Top 10 most read stories of the year

The pandemic dominated the headlines, but some of our top stories of the year dealt with other issues, such as diversity and inclusion, and a couple of fundraising scoops.

Outside of our special projects (Rising Stars and the VCJ 50), here were the top read stories online in 2020.

#1

Merus Capital co-founder Peter Hsing passes away

Venture Capital Journal met Hsing and the rest of the Merus Capital founding team at the beginning of the year as they were gearing up to launch a fundraise and expand the partnership. Hsing then passed away in July at the age of 51, having collapsed while playing tennis a few days earlier.

#2

The family office VC boom

Family office advisor Wendy Craft told VCJ the pandemic was accelerating interest in VC among family offices, which she said make for great LPs and particularly attentive investors.

#3

How proptech is built to last

VCJ began to delve into what seemed like one of the hottest sectors around, pre-pandemic. Our report found that proptech had grown by 160x over the past decade and was on course to continue maturing as covid hit – and investors say the emerging sector could power through a downturn.

#4

Jay-Z’s 99 problems (VC ain’t one)

VCJ broke the news via a February regulatory filling that entertainer Jay-Z had raised $85 million from 54 investors for the debut fund of Marcy Venture Partners in San Francisco. Managers of the fund include Larry Marcus from Walden Venture Capital.

#5

VC finally on the map in Europe

Europe’s venture and start-up ecosystem has made big strides in the past decade, and a record amount of investment has produced a bevy of billion-dollar companies. We took a look at the institutional investors and who’s buying in.

#6

Vice Ventures sees its thesis play out amid coronavirus outbreak

In late March, we reported how demand for sextech, gambling and cannabis products began to skyrocket when lockdowns started, thus proving out the thesis for Vice Ventures, founded by Catherine Dockery.

#7

Singapore’s Monk’s Hill Ventures wraps up second fund with expanded LPs

In early March, we were the first worldwide to report that Monk’s Hill Ventures raised $100 million to invest in early-stage tech companies in South-East Asia. Main investor Temasek was joined by a mix of US and international LPs.

#8

Paul Holland joins Mach 49 to focus on helping CVCs

Paul Holland, who produced the documentary “Something Ventured” about the early days of VC in Silicon Valley, told us at the start of the year that after two decades as a GP, he joined the accelerator Mach49 as managing director and VC-in-residence to work with CVCs on their new venture operations. Update: in September, Next 15 acquired Mach49.

#9

A new tool for LPs that measures GP diversity

As more firms push to re-examine the diversity of their portfolios, we reported on how Lenox Park Solutions of Austin rolled out a software tool used by some major LPs, such as Greenspring Associates, CalPERS and NY Common, to measure diversity, equity and inclusion.

#10

Zoom diligence and securing deals when you’ve never met

As more venture firms became accustomed to meeting over Zoom and receiving virtual pitches, they found clever ways to verify their investments and learning about their founders.