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Week Ending 2021-06-06

"You don’t just reciprocate affection, you reciprocate animosity, and the whole thing can escalate." — Charlie Munger

News

SoftBank-backed construction giant Katerra said to be shutting down after raising billions (techcrunch.com)

  • Katerra had already been struggling to find a viable business in cheaply building properties for real estate developers when it was pushed to the edge of bankruptcy late last year after burning through more than $2 billion in funding.
  • Katerra’s fall marks the most high-profile failure for SoftBank since the failed 2019 WeWork IPO.
  • Opinion: Sometime you see that X company has so much funding you are not able to catch up. But in slow industries such as construction that is not great advantage

Readings

How to scale a deeptech company (sifted.eu)

  • Most new tech companies scale using the lean startup model: create a minimum viable product and then incrementally improve it. This tends to work best for consumer or software businesses, but it’s much more difficult when it comes to deeptech.
  • Given how hard it is to find the first customers for deeptech startups, it can be tempting to agree to build bespoke solutions. You don’t want to become a consulting service, solving one niche problem at a time.
  • A brutal reality of deeptech is that superior tech won’t always win out. Big corporations can have long and complex procurement cycles and may not have the flexibility to incorporate you.

Graph - IRR of selected asset classes throughout years