Shifting landscapes: Looking back to look forward
Entrepreneur magazine|January 2021
Since 1990, TSVC’s Partners have witnessed Silicon Valley go through three down cycles prior to 2020.
CHUN XIA

Each time was different, however, this time proved to be the most unexpected. Many famed VC firms froze their checkbooks for at least three months, no longer doing new deals as the world was facing an entirely unknown future.

Like everyone else, we faced the same uncertainties. But we are specialized in writing the first check to seed-stage startups, as we need to spot opportunities earlier than other investors. That’s why we worked full gear to identify true innovations created by the pandemic.

Despite needing to pivot and adjust, it has been a successful year. Over the course of 2020, we experienced two lines of business development, one line that needed to adapt to the impact of COVID-19, and the other that didn’t. This trajectory mostly depended on the nature of the business of our portfolio companies. Some new investments benefited from the pandemic while others did not. For new deals, we also asked startups to prepare for a longer runway; and to support our existing portfolio companies, we hosted a round-table session to let founders share tips on government aid and cost-cutting.

With support, determination and smart business decisions, many of our portfolio companies have managed to successfully navigate the pandemic, and some, such as Zoom, Lambda School, Opentrons, Tippsy, Avoma and CITCON, have grown tremendously.

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