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Going to the dark side: Should you consider becoming a consultant?

It’s the time of year when you may be considering major life and career changes, and perhaps consulting is on your radar. Here’s what you need to know before making the move.

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It’s the time of year when you may be considering major life and career changes, and perhaps consulting is on your radar. Here’s what you need to know before making the move.

Happy business colleagues in modern office using tablet

Image: nd3000, Getty Images/iStockphoto

More for CXOs

As the old saying implies, most of us can’t help but occasionally wonder if the grass really is greener on the other side. I’ve spoken with countless colleagues in the consulting world that have entertained–and often moved forward with–dreams of trying their hands in an industry role; just as I’ve had similar chats with industry colleagues and clients that have considered making a move into consulting. Both are noble pursuits, and both are not without their flaws and unique benefits. If you’re a technology leader that’s thinking about a move to the “dark side” and trying consulting, here are a few things to keep in mind as you consider this type of move.

SEE: 24 tips for delivering bad news (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Get ready for routine uncertainty

If there’s one thing I find that makes or breaks a successful consultant, it’s an ability to thrive in an uncertain environment. Some people think I’m joking when I tell them I have no idea where I’ll be physically working, what company I’ll be working with, and what I’ll be trying to accomplish weeks from now, but it’s absolutely true. For some people, that’s a thrilling proposition and very different from a predictable role where they can map out their future with relative certainty months, or even years out. Consulting provides a unique opportunity to quickly gain wildly diverse experiences across industries, geographies, and technologies, and also creates an opportunity to reinvent your career on a regular basis as you acquire new experiences and quickly develop new skills.

The downside to this unpredictability is what drives many people to leave the profession. It’s difficult to plan everything from family events to routine doctor visits when you could literally be anywhere in the world, in some cases with a day’s notice (or less). The excitement of the unknown can quickly become a frightening instability and a sense that you have no control over your destiny. 

SEE: How to find work-life balance as a consultant: 7 tips (TechRepublic)

Assess your ability to self-market

Whether you’re in a giant global consulting firm or hanging out a shingle as a sole proprietor, one of the more challenging aspects of consulting is that you now have to heavily market a distinct product–you. You must constantly be updating your colleagues as well as existing and new clients about your capabilities, offerings, and how you can help them advance their agenda. Some find these marketing activities distasteful, but they are critical to success in the field, and almost without fail, the consultant who markets him- or herself well will get the client call versus the excellent implementer who fails to market at all.

Determine your willingness to take on several jobs

Another aspect of the consulting world that catches new entrants unawares is the diverse number of roles that one has to take on. In an industry job, you likely have to manage staff, run a portfolio of projects, and perhaps participate in some extracurricular roles like community outreach or partner relationship work. In consulting, you can add formal coaching and mentoring jobs, internal offerings, product development, and leading internal initiatives to that roster. At the more active consulting firms, there will be an all-you-can-eat buffet of opportunities and roles available, to the point that it becomes a bit of an art to decide which to pursue and which to pass up. Even in a one-person shop you’ll have to understand accounting and finance, marketing and sales, and–as I used to joke with my wife–perhaps even play the role of janitor on occasion.

You also have a formal client-facing role at one or more projects, and a formal role within your firm. Like the uncertainty of the business, this can be invigorating or wildly frustrating.

Prepare to become an “influencer” rather than a “commander”

Every job requires a degree of influence in addition to formal leadership structures, but this is even more acute in consulting, where you have no direct responsibility for your clients’ decision-making. While you can certainly influence the formal disciplinary process up to firing someone from your own company’s staff, you’ll lack that ability for the client team. 

Occasionally you’ll have client staff that underperform or even peers and stakeholders that range from barely competent to actively trying to sabotage your work. You’ll lack the ability to take direct action in most of these cases, and rather need to accomplish your objectives through influence or deft organizational maneuvering. The silver lining to this is that you’ll likely be moving on from that client at some point and no longer have to deal with the dysfunction.

If you can thrive in this type of environment, there are few careers that provide the breadth of opportunity and excitement of consulting. In many ways, it’s like being able to change jobs every few months and experience a new set of people and challenges, all while maintaining the consistency of one employer. Just make sure that you’re tempering whatever rosy visions you have of a consulting career with the reality that it’s a uniquely uncertain field with its own set of challenges.

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Source: https://www.techrepublic.com/article/going-to-the-dark-side-should-you-consider-becoming-a-consultant/#ftag=RSS56d97e7

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The Boom of Online Fantasy Sports in India

Over the past few years, sports in India have observed tremendous growth in the segment, thanks to Online Fantasy Sports. However, being a cricket crazy country, it still has a long way to become a multi-sport nation.  Sports like football, kabaddi, and badminton are trying to make room for themselves in the heart of sports […]

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Over the past few years, sports in India have observed tremendous growth in the segment, thanks to Online Fantasy Sports. However, being a cricket crazy country, it still has a long way to become a multi-sport nation. 

Sports like football, kabaddi, and badminton are trying to make room for themselves in the heart of sports fans. Nevertheless, India is yet to reach the scale of a mature sports market that offers a wide variety of sports to varying degrees. 

With cheap smartphones and data, there are enormous opportunities to make sports more accessible and engaging for India’s sports fans for the first time. Today, we can choose to consume according to our needs and requirements, whenever we want, whatever we want, and wherever we want. 

The rapid improvement in the digital infrastructure and multiple sports and leagues platform emergence is witnessing many sports tech innovations. Fantasy sports have developed as one such innovative vehicle for engagement, which has grown exponentially in several years. 

At present, there are more than 140 online fantasy sports (OFS) operators and over 90 million Indian sports fans on these platforms. They have become so popular that Dream11, the most significant fantasy sports player of today, has become the title sponsor of IPL 2020, “Dream11 IPL.” 

Such development has made us wonder how and why fantasy sports have increased in India in such a short time. 

OFS Platforms to Foster a Sporting Mindset Among Millenials

Traditionally, sports fan mostly watch their favorite sports league and tournaments on TV or sometimes in a stadium. With the arrival of social media platforms, fans can also engage more with their favorite team, league, and player. However, these are passive ways of engaging with sports. 

On the other hand, with fantasy sports, sports fans can actively participate in sports by creating their virtual team and competing with fellow fans, friends, and family via social media. 

When people participate in fantasy sports, they also tend to watch more sports matches to track their performance of fantasy sports teams. Several hypotheses indicate that online fantasy sports engagement directly impacts sports viewership and helps foster a sporting mindset. 

OFS operators in India offer fantasy sports for cricket, basketball, hockey, kabaddi, football, baseball, volleyball, rugby, and handball. 

While cricket is ruling even in fantasy sports, other sports are also observing the friction in users. However, sports like handball, volleyball, and baseball

have low to zero affinity among India sports fans. Nevertheless, the users engaging with these newer sports ended up watching these sports as well. 

Fantasy Sports: A Game of Skills

The Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports regulates the fantasy sports platforms in the country. It offers safe and legitimate platforms for fans to showcase their skills and knowledge of the sports they love. It also provides inclusive and entertainment at the same time. 

The Supreme court of India, along with the landmark judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2017 and several other high courts of India, has ruled several times that Dream11’s fantasy sports format is a skill game and not gambling or betting. 

Several research studies and leading academic institutes worldwide have proven that the predominance of skill in fantasy sports. It also includes the first academic study of India, published by IIM Banglore. It mathematically demonstrates the predominance of skill in the format of Dream11 in fantasy sports. 

A similar study conducted by MIT and Columbia University professors has also confirmed that fantasy sports are a “game of skill” based on skills’ predominance and not merely luck.  

“In the last few years, fantasy sports has certainly become a potential sector that has performed exceptionally well and boosted the consumption of sports in India. As a legally approved sports fan engagement format, the industry is self-regulating to protect the users and operators through FIFS. There are multiple perception issues the industry has to overcome to reach its full potential as a non-addictive and skill-based platform.”

– Rameesh Kailasam (1). 

Such reports would help the stakeholders of Indian fantasy sports to understand the industry a lot better. 

The Torch Bearer of Fantasy Sports in India

In 2001, ESPN Super Selector created a mark with a huge fan base. Joy Bhattacharya and ESPN created the platform, which involves fantasy leagues. Users could pick a team of 11 cricket players within a limited budget. 

Contents received points based on the performance of the players they have selected on-field. More than five lakh contestants joined the Super Selector during the 2003 ICC World Cup in South Africa. The platform’s immense popularity inspired other media houses like Sky Television and BBC to launch their fantasy sports franchises.

Now, after 18 years, the fan base of fantasy sports has exploded to 90 million, growing ten folds in the last two years. According to the report released by KPMG India Private Limited, there are no overlaps between sports betting and fantasy sports. 

Moreover, the industry is already worth more than 43.8 billion INR and estimated to reach 118.8 billion USD by the fiscal year 2023 with a growth rate of 22.1% CAGR.

The report also suggested that fantasy sports can slow down illegal betting in the long run. Users are more drawn to these fantasy sports platforms because of the fairness, safety, and secure nature of the transactions and legality. 

The Stupendous Growth of Fantasy Sports in India

At present, the Indian Fantasy Sports Industry is growing at a 32% CAGR rate and is expected to reach 3.7 billion USD by the end of 2024. The immense growth of the sector with the uptake of fantasy sports indicates its tremendous potential for India. 

It includes investment, revenue, job opportunities, and contribution to sports fans in India that can turn many sports that needs attention. 

At present, fantasy sport is ruling the online gaming segment in India, with millions of sports fans enthusiastically trying their hands at it. 

“Online gaming in India sees increased traction due to digital infrastructure growth, with fantasy sports emerging as an important segment in this space. With the number of fantasy sports operators increasing and the number of users on fantasy sports platforms expected to cross 100 million by 2020, this segment has the potential to spawn a whole ecosystem around it. It could help deepen user engagement with their favorite sports.”

– Girish Menon (2).

From students to professionals, anyone with access to the internet and a smartphone can become a fantasy sports player and earn rewards. 

Typically, these platforms ask participants to pay a nominal entry fee and build their virtual team with real players. They could be from one side or both sides, scheduled to play in a league or a standalone match. Then, they get rewards based on the real-life performance of the players they chose. The winners could get the money via account transfer or digital wallets. 

And thus, India’s fantasy platforms’ userbase jumped from 20 lakhs in 2016 to nine crore in 2019. It has registered a 4,400% increase in the user base. Further, estimates suggest that the number of users in these platforms would reach ten crores by the end of the current fiscal year. 

It also observed a 160% increase in revenue from 920 crore INR in 2019 to 2400 crore INR in 2020. These numbers indicate a 160% jump in the payment. It has also lead to higher GST collection from the space. Notably, India’s fantasy sports sector observed a 2.6x increase in GST collection from 166 crore INR in 2019 to 445 crore INR in 2020.

Game On for Indian Fantasy Sports Players

India has several fantasy sports platforms such as Dream11, Mobile Premier League, or MPL, Halaplay, MyTeam11, My11 Circle, 11 Wickets, among others. In 2020, Dream11, a home-grown online fantasy sports platform, has replaced Vivo, a Chinese phone maker, as the title sponsor of cash-rich IPL, Indian Premier League. It is has put fantasy sports into the spotlight. 

“At the same time, fantasy sports operators have also started promoting their product intensively and making conscious efforts to maintain the credibility of their website/app by partnering with official sports leagues”

– KPMG-IFSG Report.

Dream11 has been an official partner of several sports leagues such as IPL, Vivo Pro Kabaddi League, and the Hero Indian Super League. It is also the official partner of BCCI, the Board of Control for Cricket in India. 

MPL is also associated with RCB, the Royal Challengers Banglore, a franchise of IPL as an associate partner, and KKR, Kolkata Night Riders as a principal sponsor. 

Raising Big Money

Among several fantasy sports platforms in India, Dream11 and MPL have secured significant funding in the last few years. 

It is worth noting that Dream11 is the only gaming startup in India that has entered the unicorn club. It had secured undisclosed fundings from Steadview Capital of Hong Kong last year to reach a valuation of more than 1 billion USD. In 2018, the fantasy gaming startup had also secured 100 million USD from Tencent Holdings, a tech conglomerate of China. 

Last month, Bhavit Seth and Harsh Jain, the founders of Dream11, were planning to secure 235 million USD from private equity firms. It includes Tiger Global Management, TPG Capital, and Footpath ventures.

As for the Mobile Premier League, MPL, the company last secured 35.5 million USD in its Series A funding round last year from Sequoia India, GoVentures, and Times Internet. Sai Srinivas Kiran G and Shubha Malhotra founded MPL in 2018. Since its inception, it has secured over 40.5 million USD in two funding rounds. 

User Engagement

In India, fantasy Sports platforms offer two models to its players; free to play and pay to play. Notably, most of the contests are still on a “free to play” basis since nearly 85% of users selects the play for free model. 

The revenue stream for these platforms includes advertisements, brand partnerships, content sponsorship, among others. These platforms offer the most popular sports, such as cricket, basketball, football, kabaddi, etc. 

If we talk about Dream11, cricket is the most popular sports on the platforms, with over 85% of its users. However, it has reduced in the past three years since players are leaning towards other sports because of new leagues’ emergence.  

As per a survey, more than 75% of the respondents play fantasy sports one to three times a week, with most players playing once a week. A significant 20% of respondents reported that they play more than five times a week. The survey further analyzed the engagement frequency with the following parameters. 

The playing frequency is consistent across the age group 18 to 24 and 25 to 36, with more than 75 to 80% of respondents playing one to three times a week. However, the age group 37-50 has been observed to have a higher engagement. 

Almost 50% of the respondents from the age group 37-50 reported that they play a fantasy game more than four times a week. Moreover, the income group with more than three lakh per anum income showed a 40% engagement frequency for playing more than five times per week. 

Notably, the frequency of playing more than five times a week observes a progressive fall with increasing income levels. As per the survey, only 12% of the respondents earn more than 10 lakh per anum plays more than five times a week.

More than 30% of the respondents stated that the opportunity to win is the key motivator for them. Yet, nearly 46% of respondents have played the game’s paid versions in the past year. 

“This could imply that fantasy sports platforms could potentially be considered as a means for earning incremental/supplementary by comparatively lower-income groups, leading to an increased engagement with the platform.”

– KPMG-IFSG Report.

The Format of Dream11

Dream11 unveiled its first version in 2008 with an FLP, free to play season-long fantasy cricket game. It had an ad-driven business model for almost four years until it realized that it is not working in India. 

“We realized that Indian users have a low attention span, they don’t want to feel like – if I didn’t change my team for one week when I was traveling for work, or on holiday, or just busy with life, then I will fall behind so much that there is no chance of me winning. They want something that has instant gratification.”

– Harsh Jain (3), CEO – Dream11.

So, in 2012, the firm started with another format: daily fantasy sports. Along with the changes in its format, the company also modified its revenue model by removing ads and giving users an option to put money on their teams. 

Then they would collect money from all users from a particular content and put it into a pool. After the match is over, they would give the pool the money to user/s whose team/s got the most points, after deducting the 15% service fees. 

It is worth noting that before introducing the new variant, the pay to play model, Harsh had sought opinions from lawyers all across the country to check the legality of the premium fantasy sports in India. 

As per the legal opinion Jain received, the fantasy games of Dream11 have a preponderance of skill. The company then introduced the freemium model, where it allowed users to play for free, but they could also put in their money on teams if they wish. 

Premium Fantasy Sports Law in India

The primary law that deals with premium fantasy sports in the county are the Public Gambling Act 1867. It is a more than 150 years old act that criminalizes gambling in a public forum in India. However, it does recognize the difference between putting money on a game of skill vs. a game of chance. 

For example, three card games such as flush or roulette are games of chance. On the other hand, betting on horse racing is defined as a skill-based game by India courts. Notably, the laws regarding gambling in India vary from state to state. 

The games of mere skills are exempted by the anti-gambling laws of most Indian states. The meaning of mere skill, according to the Indian supreme court, means the skill preponderance. It means that the element of skills should outweigh the luck or chance.

 In other words, the game of skill for the supreme court does not amount to gambling and considers it as a commercial activity. 

Self-Regulations

It is worth noting that Indian authorities do not regulate the fantasy sports industry. The Indian Federation of Sports Gaming, formed in 2017, chaired by Harsh Jain self regulate it. 

It is a concern since the IFSC is a private body. According to the GameChanger Law Advisor’s attorneys, it does not have any authority to regulate non-member unless the Indian Government recognizes it as a whole body to regulate fantasy sports gaming in the nation. 

Until individual states develop sufficient legislation to regulate the online fantasy gaming industry in their jurisdictions, the fantasy sports industry players need to ensure that they remain a game of skills and do not become a game of chance. 

According to Jaya Sayta, a corporate lawyer from Mumbai, who runs a website on Indian gambling laws, the Indian fantasy sports firms are waiting for the legalization of sports startup newsbetting.

Fantasy sports firms already have a vast user base who are willing to pay and plan. Hence, it is easy for them to switch from sports betting. However, it is a more lucrative model compared to daily fantasy. 

Indian authority is unlikely to legalize sports betting anytime soon; but, the fantasy sports firms are happy as long as users are allowed to put money into the game of skill. 

Out of 45 million lifetime users of Dream11, only about 15% of users have played for money. However, these 6 million premium users account for the entire revenue stream of the firm. 

If we go back to Super Selector, it was always free to play game, as at the time, ESPN Start was not sure whether the Government would regard it as gambling or not. Hence, they did not introduce a feature where users could put money in the game.

At that time, people were also not very open about using their credit and debit cards online, and there were no digital wallets and other online payment options. 

Consequently, ESPN Start could not sustain its Super Selector for a prolonged time, and it fell out by the time of IPL launch. It is safe to say that the loss of ESPN Star turned out to be a gain for Dream11. Harsh Jain also described it as the right product at the wrong time.

 

Challenges Ahead

Despite the success of Dream11 and other fantasy gaming sports platforms, experts suggest that the segment still has a long way to go. 

According to Harsh Jain, the company has a long way to go; they have penetrated only 15% of the online sports audience of 300 million in India; in the next coming years’ space is expected to see 5x to 6x growth in distribution. 

For newer platforms, the challenge is to retain users. In an industry with rapid growth, the challenge is to going to be around marketing. They need to figure out the subset of a sports fan to understand him or her, target them, and engage them. 

“How do we build loyalty in a space where it’s so easy for people to jump platforms? How can we protect our turf and make sure a new company is not able to replicate what we have done quickly?”

– Anand Ramachandran.

Moreover, the expert believes that fantasy sports can grow as big as e-commerce in the country. However, the digital maturity of the consumers in India needs to grow. 

The web’s real users are in the rural areas of Tier II and III cities in India. It is a challenge for these platforms to turn their target audience mature enough to be consistent users of fantasy sports from being merely Facebook and WhatsApp users. 

Whether it’s about the legalization of fantasy sports or digital maturity, with millions of Indian sports fans wanting to become virtual Dhoni, it is only the beginning of India’s fantasy sports. 

Rucha Joshi is fueled by her passion for creative writing. She is eager to turn information into action. With her hunger for knowledge, she considers herself a forever student. She’s currently working as a content writer and is always interested in a challenge.

Source: https://timesnext.com/the-boom-of-online-fantasy-sports-in-india/

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PLI Scheme: The Make in India Solution?

Since the 2014’s victorious election for the BJP, PM Narendra Modi (1) has been trying to implement the Make in India strategy. A Strategy that involves a revolutionary change for the public of India to appreciate Indian made products. Mahatma Gandhi’s Ideology was to embrace a movement where we value our products, like Khadi and […]

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Since the 2014’s victorious election for the BJP, PM Narendra Modi (1) has been trying to implement the Make in India strategy. A Strategy that involves a revolutionary change for the public of India to appreciate Indian made products. Mahatma Gandhi’s Ideology was to embrace a movement where we value our products, like Khadi and much more, that symbolizes the Indian quality among the people. The Idea still didn’t survive after industrialization, and the Nehru plan to economize India was a reality. Global imports were much more extensive than Indian exports. This shifted the economic level of the US Dollar and Indian Rupee. Rate of products became costly, and survival too became costly as well. The tax rate grew with the GDP’s birth in the 1950s.

The country has always been a victim of economic demoralization. The same reason why the Black Market grew more extensive than ever measuring each flaw in the economic system. The make in India initiative was an idea which wasn’t feasible for a country like India that was low on Industrial occupation. Labor work higher than ever, but the setup for the work didn’t exist. The call for industrial setups with a scheme or incentive was in effect, and thus India slowly developed into an industrial country. Over the years, India has been the manufacturers of many products. From vaccines, medicines to Products which was essential for Home use. This increased India’s standards onto the world market, thus creating an economic value.

The Rise of the Smart Phone Industry in India

In 2007, the world was introduced to an extraordinary; it revolutionized the telephone industry; the iPhone. It came to great reviews and was a device that got sold out quickly. Its dynamic nature and capabilities made way for the other industries to bring out more revolutionary ideas. The smartphone industry became a symbol of the economic rise in the countries that followed suit. Though the smartphone industry was a late-bloomer in India, it still didn’t fail to capture the Market soon, once the consumer wanted such a device full of features that could ease their work.

The Indian Mobile Industry was initiated later on in 2014 in full swing; companies like Samsung, who had already made their mark with Mini-phones, had now started bringing their devices to India. When Modi had tried to implement the ‘Make in India’ movement, companies like Micromax, Lava, and many more had introduced devices for the sole Indian Market. The came Modi’s Digital India project, The Freedom 251 phones, then overthrew the Market for its crazy price at Rs. 200. The phones then introduced were at a range that was affordable for all. This encapsulated the Market even further, and many companies wanted to bring their devices to the Indian consumer’s hands.

OnePlus and more of such top tier class handset makers toppled the Market over the budget phones with high-end features. OnePlus mainly paved the way for all other phone manufacturers to push their phones to the budgetary prices. The Indian Market pushes itself to capture the best markets around it to stabilize and grow the economy. The recent ‘aatmanirbhar’ campaign was initiated by Modi to capitalize on the Indian economy dependent on the Chinese to manufacture the products. The Government had to find out ways to improve their market, and thus, the Idea of the Production Linked Incentive scheme came into effect.

The PLI Scheme Effect

The PLI scheme could be a huge booster for the export of electronic devices. The scheme was of the Idea to provide specific incentives for the formation of factories and manufacturing sectors in India. The Initiative was formally recognized but was fading away with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and doubt arises as to how the consumers would buy devices in a post-pandemic world. Several decisions were made regarding how the scheme could be applied when the industries were facing losses, and could they even recoup their losses if they set up and would the consumers buy their products? Those were the questions that were formulated then.

The October PLI scheme was revalued with an incentive at 4 to 6 percent for India’s foreign industrial development for five years. The scheme is basically like a tender; the companies that sold their handsets above 200 Dollars or Rs. Fifteen thousand in India would be eligible to claim the incentive. This price range would encapsulate the consumers that could afford their devices, and thus India could transition easily digitally. The logical reasoning had to be applied; 16 companies were sanctioned to set up in India and formulation contracts. More of such paperwork had to be accomplished, and by then, they wouldn’t enough time to crack the targets.

The solution to enhance the workforce wasn’t feasible due to the pandemic, close contacts couldn’t be maintained, and the chances of getting sick are high. Indian companies like Micromax, lava signed on to the objective, had guaranteed the target crack by 2021 FY-end. It is also with the Government’s co-operative promise to produce a 5-6% Billion Dollars (approximately) during the five years. India is a country of very patriotic users; the number of users who use Indian branded phone is more at a massive percentage than the one who uses a Foreign Android brand or an iPhone.

The scheme could be one of India’s most celebrated schemes if the regulations are really in place. The export rates by popularity could shoot up to greater heights. This could nudge India’s export rates, boost the economy, and grow India’s GDP in the next few years. The scheme’s success will be solely based on the paperwork and time it takes for these companies to begin production.

My passion is Reading and writing. Basically, an optimistic introvert. Always striving to be better. Writing as a passion leads me to become stronger and focused.

Source: https://timesnext.com/pli-scheme-the-make-in-india-solution/

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NYC-based Oceans Ventures raises $11 million for its first fund Oceans Ventures Fund I to invest in seed-stage startups

Over the years, the number of startup investments at the seed and early-stage has dropped off, according to data provider PitchBook. And even when the funding is available, some venture firms simply follow the mantra of “invest to divest,” meaning […]

The post NYC-based Oceans Ventures raises $11 million for its first fund Oceans Ventures Fund I to invest in seed-stage startups appeared first on Tech News | Startups News.

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Over the years, the number of startup investments at the seed and early-stage has dropped off, according to data provider PitchBook. And even when the funding is available, some venture firms simply follow the mantra of “invest to divest,” meaning they sell their stake at some point down the road.

Now, one VC firm wants to change that. Oceans Ventures is a New York City-based venture firm started by the advertising guru who led Foursquare’s turnaround. Deeply entrenched in the Valley but pulling on a long legacy in Manhattan, Oceans was founded by Steven Rosenblatt (prev. the president of Foursquare, Director of iAd @ Apple), Joshua Rahn (prev. Facebook), Glenn Handler (prev. Morgan Stanley, Google & Facebook), Sara Barek (prev. ClearForest, acquired by Thomson Reuters) and Brian Lew (prev. Time Inc.).

Oceans is backed by a team of early-stage investors and mentors focused on giving startups the hands-on support they need to succeed. Other mega backers include Ron Conway, Dennis Crowley, and Howard Linzen. Oceans is hyper-focused on seeking deals with historically under-represented founders, and they work to prioritize a game plan for implementing D&I into any company they back from Day 1.

Today, Oceans announced it has closed $11 million for its first fund – the Oceans Ventures Fund I. The fund will be invested in early-stage technology startups. Oceans Ventures has already made 18 investments out of its debut fund, alongside other investors.

In a post on LinkedIn, Steven Rosenblatt, Co-Founder & General Partner at Oceans, said: “We started Oceans after realizing founders both want and need the best partners on their cap tables. We’ve experienced firsthand the power early, strong support can have in turning great ideas into great companies. Our belief is we get more done together as one collective team, bringing our operational experience to help founders turn brilliant ideas into great businesses.”

Unlike the traditional VC firms, Oceans doesn’t invest to divest. Instead, Oceans works directly with founders to either help design their organization’s team structure or fundamentally re-focus the product strategy. Oceans has already built a strong portfolio of 18 amazing companies, two-thirds of which are in New York. Below are some of Oceans key investments:

• IFundWomen, founded by Karen Cahn (ex-Google, YouTube) with the purpose of creating funding platforms for women entrepreneurs;
• Play, which was founded by Dan LaCivita who was previously CEO of the award-winning agency Firstborn (acquired by Dentsu);
• Teal, founded by Dave Fano who sold his first company, CASE, to WeWork;
• and SpikeTrap, founded by Kieran Fitzpatrick who led a discovery that discovered that over 90% of all data on the internet is not monitored – so he’s doing something about it.


Source: https://techstartups.com/2020/10/29/nyc-based-oceans-ventures-raises-11-million-first-fund-oceans-ventures-fund-provide-new-approach-seed-investing/

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