What We’re Hunting In 2017

A quick summary of what we're looking for in 2017 investments.

Thanks for reading this and welcome to Valor’s hunt for aggressively growing innovators.

Our partnership of visionary investors is looking to put our capital and connections to work in the year ahead as we continue to build our portfolio. We have some strong convictions about the kinds of technology companies our partnership is a good match for. Please feel free to share this. (More on how to contact us at the bottom.)

By industry / sector

You: a software company with paying customers.

Us: financial investors that help our startups grow with significant time and attention.

We’re in a time of early replatforming as we move into a post-app economy. The appsphere is increasingly consolidated and we’re hunting next gen platform software.

Specific sectors our partnership is a good fit for: cloud PaaS in general, business process automation tools, manufacturing and industrial robot platform software, applied ag, customer service and sales PaaS, developer tool platforms, and next gen media and marketing platforms.

Specific sectors we are not going to touch: ecommerce, retail, trucking, aviation, leisure travel, generic “we are the AI for,” and food and beverage.

By geography

We love startups changing the world–that is, the world outside of Silicon Valley. We’re looking for scrappy teams that are living in, and deeply informed by, the real world of their customers.

  • We’re only investing in U.S. based companies.
  • We’re not looking at deals in Silicon Valley, Boston, and Manhattan.

By stage

We’re early stage investors, but not so early that you don’t have an early product with early customers.

By solution

We’re particularly interested in software that has a  learning component or rethinks old paradigms. So for example, we’re actively looking solutions where information delivery is holding back the sector. We’re excited about practical machine learning in places where data overload is blocking progress. AI for the sake of AI –we’re not fans. If there is one word you can use for your software that will get us really excited, it’s “simpler.” As in, your solution makes it way simpler for your customers to get their job done. Tell us how you’ve made a huge leap forward in something so  niche most of the world doesn’t know it matters.

Portfolio approach

If you see a company like yours in our portfolio, that is a signal we will not likely invest in you. We invest once in a space, with deep conviction, and focus intensely on adding fuel to that company’s fire.

Open door commitment

The best intro for us is customer validation. We are looking for entrepreneurs who are committed beyond all reason to changing their world and are doing it, with or without VCs. To find you, we’re committed to:

  • running Startup Runway, our pitch series that connects minority-led companies to seed stage investors like us. Apply to pitch at Startup Runway.
  • holding open office hours
  • judging and participating in startup conferences (check out our Events calendar);
  • sharing our journey and our point of view with our community, in part through our innovation column on Inc., our Valor VC Youtube channel, and here on this blog;
  • responding fastest to inquiries we get on through our Founder portal.

    If you’re too early, our proprietary events like Startup Runway are the best ways to reach us.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for building.

Maybe we can build something bigger together this year.