Seeding the Future: Four Fascinating Seed Companies from AVG’s Basecamp Team
December 3, 2020 | Abree Murch
Our “Seeding the Future” series explores trends, opportunities, and companies from the seed and pre-seed venture world. This is the investment focus of AVG’s newest Basecamp Fund. The fund closes at the end of December! Click below to learn more.
Trends in Seed Investing
To help bring to life the opportunities and challenges in seed investing, as well as AVG’s unique approach and assets, we interviewed our Basecamp team. The team includes four full-time Managing Partners, based in three key venture hubs (San Francisco, NYC, and Chicago), plus four other full-time Principals and Analysts. Click here to see our team and their bios.
Today’s discussion with our four Basecamp MPs focuses on examples of seed deals they’re excited about — and illustrates the diversity of companies they evaluate.
Could you share one example of an exciting seed company that you have invested in?
Catherine: Anycart is a really interesting new food and grocery delivery platform. There are many meal-kit prep companies. But with those services, there’s a lot of markup in terms of what they provide, the meals can take a long time to create, and there’s lot of plastic waste that goes into it.
Anycart allows you to go through an online recipe catalog and, with a single click, add all the groceries for a particular recipe. You can say, “I want four servings of this pasta dish.” And they will automatically add the ingredients from your local grocery store to your cart. You can also do all your other grocery shopping.
Anycart has some amazing investors, an amazing team, and they really want to make this the next grocery delivery platform. They partner with the largest grocery retails to fulfill and deliver orders, and they’re already live in over 200 cities nationwide.
Andrea: Mootral is a natural feed supplement that actually improves animal health and reduces methane emissions by up to 38%. It’s based on a proprietary combination of compounds from garlic and citrus. The supplement reduces the number of microbes in the cow’s stomach so that cow’s burps contain less methane. The result is more climate-friendly beef and dairy products that offer higher returns for farmers.
Today, so many farmers are facing economic hardships and regulatory challenges that were unforeseen just a few decades ago. To sustainably support their future financial prosperity, while meeting the emerging needs of eco-conscious consumers, new thinking is needed. And that’s why we’re thrilled to be involved in Mootral.
Wayne: BlockFi is one example — and one of the best-performing companies at AVG. The company originally started with lending against your cryptoassets, but now it offers many different products around your cryptoassets, including trading.
The company was born of a real need. The Founder wanted to buy a home and had all of this cryptocurrency. But that was basically valued at zero by the banks. People just didn’t really know what to do with the asset. So he created a platform that could lend U.S. dollars for your cryptoassets.
The company has grown tremendously. When we invested about two years ago, it was a relatively small check in their seed, with the company having a $5 million post. Their recent Series C, which just closed a couple months ago, valued the company at $400 million post.
Matt: MainStreet unlocks tax incentives and government subsidies for main street businesses and startups. Sophisticated enterprises are deeply aware of these programs and incentives, but SMBs don’t have the time or knowledge to research and leverage them.
You could think of MainStreet as your outsourced policy team for SMBs. In a few minutes, they integrate through your payroll system and run an algorithm to identify what tax incentives and government stimulus programs you may qualify for. Then they automate the application process, unlocking between $50 and $150,000 of stimulus benefits that’s generally sat unclaimed. MainStreet takes a portion of that found money as their fee. It’s a win-win value proposition — customers pay for the service, but it’s a net gain for them on the whole.
AVG’s Basecamp Fund offers investors a portfolio of ~100 pre-seed and seed investments diversified across sector and region. Approximately 25% of the fund is reserved for follow-on investments. Minimum starts at $25K. The fund is now open! Click below to learn more.