Nick Beim

Thoughts on the Economics of Innovation

Looking Into (and Beyond) Data

Venrock partner Nick Beim talks about the role of data in startup investments, the New York tech environment and what he looks for in new entrepreneurs. Venrock is a venture capital firm whose roots in technology go back to the 1970s, when it was an early backer of Apple. In the decades since, it has invested in hosts of companies that have disrupted industries and become household names. Venrock partner Nick Beim focuses on consumer, software, data-intelligence and fintech investments. We sat down with him to discuss new advancements in machine learning, the ways that startups can still overcome more established competitors, and why the best investment opportunities are rarely found where most people expect them.

Read the full article in NYSE VC Spotlight
Learning effects, network effects, and runaway leaders

There’s a new economic force at work in the machine learning revolution that is capable of generating increasing returns to scale, much as network effects did in the internet revolution. This force is automated learning, and its business impact comes in the form of learning effects: the more a product learns, the more valuable it becomes.

Read the article in TechCrunch
CrowdJustice, the crowdfunding platform for public interest litigation, raises $2M and heads to U.S.

CrowdJustice, a startup that brings crowdfunding to “public interest” litigation, has raised $2 million in seed funding for U.S. expansion. Founded in London in 2015 by ex-United Nations lawyer Julia Salasky, the idea behind CrowdJustice is to bring the Kickstarter model to legal cases that would otherwise find it hard to get funded. More broadly, the aim is to widen access to justice and use the law for social change — something that Salasky says is needed in the U.S. at the current time more than ever.

Read the article in TechCrunch
Dataminr Named to AI 100 List

CB Insights today selected Dataminr to the prestigious Artificial Intelligence 100 list (“AI 100”), a select group of emerging private companies working on ground breaking artificial intelligence technology. CB Insights CEO and co-founder, Anand Sanwal, revealed the winners during The Innovation Summit, a gathering of top executives and investors to explore the industries of the future.

Read the article here
Podcast: Discussion with Kevin Ryan, The Serial Entrepreneur

Kevin Ryan, co-founder of MongoDB, Business Insider, and Gilt Groupe (among others), speaks with Nick Beim at Venrock about building teams and what to look for in a VC. Ryan advocates taking risks as an entrepreneur, even if it leads to a failure or two. You can learn a lot from unsuccessful ventures and it prepares you for the next thing.

Listen to the podcast here
Centricient snags $6.5 million for its customer service messaging management software

Founded by Mike Myer, a former senior employee at RightNow (which was acquired by Oracle and has become their customer service technology), Centricient is looking at providing these messaging management services to some of the largest companies.

Read the article in TechCrunch
Clara Hopes To Reinvent How You Get A Mortgage

Anyone who has applied for a mortgage knows that it can be an arduous process that involves providing dozens of documents and filling out countless forms. The entire process takes an average of 45 days. But a new startup called Clara hopes to improve the experience and take a slice of the $2 trillion mortgage market.

Read the article in Fortune
The Barbell Effect of Machine Learning

Machine learning will likely have a barbell effect on the technology landscape. On one hand, it will democratize basic intelligence through the commoditization and diffusion of services such as image recognition and translation into software broadly. On the other, it will concentrate higher-order intelligence in the hands of a relatively small number of incumbents that control the lion’s share of their industry’s data.

Read the article in TechCrunch
Gilt Co-Founder Alexis Maybank Wants to Disrupt Shopping Again With a New App

Former Gilt Groupe CEO Alexis Maybank is becoming as familiar a name to the fashion world as Gucci or Prada. On Thursday, Maybank, along with co-founders Leah Park and Dustin Whitney, is launching Project September, a new mobile app with the goal of “making the visual world shoppable.” What this means, in practice, is an app with an almost entirely wordless interface that allows users to both share and shop from their smartphones.

Read the article in Fortune
Future of Fintech Panel Discussion at Economist Buttonwood Conference

Great discussion with Economist editor Patrick Foulis, Pat Grady and Amy Nauiokas on where the major disruptions will likely come in fintech, who the biggest winners and losers will be, where we are placing our biggest bets, what geographies are most advantaged and what our most controversial predictions are.

Watch the panel discussion
Finding Exceptional People With Big Ideas

Interview with Harry Stebbings on The 20 Minute VC on the essence of venture capital, how to find exceptional people, the growth of real-time information discovery pioneer Dataminr, the emergence of New York as a startup hub, the advent of impact investing and gender bias in venture capital.

Listen to the podcast at The 20 Minute VC
Venture Capitalists Must Get More Female Friendly

There is an uncomfortable truth in the venture capital industry that runs awkwardly against its meritocratic aspirations: it is harder for women to raise money than it is for men. Since 2005, only 9.7 per cent of venture-backed founding teams in the US have included a woman, and far fewer were led by one. Other data suggests a similar conclusion.

What’s the reason for this? Rarely, but sometimes, I’ve seen it come from an unabashed bias about women’s ability to be as productive as men. Generally this relates to concerns that having or raising children will be a distraction. I believe this kind of bias is in substantial decline, however, as younger generations of investors rise to prominence.

Read the article in Wired
Dataminr Confirms $130M Raise To Take Its Social Media Data Analysis To New Verticals

Dataminr, a startup that parses and crawls the vast glut of real-time information posted on social media sites like Twitter to extract key developments for public safety, bankers and news organizations, has confirmed that it’s raised another $130 million in funding. The funding — a Series D led by Fidelity — will be used to expand into new enterprise verticals, with risk management being a key new area. The company also plans to take the U.S.-based service to more geographies.

“This capital will enable our company to meet the tremendous global demand for our products, expand into a number of new markets, and integrate valuable new datasets into our algorithmic engine to enhance our Twitter-based signals and broaden our offerings,” Bailey, CEO and co-founder of Dataminr said in a statement.

Read the article in TechCrunch
Tweet-Analysis Firm Dataminr Raises Funding

Dataminr Inc., which analyzes tweets and other information streams to create alerts for traders, reporters and government agencies, has raised $130 million from banks and institutions in a new private round. The deal values New York-based Dataminr at about $700 million, people familiar with the terms said. All told, the six-year old company has raised $180 million in equity from investors.

Dataminr’s new investors include mutual-fund firms Fidelity Investments, which led the round, and Wellington Management Co., along with Credit Suisse Group AG’s CS Next Fund, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Glynn Capital Management, the company said. Venture-capital investors Venrock and Institutional Venture Partners also added to their stakes in the company.

Read the article in the Wall Street Journal
High-Value Startups Head for the Exits

Jason Richelson and his partner, Amy Bennett, lost thousands of dollars in sales after the server-based cash-register system crashed at Green Grape, their Fort Greene, Brooklyn-based business, in 2008. That disaster at the wine shop and gourmet food stores soon inspired Mr. Richelson to launch ShopKeep, a cloud-based point-of-sale system for high-volume retailers.

Fast-forward to today. The 180-employee firm has raised $37.2 million in venture capital from investors including Tom Glocer, a former CEO of Thomson Reuters. To max out the company’s valuation, it brought in Norm Merritt, former chief executive of iQor, a $550 million business-process outsourcing firm, as CEO and president eight months ago.

Read the article in Crain's
For the Youngest Startups, No Billions

Young companies thinking they might be worth billions may need a reality check.  Despite the hubbub over select startups such as WhatsApp, the mobile-messaging app bought by Facebook for $19 billion, first-round valuations for U.S. startups fell last year, data show, even as later-round valuations surpassed levels of the dot-com era.

Seed-round funding valuations—set as a business prepares to launch, or soon after—dropped nearly 30% in 2013 to nearly $2 million, from $2.7 million in 2012, and less than half of a $4.8 million high set in 2000, according to Dow Jones VentureSource. Likewise, first-round funding valuations fell to $5 million, down 28% from $7 million in 2012 and off 58% from 2000’s $12 million.

Read the article in the Wall Street Journal
A New York VC Spotlight: Nick Beim

In 2011, Nick Beim made Forbes Elite 8: Who to Watch for in Venture Capital. Beim became a venture capitalist in 2004 and by 2006, JBoss, a company he invested in, was sold to RedHat for $350 million. Beim led the initial venture investment in such companies as the Gilt Groupe, The Ladders, Intent Media, Conductor, JBoss, and OatSystems.

Beim’s investments focus on internet, adtech, SaaS, mobile, big data, financial technology, and services investments. He also serves as a Board Member with Endeavor, a nonprofit that supports entrepreneurs in developing countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Uruguay, and is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, where he co-founded a study group focused on technology and economics.

Read the article in AlleyWatch
The Rise And Future Of The New York Startup Ecosystem

Like many who have been active in the New York startup ecosystem over the past decade, I am optimistic about its future. The last 10 years have seen an increasing number of startup successes in New York. Shutterstock, Tumblr, AppNexus, Gilt Groupe, MongoDB, Etsy, Buddy Media, Warby Parker, Kickstarter, Gerson Lehrman, and OnDeck Capital are among them, and there are many others on the rise. Venture and angel funding are increasing, large Internet companies including Google and Facebook are growing their New York offices, and Cornell and Technion are collaborating to build a large engineering campus on Roosevelt Island.

Read the article in TechCrunch
CNN And Twitter Partner With Dataminr To Create News Tool For Journalists

CNN is hosting a press event today to announce a partnership with Twitter and social analytics company Dataminr, resulting in a new tool called Dataminr For News.

Dataminr CEO Ted Bailey said the goal is to “alert journalists to information that’s emerging on Twitter in real time.” Basically, the technology looks at tweets and finds patterns that can reveal breaking news when it’s still in its “infancy.” Those alerts can be delivered in a variety of ways, including via desktop applications, email, mobile alerts, and pop-up alerts.

Read the article in TechCrunch.com
Care.com soars in first day of trading
Care.com soars in first day of trading

The IPO season for Massachusetts companies got off to a booming start Friday when Waltham-based Care.com rose nearly 43 percent in its first day of trading as a public company to close at $24.30 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Read the article from BostonGlobe.com
Care.com's IPO: What You Need To Know
Care.com’s IPO: What You Need To Know

It’s been almost two years since a Boston tech company went public. But in the next few days, that statement might very well be subject to change.

Caregiver e-marketplace Care.com is poised to go public the week of January 19th, according to IPO tracker Renaissance Capital.

Read more from BostInno.com
Magic of Endeavor

During Endeavor’s 50th International Selection Panel in Palo Alto, network members and Endeavor Entrepreneurs took a moment to discuss the magic of Endeavor.

Hot Plays for Big Data Companies
Hot Plays for Big Data Companies

Venrock Partner Nick Beim discusses the company’s big data investment plans with Deirdre Bolton on Bloomberg Television’s “Money Moves.”

Watch the video on Bloomberg TV
Dataminr Secures $30 Million Amid Twitter-Scanning Success
Dataminr Secures $30 Million Amid Twitter-Scanning Success

Dataminr Inc., the New York City startup that mines Twitter for tradable news, has raised an additional $30 million in private funding from venture capital firms.

The fundraising round, Dataminr’s third since its founding in 2009, is being led by Venrock and Institutional Venture Partners. It brings the company’s total fundraising to $46.5 million. In addition, Venrock partner Nick Beim will join Dataminr’s board of directors.

Read the article from WSJ.com
Five Years In And Profitable, Gilt Refocuses On New Leadership, An IPO In 2013 And More

Alexandra Wilkis Wilson walked into famed celebrity designer Zac Posen’s showroom in November 2007 prepared to give the pitch of her life. The Gilt co-founder was attempting to sell Posen and his team on putting some of the designer’s excess inventory on the yet-to-be-launched flash sales e-commerce platform. At the time, the flash sales industry was nascent, so many, including the fashion industry, had no idea what a flash sale was.

Wilson and her CTO at the time, Mike Bryzek, stepped into the meeting armed with a demo, a bunch of mockups, and information (all of which were online). However, they quickly realized that Posen’s office didn’t have Wi-Fi. So Wilson, thinking on her feet, just took a pen and paper and started sketching the idea out. Posen’s team liked what they saw and became the first designer to sell their items in Gilt in late 2007.

Read the article from TechCrunch.com
A nonprofit supports the world's job creators
A Nonprofit Supports the World’s Job Creators

A couple of years ago, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Nick Beim sat down and started brainstorming with Linda Rottenberg, co-founder and CEO of the Manhattan-based nonprofit Endeavor. The nonprofit, where the two men are board members, provides mentorship, networking opportunities and strategic advice to entrepreneurs. What if it could design a new kind of financing vehicle that would work, in some respects, like a for-profit investment fund?

Read the article from CrainsNewYork.com
Gilt Groupe's Alexis Maybank: The Woman Behind The $1 Billion Company
Gilt Groupe’s Alexis Maybank: The Woman Behind The $1 Billion Company

Most people couldn’t pull off the feat of leaving a stable career to pursue a passion and develop it into a $1 billion company. But that’s the experience of Alexis Maybank, the founder and chief strategy officer of Gilt Groupe Inc., the members-only online shopping website.

Read the article from AOL.com
(Part 4) Social Innovation Summit 2012 - Business Innovation Meets Social Transformation
(Part 4) Social Innovation Summit 2012 – Business Innovation Meets Social Transformation

The Social Innovation Summit is a private, invitation-only forum that explores “What’s Next?” in the world of Social Innovation. Tailored to executive leaders interested in discussing the strategies and business innovations effecting social transformation across the corporate, investment, government, and non-profit sectors. Participants will include hundreds of top Fortune 500 Corporate Executives, Venture Capitalists, Government Leaders, Emerging Market Investors, Foundation Heads and Social Entrepreneurs eager to discuss social challenges, analyze innovative approaches and build lasting partnerships that enable them and their organizations to affect positive social change.

Read the article from UNMultimedia.com
Nick Beim on Venture Capital Market, Web Startups
Nick Beim on Venture Capital Market, Web Startups

Nick Beim discusses the venture capital environment in New York and outlook for Internet startups. Beim speaks with Deirdre Bolton on Bloomberg Television’s “Money Moves.”

Watch the video on Bloomberg TV
The many lives of Susan Lyne
The Many Lives of Susan Lyne

She’s worked with Rupert Murdoch, Martha Stewart, Jane Fonda, and Michael Eisner. She helped put Patty Hearst in jail and Desperate Housewives on the air. Now she’s at Gilt Groupe, the hot luxury website, and she’s making herself over once again.

Read the article from CNN.com
Beim Interview on LinkedIn IPO, Valuation

Nick Beim discusses LinkedIn Corp.’s initial public offering and stock valuation. Beim speaks with Deirdre Bolton on Bloomberg Television’s “InsideTrack.”

Watch the video on Bloomberg TV
Gilt's Hefty Valuation Puts New Web Boom to the Test
Gilt’s Hefty Valuation Puts New Web Boom to the Test

Gilt Groupe Inc. hasn’t made a penny in profit since it was founded in 2007 as an online discounter of hot designer goods like Reem Acra gowns and Rebecca Minkoff handbags.

Read the article from WSJ.com
Elite 8: Who to Watch for in Venture Capital
Elite 8: Who to Watch for in Venture Capital

Seeing names like Accel Partners’ Jim Breyer and Sequoia Capital’s Mike Moritz atop the Forbes Midas List might be about as expected as seeing UConn and Kentucky in the Final Four. There are perennial powerhouses in venture capital whose names should – for good reason – find themselves at the top of the heap.

But just as the NCAA expanded its tournament field this year to include four up-and-coming at-large teams, we found ourselves looking beyond the usual suspects at those who didn’t make the cut this year, but are doing the right things today to get themselves on the Midas List in years to come.

Read the article from Forbes.com
Beim Interview on Facebook’s Valuation, SEC

Nick Beim discusses Facebook Inc.’s valuation after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Digital Sky Technologies were said to have bought a $500 million stake in the social-media company. Beim speaks with Deirdre Bolton on Bloomberg Television’s “InsideTrack.”

Watch the video on Bloomberg TV
Internet Startups, Another Bubble?
Internet Startups, Another Bubble?

“I CAN’T decide what I like poking more: you, or these bubbles,” says bubble-blowing Kim Kardashian, a reality-TV star, in a new application for Facebook (see right). Cameo Stars, the company responsible for this innovation, lets Facebookers send to their online friends clips of minor celebrities mouthing generic greetings. Besides enriching the world’s culture, the firm may also make a fortune. But gloomy types wonder if the profusion of highly valued internet start-ups with lighter-than-air business plans is evidence of a different kind of bubble.

Read the article from Economist.com
Matrix's Beim Interview on Venture Capitalism
Nick Beim Interview on Venture Capitalism

Nick Beim talks about investment strategy and the role of venture capital in start-up technology firms. Beim speaks with Deirdre Bolton on Bloomberg Television’s “InsideTrack.”

Watch the video on Bloomberg TV
Nick Beim on Venture Capital at the Rio ISP (Part 1)

Nick Beim shares venture capital and financing insights with Endeavor Entrepreneurs during the 2010 Endeavor International Selection Panel in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Nick Beim on Venture Capital at the Rio ISP (Part 2)

Nick Beim shares venture capital and financing insights with Endeavor Entrepreneurs during the 2010 Endeavor International Selection Panel in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Nick Beim on Venture Capital at the Rio ISP (Part 3)

Nick Beim shares venture capital and financing insights with Endeavor Entrepreneurs during the 2010 Endeavor International Selection Panel in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Nick Beim on Venture Capital at the Rio ISP (Part 4)

Nick Beim shares venture capital and financing insights with Endeavor Entrepreneurs during the 2010 Endeavor International Selection Panel in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson: Gilt Groupe’s Team Builders
Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson: Gilt Groupe’s Team Builders

Imran Amed speaks to Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, co-founders of Gilt Groupe, the start-up that is taking that fashion industry by storm.

Read the article from LuxurySociety.com
Endeavor 10 Year Video

2007 marks Endeavor’s 10th year anniversary of supporting High-Impact Entrepreneurs in emerging markets! These entrepreneurs have the potential to generate millions in revenue, create thousands of jobs, and inspire countless others. Endeavor – “the best anti-poverty program of all.” Thomas Friedman

Susan Lyne lands at Gilt
Susan Lyne Lands at Gilt

Since Susan Lyne made a big name for herself at the top of ABC Entertainment and then Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO), her move to the CEO position at tiny Gilt Groupe seems to be a head scratcher. Have you heard of this year-old startup? I hadn’t. My younger, fashionable colleagues say it’s a big thing: an online marketplace of excess luxury goods that is already shaking up the fashion world.

Read the article from CNN.com
Tapping Web of Caregivers
Tapping Web of Caregivers

Looking for a dog walker in Dover? Help with aging parents in Plainville? A baby sitter in Baltimore, or a math tutor in Minneapolis? Thanks to Sheila Lirio Marcelo, care providers across the nation can be found with the click of a mouse.

The 37-year-old mother of two – with an MBA and law degree from Harvard – opened the virtual doors of Care.com in May in 20 cities; since then it has grown to cover 50 metropolitan markets and doubled its staff. The Web-based clearinghouse, based in Waltham, connects caregivers with employers.

Read the article from Boston.com