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May 17, 2022

Very Good Ventures: Why We Invested

Very Good Ventures: Why We Invested

Digital Transformation is top of mind for business leaders across all sectors. In the last 12 months alone, U.S. public companies have mentioned it on their earnings calls over 1,800 times. Yet, several factors are causing companies to struggle meeting their ambitious goals, including dealing with legacy, resource-intensive technology stacks, as well as difficulty hiring quality engineers in a competitive labor market.

Companies rise to the top of their industry with a defined culture and set of practices, which can clash with the rapidly evolving landscape of agile software development. To further compound the problem, customer expectations for digital interfaces are constantly rising. Even digital native companies are discovering the challenges of delivering a consistent experience across operating systems and platforms when consumers have come to expect a world-class user experience.

These are the problems that bring many companies to the door of Very Good Ventures, who just announced their Series A fundraise, supported by Celesta.

As deep tech investors, we back companies that build their businesses around differentiated knowledge. Typically at Celesta, this is monetized via hardware, patented IP that can be licensed, or software delivered as a service – but value can also be created through a service delivery model.

Very Good Ventures (“VGV”) is an application development consultancy and market-leading expert in the open-source SDK Flutter. The Flutter toolkit, released by Google in 2017, enables developers to build and deliver applications across mobile, web, desktop, and embedded apps from a single codebase. This is a game-changer for companies, freeing them from managing separate web, iOS, and Android applications, teams, and resources.

Flutter is not the first cross-platform framework, but it is the clear winner because of performance and developer-friendliness. Flutter has rapidly become one of the open-source projects with the most engagement, surpassing other cross-platform frameworks like React Native in many major benchmarks, such as GitHub commits. Both digital-native, disruptive companies like Betterment and industry stalwarts like Toyota have a pressing need for high-quality engineers and software with inherent competitive advantages – as clients of VGV, they get access to both.

As deep tech investors, Celesta backs companies that build their businesses around differentiated knowledge. If you look across the Celesta portfolio, you will see this is typically monetized via hardware, patented IP that can be licensed, or software delivered as a service – but value can also be created through a service delivery model.

IT and Product leaders seeking development services have traditionally faced two options when they need to augment their engineering volume or velocity: either the perceived “safe bet” of a big brand name such as Deloitte or the resource efficiency of casting a line overseas for an outsourced provider. VGV offers customers more than just manpower to throw at problems. Clients partner with VGV because they can closely integrate their internal teams with Flutter experts and learn best practices forged over many engagements.

In performing our due diligence for this investment, we focused on one main question: are Very Good Ventures truly best-in-class for Flutter?

First, they are enmeshed with the history with Flutter. Very Good Ventures built the first commercial flutter app outside Google, the first Flutter desktop app, and the first Flutter web prototype. They are also recognized by Google as leaders in Flutter. VGV has the highest concentration of Google Development Experts of any organization and Google is a customer of VGV. Even consulting giants like Accenture will partner with VGV for projects in need of world-class Flutter expertise.

The app for the musical Hamilton was the first major commercial Flutter app, built by the VGV team.

Ultimately though, it’s up to the customer. We spoke to VGV’s customers and heard a consistent story in how they came to be a client: their development project was strategically important, they decided Flutter was the best framework, they asked around to find out who was the best at Flutter, and there was one clear answer: Very Good Ventures.

VGV will not always be defined by its Flutter expertise. As they grow, they will add capabilities outside app development and Flutter. They will also expand their product offering, building on their initial product Very Good Start. However, like most great companies, they are developing a culture and standard of excellence in this initial practice area that will serve them well as they expand in the future. Read more here from the VGV team about where they're headed next following this series A investment.

With VGV, Celesta invested in a passionate team with differentiated capabilities, focused on a rapidly growing market.

We could not be more excited to see where they go next.

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