Balderton’s Chandratillake doffs his cap to Clubhouse, says enterprise audio is next – ClearTips

Balderton’s Chandratillake doffs his cap to Clubhouse, says enterprise audio is next – ClearTips

Suranga Chandrilatke has (almost) seen it all. After being the initial CTO for Autonomy, he found the Blinks video search engine in 2004, long ago many thought we would need one as well. He catapulted the company to the San Francisco and American markets, eventually IPO’ing blinkx for over $ 1 billion. Returning to Europe, he joined Balderton Capital, one of Europe’s top-tier VCs, and invested in many of Europe’s hot startups. As part of ClearTips Disrupt 2020, we caught up with him.

Last year Balderton raised a $ 400 million fund. But is the fund being changed in this way because of COVID-19?

“In many ways, nothing has changed,” he said. “We’ve been a focused pan-European patriarch for 20 years … if anything, I think COVID-19 has demonstrated how technology can help us overcome various challenges, and I mean That all the work from household stuff… it really has to be. Strange, not being able to spend time in person with [entrepreneurs] Those people… but the overall strategy to invest in technology in Europe, is exactly the same as it was before. “

Although it is not so easy. For example, Balderton invested 20 million euros in car rental startups. And travel is not a great area right now.

Chandratilake admitted, “We have a few industries this year.” However, he said they had “a difficult April and May, but they had a truly spectacular August” as the holidays returned.

“I would say that the biggest and biggest [startups] Has navigated quite well. “He said that European governments have placed funds to support tech companies, and of course, other areas of technology have sprung up.

During the pandemic lockdown, many consumers jumped into virtual networking through apps such as Zoom And Houseparty, but Balderton made a small investment in a Steph-mode startup called Riff, which is using audio in a new way, not unlike the club house. He indicated that it would be an enterprise-play on audio.

“Funny enough, the closest to it right now is Discord which is obviously already a big network, but is actually a very vertical app aimed at gamers … but I think it has a similar There is an opportunity to do something in the enterprise. The way Slack, you know, consumer messaging has got its initial signs. [such as] From whatsapp or facebook Messenger. I think we will see a similar thing where the enterprise gets something that we have seen in consumer products. “

He added that Riff “solves the classic cliche of watercoolers when you bump into someone in the office and chat, and it’s really hard to do that in this new reality.”

He also said that Zoom’s collets have interesting sub-markets “that need to be worked on as well.” Baldton invested in a company called Demodesk (a cloud-based screen sharing platform), which, for example, “webinars and sales meetings and that type of specific type of interaction, where the requirements are slightly different.”

Chandriltech believes that the world will have to live with COVID-19 for many years, but that new solutions will emerge to reduce: “Whatever will help you stay more connected to your colleagues and your colleagues, That’s interesting from the chancellor’s point of view, isn’t it? “

In the context of diversity issues thrown by the Black Lives Matter movement, Balderton has supported initiatives such as the Diversity VC in Europe.

“If you’ve got a more diversified venture capital industry, they will start returning more founders doing more diverse work, and it will naturally promote. This is really important to me and is a big part of what we have focused on….

“In the last three years, we have hired more women than men in the investment team. We recently hired our first female general partner directly at the firm … three more people of color in partnership. So it will start changing where it should be, but I think it is one of these things where you have to fight on many fronts. “

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