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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.
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Now displaying: June, 2020
Jun 29, 2020

Oren Zeev is the Founding Partner @ Zeev Ventures, one of the best and most under the radar firms in the early stage Silicon Valley landscape. Over the past decade, Oren has backed the likes of TripActions, Tipalti, Audible, Houzz, Chegg and Hippo Insurance to name a few. Prior to crushing it with Zeev Ventures, Oren spent 12 years as a General Partner @ Apax Ventures, starting in Israel and then moving to the US where he headed the Technology Practice of Apax and the Silicon Valley office.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Oren made his way into the world of venture with Apax and how that led to his founding his own firm, Zeev Ventures?

2.) Having been in a venture partnership, why did Oren want to be a solo GP? What are the benefits? How does it change decision-making? What are the downsides? How does Oren discuss deals and ideas without partners? How does Oren explain the decision to LPs on being a solo GP?

3.) Why does Oren not believe in thesis-driven investing? What are the dangers and downsides to it? Why do most managers still do it then? Why does Oren specifically look for under-appreciated markets? How is pricing and competition different there? How does Oren assess his own price sensitivity?

4.) Why does Oren think that diversification is overrated? How does Oren think about cross-fund investing? Why is it such a strength that managers should use? Why do many not do it? How does Oren think about reserve allocation? Why is he the only VC to not have a reserves strategy?

5.) How does Oren think about fund deployment timelines? Why do LPs not like the annual fundraising approach? How does Oren size up his position in companies over time and round? How does Oren feel about founders taking secondaries?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Oren’s Fave BookThe Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm

Oren’s Most Recent Investment: Treeverse

As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Jun 26, 2020

Lo Toney is the Founding Managing Partner @ Plexo Capital, a very unique firm making both direct investments and fund investments. They have invested in Precursor, Boldstart, Female Founders Fund and WorkBench on the fund side and then PlayVS, Replicated and StyleSeat on the direct side. Prior to Plexo, Lo was a Partner @ GV (Google Ventures) and before that was a Partner with Comcast Ventures where he led the Catalyst Fund. Before venture Lo was an operator enjoying exec roles at Zynga, Nike and eBay.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Lo made his way into the world of venture with GV and how that led to his innovating on the venture model investing in both funds and directly with Plexo today? What were Lo's biggest takeaways from his 5 years as a Partner @ GV?

2.) How will GPs raising today be impacted by COVID? How does this differ dependent on the stage they invest and the size of fund they are raising? How does Lo advise managers communicating with existing and new potential LPs today?

3.) What does Lo mean when he discusses your "minimum viable fund size"? How does Lo advise GPs when it comes to closing strategies? How much do they need for first close? How many closes should there be thereafter? Should they take the money when it is on the table?

4.) How does Lo feel about anchor LPs taking/investing in the GP? What are the benefits for the manager of doing so? Why does Lo believe there is such a binary view towards it? Why does Lo disagree with the benchmarks set of what a GP commit "should be"?

5.) Why does Lo believe we will see the hybridization of GP/LP over the coming years? What are the benefits of having your LP also direct invest? What are the core challenges to the model? How does Lo envisage the world of venture evolving over the next decade?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Lo's Most Recent Investment: PlayVS

As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!

Jun 22, 2020

Andrew Wilkinson is the Managing Partner @ Tiny, a vehicle that buys, builds and invests in wonderful internet companies. Within their family of companies is Dribble; home to the world's best design professionals; MetaLab and Supercast to name a few. Tiny does also make venture investments in the likes of Superhuman, SpaceX, Pitch and Buffer. Today Andrew oversees a group of companies with over 300 employees and tens of millions in revenue.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Andrew made his way from founding a design agency in Canada to starting Tiny and building a family of companies with over 300 people?

2.) What does Andrew mean when he says, when buying companies he looks for companies like New Zealand? What qualities/features do they have? How does Andrew think about price sensitivity when acquiring these companies? What determines paying a premium price to Andrew?

3.) How does Andrew assess and analyse true defensibility within company strategies today? Why does Andrew not believe they will lose any companies? How does Andrew think about grow vs profitability? Are they mutually exclusive? When does one pour fuel on the fire and raise big?

4.) How has Andrew seen himself develop and change as a leader over the last 5 years? What does truly great delegation look like? What is Andrew's biggest weakness? What is his biggest insecurity? How does Andrew think about sink the boat vs non-sink the boat decisions?

5.) Does Andrew believe we will see the unbundling of social networks moving forward? What are the core characteristics that determine whether a social network will win? Why does Dribble have defensibility as a brand against all large incumbents?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!

Jun 15, 2020

David Sacks is the Co-Founder @ Craft Ventures, one of Silicon Valley's leading early-stage funds with David's portfolio including the likes of Facebook, Tesla, SpaceX, Palantir, Affirm, Airbnb, Slack and Bird to name a few. David started his career in tech as the first product leader and COO @ Paypal, growing payment volume from $0-$500M per month, leading to their $1.5Bn acquisition by eBay. David then founded Geni.com, creating a family tree for the whole world, the company was acquired 3 years later by MyHeritage. David then founded Yammer, the secure solution for internal corporate communication and collaboration, acquired by Microsoft for $1.2Bn. Finally, David then became COO and Interim CEO @ Zenefits before starting Craft.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How David made his way from founding Yammer to creating one of the valley's newest and most prestigious firms in Craft Ventures? Given David's operating success he could have angel invested continuously, why decide to start a fund? What does he ultimately want to achieve with Craft?

2.) How did experiencing the Dot Com Bubble with Paypal and then 2008 impact David's investing and operating mindset? Does David believe VCs really are "open for business" today? How is VC behaviour shifting when comparing early to later stage? How is Craft responding?

3.) Unit Economics: How does David assess unit economics in early-stage opportunities he is looking to invest in? What does proper attribution look like? Where do many go wrong with unit economics? Is it too early to try and assess unit econ at seed? How does David think about having mental plasticity towards unit economics, recognising how they change over time?

4.) Customer Acquisition: Does David agree with Peter Fenton, "there is a complete lack of free and open distribution"? What are the rules of thumb on CAC that David does and then does not agree with? How does David feel about blended CAC? What separates good from great when it comes to CAC/LTV?

5.) Churn: How does assess net negative churn in the businesses he works with? What is great, good, decent and poor? How does avid think about logo vs dollar retention? How does David advise founders who feel COVID has not impacted churn for them? What should they expect?

6.) Burn + Capital Efficiency: How does David analyse burn and capital efficiency today? What does he mean when he discusses "the burn multiple"? How should the burn multiple change with the stage of the business? How does David advise founders on how aggressively to cut burn today?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

David's Fave BookThucydides’ Trap

David's Most Recently Announced Investment: Sourcegraph

As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!

 

Jun 12, 2020

Chris Best is the Founder & CEO @ Substack, the company that makes it simple for a writer to start a paid newsletter. To date, Chris has raised over $17M in funding from the likes of a16z, Y Combinator, Twitch CEO Emmett Shear and Zynga Co-Founder Justin Waldron to name a few. Prior to founding Substack, Chris was the Co-Founder & CTO @ Kik, letting users connect with friends, groups and the world around them. The company raised over $220M in funding from Spark, Tencent and USV to name a few.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Chris made his way into the world of startups and came to found Kik? How his journey with Kik led to his founding Substack?

2.) During COVID, traditional media publications have been hit hard and Substack has taken off, how does Chris see the correlation there? Given the public journal of record has always been free, how does Substack interact with public news? What does Chris

3.) Why does Chris believe that micropayments are a fundamentally bad idea? Structurally why would they not work? Does Chris agree the biggest problem consumers face today in content is one of discovery? Why not?

4.) When designing the Substack product today, how does Chris think about incentive design? Why does Chris believe with incentives, Substack is the opposite of Twitter from a product perspective? Why have the "economics of attention now been flipped?"

5.) How has Chris seen himself evolve and change as a leader over the last 3 years? What advice would Chris give to CTOs making the move into the role of CEO? What does Chris believe his greatest strengths and weaknesses are as a leader? How does Chris find the war for talent today?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!

 
 
Jun 8, 2020

Merci Victoria Grace is a Partner @ Lightspeed Venture Partners, one of the valley's leading venture firms of the last decade with a portfolio including the likes of Snapchat, Mulesoft, Affirm, AppDynamics and more. As for Merci, prior to entering the world of venture, Merci spent 3 years at Slack including as Head of Growth where she grew the growth team to over 50 people and drove DAU's from 500K to 5M in under 2 years. Merci is also the Founder of Women In Product a global community of incredible women in product management.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Merci made her way into the world of venture having led the growth team at Slack for close to 3 years?

2.) Merci has been working to productise venture, so what core elements of venture need productising? What systems and tools has Merci put in place to create a product around these processes and methods? What have been the biggest challenge in the attempt to productise VC?

3.) How does the decision-making process look like at Lightspeed? How does Merci use post mortems to help her improve post having lost a deal? How does she structure those post-mortems? What have been some of the core takeaways? What internal tech stack does LSVP run itself on?

4.) How does Merci see the future of the collaboration tools market? Are we entering a period of bundling or unbundling? How does Merci feel about the debate between synchronous and asynchronous? How does Merci determine between those who have grown sustainably vs unsustainably in the time of COVID?

5.) Why do the majority of collaboration tool startups fail? What do they get so wrong in their go-to-market? For those that succeed, what are the commonalities in those that succeed? Why is being good at Twitter a competitive advantage? How does Merci feel about the Superhuman, high touch onboarding style?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!

 
Jun 5, 2020

Daniel Erickson is the Founder & CEO @ Viable Fit, the startup that allows you to find product-market fit faster than ever by collecting structured user feedback to measure PMF on an ongoing basis. Daniel has raised funding from the likes of David Sacks @ Craft Ventures, Todd Goldberg and Superhuman Founder, Rahul Vohra and then also Brianne Kimmel @ Worklife Ventures. Prior to founding Viable Fit, Daniel was VP Engineering @ Eaze and before that spent time as CTO @ Getable and then also had a front-row seat for the hyper-growth of Yammer with a 3-year stint there.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Daniel made his way into the valley and startups from setting up a consultancy in Portland and how that led to founding Viable Fit?

2.) How does Daniel define product-market fit today? Why does Daniel believe it is the single most important metric for startups? What happens if you do not have product-market fit? How does Daniel feel about investors spending so much time analysing unit economics at seed?

3.) What is the single most important question one can ask to determine whether you have PMF? How does customer segmentation play a role in revealing the true PMF number? How do you productise this and put it in a process? What does Daniel make of the rise of closed betas?

4.) Once they have the customer data, what elements of the data should founders double down on to determine PMF? How do they determine between feedback to adopt vs discard? Why does Daniel believe PMF is transient and you always have to measure it?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Daniel’s Fave Book: Atomic Habits by James Clear

As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!

 
 
Jun 1, 2020

Ryan Petersen is the Founder & CEO @ Flexport, the operating system for global trade with over $1.3Bn in funding from the likes of Softbank, Founders Fund, DST, GV and First Round to name a few.

Justin Kan is the Founder @ Atrium and Twitch (acq by Amazon for $1Bn). Justin is also a prolific angel with a portfolio including the likes of Scale AI, Digits, Cruise and Triplebyte to name a few.

Matteo Franceschetti is the Founder & CEO @ Eight Sleep, the #1 Smart Mattress, designed to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep. To date, Matteo has raised over $70M from Founders Fund, Khosla Ventures, Craft Ventures, Kevin Hartz and Ryan Petersen to name a few.

Steve Schlafman is a Coach and Investor @ High Output. Previously Steve was a Partner @ Primary Ventures in NYC and before that Principal @ RRE.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) What was your realisation moment for stopping drinking? How did it come about? What was your prior relationship to alcohol like?

2.) For me I always found an excuse to not stop drinking, when you think about your attempts to give up, what excuses did you provide as reasons for continuing to drink? What insecurities and vulnerabilities did drinking hide and mask for you? How did it impact them?

3.) From a literal standpoint, how did you approach giving up the act of drinking? What tools did you find most helpful? What resources do you recommend? How has your life changed since you stopped drinking? Matteo, you have the data from Eight Sleep, what does the data say about how stopping drinking truly impacts your sleep?

4.) People often say that stopping drinking kills your social life, what would you respond to that commonly held belief? What other core misconceptions do you find people hold towards drinking? To those considering giving up drinking, what would you advise them? What do you know now about alcohol that you wish you had known earlier?

As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!

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