GOING AGAINST THE HYPE

GOING AGAINST THE HYPE

CASE STUDY

During our research phase, an investor asked us to take a look at a company some of his friends had invested in. He wanted some additional data points to help him decide if he too was going to invest.

The company was in the medical space, so we included our healthcare experts in the review.

The company was a unicorn based in Silicon Valley and was very high profile.

It was being exalted as the latest unicorn and its founder, one of the youngest female tech billionaires.

We reviewed materials in the public domain as well as the pitch deck the investor had been given.

Our process highlighted some red flags, including:

  • Claims in the deck that lacked scientific evidence
  • Lack of peer reviews in recognised and reputable medical journals
  • The founder’s inability to answer questions with depth and substance
  • Deflection of questions
  • A board of the who’s who but no-one with relevant medical expertise

We shared our view with the investor.

He decided not to invest.

The company was Theranos, pre-scandal.

The investor is happy.

 

CASE STUDY

During our research phase, an investor asked us to take a look at a company some of his friends had invested in. He wanted some additional data points to help him decide if he too was going to invest.

The company was in the medical space, so we included our healthcare experts in the review.

The company was a unicorn based in Silicon Valley and was very high profile.

It was being exalted as the latest unicorn and its founder, one of the youngest female tech billionaires.

We reviewed materials in the public domain as well as the pitch deck the investor had been given.

Our process highlighted some red flags, including:

  • Claims in the deck that lacked scientific evidence
  • Lack of peer reviews in recognised and reputable medical journals
  • The founder’s inability to answer questions with depth and substance
  • Deflection of questions
  • A board of the who’s who but no-one with relevant medical expertise

We shared our view with the investor.

He decided not to invest.

The company was Theranos, pre-scandal.

The investor is happy.

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REAL IMPACT OR GREENWASHING?

Recent years have seen an increase in ‘sustainability’ initiatives, but there is a difference between real impact and greenwashing. That difference lies in what gets measured and what gets done. Here are some questions to ascertain true impact.

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A FOUNDER TO BACK?

A FOUNDER TO BACK?

Most investors say they do due diligence on the team. We have found many fall short in picking up the telltale signs of potential risk factors and what needs to be done to increase the likelihood of success.

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WHEN INVESTORS COME IN

Bringing investors on board can help a company scale, but difficulties can arise from growing too quickly. Here’s how we helped a high-growth company tackle transition and the associated growing pains.

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VISION + EXECUTION = VALUE

VISION + EXECUTION = VALUE

A budding entrepreneur wanted to create an investment company focused on Africa. We helped him define and shape the vision, as well as the values and behaviours he wanted to stand for and demonstrate. Wanting to ensure he could translate his vision into practice, we...

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GOING AGAINST THE HYPE

GOING AGAINST THE HYPE

When a company is receiving a lot of attention and significant funding, it takes great resolve to buck the trend and quash FOMO. It is wise to take time to peel back the layers and do proper due diligence.

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HARMONISING CO-FOUNDERS

HARMONISING CO-FOUNDERS

A new venture had three founding partners all sharing the same vision. However, in trying to deliver on that vision, it became rapidly apparent they had different views on how that vision should be executed. We had to figure out if and how they could best work as a...

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IS FOMO DRIVING YOUR INVESTMENT STRATEGY?

IS FOMO DRIVING YOUR INVESTMENT STRATEGY?

IS FOMO DRIVING YOUR INVESTMENT STRATEGY?

Over a glass of bubbly, someone tried to convince me to invest in a blockchain project.

“There’s a great opportunity using blockchain technology in electricity.”

So, I asked how it works.

His reply? “I’m not sure, but it’s the same technology behind bitcoin, and a lot of people have made money out of bitcoin. Also, Branson, Gates and Bezos have invested $1billion in it.”

Brilliant! Yes, please take a lot of our money to invest in something you have zero about.

A significant injection of discernment, diligence and better decision-making are long overdue.

DISCERNMENT

Pitches are great, but it’s how people answer questions that matter. It is probably a good idea to not put your money where the promoter can’t explain it and uses other people’s names to justify you joining the bandwagon.

DILIGENCE

Is it true? The pandemic of fake news shows how people love to share information without fact-checking. So, have Branson, Gates and Bezos invested $1billion in blockchain for energy? No – they are part of a $1 billion fund (Breakthrough Energy Ventures) investing in clean energy technologies, not specifically blockchain technology in energy.

DECISION-MAKING

There are many potential winners out there – but there are also a significant number of potential losers. The furore of hype is often hard to resist and, like any virus, a vaccine is needed. A useful resource is a checklist highlighting the elements that matter to you. Taking a leaf out of one of the greatest investors of all time – Warren Buffet – one of the principles should be ‘do I understand it’. If you don’t, seek out more information. If it still makes no sense, it might be worth staying away.

Please keep your wits about you while others are losing theirs, and let’s make sure we’re funding innovators worth backing.

 

“Pitches are great, but it’s how people answer questions that matters.”

Deborah Webster

Founder & CEO AMANIcircle

“Pitches are great, but it’s how people answer questions that matters.”

Deborah Webster

Founder & CEO AMANIcircle

REAL IMPACT OR GREENWASHING?

REAL IMPACT OR GREENWASHING?

Recent years have seen an increase in ‘sustainability’ initiatives, but there is a difference between real impact and greenwashing. That difference lies in what gets measured and what gets done. Here are some questions to ascertain true impact.

read more
A FOUNDER TO BACK?

A FOUNDER TO BACK?

Most investors say they do due diligence on the team. We have found many fall short in picking up the telltale signs of potential risk factors and what needs to be done to increase the likelihood of success.

read more
WHEN INVESTORS COME IN

WHEN INVESTORS COME IN

Bringing investors on board can help a company scale, but difficulties can arise from growing too quickly. Here’s how we helped a high-growth company tackle transition and the associated growing pains.

read more

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