Going global – success cases from venture studios

Venture studios are credited with their success due to their early involvement in the startup life cycle and their high-touch management style. Studio investors only invest in startups for which they’ve defined the product, carried out market research, validated consumer demand, and refined their business plans accordingly. In a studio, multiple startups are started simultaneously, and new startup ideas are tested rapidly to achieve validation or failure as an end result of pre-investment. Although studio models exist since 1996, it is only recently that they started to capture more attention from investors both individual and institutional.

Having covered the well know success cases of Snowflake and Dollar Shave Club, let us bring our attention to perhaps smaller, yet still very significant success cases arising from startup studios:

  • Nate – a product of Founders Factory venture studio. Since inception in 2018 it raised $51m over 3 rounds.
  • Honest Health – a product of Founders Factory venture studio. Launched in July 2019, acquired by hims&hers in June 2021, which originated in Atomic studio.
  • Zylo – launched by High Alpha, currently at series B with $35.2m raised to date.
  • Reserve – launched by Expa, acquired by Resy, American Express global dining network.
  • Bitly – launched by Betaworks, acquired by Spectrum Equity.
  • Aircall  – launched by eFounders, currently at series D with $225.6m raised.
  • Karakuri – a product of Founders Factory venture studio. Team raised a total $18.3m in investment from Hoxton ventures, Ocado and Taylor brothers. 
  • Perlego – also a product of Founders Factory studio. Raised $9m in Series A.
  • Feedr – another product of Founders Factory studio. In June 2020 was acquired by Compass Group for $24m.

These cover primarily the US market, however, as the global pandemic has, among other things, completely shifted everyday life and operations from the real to the digital realm, we might see overseas studios targeting a problem in the foreign market and launching successfully there. As of today, many companies have switched to a digital system from their traditional headquarters or offices. Travel, although with restrictions, is still very accessible, allowing the leads of each venture to visit potential customers and validate the idea made for the market other than their own. Due to the global health crisis, the traditional boundaries that defined the “area” or “belonging” of a startup or a young company to a specific region are no longer relevant, the development of the ideas and the solutions to the top problems is truly global. That being said, MENA and CIS countries are some of the more unique markets and may have a different baseline of operations and cultural impact as compared to the average startup launched for a global user base. For instance, NOMU VC offers the full service of launching a product in KSA and scaling it throughout MENA. In this scenario partnerships with local studios are essential to ensure the success of the launching venture.

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