GVA © 2017

21 February, Tue
The value of venture capital investors and the importance of physical infrastructure

On the back of the news that Wing Venture Capital has closed its second fund, to the tune of $250 million, venture capital is once again under the spotlight.

At the end of November, the U.K. government also focused heavily on the industry as part of its Autumn Statement, with plans to invest £2 billion into science and tech innovation, as well as a plan to invest £400 million via the British Business Bank into VC funds for growth capital. Interestingly, the U.K.’s Autumn Statement was also laced with new funds and investment strategies around infrastructure.

So why is it important to invest via VCs, and do they add value further to the money they invest into a growth business? Furthermore, what role do physical transport links play in terms of business success and innovation in this, the digital age?

Seemingly, in this very modern and digital world to which most developed societies are now accustomed, there are all manner of different mediums by which to connect, communicate, share knowledge and even send physical objects, in the guise of 3D printers, without need for physical transfer or transport. So surely enhanced physical transport links will have little impact, right?


Research we undertook over the last year was trying to empirically prove or disprove the idea that venture capital investors actually added value further to the capital they invested. We undertook the study predominantly in the U.S., with U.S. businesses and U.S. investors, looking at how direct flights increased face to face interaction between investors and portfolio, and how that in turn impacted those businesses’ probability of success and innovation. The results were really quite interesting.

A good old-fashioned face to face should not be overlooked.

Our research showed that better infrastructure links between investors and portfolio, in the shape of a new direct airline route in this instance, led to an increase in face to face interactions between investors and portfolio businesses due to the comparative time and cost saved. The results for those portfolio with increased face to face time highlighted that the number of patents filed rose by three percent, and the citations per patent rose by almost 6 percent, indicating an increased quantity and quality of innovation.

Furthermore, the probability that those portfolio would IPO or achieve a successful exit also increased. By controlling the impact of “local shocks,” we confirmed that pre-existing trends were not driving these results and that VCs really are adding value to their investments.

Therefore, we were able to empirically prove that venture capital investors do add value to their investments further to the cash injection they are able to provide. How each VC does this will be specific to their skill sets and relationships, but most will be able to offer sound advice and support due to their own business acumen, and open doors to which startup founders may not have access.

Furthermore, the research also highlighted the importance of face to face interactions for businesses, even in this digital age when video calls and emails are seen to be more efficient ways of doing business. In the case of our U.S.-centric study, the introduction of direct flights were effective in increasing these interactions. In the U.K., and other, less expansive, nation states, direct flights are less feasible in terms of intra-city travel, but enhanced transport links such as high-speed trains could have a big impact on increasing these interactions, and, in turn, the success and innovative nature of their growth businesses.

In light of Brexit, it is interesting to see the U.K. investing heavily in infrastructure, whilst other European hubs, which already have access to things such as high-speed rail, namely Germany and France, jostle to take the U.K.’s crown as the European king of startups and venture capital. With other European nations, such as Sweden and Portugal, also working hard to support their blooming tech and investment ecosystems, it is no secret how important innovation, high-growth businesses and their VCs are to the economies of nation-states. These businesses and technologies are the future, but a good old-fashioned face to face should not be overlooked, especially with VC investors.



March 2017
02 March, Thursday
Ford Wants to Get in on Drone Deliveries, Too

Ford said it plans to have a fully autonomous vehicle ready for package delivery fleets in 2021.

February 2017
21 February, Tuesday
The value of venture capital investors and the importance of physical infrastructure

On the back of the news that Wing Venture Capital has closed its second fund, to the tune of $250 million, venture capital is once again under the spotlight.

January 2017
23 January, Monday
Energy is the new new internet

If you’re not paying attention to what’s going on in energy, you should. We’ve seen this movie before. Spoiler alert: There’s massive economic opportunity ahead. How massive?

18 January, Wednesday
From “bright future” to retreat: How 500 Startups’ Russia plans were impeded by global politics

500 Startups, a prolific US seed fund and accelerator investing globally, has run into some setbacks in its international-fund ambitions, Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month.

18 January, Wednesday
France creates a special visa for entrepreneurs, engineers and investors

Just in time before the 2017 presidential election in France, the current French government wanted to announce one last thing to foster French startups. The French Tech Visa is a new program for foreign tech talent. It’s an easier way to get a four-year visa for you and your family.

16 January, Monday
New law to restrict foreign ownership of online streaming services

Last week the State Duma, Russia’s lower house or parliament, approved in the first reading a bill to limit foreign owners to take more than a 20% stake in online streaming services operating in Russia. The news was reported by the news agency Interfax.

12 January, Thursday
Russia’s cyber army hacks a spot in the Top 5

Russia’s cyber army ranks fifth in the world, reports the Kommersant business daily, citing a study prepared by ZecurionAnalytics.

11 January, Wednesday
VC investments in U.S. startups fell 12% in 2016

In terms of venture capital, 2016 was a great year to determine whether you’re a glass-half-empty or a glass-half-full kind of person.

December 2016
12 December, Monday
Blockchain Lures Central Banks as Danes Consider Minting E-Krone

In Denmark, the wardens of cash are now looking into producing a virtual currency instead, which they predict will make crime harder and oversight easier. The Danes aren’t alone. Britain and Sweden are blazing a trail in Europe. Singapore and Canada have already tested blockchain-based currency systems for Internet payments.

02 December, Friday
Russia Is Building Its Own Silicon Valley in Siberia

It’s the weirdest replica yet, a startup incubator built on top of a decaying science city in the middle of nowhere.

01 December, Thursday
More Than 1 Million Google Accounts Breached by Gooligan

As a result of a lot of hard work done by security research teams, Check Point revealed today a new and alarming malware campaign. The attack campaign, named Gooligan, breached the security of over one million Google accounts. The number continues to rise at an additional 13,000 breached devices each day.

November 2016
25 November, Friday
Latvia Passes Innovative Startup Law

Today, the Latvian parliament approved a new law to create a tax regime, one not matched anywhere else in Europe, that will effectively double venture capital investors’ money in young Latvian startups.

23 November, Wednesday
Access to LinkedIn officially blocked in Russia

Since this morning, many LinkedIn users from Russia have not been able to access LinkedIn. Local Internet service providers have started to block access to the site following as requested by telecom regulator Roskomnadzor.

19 November, Saturday
Access to LinkedIn from Russia likely to be blocked imminently following new court decision

Rejecting an appeal from the US company, a Moscow municipal court confirmed today an earlier court decision to consider LinkedIn as violating the Russian legislation on personal data storage. The news has just been reported by the Russian news agency Interfax.

15 November, Tuesday
Google and Facebook Take Aim at Fake News Sites

Over the last week, two of the world’s biggest internet companies have faced mounting criticism over how fake news on their sites may have influenced the presidential election’s outcome.

08 November, Tuesday
GVA Capital transforming North Beach church into place for thought leadership

Russian investors recently purchased a church with an ornate, embellished interior in North Beach for $7 million. The group behind a new venture capital firm investing in Silicon Valley companies plan to turn the space into a meeting place and event venue for international thought leaders coming to San Francisco.

October 2016
31 October, Monday
TechRepublic hightlights 5 top Russian startups

TechRepublic, an international publication aiming to identify technologies and strategies for IT companies, has highlighted five top Russian startups.

28 October, Friday
New FCC rule protects users from the prying eyes of ISPs

It’s a good day for consumers, and the advertisers are tearing out their hair: The FCC today voted to adopt new privacy rules that severely restrict what data ISPs can collect from you without your consent. The Association of National Advertisers called the rules “unprecedented, misguided and extremely harmful.” If that isn’t a strong endorsement, I don’t know what is!

27 October, Thursday
EBRD will not resume funding for Russian projects in 2017

The London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has finally decided not to resume operations in Russia next year.

26 October, Wednesday
Google Fiber's CEO is stepping down and the company is halting plans to offer service in sev

Google's ambitious plan to spread high-speed internet service across the US has hit a bump in the road as the group leading the charge scales back its operations and is roiled by a management shake up.