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"We're bullish on tech"

Backbay Communications in association with SuperReturn interviewed Steven Yang, Adveq about where he sees opportunities in venture capital and technology.

Steven Yang is the Executive Director at Adveq where he leads the global venture and growth investment practice. Before joining Adveq in 2007, Steven served as a portfolio manager at Beagle Limited, a family office, where he managed a portfolio of private equity partnerships, hedge funds, and direct investments in early stage technology companies. Steven began his professional career in finance at Welch Capital Partners as an analyst focusing on investments in enterprise hardware/software and telecom equipment/services.

In regards to the alternative investment space, Adveq has several distinguishing features:

  • 100% focus on private equity (venture/growth, buyout, turnaround);
  • Truly global team (over 20 nationalities) with global presence and investment activity;
  • “Adveq Labs” data science initiative that has developed proprietary data science and artificial intelligence tools that support the investment process; and
  • Strong performance over strategies and regions for over the last 10 years.

Private Equity SuperReturn

Where do you see the most significant opportunities today for limited partners seeking investments in venture and technology?

In my view, early stage is most attractive stage to invest in, especially when you look at capital flow balance in terms of dollars invested vs. dollar raised. In the last 10 years we’ve seen no capital overhang.

We are still bullish on tech, but also believe healthcare to be as equally attractive of an area because capital flow into this segment is even more modest with less than a dozen active early stage focused healthcare venture capital firms. We like to invest in segments where there is capital scarcity. Our healthcare managers have proven to be able to drive outsized returns by investing in companies that are developing the next blockbuster drugs.

What do you see as promising new technologies for possible investment?

One emerging area is artificial intelligence and machine learning which could transform many industries ranging from finance, healthcare, retail, agriculture, energy, transportation, and manufacturing.

Finally, bio-engineering – the combination of technology and biology – where we are starting to see our GPs make a handful of investments. In particular, bio-engineering could significantly improve drug discovery and drug development at significantly lower cost as well as provide a more effective approach to early screening of diseases.

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