👋🏾 Hi friends!

Well that was an experience.

One and a half days driving the Tesla down from the UK to Italy, I’m not entirely sure I’d do it this way again 😂 

The highlight of the journey was entering Italy and being faced with fog for the next 100km or so – in the dark… It took me a good hour before I was able to untense every muscle in my body.

For anyone who has driven on an Italian motorway, you know how ‘fun’ that can be as the guys in the car behind you come up almost bumper to bumper and start flashing their beams at you to get out of the way – well that + fog = a waking nightmare!

Somewhere south of Milan

This week on Nothing Ventured, I spoke to Josh Bell founding and General Partner of Dawn Capital.

Here’s what you can expect:

➡️ There’s still capital out there for emerging managers.

➡️ Why diversity leads to better investment decisions and how Dawn baked it into their hiring strategy.

➡️ The S/EIS trap, what it means for founders looking to raise Venture Capital.

➡️ Dawn’s story and the journey to raising their latest $700m fund.

Check it out!

This week will be a bit of a reduced edition as I wind down a little for the festive season and there was one bit of news that sums up everything I’ve been thinking for the last year – that we’re going to see a massive shift in the private markets over the coming year(s).

🤑 4 trillion dollars waiting on the sidelines

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Now let’s get into it.

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The Lowdown

There’s no lack of cash, so why is fundraising so tough?
This article from the FT says it all. There is currently $4 trillion of ‘dry powder’ (undeployed capital) in the market and that’s a pretty big number – and big deal.

Clearly there are a few things at play here, not least the fact that with rising interest rates, when your risk free return is no longer 0% (or near as damn it), you maybe think twice about pumping your money into much riskier assets (like startups).

What I think is likely to happen is a bit of a rebalancing. Sure we’re still going to see some crazy deals being done (because venture gonna venture), but I think we’re going to see some of those LPs and GPs getting more strategic and nuanced about where they deploy their capital.

My bet is that we’re going to see a lot of M&A and secondary activity as VCs try to exit some of their positions whilst startups simultaneously find it ‘harder’ to raise (the caveat here is always that breakout businesses will always find funding – it’s the ones that aren’t quite able to reach escape velocity that will be rolled up).

However the dice land, it’s good to know that there remains this level of capital awaiting a home and it will be interesting to see how it changes the attitudes, and allocations, of VC managers.

Check out the full report by BlackRock here.

And finally, as companies scramble to figure out how to keep going, this little meme caught my eye!

SME penny company getting ready for its IPO 😂

— Finance Memes (@Qid_Memez)
Dec 11, 2023

🚀And that’s a wrap for this edition of The Lowdown – I’d appreciate your feedback so just reply to this email if you’ve got something you’d like to say.

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That’s it from me so until next time…

Stay liquid 🙂


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