Lightspeed Venture Partners October Newsletter

Lightspeed Venture Partners

Welcome to the October 2023 edition of the Lightspeed newsletter. Our theme for this edition is Game Changers and Legends, as we release our first-ever annual list celebrating and accelerating extraordinary startups in gaming & interactive technology.

We’ve also launched a new podcast series – Generative Now – featuring AI visionaries, hosted more Generative AI meetups in new locations, including across Europe, and welcomed the newest Founders Lightspeed is building with – one of whom is already a Legend, and all of whom are Game Changers in their own fields. Let’s go:

Founders Mike Rosenthal and John Legend

For over twenty years Lightspeed has been the first investor and an early backer of some of the most innovative companies in the world. In service of bold founders with big ideas, we stand behind our companies with high conviction, from Seed to Series F and beyond.

We’re newly building with three startups that share a key principle for Lightspeed: meeting customers where they are, with exactly what they want. Read more about Yaysay, Farther, and why Grammy-winning artist John Legend wants to share two words with you: It’s Good.

The most daring companies are not the industry giants—they're the startups that are advancing the next stages of technology, and by extension, bringing to life previously impossible user experiences. That's why we partnered with GamesBeat to honor a new breed of gaming companies. Our first list of 25 winners was announced on October 24th at the GamesBeat Next event in San Francisco. Read more about them, including the winners recognized in five individual categories.

When Lightspeed launched the Generative AI event series, we did so with a mission to serve the community of AI product builders, and provide a forum for exchanging ideas, sharing insights, and building connections.

The appetite for these conversations is only growing as the generative AI space continues its Cambrian moment of explosion. That’s why we’re proud to announce the launch of Generative Now, a podcast about this moment in AI, featuring conversations between Lightspeed partner Michael Mignano and more of the same high caliber guests that are shaping the future of AI, like Victor Riparbelli, Connor Zwick, Scott Belsky, and more to come. Subscribe on your favorite podcast service:

Partner Alex Kayyal leads Lightspeed’s focus on SaaS investments, and knows how “insanely difficult” it is to build in the space. Lately he’s been focused on understanding how generative AI will transform enterprise software platforms, which we believe will mark a new era: SaaS 4.0. Alex has expanded on his first post with five key concepts for founders to focus on right now. Read more:

We’re pleased to announce that Aaron Frank has joined our team as a Venture Partner, helping drive our Fintech investment strategies. Aaron is a former operator who founded Final, a next generation credit card acquired by Goldman Sachs that went on to become the foundation of the Apple Card. Read about his mission with Lightspeed here:

Generative Paris with Thomas Scialom, Guillaume Lample, and Antoine Moyroud.

Lightspeed continues to gather together AI operators and visionaries for our in-person meetup series. Check out these recaps of recent events featuring leaders and builders at Snowflake, LLaMa 2, Mistral, and Tome:

The Generative series’ European expansion continues, with a meetup in Berlin on October 7th, where partner Alex Schmitt will be in conversation with Ting Wang, Director of ML & AI at Wayfair, and Marc Klingen, Co-Founder of Langfuse. Learn more and sign up here.

We sat down with some of our Founders to hear about their challenges, successes, why they started their businesses, and why they chose to partner with Lightspeed. In this edition, meet Shlomo Kramer, CEO of Cato Networks.

Thanks for Reading

We are grateful for your partnership and support, and welcome any feedback you have. We’ll see you next month with more news, insights, and updates!

–Team Lightspeed