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The Twenty Minute VC (20VC): Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch

The Twenty Minute VC (20VC) interviews the world's greatest venture capitalists with prior guests including Sequoia's Doug Leone and Benchmark's Bill Gurley. Once per week, 20VC Host, Harry Stebbings is also joined by one of the great founders of our time with prior founder episodes from Spotify's Daniel Ek, Linkedin's Reid Hoffman, and Snowflake's Frank Slootman. If you would like to see more of The Twenty Minute VC (20VC), head to www.20vc.com for more information on the podcast, show notes, resources and more.
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Now displaying: April, 2022
Apr 29, 2022

Noah Glass is the Founder and CEO @ Olo, the interface between restaurants and the on-demand world powering millions of orders per day. Olo is an incredible tale of capital efficiency, at IPO the company had a net burn of just $6M with $122M in ARR. Noah raised from some of the best in the business with names such as David Frankel @ Founder Collective, Danny Meyer, Scott Shleifer @ Tiger Global, all on the cap table. Prior to founding Olo, Noah was International Expansion Manager for Endeavour Global, launching the first African Endeavour affiliate. If that was not enough, Noah is also on the board of Portillo's, Share our Strength and the Culinary Institute for America.

In Today’s Episode with Noah Glass You Will Learn:

1.) The Founding of Olo:

  • What was the founding a-ha moment for Noah with Olo?
  • What did David Frankel do that compelled Noah, now was the time to start Olo?
  • What have been some of Noah's biggest lessons from working with David Frankel?

2.) Capital Efficiency: Scaling to $122M ARR with $6M Net Burn

  • Why did Noah and the team not raise more money in the early Olo days?
  • How does Noah advise early founders who are concerned if they do not raise, their competition will?
  • What are 2-3 of the core levers that allow Olo to be so efficient? What can others learn from them?
  • What would Noah have done differently fundraise wise, with the benefit of hindsight?

3.) Decision Making: The Secret

  • What does Noah mean when he says; "capital allocation and attention allocation are intertwined"?
  • How has Noah changed and evolved his decision-making as a leader?
  • How does Noah use a CEO coach? What do they discuss? How often? What works? What does not?
  • What decision did Noah make that proved to be the wrong one? How did he come back from it?

4.) Noah Glass: The Father and Husband

  • How does Noah do so much as CEO and also not lose an inch on being an amazing father and husband?
  • What does Noah believe is the secret to a truly successful marriage, while also being public markets CEO?
  • How has Noah changed as a father and husband over the years? What has worked? What has not worked?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Noah Glass

Noah’s Favourite Book: Setting the Table by Danny Meyer

Apr 27, 2022

Mitch Tarica is Head of North America Sales at Zoom Video Communications. Before joining Zoom, Mitch spent over 5 years at RingCentral including as Senior VP of Worldwide Sales and Customer Success. Finally, before RingCentral, Mitch was at Oracle for over 7 years in numerous different sales roles.

In Today’s Episode with Mitch Tarica You Will Learn:

1.) Entry into Sales:

  • How did Mitch make his way into sales with one of the first SaaS companies in the world?
  • What were his early lessons on what truly great sales entails?
  • What elements does Mitch fear we have lost in the art of sales over time?

2.) The Playbook:

  • Should the founder be the one to create the sales playbook?
  • What are the signs that the founder has a repeatable and scalable playbook?
  • When is the right time to make the first sales hire? Should it be a Head of Sales or Sales Rep?
  • How does the first hire depend on whether you are PLG or enterprise sales led?

3.) The Hiring Process:

  • How does Mitch structure the hiring process? Step by step, what does he want to achieve?
  • What questions does Mitch ask in the first interview, always?
  • What are the 3 traits that Mitch believes all great sales hires have? How does he test for them?
  • How do Zoom use practical sales tests to determine the ability of a potential sales hire?
  • How does Mitch see many founders make mistakes in the sales hiring process?

4.) Sales Onboarding:

  • What are the crucial steps to do sales onboarding right?
  • How should leaders structure the first 30,60 and 90 days for their new reps?
  • What are some early red flags that leaders should watch for with new reps?
  • What more can leaders do to make sure their reps are as successful as possible in the early days?

Apr 25, 2022

Deena Shakir is a Partner at Lux Capital, one of the leading firms investing in emerging science and technology ventures at the outermost edges of what is possible. Deena has led a number of investments including in Maven Clinic, Mos, Ramp, Alife and SteadyMD to name a few. Before joining Lux, Deena was a Partner at GV and previously led product partnerships at Google for early-stage products in healthcare, AI/ML and search at Google. Before tech and venture, Deena was an aspiring anthropologist, journalist, diplomat, aid worker and was a Presidential Management Fellow at the U.S. Department of State under Secretary Clinton. There Deena helped launch President Obama’s first Global Entrepreneurship Summit in 2010.

In Today’s Episode with Deena Shakir You Will Learn:

1.) Origins into Venture:

  • How Deena made her way from journalism and the world of politics to rockstar healthcare investor?
  • What were Deena's biggest takeaways from seeing her parents build a new life in the US?

2.) Competition in Venture:

  • Why should founders not take multi-stage fund money at seed?
  • What problems does it cause? How do VCs try and justify it? What red flags should founders look for?
  • How does Deena advise her companies when it comes to pre-emptive rounds? When should they take them? When should they not take them?

3.) Deena Shakir: The Person

  • How has becoming a parent changed Deena's operating mentality?
  • Why does Deena believe she has never been better as an investor post becoming a mother?
  • Why does Deena feel so many questions around parenting are wrong? In what ways would she like those questions of female operators and investors to change?

4.) Diversity and Inclusion: We Should Be Optimistic

  • Why is Deena optimistic about the future of diversity and inclusion in tech and venture?
  • What drives her optimism? What remains a cause for concern for Deena on this topic?
  • What more can both companies and venture funds do to improve the landscape?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Deena Shakir

Deena's Favourite Book: The Power Law: Venture Capital and the Art of Disruption

Deena's Most Recent Investment: Mos: Banking for Students

Apr 22, 2022

Bill Cillufo is Partner and Head of International Investments at QED, one of the leading fintech venture firms today with a portfolio including Nubank, Kavak, Klarna, Quinto Andar and Bitso to name a few. As for Bill, he has led investments in Nubank, Loft, Wagestream and Creditas among others. Prior to joining QED, he spent nearly 20 years at Capital One, spanning several roles and leading several businesses. During Bill’s last 3 years at Capital One, he led its Co-Brand and Private Label credit card business, building the business nearly from scratch to one of the top few players in the US market.

In Today’s Episode with Bill Cillufo You Will Learn:

1.) Origins into Venture:

  • How Bill made his way from 20 years at Capital One to becoming a Partner @ QED?
  • How did Capital One inform his mindset around unit economics?
  • Having seen booms and busts firsthand with Capital One, how did that impact his investing mindset today?

2.) The Landscape: What is Happening?

  • Where does Bill believe the biggest crunch in funding markets is today?
  • Does Bill believe this will trickle down to the early stage?
  • How does Bill advise his portfolio companies on runway and burn given the environment?
  • What does Bill believe that many have not seen that is coming?

3.) Bill Cillufo: The Investor

  • How does Bill analyse his own relationship to price and price sensitivity?
  • How has Bill changed as an investor over the last 5 years? What caused the changes?
  • How does Bill reflect on reserves management given the new landscape we are in?

4.) QED: The Expansion

  • Does Bill believe that expanding geographically has become easier with time?
  • What has become harder about expanding into new geographies?
  • How important does Bill believe partnering with local firms is when VCs enter new territories?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Bill Cillufo

Bill’s Favourite Book: Tom Clancy: The Hunt for Red October

Bill’s Most Recent Investment: Refyne

Apr 20, 2022

Aparna Chennapragada is Chief Product Officer @ Robinhood, the company revolutionizing consumer finance with commission-free investing, and tools to help shape your financial future. As for Aparna, prior to Robinhood, she spent an incredible 12 years at Google, most recently as VP and GM for Consumer Shopping and also as the lead AR and Visual Search products. Aparna is also an active angel investor with a portfolio including Khatabook, Statsig and On Deck to name a few. If that was not enough, Aparna is also a board member at Capital One.

In Today’s Episode with Aparna Chennapragada You Will Learn:

1.) Origins in Product:

  • How Aparna made her way into the world of product and product management?
  • What were Aparna's biggest takeaways from her 12 years at Google?
  • What does product management mean to Arpana today?

2.) Customer Discovery: 101

  • What are the 3 different stages of product management?
  • What does great customer discovery look like?
  • What are the best questions to ask? How should one dig deeper?
  • Where do so many make mistakes in customer discovery?
  • What should product people take from the answers? What should they disregard?

3.) The Hiring Process:

  • How should founders breakdown the process of hiring for their first in product?
  • What does the interview process look like? How should founders structure it?
  • What core questions should teams ask of prospective candidates?
  • What are red flags when interviewing potential product hires?
  • What literal tests and case studies can founders do to test the quality of candidates?

4.) The Onboarding Process:

  • How should founders structure the onboarding process for new product hires?
  • What can founders do to make PMs successful in their first 30 days?
  • Where do many product hires make the biggest mistakes in the first 30 days?
  • What can product hires do to build trust with their new team?

Items Mentioned in Today's Episode with Aparna Chennapragada

Aparna's Fave Resource: Shishir's Executive Onboarding

Apr 15, 2022

Henrique Dubugras is the Founder and CEO @ Brex, the company re-imagining financial systems so every growing company can realize its full potential. To date, Henrique has raised over $1.1BN for Brex from some of the best including Ribbit, Greenoaks, DST, IVP, Caffeinated Capital and Elad Gil to name a few. Henrique is also a board member at Mercado Libre. Prior to co-founding Brex, Henrique co-founded Pagar.me, there he scaled the company to $15BN in GMV and over 100 people before selling the company in 2016.

In Today’s Episode with Henrique Dubugras You Will Learn:

1.) The Founding of Brex:

  • What was the founding a-ha moment for Henrique and Pedro with Brex?
  • What advice did Evan Spiegel give Henrique when it comes to being a great CEO?

2.) Hiring: The Trials and Tribulations

  • What have been Henrique's biggest hiring mistakes?
  • How do founders know when they are ready to bring in the seasoned exec vs the younger jack of all trades candidate?
  • What have been Henrique's biggest lessons in what it takes to hire true A* talent?
  • Where does Henrique see other founders make big hiring mistakes?

3.) Product Expansion and Marketing:

  • How does Henrique assess when is the right time to release a second product?
  • What have been Henrique's biggest mistakes and lessons when it comes to product marketing?
  • How can one retain the simplicity of product messaging with scaling the product?
  • Brex expanded the product too far, too fast. How did they walk it back so successfully?

4.) Henrique: The Leader

  • How does Henrique approach his own relationship to money today? How has it changed over time?
  • What luxury expenditure has Henrique made over the last 12 months that he feels is worth it?
  • How does Henrique think about ego management? What does he do to keep his in check?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Henrique Dubugras

Henrique’s Favourite Book: The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth

Apr 13, 2022

Domm Holland is the Founder and CEO @ Fast.

Last week Fast announced they would be shutting down the company.

In this exclusive 20VC episode we discuss:

  • What really happened with Domm's towing business in Australia?
  • What are the 1-2 biggest mistakes made at Fast?
  • Why has Bolt worked in a way that Fast has not worked?
  • What is it like having Stripe as an investor in your company?
  • Could the board have done more to prevent what happened at Fast?

 

Apr 11, 2022

Avichal Garg is Co-Founder & Partner @ Electric Capital, last month Electric announced they had raised $1BN for their new fund making them one of the largest independent and crypto-native VC firms in the world. As for Avichal, prior to Electric, he was an investor in crypto projects such as Anchorage, Bitwise, Lightning Labs, and OpenSea and unicorns such as Airtable, Cruise, Deel, Figma, Notion and many more. On the operating side, Avichal successfully sold his last company to Facebook where he became Director of Product Management for the Local product group, a team of 400 engineers responsible for billions in revenue.

In Today’s Episode with Avichal Garg You Will Learn:

1.) Origins into Venture:

  • How did Avichal make his way into the world of startups and angel investing?
  • How did Avichal make the pivot from software to crypto investing?
  • Was Avichal nervous when making the move to institutionalize what had been personal investing?
  • What does Avichal know now that he wishes he had known at the start of Electric?

2.) The Landscape: Crypto Investing

  • How does Avichal assess the crypto fund landscape today?
  • Will we continue to see a small number of firms (a16z, Katie Haun, Paradigm, Electric) dominate the market?
  • What happens to all the small crypto funds that have been raised in the last year?
  • Why does Avichal believe crypto investing is much more collaborative than venture investing?
  • How can venture size returns be made if the ownership levels are so much smaller?

3.) Crypto Firms vs Traditional VC Firms:

  • Why does Avichal believe that crypto is software eating money?
  • What does this mean for traditional venture? Who will survive? Who will die? Who will thrive?
  • Why can generalist firms not compete with crypto native firms?
  • How are the teams of crypto native firms structured so differently to those of traditional VCs?
  • Do crypto projects and investments need the same level of service and help that generalist VCs provide with their platform services?

4.) Tokens - Equity - Liquidity:

  • How does Avichal advise investors on how to think through token vs equity investing?
  • When does it make sense to have a token vs not having a token?
  • How are crypto tokens priced and valued? What do you need to know when buying tokens?
  • How does the liquidity of crypto markets make it challenging for investor psychology?
  • What is the biggest lesson Avichal has learned on when is the right time to sell?

5.) DAOs: 101

  • What are DAOs? Are they not just another form of government?
  • What makes one DAO successful and another not?
  • What tooling and infrastructure are required to manage a DAO successfully?
  • What does Avichal believe the vision of a DAO should be? How should they define success?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Avichal Garg

Avichal’s Favourite Book: The End of the World Is Just the Beginning: Mapping the Collapse of Globalization

Avichal’s Most Recent Investment: Magic Eden

Apr 8, 2022

Eric Liaw is a General Partner @ IVP, one of the leading later-stage venture capital and growth equity firms of the last decade with $8.7 billion of committed capital and a 40-year IRR of 43.1%. At IVP eric has led investments in Datadog, Github, Klarna, Robinhood and UiPath to name a few. Prior to joining IVP, Eric was with Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV) and was actively involved in originating, executing and managing investments, including Netflix, Zillow and eHarmony. As a result of his investing success, Eric was recognized by GrowthCap as one of the Top 25 Software Investors of 2021 and 2020.

In Today’s Episode with Eric Liaw You Will Learn:

1.) Origins into Venture:

  • How did Eric make his way into the world of venture way back over 20 years ago?
  • What were some of Eric's biggest lessons from his early years at TCV?
  • What are the most significant changes in venture over the last decade?

2.) Eric Liaw: The Investor:

  • How has Eric changed as an investor over the last decade? What caused those changes?
  • How does Eric reflect on his own relationship to price? How does he determine when to pay up vs when to remain disciplined?
  • What has been Eric's biggest miss? How did it alter his style of investing?
  • From UiPath to Supercell, what has been Eric's favourite story of travelling around the world to win a deal?

3.) The Market: Venture

  • How does Eric expect IPO markets to behave as we move further in 2022?
  • How does Eric expect large M&A to play out for the rest of the year?
  • With the public markets crashing; how does this impact the large growth rounds of 2021?
  • What does Eric expect to happen to early stage pricing with the crash at late stage?
  • How does Eric expect crossover funds to behave in this new environment?

4.) Eric Liaw: The Person

  • How does Eric think about being an awesome Dad and also not losing an inch on being a world class investor?
  • How does Eric reflect on his own ego when having such large investing wins? Where does he feel he is most insecure?
  • How did having children really impact his mindset towards investing and working with founders?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Eric Liaw

Eric’s Favourite Book: No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention

Eric’s Most Recent Investment: Aiven

Apr 6, 2022

Brian Hale is Vice President of Consumer Product & Growth @ Doordash. Before joining Doordash, Brian spent an incredible 10 years at Facebook, most recently as VP of Product Growth working across Instagram, Messenger, Whatsapp and more. Prior to Facebook, Brian was Director of Growth @ Uptake.com and it all started for Brian in 1999 working at ACDSee in Canada where he was asked to “figure out that search engine thing”. 

In Today’s Episode with Brian Hale You Will Learn:

1.) Brian Hale: Entry into Growth:

  • How Brian made his way into the world of growth from being a "marine ceramic engineer"?
  • What were 1-2 of his biggest takeaways from his 10-year journey with Facebook?
  • What are 1-2 of the biggest misconceptions about the Facebook growth team?

2.) When is the Right Time:

  • When is the right time for startups to hire their first growth leads or reps?
  • How should the founder allocate resources to the growth team? Hire new designers, engineers etc for the team or pluck them from existing teams within the company?
  • What are the biggest mistakes startups make on the timing of this hire?
  • How can startups accurately assess whether they have product-market-fit?
  • What levels of retention suggest PMF? How does this change by industry?

3.) Who To Hire:

  • Step by step, how does Brian structure the interview process for all new growth hires?
  • What are the must-ask questions for growth leaders to ask candidates in interviews?
  • What are the clear signs and answers that suggest a 10x growth hire? How do the very best interact with data? What do they really hone in on?
  • What literal tests does Brian do to determine the quality of a hire? How do the best perform?

4.) Onboarding and Integration:

  • What is the optimal onboarding process for all new growth hires?
  • What can leaders do to set their new growth teams up for success?
  • What are the biggest ways new growth hires can mess up in the first 60 days?
  • What have been some of the biggest challenges for Brian in his onboarding at Doordash?

Apr 4, 2022

Thomas Tull is a leading entrepreneur and investor as the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Tulco, LLC. he has made notable investments in the likes of FIGS, Colossal, IL MAKIAGE, Pinterest, Zoox and Oculus Rift. Previously, Tull was the founder, CEO and Chairman of Legendary Entertainment, the film company that produced blockbusters including The Dark Knight trilogy, 300 and The Hangover franchise. Outside of his investment work, Thomas is a trustee of Carnegie Mellon University, Yellowstone Forever, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Smithsonian Institution. If that was not enough, Tull is also part of the ownership group of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the six-time Super Bowl champions.

In Today’s Episode with Thomas Tull You Will Learn:

1.) From Laundromats to Legendary Entertainment:

  • How did Thomas first make his way into the world of business starting with laundromats?
  • How did growing up without money impact Thomas' early mindset?
  • What advice does Thomas give to young people today on starting their own business?

2.) Thomas Tull: The Investor:

  • How does Thomas approach risk today? Where is the boundary of acceptable vs unacceptable risk?
  • How does Thomas assess his own relationship to money? How has it changed over time?
  • How does Thomas protect himself from people and occasions where one is being used for their money or status?
  • To what extent does Thomas believe success is luck vs skill?

3.) Legendary Entertainment:

  • How did Thomas make his way into the movie business with the founding of Legendary Entertainment?
  • How did Thomas first meet Chris Nolan? What did the early days of making Batman Begins look like?
  • What were some of the most memorable times from making 300 with Gerard Butler?
  • What were some of the most challenging elements of scaling Legendary? With the benefit of hindsight, is there anything that Thomas would do differently?

4.) The Macro:

  • Why does Thomas believe public markets are the least rational they have ever been?
  • From geo politics to climate change, what is Thomas most worried about today in the world?
  • What does Thomas believe we should focus on as positives moving forward? What should we be excited about?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Thomas Tull

Thomas' Favourite Book: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Thomas' Most Recent Investment: Colossal

Apr 1, 2022

Eduardo Vivas is the Co-Founder and CEO @ Curated, a network where product experts monetize their passion and help consumers make the perfect purchase. To date, Eddie has raised over $141M from some of the best including CapitalG, Greylock and Forerunner to name a few. Eddie is also a stellar angel investor with a portfolio including Telegram, Truebill, AppLovin and Dollar Shave Club among others. Prior to Curated, Eddie spent 3 years at Linkedin as Head of Talent Solutions, following his startup, Bright, being acquired by them in 2014.

In Today’s Episode with Eddie Vivas You Will Learn:

1.) The Founding of Curated:

  • What was the aha moment for Eddie with Curated?
  • What were Eddie's biggest takeaways from his prior companies? What did he take with him that worked? What did he disregard that did not work?
  • What were some of Eddie's biggest lessons from Linkedin? How did it impact his mindset?

2.) The Compound Startup:

  • Why did Eddie decide it was right to build so much of the tooling themselves?
  • How does Eddie determine when to buy vs build?
  • What are the biggest mistakes Eddie sees founders making when building multiple internal tools at the same time?
  • How does build a compound startup increase the strategic value of a company?

3.) Hiring: Missionaries not Mercenaries

  • How does Eddie structure his hiring process at Curated? Why does he not believe that startups are for everyone?
  • What are the biggest signals that a person is a missionary and not a mercenary? How do mercenaries act in a way that is different to missionaries?
  • What questions in an interview process show these traits?
  • What are some of the biggest mistakes Eddie has made when hiring?

4.) Equity and Compensation:

  • What is Eddie's biggest advice to founders when it comes to equity allocations for the team?
  • Why does Eddie believe it is crucial to offer and provide secondaries for the team?
  • How does Eddie feel about the amount of secondaries founders take today so early?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode with Eddie Vivas

Eddie’s Favourite Book: Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

1