Peter Barrett, CTO of Playground Global: "A dating app looks less appealing than making a contribution in any way."
Take a look There is one theme in Playground Global's portfolio: The company's investments are forward-looking, longer-term games, a strategy that contradicts the ethos of quick return that pervades certain Silicon Valley sectors.
The VC company, based in Palo Alto, is focusing on the future and invests in capital-intensive and technically complex activities such as robotics, autonomous driving, metallic 3D printing and infrastructure. It is an investment strategy that is not for the faint of heart.
How does a company that is committed to futurism deal with today's disruption of COVID-19? Of course it looks ahead.
As co-founder and CTO Peter Barrett came to theinformationsuperhighway this week to participate in an extra crunch live panel. The pandemic dominated the conversation. The executive noted that a new and common thread had formed in the numerous discussions between Playground executives and the startups in which they invested.
The priorities are shifting towards finding ways to be useful.
Everything feels different these days. In recent months, many in Silicon Valley have rethought their investment priorities, rolled up their figure sleeves, started helping the world survive, and finally recovering from the seemingly endless COVID-19 pandemic. Like many others, Playground is at a crossroads. It determines how it can be useful and examines how such a crisis can be tackled.
"One thing that underscores this pandemic is the realization that if we want to avoid being stuck inside for six months to a year, we have to do other things," said Barrett. "The biggest trend is the realization that we need to make the investments that give us control over our biology and build the tools and infrastructure so that the parade of diseases behind COVID doesn't have the same consequences as COVID-19 has. "
The pandemic has also made people think about what they want to do with their lives, Barrett said, suggesting that this phenomenon could affect which startups emerge from this period and which venture capitalists are investing in.
"If you're an entrepreneur, I think a dating app looks less appealing than contributing in any way," said Barrett, adding that entrepreneurs are looking at areas that "put us in a position where." we really don't have to get stuck inside because of a 30 kilobase virus. "
Playground has a number of startups that are able to provide support, as well as the nature of the company's tendency towards long runways. However, most seem to be better positioned to consider how we can prepare for the inevitability of a future pandemic rather than the one we are currently fighting. Click through to read the highlights and watch a video of our entire conversation.
Short term games
playground Portfolio is a Mix from Companies The are building Things on a longer Time scale that to have the Capital and patience to Weather This Pandemic, said Barrett.
In the short term, however, there are categories of companies that have the ability to serve and grow their businesses.