Venture Unlocked: The playbook for venture capital managers.

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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

Samir Kaji


    • Sep 21, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
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    • 44m AVG DURATION
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    Latest episodes from Venture Unlocked: The playbook for venture capital managers.

    Discovering talent before it's obvious, the challenges of raising a fund I without a traditional pedigree, and startup fund culture with Eric Tarczynski of Contrary

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 21, 2022 42:01


    Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.This week we are joined by Eric Tarczynski, Founder and Managing Partner of Contrary, a firm backed by founders of Tesla, Reddit, Facebook, Airbnb, and many more iconic companies. The firm acts as a full stack platform to identify and support entrepreneurs often before they are starting a company. Contrary has raised nearly $100MM across funds. In our discussion Eric and I covered their thesis on talent, how he was able to raise a first fund without the normal background LPs often look for, and how they use culture to attract top talent. First, a word from our sponsor:Allocate is the digital operating system for investors looking to build and manage world-class private portfolios within venture capital and other technology-focused private assets.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.Go to allocate.co to apply to be an early-access member and join 500+ active Allocate users.About Eric Tarczynski:Eric Tarcynski is the Founder and Managing Partner of Contrary, a venture fund that identifies and invests in the world's top talent. He took on $50,000 in debt to get Contrary off the ground, sleeping in the back seat of a rental car or on friends' couches. Prior to Contrary, Eric was a co-founder and operator at numerous startups. He got his undergrad degree at Northeastern.In this episode we discuss:01:11 Eric's journey to tech and startups04:42 How Eric's non-traditional background affected his first fundraise08:27 What happened in the two years between Fund I and Fund II that got his from a sub-$10MM fund to a $75MM fund11:09 Concrete factors that LPs weighed when investing in Contrary14:01 Why Contrary avoided “logo hunting”16:11 Contrary's unique thesis and why their model is the endgame for going earlier in the investing process19:00 Why Contrary has such a high NPS21:09 How Contrary invests in individuals “pre-company”24:10 The software platform that Contrary is building to help identify founders26:44 Building a platform without a lot of carry28:46 What Eric's schedule looks like as an emerging manager30:57 Aspects of VC that Eric underestimated34:04 The advice he would give himself five years ago35:36 Would he have done anything differently?36:36 Why you do need some name brand consensus investments37:35 The best advice he gives to emerging managers39:48 The importance of persistence as a competitive advantageI'd love to know what you took away from this conversation with Eric. 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

    Evaluating Crypto today, investing in crypto funds, the role of governance in the space featuring Rabia Iqbal and Jehan Chu of Nural Capital

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 24, 2022 45:19


    This week we are joined by Rabia Iqbal and Jehan Chu of Nural Capital, which is a crypto-focused hybrid firm that invests in both crypto funds and companies. Before starting Nural, Rabia spent time at Coatue and Mubadala, while Jehan is also a partner at blockchain-focused Kenetic Capital and has been one of the early pioneers within the crypto space.Given the dynamic and evolving world of crypto, we had a great conversation on unpacking all angles on crypto including the current winter we are in, the role of governance, and insights on where crypto may go from here.First, a word from our sponsor:Allocate is the digital operating system for investors looking to build and manage world-class private portfolios within venture capital and other technology-focused private assets.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.Go to allocate.co to apply to be an early-access member and join 500+ active Allocate users.About Rabia Iqbal:Rabia Iqbal is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Nural Capital. She started her career at Morgan Stanley, she had a stop at Coatue Management before joining Mubadala, a sovereign wealth fund. She co-founded Nural in 2021. Rabia got her bachelor’s degree from Cornell.About Jehan Chu:Jehan Chu is the Co-Founder of Nural Capital. He also is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Kenetic, a Blockchain platform focused on technology, advisory, asset management, and community. Jehan has been active in the Blockchain community since 2014, when he founded the Hong Kong Blockchain Meetup and the Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong. His experience prior to that was in the art world on the auction-side at Sotheby’s and the acquisition side at Vermillion Art Collections.In this episode we discuss:01:20 How and why Nural Capital was formed05:30 Jehan’s background in Crypto08:58 How this current Crypto Winter is similar and different to ones in the past13:00 Will Crypto be a correlated or non-correlated asset moving forward15:42 Lessons we can take from the high-profile problems in Crypto20:04 How governance and regulation is evolving in Crypto and what is needed25:12 Areas where web3 excels over web 2.028:20 Differences between the early web and where Crypto is today33:23 Who is currently investing in the Crypto space37:46 What does it truly mean to be differentiated in the Crypto market42:20 Areas in the Crypto space where Nural is most bullishI’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Rabia and Jehan. 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

    Mark Mullen of Bonfire Ventures on going from a solo capitalist to joining forces with Jim Andelman, the state of seed markets, and his view on what makes fund managers differentiated

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 10, 2022 48:21


    Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.This week brings us Mark Mullen, Co-Founding partner of LA-based seed firm Bonfire Ventures.Bonfire is based in Santa Monica and manages three Venture Capital funds with over $400MM in AUM. Mark spent 20 years as an I-banker before focusing on startup investing in 2012 with Double M capital. Mark has also been an active LP, investing in over 20 managers over the years. On the show, we talked about how he and Jim Andelman (formerly Rincon) decided to join forces to start Bonfire after each running their own VC firms. We also spoke about things like what he looks for in a great manager, his view on the seed market today, and what helped him gain so much early success as a fund manager when he was just getting started.First, a word from our sponsor:Allocate is the digital operating system for investors looking to build and manage world-class private portfolios within venture capital and other technology-focused private assets.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.Go to allocate.co to apply to be an early-access member and join 500+ active Allocate users.About Mark MullenMark is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Bonfire Ventures. He is also the Founder of the early-stage firm Double M Partners.Prior to his investing career, Mark spent the first 20 years of his career as a telco, cable, and tech M&A investment banker working for Bill Daniels, often referred to as the father of cable TV in the US. He also served as COO of the City of Los Angeles and Senior Advisor to then-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.In this episode we discuss:01:12 Mark’s journey to starting Bonfire Ventures and partnering with Jim09:33 How Mark found early success getting into competitive deals12:12 The power of effective scouts17:28 His view on investing in emerging managers23:01 Balancing the Firm’s brand and the individual brands when it comes to building a reputation27:00 Why Mark and Jim decided to partner up and form Bonfire31:30 Why mergers of VC firms are challenging and why raising Fund II will be a huge challenge for emerging managers35:01 How were their conversations with LPs when raising Bonfire when he and Jim decided to join forces?38:40 The health of the seed market in 202242:43 The lesson Mark has taken as his true north in investingI’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Mark. 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

    Ravi Viswanathan of New View Capital on the secondary and growth markets, and raising a unique $1B+ (modified) GP led secondary fund I

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2022 39:19


    Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.This week we are joined by Ravi Viswanathan, Founder and Managing Partner of NewView Capital, a growth and secondaries focused fund founded in 2018 with over $2.2 billion under management. NVC invests in technology companies through both direct investments and curated portfolio acquisitions, pairing funding with significant operational support. Focusing primarily on growth-stage companies, the NVC portfolio includes Plaid, Duolingo, Forter, Hims & Hers, MessageBird, and Scopely.Ravi brings a wealth of experience around growth and secondary markets to the conversation, and it was really fun to discuss both of those areas in detail, particularly in light of the change in the markets over the last year. First, a word from our sponsor:Allocate is the digital operating system for investors looking to build and manage world class private portfolios within venture capital and other technology focused private assets. 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.Go to allocate.co to apply to be a member and join 400+ active Allocate users. About Ravi Viswanathan:Ravi is an experienced company builder and dedicated partner to entrepreneurs and investors. In 2018, Ravi raised $1.35B to architect an innovative portfolio acquisition of 31 companies from NEA to found NewView Capital (NVC).Prior to founding NVC, Ravi was a General Partner at NEA, where he oversaw investment in enterprise software and fintech companies and co-led the firm’s Technology Venture Growth Equity effort. His investments of note include Braintree (acquired by PayPal), MuleSoft (acquired by Salesforce), GlobalLogic (acquired by Apax Partners), TeleAtlas (Euronext: TA, acquired by TomTom), Cyence (acquired by Guidewire), Acquia (acquired by Vista Equity Partners), Scout (acquired by Workday), Plaid, and Forter. Ravi spent several years at Goldman Sachs in the Private Equity Technology Practice before joining NEA. He began his career in consulting at McKinsey & Co and as a scientist at Raychem Corporation.Ravi holds an MBA from Wharton, a PhD in Chemical Engineering from University of California Santa Barbara, and a BS in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He is also the Chair of the Wharton Entrepreneurship Advisory Board.In this episode we discuss:01:29 How the 2022 downturn compares to 2000 and 200803:20 The effect of market conditions on growth investing06:51 Why VCs keep making the same mistakes in bull markets and factors that lead to the most recent one09:22 What led to the launch of NVC in 201813:24 How Ravi sold the unique structure of NVC to founders and LPs15:55 Team building through the transition into NVC18:51 How Ravi managed communication around his conviction to close20:45 Navigating different LP considerations when putting together NVC23:38 What the next 6-12 months will look like in the venture markets28:06 State of the secondary markets in 202232:15 The stigma of selling positions early as managers and LPs35:50 The types of firms that are well-positioned for success in the current marketI’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Ravi. 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

    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

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 27, 2022 47:47


    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

    Parade Ventures Shawn Merani on building LP relationships, not focusing on "hot" deals, and his mindset with founders

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 15, 2022 39:51


    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

    Tusk Venture Partners Jordan Nof: Evolving to an early stage firm, navigating regulatory hurdles for startups, and what the future holds for crypto

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 30, 2022 42:42


    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

    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

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 22, 2022 43:16


    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

    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

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 1, 2022 50:38


    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

    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

    Play Episode Listen Later May 5, 2022 53:18


    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

    Viola Ventures' Danny Cohen on the Israel's exponential growth as a tech hub, building decision frameworks for picking, and managing a firm in a rapidly changing market

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 20, 2022 37:34


    Listen now | Episode 81 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 Venture Unlocked’s first international manager with Danny Cohen from Israel-based Viola Ventures. Founded under the name Carmel Ventures in 2000, Viola currently has over $4B in total assets under management. It’s focused on early-stage companies in the fields of enterprise infrastructure and applications, frontier and deep technologies (automotive, IOT, AR/VR, drones), software, software as a service, financial technology, Internet, media, communications, semiconductors, and consumer electronics.Danny joined the firm as a GP in 2013 after 11 years at Gemini Ventures.It was great to have an insider’s perspective given how much growth we’ve seen in the Israeli ecosystem over the last five years—which includes a 6X growth in funding.About Daniel Cohen:Daniel Cohen is a General Partner at Viola Ventures. He has been at the fund since 2013 and invested in everything B2C, including Consumer Internet, e-Commerce, DTC, Games, and Digital Media.He currently serves on the board of EX.CO, Puls, Splacer, Deep, Lightricks, Maapilim, and Ruti He was also on the board of Tapingo (acquired by Grubhub for $150M) and Origami Logic (acquired by Intuit).In the past 15+ years worked closely with many of the best Israeli startups and personally lead investments in companies like Playbuzz, Puls, Lightricks, Tapingo, Adap.tv, Outbrain, Watchdox, Eyeview, Minute Media, and others.Prior to Viola, Daniel was GP at Gemini Israel Ventures. He did his undergrad at Tel Aviv University and got his MBA from INSEAD. Subscribe at ventureunlocked.substack.com

    776's Alexis Ohanian on the new era of VC, using technology in a firm, and things he's most excited about today.

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 13, 2022 58:57


    Listen now | Episode 80 Subscribe at ventureunlocked.substack.com

    8VC's Drew Oetting on their decision-making culture, building talent at firms, and his most critical learnings as an investor

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 6, 2022 48:52


    Listen now | Episode 79 This week I’m happy to bring you my conversation with Drew Oetting, founding partner of 8VC, an Austin-based firm founded in 2015 by Joe Lonsdale, Drew, and others. It currently has $1.9B in AUM. Portfolio companies include Guardant Health, MakeSpace, Asana, and Joby Aviation among many others.The 8VC story has roots in another successful startup fund, Formation 8, founded by Lonsdale and Jim Kim, Brian Koo in 2011. It was called the hottest Venture Capital firm since Andreesen by Fortune Magazine, with portfolio companies like Oculus and RelateIQ. In 2015, Formation 8 spun down and many team members joined 8VC. Subscribe at ventureunlocked.substack.com

    Bedrock Capital's Geoff Lewis on Vibe capital, the power of narrative violations, and winning in today's market

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 31, 2022 49:36


    Listen now | Episode 78 Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.This week we are joined by Geoff Lewis, managing partner of Bedrock Capital. Many in the industry know Geoff and Bedrock for their investing in non-consensus companies and founders, and in particular, popularizing the notion of investing in narrative violations. Founded in 2018 with Eric Stromberg, Bedrock has $477AUM. Subscribe at ventureunlocked.substack.com

    David Cohen on founding Techstars, patterns of successful founders, and the math behind large portfolios 

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 23, 2022 53:48


    Listen now | Episode 77 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 happy to share my conversation with David Cohen, Co-Founder and Chairman of TechStars, which along with YC has paved the path early-stage capital formation through accelerator models. Since its founding in 2006, TechStars has had 2600 companies graduate its programs and those companies have raised $16.5B in investments across all stages. In 2021 David stepped back from day-to-day operations to become Chairman. Subscribe at ventureunlocked.substack.com

    Playground Global's Peter Barrett on investing in deep tech, what makes a good deep tech founder, and the difference between the improbable and impossible

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 16, 2022 42:42


    Listen now | Episode 76 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 excited to bring you my conversation with Peter Barrett, co-founder of Playground Global, a firm that has raised over $825MM to invest in deeply technical and transformative technologies. Founded in 2015, the firm has invested in companies like eero, Canvas Technologies, and Owl Labs among many others.This week’s show was a bit of a departure from our normal episodes that are more focused on firm and fund management, as I was really excited to talk to Peter about both new technologies, and the art of funding these types of hard science companies. About Peter Barrett:Peter has been writing code since he was a teenager, and at 19, his first security program caught the attention of the NSA. He went on to create the first widely used video codec in the early-90s, he built the world’s most popular IPTV platform at Microsoft, worked on cloud intelligence for automotive at CloudCar, and now is pioneering quantum and optical computing, robotics, and artificial intelligence at Playground. He holds over 100 patents. Subscribe at ventureunlocked.substack.com

    Forerunner Ventures Eurie Kim on scaling the Forerunner franchise, thesis based investing, and advice for emerging managers

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 9, 2022 55:36


    Listen now | Episode 75 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 so excited to bring you my conversation with Eurie Kim of Forerunner Ventures, which without a doubt is one of the world's top VC firms formed over the last decade. Forerunner invests in entrepreneurs who are redefining culture and consumer experiences in today’s digital world and has invested in companies such as Jet, Birchbox, Warby Parker, and Curology. It currently has $1.2B in AUM.This was such a treat for me as I’ve known the Forerunner team since the early days, and it was so fun to go back through the evolution and growth of the firm. Subscribe at ventureunlocked.substack.com

    Not Boring's Packy McCormick on VC's building brand through content creation, tech trends he's most excited about, and how writing has helped him with investing.

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 1, 2022 52:58


    Listen now (53 min) | Episode 74 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 delighted to bring you my conversation with Packy McCormick, founder of Not Boring, a biweekly newsletter that now has over 100K subscribers and covers tech, strategy, finance, economics, and everything in between. In July 2021, Packy launched the Not Boring Capital which closed at just under $10MM and has invested in over 50 companies. Packy also started the Not Boring Club, a social and “extracurricular” community for like-minded individuals, and he also serves as a Web3 advisor for Andreessen Horowitz. Subscribe at 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 a LP. 

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 22, 2022 55:47


    Listen now | Episode 73 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 funds and direct investments into deep tech startups. GRIDS has the thesis statement, “Science is our Business. Business is our Science,” and its portfolio includes a number of funds as well as directs into Desktop Metal, Recursion Pharmaceuticals, Instrumental, Matterport, Esper, and Momentus Space. Subscribe at ventureunlocked.substack.com

    Scribble Ventures Elizabeth Weil on the many roles of an emerging venture fund manager, building partnerships, and why network strength is a key differentiator

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 15, 2022 44:39


    Listen now | Episode 72 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 excited to bring you my conversation with Elizabeth Weil of seed-focused Scribble Ventures.Elizabeth and her Scribble VC partners, Annie and Kevin, raised an oversubscribed $50M Fund I, all during the COVID Pandemic. Before starting the firm, she previously invested as an angel into companies such as Postmates, SpaceX, Mainstreet, Clubhouse, and Figma. Subscribe at ventureunlocked.substack.com

    Union Square Ventures' Rebecca Kaden on their theme based investing approach, fund sizing for USV, and navigating hot markets

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 9, 2022 45:44


    Listen now | Episode 71 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 Rebecca Kaden, General Partner at Union Square Ventures, who I consider as one of the very best venture firms in the world, as they’ve backed companies such as Stripe, Twitter, Etsy, LendingClub, and Coinbase.The firm is also very thesis and mission-driven, including investing in the future by addressing issues like the climate crisis. Union Square Ventures was founded in 2003 by Fred Wilson and Brad Burnham and currently has $1.9B in AUM. Subscribe at ventureunlocked.substack.com

    Worklife Ventures Brianne Kimmel on finding the right LPs, the differences between an Angel and a solo GP, and what she looks for in founding teams

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 25, 2022 48:16


    Listen now | Episode 70 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.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. Subscribe at ventureunlocked.substack.com

    QED Investors' Frank Rotman in breaking down the venture market today, determining how to compete today, and how QED makes decisions. 

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 18, 2022 59:14


    Listen now | Episode 68 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 alongside with Nigel Hoffman, QED has invested early in companies such as Credit Karma, Klarna, SoFi, and Nubank. They 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. Subscribe at ventureunlocked.substack.com

    Ripple Ventures Matt Cohen on individual VC personal brands, Hedge funds in tech, portfolio math and front weighting in seed, and investing in Canada

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 11, 2022 42:48


    Ripple Ventures Matt Cohen on individual VC personal brands, Hedge funds in tech, portfolio math and front weighting in seed, and investing in Canada Subscribe at 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.

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 4, 2022 47:06


    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. Subscribe at ventureunlocked.substack.com

    Harbinger Ventures Megan Bent on their concentrated portfolio approach, specific traits they look for in founding teams, and consumer behavior post-pandemic

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 22, 2021 47:52


    Today, we’re excited to host Megan Bent, founder and managing partner of Harbinger Ventures, a Boulder, CO-based firm that invests in earlier stage CPG companies that feature female or diverse founding teams.  Prior to founding Harbinger in 2016, Megan served as Managing Director of Revelry Brands. She began her career in private equity and consumer brands at the Parthenon Group, and she holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.We spoke about CPG investing, consumer behavior post-pandemic, and also we dove into the benefits and challenges they face with having a portfolio size of 5-8 companies per fund. Listen now | Episode 65 Subscribe at ventureunlocked.substack.com

    Boldstart ventures Ed Sim on starting his career during the dot-com bubble, the opportunity as being a true day one investor, and views on today's VC market compared to past eras

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 14, 2021 60:04


    Our guest today is Ed Sim, founder and general partner of boldstart ventures, an NYC-based firm started in 2010 with the focus on being a day-one partner for founders. Boldstart had a modest beginning, with only a $1M fund in 2010, it has since grown to just under $500M in AUM. Some of his first check investments include Snyk, Kustomer, BigID, and Superhuman. Subscribe at ventureunlocked.substack.com

    Lux Capital's co-founder Peter Hebert on the firm's 20 year journey, creating multi-generational success, and the changing dynamics in VC (including their use of SPAC's)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 7, 2021 63:13


    This week we have the treat of hosting Peter Hébert, co-founder and managing partner of Lux Capital, a 21-year-old firm that is a pioneer of deep-tech investing. The firm has nearly $4B in AUM and has led investments in Desktop Metal, Latch, Matterport, and Auris Health which was acquired by J&J in a $6 billion transaction.Prior to Lux, Peter began his career at Lehman Brothers, where he worked in the firm’s Equity Research group. He did his undergrad at Syracuse University and was the Founding President of its first venture organization, Future Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs.I’ve known Peter for nearly a decade and have found the Lux story to be so enjoyable to follow. This episode was a real treat as Peter spoke about the 20+ year “overnight success” story of Lux, which included many difficult times in the early days. Over the years, they had many inflection points and in our episode we talk through those inflection points, how they’ve managed a bi-coastal firm, and Peter’s general thoughts on the market.  Subscribe at ventureunlocked.substack.com

    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.

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2021 39:27


    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. Subscribe at ventureunlocked.substack.com

    Kindred Ventures Kanyi Maqubela on large firms entering seed, the challenges of rising valuations, and the nuances of portfolio construction

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 16, 2021 53:02


    This week’s guest is Kanyi Maqubela, managing partner of seed-stage firm Kindred Ventures. Kindred has $156 AUM, and the team has previously invested in companies such as Coinbase, Blue Bottle Coffee, and Postmates. Prior to Kindred, Kanyi served as a Partner at Collaborative Fund, where he was an early advisor to Tala and Walker & Co., and a board member at Buffer, Camino Financial, Spruce, and True Link. Kanyi was also a co-founder at Heartbeat Health, and previously ran growth at One Block Off the Grid (acquired by $NRG). Kanyi has also served as a Lecturer and Adjunct at New York University Tisch School of the Arts, a curriculum adapted from his time as a student at Stanford University. Subscribe at ventureunlocked.substack.com

    Base10's TJ Nahigian on using automation and research within the firm as a competitive advantage, ways to optimize outcomes in the current investing climate, and thoughts on crossover investing.

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 9, 2021 49:53


    Our guest today is TJ Nahigian, co-founder and managing partner of Base10 Partners, a SF based early stage firm focusing on investing in companies that help automate the real economy. They currently manage over $600MM in AUM and have invested in companies such as Figma, Notion, Brex, and Plaid.Prior to Base10, TJ was the founder and CEO of Jobr, which he led to a successful acquisition by Monster in 2016. Before that, he worked in investment roles at Accel, Summit Partners, and Coatue, where helped launch the private investing efforts of the firm. Subscribe at ventureunlocked.substack.com

    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

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 2, 2021 45:36


    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. Get on the email list at ventureunlocked.substack.com

    Eniac Ventures Hadley Harris on portfolio construction fundamentals, partnership durability, and views on the shifting seed market

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2021 44:22


    I’m thrilled to bring you my conversation with Hadley Harris, one of the founding partners of seed stage investor Eniac Ventures. Over their history, Eniac has invested many amazing companies including AirBnB, Cameo, Hinge, and Soundcloud. After starting with an initial $1.6M Fund I 11 years ago, they currently grown and expanded to now managing over $300MM in AUM. It was fun chatting with him on the origin story of the original partnership and how they’ve evolved over the years together, and with the introduction of new team members. Also in our conversation we spoke about portfolio construction, which I personally find fascinating given the different approaches that exist. For those that haven’t seen it, check out Hadley’s post on portfolio construction (“Seed Portfolio Construction for Dummies”) as it’s a great post.  Prior to Eniac, Hadley held various operational roles including head of Business Market Strategy at Vlingo, which was acquired for $225M by Nuance Communications. He did his undergrad and MBA at the University of Pennsylvania. Get on the email list at ventureunlocked.substack.com

    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.

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 19, 2021 67:49


    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.  Get on the email list at ventureunlocked.substack.com

    Human Ventures' Heather Hartnett on studio models, developing their business creation platform to add value to founders, and their fundraising learnings from raising their first significant fund

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2021 43:30


    My guest today is Heather Hartnett, CEO and founder of Human Ventures, an NYC-based venture firm founded in 2015 that leverages a very unique model that combines traditional fund investing with business creation and startup studio model in order to back and assist exceptional founders. Human Ventures has over $50M AUM, and has four exits including Reserve, Girlboss, and Clark.Prior to founding Human Ventures, Heather’s career spanned across roles at firms including CityLight Capital, and Claremont Creek Venture, and the David Lynch Foundation, where she worked with some of the country's largest family offices and investment institutions. Heather is a member of the Kauffman Fellows program and a frequent contributor to Forbes on the topic of venture capital.  Get on the email list at ventureunlocked.substack.com

    Global Founders Capital’s Don Stalter on their belief in larger portfolios, managing a global investment firm, and building systems and processes to deliver value at scale

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 5, 2021 37:14


    On this week’s Venture Unlocked episode, we had the pleasure of hosting Donald Stalter, Partner at Global Founders Capital, a global multi-stage venture firm that has raised $1.6B across two funds and has backed companies such as Kalshi (led by Don), Deel, Headway, Slack, Away, Hellofresh, and Brex. The firm has a very unique model that employs capital across geographies, stages, and industry sectors, and Don provided insight on how the firm executes on this strategy so effectively. Previously Donald co-founded CityDeal, which he later sold to Groupon where he built Groupon's international offices in Europe and Asia. He subsequently led BD at Airbnb global.  Get on the email list at ventureunlocked.substack.com

    Founders Fund Delian Asparouhov on Miami as a major tech hub, what he thinks as the drivers for innovation now, and the pros of incubating companies like Varda within firms

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 28, 2021 47:04


    Today we’re thrilled to bring you my conversation with Delian Asparouhov of Founders Fund, a Silicon Valley and now Miami based firm that has long been known for backing some of the most category defining companies in the world including SpaceX, Palantir, Facebook, AirBnB, and Stripe. While at Founders Fund, Delian also co-founded Varda Space Industries, and previously worked at Khosla Ventures. Get on the email list at ventureunlocked.substack.com

    Banana Capital's Turner Novak on his unconventional path in breaking into VC, being a successful stage agnostic investor, and leveraging social platforms to build advantages

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 21, 2021 50:08


    We’re thrilled to bring you my conversation with Turner Novak, founder of Banana Capital. While fairly new to venture, Turner continually brings some of the most interesting perspectives about technology, and is one of best venture follows on social media.  Turner has an incredible backstory on how he broke into VC, and ultimately within a few years was able to found Banana Capital in January 2021, with $9.99M in commitments, including several institutional investors. Prior to having his own fund, he was General Partner at Gelt VC and also interned at a pre-seed firm Afore Capital. We talked with Turner about the value of social media in VC, how he thinks that successful investing can be stage agnostic, and his views on where the public and private markets are today, and where they may go in the future.  Get on the email list at 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.

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 14, 2021 42:49


    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.  Get on the email list at 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.

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 7, 2021 45:43


    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. 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.  Get on the email list at 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

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 31, 2021 50:16


    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. Get on the email list at 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.

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 24, 2021 46:38


    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, Norwest Venture Partners, where he early invested in unicorns such as Udemy and Adaptive Insights. He has also 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 firm, and how he thinks about investing in human enablement technologies. Get on the email list at ventureunlocked.substack.com