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Popular "Venture Capital" Stations

Fundraising Radio | Startups | Venture Capital | Angel Investing Fundraising Radio is the largest podcast about fundraising for early stage startups in the US. We focus on helping founders understand how they can raise the first institutional round outside of friends and family. How to appeal to investors and how to make sure that they see in your company what you see there.
We interview experienced founders who sold their companies in the past and raised hundreds of millions, we talk with active angels, managers of rolling funds, corporate venture capitalists and more. If you want to raise money for your young company, you came to the right place!
The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch The Twenty Minute VC (20VC) interviews the world's greatest venture capitalists with prior guests including Sequoia's Doug Leone and Benchmark's Bill Gurley. Once per week, 20VC Host, Harry Stebbings is also joined by one of the great founders of our time with prior founder episodes from Spotify's Daniel Ek, Linkedin's Reid Hoffman, and Snowflake's Frank Slootman.

If you would like to see more of The Twenty Minute VC (20VC), head to www.20vc.com for more information on the podcast, show notes, resources and more.
Venture Unlocked: The playbook for venture capital managers. Venture Unlocked is the playbook for starting, operating, & scaling a successful venture capital firm. Samir Kaji, Host of Venture Unlocked has +20-years of experience assisting & advising startups and venture firms. Listen for VC fund guidance. ventureunlocked.substack.com
The Consumer VC: Venture Capital I B2C Startups I Commerce | Early-Stage Investing The Consumer VC takes a look into early-stage consumer investing and venture capital. If you are interested in learning about consumer trends, have a b2c business and interested in learning about the fundraising process at the early stage, you have come to the right place. 
Mike interviews some of the top venture capitalists in the world that focus on B2C and consumer type companies or have a deep track record investing in these categories such as marketplaces, SaaS, social, CPG and non-tech subscription. 
Mike also interviews founders that are building some of the most disruptive consumer facing companies in the world. The conversation usually includes the insight the founder discovered, fundraising strategy, and the pitch.This podcast also includes bonus episodes. Each bonus episode dives into a particular subject that might not have to due with the fundraise or venture capital, but still would be helpful to founders. For example, a bonus episode on brand strategy or how to construct a board of directors. A
The Desi VC: Indian Venture Capital | Angel Investors | Startups | VC The Desi VC is a weekly podcast hosted by Akash Bhat, devoted to interviewing angel investors and venture capitalists investing in tech startups in India across all sectors and of all check sizes.
Tune in to hear India's leading investors discuss current trends in venture capital and touch upon topics such as fund-raising, valuation, pricing, business models, exit scenarios, sustainable investing among others.
About the host: Akash Bhat works on the investment team at Scrum Ventures, a San Francisco based sector agnostic VC firm investing in Seed and Series A startups. Follow him on Twitter - @bhatvakash or visit https://www.thedesivc.com
Women in Venture Capital Join us as we engage with women, from analysts to partners, establishing their presence in the venture capital industry and male counterparts lending a hand. Let's talk networking, recruiting, culture, trends, investment opportunities, female funding and breaking into the boys' club.
LA Venture | Venture Capital | VC David Waxman and Minnie Ingersoll are partners and investors at TenOneTen, an early stage venture fund in LA. They talk with LA based VCs and friends about the rapidly growing Los Angeles tech scene.
Venture Capital A podcast about venture capital, and what is happening each week. We discuss who is getting funded. Why specific companies were funded and much more relating to who the next big unicorn will be.
The Puck: Venture Capital and Beyond The Puck: Venture Capital & Beyond showcases the …
Distilling Venture Capital Host Bill Griesinger brings an informed, unbiased and unique historical perspective to the venture capital and high-tech world. Drawing on over 20 years in venture finance, working with tech companies and venture capitalists, he offers an unfiltered and transparent view of the venture capital & high-tech universe.

Popular "Venture Capital" Playlists

Psychology Of: Money If you're looking to learn more about money but don't know where to start, this is just the place for you. Take an in-depth look at the psychology of money to discover the behavioral aspects of money, how the stress of money can affect your health, turning your passions into profit, and more. Vurbl World of Finance: Earnings, Education, Opinion
Business News Keeping an eye on the latest and greatest discussions in business ITN Live
Marketing to Millennials Marketing to Millennials.

Hi, this is Coach Dan Gordon from Dan Gordon Enterprise, the coach's coach, the entrepreneur’s entrepreneur, and the verbal ambassador. Welcome to my playlist Marketing to Millenials.

Oh to the Em to the Gee, how do we market to the people who born between 1981 – 1996? They’re not little kids anymore. They got money. So what fires them up? What inspires them to make purchases? How do we market to people with values that don’t value our valuables? Uch.
Well, you have to understand that millennials love to challenge the status quo. They like resolving conflicts and feeling connected. They love technology and anything that has to do with change and growth. They are free-thinking, creative, and have a passion for learning. And most of all. They know. That buying lots of stuff isn’t going to make them happy.
Dan Gordon Enterprise
Audio from the Leading Black Entrepreneurs, Tech Leaders, and VC's Listen to some of the most influential black industry leaders and investors share their secrets to success and what motivated them along the way.

These innovators built multi-million and multi-billion dollar empires with their original ideas and keen business strategy. However, their achievements didn’t come without adversity. Learn how they developed their approach to overcoming obstacles and achieving success.
Vurbl Business & Technology Audio: Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Industry Trends & More
Best Podcasts About NFTs NFT’s, or non-fungible tokens, have taken the tech world by storm as a new and exciting way to digitally own a wide array of different assets. NFT’s can range from typical consumer goods such as art and music to more obscure items like a really good tweet or even a share of land. Hence, just about anyone can make an NFT and sell it. Listen to these podcasts to learn everything you need to know about NFT’s from experts in the field, including digital artists, savvy techies, and business moguls like Paris Hilton. Vurbl Business & Technology Audio: Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Industry Trends & More
Amplify Your Business [Marketing, Mindset, Messaging, Authority & More] A playlist to share some entrepreneurs, podcasts, and audio that will help YOU become a highly paid authority.

I love sharing tips to do with:
-marketing
-podcasting
-mindset
-leadership
-attracting your ideal client
-collaborating
-increasing sales
-funnels

And more.

Of course I have more resources and tips at https://melaniebenson.com/

Every business is at a different stage in their evolution. Whether your priority is boosting cash flow, dialing in your messaging to attract your ideal client, or clarity for confidence and momentum, my programs will help align your business with your superpower, become a highly paid expert in your industry and be the GO-TO authority where opportunities flood in.

I hope this playlist, and my resources and programs help you achieve your dreams faster! Melanie
Amplify Your Success
Deep Dive: Elon Musk Enjoy interviews, reports, and biographical retellings of the story of Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX. As an entrepreneur and business magnate, Musk has quite a lot to say about the future of technology. Learn about the story of Elon Musk and then listen to interviews about his business aspirations and where he thinks humanity should be heading. Vurbl Business & Technology Audio: Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Industry Trends & More
Solana Ecosystem All things Solana is what you can expect to hear and learn about on this particular playlist. Solana is a blockchain that gets compared to Ethereum with it having fast speeds along with low gas/transaction fees. There's a plethora of projects that I will be covering and following. Grow the Solana bag is the main objective. ‎Cryptomillionaire Journey
Cryptocurrency for Beginners Wondering where to start when it comes to Bitcoin, Web3, the blockchain, and cryptocurrency audio? Don't worry, we've listened to thousands of hours of crypto podcasts to find you the perfect starting place for everything crypto. When you're finished with this playlist, you'll not only know what Bitcoin is, but you'll understand the metaverse, NFTs, wallets, and how the blockchain works for in the world of decentralized everything. Vurbl Business & Technology Audio: Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Industry Trends & More
The Best of Crypto, Blockchain, and NFTs Listen to the best crypto, blockchain, and web 3.0 audio on the web. These are the stories, influential people, and daily breakdowns that help shape the world of cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, NFTs, ledgers, and exchanges. Vurbl Business & Technology Audio: Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Industry Trends & More

All "Venture Capital" Audio

20VC: Investing Lessons from Fred Wilson and Why Small Funds Outperform Large Funds | Why the Secret to Winning in Venture is Splitting Deals |Learnings From the Biggest Hits and Biggest Losses | Why Anyone That Always Does Their Pro-Rata is Wrong with Mo Mo Koyfman is the Founder and General Partner @ Shine Capital, who announced earlier this year Shine II, a $200M early-stage fund, and Shine Opportunities I, a $100M vehicle. Prior to founding Shine, Mo was the Managing Member @ Moko Brands where he made angel investments in Coinbase, Polychain, Harry's to name a few. Before Moko, Mo spent over 7 years as a General Partner @ Spark Capital where he made investments in Plaid, Warby Parker, Skillshare and Hivemapper, to name a few. Finally prior to Spark, Mo spent over 5 years at IAC where he oversaw group of companies that included Connected Ventures, parent of Vimeo, CollegeHumor & BustedTees. In Today's Episode with Mo Koyfman: 1.) From Entrepreneurial Parents to IAC, Spark Capital and Founding Shine: How did Mo make his way into the world of venture having worked with Dara Khros, Barry Diller and Jeremy Liew? What were some of the biggest takeaways from his time with Barry Diller and IAC? How did Mo's time at Spark impact his investing mindset? What did he learn that he took with him to founding Shine? 2.) Investment Firm vs Investment Partnership: What are the biggest differences between investment firms and investment partnerships? What are the biggest risks founders are taking when they take money from investment firms? Mo has very strong beliefs, how does he manage and inspire debates within his firm without shutting down or intimidating younger, less experienced team members? What does Mo mean when he says, "firms are great but partners matter". 3.) How To Win in Venture: Why does Mo always believe that small funds outperform large funds? What have been some of Mo's biggest lessons from Fred Wilson on fund strategy and sizing? How much of an emphasis does Mo place on the importance of ownership? Why does Mo believe the way to win in venture is to be collaborative? Why does Mo believe in the macro conditions we are entering, the landscape is about to become a lot more collaborative? Why does Mo believe any firm that says they will always do their pro rata is lying? 4.) The Lessons: Success and Failure: What are some of Mo's biggest lessons from his biggest wins, like Plaid at seed? That said, why does Mo believe it is so dangerous to try and learn lessons from the wins? What failures have been most impactful to Mo? What did he take away from them? Why does Mo believe that making great burgers is like building great companies? Items Mentioned in Today's Episode: Mo's Favourite Book: Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth
Ollie Forsyth (Antler) - The New Creator Economy, Web3 and what social platforms are most vulnerable right now Our guest today is Ollie Forsyth, Global Community Manager and Investor at Antler. The global venture capital firm enabling and investing in the world's most exceptional people from the earliest stages. Ollie recently published a piece called “The New Creator Economy: A guide on Web3 creator platforms”. We focus our conversation on his learnings while researching this paper and as you can imagine the future of the creator economy and Web3.
Mike Asem (M25) - Why the midwest the perfect place to launch and invest in consumer startups, diversity report insights and creating a VC board game Our guest today is Mike Asem, General Partner of M25. M25 is an early-stage venture firm based in Chicago, investing solely in companies headquartered in the Midwest. We discuss what movie got intrigued by venture capital, what’s misunderstood about investing in the midwest and the consumer landscape in that region, and his learnings since publishing M25 diversity report. Without further ado, here’s Mike
What was your attraction to entrepreneurship and venture capital?
How did you found M25? What’s your thesis?Was in the nano space
Purdue research foundation
Worked with portfolio companies
Angel portfolio
Established yourself as a former

Many tech VCs have steered clear from investing in consumer brands. Why do you still think there’s an opportunity?
What makes a consumer brand interesting to you?
How do you approach looking at consumer trends and trying to understand consumer behavior?
We talk about brands that are venture-backed have to appeal to the masses and not just the top 1%. How do you measure that when you’re in due diligence?If it plays in Peoria

Lori Coulter - Summersalt
M25 releases a diversity report. Can you explain the origins of how this began and what it includes?
What’s your outlook as well for Chicago as a venture ecosystem and the midwest?
What’s your thesis around consumer healthcare?
Why did you decide to create Unicorn to the Moon?
What’s one thing you would change about venture capital?
What’s one book that’s inspired you personally and one book that’s inspired you professionally?Eboys - Benchmarks early days
E79: Abhishek Goenka (RPSG Capital Ventures) Abhishek Goenka is the Head & CIO at RPSG Capital Ventures, a corporate venture fund backed by the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group. The fund primarily invests in early-stage consumer brands in India including F&B, CPG, personal care and lifestyle goods. Abhishek brings two decades of experience across investments and M&A having spent time being part of the investments team at True North and JP Morgan. He is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Financial Analyst by qualification. In this episode, we will cover:1. Lessons learned over the last two years investing in India (3:53)2. How does RPSG Capital Ventures plan to invest in the second half of the year? (12:46)3. What aspect of the Indian consumer story drew Abhishek in? (20:33)4. Addressing and tackling the middle India opportunity (26:26)5. What factors does RSPG Capital Ventures consider when investing in startups in the early stages? (32:40)6. Tips for constructing your cap-table (44:30)7. Advice for today's entrepreneurs and those who will start businesses tomorrow (51:20)8. Where will RSPG invest in the coming year? (56:48)
20VC: Raising $60M and Not Touching a Dollar of It; The 3 Decisions That Led to a Cash-Flow Positive Business, Why Not Being Able To Fundraise in the Early Days Can Help Build Your Business & What are the First Things To Break in Scaling Orgs with Sameer Sameer Shariff is the Co-Founder and CEO @ Cambly, the company that allows you to become fluent faster through one-on-one video chat lessons with native English tutors. To date, Sameer has raised over $60M with Cambly from the best including Jeremy Levine @ Bessemer, Sarah Tavel @ Benchmark, Monashees, YC and more. Prior to founding Cambly, Sameer spent close to 5 years at Google on the Search Quality team and became the Tech Lead of the Search experiments team helping make experimentation a core part of the launch process. In Today's Episode with Sameer Sharif We Discuss: 1.) Entry into Startups and Co-Founding Cambly: How did Sameer make his way into the world of tech with his joining Google straight out of college? What were the 1-2 biggest takeaways from his time at Google? How did it shape his mindset? What was the a-ha moment for Sameer with Cambly? 2.) The Trials and Tribulations of Leadership: What does "high performance" mean to Sameer in business? How has it changed over time? What are the first things to break in a scaling company? How do the best companies retain speed and agility with scale? What are the single biggest hiring mistakes Sameer has made? What did he learn? 3.) The Fundraise that Led to Cash Flow Positive: Why does Sameer think it was so hard to fundraise for Cambly in the early days? When they failed to raise their Series A, what 3-4 core decisions did they make to get Cambly to cash flow positive as fast as possible? How did Sameer communicate their failed fundraising to the team? How did he do this in a way that rallied the troops and did not worry or scare them? What was the tipping point for fundraising to become much much easier for the company? Given they have not touched any of their Series A or Series B funds, how does Sameer think about the balance of growth vs profitability? 4.) Marketplace Dynamics 101: How did Cambly acquire the first 100 customers on the demand side? What is the most challenging dynamic of Cambly; demand or supply side? Where does Sameer see most marketplace founders make the biggest mistakes? What does Sameer know now on the intricacies of marketplace dynamics that he wishes he had known at the beginning? Items Mentioned In Today's Episode with Sameer Shariff: Sameer's Favourite Book: The Most Human Human: What Artificial Intelligence Teaches Us about Being Alive
How Lago is building Open Source Billing API for Product-Led SaaS with Anh-Tho In this episode, Anh talks about her experience building Qonto, how the Lago team pivoted the product, top marketing skills to master growth, growth channels, when to expand into new markets, angel investments, web3, the French startup ecosystem, and much more!
Charlie Hanna -- Marcy Venture Partners Marcy Venture Partners has grown from $30M to $900M AUM, now leading Series A and Series B rounds.   Charlie Hanna tells us how he, Jay-Z, Jay Brown and Larry Marcus work together at Marcy to evaluate and champion the brands of the future.  He points out that celebrities like Jay-Z and Rihanna didn't make their billions from their music, but from their ability to build brands.
20 Product: Shreyas Doshi on The Three Different Types of Product Leaders and How To Hire Them, The 6 Different Product Metrics You Need To Know and What Good is For Each of Them & Table Stakes Features vs Wow Features; What To Prioritise Shreyas Doshi is an investor, advisor, and all-around product OG. Most recently Shreyas spent over 5 years at Stripe where he was Stripe's first PM Manager and helped define and grow the Product Management function (from ~5 to more than 50 people). Before Stripe, Shreyas was a Director of Product Management @ Twitter and prior to Twitter spent over 6 years as a Group Product Manager @ Google. Today Shreyas has invested and advises some of the best including advising Airtable, Kalshi, Lendflow, to name a few. In Today's Episode with Shreyas Doshi: 1.) Entry into Product: How did Shreyas make his way into the world of product and product management? Why did Shreyas decide not to do business school when it was the conventional route for everyone going into product management? What were some of Shreyas' biggest takeaways from his time at Stripe and Google? How did they impact his product mind today? 2.) Product Management 101: How does Shreyas define product management today? How do many confuse it? How does Shreyas define product success today? What is the single biggest mistake Shreyas sees founders make when determining the success/PMF of their product? Does Shreyas believe that great product management is science or art? Data or intuition? When should you listen to customers? When should you not? 3.) Metrics 101 & How To Use Them: What is the single biggest mistake Shreyas sees founders make when it comes to selecting their North Star metric? How should founders think about input vs output metrics? What is the difference between the two? What are the 6 types of metrics that all founders and product teams need to focus on? How does their importance change over time? How should the responsibility for these metrics be split between different people and teams? 4.) Three Types of Product Leader: What are the three different types of product leaders? The Craftsperson: What is their core strength? What is their core weakness? How do they interact with the rest of the team and company? The Operator: What is their core strength? What is their core weakness? How do they interact with the rest of the team and company? The Visionary: What is their core strength? What is their core weakness? How do they interact with the rest of the team and company?
20VC: Forerunner's Kirsten Green on The Biggest Challenges Scaling Both Teams and AUM, What Truly is High Performance in Fund Management & Why Parenting and Relationships are an Enabler To Your Best Work Kirsten Green is the Founder and Managing Partner @ Forerunner Ventures, one of the leading firms of the last decade investing at the intersection of innovation and culture. As a founder, Kirsten has led efforts to raise over $2B+ from leading institutional investors and invest in more than 100 companies. She currently serves as a board member at Glossier, Ritual, Faire, Hims & Hers, and Curated, to name a few. She has also invested in other smash hits including Chime, Jet, Warby Parker, Hotel Tonight and many more. Due to her immense success, Kirsten has been honored in Time’s 100 Most Influential People and named a Top 20 Venture Capitalists by The New York Times in 2018 & 2017. Prior to Forerunner, Kirsten was an equity research analyst and investor at Banc of America Securities. In Today's Episode with Kirsten Green We Discuss: 1.) Entry in Venture at 40 and Founding Forerunner: How did Kirsten make her way into VC at 40 with the founding of Forerunner having never had a role in VC before? What did everyone tell Kirsten when she was looking to break into venture? What did she tell herself when she heard this? What does Kirsten believe she is running from? What does she believe she is running toward? 2.) Fund Management and Leadership: How does Kirsten define high-performance today? What are the nuances of high performance in fund management? How would Kirsten describe her leadership style today? How has it changed over time? What have been some of Kirsten's biggest lessons in terms of what it takes to retain quality with scaling AUM and teams? What have been Kirsten's biggest lessons when it comes to giving hard feedback with kindness? 3.) The Venture Landscape Today and Forerunner's Position: Why does Kirsten believe the venture landscape is more dynamic today than ever? Does Kirsten agree with the statement that venture is less collaborative than ever? Why did Kirsten and Forerunner seem to amend strategy and move into B2B? Why does Kirsten disagree with the delineation between B2C and B2B? 4.) Parenting, Relationships and Life: What have been Kirsten's biggest lessons since becoming a parent? How has it impacted her mindset? Does Kirsten agree that relationships attract from sheer input on work? How does Kirsten separate relationships into two kinds of relationships? What does success in marriage mean for Kirsten? How has she seen that in her own marriage?
E77: Viral Jani (EVP & India Country Head, Times Bridge) Viral Jani has been the driving force behind several challenging projects in Consumer Tech, Television Broadcasting, Digital, Social Media and Media Planning. Armed with more than 15 years of experience in media and technology, Viral plays a key role in spearheading Investment Operations at Times Bridge.A post graduate in Communications Management, Media & Brand Management from MICA, in his previous avatar, Viral has led strategy, television and entertainment partnerships for Twitter across India and worked with key strategic partners across sectors to drive innovation and monetization.Prior to Twitter, he was the Head of Strategy and Social Media for Times Television Network. Viral has also been associated with several other major media houses in India like NDTV, Disney, Viacom and Mindshare.In this episode we will cover:1. Times Bridge and its unique structure (3:12)2. When does a company approach Times Bridge (14:50)3. How does the deal flow at Times Bridge work? (18:57)4. Measuring success with Times Bridge business model (25:10)5. How does Times Bridge view competition in its portfolio? (31:30)6. The impact of the macroeconomic environment on today's investments (35:02)7. Learnings from the Times Bridge portfolio and the impact of macro trends on their Indian businesses (40:21)8. The hardest aspect about being an investor (42:42)9. Managing relationships with portfolio startups and working on the India expansion story (47:18)10. What should companies considering expanding into India know and be aware of before entering the market? (51:40)11. words of wisdom for his younger self (56:16)
E78: Madhu Shalini Iyer (Partner, Rocketship VC) Madhu Shalini Iyer is a Partner at Rocketship VC. Previously, she was the Chief Data Officer of Gojek and helped grow the business into a $1 billion unicorn. She was on the board and started the Singapore office. Prior to Gojek, Madhu was an operating partner at a 150M private equity fund building startups across South East Asia. She was part of the founding team of Intuit’s Quickbooks Lending Platform where she helped grow the platform to $300 million and holds 3 patents in the areas of user data augmented algorithms for financial inclusion.In this episode, we will cover:1. Madhu's journey from Intuit and GoJek operator to board member and investor (3:00)2. What aspect of the operator journey makes investing more pleasurable? (10:45)3. How does Rocketship VC use data science to assist in the selection of startups for investment? (18:21)4. How does data science influence Rocketship's thesis? (22:41)5. Portfolio construction constraints with a heavily data-driven model (25:32)6. Where does Rocketship stand on gut and human instinct versus data science? (30:20)7. How did Rocketship's data science-focused fund model attract LPs? (34:05)8. How does data and the Rocketship model adapt to macroeconomic trends? (42:27)9. Can data be used to assess the impact of an investment on a portfolio? (46:15)10. Why is investing so personal for Shalini (50:41)11. Advice to founders and investors (59:25)
20VC: Yahoo CEO Jim Lanzone on The Yahoo Turnaround Plan; What Needs To Happen | Leadership 101: The 4 Things To Look For When Hiring | Surviving a Crash; Biggest Advice on Cuts, Layoffs, Investor Communications Jim Lanzone is the CEO @ Yahoo, a company that today reaches nearly 900 million people around the world and is the third largest property on the Internet. Prior to Yahoo, Tim was the CEO of Tinder, the world’s most popular app for meeting new people, downloaded by more than 400 million people. Before Tinder, Jim spent a decade as President and CEO of CBS Interactive, a top 10 global Internet company with brands ranging from CBS All Access to CNET. He joined CBS Interactive in 2011 when CBS Corporation purchased Clicker Media, where he was founder and CEO. Before founding Clicker, Jim served as CEO of Ask.com (formerly Ask Jeeves). In Today's Episode with Jim Lanzone 1.) Jim's Entry into the World of Startups: How did Jim go from law school to founding his first tech startup in the dot com boom? How did seeing the crash and the first company going bust, shape Jim's perspectives on great leadership? What does Jim know now that he wishes he had known when he started way back in 1999? 2.) Leadership 101: How does Jim define "high performance" in business today? What are the 4 things Jim always looks for when hiring new people? Why does Jim believe the standard interview process and questions are broken? How does he do it differently? What are his biggest lessons on how to hire effectively? How does Jim know when to let someone go? How long do you give under-performers? 3.) Crashes and Turnarounds: Jim has seen three crashes as a CEO, what are Jim's biggest lessons from 3 prior crashes? How does Jim advise founders to be acting today? What should they focus on? How can leaders maintain morale and optimism in the face of tough macro times? How does Jim advise founders to communicate both with their investors and board when it comes to reduced performance in harder times? 4.) The Yahoo Turnaround: What does Jim believe the 1-2 core things Yahoo needs to fix is? Why are they priorities? How does Jim approach turning round the Yahoo brand? How does he plan to make it attractive? What is the biggest misnomer that people have about Yahoo today? How does Jim think about running a portfolio approach with Yahoo moving forward? How has Jim changed the org structure and management of Yahoo most significantly? Items Mentioned in Today's Episode: Jim's Favourite Book: Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
A Conversation with Lexi Novitske | General Partner @ Norrsken22 | Acuity Venture Partners | Singularity Investments | Verod Capital | SEAF | Sandler O’Neill In this episode, Lexi talks about how a long visit to the continent prompted her to explore innovation and investing in Africa and eventually moving to Nigeria. She dives into some of her key investment strategies that have helped achieve portfolio success at Acuity and themes and trends that she is excited about. Additionally, we talk about her experience with gender dynamics in African VC and her observation of how, the relatively late development of the tech and VC industry in Africa ("late mover advantage") has helped with building a more inclusive ecosystem.
The art of pre-seed investing, mitigating investment risk at this stage, and building processes to build a true venture platform with a lean team Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.On this week’s show, we are excited to be joined by Gaurav Jain, Co-Founder of Afore Capital, one of the largest pre-seed funds in the US with nearly $300MM in AUM across 3 funds. Afore says that no investment is "too early,” and very often investing in companies that are pre-product. We had a great conversation covering pre-seed investing, whether the current market should affect portfolio construction, and how they are able to execute on so many initiatives without the benefit of a large team. About Gaurav Jain:Before co-founding Afore in 2016 with Anamitra Banerji (formerly at Foundation Capital), Gaurav was a principal at one of the top-seed firms in the world in Founder Collective and prior to his investing career, he was an early Product Manager for Android Google and was a co-founder of Polar Mobile.In this episode we discuss:00:58 The inspiration for starting Afore 04:05 What is the difference between pre-seed and seed stage investments06:32 How Afore underwrites risk at the earliest stages of development10:19 The type of founders that Afore is most excited about13:03 Why storytelling is so important at the early stages of companies17:38 Why the market conditions haven’t changed Afore’s portfolio construction23:18 How they think about follow-ons and insider bridges26:58 How Afore has productized its offer with Afore Alpha31:40 How the Afore platform and community works36:48 What Gaurav’s day-to-day schedule looks like42:50 The lessons Gaurav has learned from his anti-portfolioI’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Gaurav. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit ventureunlocked.substack.com
Jeff Nobbs (Zero Acre Farms) - How he's changing cooking oil for the better On today’s episode we’re talking about cooking oils. Thank you Craig Shapiro for the introduction to our guest today is Jeff Nobbs, who is the founder and CEO of Zero Acre Farms. Zero Acre Farms is on a mission to remove destructive vegetable oils from the food system. Zero Acre Farms is an oil that’s instead made from fermentation.
Some of the questions I ask him:
When did you start to care about health and the science of nutrition?
You’ve started quite a few businesses before and you’ve been very successful. When did you start thinking about alternatives to vegetable oil?
What is the origin of vegetable oil?
How did you land on microorganisms and fermentation? What were other processes you were considering? Can you walk us through the process?
What’s been the challenging part on the R&D side? How do you think about your competitive advantage?
Why did you choose to raise $37 million? How were you able to raise it? What resonated with investors? What’s the most expensive part to Zero Acre Farms? Have you seen tech investors shift away from investing in CPG or only in CPG where there isn’t product innovation?
How do you approach the price point? With innovation comes a premium. How do you think about premium pricing vs. maximum impact?
There’s kind of a bifurcation within better for you products – do you value products that are better for the planet or products that are better for your body, It’s hard to create products that can fill both those requirements. How do you think about it since you’ve been an entrepreneur within health and wellness for a long time?
What were some of your lessons learned since you started a CPG brand before and a restaurant before that has impacted how you think and operate Zero Acre Farms?
What’s the company you most admire (Craig Shapiro asked this question)? How do they impact you?
What is the vision for Zero Acre Farms? What will be the most challenging to fulfill that vision?
What’s one book that has inspired you personally and one book that’s inspired you professionally?The Three-Body Problem
Think and Grow Rich
The History of the World

What’s the biggest piece of advice to founders?
How Inai is helping companies launch and scale a global payment stack In this episode, Anta talks about innovation in fintech on the consumer side, learning frameworks for new topics and how he constructs them, equity sharing and optimizing ESOP plans, approach to risk and decision-making, and much more!
VC Rips Apart My Pitch Deck for Appiontment.com VC rips apart a pitch deck for a very open and honest review.

Peter Harris from the University Growth Fund reviews the pitch deck for Appointment.com

In this episode learn what a later-stage VC actually thinks about a pitchdeck.
Megan Holston-Alexander -- A16Z Megan Holston-Alexander leads a16z's Cultural Leadership Fund (CLF). CLF connects the world’s greatest cultural leaders with the best new technology companies and advances young African Americans into tech.    Megan tells us about the importance of getting Black capital onto cap tables, Black talent into tech and building generational wealth. She shares how a16z has grown CLF and its influential network, how startups and cultural leaders collaborate, and her own journey into venture.
20VC: The Memo: What is a Sales Playbook? Does the Founder Need to Create It? Should the First Sales Hire Be a Leader or a Rep? Today we deconstruct the canonical question in early-stage sales. Does the founder need to create the sales playbook? Then secondly, if not, should the first sales hires be reps or a sales leader? Today we are joined by 7 of the best sales leaders to share their thoughts. Jordan Van Horn is a Revenue Leader @ Montecarlo. Previously Jordan spent 4 years with Segment and before that spent another 4 years at Dropbox. Oliver Jay (OJ) most recently spent 6 years at Asana where he was hired as the company’s first revenue leader. Before Asana, OJ spent 4 years at Dropbox where he scaled the sales team from 0 to 50 while tripling ARR. Dannie Herzberg is a Partner @ Sequoia Capital and previously spent 4 years at Slack as their Head of Enterprise Sales. Before Slack, Dannie spent 5 years at Hubspot building sales, opening an SF office, and then joining product to launch CRM & platform. Zhenya Loginov is the CRO @ Miro, where he runs the go-to-market team of 700+ people across 11 global offices. Prior to Miro, Zhenya was the COO @ Segment. Finally, before Segment, Zhenya led a 100-person team at Dropbox across numerous different functional areas. Kyle Parrish is VP Sales @ Figma, where he has scaled the sales team from 0 to over 100 people in sales. Before Figma, Kyle spent over 5 years at Dropbox in numerous different roles including Head of Sales, where he scaled the Austin, Texas office from 3 to over 80 people. Sam Taylor is the VP of Sales and Customer Success @ Loom, at Loom Sam leads Revenue Org including: Direct Sales, Customer Success, Self-Serve Revenue Growth/Assist. Prior to Loom, Sam spent over 4 years at Salesforce, following their acquisition of Quip, where he was the first sales leader. Before Salesforce and Quip, Sam spent over 3 years at Dropbox as a mid-market sales leader. Jeanne DeWitt Grosser is Head of Americas Revenue & Growth @ Stripe. Pre-Stripe, Jeanne was CRO @ Dialpad and also spent many years at Google in numerous different roles including most recently as Director of GSuite SMB & Mid-Market Sales, North America and LATAM. Mitch Tarica is Head of North America Sales at Zoom Video Communications. Before Zoom, Mitch spent over 5 years at RingCentral and before RingCentral, Mitch was at Oracle for over 7 years in numerous different sales roles. In Today's Discussion on Sales Playbooks We Learn: 1.) What is the right definition for a "sales playbook"? 2.) When is the right time to change your "sales playbook"? 3.) What are the biggest mistakes or misnomers made around the "sales playbook"? 4.) Should the founder be the one to create the first sales playbook or can it be a sales leader? 5.) When is the right time for founders to hire their first sales leaders? 6.) For the first sales hire, should founders hire sales reps or a sales leader? 7.) When should you hire a rep vs a sales leader? What are the nuances?
Episode 46: Anna Barber of M13 On this week’s episode, Jim sits down with Anna Barber, Partner at M13 and head of their Launchpad program. Their wide-ranging discussion touches on the shifting landscape in today’s economy, how different values between generations influence the workforce, and inflation. Anna thoughtfully reflects on how to be a more considerate investor, and how her passions for addressing climate change, income inequality and fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in LA’s Tech community influence her decision-making processes.
20VC: Tony Fadell on The 3 Hats of Being a CEO, How the Best Leaders Inspire, How to Create Your Own Role within a Company, The Art of Parenting and Teaching Children Resiliency & New York Times' 36 Questions on Love! Tony Fadell, often referred to as the father of the iPod is one of the leading product thinkers of the last 30 years as one of the makers of some of the most revolutionary products in society from the iPhone and iPod to more recently founding Nest, creating the Nest Thermostat, leading to their $3.2BN acquisition by Google. Tony recently released Build, a masterclass taking 30 years of product and company building lessons and packaging them for you, check it out here. In Today's Episode with Tony Fadell: New York Times' 36 Questions of Love 1.) On reflection, what would Tony most like to change about his childhood? How did moving so much as a child change who Tony was as a person? How can parents instill that same grit and desire in their kids today? What does Tony think is the biggest problem with modern parenting? 2.) As a leader, should the company you are building be a family or a team? What does Tony believe are the 3 hats of being a great CEO? What is the biggest challenge in the transition between hats? Where does Tony see many founders make the biggest mistake? Which hat was Tony strongest with? What was he weakest with? 3.) How to solve the loneliness of being a solo founder? Why does Tony believe that everyone needs a co-founder? Why does Tony not like to invest in teams with a solo founder or more than 4 founders? For Tony, what is the ideal composition of that founding team? How does he test for these skills and traits pre-investing? 4.) How to think differently in the face of adversity? Tony has made bold bets when everyone says he is crazy, how does he not question himself and remain strong in the face of criticism? How does Tony know when to change his mind? When to accept that the bold idea was not right? Is Tony concerned in the face of macro challenges today, investment and commitment to climate change will be cut heavily?
Mark Achler (MATH Venture Partners) - How to Exit Right My guest today is Mark Achler, who is a serial entrepreneur and Managing Partner at MATH Venture Partners. Recently he published his book that he co-wrote with Mert Iseri called Exit Right. which is about how to position and think about a successful exit way before it happens. So on this episode, we discuss how to Exit Right.
What were your biggest learnings from those interviews in “Exit Right”
Trust - we wish CEOs would come to us before
Is there misalignment between VCs and founder/CEO
How should you go about picking the right investors?
Seems like there’s kind of a one way street when it comes to acquisitions with VCs and founders. It’s ok if the VC thinks about it and as it analyzes investing in certain companies, what an exit could look like, but founders aren’t allowed to talk about it or bring it up at all when they pitch because it means they “aren’t focusing on the growth of the business”. Do you both think there is a disconnect and a certain awkwardness that exists in these discussions?
When should founders start to think about building relationships with corporate development teams?
What were your learnings after you conducted these interviews and conduct this research project?
In the FAIR framework, you emphasize how culture and values are critical for success. But it’s hard to know if the culture is the right culture for the team. How do you suggest founders understand the culture of the potential acquirer?
On the fit question, what do you think about culture? How do decisions get made? What are your values? Is there a place where you want to live?
Waterfall distribution - how much money goes through which share of class
Should founders accept money from corporate VCs?
We also talk about being aligned with your VCs. Of course, VCs are looking at a particular exit horizon. It could range from 5-10 years. Of course, it’s hard to know how the company is going to pan out and when you should start shopping for exits when it makes sense. How do you make sure you have alignment as a founder when you’re approaching VCs?
How do you make sure it’s not a phishing expedition?
I had on a founder who was building the business for acquisition and what that meant to him was growth at all costs, but it didn’t happen and he had to pivot to make the business sustainable and profitable. When you do build relationships with corporate development, should that impact how you build your business?
What are ways founders can ensure they aren’t going on a fishing expedition?
What are common mistakes founders make in the diligence process?
What’s one book that has inspired each of you personally and professionally?
What’s one piece of advice that you have for founders?
20VC: Why Market Matters So Much More Than Founding Team | Why Crypto Investing is Less Collaborative Than Ever | Why Bitcoin is Not a Hedge Against Inflation | Why Solana Will Beat Ethereum | The Network Effects You Need To Understand with Kyle Samani, C Kyle Samani is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner @ Multicoin Capital, one of the leading crypto native funds of the last decade with positions in Solana, FTX, Fractal, and Helium to name a few. As for Kyle, before moving to the world of venture and crypto, he founded Pristine, a health IT startup that raised more than $5M in VC, and was acquired by Upskill. In Today's Episode With Kyle Samani We Discuss: 1.) The Founding of Multicoin Capital: How did Kyle make his way from a healthcare startup to founding Multicoin? What was his a-ha moment with the realization of the opportunity we have ahead of us in crypto? What does Kyle know now that he wishes he had known when he started Multicoin? 2.) Crypto Investing in 2022: Why does Kyle believe the crypt investing landscape is less collaborative than ever? What are the biggest challenges of token issuances today? How does the option of liquidity help and hurt Kyle's investor psychology? Is Kyle concerned the volatility in the market will harm institutional investor sentiment for crypto? 3.) Constructing a Crypto Portfolio in 2022: Why does Kyle not believe in temporal diversification? Why does sector-centric company diversification suck? Why are the loss ratios in crypto so much lower than in traditional venture? Why does Kyle believe a no reserves model is optimal in crypto? 4.) Multicoin vs Traditional Venture Firms: Why does Kyle believe that every person over 10 people in a venture firm is a net negative towards the investment decision-making process? What do Kyle and Multicoin do reach the truth together? How do they aggressively use writing and word docs to progress their thoughts? Their discussions are "brutal", how brutal can one be in a discussion on a deal? How does one make team members feel safe but also really push them for the truth and debate? Item's Mentioned in Today's Episode: Kyle's Favourite Recent Reading: Eugene Wei Kyle's Most Recent Investment: Delphia
How Arctoris is automating drug discovery with Martin Immanuel Bittner In this episode, Martin talks about his reason for building Arctoris, the role of unit economics, barriers to entry in the healthcare IT space, and how is Arctoris looking to expand precision medicine research, and expand into the US, and the Asia Pacific, and much more!
Raj Ganguly -- B Capital B Capital has rapidly grown to over $6B AUM and has just announced its first early-stage fund, the $250M Ascent Fund run by a superstar team that includes Eduardo Saverin, Gabe Greenbaum, Karen Page, Karan Mohla, and Howard Morgan. Raj says B Capital was not an overnight success but was built steadily on the conviction that there needed to be a firm that could be best in class on value-add and also global from the outset.
20 Sales: The Biggest Challenges Building Outbound Sales Teams and How To Overcome Them | How The Best Sales Reps Do Customer Discovery | 2 Elements Sales Teams Are Always Responsible For | Sam Taylor, VP Sales and Customer Success @ Loom Sam Taylor is the VP of Sales and Customer Success @ Loom, an essential tool for hybrid and remote teams allowing you to record quick videos of your screen and cam. At Loom Sam leads Revenue Org including: Direct Sales, Customer Success, Self-Serve Revenue Growth/Assist, Sales Development, Global Customer Support, Revenue Ops + Strategy and Sales Enablement. Prior to Loom, Sam spent over 4 years at Salesforce, following their acquisition of Quip, where he was the first sales leader. Before Salesforce and Quip, Sam spent over 3 years at Dropbox as a mid-market sales leader. In Today's Episode We Discuss: 1.) Entry into the World of Sales: How did Sam land his first big role in sales at Salesforce? How did the sales orgs differ when comparing Salesforce to Dropbox? What are 1-2 of Sam's biggest lessons from his time at Salesforce and Dropbox that shapes how he thinks today? 2.) Sales People Should Be Customer Therapists: What is the right way to approach customer discovery? How can sales reps get potential customers on a call in the first place? What are the right questions to ask? What engenders the most honesty? What are the wrong questions to ask? What are common mistakes? How do the best sales reps then feed that back to customer success and product? 3.) The When and The Who: When should founders consider hiring their first sales hire? Should this hire be a sales leader or a sales rep? What are the nuances? What are the characteristics of the best first sales hires? What are the first sales hires really on the hook for? Why does Sam disagree with the word "playbook" and instead suggest "frameworks"? 4.) How To Hire The Best: The Process What are Sam's lessons on what it takes to hire the very best sales reps? What are the right questions to ask in the interview process? What tangible case studies or tests are done to measure quality? Who is brought into the hiring process and at what stage?
EP#59 Jatin Desai – Backing outlier founders and investing in deep-tech/IP creating startups In this episode, Jatin Desai (Managing Partner, Inflexor Ventures), joins our host Digjay, to talk about his path leading up to Inflexor Ventures, the thesis and evolution of the fund, Jatin’s approach to evaluating & investing in deep tech startups, commercialization of deep tech startups, importance of having exit strategies as an investor, outlier founders from Inflexor’s portfolio, Jatin’s learning curve as a VC, deeptech themes that Inflexor is excited about, how being a venture capitalist has influenced Jatin’s personality over the years and more.
Inflexor Ventures is an early stage venture capital fund that invests in startups leveraging deeptech & technology IP in areas like AI-ML, AR-VR, Big Data, Robotics, Cybersecurity, Blockchain and SpaceTech. The venture recently closed their new fund at $80mm & has invested in startups like Bellatrix Aerospace, PlayShifu, Atomberg, CloudSek, Kale Logistics among others.
Prior to become a venture investor, Jatin was the CIO of Bank of America & DSP Merrill Lynch in India. Before joining the bank, Jatin spent several years in US, EMEA & India in various technology roles dealing with Wall Street banks and Fortune 500 companies. You can connect with him here on Linkedin.
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Show notes –

(01:47) Jatin’s background & his path leading up to Inflexor Ventures
(04:09) The thesis and evolution of the fund
(07:35) Jatin’s approach to evaluating & investing in deep tech startups
(12:46) Overcoming valleys of death & commercialization of deep tech startups
(24:02) Importance of having exit strategies as an investor
(28:05) Outlier founders from Inflexor’s portfolio
(30:17) Jatin’s learning curve as a VC
(32:40) Deeptech themes/sectors that Inflexor is excited about
(35:37) How has being a VC influenced Jatin’s personality over the years?
(36:22) Rapid fire and closing remarks

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If you liked our episode, you can subscribe to our podcast on any podcast platforms of your choice (like Spotify & Apple iTunes). We would appreciate if you could leave us a review on Apple iTunes. This helps others discover the podcast organically. You can visit thevcpreneur.com and follow us on Twitter @thevcpreneur_ & Instagram @thevcpreneur for more episodes and interesting insights on the startup ecosystem. You can also follow our host Digjay here on Linkedin & Twitter
A Conversation with Tess Hatch | Partner @ Bessemer Venture Partners | SpaceX | Boeing | Masters in Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering @ Stanford In this fun episode with Tess, we talk about her passion for space and how that translated into a career through Boeing, SpaceX and eventually into venture capital at Bessemer. We also touch on mentorship vs. sponsorship and fellowship programs as a means to learn and break in the VC space. Finally, we dive into the low representation stats for female investors and talk about the need to take actions at the funder and founder levels and how playing into your strengths can make a difference.
A Conversation with Monica Varman | Partner @ G2 Venture Partners | McKinsey | Tesla | Zola Electric | Harvard Business School In this episode, we talk to Monica about her role driving impact at G2 Venture Partners and dig into her interest in climate tech and sustainability through her roles at Zola Electric and Tesla. We also touch on the evolution of climate tech over the years and the exciting new opportunities and conclude with how to achieve parity for women in both Tech and VC. Side note: apologies for my flu voice.
Justine Palefsky (Kindred) - How she created a travel community that led to a house swapping platform, how to construct a marketplace where your supply equals your demand, and approach to monetization Our guest today is Justine Palefsky, Co-founder and Co-CEO of Kindred. Kindred is the trusted home swapping network and harnesses the power of community to allow you to travel more for less. We discuss the opportunity within travel and house swapping and how to construct a marketplace where one unit of supply equals one unit of demand
What is Kindred?
How did you both meet?
Did you both always have the intention of founding a business?
When was the aha moment that led to Kindred?
How is Kindred different from other home swapping sites?
What was your first test to test this theory that people would be open to a house-swapping community?
Why did you think you both would make good co-founders for this business?
How did you first construct Kindred? It started off as a private Instagram group, right?What did you learn from that experience?

How did you think about the marketplace dynamics in this type of business?
How did you decide how to monetize since this is actually quite a complex business?
Once you’re part of this private community, how do you incentivize people to actually house swap?
Monetization. How did you approach?
How did you approach fundraising?
What are typical demographics?
How do you approach customer acquisition?
What was your approach to fundraising?When did you begin fundraising?
What were the biggest reasons for passing?
What did investors like the most about this business?

Now that the world is beginning to open back up, how do you think about change in consumer behavior and scale?Were people doing house swaps during the height of the pandemic?

What’s one thing you would change about fundraising?
What’s one book that inspired each of you personally and one book that inspired each of you professionally?Undaunted Courage by Lewis and Clark
The Courage to be Disliked

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
How to Make New Friends and Build Big Relationships with Nick Gray In this episode, Nick talks about his process of hosting a party, when and where to host a party, icebreaking questions, the cost of hosting a party, his process of writing a book, and much more!
E76: Mohit Kumar (Co-founder & CEO, Ultrahuman) Mohit Kumar is the Co-founder and CEO of Ultrahuman, a metabolic health tracking platform that provides intelligent nudges based on glucose biomarkers and aims to improve users’ exercise, sleep and nutrition based on deep insights from the platform. Ultrahuman was founded by Mohit Kumar and Vatsal Singhal who were also co-founders at Runnr which later merged with India’s largest food delivery service Zomato.Ultrahuman has raised over $25m to date from Alpha Wave, Steadview Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, Blume Ventures and iSeed fund, and a range of other angel investors including Tiger Global’s Scott Schleifer.In this episode, we will cover:1. Impact of the last two years on Ultrahuman (2:50)2. How did the founding team come up with the idea for Ultrahuman (7:33)3. How did the Ultrahuman team perceive the TAM? (17:25)4. How does Ultrahuman raise public awareness about food, diet, nutrition, and lifestyle? (23:30)5. Breaking down data for customers who are not data savvy (30:15)6. The Science of Metabolic Score (35:20)7. What has Ultrahuman team learned from the pandemic user data? (39:10)8. How can men and women understand their bodies better through Ultrahuman (44:46)9. What is Ultrahuman’s vision for the future (52:38)10. How does Ultrahuman intend to democratize data access? (1:09:25)11. How do investors perceive Ultrahuman? (1:11:05)
E75: Vinay Singh (Partner, Fireside Ventures) Vinay Singh is a Partner at Fireside Ventures, a fund specializing in early stage and seed investments in the Indian consumer space. With 7+ years at Hindustan Unilever as Marketing Manager for a multi-crore brand, extensive expertise in digital marketing at McKinsey & Co., and Bankbazaar.com, Vinay has a unique perspective on the intersection between consumer brands and technology. He has also been an entrepreneur, as the founder and CEO of Stepni.com, which was acquired by Quikr.In this episode, we will cover:1. Vinay’s take on the market right now (3:00)2. Does abundant dry powder allow funds to modify their thesis? (8:33)3. How does a venture capitalist look at ‘brand building’? (14:30)4. How can you build a global D2C brand from India? (21:08)5. Does a startup’s mission really matter to investors? (28:45)6. How does a founder find purpose in their idea / business? (37:46)7. How important is operating experience for an investor (44:24)8. For founders: How to build rapport with your investors (48:11)9. What does Vinay and Fireside Ventures do REALLY well (53:04)
20VC: The Most Powerful Investor You Might Not Know | Why The Distinction Between Public vs Private is BS | The Misalignments Between GPs and their LPs | Portfolio Construction 101: Diversification, Capital Concentration, Loss Rates with Peter Singlehurst Peter Singlehurst is the Head of Private Companies at Baillie Gifford. As of 31st March 2022, funds under Baillie Gifford's management and advice totaled £277bn. The firm is owned and run by 51 of its senior executives who operate as a partnership, a structure that has endured for over a century. As for Peter, he has been with Baillie Gifford since graduating from Durham University 12 years ago and has backed some astonishing breakouts such as Wise, Grammarly and Zymergen to name a few. In Today's Episode with Peter Singlehurst We Discuss: 1.) Entry into Venture: How Peter landed his role with Baillie Gifford straight out of university? Why does Peter and Baillie Gifford prefer to hire young people without backgrounds or studies in finance? Why do they tend to be better investors? What does Peter believe are the basic building blocks that can be taught in investing? What cannot be taught and needs to be learned with experience and time? 2.) The Biggest Misnomers and Misalignments in Venture: Why does Peter believe the distinction between public vs private markets is BS? Why does Peter believe it is an advantage to invest at the same time in both public and private markets? Why does Peter think there is an inherent misalignment in venture between GPs and their LPs? 3.) Baillie Gifford: Constructing a Portfolio with £277BN: How does Baillie Gifford approach portfolio construction today? How many lines do they want to have in their portfolio? What is the right level of diversification? How does Peter think about sizing each position? How does Peter think about capital concentration across rounds vs first check being the largest? How does Peter approach outcome scenario planning? How does Peter think about downside protection and loss rates? 4.) Peter Singlehurst: The Investor: How has Peter's investing style changed over the last 10 years? What has gotten easier? What has gotten harder? What is Peter's biggest miss? How did it change his approach? What is Peter's biggest hit? What did he learn and take from this? How did the crossover funds change and impact the way that later stage venture was conducted? Item's Mentioned In Today's Episode: Peter's Fave Book: The Myth of Sisyphus Peter's Most Recent Investment: Grammarly
20VC: Why Being First Does Not Matter, Why Defensibility on Day 1 Does Not Exist, Three Core Elements To Move into Enterprise Effectively and What Makes Truly Great Product Marketing Today with Des Traynor, Co-Founder @ Intercom Des Traynor is a Co-founder and the Chief Strategy Officer of Intercom, the modern customer communications platform that unifies every aspect of the customer journey. To date, Intercom has raised over $238M from some of the best including Index, ICONIQ, Kleiner, GV, and Bessemer. As for Des, before co-founding Intercom, he was a UX consultant, a university lecturer in computer science, and also a Ph.D. researcher. Des is also a prolific angel investor with a portfolio including the likes of Stripe, Algolia, Notion, Miro, and many more. In Today's Episode We Discuss: 1.) Origins of Intercom: How did Des make his way into the world of startups and come to co-found Intercom? When did they realize they really had something with Intercom and had to focus on it? What does Des know now that he wishes he had known at the start of Intercom? 2. Two of the Biggest Myths in Startups: Being First and Defensibility Why does Des believe that being the first does not matter? Why is it not an advantage? Why does Des believe that no company has defensibility on day 1? How does Des believe defensibility is built? What does Des mean when he says, when investing in companies he looks for a "long road to the starting line"? 3.) Product 101: A Masterclass on Product: How does Des answer the question of when to release a second product? How should the second product be resourced? MVP and lean or full budget and committed? What are the biggest mistakes people make when releasing a second product? What mistakes have Des and Intercom made when releasing new products? How does Des advise founders on when to stop working on a product? How do you know when it is not working? How does Des determine between a feature and a product both when building and when investing? 4.) Moving to Enterprise: What does Des believe are the three core things all companies need to scale into the enterprise effectively? Which should they do first? Which is most challenging? How does Des advise founders on when is the right time to move into the enterprise? How does the product need to change to meet enterprise needs and requirements? 5.) The Makings of Great Product Marketing: What does Des believe makes truly great product marketing? Who does it well today? How does your product marketing need to change as you scale from SMB to enterprise? If product marketing to both an end user and a separate buyer, which persona should one prioritise their messaging towards? How does Des advise founders on product marketing when they have a horizontal product with a very broad customer base? 6.) Angel Investing 101: From Stripe to Miro to Notion: Why does Des believe it is beneficial for operators to also be investing? What are the biggest lessons Des has learned from angel investing? How does Des approach both market sizing and outcome scenario planning today? How price sensitive is Des today? How has that changed over time? Item's Mentioned in Today's Episode with Des Traynor: Des' Favourite Book: How Will You Measure Your Life by Clayton Christensen
E9 : Justin Chaddick | Co-Founder and CEO of Treepost | Tech-enabled marketplace which curates the highest quality hemp and CBD brands for consumers | Bring transparency and trust in the $24 billion hemp buying process Episode Summary:On today’s episode, we have Justin Chaddick, Co-Founder & CEO of Treepost. Justin operates a marketplace which curates the highest quality hemp and CBD brands for consumers. With an impressive academic background in earth science and biology from Georgia Tech, Justin is determined to bring transparency and trust in the hemp buying process by showing what each product has been tested for and what notable certifications each brand has obtained. Topics Covered by Justin Chaddick in this Episode:
Overview of what Treepost is in a nutshell and its founding story
Industry background of the $24billion Cannabinoids/Hemp products market
What problem is Treepost solving and why Justin thinks it's a huge opportunity
Why Treepost is needed to help bring trust, transparency and personalization in the hemp buying process
Personal story of how the CBD buying experience of one of Justin's close friends inspired his product decision 
How does Treepost differentiate and compete with other e-commerce giants such as Amazon
The short-term and long-term vision for Treepost as the marketplace for high quality hemp and CBD brands for consumers
Treepost’s monetization and seller partnership strategy 
Justin highlighting the sell-side challenges in successfully seeding a marketplace
Treepost’s initial marketplace growth phase and path to achieve the network-effect
Justin discussing Treepost’s current fundraising round and his plans to grow and scale
Justin summarizing lesson learned and big takeaway so far in his entrepreneurial journey as a first time founder
Connect with Justin:Twitter - https://twitter.com/JustinChaddickLinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/justin-chaddick/Check out Treepost:Company Website - https://treepost.io/Crunchbase - https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/treepost
E10 : Evan Stewart | Co-Founder and CEO of Basewell | Future of Work | Enterprise SaaS startup which analyzes and tracks how employee training initiatives impact OKRs across every department in one single platform Episode Summary:On today’s episode, we have Evan Stewart, Co-Founder & CEO of Basewell. Basewell is an enterprise SaaS startup which analyzes and tracks how employee training initiatives impact OKRs across every department in one single platform. An entrepreneur at heart, Evan scaled and successfully sold his own real estate company and consulted with different tech startups in America & Canada prior to founding Basewell. Now he is innovating the future of work and building tools that help people work better.Topics Covered by Evan Stewart in this Episode:
Overview of what Basewell is in a nutshell and its founding story
How did Evan’s personal experience inspired Basewell’s product decision 
What problem is Basewell solving and why Evan thinks it's a huge opportunity now
How does Basewell’s software solve the work productivity issue and what metrics are used to drive desired outcomes 
The short-term and long-term vision for Basewell
Basewell’s Idea customer profile and its initial customer acquisition strategy
Basewell’s initial growth plan and path to achieve the desired product network-effect
Evan discussing Basewell’s current fundraising round and his plans to grow and scale
Evan summarizing lesson learned and big takeaway so far in his entrepreneurial journey as a second time founder
Connect with Evan:Twitter - https://twitter.com/heyecsLinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/evst/Check out Basewell:Company Website - https://www.basewell.com/Crunchbase - https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/basewell
Parade Ventures Shawn Merani on building LP relationships, not focusing on "hot" deals, and his mindset with founders Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.On today’s show, we have Shawn Merani, Founder and Managing Partner at seed-stage focused Parade Ventures which recently closed a $40MM+ oversubscribed Fund II. In this episode, we talk about the basics of LP relationship building, founder support during tough times, and his view on larger VC’s invested in seed.About Shawn Merani:Shawn Merani is the Founder and Managing Partner of Parade Ventures, a pre-seed & seed stage-focused venture capital firm.Previously, Shawn was a co-founder and partner at Flight Ventures, investing in early-stage software, internet, and mobile companies across a variety of sectors. Shawn’s investments include Dollar Shave Club (acquired by Unilever), Sapho (acquired by Citrix), Moveworks, Trusted Health, Clubhouse, Side, Plastiq, Jumpcloud, amongst others.As an operator, Shawn was a founding partner of Liquidnet’s Private Shares marketplace, which enabled over 750 of the world’s leading asset managers to invest in high-growth, pre-IPO companies. He grew the marketplace to $150MM+ GMV in the first two years. Prior to Liquidnet, Shawn was Senior Director of Business Development at ReachLocal. Shawn has a BA in Economics and a BS in Business Administration from the University of California at Berkeley, as well as an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management.In this episode we discuss:01:04 Why Shawn decided to found Parade rather than joining an established firm07:09 What are red flags and signals of alignment when looking at early-stage founders10:10 How Shawn rises above FOMO when looking at deals12:44 The lessons he learned between Fund I and Fund II and why he was able to raise so much more16:10 How Shawn partners with LPs to build trust and relationships18:24 How Shawn sourced his LPs20:44 How Shawn approaches investing in this market22:25 Is there any difference in leading rounds in 2022 vs. 202124:59 When is it right for a company to press the gas in a downturn27:40 What the next few years look like in venture capital31:20 How large, later-stage firms getting into seed will affect the market33:35 Shawn’s biggest contrarian view about investing35:11 The biggest career lesson he’s learned36:46 The biggest misconception of seed investingI’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Shawn. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit ventureunlocked.substack.com
How to Start a Syndicate How to Start a SyndicateIn today’s episode we find how one gets into Venture Capital and deep dive into everything about a Syndicate. Some Points Covered in This Episode Include:
What is a syndicate, and how is it different from an SPV?
What is the appeal of a syndicate?
As an investor
As a company
As a manager


How do syndicate managers/operators make money?
Syndicates also charge carry - usually 20% in total. Carry is a cut of positive returns generated by the investment. Example: let's say you invest $1000 in a syndicate with 20% carry. If the investment returns $2000, the syndicate would earn $200 in carry. 20% * ($2000 - $1000).
https://angel.co/syndicates/for-investors#requirements


Who are the most common syndicate leaders?

Jason Calcanis
Uber
Calm



Dave Eisenberg
Coinbase
Warby Parker



Tom Williams (from Apple)Layer 6



How do you manage a syndicate?
AngelList
Assure
Attorney/Accountant


What does it cost to start a syndicate?
AngeList charges a one-time fee of ~$8,000
https://angel.co/syndicates/for-investors#requirements
Hidden costs of finding investors


What are the SEC/accreditation rules for starting one?
Salary of $200k+
Net worth of $1M+
Work in industry
https://help.venture.angel.co/hc/en-us/articles/360047682112-What-is-an-accredited-investor-


Who should start a syndicate?
Who should not start a syndicate?
Areas of specialization:
GeographyUtah-based

Industry based
Alumni Syndicates
Facebook
AirBNB




Let us know your thoughts on a Syndicate? How do you feel about them? What should we talk about next? Give us a follow and leave us feedback.Follow Peter HarrisTwitter: https://twitter.com/thevcstudentLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/peterharris1Instagram: https://instagram.com/shodanpeteYoutube: https://youtu.be/Hy9DsuFzTH4Follow University Growth FundWebsite: https://www.ugrowthfund.com/LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/university-growth-fund/Instagram: https://instagram.com/ugrowthfundFollow Jon BradshawLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mrbradshaw/Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mrjonbradshaw/Twitter: https://twitter.com/mrjonbradshawYoutube: https://youtu.be/spRuy517if0
Luke Vernon (Ridgeline Ventures) - Why family offices are great investment partners for brands, investment timelines and do brands need product innovation to succeed? My guest today is Luke Vernon, Managing Partner of Ridgeline Ventures. Ridgeline Ventures is an independent investment group that provides founders and brands a unique alternative to traditional investment firms. Some of their investments include Cotopaxi, Bobo’s, OROS, and Pro’s Closet. Previously he was the CEO of Eco products, which he grew from $1mm to $80mm. We discuss his learnings as an operator, why he invests in consumer brands where other investor interest has softened, the benefits of being a family office and how he thinks about investment timelines.
What were three of your biggest learnings growing Eco Products from $1mm to $80mm?
Since you also started Luke’s Circle and helps companies find talent, what is the key to hiring the right people?
After Eco Products sold, what eventually got you thinking of becoming an investor?
How did Ridgeline Ventures form?
Why doesn’t Ridgeline take outside capital?
There’s been alot of funds that have pivoted or moved away from investing in consumer brands. What are the opportunities that you’re focused on?
What’s your due diligence process?
Pricing strategy in each channel
How to scale the operations of the business
How long does it take to scale?
Food manufacturing
Self manufacturing
Great vehicles to finance CAPEX
What were some of your learnings during COVID?
How can a board provide value to a company?
What’s one thing you think is overlooked when investing in consumer businesses?
What’s one book that inspired you personally and one book that inspired you professionally?Endurance by Ernest Jackelin
Blue Ocean Strategy

What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve received?
Juan Pablo Cappello (Nue Life) - Ketamine and psychedelic therapy, what’s wrong with current healthcare incentives, and picking the right investment partners Our guest today is Juan Pablo Cappello, founder of Nue Life. Nue Life is a mental wellness company that offers in-home ketamine therapy. This was a fascinating conversation about where our current healthcare system has failed us with the wrong incentive structure, new alternative therapies, his own mission and inspiration, and what the goal is for Nue Life.
Some of the questions I ask Juan Pablo:
When were you first exposed psychedelics and ketamine?
What inspired you to found Nue Life?
How did you develop a program?
What are some of the regulation speed bumps that you’ve had to go through in order to launch?
What’s the business model? How much do you charge? How long is the program?
What was your approach to acquiring new customers?
Do you see your customers going through your program multiple times / on going or is it a quest to always bring on new customers?
What’s been your approach to scale?
What’s been your approach to raising money?
Shat was your attraction to entrepreneurship?
What were your learnings from starting Patagon, the first online bank in LatAm?
What’s one thing you would change about venture capital?
What’s one thing that’s misunderstood about psychedelics?
What’s one book that inspired you personally and one book that inspired you professionally?
What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve received?
Brian O’Malley (Forerunner Ventures) - How he’s investing in the empowerment economy, the evolution of consumer venture capital and raising $1 billion fund Our guest today is Brian O’Malley, Partner at Forerunner. Forerunner is one of the top consumer venture capital firms that tirelessly champions founders who deliver the innovation they demand. Some of Brian’s investments include Sunday, Canal and Dumpling. Recently they raised $1 billion for Fund 6. We discuss how Forerunner’s thesis has evolved over the past few years, what is the empowerment economy, and current valuation and venture climate today.
We discuss:
How do you define investing in consumer today?
It seems as though Forerunner’s thesis has evolved from only investing in pure consumer companies to ecommerce enablement/B2B, along with other funds that primarily focus on consumer. Can you talk about why the transition?Is part of the reason why because it’s harder than before to pick brands that could generate great returns?

What is the empowerment economy?
In your article “Empowering Main Street”, you mention how OpenTable and Yelp achieved massive local market share, but they weren’t embraced. What do you mean by that and how do identify if a company you’re looking at is being embraced? Partnering up with their customers
Did COVID at all change your thesis when it came the your empowering economy thesis?
When you’re looking at empowering SMBs or bringing them online, when does a white label option make sense vs. a standalone application?
I certainly understand the push for consumers wanting to shop local, but isn’t partly what killed local stores that they couldn’t compete on price with the Walmarts / Targets? How do you think about consumer price sensitivity?
When you and your conduct your consumer insights research, how do you make sure there’s alignment with what people say and how they act?
Where customer
What are some of the differences between investing and evaluating a business where an SMB is the customer rather than the customer?
How do you also think about the current venture landscape when it comes to valuations?
There’s been a lot of chatter about some of the more high-profile companies folding and there’s been a debate about who is responsible - could the board have guided the CEO to cut burn for example. After you invest, what do you think about a board’s role and board construction?
What’s one thing you would change about VC?
What’s one book that has inspired you personally and one book that has inspired you professionally?The Wright Brothers book
Shoedog by Phil Knight

What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve received?
Joe Spector (Dutch) - How he’s changing the pet industry and how his approach to fundraising has evolved Our guest today is Joe Spector, Founder & CEO of Dutch. Dutch is the online vet care when you need it. Previously Joe was one of the founders of hims & hers. We discuss the opportunity he saw within pet insurance and care, how his approach to fundraising is different than hims & hers, why he wants to change the incentive structure within the vet industry.
Why did you decide to leave hims & hers?
What was the aha moment that led to Dutch?
What was the opportunity that you saw?
Why did you decide to focus on telehealth for pets?
What is the major pain point for pet owners?
Can you lay out for us the value chain for healthcare for pets? How are the regulatory requirements different from healthcare for humans?
How did you approach raising capital?
In the early days, they have to be good at multiple things
What was the first problem you wanted to solve?
How did you approach distribution and sales?
Paying vets $80 an hour
Hims & Hers raised money every 90 days and raised lots of money. How do you approach fundraising and the capital structure of Dutch?What was it like fundraising during COVID?
Don’t use a recruiter

There was a substantial increase in pet ownership during COVID and telemedicine was more widely adopted as a whole during this period. How was Dutch affected? Did you grow faster than you expect?
Since only 2% of pet owners have insurance, how do you approach consumer education?
How do you think about the incentives for vets - they make money off selling the drugs, so they would want to recommend more drugs for your pet - and what is Dutch doing to create better alignment with the vet and the pet owner/pet?
Elizabeth Yin of Hustle Fund - Venture Unlocked 001 Elizabeth Yin is Co-Founder & General Partner at Hustle Fund, a pre-seed focused firm based in the Bay Area. Appropriately named, Elizabeth and her team truly epitomize the word hustle. She and her co-founder Eric raised $11.5MM Hustle Fund I in the fall of 2018 and more recently started investing out of a larger Fund II. The firm has a unique investment model that starts by investing $25K in each startups, and then by working closely with their entrepreneurs looks to upsize their commitments into select portfolio companies. Previously, Elizabeth was a partner at 500 Startups where she invested in seed stage companies and ran the Mountain View accelerator. In a prior life, Elizabeth co-founded and ran an ad-tech company called LaunchBit (acq 2014). Elizabeth has a BSEE from Stanford and an MBA from MIT Sloan.In this episode, Elizabeth covers the following:What their journey in raising their first fund together was like. How broad their LP outreach was, and how they managed hundreds of LP conversations. The continuous nature of raising capital. The role of brand in venture. The thinking behind their unique portfolio construction model, and how they serve such a large group of portfolio companies. How to efficiently manage a firm amidst all the competing priorities. What she wishes she knew before she started Hustle Fund. Mentioned in this episode:The Hustle FundElizabeth’s post “How I Raised my $11.5m VC Fund”Here’s her post on “11 Things I’ve learned from running a micro VC in the last year”Elizabeth’s post “How Do VCs Make Money?”Hope you enjoy the episode, feel free to tweet or DM me @samirkaji your further questions from the show or other guests you think I should invite to the show under the hashtag #ventureunlocked. This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit ventureunlocked.substack.com
Marlon Nichols of MaC Ventures on VC firm mergers, funding diversity, and his relationship with LP's - Venture Unlocked 015 As we wrap up what’s been perhaps the most interesting and difficult year in modern history, the holidays still remain a time to to spend with family and reflect on the things we all still do have. I’m incredibly grateful for what I do have, and am looking forward to brighter days ahead for all of us as we move to 2021. On our final episode of the year, I’m thrilled to share my conversation with Marlon Nichols, Managing General Partner at MaC Ventures. After graduating from Northeastern University, Marlon spend several years in various consultant and operational roles before joining Intel Capital in 2011.After five years at Intel, Marlon co-founded Cross Culture Ventures along with Troy Carter, a successful media manager that managed the careers of artists such as Lady Gaga and John Legend, and made investments in startups such as Uber and Spotify.  Given the shared vision of Marlon and Troy, Cross Culture Ventures made a name for themselves with their cultural investing thesis that focused on companies centered in the convergence of global popular culture and technology.In 2019, Cross Culture merged with M Ventures to create MaC Ventures, one of the few venture partnership “mergers” we’ve seen, where he and the team invest in “ technology companies that create infectious products that benefit from shifts in cultural trends and behaviors in an increasingly diverse global marketplace”. In this episode, Marlon and I discuss the following topics:00:54 - Marlon’s winding journey into venture05:23 - The opportunity he saw to invest in diversity07:40 - How he prepared to launch Cross Culture 8:07 - His unique point of view and value proposition in the venture industry10:12 - What led to Marlon’s decision to merge Cross Culture with M Ventures16:29 - How did his LPs react to the merger of the firms? 17:52 - What are the primary things he sees LPs care about the most?23:02 - The MaC view toward adding values to portfolio founders. 28:11 - How to drive value to LP’s outside of just returns. 30:05 - Why firms struggle to invest in diversity37:20- Marlon’s biggest career mistake in ventureMentioned in this episode:Mac VenturesThe tangible benefits of diversity in ventureStudy on women in leadership rolesI’d love to know what you took away from my conversations with Marlon Nichols. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit ventureunlocked.substack.com
Beezer Clarkson of Sapphire Partners on the #OpenLP effort, How to Pitch LP’s, & what she sees in the venture ecosystem - Venture Unlocked 021 On today’s show we have Beezer Clarkson, Managing Director of Sapphire Partners, the LP arm of Sapphire Ventures. Not only does Beezer have tremendous depth and insight into the world of VC, but she catalyzed the #OpenLP movement, which looks to bring transparency within the LP world. She’s someone I’ve known for nearly a decade and one of the smartest minds in the LP world. Beezer began her career in financial services over 20 years ago at Morgan Stanley in its global infrastructure group. Since, she has held various direct and indirect venture investment roles, as well as operational roles in software business development at Hewlett Packard. Prior to joining Sapphire in 2012, Beezer managed the day-to-day operations of the Draper Fisher Jurvetson Global Network.Additionally, she is a judge for 100&Change, a MacArthur Foundation competition that provides funding to solve critical challenges of our time. In 2014, she was named to the Forty Over 40 list of women to watch.Today's Venture Unlocked is brought to you by Aumni. Aumni has helped well over 100 venture firms of all sizes unlock the truth of their portfolio holding. Using a combination of a team of expert lawyers and AI, Aumni’s platform extracts the key granular level detail contained in deal documents to give managers absolute visibility into their portfolio holdings. As a manager using Aumni, you’ll be able to make portfolio management decisions quickly, accurately, and with more confidence. In this episode we discuss the following topics:01:51    Beezer’s journey into VC03:50    Launch of Sapphire Partners as a fund for predominantly Series A funds05:46    What’s changed (or not changed) in Venture over the last 15 years?06:56    What “value-add” means in today’s marketplace11:27    How she evaluates managers and performance. 14:40    Does past performance really act as an indicator for future fund success?17:25    Her thought process in bringing on a new manager (or not following on an existing manager)21:22    How to get Sapphire’s attention to invest24:41    What is Minimum Viable Fund size and when to do a first close27:33    Giving away economics to get early LP’s; the pros and cons33:29    What is the diversity audit and OpenLP35:35  Diversity in emerging manager firms vs. established. 39:03    Best career advice she heard as an LP. 40:45    Her biggest missed fund opportunity42:15    The best advice for GPs pitching her for the first timeMentioned in this episode:Sapphire PartnersI’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Beezer. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit ventureunlocked.substack.com
Ryan Hoover of Weekend Fund on collaborative based investing, building founder NPS, and considerations around scaling funds - Venture Unlocked Ep. 24 One of the key benefits of the shift in the venture landscape has been the ushering in of more diverse funding sources to entrepreneurs. In this week’s Venture Unlocked episode (available both on Spotify and Itunes) I’m excited to bring you Ryan Hoover, founding partner of Weekend Fund. Ryan grew up in Oregon and worked in the gaming industry prior to launching technology product discovery platform Product Hunt in 2013. Backed by some incredible angel and institutional investors, the company built the largest platform for new products, and ultimately was acquired by AngelList a few years ago. Ryan continued to act as CEO post acquisition and just recently stepped down to focus on Weekend Fund, which he manages with Vedika Jain. At Weekend they focus on co-investing in pre-seed and seed companies.  Weekend Fund’s LPs includes Marc Andreessen, Chris Dixon, Jana Messerschmidt, Chris and Crystal Sacca, Hunter Walk, Kevin Rose, and Garry Tan.Today's Venture Unlocked is brought to you by Aumni.Truly stand out to Institutional LPs with Aumni.  Before your next fundraise, get Aumni’s best-in-class fund analytics and reporting platform powered by our team of venture experts and AI. LPs are demanding better reporting which can be a significant challenge for smaller firms. Aumni can automate fund analytics to quickly answer the toughest questions from current and prospective investors.In this episode we discuss the following topics:01:49    Ryan’s journey into tech03:49    The launch of Product Hunt and the sale to AngelList07:48    Weekend Fund’s origin story11:04    What growing from $3M in Fund I to $10M in Fund II has meant 14:40    How Weekend differentiates itself from other funds19:30    Maintaining NPS for portfolio companies22:10    Competitive landscape amongst funds creating experimentation in venture24:01    Systemizing the fund’s deal flow operations 28:35    Tactical considerations for raising Fund III 31:38    LP composition and building relationships with Institutional investors34:26    Ryan’s anti-portfolio37:48    The best piece of investing advice he’s gotten39:30    The investor that inspires him the mostMentioned In This Episode:Product HuntAngelListWeekend FundI’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Ryan. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked.If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit ventureunlocked.substack.com
Stephen DeBerry of Bronze VC on social impact investing, GP commits, & the next-gen of underrepresented managers I’m extremely excited to bring you this week’s episode of Stephen DeBerry from Bronze investments. In addition to being an experienced investor at previous stops at Kapor Capital, Omidyar, The California Endowment, Stephen also developed the “Eastside” thesis which spoke to the inequities that are often present in eastern communities. He presented this thesis in a now viral TED Talk and was a factor in why Stephen decided to invest in change through Venture Capital at Bronze VC.Stephen did his undergrad at UCLA and his masters work at Oxford. He is a British Marshall Scholar and Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute. He was on the Board of the Dalai Lama Foundation and Ebony Magazine and The Root/Washington Post named one of the 100 most powerful African-Americans in the United States.We had a great conversation on social impact investing, GP commits, and why he feels strongly about helping the next generation of under represented managers.In this episode we discuss the following topics:01:25    Stephen’s journey into VC06:25    How the Eastside thesis came to be13:00    Why venture capital can solve certain social inequities17:35    The difficulty he faced in his first fundraise21:43    Advice to other non-traditional venture managers29:02    How investing in non-traditional companies affects portfolio construction33:00    Addressing the structural problems with the VC system38:15    The problem with anchoring on GP commit as a measure of alignmentMentioned In This Episode:Stephen’s TED TalkWe’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Stephen! Follow @SamirKaji and give your insight and questions using the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop a direct message on Twitter.Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit ventureunlocked.substack.com
Nnamdi Okike of 645 Ventures on thoughtfully growing funds, data driven sourcing in venture to reduce bias, and building one of the largest BIPOC led venture firms. Using data to make better investment decisions is a common theme these days, but Nnamdi Okike, co-founder and managing partner of 645 Ventures, a firm that uses unique, data driven methodologies to improve sourcing while helping to eliminate the biases that often present themselves when assessing new opportunities. Using public data that to accompany their own automated systems, they’ve found an interesting way to consistently find undiscovered founders. After leaving Insight Ventures, Nnamdi co-founded 645 Ventures in 2013 with Aaron Holiday, starting with a $8MM proof of concept fund. Since then, they raised a $40MM Fund 2, and most recently closed Fund III at $160M making them one of the largest underrepresented led managers in the United States. The fund focuses primarily on seed and series A and has a portfolio that includes companies such as Iterable, Goldbelly, Eden Health and Squire.Prior to starting his career, Nnamdi got his bachelor’s, JD, and MBA from Harvard. Our wide ranging conversation covers: considerations when growing fund sizes dramatically, the power of using data driven approach to sourcing, and his lessons as a venture investor over the last decade.In this episode we discuss the following topics:01:12    Nnamdi’s journey into venture capital03:37    The opportunity he saw to start 64509:20    How and why they raised $8M for their first fund12:27    Methodology around data that they use to decide on investing16:32    How 645 Ventures weeds out bias in their methodology20:58    The evolution of and growth of 64526:27    Deciding to jumping up weight class in the ecosystem; the value they add30:31    Using their connected network as a strategic advantage32:48    The future of data in VC34:06    His best advice to emerging managers36:22    His biggest portfolio miss40:31    What emerging managers should think about as they are startingMentioned In This Episode:645 VenturesInsight VenturesWe’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Nnamdi. Follow @SamirKaji and give your insight and questions using the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop a direct message on Twitter.Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit ventureunlocked.substack.com
Satya Patel of Homebrew on how they were able to raise their first fund in 100 days, creating enduring partnerships, and the art of fund sizing. On this week’s show, we’re excited to bring you Satya Patel, co-founder of Homebrew, who he started with his partner Hunter Walk in 2013. Today, the firm is widely considered one of the top seed firms in the industry, counting companies such as Chime, Cruise, Eero, and Gusto as portfolio companies. Satya brings a unique product background to the table as he worked on AdSense in the early days at Google, and later in various product roles at Twitter. He also spent time as an investor at Battery Ventures. Satya and Hunter are incredibly thoughtful and detailed when they think about firm building, and during our conversation Satya and I discuss the hard conversations that potential partners need to have before starting a partnership, the unconventional way they raised their first fund, how Homebrew thinks about consistency with founder relationships, and fund sizing.A message from our sponsorFrank, Rimerman + Co.’s history is closely intertwined with that of Silicon Valley. With humble beginnings similar to so many start-ups, Frank, Rimerman was formed with a desire to serve the entrepreneurial and venture communities of the Valley and the determination to think outside-the-box.Frank Rimerman works with almost 500 VC groups from over 20 states across the USA with 350 fund groups during their first year of existence, making them one of the leading providers in the country to emerging managers.Frank, Rimerman + Co, Passion Works Here.www.frankrimerman.comIn this episode we discuss the following topics:01:13    How he and Hunter became friends and decided to work together again03:12    Personal factors in deciding to start his own firm when there were so many other options for them. 06:50    How he and Hunter sorted through their strengths and weaknesses 09:07    How were able to raise their first fund in 100 days by targeting institutional investors instead of relying on family offices like most Fund 1’s. 12:40    How they used scarcity and a hard close date to drive the process19:11    The thought process behind moving up weight classes in investing21:28    Different stages of investment require different skills 24:10    Number of investments vs. bigger ownership in a smaller portfolio26:38    Interview questions for new hires + how they compensate the team31:04 Homebrew to announce an effort to systematically further diversify VC34:45 The best lesson he’s learned37:08 Best advice for someone starting out in VC38:29 The investors that has been most helpful to his careerMentioned In This Episode:HomebrewAll RaiseWe’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Satya! Follow @SamirKaji and give your insight and questions using the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop a direct message on Twitter.Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit ventureunlocked.substack.com
Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures on Generational Firm Evolution, Why Fundraising is Like Enterprise Sales, & The State of Venture today Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape. Today we’re excited to bring you my recent conversation with Mark Suster, managing partner at Upfront Ventures, a firm that was founded 25 years ago, originally as GRP partners. Mark joined the firm in 2007 and became managing partner in 2011 and helped architect the new era of the firm while also actively evangelizing the now robust LA tech ecosystem. Upfront currently has $1.9B AUM and has invested in companies such as Overture,  Maker Studios, and Ring.Prior to joining Upfront, Mark was a two-time operator, including selling the latter to Salesforce.com. He did his BA at UCSD, and got his MBA at the University of Chicago.This was a fun one and we talked a lot about how they’ve rebranded and evolved as a firm, how raising funds is no different than enterprise sales, and the interesting paradox that faces every VC today.A message from our sponsorFrank, Rimerman + Co.’s history is closely intertwined with that of Silicon Valley. With humble beginnings similar to so many start-ups, Frank, Rimerman was formed with a desire to serve the entrepreneurial and venture communities of the Valley and the determination to think outside-the-box.When it comes to venture funds, we work with almost 500 VC groups from over 20 states across the USA. We have worked with over 350 fund groups throughout their first year, making us one of the leading providers in the country to emerging managers.No one wants to be bored at work. That’s why we chose to work with some of the most innovative and creative people – people who are changing the world around us every day. Their excitement fuels our passion and determination to grow and serve this special community.Frank, Rimerman + Co, Passion Works Here.www.frankrimerman.comIn this episode we discuss:01:43    Mark’s journey into VC04:16    Why he thought GRP was a good fit for him08:22    How the firm transformed its investment focus12:55    The process around the rebranding to Upfront Ventures18:23    Human psychology of decisions23:41    Why you need to be careful on when to share data rooms27:41    How fundraising is like sales33:05 Why creating scarcity is important34:57    Talent retention and acquisition42:26    The current state of the venture market Mentioned in this episode:The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and ReligionWhy You Should Never Have A Data RoomWe’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Mark! Follow @SamirKaji and give your insight and questions using the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop a direct message on Twitter.Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit ventureunlocked.substack.com
Meet the Expert: Braughm Ricke of Aduro Advisors on working with over 300 Emerging Firms, his time as the first CFO at True Ventures, traits of successful managers Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape. In today’s show, we have the pleasure of speaking to Braughm Ricke, who has worked closely with emerging managers throughout his career, first serving as CFO of True Ventures, and then starting Aduro Advisors, which started in 2012 originally to focus on the new era of VC. He was also a early Advisor and Investor in Carta and has been an active investor. Thanks to working with over 350 venture fund clients, Braughm has unique insights on effective fundraising, what makes for a institutional back-office, and broad venture trends. In this episode we discuss:01:01    What Braughm saw in 2012 when he started Aduro Advisors to focus on Emerging VC’s 05:49    How the emerging manager space has grown and evolved06:42    What is different today from the early days08:49    The fundraising landscape for emerging managers11:49    Tactics for breaking into family offices13:51    What managers often need to do between rounds 16:19    The workload for solo GPs18:12    The support systems GPs need so they can spend more time on core activities22:56    Common traits amongst successful managers25:22    The most common mistakes he sees managers make26:45    What the future holds for venture29:55    The speed of new firm creationMentioned in this episode:Aduro AdvisorsWe’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Braughm! Follow @SamirKaji and give your insight and questions using the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop a direct message on Twitter.Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit ventureunlocked.substack.com
Lan Xuezhao of Basis Set Ventures on using data science along with human psychology to assess deals, finding LP/GP fit, founder super powers measurement, and conviction based investing. Today’s episode is with Lan Xuezhao, founding partner of Basis Set Ventures which has raised $301M across two funds. Lan has extensively studied AI, data science, and human psychology, and with Basis Set, she has combined those elements to bring a very unique approach to investing. Lan’s background in corporate development at Dropbox and management at McKinsey has contributed to her data driven approach to sourcing and investing. She has a PhD in Psychology from the University of Michigan. We chat about Lan’s unique investment philosophy, how she found GP/LP fit for Fund 1 and then Fund 2, how her firm has many shared characteristics of a portfolio company, and what makes for a founder super power. A message from our sponsorStandish is the largest provider of fund administration services to Venture Capital funds globally. Currently, we serve approximately 750 Venture Capital funds and have more than $150 billion in committed capital under administration.  Standish has been designed by experienced Chief Financial Officers with a deep understanding of the service needs of both finance departments and General Partners at every stage of the product life cycle.  Standish can handle all of the needs of finance department so General Partners can focus on investing.Standish is an employee owned company.https://www.standishmanagement.com/In this episode we discuss:02:18    Lan’s journey into venture capital 07:40   How did she go unconventional on fund size10:06    Lan’s learning about GP/LP fit13:57    Constructing a different LP base in Fund 2 vs. Fund 117:18    The structure of the fund’s tech and investment team21:01    Eliminating bias 22:56    Founder psychology + super power thesis26:00 Top two key traits of the best founders28:31    How Lan sees BSV’s place in the market today31:25    Future of firms in her size range34:14    Her Anti-Portfolio36:09    Inspirations from the investment worldMentioned in this EpisodeBasis Set VenturesThesis on What Makes a Successful FounderI’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Lan. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit ventureunlocked.substack.com
Miriam Rivera on going from angel to running a firm, driving real change in diversity in tech, and how traditional heuristics should be challenged in VC. Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape. Our guest today is Miriam Rivera, managing director and CEO of Ulu Ventures, an early seed stage venture fund in Silicon Valley focused on IT startups. Currently Ulu Ventures has an AUM of >$200MM and the team has invested in companies such as Palantir, BetterUp, SoFi, Guild, and Span [For full disclosure, Ulu Ventures is also an investor in my startup, Allocate).Prior to Ulu, Miriam was deputy general counsel at Google, which she joined in 2001 as the second attorney.  She graduated from Stanford University, where she earned the AB, AM and JD/MBA degrees. Miriam is the co-founder, former co-president and on the board of Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs, an open source network of Stanford alumni investors and entrepreneurs.Listen to our conversation to hear Miriam’s thoughts on moving from angel investing to starting a firm, being a husband and wife team, the reasons behind Ulu’s large portfolio strategy, and why diversity is so important to her.  A message from our sponsorStandish is the largest provider of fund administration services to Venture Capital funds globally. Currently, we serve approximately 750 Venture Capital funds and have more than $150 billion in committed capital under administration.  Standish has been designed by experienced Chief Financial Officers with a deep understanding of the service needs of both finance departments and General Partners at every stage of the product life cycle.  Standish can handle all of the needs of finance department so General Partners can focus on investing.Standish is an employee owned company.https://www.standishmanagement.com/In this episode we discuss:02:05 Miriam’s journey into the investment side03:23 Why they started Ulu and raised outside capital05:22 The challenges of starting a fund as a wife-husband duo 08:14 Navigating their working relationship 11:33 Their unique view on what portfolio construction should be14:06 What the stats say on returns16:53 Trade-offs between size of portfolio and ownership20:20 Strategies for venture investing at the seed-stage23:14 Ulu’s unique decision making framework29:15 Benefits of investing in diverse teams31:58 Changes that can be made in the LP/VC ecosystem35:06 LPs with diverse managers38:18 The social vs. financial impetus in making investments in diverse managers/ partners40:39 Miriam’s most counterintuitive learning as an investor42:00 Companies Ulu missed out on43:36 Inspirations in the VC worldMentioned in this episodeUlu VenturesI’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Miriam. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit ventureunlocked.substack.com
Jeff Morris, Jr. on finding your own fund/market fit, having like Lightspeed and Sequoia as LPs, and the ever-changing dynamic between entrepreneurs and VCs Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.Today’s episode is with Jeff Morris, Jr., founder of Chapter One Ventures, an early stage product fund that has invested in Cameo, Pipe, Alt, and Roam. After a significant track record as an angel investor (including investing in Lyft) he started Chapter One in 2019 that featured tier one investors such as Lightspeed and Sequoia as LPs. Jeff was previously the VP of Product at Tinder, spearheading popular features like Boost and Tinder Gold. He graduated with an MBA from UCLA’s School of Management and is a frequent speaker on monetization, product, and growth.We chat about finding your product market fit as an investor; thinking about scaling yourself, and the ever-changing relationship between entrepreneurs and VCs. A message from our sponsorAnduin is revolutionizing fund management with streamlined fund operations, digitized fund subscriptions, and real-time status updates. Traditional, paper-based subscriptions are costly, tedious and error-prone, with up to 80% of submitted documents being incorrect and considered not in good order.Fund managers lack real-time visibility, facing manual processes, endless back-and-forth and a mountain of emails, documents and spreadsheets.Anduin’s investor onboarding workflow improves the investor experience, bringing clarity, guidance, and efficiency to fund subscriptions which drastically reduces error rates.The Anduin platform allows GPs to perform fund operations simply and efficiently with improved data accuracy, freeing up time so they can focus on what they do best... investing.For more information, or to arrange a demo, visit fundsub.io/ventureunlockedIn this episode we discuss:02:11 Jeff’s journey into investing05:43 Jeff’s learnings as an angel investor to being a scout to starting a firm08:38 The main differences between being an angel investor and a full-time venture capitalist11:13 Adjusting to doing venture full time13:51 How Jeff evolved along each step of the way in his investing career16:22 How he constructed his LP base, and him taking on capital from Tier 1 VC’s17:58 How Jeff thought about fund sizing and what he learnt from his first fundraising22:14 Why bring a Chief of Staff onto a VC firm24:47 The debate between optimizing for # of companies vs. ownership27:27 Learnings from Sequoia about investing and entrepreneurship30:23 Jeff’s decision-making model34:39 The future of the VC 37:17 The pros and cons of having a brand on Twitter/ social media39:52 The most counterintuitive lesson Jeff has learned41:20 Lessons learned from companies that he missed43:26 Inspirations in the VC worldMentioned in this episode:Chapter One VenturesI’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Jeff. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit ventureunlocked.substack.com
137 Ventures Justin Fishner-Wolfson on why ownership is an overvalued heuristic, building lasting teams, and the current state of secondary markets. Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.Today we’re thrilled to bring you my conversation with Justin Fishner-Wolfson, co-founder and managing partner of 137 Ventures, a growth-stage venture firm that provides customized liquidity solutions to founders, investors, and early employees of high-growth private technology companies. With a total AUM of $1.5B, 137 Ventures has backed some of the most impactful companies of the past decade, including Wish, Flexport, SpaceX, Uber, and Airbnb. Prior to launching 137 ventures in 2010, Justin worked on the investment team at Founders Fund. A message from our sponsorAnduin is revolutionizing fund management with streamlined fund operations, digitized fund subscriptions, and real-time status updates. Traditional, paper-based subscriptions are costly, tedious and error-prone, with up to 80% of submitted documents being incorrect and considered not in good order.Fund managers lack real-time visibility, facing manual processes, endless back-and-forth and a mountain of emails, documents and spreadsheets.Anduin’s investor onboarding workflow improves the investor experience, bringing clarity, guidance, and efficiency to fund subscriptions which drastically reduces error rates.The Anduin platform allows GPs to perform fund operations simply and efficiently with improved data accuracy, freeing up time so they can focus on what they do best... investing.For more information, or to arrange a demo, visit fundsub.io/ventureunlockedIn this episode we discuss:02:10 Justin’s journey into venture capital03:36 Learnings from Founders Fund05:52 Differentiating yourself in tangible ways07:45 How Justin thinks about the sales process10:34 Fund sizing14:59 Liquidity solutions for the future17:42 How efficient are the secondary markets right now?20:40 Justin’s philosophy on risk26:00 The considerations of check size and ownership requirements28:53 What are the toughest things to get right in building a firm?31:01 Avoiding talent atrophy and ensuring generational succession32:56 The hardest lesson learned in building a firm39:47 The most counterintuitive lesson Justin learned in investing42:19 Learnings from misses43:47 Justin’s inspirationsMentioned in this episode137 VenturesI’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Justin. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit ventureunlocked.substack.com
Haystack's Semil Shah on building the firm from the ground up, portfolio models, and the state of VC today Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.Today’s episode is with Semil Shah, founder and general partner at Haystack, a pre-seed and seed-stage supporting outlier founders. Haystack’s portfolio includes DoorDash, Instacart, HashiCorp, Figma, Applied Intuition and many more.Semil is also Venture Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, and in 2017, was selected to the Midas Brink List.  He previously was a venture partner at both GGV Capital and Bullpen Capital.We covered topics like the challenges Semil faced when trying to get into VC, how he’s evolved his approach over the years and his current and future view of the industry. A message from our sponsorAnduin is revolutionizing fund management with streamlined fund operations, digitized fund subscriptions, and real-time status updates. Traditional, paper-based subscriptions are costly, tedious and error-prone, with up to 80% of submitted documents being incorrect and considered not in good order.Fund managers lack real-time visibility, facing manual processes, endless back-and-forth and a mountain of emails, documents and spreadsheets.Anduin’s investor onboarding workflow improves the investor experience, bringing clarity, guidance, and efficiency to fund subscriptions which drastically reduces error rates.The Anduin platform allows GPs to perform fund operations simply and efficiently with improved data accuracy, freeing up time so they can focus on what they do best... investing.For more information, or to arrange a demo, visit fundsub.io/ventureunlockedIn this episode we discuss:02:26 Semil’s path into VC and some of the challenges06:00 Initiating relationships with LPs12:54 Scaling as a venture firm16:15 Semil’s portfolio construction methodology20:30 Were there any transferable elements from LSVP and GGV to running a seed fund?23:21 Semil’s take on differentiation31:06 Do LPs push venture firms to be too big?33:25 Redefining venture scale outcomes40:08 What it means to be disciplined41:15 Semil’s view of the venture landscape today43:50 The most counterintuitive lesson he’s learned being a VC46:07 Underrated characteristics of successful VCsMentioned in this episodeHaystack VenturesI’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Semil. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit ventureunlocked.substack.com
From Norwest to starting Roble Ventures, Sergio Monsalve on equity and diversity in tech, adapting from large VC to a small, solo-GP, and investing in heated markets. Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.Today’s episode is with Sergio Monsalve, founding partner of Roble Ventures, a seed firm based in Silicon Valley that invests in solutions that help human progress. Their portfolio includes Kahoot, Mosaic, and Dragonboat, among others. Prior to Roble, Sergio spent 14 years at one of the longest standing VC firms in the world, Norwest Venture Partners, where he led investments in companies such as Udemy and Adaptive Insights. Before he started his investing career, he held various roles in high-growth technology companies like eBay and Portal Software. He currently teaches at his alma mater, Stanford, on education and entrepreneurship. We chatted with Sergio about equity and diversity in the VC world, adapting to a smaller GP model after so much time at a large partnership, and how he thinks about investing in human enablement technologies. A message from our sponsorAnduin is revolutionizing fund management with streamlined fund operations, digitized fund subscriptions, and real-time status updates. Traditional, paper-based subscriptions are costly, tedious and error-prone, with up to 80% of submitted documents being incorrect and considered not in good order.Fund managers lack real-time visibility, facing manual processes, endless back-and-forth and a mountain of emails, documents and spreadsheets.Anduin’s investor onboarding workflow improves the investor experience, bringing clarity, guidance, and efficiency to fund subscriptions which drastically reduces error rates.The Anduin platform allows GPs to perform fund operations simply and efficiently with improved data accuracy, freeing up time so they can focus on what they do best... investing.For more information, or to arrange a demo, visit fundsub.io/ventureunlockedIn this episode we discuss:02:19 Why Sergio decided to get into venture and the unique challenges he faced 04:47 Sergio’s departure from a large shop in Norwest to starting Roble07:45 Transitioning from a partnership-driven ethos to being a single operator10:23 The meaning of ‘human-enablement’ investing13:27 Post-pandemic predictions16:46 Why you must bring diversity on a team20:31 Diversifying the decision making process and identifying implicit bias24:44 Investing in highly competitive markets with discipline 28:19 Sergio’s parameters for investing32:01 Capitalizing founders in the appropriate way in today’s market36:19 What did Roble Ventures look to accomplish in the early days39:58 The most counterintuitive thing Sergio ever learnt41:27 Dominant trends coming up in venture43:22 Investors he is inspired byMentioned in this episodeRoble VenturesI’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Sergio. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit ventureunlocked.substack.com
Act One Ventures Silton and Guerrero on the Diversity Rider initiative, building meaningful partnerships, and operating experience has been key to their model Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.Today’s episode is with Michael Silton and Alejandro Guerrero of Act One Ventures, a Los-Angeles based firm that invests in pre-seed and seed-stage .Before becoming Managing Director of Act One, Michael was Executive Director of the UCLA VC Fund for three and half years. He was also CEO & Founder of RainMaker Systems(to which he took public) and co-founder of UniDirect Corp. Prior to being General Partner at Act One, Alejandro was Volunteer Associate at UCLA Ventures from 2013-2016,  Co-Founder & CEO of Uniq Apps and Co-Founder & President of the Live Entertainment Network.We chatted with them about their unique partnership, how they tangibly drive real diversity into cap tables, and how they navigate in today’s white-hot market. A message from our sponsorAnduin is revolutionizing fund management with streamlined fund operations, digitized fund subscriptions, and real-time status updates. Traditional, paper-based subscriptions are costly, tedious and error-prone, with up to 80% of submitted documents being incorrect and considered not in good order.Fund managers lack real-time visibility, facing manual processes, endless back-and-forth and a mountain of emails, documents and spreadsheets.Anduin’s investor onboarding workflow improves the investor experience, bringing clarity, guidance, and efficiency to fund subscriptions which drastically reduces error rates.The Anduin platform allows GPs to perform fund operations simply and efficiently with improved data accuracy, freeing up time so they can focus on what they do best... investing.For more information, or to arrange a demo, visit fundsub.io/ventureunlockedIn this episode we discuss:02:15 How the team got into investing05:22 Why Michael started an independent firm, after so many years as an operator13:10 Key lessons learned from raising their first fund15:11 Staying positive when fundraising is going slow22:53 The Act One Ventures investment model26:34 Why learning from failures is a superpower29:18 How their unique differences as a partnership drive value to founders38:35 The Diversity Rider; What it means and why is it critical for the future of underrepresented GPs and founders. Mentioned in this episodeAct One VenturesI’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Michael and Alejandro. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit ventureunlocked.substack.com
Broadhaven Ventures' Michael Sidgmore on democratization of venture capital, why Alts are the future of private portfolios, and the role of wealth management firms. Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.Today we’re thrilled to bring you a very unique conversation with Michael Sidgmore, Co-Founder of Broadhaven Ventures and host of the Alt Goes mainstream podcast. Broadhaven Ventures is fintech focused and has invested in several platforms that make alternatives more accessible including, Republic, Party Round, iCapital, Alt, and of course our startup Allocate. Additionally, Michael was an early employee at iCapital (currently valued at $4B), which enabled private wealth managers to offer top alternatives to their clients. Michael is also a Venture Partner at Goodwater Capital, one of the top global consumer focused venture capital platforms in the world with over $2 Billion of assets under management. We covered the broad topics of retail influence within alternatives, the future democratization of venture capital, and why a larger supply of LPs is coming. A message from our sponsor:Pacific Western Bank is a full service commercial bank with over $34 billion in assets. The venture banking team specializes in financial products and services for startups, venture-backed businesses, and their venture capital and private equity investors.The experienced team is committed to the space and dedicated to delivering high-touch, tailored solutions, helping innovators take their business to the next level.In the first half of the year, the venture banking team has booked over $800 million in new loan commitments to help support the community.  No matter the size or stage of your business, you can expect guidance, resources and flexibility, making them the perfect team to support your evolving needs.Turn your vision into reality with PWB. For more information, visit www.pacwest.com/lending-solutions, or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.*Equal Housing Lender & FDIC insured*Total assets & loans booked are as of June 30, 2021.In this episode we discuss:01:06 Why Michael got into investing08:02 The world of alternatives12:55 How the demand for alternatives assets has changed over the years18:31 Navigating the challenges for people to access alternatives24:19 The long term progression of alternative investments29:29 Important thematic trends in the next generation of investors34:09 What adding value to investments means to Broadhaven37:52 Balancing the relationship between founders and VCs41:43 Successfully scaling for valueMentioned in this episodeBroadhaven VenturesI’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Michael. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit ventureunlocked.substack.com
Primary Venture Partners Jason Shuman on integrating partners into an established partnership, KPI's on measuring value to founders, and views on portfolio construction. Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.Today, I’m excited to bring you my conversation with Jason Shuman, a partner at NY based Primary Venture Partners. The firm leads seed rounds for companies in NY and has previously invested in companies such as Jet, Mirror, and Latch. The firm recently raised two funds totaling $200MM. Prior to joining Primary, he spent time as Chief Of Staff for GLG founder Mark Gerson, was an associate at Corigin Venture, and founded and ran a company called Category Five from 2011-2015. We chatted with Jason about the importance of culture in building lasting teams, KPI’s for delivering founder success from their internal portfolio services team, and how he views both NY and the entire venture market today. A message from our sponsor:Pacific Western Bank is a full service commercial bank with over $34 billion in assets. The venture banking team specializes in financial products and services for startups, venture-backed businesses, and their venture capital and private equity investors.The experienced team is committed to the space and dedicated to delivering high-touch, tailored solutions, helping innovators take their business to the next level.In the first half of the year, the venture banking team has booked over $800 million in new loan commitments to help support the community.  No matter the size or stage of your business, you can expect guidance, resources and flexibility, making them the perfect team to support your evolving needs.Turn your vision into reality with PWB. For more information, visit www.pacwest.com/lending-solutions, or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.*Equal Housing Lender & FDIC insured*Total assets & loans booked are as of June 30, 2021.In this episode we discuss:01:44 Jason’s journey into the startup world04:37 What he learned in working with GLG founder Mark Gerson07:05 The decision to join Primary versus starting his own firm11:42 How Primary was able to seamlessly integrate him into the partnership14:37 Jason’s advice to someone who is joining a successful venture firm17:42 Why being selective and keeping a smaller portfolio is important to Primary21:23 Primary’s philosophy on building a team 24:31 The KPIs Primary uses to assess whether they are delivering value to founders27:21 Why Primary has decided to remain geo-focused on New York instead of expand 29:41 How Jason views speed versus diligence when investing in today’s marketplace33:41 Thoughts on the seed market in 202137:15 The most counterintuitive lesson he’s learned as an investor38:03 The investment miss that he’s learned from39:54 The investor that inspires himMentioned in this episodePrimary PartnersI’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Jason. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.Transcript:Samir Kaji:I am Samir Kaji, your host of Venture Unlocked, the podcast that takes a behind the scenes of the business of venture capital. On this week's episode, I'm thrilled to bring you my conversation with Jason Shuman, a Partner with New York based Primary Venture Partners. The firm leads seed rounds for companies in New York, and previously invested in companies such as Jet, Mirror and Latch. Earlier this year, the company raised two funds totaling $200 million. Before joining Primary in 2018, he spent time as Chief of Staff for GLG founder Mark Gerson, was an Associate at Corigin Ventures and founded and ran a company called Category Five from 2011 to 2015. I found Jason to be really thoughtful and we had a great conversation on things like finding alignment when you join a firm, the tangible KPIs they use to measure success and what type of value they're providing found
LP Roundtable with Chris Douvos (Ahoy Capital), Beezer Clarkson (Sapphire Partners), Guy Perelmuter (GRIDS Capital) on opportunity funds, red flags they watch for, and the state of the market. Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.As we move towards the end of 2021, we wanted to record an episode that focused on the LP perspective on current capital and ventures. To that end, this week we are joined by joined by Chris Douvos, founder of Ahoy Capital, Elizabeth “Beezer” Clarkson, Managing Director of Sapphire Partners, and Guy Perelmuter, founder of GRIDS Capital.The three of them have spent decades investing in venture funds and companies across multiple cycles. While we didn’t come into the discussion with any set agenda, we ended up covering everything from emerging manager views to global capital trends. This was a fun one to record, so hope you enjoy. A word from our sponsor:Vouch Insurance is a new kind of insurance platform for startups. Built by founders for founders, Vouch’s fully digital coverage takes minutes to activate. Vouch is trusted by the biggest names in the startup economy — such as Y Combinator and Silicon Valley Bank — who partner with Vouch because everything from onboarding to claims is designed for startups by experienced founders. Because Vouch is an insurance platform, and not a broker, it works with its clients to manage, mitigate, and avoid risks. http://www.vouch.us/ventureunlockedIn this episode we discuss:02:22 Complete this sentence: Venture today is "[Blank]04:51 How are they as LPs navigating the seed and early-stage market for manager selection15:39 View of the late stage boom and potential for returns24:40 Perspective of Opportunity Funds and whether they represent a good product for LPs34:29 Returns Beezer is writing to on a multiple cash on cash basis on different types of managers40:05 Things they look for beyond track record in emerging managers44:41 Common mistakes and red flags for emerging managers that can scare off LPs47:15 Tangible characteristics that they look for in emerging managers53:15 How non-traditional and non-mainstream managers can attract institutional LPs56:08 What emerging managers should lead with when they don’t have a track record beyond the last few years60:22 The investment category each are most excited aboutMentioned in this episode:Episode 013 Chris DouvosEpisode 021 Beezer Clarkson(Guy’s episode will drop in early 2022)I’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Chris, Beezer, and Guy. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.Transcript:Samir Kaji:All right. So I'm super excited about bringing the first LP roundtable to Venture Unlocked, where we dive into a number of different topics that relate to venture. And we'll look to dive deep. This will be an unscripted conversation, so we'll let it go where it goes. I want to first introduce three of the best LPs in the business, Chris Douvos from Ahoy Capital, Beezer Clarkson from Sapphire Ventures and Guy Perelmuter from GRIDS Capital. One of the things we were talking about before this podcast started was how fascinating a time we live in right now. And within venture, it certainly seems A Tale of Two Cities where it's the best of times, and it's the worst of times. And we'll get into that during the scope of this discussion over the next hour or so. But let me first start with an icebreaker for the group here. If you were to complete this sentence, how would you complete it? Venture today is X. Chris, why don't you start? What is X today?Chris Douvos:To get hype for this is discussion I watched some TikTok so I'm feeling like I've been around a long enough time that I got to st
Glasswing Ventures Rudina Seseri on frontier tech, the KPI's Glasswing uses to measure their value-add to founders, and why diversity is central to their investing ethos Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.Today, we have the great pleasure of chatting with Rudina Seseri, Founder of Glasswing Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm investing in AI-powered software companies. With over 17 years of investing and related experience, Rudina has led investments in companies such as Celtra, Crowdtwist, ChaosSearch, Plannuh, Reprise, Inrupt, and Zylotech (recently acquired by Terminus).Prior to moving into venture capital, Rudina was a Senior Manager in the Corporate Development Group at Microsoft Corporation and started her career as an investment banker at Credit Suisse. Rudina was appointed by the Dean of the Harvard Business School (HBS) for four consecutive years to serve as Entrepreneur-In-Residence for the Business School and has most recently been named to the HBS inaugural group of Rock Venture Capital Partners.A word from our sponsor:Invest in innovation. Allocate allows investors to access top-tier private funds and co-investment opportunities within the technology sector. Despite the enormous growth of the private markets and the rapid increase of retail demand for private alternatives, investing in the highest quality private assets within the innovation sector still remains limited to institutions and ultra-connected high net worth individuals. With Allocate, wealth advisors, banks, family offices, and other qualified investors can have a streamlined way to responsibly invest with confidence. Go to allocate.co to find out more, and if you are a investor in funds of any kind, please sign up to the waitlist. In this episode we discuss:01:01 What inspired Rudina to become a full-time investor and what was her early investing philosophy03:06 The firm’s structure and methodology05:42 Learnings from the first fundraise08:35 Frontier tech investing12:13 What type of frontier tech companies the firm looks for14:11 How Glasswing specifically evaluates companies 21:01 How they thoughtfully built the team at Glasswing to drive unique support to their founders25:03 Preserving ownership in companies during the current market conditions without having to substantially increase fund size28:36 Deciding on when to make an exception on valuation or ownership30:44 How the firm deals with unconscious bias and group think when evaluating investments34:50 Using diversity of thought to drive better decision making38:55 The most counterintuitive lesson Rudina has learned as a VC40:52 The investing miss that taught her a lesson42:13 The investor she most admiresMentioned in this episode:Glasswing VenturesI’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Rudina. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.Transcript:Samir Kaji:Hi, I'm Samir Kaji, welcome to another episode of Venture Unlocked, the podcast that takes you behind the scenes of the business of venture capital. Today, we have the great pleasure of chatting with Rudina Seseri, founder of Glasswing Ventures, an early stage venture firm investing in AI power technology companies. With over 17 years of investing in transactional experience, Rudina has led investments in companies such as Celtra, CrowdTwist, Talla, and Zylotech. During our discussion, we talked about her view of what frontier tech means to them, the KPIs that Glasswing uses when measuring value add services to founders, and why diversity is so central to their investing ethos. Now, let's get into the episode to hear all of them and more. Rudina, it's great to see you and thanks for being on the show.Rudina Seseri:Hello, Samir, happy summer and thank you for having me.Samir Kaji:Now, let's get into your start into venture capital. You had a myriad of other roles before you became a full-time investor. What inspired you to be a full-time investor? What was the opportunity you saw and what type of investment philosophy did you have?Rudina Seseri:I had been i
Initialized Capital's Alda Leu Dennis on building the proper culture for decision making, finding ways to win in today's market, and her concerns with the drop in diverse founder funding. Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.This week we have Alda Leu Dennis, General Partner at Initialized Capital. Founded in 2011, the firm has been an early backer of companies such as Coinbase and Instacart and describes itself as the “Honey Badger” of venture capital. Founded in 2012 with a sub $10MM fund I, they currently ~$1B in AUM. Prior to joining Initialized, Alda was a managing partner at 137 Ventures (a firm co-founded by past VU guest Justin Fishner-Wolfson). At 137, she led investments in Planet Labs, Wish, Coupang, CourseHero, and Work Market.  Alda also has held various operational roles including COO at Airtime, and General Counsel at Founders Fund, and at Clarium Capital. She did her undergrad at Stanford and received her Law Degree at UCLA.A word from our sponsor:Invest in innovation. Allocate allows investors to access top-tier private funds and co-investment opportunities within the technology sector.Despite the enormous growth of the private markets and the rapid increase of retail demand for private alternatives, investing in the highest quality private assets within the innovation sector still remains limited to institutions and ultra-connected high net worth individuals.With Allocate, wealth advisors, banks, family offices, and other qualified investors can have a streamlined way to responsibly invest with confidence.Go to allocate.co to find out more and please sign up to the waitlist to learn more and get early access to the platform.In this episode we discuss:01:35 Alda’s journey from being a lawyer into becoming a full-time investor03:17 Why she decided that investing was a better fit for her04:44 Why the Initialized ethos was so compelling to her06:45 Winning today as a generalist early stage investor09:00 How they have adjusted to the current market framework13:13 Most common traits she sees of successful founders14:58 How Initialized gets to ‘Yes’ on complicated and non-obvious companies16:31 Portfolio construction and follow-on decision making17:54 Why Initialized decided to move reduce portfolio size for their more recent funds19:33 Despite the growth of dollars going into VC, the disturbing trend of decreasing funding of female-led companies in 202021:00 How Alda wants to increase investments companies lead by women and underrepresented founders24:42 Navigating embedded biases in the investing community27:43 How the diversity movement is specifically changing the investing community today29:22 Alda’s experience of joining Intialized many years after it was founded and how other firms can learn from her experience of integrating new partners31:29 How a deal meeting at Initialized typically works34:09 The way Initialized promotes independent thought and decision making within the firm 34:53 The most counterintuitive things she’s learned as an investor36:31 The most challenging thing about building a durable firm37:23 The investor that has made the biggest impact on herMentioned in this episode:Initialized CapitalI’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Alda. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit ventureunlocked.substack.com
M13's Carter Reum on building an operational services team (Propulsion platform), navigating from operator to angel investor to building a firm for the long haul. Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.Our guest today is Carter Reum, Co-Founder of M13, a unique venture capital firm that combines a traditional fund, a services platform, and a studio model to support high potential early-stage companies. M13 has AUM of over $650MM and the team has invested in companies Ring, Daily Harvest, Tonal, Thrive Market, Pinterest and many others.Prior to M13, Carter and his brother Courtney founded VEEV Spirits which became one of the fastest-growing independent brands in the country before being acquired in 2016. Carter holds a B.A. from Columbia University and is an alumnus of Harvard Business School. Carter and his brother are the authors of the national bestseller Shortcut Your Startup (Simon & Schuster) that shares business insights to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs.A word from our sponsor:Invest in innovation. Allocate is a digital platform that enables investors of all types to invest and manage private alternatives within the technology sector.Despite the enormous growth of the private markets and the rapid increase of retail demand for private alternatives, investing in the highest quality private assets within the innovation sector remains inaccessible and opaque.With Allocate, wealth advisors, banks, family offices, and other qualified investors can have a streamlined way to responsibly invest in the highest quality technology-centered private alternatives.Go to allocate.co to find out more and please sign up to the waitlist to learn more and get early access to the platform.In this episode we discuss:01:27 Why he and his brother decided to start M13 as a full time endeavor after being entrepreneurs their entire lives. 06:38 The era of value add has changed, and how they’ve thought about systematizing this. 11:34 How capital is commoditized so much today, and what VC firms need to think about to compete. 14:39 How M13 mitigates risks through their propulsion platform18:19 The data behind M13’s high Net Promoter Score and what they found their founders cared about most21:20 What are the non-negotiable traits they look for when recruiting26:06 Developing a pattern and ethos around diversity of though. 31:06 What are the things they had to unlearn when moving from angel investors to a firm32:37 Early mistakes as a VC and what they learned from them37:13 How they set up rules for follow-on investments and when they break those rules43:43 The most non-consensus view he holds as an investor44:19 The person who has been most impactful on his career as an investor45:01 The entrepreneur that has helped form him the mostMentioned in this episode:M13I’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Carter. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit ventureunlocked.substack.com
QED Investors' Frank Rotman in breaking down the venture market today, determining how to compete today, and how QED makes decisions. Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.This week I’m absolutely thrilled to bring you my conversation with Frank Rotman, Founding Partner of QED Partners, one of the top Fintech firms in the world. Founded in 2007 alongside Nigel Morris, QED has invested early in companies such as Credit Karma, Klarna, SoFi, and Nubank. They currently have $3B in AUM.As many of you that follow Frank on twitter, and if you don’t you should right away, you’ll know he’s one of the most insightful thinkers in the industry. As such, I wanted to take this opportunity to have a more global dialogue about the state of the venture market today, including a close evaluation from both a risk and return perspective.About Frank Rotman:Frank was one of the earliest analysts hired into Capital One and spent almost 13 years there helping build many of the company’s business units and operational areas. With two decades in consumer & small business finance, Frank is widely known in the industry as a Credit Risk and Portfolio Management Expert.His responsibilities have included turning around underperforming business units, building new businesses from concept to market leadership positions, overseeing the credit performance of Capital One as a whole, and creating a Student Lending company after leaving Capital One in December 2005. Frank graduated from the University of Virginia with degrees that included Applied Mathematics (BS) and Systems Engineering (MS).A word from our sponsor:Invest in innovation. Allocate is a digital platform that enables investors of all types to invest and manage private alternatives within the technology sector.Despite the enormous growth of the private markets and the rapid increase of retail demand for private alternatives, investing in the highest quality private assets within the innovation sector remains inaccessible and opaque.With Allocate, wealth advisors, banks, family offices, and other qualified investors can have a streamlined way to responsibly invest in the highest quality technology centered private alternatives.Go to allocate.co to find out more and please sign up to the waitlist to learn more and get early access to the platform.In this episode we discuss:01:45 Frank’s journey from banker to investor05:23 What the current investing market looks like from QED’s perspective09:10 How should investors be underwriting to future exits?13:50 Assessing how liquidity has fueled the market, and what it means for startups. 18:28 Predicting narrative violations and who the winners will be in the next 10 years22:58 The maturation of financial markets for technology 32:32 How the QED model has adapted to respond to higher pricing and faster decisions39:20 Signals Frank looks for when evaluating a new investment44:56 The problems entrepreneurs face when raising at a higher valuation48:41 Risks that VCs can help entrepreneurs mitigate against54:38What would Frank do if he was the CIO of an endowment? How would he build his VC portfolio?I’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Frank. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.Podcast Production support provided byAgent Bee Agency This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit ventureunlocked.substack.com
Worklife Ventures' Brianne Kimmel on finding the right LPs, the big differences between angel investing and being a solo fund manager, and the main thing she looks for in founding teams Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.This week I’m thrilled to bring you my conversation with Brianne Kimmel, founder and managing partner of Worklife Ventures, a San Francisco-based firm that invests in seed-stage companies focused on the future of work. Worklife started in 2019 with a $5M fund (which included 7 unicorns), and is now investing out of Fund II. One interesting point about the fund is that she intentionally was very strategic about building an LP base and has LPs that include Marc Andreessen, Chris Dixon, Matt Mazzeo, Alexis Ohanian, Garry Tan, and others.About Brianne Kimmel:Business Insider recently named Brianne a top angel investor that every startup should know alongside Ellen Pao and Cyan Bannister.She previously worked on the go-to-market team at Zendesk focused on self-serve growth, technology integrations and built Zendesk for Startups.Started with SaaS when she was Head of Social Media at Expedia leading paid acquisition, customer support, and community.Brianne runs an invite-only program called SaaS School for startup founders to learn from the fastest-growing companies like Airtable, Drift, Dropbox, Slack, and more. A word from our sponsor:Invest in innovation. Allocate is a digital platform that enables investors of all types to invest and manage private alternatives within the technology sector.Despite the enormous growth of the private markets and the rapid increase of retail demand for private alternatives, investing in the highest quality private assets within the innovation sector remains inaccessible and opaque.With Allocate, wealth advisors, banks, family offices, and other qualified investors can have a streamlined way to responsibly invest in the highest quality technology centered private alternatives.Go to allocate.co to find out more and please sign up to the waitlist to learn more and get early access to the platform.In this episode we discuss:01:09 Brianne’s life prior to investing and what led her to become a full-time investor03:39 Her motivation for becoming an investor rather than staying an operator08:51 Experiences that led to Brianne’s investing thesis12:39 How she spends her time as a solo GP17:40 What she’s found to be the most valuable use of her time as a solo GP21:14 The difference between investing in Fund I and Fund II28:16 The importance of building community within her LP base and learning by investing alongside other investors32:55 Non-negotiables she looks for in founders and founding teams37:40 The importance of founder/investor fit and personality traits she thinks attracts top-talent41:41 How culture is conveyed through remote work44:14 The best piece of career advice Brianne has receivedI’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Brianne. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit ventureunlocked.substack.com
Limited Partner and direct invest Guy Perelmuter (Grids Capital) on deep tech, bull and bear views on the market, and adding value as an LP Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.This week, we have friend-of-the-pod Guy Perelmuter, founder of GRIDS Capital, a firm based in Sao Paulo, Brazil that invests in deep tech focused venture funds and startups.  GRIDS, whose tagline is “Science is our Business. Business is our Science” has invested in funds such as Lux Capital and Root Ventures as well as directs into Desktop Metal, Recursion Pharmaceuticals, Instrumental, Matterport, Esper, and Momentus Space.About Guy Perelmuter:Guy began his career in Banking as Chief Risk Officer at Banco Pactual (acquired by UBS), one of the largest banks in Latin America. He went to Vinci Partners, an investing platform for alternative investments in 2009 as Chief Risk Officer. He and his partner, Isabelle, Co-Founded GRIDS Capital in 2016.Guy made a memorable appearance on Venture Unlocked with the LP round table discussion and he is the author of the acclaimed book "Present Future: Business, Science and the Deep Tech Revolution.” Guy got a BS in Computer Engineering and an MS in AI from Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro.A word from our sponsor:Why does signing up for Robinhood take 2 minutes but investing in private funds takes hours? Meet Passthrough. The subscription document process is a nightmare. Investors receive 100-200 question questionnaires, answer the wrong questions, miss ones they're supposed to answer, and spend hours on revisions.How can you effectively manage your raise when you don't know where your investors stand?Passthrough takes any subscription document and builds a custom workflow so that your investors only see the questions that matter to them, shrinking the time to completion to minutes instead of hours. 80% of investors don't even require revisions. Plus, you can see where your investors are and coordinate them, your law firm, and fund admin to close capital quicker.At Allocate, we have used Passthrough for our various funds, which has significantly increased the efficiency of our closings while providing our investors with a delightful user experience.Go to passthrough.com/samir to learn more about how to simplify fund closing.In this episode we discuss:02:25 Guy’s path into investing in Deep Tech08:39 What is Deep Tech and why other investors have historically avoided investing in it12:12 Risk mitigation strategies Guy uses to help decide to invest into early Deep Tech startups17:53 What makes a fund manager a good Deep Tech investor?20:30 How GRIDS thinks about competitive moats and winning deals24:46 What’s more important in a fund manager, track record or technical chops?30:00 How Guy is focusing on growing as an LP and how he adds value to his GPs36:56 Why today’s market is “extraordinary” and his case for both a bull and bear view44:10 How new investors in the venture capital market can mitigate risk and capture upside in today’s market50:37 The best career advice he’s ever receivedI’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Guy. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.Podcast Production support provided byAgent Bee Agency This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit ventureunlocked.substack.com
FPV's Wes Chan on the path to backing 20 unicorns and 5 decacorns, raising a $450MM Fund 1, working closely with Sergey and Larry and Google, and what Bill Campbell taught him about helping founders Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.I’m excited to bring my conversation with Wesley Chan, founder and managing partner of his new fund FPV Ventures, which recently closed an oversubscribed $450M Fund 1. Wes brings a very unique lens to investing as he closely worked with the founders of Google (where founded Google Voice and Google Analytics), and went on to co-found GV before he joined Felicis Ventures. During his 13 year venture career, he has backed 20 unicorns and 5 decacorns, including Canva, Flexport, Guild Education, RobinHood, AngelList, Plaid, and Ring.During our discussion, we spoke about how he’s been able to have such a hit rate in his investing career, what being founder-friendly really means, and his time working with people like Sergey and Larry at Google as well as what he learned from Bill Campell. I really hope you enjoy our chat.About Wesley Chan:Wesley Chan is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner at FPV Ventures, a $450M early-stage fund that backs and serves mission-driven founders. He is an investor in five $10B+ "decacorns," his most notable being Canva where he is a member of the board of directors, led the Series A and C rounds, and is worth north of $40B. He founded Google Analytics and Google Voice and holds 17 US patents for his work in creating Google AdWords.Among Wesley's 20+ unicorn investments, he wrote the first or very early check into fintech API decacorn Plaid, logistics powerhouse Flexport, SMB payroll leader Gusto, enterprise software unicorn Lucid, and stock trading platform RobinHood (NASDAQ: HOOD)—and led investments in Canva, AngelList, Carta, Guild Education, Sourcegraph, Dialpad, RocketLawyer, Orca Bio, Checkr, CultureAmp, HyperScience, Zipline, Astranis, TrialSpark, and Ring (exit to AMZN). Business Insider named Wesley to their Top 100 Seed Investors list for two consecutive years in 2022 & 2021.He was formerly a Managing Director at Felicis Ventures and one of the first General Partners at GV (Google Ventures). He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT and completed his Master’s degree at the MIT Media Lab.In this episode we discuss:01:22 Wesley’s path to becoming a VC05:03 The start of GV, and the early days05:59 How we got to current market conditions06:57 Why Wesley doesn’t have a thesis driven approach09:12 What he saw in the founders of Canva to give him conviction even when other investors would not invest12:46 How FOMO and being incremental are so detrimental in being a VC17:01 What is it about Wesley’s mindset that allows him to consistently be non-consensus20:48 Why $450M was the right fund size for FPV23:26 The ethos for FPV and how Wesley and his partner in FPV, Pegah Ebrahimi, decided to work together26:40 Why you don’t always need to be on a board to be helpful27:28 What founders really need from investors28:43 How FPV thinks about differentiating itself from bigger firms31:40 The impact of Bill Campbell on Google and also how he impacted Wesley’s style as an investor34:36 Where the market is right now and what the next few years look like I’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Wesley. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit ventureunlocked.substack.com
20 Growth: Shopify's VP of Growth on Why Standalone Growth Teams Operate More Efficiently than Integrated Ones, Why You Should Hire as Senior Growth Leaders as Possible and The Biggest Mistakes Founders Make When Making Their First Growth Hires Luc Levesque is currently the VP of Growth at Shopify and also advises companies like Twitter, Pinterest, and Quora. At the age of 21, Luc founded TravelPod, the world’s first travel blogging platform. 10 years later, TravelPod was acquired by Expedia, where Luc led the creation of two award-winning products: TripWow and the Traveler IQ Challenge. Luc then served as an executive at TripAdvisor, where he built and led the growth team which helped TripAdvisor become the world’s largest travel site. Luc was then recruited by Mark Zuckerberg to Facebook where he was an executive and led the creation of Messenger Kids. In Today's Episode with Luc Levesque We Discuss: 1.) Entry into Growth: When did Luc realise the power of "growth" within every company? How did Luc subsequently make his way into the world of growth pose-selling his first company? What does Luc know now that he wishes he had known when he made the entry into growth? 2.) Growth and Viral Loops: How does Luc define "growth" today? How should leaders choose what is the right north star to focus on for their business? Should this north star change? If so, how often should the north star change? How does Luc define "viral loops"? What makes the best viral loops today? 3.) Growth: Building the Team: When is the right time for founders to start thinking about building a growth team? Should it be standalone or integrated into other functions in the company? Should the first growth hires be senior and tasked with hiring the team or junior and be more lean as a way to test growth as a new function? What are the signals Luc looks for when hiring for growth? What are the best questions that reveal the characteristics growth leaders need to have? 4.) Growth: The Action: What is a growth decision Luc made without data? How did it go? What are some growth tactics that have become stronger over time? What have died a death? How should leaders know when to kill a new project vs continue and keep testing? What are the biggest mistakes Luc sees founders make when building and scaling their growth team?
Faraz Fatemi -- Lightspeed What does it mean to be more authentic online and will it lead to a nicer Internet?    How will future social networks make it easier to establish an online identity, find community and enable community ownership?   Faraz Fatemi, partner at Lightspeed, brings his perspective on consumer psychology to today's episode of LA Venture.
20VC: Matt Mullenweg on Relationships to Risk, Money and Insecurity as a Leader | Lessons from a Parent's Passing and the Pre-Grieving Process | What is High Performance in Leadership Today? Matt Mullenweg is the Founder of Automattic, the force behind WordPress, Tumblr, WooCommerce, Jetpack, Longreads, Simplenote, Pocket Casts, and more. What started as a simple open-source blogging platform, Matt has turned into one of the most significant internet properties of our generation, now powering over 43% of sites on the internet. Alongside Automattic, Matt also invests through Audrey Capital and has backed the likes of Stripe, SpaceX, Gitlab, and Sendgrid to name a few. In Today's Episode with Matt Mullenweg We Discuss: 1.) The Origins of WordPress: How did Matt start the for-profit, Automattic, as a 19-year-old, having been a lead developer for WordPress? What were the clearest signs to Matt in the early days that WordPress could change the world? What does Matt know now that he wishes he had known at the beginning of WordPress? 2.) Matt Mullenweg: The Essence of Leadership: What does high performance mean to Matt? How has that changed over time? What does truly great listening mean to Matt as a leader today? Where do many get this wrong? How does Matt approach decision-making today? What are the two types of decisions? What are Matt's biggest insecurities in leadership today? How have they changed over time? 3.) Matt Mullenweg: The Person: Why does Matt have insecurities around his body? How do those insecurities manifest? What did Matt learn about himself in the pre-grieving process before his father's passing? How does Matt assess his own relationship to risk today? How does Matt think through his relationship to money today? Has it changed? 4.) WordPress: The Company: Why did Matt decide it was the right decision to buy Tumblr? Why did Matt make himself the CEO earlier this year? With many strong cashflow businesses within Automattic, how does Matt think through the balance between growth and profitability? Why does Automattic not have any emails within the company? How do 2,000 people communicate so effectively? Items Mentioned in Today's Episode: Matt's Favourite Book: Principles by Ray Dalio
20 Product: The Ultimate Guide to Product Reviews: What Makes the Best vs the Worst | How Often Should They Be | Who Should Be Invited | Who Sets The Agenda | How to do Follow-Ups Post Product Reviews Scott Belsky is an entrepreneur, master of product reviews, author, investor, and currently serves as Adobe’s Chief Product Officer and Executive Vice President, Creative Cloud. Tony Fadell, often referred to as the father of the iPod is one of the leading product thinkers of the last 30 years as one of the makers of some of the most game-changing products in society from the iPhone and iPod to more recently founding Nest. Lenny Rachitsky is one of the OGs of product, having spent over 7 years at Airbnb as a product lead he left to start his newsletter, find it here. Kayvon Beykpour is one of the most prominent product leaders of the last decade. For the last 7 years, Kayvon has been at Twitter where he led all of the teams across Product, Engineering, Design, Research and Customer Service & Operations. Aparna Chennapragada is Chief Product Officer @ Robinhood, the company revolutionising consumer finance with commission-free investing. In Today's Episode Breaking Down Product Reviews We Discuss: 1.) What makes a truly great product review? 2.) What are the biggest mistakes that product leaders make when leading product reviews? 3.) Who should be invited to the product review? How does this change with scale? How does this change in a world of remote work and Zoom? 4.) Who should set the agenda for the product review? 5.) How can leaders assign accountability and ensure that the follow-ups from product reviews are executed on? 6.) How can leaders ensure that they do not dominate product reviews with the weight of their words? How can they give designers and devs the space to share their thoughts without being judged?
20VC: How to Build Anti-Fragile Venture Portfolios Today | Why Diversification is Overrated in Portfolio Construction | How to Think Through Sizing Investments, Market Sizing and Pricing in Today's Environment with Mike Chalfen @ Chalfen Ventures Mike Chalfen is a solo GP with Chalfen Ventures and one of the most respected and successful early-stage investors in Europe over the last two decades. Among Mike's incredible portfolio includes the likes of King.com (makers of Candy Crush), Houzz, Tipalti, Snyk, and Tray.io, to name a few. Some incredible facts on Mike, he has a 15x career track record, he has a portfolio value of over $40BN+ and he joined the venture industry, the year of my birth! In Today's Episode with Mike Chalfen You Will Learn: 1.) Entry Into Venture and The Broken Customer Experience of VC: How did Mike make his original entry into venture way back in 1996? What does Mike mean when he speaks of the difference between "managing your career vs the money you invest"? What does Mike believe are some of the greatest challenges of venture partnerships today? What does Mike believe that the customer experience in venture partnerships for founders is broken today? How did seeing the prior booms and busts impact Mike's investing mentality today? 3.) Portfolio Construction 101: How does Mike think about portfolio construction today? With 9-10 core positions, why does Mike disagree with the traditional notion of "diversification"? How does the decision-making framework for Mike change when considering new investments vs re-investments? Does Mike believe that pro-rata is a lazy notion? What does Mike need to see on the upside to re-invest? How does Mike feel about the importance of temporal diversification? Why did Mike increase the cadence of his investing in 2021? Does he regret the increased speed? 3.) The Market 101: How does Mike think about the importance of market sizing? If we always underestimate the size of our winners, is this market sizing exercise not destined for failure? Why does Mike believe so many over the last few years have poorly sized markets they invested in? How does Mike assess market timing risk? What market risk is he willing vs not willing to take? What have been some of Mike's biggest mistakes when analyzing markets in the past? How did it change his perspective? 4.) Boards 101: How would Mike describe his style of board membership today? How has it changed over time? Why does Mike believe that boards at seed are not valuable? When do they become valuable? What is the single biggest mistake Mike sees so many young board members make today? What is his biggest advice to young board members? How does Mike advise founders on preparing for boards? What does he want to see? What are the biggest mistakes founders make when conducting board meetings? Items Mentioned in Today's Episode with Mike Chalfen: Mike's Favourite Books: Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood, Days Without End Mike's Most Recent Investment: Opply
Shomik Dutta -- Overture VC Climate is eating the world.   Shomik Dutta says that climate, and specifically the need to decarbonize every major industry will "eat the world" in the same way that Marc Andreessen famously said that software would eat the world in 2011.   Shomik argues that the TAM in climate is multiples of the TAM in software today.  The immensity of the need is one of the motivations of the work that he is doing now at Overture.
Running a B2B SaaS Syndicate with Nathan Cresswell from Swell Ventures In this episode, Nathan talks about the tech scene in Australia, his Experience at Zuora, working with Gil Penchina, his value add to founders, building your relationships with other syndicates and LPs, and much more!
Episode 45: Sir Paul Collier On this week’s episode, Jim sits down with British Economist Sir Paul Collier to discuss the current state of Capitalism, and walk our listeners through historical reactions to economic crises around the world. He speaks about his working class upbringing, compares the 1840s and 1930s to today, and speaks about using the lessons of the past to inform the present.
John Timar (Kill Cliff) - Why they doubled down on their core audience in times of doubt, How the Navy SEALs inspired the creation of the brand, and His approach to partnerships for growth Our guest today is John Timar, CEO of Kill Cliff. Kill Cliff is America’s best-selling clean energy drink and the official drink of the Atlanta Braves. We discuss how the Navy Seals impacted John and led the founding of Kill Cliff, some of the creative marketing initiatives Kill Cliff has done the past few years including a partnership with Joe Rogan, why at one point they considered a rebrand, and how they doubled down on their core audience and release new SKUs. Without further ado, here’s John.
Why did you want to be a Navy SEAL?
What was the hardest part of becoming a SEAL?
What did you most learn from that experience?
How was the transition to civilian life?
How was the transition from SEALs into business?
What did you first do after the SEALs?Don’t have the community

Why did Todd Ehrlich found Kill Cliff? What was the insight? How did you know Todd?
When you say lost its way, give an example of something that the company did that was inauthentic to the brand?
What were some of the challenges going from enterprise to consumer?
How is it a better alternative to what’s out there?
Kill
What’s been the low points and tough moments within Kill Cliff?
When did you get involved? Why did you get involved? What was your first role?
How do you approach distribution since I’d imagine the Red Bull probably try to block you?
You were able to recruit John Brenkus as your CMO. How did you convince him to join and what has been the impact?
How do you approach partnerships?
What is Kill Cliff fight club?
When did you decide to get into CBD and why?
What’s the perception of energy drinks?
How did you raise capital?
Why were you promoted to CEO?
With your partnership with Rogan, has the controversy around him had any affect with Kill Cliff?
How do you approach new flavors and products?
One piece of advice?
Tusk Venture Partners Jordan Nof: Evolving to an early stage firm, navigating regulatory hurdles for startups, and what the future holds for crypto. Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.On this week’s episode, we were thrilled to b joined by Jordan Nof, co-founder and managing partner of Tusk Venture Partners.Jordan co-founded the firm in 2015 along with Bradley Tusk to help founders build companies in areas that require regulatory navigation and expertise. The firm recently closed a $140MM Fund III, and it has previously invested in companies including Coinbase, MainStreet, Lemonade, and FanDuel. Jordan and I went deep into the evolution of Tusk, including moving from a multi-stage firm to an early-stage firm, how they’ve constructed their investment mentality, and his overall views on regulation, including within the Crypto Markets.About Jordan Nof:Jordan Nof is a Co-founder and Managing Partner at Tusk Venture Partners L.P. and is a member of the firm’s Investment Committee. He has led many of the firm’s investments including Lemonade, Bird, Coinbase, Alma, Sunday, and Wheel. He currently serves on the board of directors of Alma, Sunday, and Wheel.Prior to Tusk Venture Partners, Jordan spent six years as a Director at Blackstone, where he focused on the development of the firm’s corporate venture capital portfolio. During that time, Jordan focused on investing in early-stage technology companies that could accelerate operations across Blackstone and the firm’s underlying portfolio companies.Before joining Blackstone, Jordan spent four years in the institutional investment management division at Alliance Bernstein. During that time, he worked with many of the firm’s largest global institutional sub-advisory relationships.Jordan received an M.B.A. from Rollins Graduate School of Business and graduated from Florida State University where he received a B.S. in Finance. He is based out of the firm’s New York office.In this episode we discuss:01:09 Why Jordan and Bradley decided to start Tusk Venture Partners05:36 How Tusk supports founders through complex regulatory environments09:10 Transitioning from a multi-stage thesis to an early-stage thesis11:23 Why they decided to lead rounds and how they built conviction with founders16:09 How the current market landscape has affected Tusk’s investing strategy21:01 Tusk’s reserve strategy and advice they are giving to portfolio companies to combat the changed capital environment25:41 How Jordan spends his time between fundraising, working with existing portfolio companies, and finding new ones30:38 Where Crypto/Web3 is today and where regulation fits into its future36:16 How regulation is a validation of a market position39:18 The biggest career lesson he’s learnedI’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Jordan. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.For full disclosure, Tusk is also an investor in the company I co-founded, Allocate.Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit ventureunlocked.substack.com
20VC: Hiring 101; The Biggest Mistakes Founders Make in the Hiring Process | Fundraising; What to Optimize for, How Profitability Changes Leverage When Raising | SMB to Enterprise; When to Move, What Changes and Dangers of Moving Too Early with Daniel Yan Daniel Yanisse is the co-founder and CEO of Checkr, a leading HR technology company, currently valued at $5 billion. During the journey, Daniel has raised over $679M for Checkr from some of the best including Accel, Bond, Coatue, GV, Elad Gil and IVP to name a few. Prior to Checkr, Daniel was a software engineer and helped develop prototypes of the Mars Rover for NASA. Daniel has been recognized in Forbes “30 Under 30” and recently Checkr was recognized by Forbes as one of America’s best start-up employers. In Today’s Episode with Daniel Yanisse You Will Learn: 1.) The Origins of Checkr: The $5BN Company How did Daniel come to co-found Checkr? What was the a-ha moment? How did Daniel's experience with his prior company impact how he thought about building Checkr? What does Daniel know now that he wishes all first-time founders knew when they started? 2.) Hiring 101: What are the single biggest hiring mistakes Daniel made in the early days of Checkr? How does Daniel structure his interview process for new candidates today? How has it changed? How does Daniel test for ego and humility in the interview process? How does Daniel approach giving feedback today? How has it changed over time? What does Daniel believe is the right way to let someone go? How long does one give a team member who is not performing? 3.) Fundraising 101: How does Daniel advise founders going out to raise today in the challenging market conditions? What terms should founders optimize for? What terms should they not optimize for? What are the single biggest mistakes Daniel sees founders make when raising? What does Daniel wish he had done differently with Checkr's raises? What was the hardest raise for Checkr? Why was it so hard? What was the outcome? 4.) Going into Enterprise: Why does Daniel believe they went into enterprise too soon? What was the result of this? How does Daniel advise founders on when is the right time to go into enterprise? What changes in both your company and your product when moving to enterprise? Items Mentioned in Today’s Episode with Daniel Yanisse: Daniel’s Favourite Book: Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and Devops: Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organizations
20VC: The Memo: Bill Gurley, Doug Leone, Keith Rabois; Investing Lessons from Prior Busts, How Their Investor Psychology Changed, What Can Be Applied To Today's Market Bill Gurley is a General Partner @ Benchmark Capital, Bill, is widely recognized as one of the greats of our time having worked with the likes of GrubHub, NextDoor, Uber, OpenTable, Stitch Fix, and Zillow. Doug Leone is the Global Managing Partner @ Sequoia Capital, one of the world’s most renowned and successful venture firms with a portfolio including the likes of Google, Airbnb, Whatsapp, Stripe, Zoom and many more. Keith Rabois is a General Partner @ Founders Fund, one of the best performing funds of the last decade with a portfolio including Facebook, Airbnb, SpaceX, Stripe, Anduril, the list goes on.  Arthur Patterson and Jim Swartz founded Accel in 1983. Under their leadership, they have built Accel into one of the most prominent venture firms of the last 4 decades. Michael Eisenberg is a Co-Founder and Equal Partner @ Aleph, with a portfolio including the likes of Lemonade, Melio and HoneyBook, they are one of the leading early-stage firms of the last decade. Sonali De Rycker is a Partner @ Accel, one of the leading firms of the last 3 decades with a portfolio that includes the likes of UiPath, Miro, Spotify and many more incredible companies. Fabrice Grinda is the Founding Partner @ FJ Labs, with over 700 investments, Fabrice has had over 250 exits and built a portfolio including Alibaba, Coupang, Airbnb, Instacart, Flexport, and many more. In Today's Episode You Will Learn: 1.) How does the current environment compare to prior busts? 2.) How will the changing interest rates impact the startup funding climate moving forward? 3.) Why is the rate of inflation the only true metric which reveals the ultimate fate of the economy? 4.) What are the world's leading investors telling their founders? 5.) How are the best investors in the world thinking through reserves management?
E74: Ankur Bansal (Executive Director, BlackSoil Capital) Ankur Bansal is the Co-founder and Executive Director at BlackSoil Capital, a venture debt firm based in India. He leads the execution efforts across our large corporate clients in strategic discussions, idea origination, M&A execution, investment thesis, and negotiations. Ankur is a CFA and a CA with a large network of venture capitalists, private equity investors, institutional investors, and investment bankers and has extensive investment banking experience with major banks such as JP Morgan, Citi, and JM Morgan Stanley.In this episode we will cover:1. Thoughts on current landscape within India (1:00)2. Valuations, down rounds and how startups survive this tide? (6:17)3. How long will the economic downturn last (11:25)4. Why Ankur prefers startups that are “dhanda” type business (22:50)5. Does timing really matter for a venture debt investor (29:40)6. Are debt investors in India collaborative or competitive by nature? (32:14)7. Could a founder have more than one debt investor on the cap table? (33:24)8. Value add that debt investors bring to the table (36:53)9. How did the Partners at BlackSoil decide the fund structure (44:19)10. Which sectors are debt investors excited about (51:21)11. Tidbit about the fund name - BlackSoil (1:04:01)
How Data Science is Improving Venture Capital How is Data Science improving Venture Capital?Jon asks Peter everything about data science. What data sources are they currently using? And how much will it disrupt the functioning of Venture Capital firms.Some Lies/ Points  Covered in This Episode Include:
Would you say data science is changing things?
What Data Sources are University Growth Fund are using at this point?
For seed and early-stage firms, when data is almost non existent, will it be a barrier
A venture capital deal pipeline has three key elements: sourcing, benchmarking and value-add. Can Data science help on all three fronts?
What are some of the other challenges you foresee?
It’s a very intuitive field, do you think backing it with numbers and data will give VCs clarity while making decisions or make them second guess their intuition on                                                things that really matter- word of mouth, integrity, past personal or peer experiences.Things that data can’t support.
Often, data from sources such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Pitchbook, Crunchbase, and AngelList are obtained and then pooled and organized. The organization and manipulation of third-party data can be time and labor-intensive. Pooled third-party data that is improved and arranged in a customized manner can eventually become proprietary in nature. Your thoughts?
Once VC ventures become data backed, they will need to hire or re-organise teams that can collate and work with such data. How soon do you see that shift coming
PS-  it may call for a different talent sourcing model and organizational structure, with resulting implications for the structuring of compensation and incentives.For example, the venture capital firm Social Capital has built an automated system to invest in startups without meeting them. Companies upload data about themselves, and if the firm’s algorithms score the companies well, the firm backs them with an investment. The process was designed to keep bias from entering the equation. By mid-2018, the firm had assessed over 5,000 startups and invested in 60. Most of the investments were in companies based outside the major venture capital markets of the Bay Area and New York, and many were based overseas. About 80% of the companies featured non-white founders and 30% featured female founders. Do you see them as outliers or can that be the upcoming trend?Let us know your thoughts on data science/ AI changing the Venture capital? What should we talk about next? Give us a follow and leave us feedback.Follow Peter HarrisTwitter: https://twitter.com/thevcstudentLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/peterharris1Instagram: https://instagram.com/shodanpeteYoutube: https://youtu.be/Hy9DsuFzTH4Follow University Growth FundWebsite: https://www.ugrowthfund.com/LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/university-growth-fund/Instagram: https://instagram.com/ugrowthfundFollow Jon BradshawLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mrbradshaw/Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mrjonbradshaw/Twitter: https://twitter.com/mrjonbradshawYoutube: https://youtu.be/spRuy517if0
How does Shiny provide fractional executives for startups and SMBs In this episode, Jacob talks about how did he go about bootstrapping Shiny and then raising funds, signing up with top talent and top startups, vetting and matching executives to jobs, experiences with ODX1, and much more!
20VC: Accel's Sonali De Rycker on Building a Generational Defining Venture Firm; Hiring, Culture, Incentives | Investing; Biggest Mistakes, Biggest Lessons from Prior Crashes, Why Market Size is Dangerous to Focus On | Decision-Making; Type 1 vs Type 2 Ri Sonali De Rycker is a Partner @ Accel, one of the leading firms of the last 3 decades with a portfolio that includes the likes of UiPath, Miro, Spotify, and many more incredible companies. As for Sonali, Sonali led Accel’s investments in Avito (acquired by Naspers), Spotify (NYSE: SPOT), Primer, Monzo, Letgo (acquired by Naspers), Kry/Livi, Soldo, Hopin, and Sennder. Prior to Accel, Sonali was with Atlas Venture (now Accomplice). She also previously served on the board of Match.com (NASDAQ:MTCH). In Today's Episode with Sonali De Rycker You Will Learn: 1.) From Small Town in India To Leading Venture Capitalist: How Sonali made her way from a small town in India to becoming one of the most prominent VCs of the last decade? What were some of Sonali's biggest lessons from seeing the booms and busts of 2000 and 2008? What climate does the crash today resemble more? Why so? How does Sonali advise younger investors who have not lived through a downturn? What should their investor psychology be right now? 2.) Firm Building: Accel: What are the most challenging and non-obvious elements of building a firm today? What have been some of the biggest mistakes Accel has made when adding to the team? What qualities do Sonali and Accel specifically look for when interviewing candidates to join the team? What specific questions tease out whether the candidate has these traits? What specific structures does Accel have in place to encourage the team to work together as one cohesive unit? How do they use bonuses as a team incentive? 3.) Sonali: The Investor: How has Sonali's investing style changed over the years? What moments caused these changes to happen? What are some of the biggest mistakes Sonali has made in her investing career? What did she learn from them? On the flip side, from winners such as Spotify and Supercell, what did Sonali learn from her biggest winners? Why does Sonali believe that market sizing and outcome scenario planning is useless and will lead you to make the wrong decision? 4.) Decision-Making and Risk: What does Sonali mean when she speaks of Type 1 and Type 2 decisions? How should one's decision-making process change according to which type of decision it is? What are the two biggest risks startups are facing today? Does Sonali believe that seed-stage companies will take money from crossover funds? What does Sonali do when she loses faith in the founder? How does she communicate that to them in the right way? What have been some of her biggest lessons here? What have been some of Sonali's biggest lessons when it comes to reserves management? How does Sonali determine when to double down vs reserve cash? Items Mentioned in Today's Episode with Sonali De Rycker: Sonali's Favourite Book: A Fine Balance Sonali's Most Recent Investment: BeReal
Equity crowdfunding explained by VP at Community Round Fundraising (WeFunder), Jonny Price Jonny Price, VP of Fundraising at Community Round Fundraising (WeFunder) in this episode talks about equity crowdfunding, process that founders need to undergo to have a successful crowd-funded round and more. We've also talked about the major pitfalls in said process and how to prepare for those.
Jonny's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonnyprice/
Community Round Fundraising's site: https://wefunder.com/
SPVs (Special Purpose Vehicles) explained by the CEO of Assure: https://www.fundraisingradio.com/Jeremy-Neilson/
Extra resources that Jonny shared with me:
Blog on how to raise $1M on Wefunder: https://twitter.com/JonnyCPrice/status/1503515916285493255
Podcast episode on fundraising strategy: https://www.spreaker.com/user/wefunder/justin-renfro
Community Round website: communityround.com
Wefunder Raise page: wefunder.com/raise
Wefunder PBC charter: wefunder.com/charter
Twitter: @jonnycprice; @wefunder
A Conversation with Rima Reddy | Principal, Commerce Ventures | DRF | StartU | M13 | Pear VC | XRC Labs | Ralph Lauren | GS | MBA @ Wharton In this episode, we talk to Rima about her journey from being a "stock picker" in equity research at GS to business development at Marc Jacobs and Ralph Lauren and eventually venture capital, first with XRC labs, and now Commerce Ventures. Rima also touches on her experience working for StartU, "a Techcrunch for student startups" as she calls it, while doing her MBA. She emphasizes the importance of mentorship and community in solving gender disparity in VC and encourages aspiring female investors to tap into their strengths and form meaningful relationships to break in.
What Have We Been Up To? A short message to our avid listeners - we are still here! Anvita graduated from HBS last month (woo!) and is moving to Seattle to start the next chapter of her life and I have been working on an Africa focused Agritech / Foodtech accelerator program in Mauritius, hence the break from the podcast. We are looking forward to resuming the podcast in the coming days. Stay tuned!  - Rashveena
Kyle Lui -- Bling Capital Another great example of top Silicon Valley talent moving to LA!   Kyle Lui was a partner at multi-billion dollar DCM until he left to join Ben Ling at Bling Capital.  He shares thoughts on how a small fund can still build best in class playbooks and processes to support founders.
20VC: From Kitchen Table to $134M Fund II; Raising Your First Time Fund: Lessons from 400 LP Meetings, How To Find New LPs, What Materials to Use, How To Get LPs To Commit, The Challenges on Minimum Check Sizes and GP Commits and more with Henri Pierre-Ja Henri Pierre-Jacques is Managing Partner of Harlem Capital, on a mission to change the face of entrepreneurship by investing in 1,000 diverse founders over the next 20 years. From a kitchen table with his Co-Founder, Jarrid, Henri has scaled Harlem in just a few years to their latest fund last year of $134M, well over-subscribed from their $100M target. Prior to Harlem, Henri was in Private Equity at ICV Partners, and before PE was an Investment Banker at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. In Today's Episode with Henri Pierre-Jacques 1.) From Kitchen Table to $134M Fund: How did Henri make his way into venture having had the idea for Harlem at the kitchen table with his best friend? How did Henri use his angel investing strategically to position him to raise Fund I? How did Henri's mindset change when making the transition from angel to VC? 2.) The First Fundraise: Harlem I How long did it take to raise the first fund? How many meetings did they have? What were the most common reasons LPs said no for the first fund? What were their biggest lessons around what potential LPs did and did not like? How does Henri advise new managers when it comes to meeting new LPs? How does Henri use past deal memos to serve as discussion material with LPs? 3.) Building the Firm: The Strategy: What was the portfolio construction for the first fund? How does Henri separate the world of funds into 3 distinct groups? How did they approach reserves management with the first funds? What are some of Henri's biggest lessons when it comes to effective reserves management? How does Henri assess his own relationship to price and ownership? How does that change with fund size? What are some very important nuances that Henri does not believe many managers think about? 4.) It Is Time For Change: Specifically, what are Harlem street doing to ensure the next generation of investors is much more diverse? How do they leverage their intern program to achieve this? What would Henri like to see change in the world of LPs when it comes to allocating to more diverse managers? What legacy does Henri want to leave with Harlem? What will be a success for Henri? Items Mentioned in Today's Episode with Henri Pierre-Jacques: Henri's Most Recent Investment: Mueshi
How to grow your business through referrals by Graham Eisner In this episode, Graham talks about the seven-step approach, which are the first three 'perfect' clients to ask, how to ensure success that the referral will be given, how to choreograph meetings, and much more
Patrick Schwarzenegger (MOSH) - Why he's creating the tools for a "mindstyle" lifestyle, why he co-founded a brain bar brand and how he got into angel investing in health and wellness brands My guest today is Patrick Schwarzenegger, CEO and cofounder of Mosh. Mosh is a brain wellness brand co-founded by both Patrick and his mom, Maria Shriver. They’re on a mission to change the conversation about brain health through food, education, research and providing the tools for a "mindstyle" lifestyle. Patrick is also an actor, angel investor in a number of health and wellness brands. We discuss what attracted him to innovation within health and wellness, how he became interested in investing, what he looks for in companies and the founding story of how he and his mom founded Mosh. Without further ado, here’s Patrick.
What was your initial attraction or introduction to investing in consumer brands and consumer technology?
How would you describe your due diligence process as an investor?What’s your process for discovering new brands and having a pulse on the latest trends? Do you consider to be more top-down or bottom-up?
What are trends within CPG that you’re particularly excited about and a trend that you think is maybe past its prime or no longer special?
Is there any common threads that you’ve seen when it comes to what makes a successful founder or company? KPIs that stand out?
How early do you typically write a check in a company?
For your investments that didn’t work out. What tended to be the reasons why the companies failed?
What were your takeaways from Expo West?

How do you spend your time? You’re a CEO, actor, active angel investor, how do you juggle it?
How do you also think and analyze brands that are co-founded by celebrities and people of influence?
How did you found Mosh with your mom, Maria?
What was the pain point you both wanted to solve?
How did you approach building the product?What’s the goal of the brand?
Currently, you’re only selling online. Are we going to see Mosh in retail channels? How do you think about what the right channels should be for Mosh?
How do you juggle being CEO and also an actor?
What’s one thing you would change about the fundraising process or venture capital?
What’s one book that has inspired you personally and one book that has inspired you professionally?Number one book - Atomic Habits

What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve received?
What’s one piece of advice that you have for founders?
Patrick Chun (Juxtapose) - What is an inception stage investment firm, why it’s less risky than modern venture capital, how he recruits CEOs to lead each business he incubates Our guest today is Patrick Chun, Founding Partner of Juxtapose. Juxtapose is an inception stage investment firm. Some of the companies that they founded include Tend, Care/of, and Dayforward. Their process for how they build companies is pretty unique for this show. We discuss their model, why their model is less risky than traditional venture capital, and his process for finding the right CEO to lead each business. Without further ado, here’s Patrick.
What is Juxtapose? What was the initial insight or prior experience that influenced your decision to found it? Why did you choose to found it?
Why do you believe your model is less risky than traditional venture capital?You are incubating
When you say do the work, what do you mean?

What’s your process identifying an observationTrue verifiable fact in the world
When your
Lots of observation
How many observations do you have a week
Insights you can pull off of an observation
On-demand dispatch
Track 500-1000 observationsTalk about 50-100


What’s your process for building businesses step by step – from the ideation stage to creating beta products / product is in market?
Recycled and reentered the funnel
4-6 months
How do you think about timing as well?
Obsolete assumptionYou can never have an investor home

When do you bring on an experienced CEO and team? How do you think about that process?What are qualities you’d like to see from the CEO?
From 0 to 10 at what stage is the company in when you bring on a CEO?
How do you source “Michael Jordan” CEOs? If they are the Michael Jordan’s, what typically get them excited to join the company - since I’m sure they get alot of offers to lead different teams?Can it be difficult to attract since these companies are still small?

How do you hire the team?

Once a company has a CEO, how do you think about the role of Juxtapose moving forward with the business?The best supporter of the company from 0-200 people
Is the shift from operator to more of board member/observer type role?

Do you ever get the itch to become a CEO of one of your companies?
How do you approach hiring for your studio? Are you looking for people who have operational experience or more investor experience since it seems the studio model is at the intersection of both?
What are the challenges with the studio model? What can get overlooked?
What are the shortcomings of the venture studio model or what do studios tend to struggle with?
Was there a prior experience that led you to want to build a different type of firm than traditional VC?
What’s one thing you would change about venture capital?
What’s one book that inspired you personally and one book that inspired you professionally?4,000 weeks Oliver Burkman

What’s the best piece of advice for founders?What is it that people will see in the market and if you’re right
FPV's Wes Chan: The path to backing 20 unicorns and 5 decacorns, raising a $450MM Fund 1, working closely with Sergey and Larry and Google, and what Bill Campbell taught him about helping founders Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.I’m excited to bring my conversation with Wesley Chan, founder and managing partner of his new fund FPV Ventures, which recently closed an oversubscribed $450M Fund 1. Wes brings a very unique lens to investing as he closely worked with the founders of Google (where founded Google Voice and Google Analytics), and went on to co-found GV before he joined Felicis Ventures. During his 13 year venture career, he has backed 20 unicorns and 5 decacorns, including Canva, Flexport, Guild Education, RobinHood, AngelList, Plaid, and Ring.During our discussion, we spoke about how he’s been able to have such a hit rate in his investing career, what being founder-friendly really means, and his time working with people like Sergey and Larry at Google as well as what he learned from Bill Campell. I really hope you enjoy our chat.About Wesley Chan:Wesley Chan is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner at FPV Ventures, a $450M early-stage fund that backs and serves mission-driven founders. He is an investor in five $10B+ "decacorns," his most notable being Canva where he is a member of the board of directors, led the Series A and C rounds, and is worth north of $40B. He founded Google Analytics and Google Voice and holds 17 US patents for his work in creating Google AdWords.Among Wesley's 20+ unicorn investments, he wrote the first or very early check into fintech API decacorn Plaid, logistics powerhouse Flexport, SMB payroll leader Gusto, enterprise software unicorn Lucid, and stock trading platform RobinHood (NASDAQ: HOOD)—and led investments in Canva, AngelList, Carta, Guild Education, Sourcegraph, Dialpad, RocketLawyer, Orca Bio, Checkr, CultureAmp, HyperScience, Zipline, Astranis, TrialSpark, and Ring (exit to AMZN). Business Insider named Wesley to their Top 100 Seed Investors list for two consecutive years in 2022 & 2021.He was formerly a Managing Director at Felicis Ventures and one of the first General Partners at GV (Google Ventures). He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT and completed his Master’s degree at the MIT Media Lab.In this episode we discuss:01:22 Wesley’s path to becoming a VC05:03 The start of GV, and the early days05:59 How we got to current market conditions06:57 Why Wesley doesn’t have a thesis driven approach09:12 What he saw in the founders of Canva to give him conviction even when other investors would not invest12:46 How FOMO and being incremental are so detrimental in being a VC17:01 What is it about Wesley’s mindset that allows him to consistently be non-consensus20:48 Why $450M was the right fund size for FPV23:26 The ethos for FPV and how Wesley and his partner in FPV, Pegah Ebrahimi, decided to work together26:40 Why you don’t always need to be on a board to be helpful27:28 What founders really need from investors28:43 How FPV thinks about differentiating itself from bigger firms31:40 The impact of Bill Campbell on Google and also how he impacted Wesley’s style as an investor34:36 Where the market is right now and what the next few years look like I’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Wesley. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit ventureunlocked.substack.com
GGV's Jeff Richards on making sense of the market today, growing a $9B+ firm, and whether geo-political tensions may affect international venture investing Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.We have a great conversation on top this week with Jeff Richards, Managing Partner at GGV Capital. Founded in 2000, GGV manages nearly $10B in AUM and invests across stages in both the US and Asia, and has invested in companies such as AirBnB, Wish, Opendoor, and Grab. This was a great conversation as Jeff has been both on the founder and investor side, and has spent the last 14 years at GGV where he’s had a front-row seat to the incredible evolution of the firm to what it is today. He provided us with some great thoughts on the markets today, the challenges of growing a firm, and how the current geopolitical tensions may affect international investing. About Jeff Richards:Jeff focuses on enterprise/cloud and marketplace investments, and led GGV’s investments in Appirio (acq by Wipro), Belong, BigCommerce (NASDAQ: BIGC), BlueKai (acq by Oracle), Boxed, Brightwheel, Buddy Media (acq by Salesforce), Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN), Electric.ai, Evolv OnDemand (acq by Cornerstone), Gladly, Handshake, HotelTonight (acq by Airbnb), Lambda School, Mindee, Namely, People.ai, PlushCare/Accolade (NASDAQ: ACCD), Slice, Tala, Tile, Vic.ai, Workboard, and Zylo.Prior to joining GGV, Jeff founded two software companies: R4, a supply chain SaaS business acquired by VeriSign (NASDAQ: VRSN), and QuantumShift, a telecom software business backed by Texas Pacific Group (TPG). Earlier in his career, Jeff worked in Asia and Latin America with PriceWaterhouseCoopers. He graduated from Dartmouth College.Our sponsor:At Brex, we build financial software and services to help startups scale faster. We understand that founders need to focus on building, not banking. So we’ve reimagined traditional financial systems to enable greater speed and productivity — no matter where founders and their teams are working.We offer a smart corporate card, business account, and mobile app that are easy to use from day one. No manuals needed here. Within minutes, you can deposit funds, send free wires and ACH worldwide, separate investor funds from operating expenses, earn great rewards, automate expenses, and more. Everything we do at Brex is to help founders spend less time managing expenses and reporting on your runway — and more time building your business.Get started at brex.com/ventureIn this episode we discuss:02:06 Jeff’s journey into venture capital08:30 What it took to scale GGV to what it is today14:32 How they had to shift internal mindset as they scaled fund sizes20:55 How the current market compares to previous cycles27:33 The health of the current venture market and areas where Jeff sees growth potential33:46 Advice to investors looking to create a venture portfolio39:30 How the geopolitical climate is affecting investing both in the US and globally46:26 Why emerging markets are still a strong place to look for alpha in the current market48:11 The best piece of career advice he’s receivedI’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Jeff. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit ventureunlocked.substack.com
Jessica Peltz-Zatulove and Kate Beardsley on closing an oversubscribed $52MM Fund I, the difference between family offices and institutions, secondaries as a foundation of portfolio management Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.Today we’re thrilled to bring you our conversation with Jessica Peltz-Zatulove and Kate Beardsley, co-founders of Hannah Grey VC. Backed by firms such as Twitter, JP Morgan, Screendoor, Insight Partners, etc. the firm recently announced it’s oversubscribed $52MM seed fund and (13 investments made to date). Jessica and Kate have backgrounds in entrepreneurship, branding, and strategy, and bring their wealth of experiences to this week’s episode.About Jessica Peltz-Zatulove:Jessica Peltz-Zatulove is a Founding Partner at Hannah Grey.Prior to founding Hannah Grey, Jessica was Senior Managing Partner at MDC Ventures, leading investments in companies including Netomi, Gradient.io (acquired by Criteo), Veritonic, Indicative (acquired by mParticle), Catch & Release, Perksy, and Mezzobit (acquired by OpenX). Before she was a VC, Jessica specialized in connecting marketers with tech at innovation consultancy Evol8tion and at Zenith Media.Jessica also leads a NYC’s Women in VC group and created the Global directory for Women in VC, which now includes 3,800+ women investors spanning 2,400+ venture funds across 200+ cities and 60+ countries.About Kate Beardsley:Kate started her career as director of special projects for Martha Stewart Living, reporting directly to Martha Stewart. She went on to become Chief of Staff to Ken Lerer at the Huffington Post, and joined him to co-found Lerer Hippeau, a NYC-based fund focused on early-stage companies.In 2014, Kate joined Upslope Ventures as Managing Partner which took her from NYC to Denver. She is active with the Rocky Mountain Venture Capital Association and the Rockies Venture Club.Episode Summary:01:26 Why did they start Hannah Grey, and what were the key components they knew were necessary for them?08:21 What exactly is their product outside of capital? 13:36 Thinking through LP discovery and composition20:11 Learnings from raising a fund, including the difference between raising from institutional investors and non-institutional investors30:51 What internal KPI’s they track for the firm 35:26 The future of service-oriented venture38:44 The ‘Hannah Grey’ Experience when supporting founders. 43:25 Recommendations for emerging managers46:46 Cultivating a community of female investorsMentioned in this episodeHannah GreyI’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Jessica and Kate. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit ventureunlocked.substack.com
20 Sales: Why Founders Should Not Be The One To Create The Sales Playbook, How To Structure Each Interview in the Hiring Process For Sales Reps, How To Use an "Interview Panel" Effectively and more with Zhenya Loginov, CRO @ Miro Zhenya Loginov is the CRO @ Miro, the leading visual collaboration platform that helps bring teams together and meaningfully improves the way people work. At Miro, I run the go-to-market team of 700+ people across 11 global offices. Prior to Miro, Zhenya was the COO @ Segment where he built and ran the global go-to-market team of 200+ people, expanded the product-market fit into the Enterprise and grew revenue 6x, leading to their acquisition by Twilio for $3.2Bn. Finally, before Segment, Zhenya led a 100-person team at Dropbox across numerous different functional areas. In Today's Episode with Zhenya Loginov You Will Learn: 1.) Entry into Sales as an Outsider: How Zhenya made his way into sales as an outsider and came to be one of the most powerful revenue leaders today with Miro? What are 1-2 of the biggest takeaways for Zhenya from his time at Segment and Dropbox? How did they impact his mindset today? Why did Dropbox not win the enterprise when they had the chance? What mistakes did they make? 2.) The Sales Playbook: What, Why and How: What does "the sales playbook mean to Zhenya? Does the founder need to be the one to create the sales playbook? What are the signs that the founders needs to bring in their first sales hire? Should this sales hire be a sales leader or more junior sales rep? Is is possible to run a PLG and enterprise sales motion at the same time in the early days of the company? What do many founders misunderstand when contemplating adopting an enterprise sales strategy? 3.) Hiring the Team: How does Zhenya structure the interview process for new sales hires? Zhenya spends 5 hours with each candidate, what does he look to get out of each meeting? How does Zhenya break down the criteria for what he wants to see? What are some examples of this? How does Zhenya test to determine if the candidate has these criteria? What questions does he find to be most revealing? Why does Zhenya find case studies to not be useful? How does Zhenya use interview panels to ensure he makes the right hiring decision? Who is on the panel? At what stage do they meet the candidate? How does Zhenya like to use the panel? 4.) Laying the Groundwork: The Onboarding Process: What is the right way to structure the onboarding process for all new sales hires? What are some early signs that a new sales hire is not working? What can sales leaders do to ensure new reps get "early wins" on the board? What can leadership do to ensure the sales team has good cross-functional communication across the org? What works? What does not work? What are some of the biggest challenges of running a remote sales team?
Paige Craig -- Outlander VC Paige Craig shares his amazing story of sneaking into Iraq dressed as a CNN reporter, how he built a private military from scratch inside Baghdad and then how he parlayed that exit into an incredible investing career that includes Wish, Scale, Gusto, AngelList and many others.
20VC: Gary Vaynerchuk on The Most Painful Lessons Learned but Why it was Good to Learn Them, Why You Have to Change the Timeframe You Have For Success, His Relationship to Money and How it Has Changed Over Time & His First 3 Angel Investments; Twitter, Fa Gary Vaynerchuk is a serial entrepreneur and serves as the Chairman of VaynerX,  the CEO of VaynerMedia and the Creator & CEO of VeeFriends. Now Gary is a content machine and documents his life as a CEO daily through his social media channels which have more than 34 million followers and garnishes over 272 million monthly impressions/views across all platforms. He is also a five-time New York Times Best-Selling Author and is a prolific angel investor with early investments in companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Venmo, Snapchat, Coinbase and Uber. If this was not enough, Gary serves on the board of GymShark, MikMak, Bojangles Restaurants, and Pencils of Promise. In Today’s Episode with Gary Vaynerchuk We Discuss: 1.) From Wine Library to One of The Great Angels in Tech: How did Gary make the transition from scaling the wine library to $60M in revenue to angel investing in Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr? To what extent does Gary think luck plays a role in one's success today? What are Gary's biggest lessons from having FB, Twitter and Tumblr as his first investments? How has his style of angel investing changed over time? 2.) Hard Lessons Learned and Insecurity: What is the most painful lesson Gary has learned that he is also pleased to have learned? How did Gary's relationship with his father impact how he engages with his children as a father today? What are Gary's biggest insecurities today? How does he try and combat them? What works? 3.) Money and Success: How does Gary evaluate his relationship with money today? How has it changed over time? Why does Gary believe that most people think too short-term? What can one do to inspire a more long-term mindset to building? Does Gary believe that everything has a price? What is the one thing for Gary that does not have a price? 4.) Resource and Time Allocation: How does Gary determine the projects to do vs not to do? How does Gary know when to quit a new project? How does Gary advise founders on when something is not working and knowing when to quit? What are some of the biggest mistakes Gary sees founders make when it comes to resource allocation in the early days?
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