August 9, 2020
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Extra Crunch Live: Join Playground Global co-founder Peter Barrett for a live Q&A on July 28 – TechCrunch

How one moonshot VC approaches investing in the COVID-19 era  – TechCrunch

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One look in the Playground Global portfolio, and the theme arises: the firm’s investment is a long-term, future-oriented game, a strategy that contradicts the quick-return principle that permeates certain sectors of Silicon Valley.

Palo Alto-based VC is betting on the future by investing in capital-intensive and technically demanding tasks, including robotics, autonomous driving, metal 3D printing and infrastructure. This is an investment strategy that is not for the faint of heart.

So how is the futurist firm dealing with the current devastation of COVID-19? This looks to the future, of course.

When the co-founder and CTO Peter Barrett By joining TechCrunch this week for group Extra Crunch Live, the pandemic dominated the conversation. The executive noted that in the course of numerous discussions between Playground executives and the startups in which he invested, a new common theme emerged.

Priorities are shifting towards finding ways to be useful.

Things are different these days. Recent months have prompted many in Silicon Valley to rethink their investment priorities, roll up their figurative sleeves and begin the process of survival of the world, and eventually bounce back from the seemingly endless COVID-19 pandemic. Like many others, Playground finds itself at a crossroads – defining how it can be useful and exploring ways to overcome such a crisis.

“One thing that highlights this pandemic is the realization that we need to do other things if we want to avoid being stuck inside for six months to a year,” Barrett said. “The biggest trend is recognizing that we need to make investments that give us leeway in our biology and build tools and infrastructure so the disease parade behind COVID will not have the same impact as COVID-19. It has “.

The pandemic has also prompted people to think about what they want to do with their lives, Barrett said, suggesting that the phenomenon could affect which startups emerge during this period, as well as which venture capitalists choose to invest in.

“If you’re an entrepreneur, I think the dating app looks less attractive than it contributes in any way,” Barrett said, adding that entrepreneurs are looking at areas that “put us in a position where we really don’t gotta get stuck. ” inside because of a certain kilobase virus. “

Playground has several startups that may offer some support, as does the nature of the firm’s trend towards long runways. However, most of them seem to have more opportunity to think about how we can prepare for the inevitability of some future pandemic rather than the one we are currently grappling with. Click to read the highlights and watch a video of our entire conversation.

The near term of the game

Playgrounds portfolio is mixing of company which the are building things on the longer terms that have capital and patience in Weather this Pandemic, Barrett said.

However, in the short term, there are categories of companies that have the opportunity to be useful and develop their business.


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