Jun 25, 2018 On Our Blog

Investor Spotlight:
Rina Onur

Rina co-founded and exited from Peak Games (a leading mobile social gaming company) and Hemenkiralik.com (first vacation rental network of Turkey). She is the General Partner of 500 Istanbul, 500’s thematic fund focused on backing exciting startups from Turkey/Turkic region and the diaspora. Starting out as a PE investor, then turned entrepreneur, she has made it full-circle back to the “dark side.” Why did you join 500? I started two companies in Turkey before I became an early stage investor and joined 500. I built my first company when I was 24 years old. Along the way, I met incredible people including a couple of investors who took a huge bet on a young, first-time female entrepreneur from an emerging …


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Jun 4, 2018 On Our Blog

Why we’ve been cutting really large follow-on checks

Photo of Carousell’s founders giving Khailee Ng, Managing Partner of 500 Startups, a T-shirt as VC initiation back in 2013 when 500 Startups invested in Carousell’s first round of financing. 500 has ambitions to be the most global Silicon Valley VC firm and invest in companies at the early stages. However, I wanted to take time to explain the larger-than-usual follow-on checks that we have been cutting. Recently, 500 wrote a $20 million follow-on check into Singapore-based Carousell’s recent $85M Series C. Earlier in the year, we led and filled an entire Series B of $13.3M for one of Japan’s hottest startups, SmartHR. We have historically doubled down on many of our top investments, but not at these check sizes. …


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Mar 12, 2018 On Our Blog

VC Unlocked – Over 100 Deal Campers and Counting

Last week, more than 25 corporate VCs, angels, fund managers, and attorneys joined us for our fourth Deal Camp investor training program with UC Berkeley. Less than two years in, more than 100 corporate investors have now attended the program and joined our #500Strong network, a milestone that we’re proud of. “We’re thrilled to see our group of alumni continue to grow around the world,” said Bedy Yang, managing partner at 500 Startups and a lecturer at Deal Camp. “The goal of our VC Unlocked programs is to empower investors with the toolkit they need to structure, negotiate, and execute early stage investments.” Meet the Class Here’s a quick introduction to the latest group of participants: 50% based internationally, representing …


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Feb 13, 2018 On Our Blog

How to Attract (and Scale)
Deal Flow

Most VCs think they can predict the future when it comes to early stage deals. At 500, we’re more realistic about our strengths and weaknesses as seed stage investors. We realized early on that building high-velocity deal flow – more than the art of predicting winners – was our super power and we’ve built on that strategy ever since. (We’ve been shouting our investment strategy and portfolio approach from the rooftops since 2010. Read more about how we pick investments) We’re sharing that approach, as well as some tips on how to build a pipeline of high-quality deals that can scale in the future, in today’s blog post. From hundreds to thousands When you’re just getting started as a VC, …


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Feb 6, 2018 On Our Blog

KISSs and SAFEs and
Notes….oh my!

[Editor’s Note] This is a guest post from Adam Sterling, Executive Director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Business, and a lecturer at VC Unlocked: Deal Camp at Berkeley. This post originally appeared on LinkedIn. In 2014, 500 Startups, a global venture capital firm, took a little-known action that would help change the landscape of international venture finance. This action had nothing to do with investment dollars, new hires, or liquidation events. 500 Startups simply open-sourced their proprietary investment contract for early-stage investments, the KISS (“Keep It Simple Security”), to startups and investors around the world. In the next year, fellow venture capital giant Y Combinator followed suit and open-sourced their own proprietary investment contract, the SAFE (“Simple Agreement …


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Dec 15, 2017 On Our Blog

PreMoney Recap:
2018 Predictions, Inclusion, ICOs & More

At last week’s PreMoney conference, more than 500 investors and LPs packed into the InterContinental in San Francisco to learn about the latest trends in venture capital from some of the biggest names in the industry. The goal behind PreMoney is to foster a community that shares resources and strategies for innovation in venture capital. This year’s event was no exception, with plenty of bold predictions and actionable insights. If you missed the event (or just want to relive the smooth emceeing of 500 partner Arjun Arora), here’s our recap of an action-packed day and some of the key themes that were covered: For the TL;DR crowd, you can also skip straight to the photos, videos, and speakers’ decks from …


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Nov 22, 2017 Investor Education

What I Learned at VC Unlocked: Deal Camp

VC Unlocked: Deal Camp at Berkeley, our four-day executive education program on early stage investing, takes place from February 26 – March 1, 2018. Apply today. Guest Post: Regina Leung is Vice-President of Healthcare at Bay Angels and owns her own consulting firm in healthcare and life sciences. Last month, I spent a week at Berkeley attending VC Unlocked: Deal Camp, 500 Startups’ crash course on all things early stage investing with UC Berkeley Law. I’ve been an angel investor for about a year with several startup investments to date, but was looking for the right program to become a more knowledgeable investor. Deal Camp was a great opportunity to grow my network, drill down on important topics like valuations …


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Nov 21, 2017 International Stories

Highlights from our first VC Unlocked in Asia

Venture Capital Unlocked: Secrets to Silicon Valley Investing in Asia, our inaugural course taught in collaboration with INSEAD, wrapped up on November 10th. This course convened 23 participants from 10 countries for five days to learn how Silicon Valley’s best practices can be applied to Asian markets. Here’s a quick introduction the class: 10 countries represented: Cambodia, China, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Ukraine, and Vietnam Participants have made 40+ investments in total $50M+ in total projected investment budgets over the next two years Areas of interest include: AI, BioTech, B2B Consumer, Digital Payments, E-Commerce, EdTech, Fintech, Food, Logistics, Regtech, retail, AR/VR A Long Time Coming Our collaboration with INSEAD marks the first time we’ve conducted a full …


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Nov 9, 2017 On Our Blog

5 Reasons to Attend PreMoney

PreMoney, our one-day conference on the future of venture capital, takes place in San Francisco on December 5th. It’s hard to believe, but this will be our fifth (yes, fifth) year hosting the event! The PreMoney stage has been host to a lot of big names and unicorn costumes over the years. Since we started in 2013, more than 2,000 fund managers, investors, angels, and LPs have traveled to cities like San Francisco, Miami, and Hong Kong to learn about the latest disruptive technology, strategies, and models in VC. We have a particularly kickass agenda this year. We’re looking forward to sitting down with some of the brightest minds in the industry, including top VCs behind companies like Snap, Lyft, …


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Oct 23, 2017 On Our Blog

Venture Capital Unlocked: Deal Camp is Back!

We’re back in Berkeley! Today marks the start of our 3rd successive Venture Capital Unlocked: Deal Camp, our one-week crash course on the ins and out of early stage investing. We’re hosting another impressive, diverse group of 25 angels and aspiring VCs from around the world at UC Berkeley this week. Here’s a quick introduction to the latest group of Deal Campers: 60% are based internationally, representing eight countries including Brazil, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, China, New Zealand, and more Women investors make up 28% of the class Participants have made 85+ investments in total $100M+ in total projected investment budgets over the next two years Areas of interest include: FinTech, SaaS, BioTech, blockchain, AI, EdTech, Healthcare, and more Over the next …


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