Eric Liaw and Tom Loverro Named on the 2020 GrowthCap’s Top 25 Software Investors List

IVP, a premier later-stage venture capital and growth equity firm, is pleased to announce that Eric Liaw and Tom Loverro have been named to the 2020 GrowthCap’s Top 25 Software Investors List. The list highlights the most exceptional private capital investors who have demonstrated deep software sector expertise, high leadership acumen, exceptional investment judgment, and consistent professional performance over a sustained period of time.

“It’s an exciting time to invest in later-stage software companies,” said Eric Liaw. “Companies are targeting hundreds of millions of users in ever larger global markets, allowing them to grow faster than ever and generate significant revenue within a very short timeframe. The acceleration of digital transformation drives a massive opportunity for our current and future portfolio companies. It is an honor to work with many talented entrepreneurs and partner with them to create the market leaders of the future.”

“IVP invests in the fastest-growing technology companies and software is the majority of what we do,” added Tom Loverro. “We partner with exceptional management teams to build software companies of consequence.”

IVP manages $7 billion in committed capital and is one of the top-performing firms in the venture capital industry. The firm has backed innovative companies such as CrowdStrike, Datadog, GitHub, Glossier, Grammarly, HashiCorp, Hopin, Klarna, MuleSoft, Slack, Snap, Supercell, TransferWise, Twitter, and UiPath and remains committed to its focused strategy of supporting innovation at the growth stage and partnering closely with exceptional management teams.

About Eric Liaw

Eric joined IVP in 2011. He is focused primarily on later-stage investments in high growth companies across a variety of sectors, including enterprise software, Internet, and mobile. Eric serves as a Board Director or Observer for IVP portfolio companies Aiven, App Annie, Deputy, Glossier, The Honest Company, IEX, Lulus, MasterClass, NextRoll, Supermetrics, and ZipRecruiter and led IVP’s investments

Silicon Valley is famously liberal. Then, investors and employees started clashing over race.

SAN FRANCISCO — The day after President Donald Trump told the Proud Boys, a far-right group with a history of inciting violence, to “stand back and stand by,” during the first presidential debate last month, tech investor Cyan Banister tweeted that the group had “a few bad apples. “

The open defense of an organization that has been deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center is one extreme example of an increasingly public reactionary streak in Silicon Valley that diverges from the tech industry’s image as a bastion of liberalism. Some libertarian, centrist, and right-leaning Silicon Valley investors and executives, who wield outsize influence, power and access to capital, describe tech culture as under siege by activist employees pushing a social justice agenda.

Curtis Yarvin, dubbed a “favorite philosopher of the alt-right” by the Verge, has become a familiar face on the invite-only audio social network Clubhouse, in rooms with investors such as Facebook board member Marc Andreessen, the founder of Andreessen Horowitz, which invested in the app.

Cryptocurrency startup Coinbase recently sought to restrict political speech by employees, a move many interpreted as a return to the company’s more libertarian roots because it came in reaction to internal discussions of Black Lives Matter.

Tensions are running high even at some of the biggest tech companies. The crackdown on employee speech in response to social activism over the past year has spread to Facebook, Google and Pinterest, among others.

In September, Facebook restricted spaces for political discussions after employees protested the company’s moderation policies against hate speech affecting Black users. Pinterest shut down a Slack channel used to submit questions for company meetings and turned another Slack channel read-only, opting to use a different tool for up-voting. Employees, who had used both channels to question leadership about

Amid a boom in SPACs, few women investors

If you’ve been following the SPAC boom, you may have noticed something about these blank-check vehicles that are springing up left and right in order to take public privately held companies. They are being organized mostly by men.

It’s not surprising, given the relative dearth of women in senior financial positions in banking and the venture industry. But it also begs the question of whether women, already hustling to overcome a wealth gap, could be left behind if the trend gains momentum.

Consider that studies have shown women investors are are twice as likely to invest in startups with at least one female founder, and more than three times as likely to invest in startups with female CEOs. It’s not a huge leap to imagine that women-led SPACs might also be more inclined to identify women-led companies with which to merge and take public.

More, the SPAC sponsors themselves are reaping financial rewards. In return for sponsoring a SPAC in its pre-IPO stage, sponsors typically receive 25% of the SPACs founder shares, which can mean a lot of money in a short amount of time, given that SPACs typically aim to merge with a target company in two years or less. In fact, even if the SPAC performs terribly — say the company with which it merges is later accused of fraud — those sponsors get paid.

Eventbrite cofounder Kevin Hartz, who is overseeing a $200 million SPAC, explained it to us in August this way: “On a $200 million SPAC, there’s a $50 million ‘promote’ that is earned.” But “if that company doesn’t perform and, say, drops in half over a year or 18-month period, then the shares are still worth $25 million. (Hartz himself called this guaranteed payout “egregious,” though he and his partner in the SPAC, Troy

OpenInvest now shows investors exactly how they’re helping the world

  • Andreessen Horowitz-backed startup OpenInvest just released Portfolio Diagnosis, a platform which allows investors to understand the social impact their investments.
  • For example, investors can learn about the amount of carbon emissions they’ve saved and how that translates to trees planted. Or, if they wish, they can ensure they are not investing in companies that support the politically divisive National Rifle Association.
  • OpenInvest was co-founded by two former Bridgewater Associates hedge funders and is backed by Andreessen Horowitz and Y Combinator.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Andreessen Horowitz-backed fintech startup OpenInvest is making it easier for investors to measure the impacts of their social or sustainable investments — down to the number of trees or carbon emissions they’ve saved.

The product, called Portfolio Diagnosis, will allow registered investment advisors — the people who help rich people manage their portfolios — more concretely describe the social impact specific investments will deliver. 

Its release comes at a ripe moment: more investors now want to understand the social implications of their investments, a field known in the industry by the term, environmental, social and governance (ESG). The trend is particularly hot among wealthy millennials — 95% of whom are interested in sustainable investing, according to a 2019 Morgan Stanley survey. 

The company was co-founded in 2015 by two ex-Bridgewater Associates hedge funders Conor Murray and Phil Wei. Murray is now CEO of OpenInvest and Wei is the CTO.

Murray said the grand idea is to build a whole new class of what he called “active-passive” investors who align their portfolios with their values without sacrificing on market performance, he told TechCrunch’s Jonathan Shieber.

From carbon emissions to the NRA

So, for example, Portfolio Diagnosis can show investors how their investments translate into the number of trees planted through reductions in carbon emissions.

Why Investors Should Focus More On The Infrastructure Supporting The AI Revolution

Guest Post by Basil Alomary

AI has been heralded as the catalyst for a new industrial revolution. While the potential for massive impact is very real, venture investors looking to capitalize on growth ought to spend more time considering the enabling infrastructure.

Although applications are myriad and diverse, from drug discovery to driverless cars, practical adoption in the enterprise has been lackluster. Only 1 in 20 business leaders would describe their companies as “implementing AI widely across the organization.” 


The starting point for identifying these investment opportunities is the deconstruction of the AI workflow—extracting each step in the process, from aggregation to deployment and seeking efficiency, scale and access.


An infrastructure-first approach to investing has the potential to yield greater venture returns with a lower risk profile. Looking at the smartphone market, for example, it’s unlikely that an investor in 2005 could have accurately projected that today Google, an internet search engine, would have a mobile business that is 5x larger than Nokia’s. That said, making broad investments in major chip manufacturers would have accurately identified Qualcomm as being a provider whose parts have supported the rise in mobile technology. 

Innovations in AI are exciting, but it’s less difficult to identify and bet on, the technologies supporting AI rather than predicting who will provide the voice assistant of the future. The starting point for identifying these investment opportunities is the deconstruction of the AI workflow—extracting each step in the process, from aggregation to deployment and seeking efficiency, scale and access.

What does it mean to operationalize AI?

The process