Two Sigma Ventures is a New York-based venture capital, who invests in early-stage projects, from seed to series B. In partnership with its parent company, Two Sigma Investment, Two Sigma Ventures also believes that technologies will change the future of people’s lives and the business world. They also believe that the most successful companies in the future will be the product of three focus: the exponentially increasing availability of information, rapid advancements in the science of computing, and the ingenuity of visionary founders. Two Sigma Ventures hopes its experts in computing, software engineering, big-data analyzing, and artificial intelligence will help the startups they invest grow faster than peers in different industries. In particular, they help their portfolio companies in four aspects.
The first aspect is about people. Two Sigma Ventures has the experts who have been in the different industries for decades and know how to manage a company and coach executive board of a company. With the help of the experts from Two Sigma Ventures, a company can optimize its management efficiency and find the true value of their business.
The second aspect is about the product. Two Sigma Ventures always believe they have the top people in technologies and engineerings. Differ from other experts, those scientists and engineers know the business well and know how to deliver a product from an incubator to the market.
The third aspect is about the partnership. With the help of its parent company Two Sigma Investment, Two Sigma Ventures has an expansive network resource, which can help their portfolio companies reach the customers or partners they need.
The fourth aspect is about the public relation. Two Sigma Ventures has a professional marketing team to help the portfolio companies with marketing strategies and campaigns.
Also, Two Sigma Ventures has an office in downtown New York City for their portfolio companies to meet, work, and host events.
Through my experience of working at a startup company last summer, I realized that professional help and expansive network are extremely important for the companies at the early stage. In most of the startups, especially in tech startups, both founders and employees have a very limited business and marketing skills. Some of them may have a strong background in the technologies they are using, but they don’t know how to run a business or how to compete with their rivals. They need experts in the business field to help them optimize their business plans. For examples, in the startup I worked last summer, they had troubles selling their products to their potential customers. They had a free trial plan for their potential customers to use their products, but they don’t know how to make them pay for the plan. I believe a professional marketing team could help the company target to the right customer group and make a proper selling strategy. Also, the insights and perspectives of the people in a startup could be restrained easily. They focus too much on their own products and have a strong bias to the idea they believe. Therefore, startups could deliver a product that people don’t really need or make a business plan that won’t last for a long time. They need experts and outsiders to give them a broader and fresh perspective and guide them in a right direction. The lack of networking resource is another big problem for startups. Sometimes, a startup has excellent products and ideas, but they don’t have a right people to connect. Without the help of a well-known expert in the industries, it’s hard for a startup to reach high-level officers in big companies for partnerships.
Two Sigma Ventures has invested in more than 50 companies. Most of their portfolio companies are tech startups.
Tinybop, one of Two Sigma Ventures’ portfolio companies, is a full-service application developer, who develops educational applications for kids on App Store, Google Play and Microsoft. Tinybop’s first application – The Human Body, became one of Apple’s top 5 apps of the week and has been downloaded more than 5 million times. Also, its application – The everything machine was named as the best app for teaching and learning by AASL(American Association of School Librarians). To help Tinybop successful, Two Sigma Ventures improved Tinybop’s management system and feedback practices.
Whoop is a fitness technology company that provides professional wearable devices for athletes and trainers to record their physiological indicators, like heart rate. Through the analytical result of the physiological indicators, people can adjust their training plans and diets to optimize their athletic performance. To help Whoop increase the accuracy of the wearable heart-rate monitors, Two Sigma Ventures hosted a 2-day competition with 20 data scientists.
Entrypoint is a startup that helps people build their virtual reality video without any technical backgrounds. Entrypoint’s solution reduces the cost and the complexity of building an immersive virtual reality video. Also, the solution makes it easy for people to share their virtual reality videos through their smartphones or desktops online. Two Sigma Ventures’ public relation team helped Entrypoint promote its solution and organize the marketing campaign on social media.
Having a reliable and trustworthy venture capital is extremely important for a startup. To grow and survive in a brutal business world, a startup will face lots of challenges. Startups need venture capitals to provide them with professional insights, networking resources, fund, and broader perspectives to go through all those challenges. After my research on Two Sigma Ventures, I believe Two Sigma Ventures is a good partner for a startup who wants to grow in the tech industry or who wants to embed technologies to help them compete with their rivals.