🕶️ IPO or no? The VC factor in startup exits

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Today, discover why friction between investors and startups over IPOs is escalating – and where europe's top incubation centers are found! 📍

+ Get the inside scoop on Elon's latest moves 🕺, high schoolers doubling as startup whizzes, copyright law showdowns, and a sneak peek into the ever-changing world of social media on our new video 🎥


Six bullets of updates

  1. 🏢 #Elon Elon Musk's xAI releases Grok, its large language model, as open source - stirring discussion on what 'open' really means in AI.

  2. 🍋 Tech-savvy teens are ditching lemonade stands for their AI startups, with 15-year-old Elliot Evertsson Norrevik's Roster AI projected to make $70k in revenue this year.

  3. ⚖️ Midjourney is betting it can beat copyright laws despite using a controversial mix of copyrighted works for its model training.

  4. 🧊 Unusual stock terms at SpaceX may freeze employees' shares if they've misbehaved.

  5. 🌊 Poseidona is transforming this oceanic pest into a soy protein alternative, backed by $1.19M pre-seed funding.

  6. ✈️ Supersonic travel is back on the radar, with startups promising quieter, greener flights that could cross the Atlantic in 90 minutes. 

VCs may be playing hide and seek with your IPO dreams!

Getty Images.

Venture Capitalists (VCs) with preferred shares can block a startup's IPO or acquisition if they think the timing or price isn't right. This power comes from the VC deal terms often agreed upon in investment rounds. In times of market agreement, this isn't usually problematic as both founders and investors can align on an IPO's timing. However, if the market goes South, as it did after the sky-high valuations in 2021, these VC terms can become stumbling blocks as companies may need to exit below their last valuation.

This friction between investors and startups over the decision to IPO isn't solely due to selfish reasons. In fact, it's often about the fiduciary duty of investors to secure the best returns for their Limited Partners (LPs). Pushing for an IPO when waiting could yield higher returns isn't a smart move.

The changing nature of public markets and the rising maturity of secondary markets, where private shareholders can sell stocks in approved transactions, are also key factors. This provides liquidity for VCs without forcing their startups to go public prematurely. See more!

Startup Events and Deadlines

  1. SaaSOpen: Austin Conference | March 28 | Austin 

  2. How Much Money Should You Raise? | Webinar | April 12 | Online

  3. Financial Modeling Course  | Course | April 15 | Online 

  4. SaaSiest Sweden Conference | April 16 | Malmö, Sweden   

  5. TechCrunch Early Stage 2024 Conference | April 25 | Boston

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These companies just raised money

  1. 🔒Venture capital firm Ballistic Ventures closes a fund at $360M, doubling down on its hands-on approach in cybersecurity startups.

  2. 👁️ Dutch startup Eye Security reels $39M to fight cybercrime, focusing on the vulnerable SMEs facing 50% of all cyber attacks.

  3. 💵 U.K. startup Griffin Bank secures full banking license after raising $24M to offer a full-stack platform for fintech companies.

  4. 📸 Influencer marketing platform ShopMy receives $18.5M to fuel expansion to scale its 40k creator network.

  5. 🔑 Nigeria's fintech Zone raised $8.5M to scale its blockchain-enabled payment infrastructure, aiming to streamline African payments.

  6. 🇲🇽 Mexican legal-tech startup Tally secures funding from BDEV Ventures, bringing its total raised to over $400K. 

Unveiling Europe's top startup hubs

Financial Times ranked 125 startup incubation or acceleration centers in Europe. The aim was to find the best on the continent, considering alum ratings, information provided by the centers, and industry perception of each center.

Topping the list was UnternehmerTUM (Munich), which offers, among other benefits, an accelerator specifically for sustainable technologies. Second place went to Hexa (Brussels), which provides founders with the capital needed to survive the first year of startup life. SETsquared (Southampton) secured the third spot, followed by Founders Factory and Growth Studio in London.

The United Kingdom claimed half of the hubs in the top 10 positions. Read more on the list.

Investor Data Room Checklist

An investor data room is a storage space, digital or physical, where companies store information relevant to due diligence. We've compiled a FREE Template/Checklist of all the items your data room should include and resources and tools for obtaining them.

Why we hate (but can't quit) social media

Ever wondered how much your scrolling contributes to the coffers of tech giants? In this video, we uncover the mechanics of our digital habits and reflect on the tactics used to keep us engaged to social media platforms. Don’t forget to subscribe 😎!