Hello ,

“The VC community is an increasingly predictable and lookalike bunch that just seems to follow each other around from one trivial idea to another.” - Chamath Palihapitiya in Bros Funding Bros.

It’s easy to dismiss this type of statement as a Trump-esque approach to earning free media. However, we think it’s well worth digging into this discussion about how the makeup of venture capital firms (including gender, ethnicity, and age) might affect future performance in an industry that is largely older, white, and male. The underlying assumption is that different genders, ages, and ethnicities decrease the likelihood of groupthink or herd mentality.

Diversity of thought is one of the reasons we are sending startup candidate introductions in this e-mail. We know we’re biased (just read our notes in the startup intros!). In the days following startup introductions, we typically receive interesting feedback, which has led us to meet teams that are now some of our fastest-growing companies.

We think changing the mix of people in VC may affect what gets funded. But we also see a few other things shifting in favor of ideas that “have lots of risk, but also have massive upside in success.” In fact, quite a few are in these updates:

• Well-known VCs investing in “unsexy” sectors (a16z latest investment in OpenGov)

• Venture capital being allocated via new models (Angel.co $400M Fund)

• Venture capital looking beyond financial gain for LPs (corporate VC growth)

• Ecosystem stacks to help entrepreneurs cheat (Open procure, Amazon AWS for IOT)

• More ways to discover promising companies (Mattermark, CBInsights, Pitchbook)

These ongoing changes to help de-risk and fund more diverse opportunities make us more optimistic than ever that startups will continue to help re-imagine cities.

[Startup Candidate] Eddy Labs allows aging family members to live independently for longer by making caregiving less stressful, easier, and more effective.

[Startup Candidate] Scoot Networks offers fast, cheap, fun personal transportation.

[News] Angel.co CSC Upshot $400M Fund will invest alongside investors in seed stage syndicates on angel.co. Here is some more data on the new fund and angel.co.  

[Insights] Default dead or Default alive: Paul Graham asks startups to consider what happens if they don’t raise another round?

[Insights] Open Procure: Alan Mond and Munirent have created a great tool to help startups sell to local governments by listing formal spending thresholds for cities and counties. Take a look and/or add some data.

[Founder News] AWS for IOT: Amazon quietly announced AWS services that promise to remove some of the complexity in IOT. Rachio is featured alongside NASA (which operates IOT devices all over the solar system). More on AWS for IOT.

[Founder News] HandUp Funding from Impact America is great recognition of their progress, most recently with the launch of their gift cards.

Best,
Shaun, Stonly and Anthony

P.S. It’s Back to the Future day on Wednesday! We’ll be riding our Onewheels.

P.P.S. Now you can join us on Slack.

Need more Urban.Us? Find Us on Angel.co and Twitter. Catch up on past updates here.