Can Virtual Deals Rise to Change the Shape of Venture Forever? – UKTN

Written by James Heath

2020 has been taken centre stage to accelerate virtual ways of working. Flexible and remote working is not uncommon nowadays, especially in the early stage tech scene – yet no one would have predicted the acceleration we have seen due to COVID-19.

With continued uncertainty, it is hard to see past a strategy that involves a considerable amount of virtual working – something founders I have spoken to in recent months are looking to embrace.

Venture investors are active and must change their traditional ways of working

Something on every founder’s mind, and with no change since the beginning of the crisis, is access to capital and investment. How could this change?

One thing for sure in venture since the beginning of the pandemic; the majority of funds (81% Jun-20, Mar-20: 74%) claim they are still ‘open for business’ – now a common phrase heard.

One strong argument is that this is mainly to maintain inbound deal flow, but could also be a show to competing funds: i.e. ‘we can handle this, can you?’

Now startups are known for working dynamically and their ability to embrace challenges with innovation – it is one of the reasons I love working with them. Some quick research shows that some of the greatest technology start-ups of this Century were born following the financial crisis of 2008 – WhatsApp (2009), Uber (2009), Slack (2009) and Instagram (2010). Starting to ring any bells?

Bringing our attention back to venture investment for a minute, VC money traditionally moves at a steady
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