We’ve always been mystified by the 3i technology VC practice. For those that don’t know 3i is a fairly large VC firm based in England.Â We first ran into them in the 90’s as they were funding a company we were taking public.
The weird thing was that 3i looked at early stage technology deals without any deep expertise or connections in the industry.Â In some cases the partner on a technology deal was the same one sitting on the board of a dairy company.
Admittedly we come from a galaxy far away where technology investments, especially at the early stages, are built upon long-term vision, management ability and product management capabilities.Â
But given that 3i is a large and successful firm we wondered if maybe our view of technology investing was missing something.Â Over the course of the next ten years we couldn’t find it even after meeting again with some 3i partners in the technology space.
Finally we see that the world is the place we thought it was.Â 3i has announced that they are exiting the early stage technology VC space.Â This also comes at a time when the global market seems to have developed quite a bit.Â Silicon Valley may still be a hotspot but the northeast has been pretty robust and everyone is noting how well the technology development market has been in Israel lately.
Nobody says one doesn’t want a real business focus once technology development reaches a certain stage.Â But at the beginning of the cycle it’s important to be looking at future rather than current markets.
— Kris Tuttle