New Research on the Region

  • October 2019 (Revised October 2019)
  • Case

NewView Capital and Venture Capital Secondaries

By: Shai Benjamin Bernstein, Ramana Nanda and Allison Ciechanover

While still a general partner at Silicon Valley-based New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Ravi Viswanathan considered the challenges presented by evolving market dynamics in the venture capital space. Startups were staying private longer, which led to limited partners thirsty for liquidity and venture capital funds managing overloaded portfolios. Viswanathan and the senior leaders of NEA orchestrated the purchase of 31 NEA unrealized portfolio companies by the newly created $1.35 billion NewView Capital spinout that he would head. This secondary transaction provided liquidity to NEA’s limited partners and reallocated NEA partners’ time to shepherd other portfolio companies, while at the same time allowing NewView Capital to reap gains from future exits from a portfolio of diverse, high-quality growth stage technology companies. Now, as he prepares to raise Fund II, Viswanathan acknowledges that the unique circumstances that enabled the launch of Fund I would not be replicable, and he must consider  alternative strategies to pursue next. Should he continue to focus on secondary transactions, focus on direct investments, or some combination of the two?

  • October 2019
  • Case

Leading Bank Leumi into the Future

By: Joshua D. Margolis, Allison M. Ciechanover, Nicole Keller and Danielle Golan

An unlikely but highly effective leader of a traditional bank, Rakefet Russak-Aminoach, simultaneously leads a classic change effort and an unconventional effort to innovate. She focuses her initial energy on making the bank more efficient in the face of industry changes and then rolls out a self-disrupting, independent mobile-app bank, aimed at millennials and designed to anticipate the coming transformation from fintech. The case documents the difficult situation she faced stepping into the CEO role, her change efforts, and her distinctive leadership style and how it has evolved. It ends with the enduring question of when to integrate an incubated business unit that was separate intentionally to spark innovation.

  • September 2019
  • Case

Anthony Soohoo at Dot & Bo: Bringing Storytelling to Furniture E-Commerce

By: Thomas R. Eisenmann, Allison M. Ciechanover and George Gonzalez

An examination of the first few years of San Franciso-based, fast-growing furniture and home accessory e-commerce startup, Dot & Bo.

  • September 2019
  • Teaching Material

Anthony Soohoo: Retrospection on Dot & Bo

By: Thomas R. Eisenmann, Allison M. Ciechanover and George Gonzalez

A founder looks back at the issues at play in the final year of failed furniture e-commerce startup, Dot & Bo. He shares his perspective and learnings in the aftermath.

  • July 2019
  • Case

Instabeat—One More Lap?

By: Shikhar Ghosh, Nicole Tempest Keller and Alpana Thapar

This case follows Lebanese entrepreneur, Hind Hobeika, an engineer and competitive swimmer who spends seven years trying to launch a wearable heartrate monitor and motion sensor to help swimmers track their performance while swimming. While the Beirut-based entrepreneur gained initial traction soon after founding her company Instabeat in September 2011, winning $150,000 in prize money from business plan competitions and raising $100,000 from a local venture capital firm, Hobeika soon faced a series of set-backs in trying to manufacture the product. Given the complexity of the hardware product she was trying to build, Hobeika had invested a significant amount of capital in the manufacturing design and had faced continuous delays. In addition, the product was not proving to be economically viable. By early 2016, Hobeika was out of money and had to let her team go. The business issues had also taken a toll on her personal life. However, Hobeika saw a potential path forward. The VC who had originally backed her was closing a new round of funding and was willing to discuss another potential round. More importantly, while in London, she had recently met Alex Asseily, a prominent Lebanese-British entrepreneur who encouraged her to stay the course. He suggested that she relocate to San Francisco, where he would soon be based, and offered to help her. Would it be worthwhile to leave everything behind, relocate, and rebuild the business? Hobeika had to decide—should she continue or not? If so, under what circumstances? If not, what would she do next?

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California Research Center Team

Allison Ciechanover
Executive Director
George Gonzalez
Senior Researcher
Jeffrey Huizinga
Senior Researcher
Nicole Keller
Senior Researcher