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The Twenty Minute VC presents
The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch
The Twenty Minute VC takes you inside the world of Venture Capital, Startup Funding and The Pitch. Join our host, Harry Stebbings and discover how you can attain funding for your business by listening to what the most prominent investors are directly looking for in startups, providing easily actionable tips and tricks that can be put in place to increase your chances of getting funded. Although, you may not want to raise funding for a startup. The Twenty Minute VC also provides an instructional guide as to what it takes to get employed in the Venture Capital industry, with VCs giving specific advice on how to get noticed from the crowd and increasing your chances of employment. If that wasn't enough our amazing Venture Capitalists also provide their analysis of the current technology market, providing advice and suggestions on the latest investing trends and predictions. Join us so you can see how you can get BIG, powerful improvements, fast. Would you like to see more of The Twenty Minute VC, head on over to www.thetwentyminutevc.com for more information on the podcast, show notes, resources and a more detailed analysis of the technology and Venture Capital industry.
July 26, 2021
20VC: Ribbit Capital's Nick Shalek on How To Think Through Ownership and Price Sensitivity, When More Money and Pre-Emptive Rounds are Good vs Bad & Investing Lessons from Yale's David Swensen
is a General Partner @ , specializing in fintech they are one of the most successful venture firms of the last decade with a portfolio including Robinhood, Coinbase, Revolut, Nubank and more. As for Nick, he started his career as a Senior Analyst @ Yale Investments Office before moving to the world of operations as Director of Business Operations @ Verne Global, a provider of 100% carbon neutral data centers. In Today’s Episode with Nick Shalek You Will Learn: 1.) How Nick made his way from Senior Analyst at Yale's Investment Office to be one of the leading fintech investors in the world with Ribbit? What were Nick's biggest lessons from his time working with David Swenson @ Yale? How would Nick summarise Yale's investment algorithm? 2.) Entering Venture and Advice: Why does Nick tell many friends entering venture, to not join a new fund? What does Nick believe is takes to build an enduring firm in venture? What were the core reasons and inflection points in the success of Ribbit? What have been some of the biggest challenges in the professionalisation of Ribbit over the years? 3.) Pricing and Ownership: Is Nick concerned by the levels of pricing we are seeing in fintech today? How does Nick analyze his own relationship to price? How does Nick view the importance of ownership? Is it possible to build ownership across rounds? How does Nick advise founders now receiving very fast offers to pre-empt their rounds? 4.) Investment Decision-Making: How does Ribbit structure its investment decision-making process for initial investments? In what way does this process change for re-investments? Why does Nick believe in the benefits of not having attribution within venture partnerships? 5.) AMA: What has been Nick's biggest miss? How did it change his investment decision-making process as a result? What does Nick know now that he wishes he had known when he started in venture? What have been Nick's biggest lessons from his working with Micky? Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Nick Shalek Nick’s Favourite Book: Nick’s Most Recent Investment:
July 22, 2021
20VC: Jeff Immelt on Leadership Lessons from 16 Years as CEO @ GE, Incumbent Innovation; Why Some Have Failed and Other Succeeded, When Boards Have A Positive vs Negative Impact on a Company & The One Fear Startup Founders Are Allowed To Have
is a Venture Partner @ NEA serving on both the technology and healthcare investing teams. Prior to entering the world of venture, Jeff served as chairman and CEO of GE for 16 years where he revamped the company’s strategy, re-established market leadership and quadrupled emerging market revenue. As a result, Jeff has been named one of the “World’s Best CEOs” three times by Barron’s. In addition, Jeff is on the board of Sila Nanotechnologies and Twilio. In Today’s Episode with Jeff Immelt You Will Learn: 1.) How did it feel when Jeff was told he was going to be CEO at GE? How did that come about? Did he feel the weight of responsibility when it was announced? 2.) When it comes to incumbents embracing innovation, what strategies work? Why do they work? What lessons does Jeff take from his time at GE on what worked? What strategies do not work? What are the biggest mistakes large incumbents make when adopting new products or strategies? What advice does Jeff continuously tell large company CEOs who ask this question? 3.) When does Jeff believe boards can be fundamentally impactful? In what circumstances do boards actually cause harm? What are the signs of the truly great board members? What are the causes of why board members can be misaligned with their founders? How should founders approach whether to listen or not to their board? 4.) How does Jeff think about trust in teams? Does he start fully trusting and it is their to be lost or start not trusting and it is their to be gained? What people do you want around you in a crisis? What are the signals of these people? What does Jeff mean when he speaks of "crisis accelerants and crisis absorbers"? 5.) How does David think about fear in leadership? What is the one thing that leaders are allowed to be afraid of? How do the best founders approach their relationship to paranoia? How do the best communicate their fears to their team?
July 19, 2021
20VC: a16z's David George on Leading a16z's Growth Fund Today, The Biggest Misconceptions of Growth Investing, How a16z Think Through Portfolio Construction, Investment Decision-Making and Scenario Planning & How The Entrance of New Players Has Changed Th
is a General Partner @ where he leads their growth investing practice. Since joining in 2019 David has invested in the likes of Clubhouse, Coinbase, Databricks, Figma, Instacart, Robinhood and TripActions just to name a few. David also sits on the board of Current, Greenlight, and Workrise. Prior to a16z, David spent 7 years growth investing at General Atlantic where he invested in the likes of Airbnb, Crowdstrike, Opendoor, Slack and Uber. In Today’s Episode with David George You Will Learn: 1.) How David made his way into the world of growth investing with General Atlantic and how that led to his leading the newest iteration of a16z growth funds? What were David's biggest takeaways from his time with General Atlantic? How did it impact his investing? 2.) Misconceptions of Growth Investing: Why does David believe that great business models are table stakes at growth today? What gives the best the edge? Why does David believe that people over-rotate on TAM? Why is it misleading in many ways? What is the right way to assess TAM at growth today? What does David look for when digging into unit economics? When is the right time to focus on unit economics? 3.) Portfolio Construction and Scenario Planning: How does David think about portfolio construction with the new a16z growth fund? What is the right level of diversification? How does David think about loss ratio today? How does David approach outcome scenario planning? What is an attractive level of upside for David to engage at growth? How has that expectation changed over time? 4.) Valuations and Crossover Funds: How does David assess the valuation landscape today? How does David determine whether he will pay up or sit out on an investment? How has the rise of crossover funds, PE funds and hedge funds entering growth impacted the valuations being paid and the investment process itself? What does David make of these new entrants? What challenges do they bring? 5.) Investment Decision-Making: How do a16z approach decision-making at growth? Who is on the core IC? Why does David strongly believe in the single trigger model in venture when it comes to decision-making? What are the biggest reasons for politics in venture firms today? What can be done to mitigate them? Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with David George David’s Favourite Book: David’s Most Recent Investment:
July 15, 2021
20VC's Therapist Thursday: We Are Not All Crushing It All The Time So Let's Stop Pretending, Working Through Challenges of Self-Worth and Self-Doubt & How To Find Joy in the Striving with Nick Mehta, CEO @ Gainsight
is the CEO @ In Today’s Episode with Nick Mehta You Will Learn: 1.) When did mental health really become a prominent thought for Nick? When was the first time Nick feels he really showed true vulnerability in leadership? 2.) Self-Worth: Does Nick feel like he is enough? What does he do when he questions himself severely? How does he talk to his wife about these challenging thoughts? Where does Nick believe this comes from? What are the dangers of people-pleasing? How does Nick try and counter people-pleasing in his role as a leader? 3.) Identity: How does Nick think about his own identity when it is so attached to Gainsight? In what ways does he try to detach? What has worked? What has not worked? How have children helped Nick in this way? 4.) Striving: Why does Nick believe that hunger and striving are fundamentally a good thing? How does Nick try and factor gratitude and appreciation into the work and success he experiences? How does Nick encourage this same striving in his children? 5.) Relationship to Money: How would Nick evaluate his relationship to money? How has it changed over time? How does Nick try to imbue the same values he had growing up in his children? Does Nick believe it is possible to "change" your children and have that impact?
July 12, 2021
20VC: Jet.com's Marc Lore on How To Assess Human Potential and "The Resume Test", Why Chief People Officer Should be One of Your First Hires and Why We Need a New Type of Venture Capital
is a serial entrepreneur turned investor who’s started and sold four companies. Most recently Marc was the President and CEO of Walmart eCommerce US following the sale of his company, Jet.com, to Walmart for $3.3 billion in 2016. Prior to that, Marc founded Diapers.com/Quidsi which sold to Amazon in 2011 for $550 million. As an investor, Marc announced his new venture firm, Vision Capital People, with his co-founder, Alex Rodrigues, earlier this year with $50M of Alex and Marc's own money. Fun fact, in 1996 Marc qualified to be in the US national bobsled team. In Today’s Episode with Marc Lore You Will Learn: 1.) How Marc made his way into the startup world, how he came to found Jet.com and what led to his most recent transition to the world of investing? 2.) How does Marc assess human potential? What does he mean when he says "the resume test"? What are the clearest signals of outperformers? What are signs of lack of performance? Why does Marc not believe in referencing? Does Mark start from a position of trust for it to be lost or with none and for it all to be gained? 3.) How does Marc evaluate his relationship to risk and fear? How has it changed over time? What did Marc's wife say when he left his safe job and put all their savings into his new business? What does Marc mean when he discusses finding "Sixth Gear"? How does Marc balance that intensity and ambition with romance and family life? 4.) Why does Marc believe Chief People Officer should be one of your first hires? What are the commonalities of the best Chief People Officers? What does the optimal relationship between CEO and CPO look like? How does Marc test for his core characteristics in interviews? What questions does he ask every candidate? What are the most revealing? 5.) How does Marc think about portfolio construction with the new fund today? Does Marc believe it is possible to take 40%+ of companies without alienating future investors? Is Marc concerned about over-capitalising companies too early? How does Marc think about reserves strategy and concentrating capital into the best companies?
July 8, 2021
20VC: CapitalG's Laela Sturdy on The Current State of Growth with Crossover, PE and Hedge Funds All Entering, How To Think Through Upside and Downside Scenario Planning at Growth & The Biggest Challenges Startups Face Post Product-Market-Fit but Pre-Scale
is a General Partner @ In Today’s Episode with Laela Sturdy You Will Learn: 1.) How Laela made her way into the world of venture and came to be a General Partner at Alphabet's independent growth fund, CapitalG? 2.) The Market: With the rise of crossover funds, hedge funds, private equity, all entering growth stage venture, how does Laela analyse the current state of the market? How has the increase in capital supply impacted pricing at growth? How do CapitalG compete in a world where competitors pay 2x the valuation and have different outcome expectations? 3.) Portfolio Construction: Given CapitalG's single LP and evergreen structure, how do CapitalG think about portfolio construction? What is the right level of diversification? How doe CapitalG structure internal investment decision-making? How does this change for re-investments? How do CapitalG think about attribution internally? 4.) Upside and Downside: Given prices being so high, when outcome scenario planning, how does Laela think about good vs great when it comes to multiple expectations? How has this changed over time? On the flip side, how does Laela think about loss ratio at growth today? Has this changed with rounds becoming more and more pre-emptive? 5.) Scaling Unicorns: What are the commonalities in the biggest challenges founders face post-product-market fit but prescaling? What are the clear signs to Laela that a founder is uniquely skilled at hiring? Does Laela agree that the best founders do not need help on hiring? How does Laela feel about the future of venture being services platforms? Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Laela Sturdy Laela’s Favourite Book: Laela’s Most Recent Investment:
June 28, 2021
20VC: Twilio's Jeff Lawson on What It Takes To Create a Tribe, How To Create Anti-Fragile Organisations Through Decentralised Decision-Making and Why Values Are Nice But Principles Are Better
is the Founder & CEO @ In Today’s Episode with Jeff Lawson You Will Learn: 1.) How Jeff made his way into the world of tech and startups and what that founding a-ha moment was for Jeff with Twilio? When explaining new ideas to people, what signals to Jeff that the idea is resonating? Are there clear indicators an idea is not resonating? 2.) Leadership: What does great leadership mean to Jeff today? How has Jeff's leadership style changed and evolved over the years? What does Jeff believe is the key to great storytelling? How has the leadership style required, changed in a COVID world? What have been the biggest inflection points in his leadership? 3.) Culture: What does Jeff believe are the 3 key ingredients to company culture? How can leaders create a tribe that people associate with? What are the biggest lessons we can take from sport and religion when it comes to culture building? At what points has Jeff been concerned about the Twilio culture? What did he do to rectify it? Why are "values nice but principles better"? 4.) Decision-Making: How has Jeff created a culture of decentralised decision-making? What has Jeff done to ensure the best ideas rise to the top? In what ways can leaders ensure people feel safe to be bold and go big, without the fear of failure? How does Jeff determine when to give or remove resources from new ideas? How does Jeff think about the importance of "focus"? 5.) Diversity: Frank Slootman previously said, "diversity should not override merit". What are the core problems that Jeff has with this statement? How do Twilio construct their recruitment pipelines to ensure diversity? Why does Jeff believe the secret to human assessment is one of "miles travelled"? What are the signals of this? Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Jeff Lawson Jeff’s Favourite Book: As always you can follow on Twitter here!
June 24, 2021
20VC: Optimising Investment Decision-Making in Compressed Fundraising Timelines & A Deep Dive on Portfolio Construction, Price Sensitivity and The Importance of Ownership with Mark Mullen, Co-Founder @ Bonfire Ventures
is the Co-Founder of , one of LA's leading early-stage funds, now on their 3rd Fund with $101M in the latest. In the past, Mark has invested in the likes of Trade Desk, Scopely, GOAT, ChowNow, Niantic and Pendo to name a few. Prior to co-founding Bonfire, Mark was a solo GP with and then through Mull Capital, Mark is also an LP in other funds investing in 15 including the likes of Upfront, Freestyle, Backstage and Crosscut to name a few. In Today’s Episode with Mark Mullen You Will Learn: 1.) How Mark made his way into the world of venture, came to found Double M and why he decided he wanted to co-found Bonfire and be in a partnership, not a solo GP model? 2.) Portfolio Construction: With the new fund, how did Mark think about the right portfolio construction? What is the right level of diversification? How many lines should be in the portfolio? How important is ownership today? Is it possible to build ownership in your best companies over time? How does Mark think about proactive reserve allocation today? 3.) Investment Decision-Making: How does Mark think about the right investment decision-making structure with Bonfire today? How can one retain speed but also increase the number of decision-makers? How does Mark feel about the compression of fundraising timelines today? What advice does Mark give to founders when selecting their cap table? 4.) Boards and Time: How does Mark evaluate his own style of board membership? How has it changed over time? What do the best do on boards that makes them so great? How does Mark think about time allocation across the portfolio? Should you only spend time with winners? What have been some of his biggest lessons from this? Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Mark Mullen Mark’s Favourite Book: Mark’s Most Recent Investment: As always you can follow on Twitter here!
June 21, 2021
20VC: Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer on Turning the UK Into a Talent Magnet, What Can Be Done To Drive Further Investment in UK Venture & A Breakdown of Morning Routines, Peloton Favourites and Managing Nerves
was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer on 13 February 2020. He was previously Chief Secretary to the Treasury from July 2019 to February 2020, and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government from January 2018 to July 2019. He spent his professional career before politics in business and finance, working internationally. He co-founded an investment firm working with companies in multiple geographies and used that experience to help small and entrepreneurial British companies grow. In Today’s Episode with Rishi Sunak You Will Learn: 1.) Rishi's first job was waiting table in a restaurant, what were his biggest takeaways from that first job? How did Rishi's time at Stanford impact his operating mindset today? How did Rishi make his way into the world of politics following a very successful career in finance? 2.) Talent: What does the UK need to do to become a global talent hub? How can Visa programs be reformed and innovated to ensure the UK is an attractive destination for the best talent? On reflection, where has the UK done well on talent and immigration? On the flip side, what has not worked? Why? What would Rishi have done differently? 3.) Entrepreneurs Relief & Capital Gains: What is the logic behind the removal of entrepreneurs relief? Why is it inefficient in its current form? How does Rishi think about using capital gains as a tool to attract the best to build and invest in the UK? Why does Rishi believe the UK is the most attractive place to build a business from a tax perspective? How does the UK compare to the EU and US? 4.) Driving Further Investment in the UK: What worked and what did not work with regards to "The Future Fund"? What would Rishi have done differently? What can Rishi and the UK do to encourage pension funds to invest more in venture moving forward? What are some elements the public assume the government can and should do, but in reality, you cannot? 5.) Rishi Sunak AMA: What does Rishi's morning routine look like? What time does Rishi wake up? What does he have for breakfast? What does the workout routine look like for Rishi? Who is his favourite Peloton instructor? Why? What is his guilty treat food-wise? How often does he have it? How did it feel for Rishi when he delivered his first budget? Was he nervous? How does Rishi deal with nerves today? Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Rishi Sunak Rishi’s Favourite Book: As always you can follow on Twitter here!
June 14, 2021
20VC: GoPuff's Rafael Ilishayev on How GoPuff Has Been EBITDA Profitable From Day 1; The Unit Economics Behind GoPuff, With Intense Competition What Happens To The Food Delivery Space & What It Takes To Launch, Grow and Maintain New Markets
is the Co-Founder & Co-CEO @ In Today’s Episode with Rafael Ilishayev You Will Learn: 1.) How Rafael made his way into the world of startups with the founding of GoPuff and how he turned it from a college delivery business into a nationwide leader with over 7,000 employees? 2.) Funding: Why did Raf wait until 2.5 years into the business before raising funding? What did that time bootstrapping the business teach Raf? How did it change his thinking on unit economics? How were GoPuff able to be EBITDA profitable from day 1? How do they have such superior margins in an industry blighted by low margins? 3.) New Markets: How does GoPuff determine attractive markets to scale into? What are the leading indicators of "good markets"? What resources are required to open new markets? What is the time to breakeven on new markets? How many micro-fulfilment centres does it take to win a new market? What are the biggest challenges moving into new markets? 4.) Competition: The market has become a lot more competitive, why does Raf feel this is not a market you can win without years of experience? What have they built that other new entrants do not have? Will this be a consolidatory landscape or will many of the new entrants die? Why is Raf planning to invest hundreds of millions into Europe over the coming years? 5.) Driver Efficiency & CACs: What have been Raf's biggest lessons when it comes to driver efficiency? How many deliveries does a driver need to make in one hour for the model to work? How does Raf think about the negative network effects of the model where the more demand, the longer delivery time? How can GoPuff prevent that? Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Rafael Ilishayev Rafael’s Favourite Book: As always you can follow on Twitter here!
June 10, 2021
20VC: Why and How The Best Companies Build Economies Around Themselves, When, Why and How To Build Effective Partner/Channel Networks & The Power of Compounding Growth in SaaS with Jay Simons, General Partner @ Bond
is a General Partner @ Bond Capital, with their $1.25Bn debut growth fund in 2019 they made their mark on the venture landscape and have since made investments in the likes of Revolut, Canva, NextDoor, IronClad and my favourite, On Running. As for Jay, prior to entering venture, he spent an incredible 12 years at Atlassian including 9 years as President, playing an instrumental role in their hyper-growth journey. Jay is also a board member with both Zapier and HubSpot, two of my favourite SaaS companies. In Today’s Episode with Jay Simons You Will Learn: 1.) How Jay made his way into the world of startups following a stint as a pianist in Asia and how that startup journey led to his joining Bond on the venture side? 2.) Why does Jay believe the best companies build economies around themselves? What does this look like in reality? When is the right time for the company to start building these economies? As an investor, what are the signs that a founder is proactively thinking about this? What are some of the biggest mistakes people make when building economies? 3.) Why does Jay believe Partner/Channel networks can be so powerful? When is the right time to build out channel partners? What is the training framework for these partners before they can represent your products in market? How do channel partners change the internal structure and resource allocation for a company? What mistakes do people make with these partners? 4.) How does Jay think about when is the right time to build a second product? What were the biggest takeaways from his time at Atlassian on building product suites? How does Jay determine when is the right time to move upmarket into enterprise? How does this change in a world of product-led growth? 5.) Why did Jay decide now was the right time to move into venture with Bond? For what reasons did Jay choose Bond, over all the other firms? What have been the biggest surprises for Jay from his first 100 days in venture? What have been the most challenging elements? How did Jay embrace the common challenge of building the conviction to write the first check? Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Jay Simons Jay’s Favourite Book: Jay’s Most Recent Investment: As always you can follow on Twitter here!
June 7, 2021
20VC: DoorDash CEO Tony Xu on The Art of Great Leadership Today, Why The Best Give All of the Credit and Take All of the Blame & How DoorDash Have Won The Best Talent Against the Toughest Competition
is the CEO and Co-founder of In Today’s Episode with Tony Xu You Will Learn: 1.) How did Tony make his way into the world of startups and what was that founding a-ha moment for Tony with the founding of DoorDash? What were Tony's biggest takeaways from seeing his parents work ethic at such a young age? How did it impact his operating mentality? 2.) Leadership Style: What does great leadership mean to Tony today? In what ways has Tony's leadership style changed over the DoorDash journey? How does Tony assess his own persistence and grit? Through what framework does Tony decide what to delegate vs what to control? 3.) Decision-Making & Risk: How does Tony evaluate his decision-making process today? What does Tony mean when he says, "you have to reduce the scope"? How does Tony think about understanding the interplay of different variants in a decision? Through what framework does Tony assess risk today? How has Tony's approach to risk and decision-making changed over time? 4.) Talent Acquisition: What have been Tony's biggest lessons in acquiring the best talent? What has worked well in the past? In what ways have they not acquired talent they should have acquired? What type of talent worked in the early days? How has that changed? Through what framework does Tony decide between a stretch VP and a stretch too far? 5.) Culture & Diversity: How does Tony think through the breakpoints in the scaling of culture? At what points did Tony feel the DoorDash culture was not what he wanted it to be? How did he react to change it? Through what process has Tony measured the success of DoorDash's diversity efforts? Which initiatives have worked? Are there any that have not? Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Tony Xu Tony’s Favourite Book: As always you can follow on Twitter here!
June 2, 2021
20VC: Ramp's Eric Glyman on Why You Should Never Take The Highest Price, Working With Venture Funds vs Crossover Funds and How To Determine What To Buy vs Build as a Founder Today?
is the Founder and CEO @ In Today’s Episode with Eric Glyman You Will Learn: 1.) Entry to Startups: How Eric made his way into the world of startups with Paribus and how that journey and exit led to his founding the recently minted unicorn, Ramp? 2.) Decision-Making: How does Eric deal with moments of intense pressure as a leader? How does pressure impact Eric's decision-making quality? Through what framework does Eric evaluate his decision-making process today? Why does Eric believe operational velocity is so key to company success? How does Eric determine between being fast vs spending real time on something? 3.) Funding Rounds: Why does Eric believe that "funding rounds are science experiments"? What should founders look to prove or disprove with each round? Why does Eric believe "you should never take the highest price"? What are the downsides? How does it impact employee stock options? Does it change investor sentiment? How does it change customer acquisition through referrals? 4.) The Rise of Crossover Funds: What does Eric make of the rise of crossover funds? In what way does their value differ to the value provided by traditional VCs? How does their communication style differ compared to traditional VCs? Does Eric worry about the signalling risk of having crossover funds invested early? Does Eric believe they will change the landscape of venture? 5.) Board Management: How does Eric analyse his style of board management today? How has it changed over time? Where does Eric believe many founders go wrong when it comes to board management? How can boards be used to bring together the wider team and company? What documents does Eric always prepare for the board? Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Eric Glyman Eric’s Favourite Book: As always you can follow on Twitter here!
May 27, 2021
20VC: The Twilio Memo: Bessemer's Byron Deeter on How a $125K Initial Check Became Bessemer's Largest Position, What The Influx of Late-Stage Capital Means For Venture Today & Why The Incumbent Advantage Is Now An Incumbent Disadvantage
is a Partner @ and one of the world's leading investors in SaaS and cloud. To date, nineteen of Byron’s investments are valued above $1 billion, including ten IPOs and counting. Some of the incredible companies within Byron's portfolio include Twilio, ServiceTitan, Hashicorp, Canva, Intercom, DocuSign, SendGrid, the list goes on. Prior to joining the world of venture, Byron was an entrepreneur, raising a Series A from Bessemer and scaling the company to be one of the first global SaaS companies, reaching profitability and successfully selling to IBM. In Today’s Episode with Byron Deeter You Will Learn: 1.) How Deven made his way into the world of venture and how that led to his becoming a Managing Director @ Insight, way back in 2000? 2.) The Market: Many people passed on Twilio, what did Byron see that others did not? Did Byron have concerns around the TAM? What made Byron feel comfortable they were not too early? How did Byron assess whether customers would churn off Twilio when they scaled to a size they could build their own infrastructure? How does Byron advise founders on this challenge today? 3.) The Team: What did Byron find some compelling about Jeff so early on? Jeff has been an incredible CEO from pre-seed to post-IPO, what has enabled Jeff specifically to scale with the company so successfully? What does Byron do to build the trust and rapport with founders that he does? What works? What does not work? How does that look today with Zoom? 4.) The Incumbents & Competition: Why does Byron believe the incumbent advantage is actually an incumbent disadvantage? What specifically has Byron found underwhelming about how the incumbents have tried to respond? In what tangible and specific way are startups better placed to win than incumbents? How does Byron advise founders to assess other startup competitors? 5.) The Funding: Twilio is Bessemer's single largest position ever, how does Byron know when is the right time to double down on an investment? What signals does he look for? Has this changed with the massive price inflation we have seen over the last year? How does Byron analyse the influx of new capital? Where is it good? What are the challenges to it? Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Byron Deeter is a financial super app for all things business. It’s a super easy, powerful and personalised account that gives you control over all your business finances and processes in one place. Joining Revolut Business lets you send and receive money at the interbank rate, with no hidden fees as well as opening accounts in more than 28 currencies. You can also streamline your business processes by integrating all your apps or plugins, like accounting and expenses, and manage it from one place. You get more control over your day-to-day business finances, processes and management which means you can focus on your actual business goals. I’ve partnered with Revolut Business to bring you an exclusive 2-month paid plan for free, so you can move your business forward. Click As always you can follow on Twitter here!
May 24, 2021
20VC: Why Bundling Does Not Work, How The Best Founders Analyse Unit Economics, Why The Way We Approach Mental Health in Venture and Startups is Wrong with Nigel Morris, Co-Founder & Managing Partner @ QED Investors
is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of , one of the leading fintech-focused venture firms of the last decade with numerous unicorn investments, including Credit Karma, NuBank, Avant, SoFi, Klarna, GreenSky, and AvidXchange. Prior to QED, Nigel co-founded Capital One Financial Services in 1994. During his 10-year tenure, Nigel transitioned Capital One from an emerging start-up to an established public company valued at over $20 billion with over 15,000 employees. Finally, Nigel also sits on or has sat on the board of Nubank, Prosper, Zopa, Klarna, The Economist and London Business School to name a few. In Today’s Episode with Nigel Morris You Will Learn: 1.) How Nigel made his way into the world of startups with Capital One back in 1994 and how that journey led to his founding one of the leading fintech investment firms in QED? What made Nigel want to develop QED from a family office into a large scaling venture firm? 2.) Where does Nigel's passion for mental health stem from? Why does Nigel believe VC and entrepreneurship is riddled with mental health problems? How does Nigel deal with his own self-doubt and insecurity? In what way does Nigel analyse his own relationship to money today? How has it changed over time? How has that relationship to money changed how he thinks about investing? 3.) What does Nigel believe it takes to be a great listener? How does Nigel think about asking the risk questions to move the founder to the right insight? How does Nigel create the conditions where the entrepreneur can be much more open? What questions would Nigel never ask? How does Nigel describe his style of board membership? How has it changed? 4.) How does Nigel think about the centrality of unit economics? What does Nigel look for in the way that the entrepreneur thinks through and analyses unit economics? When does Nigel believe you have tangible data to rely on to justify unit economics? What is the biggest challenge with unit economics? What should companies do when their competitors raise massive funding rounds? 5.) Why does Nigel believe that "bundling" is a canard? What does not work regarding how traditional "bundling" works? Why might it be different for the next generation of fintech providers to bundle different products? Why does Nigel believe lending is a much harder insertion point to start than current accounts? How does Nigel think about the right insertion point? Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Nigel Morris Nigel’s Favourite Book: Nigel’s Most Recent Investment: As always you can follow on Twitter here!
May 20, 2021
20VC: Farfetch Founder, José Neves on Zen Buddhism and Its Impact on Leadership Mentality, Why Head vs Heart is Not the Right Way To Think About Decision-Making & How To Work Through Self-Doubt and Identity as a CEO
is the Founder, CEO & Chairman @ Farfetch, the #1 destination for high-end fashion offering the world's Greatest Selection of Luxury. Now a public company, José has raised over $1.7Bn with Farfetch from some of the biggest names including Alibaba, Richemont, JD.com, Index Ventures and DST to name a few. Prior to Farfetch, José has been involved in the fashion start-up world since the mid-1990s when he launched footwear business SWEAR. José later founded SIX London, a fashion licensing and wholesale company selling to 600 retailers worldwide. Finally, in 2001 José opened the renowned boutique bstore, which won the British Fashion Award for Retailer of the Year in 2006. In Today’s Episode with José Neves You Will Learn: 1.) How José made his way from creating footwear brands in the days of the Spice Girls and cyberpunk to changing the fashion industry itself with Farfetch? 2.) Why does Zen Buddhism resonate with José in such a profound way? How does his adoption of it impact his style of leadership today? How does José deal with the loneliness of being a CEO? What does José mean when he says the most successful leaders, "know how to fall and how to get up"? How has José responded to his greatest failures? 3.) How does José think about decision-making today? What are the biggest misconceptions people have with regards to effective decision-making? Why is head vs heart the wrong way to think about decision-making? How does José adopt a sense of emotional detachment when making decisions? What works? What does not work? 4.) How does José evaluate his relationship to money today? In what ways has it changed over time? What does José believe that others do not believe when it comes to risk and risk management? How does José balance the demands of Wall St and investors with the knowledge that everything is inherently uncertain? 5.) Does José ever feel self-doubt? How does he manage it? In what ways does he advise earlier stage founders to grapple with their own self-doubt? How does José think about tying one's own identity to their company? Why is this so dangerous? Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with José Neves José’s Favourite Book: As always you can follow on Twitter here!
May 17, 2021
20VC: Insight Managing Director, Deven Parekh on The Current Funding Mania, Compression of Round Timelines, Fund Deployment Speeds Increasing & How To Think Through Price and Time Allocation Across the Portfolio
is a Managing Director at , one of the leading investing franchises of the last 25 years with $30Bn+ in capital commitments, 400+ primary investments and over 200 portfolio acquisitions. Deven himself has made more than 90 investments since joining in 2000 including in the likes of Twitter, Alibaba, JD.com, Chargebee and Automattic (WordPress) to name a few. Deven also sits on the boards of Checkout.com, Calm, Saks.com, Optimizely and 1stDibs, again naming a few. If that was not enough, Deven also serves on the Board of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Board of the Tisch New York MS Research Center. As a result of his investing success, Deven has been named on Forbes Midas List 5 time and has been selected as a Top 100 Venture Capitalist by CB Insights 4 times. In Today’s Episode with Deven Parekh You Will Learn: 1.) How Deven made his way into the world of venture and how that led to his becoming a Managing Director @ Insight, way back in 2000? 2.) How does Deven analyse the current fundraising mania? Does portfolio discipline and temporal diversification matter anymore? How has Deven and Insight seen the velocity of fundraises change over the years? What can Deven and Insight do to get compress their decision-making timeliness with the compression of fundraising timelines? 3.) How does Deven assess his relationship to price and price sensitivity? What have been some core lessons for Deven when comparing deals that they did which were "cheap" vs "expensive"? How do Insight think about required levels of ownership today? Does Deven believe it is possible to build ownership over time? What is required to do so? What are the challenges? 4.) How would Deven describe his style of board membership today? How has it changed over time? What advice does Deven have for younger board members scaling into the role? How does Deven think about his time allocation across the portfolio? What is the optimal? How does this differ from reality? Why do your winners never need you? 5.) How does Deven evaluate his own insecurities and self-doubt today? In what way have these changed over time? How does Deven analyse the "weight of his words" within Insight? How does Insight structure the internal decision-making process to ensure that everyone's voice is heard? In what ways can firms foster that security for young partners to feel they can bring anything to the table? Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Deven Parekh Deven's Favourite Book: , Deven’s Most Recent Investment: As always you can follow on Twitter here!
May 11, 2021
20VC: Qualtrics Founder, Ryan Smith on The 2 Hour Decision Whether To Sell Qualtrics for $8Bn in Cash, Why Tying Your Identity To Your Company Will Never Make You Happy and His Relationship To Risk, Wealth and Responsibility as a Result
is the Founder and Executive Chairman @ In Today’s Episode with Ryan Smith You Will Learn: 1.) How Ryan made his way into the world of startups having travelled the world and came to found Qualtrics in his basement over 21 years ago? 2.) How does Ryan think about his relationship to happiness and what it means to "be happy"? How does Ryan think about identity and founders aligning their identities to their company? How does Ryan think, if not careful, tech can eat you up? What does Ryan mean when he says he would rather be "opportunistic than an entrepreneur"? 3.) How does Ryan approach decision-making today? In what situations does Ryan think with his head vs his heart? How does Ryan approach risk today? How has his relationship to risk changed over time? What did the sale process to SAP look like? What was that decision-making process to sell to SAP for $8BN in cash vs IPO? What advice did his wife give him? 4.) How does Ryan evaluate his relationship to money today? How did it feel when Ryan sold Qualtrics to SAP for $8BN in cash? How does Ryan think about giving his children the right mentality and upbringing while being brought up in extreme wealth? What are the challenges of doing so? 5.) How does Ryan think about the weight of responsibility? Ryan and his brother Jared, did a lot very young, did Ryan feel the pressure of having to grow up faster than one usually would? How did that impact his mentality? How did Ryan's travels to Mexico and Japan change the person he is today? Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Ryan Smith Ryan’s Favourite Book: As always you can follow on Twitter here!
May 7, 2021
20VC: MercadoLibre Founder Marcos Galperin on Optimising Decision-Making, Effective Resource Allocation, Growth vs Profitability, Fundraising Strategies and more on the Journey To Build a $72Bn Market Cap Company
is the Founder and CEO @ In Today’s Episode with Marcos Galperin You Will Learn: 1.) How Marcos made his way into the world of startups and came up with the idea for MercadoLibre while at Stanford Business School? 2.) Talent Acquisition and Retention: What have been some of Marcos' biggest lessons on what it takes to acquire A* talent? Does Marcos believe individuals can scale across company stages? When is a stretch hire a stretch too far? What has been the secret to Marcos having such a retained leadership team? What works? What does not? 3.) Risk and Decision-Making: How does Marcos evaluate his relationship to risk today? What frameworks does Marcos use to make effective decisions today? How does Marcos think about short term vs long term when it comes to resource allocation? How does Marcos prioritise where he makes decisions vs where he is willing to delegate? 4.) Funding and The Crash: How does Marcos reflect on his biggest lessons from going through 2 crashes with MercadoLibre? How did he change the way he ran the business post crash? How does Marcos advise founders today when big rounds are on offer, take the money or wait? What other components are important to consider in this decision? Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Marcos Galperin Parker’s Favourite Book: As always you can follow on Twitter here!
May 4, 2021
20VC: David Tisch on Why Ownership in Venture Does Not Matter, His Biggest Investing Misses and Hits and How His Investing Style Changed as a Result & 3 Core Reasons VCs Pass That Do Not Make Sense
is the Founder and Managing Partner @ , one of the leading seed focused firms of the last decade with a portfolio including Airtable, Glossier, PillPack, Plaid and many more. Prior to founding Box, David was Managing Director of Techstars New York and was a prolific angel investor making early angel investments in the likes of Vine and Warby Parker to name a few. In Today’s Episode with David Tisch You Will Learn: 1.) How David made his way into the world of tech and startups and came to change the state of seed funding in NYC with the founding of Box Group? 2.) Why does David believe that ownership requirements are "VCs projecting their problems on founders"? Why does David believe that ownership today fundamentally does not matter? How does David feel about his own relationship to price? Why is it important to be price aware across the portfolio, not on a per deal basis? 3.) What does David make of the rise of pre-emptive rounds? How does David advise portfolio founders who have them on the table? What other arguments does David use to founders contemplating taking seed rounds from multi-stage funds? How does David believe founders should assess their importance to the fund investing in them? 4.) How does David feel about his relationship to FOMO today? What have been some of his biggest misses in recent years? How have some of his biggest misses changed how he acts as an investor today? How have some of his biggest successes changed his investing lens? What changes did David and Box make to their decision-making process as a result? 5.) What does David believe are the biggest mistakes to turn down a company? Why is "too early" never a reason to turn down a company? How does David assess and think about market size today? Through what framework does David evaluate and assess competition today? What does David believe are some core concerns that are reasonable to turn down an opportunity? Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with David Tisch David’s Most Recent Investment: As always you can follow on Twitter here!