubenstein: President, AppNexus

Background: When the history of the ad-tech industry in New York is written, Michael Rubenstein will surely be a protagonist. Rubenstein has helped shape the ad tech industry, playing a key role in two of the largest exits in ad tech in history: the $3.1 billion acquisition of DoubleClick by Google, and the acquisition of AppNexus by AT&T. Both of these companies were built in New York, and are indicative of the scale of successful exits that the New York ecosystem is capable of producing. …


Instagram posts from left to right: Mejuri, Allbirds, Otherland, M.M.LaFleur, Goldbelly, Glossier, Fortnite

By Dessy Levinson

What do avatar skins, dainty gold rings, and face sticks have in common? And how can understanding their success help you win the market at viral speed? Aside from impressive margins, the above examples are all part of the whirlwind third act of digital consumerism. We are moving beyond wondering what to buy or what it says about us, and onto using purchases as set-dressing while we broadcast one identity after another from our Insta stage. The question is no longer “Who are you wearing?”


The Top 7 Reasons Why VCs Miss Billion-Dollar Outcomes

By Nnamdi Okike and Aaron Holiday

“The biggest investing errors come not from factors that are informational or analytical, but from those that are psychological” — Howard Marks

This post is Part II in our series on venture capital investment strategy, following the “Circle of Competence and the Venture Capital Investing Triangle”. In that post, we defined the Venture Capital Investing Triangle, expanding upon the traditional circle of competence and proposing a new model for how VCs can define their sweet spot based on product and market. …

645 Ventures

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