What's your background as investors?
The DTN team has been investing in the private markets since the mid-2000s across a number of different verticals, including Media & Entertainment, Logistics, Infrastructure, Telecom, Technology Renewable Resources, and Energy & Power. Our most interesting investments have operated at the intersection of one or more of these verticals. Our most successful endeavors have occurred where nascent opportunities driven by talented founders and managers were allowed to grow organically into mature, multi-billion-dollar enterprises without the pressure of an arbitrary exit timeline. DTN looks to continue this tradition seeking early-stage opportunities that have broad secular trend support.
At which stage do you prefer to invest?
We prefer to invest in companies that have yet to raise a Series A (Pre-Seed and Seed), often in companies that are part of, or have recently completed, an accelerator program. We will also consider Series A round investments. When appropriate, we are prepared to support our portfolio companies with follow-on investments through a company’s lifecycle. We will do this as the sole investor or as part of a broader investment syndicate.
In addition, we are able to help guide founders on future fundraising (refining your messaging and pitch deck), making introductions to our network of thought leaders, executives and investors, assisting you in meeting the expectations of other institutional investors, and supporting your vision while offering advice based on the DTN Ventures team’s years of experience.
What types of investments are you looking for?
While there are a number of factors we consider when evaluating founders and their business, the following is a list of items that we frequently consider during our evaluation:
- • An idea or a product that offers a compelling solution to a well defined problem;
- • Secular trend support in a large and growing addressable market;
- • Industries with a defined competitive landscape which suggest portfolio companies will have market conditions that will allow them to reach their potential;
- • A strong and diverse team with a passion for their company and demonstrated creativity in resolving problems;
- • A future path that includes scalability as well as a diversity of exit options;
- • The potential to make a bigger than economic and financial impact on a target market as well as society and/or the environment.
Are there companies you will not look at?
We do not have any specific types of industries or sectors that we will not consider, but companies with the following characteristics would tend to be less of a priority for investment compared to others:
- • Companies that have been “treading water” without proven viability or a market evolution that would impact a company’s potential;
- • Those entering into crowded markets without game-changer potential;
- • Businesses with products that require significant, long-term direct-to-consumer marketing and advertising in order to achieve market acceptance.
What are some of the secular trends that you believe will drive future value?
While we may not be the first to the party on the following trends, we believe that there is time and room to grow within each area:
- • Decarbonization will be a worldwide governmental priority in the coming decades
- • Advances in green technology will produce opportunities in all areas of the industry, from generation to transmission to distribution
- • The adoption of green technology will result in unused and dirty assets that will need to be remedied
- • Decarbonizing the economy will create many new jobs but it will also create the need to retrain and redeploy millions into new careers
- • The environment needs a lot more help than just reducing emissions
Personalization of Entertainment
- • Artificial and Machine Learning will increase productivity and allow individuals more free time
- • The explosive levels of content provided to consumers allow for specialized and more well defined audiences
- • These audiences include non-english speakers and diverse consumers seeking content they can more directly relate to
- • The ease of content production will create many more small-scale winners and less winner-take-all potential
- • Live entertainment provides a unique experience consumers want and love, and Live will evolve to be more immersive
- • AR and VR have the potential to make entertainment more personal, but also more inclusive and bring us together
- • The blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and peer-to-peer technologies will reduce challenge centralized authorities and further globalize finance
- •Winners in financial disruption will focus on ease of use
- • Ease of use will increase access for the unbanked and underbanked
- • The remaking of savings and retail investing is early in its development cycle
The Future of Healthcare
- • From diagnostics to drug development, data is changing everything
- • Your genome is the software for your healthcare. How you are cared for is finally going to get personal(ized)
- • Combining diagnostics and your personal health data, treatment will be tailored and proactive
- • This healthcare future will expand the number and types of industry participants involved in enabling your care
Developing Commercial Markets
- • Commercialization of Space: The commercial space race has begun. Capital formation in the commercial space sector has been impressive over the past decade and is set to continue. A growing space ecosystem requires a much more diverse and robust group of participants to help shape the future of business as it escapes gravity.
- • The Blue Economy: Water is essential to life (well most life!) but its important for commerce as well. Whether dealing with the impact of prolonged drought in the U.S. West or participating in the ocean economy through BlueTech, we’re ready to dive in.
- • Smart Cities: Covid-19 has accelerated the need to make our cities smarter. State and local budgets are stretched. Migration is real. The tax base is shrinking. Technology has the solutions to help cities become more efficient and remain competitive.
- • Mobility: Get mobile. Maybe you moved out of the city? Maybe you only commute two days a week? But that doesn’t mean mobility matters less. We still need better ways to move us and our stuff around. Whether it’s using solar and wind to make a better ferry or getting us out of the train into the sky, we’ve got to keep on moving.
Who/what does DTN stand for?
DTN or “damn the naysayers” is a quote from our collective mentor Brett, and is meant to convey our message that those who follow the crowd often get lost in it.
I think my company would be a good fit, how do we talk about next steps?
Please fill out our application and we will review. Please allow us a couple weeks to respond.