Keith Rabois is a General Partner @ Founders Fund, one of the most successful venture firms of the last decade with home runs in the likes of SpaceX, Palantir, Stripe, Anduril, Facebook, Airbnb, Nubank and many more. As for Keith, he led the first institutional investments in DoorDash, Affirm and has also led investments in Ramp, Trade Republic, Faire and Stripe. Prior to venture, Keith had the most stellar operating career, joining PayPal when their monthly burn-rate was $6 million; Keith joined LinkedIn, Slide and Square when they had no revenue. Fun fact, five companies Keith helped build are now publicly traded with market caps >$1 Billion. Three others have been acquired for greater than $1 Billion or are publicly traded IPOs. If that was not enough, Keith is also the Co-Founder and CEO @ OpenStore, acquiring small DTC businesses.
1.) How Keith first came up with the idea for Opendoor? How a conversation with Peter Thiel led to the founding of the first iteration of the company? Why did it take Keith close to a decade to pursue the idea fully, post having the idea in 2003?
2.) The Market: What made Keith so excited to pursue Opendoor from a top-down market analysis perspective? What does Keith look for in markets he likes to invest in? How did Keith expect the market to change and evolve? What did the market do differently to how Keith thought it would behave?
3.) The Business Model: With debt being the oxygen for Opendoor, how many homes did they need to acquire before they could prove they could price homes accurately? What were Keith's lessons from the first homes they bought? What did not go to plan? Why does Keith disagree, if macro hits real estate, Opendoor's model is challenged? Why does Keith believe it is stronger then?
4.) The Team: What does Keith look for in the founding teams he backs? How does Keith detect diamonds in the rough? How can teams systematically de-risk an opportunity with their experience? With the benefit of hindsight, what would Keith have done differently with the team?
5.) The Funding: Was fundraising for Opendoor always easy? How did the seed round go down? How does Keith feel today about pre-emptive rounds where little company development has taken place? Why did Opendoor decide to SPAC? Why not a direct list? Was this the right choice? What makes for the best SPAC partner?
Ralf Wenzel is the Founder & CEO @ JOKR, a global platform for instant retail delivery at a hyper-local scale. To date, Ralf has raised over $170M for the company from the likes of GGV Capital, Balderton, Softbank and Kaszek, just to name a few. Prior to JOKR, Ralf spent close to 7 years as the Founder & CEO @ foodpanda as well as enjoying roles as Chief Strategy Officer @ Delivery Hero, Interim Chief Product and Experience Officer @ WeWork and even moving to the other side of the table as a Managing Partner with Softbank.
1.) How Ralf made his way into the world of startups and came to found foodpanda? What were his biggest takeaways from foodpanda that have impacted how he thinks about scaling JOKR today?
2.) Fulfillment Centres: What are the selection criteria when deciding what is the right location for a fulfillment center? How does real estate cost differ when comparing LATAM to the US? How does Ralf think about the balance between consumer choice and SKU minimization? In what way does Ralf believe they have a moat due to their catalog management system?
3.) The Driver: Why is JOKR different to every other provider in the way they employ their riders? Does it not severely impact their margins by providing equal benefits across their entire rider workforce? How many drops per hour is a good level of driver efficiency? What have been Ralf's biggest lessons when it comes to driver retention?
4.) The Consumer: How did JOKR acquire their first consumers on the demand side? What marketing strategies worked? What did not work? Is Ralf concerned by the immense amount of money invested in the space driving customer acquisition prices way higher? How has Ralf seen CACs change over time in mature markets?
5.) Expansion Opportunities: How does Ralf feel about incorporating own brand products, produced by JOKR over time? How does this change the margin profile of the business? How does Ralf feel about paid search as a core part of their business? Will CPGs be able to pay to be ranked higher in JOKR?
Casey Winters is the Chief Product Officer at Eventbrite where he leads the PM, product design, research, and growth marketing teams. Prior to Eventbrite, Casey spent close to 3 years at Pinterest where he led the growth product team. At Pinterest, Casey turned SEO into a scalable acquisition strategy, increasing conversion to signups 5x. Before Pinterest, Casey started the marketing team at Grubhub and scaled Grubhub's demand-side acquisition and retention strategies. Casey played an instrumental role in scaling Grubhub from 3 cities to 1,000+ and from a $1 million series A to an IPO and $7.3 billion exit. If that was not enough, Casey has also advised the likes of Canva, Hipcamp, Reddit, Faire and Career Karma to name a few.
1.) How Casey made his way into the world of startups and came to lead some of the most powerful growth orgs in the world from Pinterest to Grubhub to Eventbrite?
2.) How does Casey define "growth" and "Head of Growth"? When is the right time to start thinking about implementing a growth team? When should one hire a growth leader? How should founders structure the process of hiring a Head of Growth? What do the stages look like? What signals suggest A* talent? What questions does Casey always ask? What tests does Casey do?
3.) What does the optimal onboarding process look like for growth teams? What tasks should a growth team perform in their first few months? What are clear signs you have an amazing candidate in place? What are some obvious red flags? How do the best growth teams approach post-mortems? How are they structured? Who attends them? How often?
4.) What is the ideal relationship between the Head of Growth and the CEO? How often do they meet? What do the best CEOs expect from their growth teams? How does Casey approach the relationship between growth teams and product teams? How does one know when to have an independent growth team vs within the product or marketing team?
5.) Casey AMA: What has been a decision that Casey made without data to back it up? How did it go? What were Casey's lessons? How does Casey prevent past experiments from impacting his future tactics? How does Casey's management style differ when managing larger vs smaller growth teams? How has angel investing impacted his approach to scaling growth teams?
Hans Tung is a Managing Partner at GGV Capital, one of the leading venture firms of the last 2 decades with a portfolio including Alibaba, Xiaomi, Peloton, Airbnb, Slack, and many more. As for Hans, he has been named to the Forbes Midas list nine consecutive years from 2013-2021, most recently ranking #3. His portfolio includes 18 unicorns including Affirm, Airbnb, Coinbase, Divvy Homes, Peloton, Poshmark, Slack, Wish and Xiaomi. In 2005, he was among the first Silicon Valley VCs to move to China full time, spending eight years investing in the fastest-changing tech landscape in the world before returning to Silicon Valley in 2013 to join GGV Capital.
1.) How Hans made his way into the world of venture from founding his first two companies? How did seeing the booms and busts of the macro-financial markets impact both his investing mindset and the companies he likes to back?
2.) The Landscape: How does Hans analyze the current venture landscape today? How does one compete in a world of Tiger and crossover funds writing term sheets post first meeting? How does Hans think about his own price sensitivity today? How does he determine when to pay up vs when to say no? What have been some of his biggest lessons on price?
3.) Working with the likes of Peloton, Square, Alibaba, what have been some of Hans biggest lessons on market size? What do most investors get wrong when it comes to market sizing? How does Hans think about an attractive enough exit multiple for a growth stage check? What did Peloton teach Hans about insertion points when investing?
4.) How does Hans think about when is the right time to sell? What have been some of his biggest lessons on taking cash off the table? Despite the success, how does Hans ensure he has the mental plasticity to approach every new deal with a fresh perspective? What does he do to ensure he does not have an unconscious bias from his past successes?
Hans’ Favourite Book: Outliers: The Story of Success
Hans’ Most Recent Investment: JOKR
Nazim Salur is the Founder & CEO of Getir, one of the leading rapid delivery service providers that distribute over 1,500 everyday items within minutes. With an established status in Turkey, where the company trends towards a super-app, and a London launch behind it, Getir has further European and US expansion plans on the horizon. To fuel this expansion, Getir has raised over $1BN from Sequoia and Mike Moritz, Silver Lake, Mubadala, and Tiger Global to name a few. Prior to founding Getir, Nazim launched his first tech startup in 2012, BiTaksi, which brought people taxis in three minutes.
1.) How Nazim made his way into the world of startups with his founding of BiTaksi and how that led to his realization of the need for Getir?
2.) Why does Nazim believe that owning the entire vertical stack is a superior model? What are the selection criteria for the micro-fulfillment sites? What makes one more attractive than another? How does Getir think about the balance between SKU minimization and consumer demand? How does Getir think about building defensibility through their warehouse management system?
3.) How did Getir acquire their first drivers? What worked? What did not work? How does their driver acquisition strategy change depending on location? What is the core measurement that Getir uses to measure driver efficiency? What is the secret to driver retention? How has Nazim seen driver acquisition costs change over time in mature markets?
4.) How did Getir acquire their first customers? What is the most important element for consumers; speed or choice? How does Getir think about allocating marketing spend efficiently today? How has Nazim seen CACs change over time with the maturation of markets? With the immense funding for the space, is Nazim concerned about this?
5.) What are the decision-making criteria for what makes an attractive region to expand into? How much capital does it take to launch a new region? What is the time to profitability on each zone? How has this changed over time? How does Nazim think about expansion into the US? What excites him most about the expansion? What elements will be most challenging?
Doug Leone is the Global Managing Partner @ Sequoia Capital, one of the world’s most renowned and successful venture firms with a portfolio including the likes of Google, Airbnb, Whatsapp, Stripe, Zoom and many more. As for Doug, he joined Sequoia over 33 years ago and has led investments in Nubank, Meraki, ServiceNow and TradeRepublic to name a few.
1.) How a 5PM Monday meeting with Don Valentine led to Doug joining Sequoia over 33 years ago? What did Don ask Doug in the meeting? What does Doug believe led Don to offer him his first role at Sequoia?
2.) The Leader: How did Doug change when he made the transition from a "COO" role to more of a "CEO" role with Sequoia? Doug has previously said, "Sequoia is a team, not a family". What does he mean by this? How do Doug and Sequoia do to give the team an unwavering sense of duty to the Sequoia brand? What does Doug believe Sequoia have done so well to allow them to move seamlessly from generation to generation?
3.) The Investor: Doug's first 3 investments all went on to successful IPOs, how did this impact his mindset at the time? What does Doug mean when he discusses "the abyss" he went through post this time? How does Doug advise others going through the abyss? What are the signs certain people will make it through vs not?
4.) The Landscape Today: How does Doug think about and react to newer entrants like Tiger and Softbank? How does Doug think about and assess his own price sensitivity today? How does Doug determine when to be disciplined vs when to pay up? Through what lens does Doug assess the compression of deployment cycles in venture today? Should we "play the game on the field"?
5.) The Expansion: In 2005, Sequoia expanded to China. Why was this the right time? What was the decision-making process for the Sequoia China team? Why does Doug believe, "when you lose pre-seed, you become private equity"? How does Doug react to the notion that success in venture is cyclical and compounds?
Doug’s Favourite Book: The Fountainhead: Ayn Rand, Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder
Sameer Gandhi is a Partner @ Accel, one of the leading venture firms of the last decade with a portfolio including the likes of Facebook, Dropbox, Atlassian, Hopin, Spotify and more. As for Sameer, he led investments in Crowdstrike, Dropbox, Flipkart, Spotify and more. Prior to Accel, Sameer spent close to 10 years as a Partner @ Sequoia.
1.) How Sameer first came to meet George, Crowdstrike Founder and CEO? How did a 30-minute meeting turn into a 2-hour discussion leading to Accel's investment?
2.)The Market: How did Sameer analyze and break down the market at the time of the investment? What hypothesis did he have on market evolution going in? What elements went as thought? In what way did the market evolve in a way Sameer did not expect? How does Sameer think through market timing today? Through what approach does Sameer assess market sizing today?
3.) Financing: How did Sameer build the confidence to lead multiple rounds of financing, one after the other? How did Sameer build the trust and strength of relationship with George to win each round? Why did Sameer advise George to "go shop his term sheet"? What was the rationale? How does Sameer advise founders on taking pre-emptive rounds today?
4.) Execution: What specifically allowed Crowdstrike to move so fast in the early days? Does Sameer believe that speed of execution is the strongest moat a company can have? How does Sameer advise companies today on services revenue? In what shape did this look with Crowdstrike in the early days? What is a healthy proportion of services to product revenue?
5.) The Team: How did George evolve and develop as a leader in the decade Sameer worked with him? What were some of the core inflection points that caused those changes? Who are some of the unsung heroes behind the scenes who moved the needle for Crowdstrike? What is Sameer's favorite memory from working with the company?
Go to thetwentyminutevc.com to download the original Crowdstrike Investment Memo.