How one moonshot VC approaches investing within the COVID-19 period

Playground World CTO Peter Barrett: ‘A dating app appears less appealing than contributing in some formula’

Contain one stare upon Playground World’s portfolio and a theme emerges: The company’s investments are forward-having a gaze, longer-timeframe plays, a methodology that runs counter to the posthaste-return ethos that permeates clear Silicon Valley sectors.
The Palo Alto-based mostly entirely VC company is banking on the long term with investments in capital-intensive and technically advanced pursuits, along with robotics, independent riding, metallic 3D printing and infrastructure. It’s an funding contrivance that isn’t for the faint of heart.
So, how does a company that embraces futurism take care of the display-day disruption of COVID-19? It appears ahead, for sure.
When co-founder and CTO Peter Barrett joined TechCrunch this week for an Extra Crunch Stay panel, the pandemic dominated the conversation. The manager famed that a brand new and worn thread has emerged for the length of the moderately a few discussions among Playground executives and the startups in which it has invested.
Priorities are shifting toward discovering ways to be of provider.
Every little thing feels varied in this deadline. Recent months comprise resulted in many in Silicon Valley to rethink their funding priorities, roll up their figurative sleeves and delivery the direction of of serving to the sector survive and, sooner or later, salvage higher from the seemingly unending COVID-19 pandemic. Worship many others, Playground finds itself at a crossroads — figuring out how it will doubtless be of provider, whereas inspecting the ways in which a crisis devour this may per chance well wisely be addressed.
“One ingredient that underscores this pandemic is a realization that we want to be doing other issues if we want to steer clear of being caught interior for six months to a one year,” Barrett acknowledged. “The supreme model is a recognition that we want to salvage the investments that give us company over our biology, and to construct the tooling and infrastructure, so the parade of maladies which is within the help of COVID obtained’t comprise the same consequences that COVID-19 has.”
The pandemic has also pushed of us to ponder on what they wish to form with their lives, Barrett acknowledged, suggesting that this phenomenon may per chance have an effect on which startups emerge from this period as wisely as what enterprise capitalists desire to put money into.
“Whenever you’re an entrepreneur, I possess a dating app appears less appealing than contributing in some formula,” Barrett acknowledged, along with that entrepreneurs are having a stare upon areas that “place us ready the establish we in fact don’t ought to be caught interior due to a thirty kilobase virus.”
Playground has a series of startups that are in arrangement to provide some give a boost to, even supposing, as is the persona of the company’s tendency toward prolonged runways. Most, alternatively, appear higher positioned to comprise in mind how we can put collectively ourselves for the inevitability of some future pandemic, in preference to the one we’re currently struggling with. Click via to read the highlights and gape a video with our whole conversation.
Nearer timeframe plays
Playground’s portfolio is a mix of companies that are constructing issues on a longer timescale that comprise the capital and patience to climate this pandemic, Barrett acknowledged.
Alternatively, within the contrivance timeframe, there are courses of companies which comprise an opportunity to be of provider and grow their enterprise.

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