We are happy to have our partner Harsh Patel here guest posting about our recently-announced investment in Flipswap. – EDW
It’s probably safe to say the current climate for startup venture financing has been thoroughly documented over the last few weeks, both here and elsewhere. I think you get it. But as my partner Stuart mentioned in a recent post, despite this climate we still see opportunity and we are still doing deals. We recently announced our investment in Adaptive Blue and now I’m happy to announce another new investment in Flipswap, a Series B financing co-led by RRE and NGEN Partners.
This investment reflects an evolving thesis we have in Fund IV around “Green Technology”, where traditional information technologies and associated business models intersect with a new set of global challenges. Recyclebank and Flipswap developed unique business models that generate real economic incentives that allow consumers, businesses and governments to act more sustainably while still acting in their own self-interest. Tendril is attacking the demand side of the energy problem by directly linking energy consumers to utilities, enabling both sides to proactively manage energy usage and reduce cost. So while financial markets may be busy painfully remaking themselves in the near term, they will not affect this macro thesis (or many other macro trends which underpin our investment decisions).
But of course macro alone is never enough. Underlying trends and investment theses are only academic unless embodied by entrepreneurs who can execute. Sohrob Farudi and his team at Flipswap did exactly that. Even as we all consult our tea leaves and crystal balls to see where the markets are headed, the best entrepreneurs know they don’t have that luxury. So instead they control what they can and react quickly when they have to. One of the simplest but most compelling points of evidence I look for as a VC is that an entrepreneur continues to perform throughout the fundraising process the way they said they would at your first meeting. Even in the best of times fundraising can be a lengthy process, and your ability to accurately forecast your business and execute against it is critical. So while any investment decision can be complex and the diligence process long, it very often comes down to this – do we believe in the market and do we believe in the team? We said yes on both counts and we’re delighted to welcome Flipswap to the portfolio.