Equal Ventures

Equal Ventures is a venture capital firm focused on transformative companies across emerging markets and industries. It emphasizes industry transformation, the importance of digital-first platforms, sustainable energy, efficient supply chains, and innovative business models. The firm values deep research, founder partnerships, and a proactive approach to investment.

Venture Capital Industry Transformation Digital Platforms Sustainable Energy Supply Chain Management Innovative Business Models Startup Ecosystem Investment Strategies Technology and Innovation Market Trends

The hottest Substack posts of Equal Ventures

And their main takeaways
79 implied HN points • 12 Feb 24
  1. Industry transformation requires collaboration: Changing an industry's value chain involves a collective effort of like-minded visionaries and companies working together.
  2. Leveraging partnerships is key: Founders should focus on building strong partnerships within the value chain to dominate their category and create 'lines' of influence.
  3. Creating a village in the industry: Coalescing companies in a value chain can lead to achieving remarkable things collectively and surpassing individual efforts.
99 implied HN points • 25 Jan 24
  1. Equal Ventures focuses on proactive research and industry connectivity to have a point of view on markets and build thoughtful partnerships with founders.
  2. Equal Ventures supports founders with continuous learning, frameworks, and best practices to help them navigate challenges and succeed in their industries.
  3. Equal Ventures' slow investment pace allows for deep alignment and meaningful support for portfolio companies, building long-term relationships beyond current roles.
59 implied HN points • 03 Jan 24
  1. Phoenix Rounds refer to unique investment opportunities where struggling companies pivot drastically to build something new and stronger with investor support.
  2. These rounds offer a chance for investors to deeply engage with founders, understand their potential, and collaborate on innovative business plans.
  3. Investing in Phoenix Rounds requires vision, patience, and the willingness to see hidden potential in companies facing significant challenges.
79 implied HN points • 05 Dec 23
  1. Venture firms often lack competitive specialization, unlike private equity which frequently employs this strategy to allow various team members with complementary specialties to work together on deals.
  2. Competitive specialization within firms, like having dedicated industry leads, can empower teams to perform at their best, focus on their strengths, and deliver exceptional value to founders.
  3. Empowering team members to specialize in their unique skill sets and roles can lead to innovative approaches, better outcomes in deals, and overall team growth and satisfaction.
39 implied HN points • 30 Jan 24
  1. Insurtech indices outperformed legacy peers in Q4 2023, showing strong recovery throughout 2023 but still below 2021 highs.
  2. Legacy brokers faced challenges in Q4 with tougher revenue growth comps, while insurtech companies in distribution & marketing excelled.
  3. P&C carriers had a positive Q4, demonstrating improved profitability expectations with lower combined ratios, notable improvements in personal lines carriers.
Get a weekly roundup of the best Substack posts, by hacker news affinity:
19 implied HN points • 20 Feb 24
  1. Equal Ventures raised $175 million to Bridge the Digital Divide - $100m for Equal Ventures Fund 2 and $75m for the Opportunity Fund to invest in analog markets like climate, insurance, retail, and supply chain.
  2. The firm aims to support founders in non-traditional technology markets and believes the time is right for innovation in these industries.
  3. Equal Ventures focuses on providing hands-on support, independent conviction, and a 'prepared mind' to startups, aiming for strong founder relationships and long-term success.
19 implied HN points • 24 Jan 24
  1. Insurers must adapt quickly to the impacts of climate change on property insurance, as changing weather patterns are leading to more natural catastrophe events and heavier losses.
  2. The property insurance market is experiencing shrinking margins, complex regulations, and increasing premiums due to climate change impacts, leading to carriers pulling back policies in high-risk areas.
  3. There is a need for more innovative approaches in underwriting and risk management, moving away from relying solely on historical zip code data and towards tailored risk assessment in the face of evolving weather risks.
19 implied HN points • 16 Jan 24
  1. Ali Afridi is rejoining Equal Ventures as a Principal, bringing a valuable blend of experiences in entrepreneurship and VC insights.
  2. Equal Ventures is shifting towards competitive specialization in founder support, aiming to offer comprehensive expertise to portfolio companies.
  3. The team at Equal Ventures has evolved its structure to maximize support for seed stage founders, leveraging a mix of industry leads, product owners, and experts like Ali Afridi.
79 implied HN points • 05 Jun 23
  1. Insurtech investments experienced a hype cycle: Surge in investments followed by multiples collapsing causing pain and caution among investors
  2. Disruption of legacy insurers by new entrants is challenging: Product innovation made purchase easier, but companies need to be profitable, not just innovative
  3. Digital transformation in insurance sector is valuable: Tech-enabled ecosystem enablers creating value, while legacy insurers are seeking digital capabilities
79 implied HN points • 25 Apr 23
  1. Platforms like Salesforce, Apple, and Amazon have significant power over not only customers but also business partners, with potential risks for those who rely heavily on them.
  2. Shopify, once a DTC favorite, is now making strategic moves to increase its own revenue through actions like tightening control over checkout and fulfillment services, affecting both merchants and app developers.
  3. Amazon's dominance in the retail platform space has grown, leading to concerns for sellers regarding fees and limited alternatives, emphasizing the importance of balancing platform reliance with diversification.
19 implied HN points • 04 Dec 23
  1. Equal Ventures is hiring two Associates for its investment team in New York to work on industry research, investment analysis, and portfolio support
  2. Candidates with 2-4+ years of experience in consulting, equity research, private equity, or investment banking are encouraged to apply, along with those who are intellectually curious, passionate about startups, professional, self-directed, and friendly
  3. Potential applicants are required to email their LinkedIn profile, resume, and answer specific questions related to industry sectors, investment opportunities, contrarian beliefs, and personal passions, with responses expected within 2 weeks
59 implied HN points • 14 Jun 23
  1. Revenue multiples have been traditionally used for valuations in the tech world, but they are proving to be ineffective in determining the true long-term value of businesses.
  2. Companies shifting focus from forecasting future cash flow to revenue growth have faced challenges, as revenue multiples don't necessarily reflect future profitability, leading to discrepancies in valuation.
  3. As competition accelerates in the tech industry, companies with strong market captivity and efficient growth strategies are prioritizing developing competitive advantages and generating long-term free cash flow over chasing revenue multiples.
59 implied HN points • 20 Apr 23
  1. Verticalized payroll offerings can provide industry-specific features and better service than horizontal players, creating additional monetizable opportunities.
  2. Industries with complex compensation structures, like real estate and insurance, are potential fits for vertical payroll models due to the unique payment systems.
  3. Traits that make a market ripe for a vertical payroll business vary, but complexity in payment structures and workforce dynamics are often attractive qualities.
138 implied HN points • 07 Jun 22
  1. The acceleration of e-commerce due to COVID led to a significant shift in consumer behavior towards online shopping, particularly in categories like groceries.
  2. Direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands are facing challenges with rising customer acquisition costs, impacting their margins and leading to a shift towards omnichannel strategies for survival.
  3. New business models are emerging in retail, emphasizing the importance of marketplaces, brick-and-mortar stores, and multi-channel management software to drive growth for merchants in a rapidly evolving landscape.
99 implied HN points • 19 Sep 22
  1. Focus on seeking out deals that can genuinely change your life, rather than getting caught up in every potential investment opportunity.
  2. Identify life-changing opportunities through exceptional founders, significant market potential, and passionately pursued theses.
  3. Invest time and effort in deeply understanding and cultivating potential life-changing deals, even if it means less deal flow and a more time-intensive process.
59 implied HN points • 23 Jan 23
  1. Economic fundamentals in retail are shifting, highlighting the limitations of a direct-to-consumer-only strategy.
  2. Traditional principles like vertical integration may not always lead to better outcomes in the retail industry, as seen with several DTC brands.
  3. Outsourcing non-core functions and embracing the 'Great Unbundling' can help emerging brands achieve economies of scale and operational excellence in the retail sector.
59 implied HN points • 29 Dec 22
  1. Competition in the tech industry has intensified, making it essential for companies to find a sustainable advantage to generate long-term profitability.
  2. Focusing on niche markets can lead to less competition, higher profits, and sustainable growth compared to chasing large markets with intense competition.
  3. Dominating a niche market allows for the development of early competitive advantages, market dominance, and long-term profitability, providing a foundation for future expansion and success.
39 implied HN points • 04 Mar 23
  1. The capital flow and returns in the cleantech market show that digital investments have outperformed frontier investments, with digital returning close to 3x the capital invested.
  2. Frontier tech companies in cleantech have faced challenges with manufacturing, production delays, and advancing technologies, leading to significant failures and losses.
  3. Successful companies in the cleantech bubble focused on digital and consumer products, leveraged existing technology for better user experience, and built strong brand relationships.
39 implied HN points • 02 Mar 23
  1. The strategy of focusing solely on DTC (direct-to-consumer) is no longer a sustainable path for most brands.
  2. There's a significant mismatch between the amount of venture capital flowing into ecommerce businesses and the actual share of commerce that DNVBs (digitally native vertical brands) hold.
  3. More investment is needed in areas like brick-and-mortar retail, off-price channels, and wholesale, where the potential for economic growth far exceeds current VC interest.
39 implied HN points • 23 Feb 23
  1. Combining vertical software with fintech can create powerful business opportunities, leveraging market nuances to enhance efficiencies and insights.
  2. It's challenging to build defensible financial services independently, but merging them with workflow software can increase market size and potential revenue streams.
  3. Markets with low digital penetration offer ripe opportunities for vertical SaaS and fintech integration, attracting investments across various sectors for this innovative approach.
39 implied HN points • 09 Feb 23
  1. Conglomerates have shown success in the past but lost luster due to changing corporate strategies favoring focus and increased competition for acquisitions.
  2. The new generation of conglomerates, like Amazon and Apple, are creating platforms for developing new business lines rather than acquiring existing assets.
  3. Companies in the digital age are leveraging core capabilities and network effects to drive significant returns on equity, disrupting traditional business models.
178 implied HN points • 23 Aug 21
  1. The grid is transitioning to a new energy economy that resembles the internet, with decentralized power sources and real-time supply and demand management.
  2. The future grid will be dominated by network effects, similar to how internet companies have leveraged network effects for success.
  3. Business model innovation in the energy sector is crucial for driving adoption of new energy technologies, even more so than technological advancements.
59 implied HN points • 11 Oct 22
  1. Ecommerce returns have surged, leading to unsustainable cycles of returns. Covid-19 exacerbated this trend, with around 40% of retailers easing return policies, resulting in return rates of 20% for ecommerce.
  2. Returns are costly for retailers due to logistics expenses. Online returns can cost retailers approximately 21% of the order value, and long returns processes lock up inventory, impacting retail profitability.
  3. Major retailers like Amazon have mastered optimizing returns through dedicated processing centers. Democratizing this capability to all brands is essential for efficient returns management.
19 implied HN points • 14 Aug 23
  1. The Emerging Manager Circle (EMC) provides support and mentorship for emerging VC fund managers globally.
  2. The Second Annual Emerging Manager Circle Summit is a highly anticipated event featuring prominent speakers and aims to democratize the process of firm building.
  3. The summit brings together industry leaders, offers an intimate environment, and encourages applications from those interested in venture firm building or investing in emerging managers.
59 implied HN points • 08 Sep 22
  1. Odyssey Energy Solutions joined the Equal Ventures Family, aiming to democratize clean energy development in emerging markets.
  2. Emily McAteer, the founder of Odyssey Energy Solutions, has led the company to accumulate over $1 billion of financing and is focused on a global clean energy transition.
  3. Equal Ventures is excited to lead Odyssey's $5.3 million seed round to enhance capital markets offerings and advance procurement solutions for clean energy development in emerging markets.
59 implied HN points • 07 Sep 22
  1. The benefits industry has evolved significantly to Benefits 2.0, where employers can offer more personalized and cost-effective benefits than before.
  2. Employers are increasingly turning to brokers as key partners in navigating the complex landscape of Benefits 2.0, creating opportunities for entrepreneurs and service providers.
  3. Key trends in Benefits 2.0 include the growth in self-funding, care navigation solutions proving ROI, and the expansion of fringe benefits like mental health and financial wellness.
59 implied HN points • 19 Jul 22
  1. There was a significant rise in excess inventory due to supply chain challenges, leading to potential losses of over $1T annually.
  2. Ghost is a B2B marketplace created to help brands manage and liquidate excess inventory efficiently.
  3. The founders of Ghost, Josh Kaplan and Dee Murthy, demonstrated remarkable success with the platform in a short period, showing strong product-market fit.
138 implied HN points • 29 Jun 21
  1. In the world of venture capital, it's essential to differentiate between 'information gathering' and 'conviction building.'
  2. Conviction building involves asking the right questions that focus on the core aspects that truly matter for investment.
  3. Efficiency in the investment process is key; asking the right questions saves time and streamlines decision-making.
119 implied HN points • 17 Aug 21
  1. The food value chain is undergoing significant changes due to shifts in consumer preferences towards sustainable, healthy, and local products, creating opportunities for new platforms and brands.
  2. Digital-first grocery platforms are empowering consumers to own the value chain and access a wide range of niche, specialty products, leading to a revolution in how food is purchased and consumed.
  3. Launching a strong platform in the food industry that focuses on data-driven optimization and efficient product launches can lead to the creation of multiple successful brands with long-term profitability.
39 implied HN points • 06 Oct 22
  1. Persistence and determination are crucial in pursuing your entrepreneurial dreams, even in the face of rejection and doubts.
  2. Collaborating with like-minded peers and building a supportive community can be instrumental in navigating challenges and achieving success.
  3. Innovation and originality are essential in the venture capital industry, and emerging managers play a fundamental role in driving necessary evolution.
39 implied HN points • 12 Sep 22
  1. Equal Ventures is partnering with Bikky, a Customer Data Platform for the restaurant industry.
  2. The digitization of the restaurant industry has created a need for solutions like Bikky that unify customer data across channels.
  3. Bikky's founder, Abhinav Kapur, identified the need for a vertically focused solution through his personal experience in the restaurant industry.
19 implied HN points • 01 Jun 23
  1. Venture capital industry can exhibit herd behavior and be consensus-driven, deviating from contrarian thinking.
  2. Investors chasing beta during market peaks can lead to significant losses when the market corrects, highlighting the importance of sound investment strategies.
  3. Sticking to core investment sectors, avoiding chasing trends, and focusing on long-term conviction can lead to sustainable returns independent of market cycles.
19 implied HN points • 19 May 23
  1. The clean energy transition is expected to rapidly grow in emerging markets, with renewables meeting the majority of new power demand.
  2. Odyssey Energy Solutions offers a platform that streamlines the development, financing, and operation of clean energy projects in emerging markets.
  3. Despite early struggles, Odyssey Energy Solutions successfully secured a Series A funding of $14.5M to expand its offerings and reach into new markets.
19 implied HN points • 16 Mar 23
  1. The business case for clean energy transition in emerging markets is stronger than in developed markets due to lack of centralized infrastructure, making decentralized clean energy solutions more cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
  2. Emerging markets offer a lucrative opportunity for the clean energy transition, with renewables capacity projected to surpass the US significantly, demanding substantial investment of over $1 trillion by 2030.
  3. Bridging the gap in digital technology and access to capital in emerging markets can accelerate the leapfrogging of outdated energy infrastructure, creating a ripe field for climate tech companies and digital solutions.
19 implied HN points • 02 Feb 23
  1. Equal Ventures focuses on verticalizing staff, with team members specializing in specific sectors like retail, climate, and insurance, allowing for deeper expertise in those areas.
  2. Transitioning planning efforts from a top-down approach to being led by Product Owners like Chelsea, Simran, and Adam enables more personalized strategies for dominating each vertical at the seed stage.
  3. Empowering employees to take the lead in shaping the firm's direction not only tailors approaches to specific markets but also fosters individual growth opportunities that benefit both the team and the firm.
19 implied HN points • 26 Jan 23
  1. Equal Ventures focuses on partnering with founders building verticalized software platforms like Suppli, tailored to specific industry needs.
  2. Suppli's approach targets digitizing and automating critical workflows unique to the construction industry, such as optimizing procurement and payments processes to enhance the cash flow.
  3. The focus on mid-market distributors with existing relationships and specific pain points presents a strategic advantage for Suppli in the construction materials industry.
59 implied HN points • 25 Jan 22
  1. Bringing talented individuals together is crucial for a company's success. Each new hire is an opportunity to further strengthen the company's goals.
  2. Liz Hart, joining Equal Ventures, brings a diverse background in areas like private equity, entrepreneurship, and climate justice. Her valuable skills and passion make her a great addition to the team.
  3. Liz Hart's role at Equal Ventures will involve utilizing her research skills across multiple sectors such as climate, retail, supply chain, insurance, and care economies. She is expected to contribute significantly to the NYC venture community.