20VC: Why Every Founder Should Bootstrap Their Startup, How To Solve Information Asymmetry Between Founders and VCs & Living In A Cupboard For Two Years To Fund StyleSeat with Melody McCloskey, Founder & CEO @ StyleSeat

FullSizeRender (9)

Melody McCloskey is the Founder & CEO @ StyleSeat, the largest and fastest growing marketplace in the $78b beauty and wellness industry. They have raised over $40m in challenging funding conditions from some of the true greats of the business including Alfred Lin @ Sequoia, Chris Sacca, Jeff Clavier, Aileen Lee, Lightspeed, the list goes on. As for Melody, as well as running StyleSeat she is also a mentor for the Thiel Fellowship working with some of the brightest and best next generation entrepreneurs.

CLICK TO PLAY

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) What was the origin story of StyleSeat for Melody and how did Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp come to be angel investors?

2.) Melody has previously stated that ‘CEOs do not have all the answers’. What did Melody find most challenging that she struggled to answer? How has her approach to decision making and delegation changed over the last few years?

3.) Melody has been CEO for 6 years, a rarity in tech today, so what has been the core to her success long term as the leader of StyleSeat?

4.) With $40m in funding over 3 rounds, how did Melody find the fundraising experience? How did she feel the rounds differed? What does Melody believe she did well and what would she improve for further rounds?

5.) How does Melody approach transparency internally with fundraising? Should founders tell the team about fundraise opportunities? When is the right and wrong time to do so?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Melody’s Fave Book: Hard Thing About Hard Things

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

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

Foundersuite makes the leading CRM for raising startup capital. Since March of 2016, Foundersuite customers have raised over $130M in seed and venture capital. Foundersuite’s CRM sits on a database of over 50,000 investors, which will help you quickly populate your fundraising funnel including a beautiful and easy-to-use investor update tool, and the recently launched a new portal that helps investors and accelerators track their portfolio companies on a single dashboard. For a whopping 40% off a Monthly or Annual subscription use the code “20MinuteVC” at checkout.

Greenhouse Software designs tools that help companies hire great people and ultimately build better businesses. Greenhouse works with over 1,500 of the world’s most innovative companies such as Airbnb, Slack, Snap Inc. and Lyft. A wrong hire is not only costly for a company but can also turn an employee into an unhappy one. With Greenhouse’s Applicant Tracking System, companies can make well-informed decisions and hire qualified candidates who are empowered to do the best work of their careers. Anybody who has a company that’s scaling quickly but has trouble hiring and retaining the right people. Visit www.greenhouse.io today to discover how your company can grow.

How Investors Can Get Into The Best Y Combinator Startups & How YC Startups Should Choose The Right Investors with Jared Friedman, Partner @ YC

FullSizeRender 153

Jared Friedman is a Partner @ Y Combinator, the world’s most successful accelerator with portfolio companies including the likes of AirBnB, Dropbox, Stripe, Zenefits, Twitch, the list goes on. Prior to YC, Jared was Co-Founder & CTO @ Scribd, the digital library and document sharing platform, which has over 80 million users and attained funding from the likes of Marc Andreessen, Redpoint and CRV. As well as his time in operations, Jared is also a prolific angel investor with investments in the likes of Instacart, FundersClub and Cruise Automation just to name a few.

CLICK TO PLAY

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jared made his way from founding the immensely successful, Sribd, to being a YC partner?

2.) What is the process behind the invites for YC demo day? What does it take for one to get a hotly anticipated seat? Is there really a black list?

3.) A lot of investors suggest that if you are seeing the company at demo day it is too late, what is the thesis around letting friends and family in to view and invest in the companies before demo day?

4.) How can investors look to get into the best YC companies? What can the investors do to show their value to both the companies and the YC partnership? How do you look to advise companies with regards to selecting investors?

5.) Demo days have scaled massively so I have to ask, is there enough capital to go into the 120+ companies now being produced at YC demo days? What are the strategies for scaling YC effectively?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jared’s Fave Book: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Jared’s Fave Blog: HackerNews

Jared Most Recent Angel Investment: Starcity

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

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

Foundersuite makes the leading CRM for raising startup capital. Since March of 2016, Foundersuite customers have raised over $130M in seed and venture capital. Foundersuite’s CRM sits on a database of over 50,000 investors, which will help you quickly populate your fundraising funnel including a beautiful and easy-to-use investor update tool, and the recently launched a new portal that helps investors and accelerators track their portfolio companies on a single dashboard. For a whopping 40% off a Monthly or Annual subscription use the code “20MinuteVC” at checkout. 

Greenhouse Software designs tools that help companies hire great people and ultimately build better businesses. Greenhouse works with over 1,500 of the world’s most innovative companies such as Airbnb, Slack, Snap Inc. and Lyft. A wrong hire is not only costly for a company but can also turn an employee into an unhappy one. With Greenhouse’s Applicant Tracking System, companies can make well-informed decisions and hire qualified candidates who are empowered to do the best work of their careers. Anybody who has a company that’s scaling quickly but has trouble hiring and retaining the right people. Visit www.greenhouse.io today to discover how your company can grow.

20VC: How Investors Can Build Relationships with Founders In Organic, Non-Transactional Ways & How VCs Should Handle Founder Disputes with Saar Gur, General Partner @ CRV

FullSizeRender 154

Saar Gur is a General Partner @ CRV, one of the nation’s oldest and most successful VC firms now on their 16th fund. At CRV, Saar has made investments in some incredible companies including DoorDash, Dropbox, Patreon and Ring to name a few. His brilliance in VC is not just acknowledged by us but Forbes and Venture Capital Journal who named Saar to the top 8 up and coming Venture Capitalists and a top 10 VC under the age of thirty-six. Prior to VC, Saar was the Founder of Brightroll, a leading video ad network that was acquired by Yahoo for a reported $640m.

CLICK TO PLAY

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Saar made his way into the world of VC and came to be a GP at CRV?

2.) When can VCs know when to pull the plug on an investment? How does Saar balance financial prudence with vision and belief in the startup and founder?

3.) What does Saar’s relationship building process look like? How does Saar build relationships with founders in natural and organic ways?

4.) How can VCs handle founder disputes? How does Saar look to be as helpful and productive in this process as possible? What does Saar recommend to other VCs in this situation?

5.) How does Saar view the inflection points in the growth of startups? At what moments is their the potential for elements to break? How should this be mitigated?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Saar’s Fave Book: The Wright Brothers

Saar’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: TechCrunch

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

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

Foundersuite makes the leading CRM for raising startup capital. Since March of 2016, Foundersuite customers have raised over $130M in seed and venture capital. Foundersuite’s CRM sits on a database of over 50,000 investors, which will help you quickly populate your fundraising funnel including a beautiful and easy-to-use investor update tool, and the recently launched a new portal that helps investors and accelerators track their portfolio companies on a single dashboard. For a whopping 40% off a Monthly or Annual subscription use the code “20MinuteVC” at checkout. 

Greenhouse Software designs tools that help companies hire great people and ultimately build better businesses. Greenhouse works with over 1,500 of the world’s most innovative companies such as Airbnb, Slack, Snap Inc. and Lyft. A wrong hire is not only costly for a company but can also turn an employee into an unhappy one. With Greenhouse’s Applicant Tracking System, companies can make well-informed decisions and hire qualified candidates who are empowered to do the best work of their careers. Anybody who has a company that’s scaling quickly but has trouble hiring and retaining the right people. Visit www.greenhouse.io today to discover how your company can grow.

20VC: How To Raise $200m In Any Economic Climate, Scale From Garage To Global In Record Time & The Biggest Startup You Have Not Heard About with Christian Lanng, Founder & CEO @ Tradeshift

FullSizeRender (8)

Christian Lanng is the Founder & CEO @ Tradeshift, the startup with the vision to transform the way businesses work together. With 250+ people, offices in 9 countries and over $200m in funding from some of the best including Data Collective, HSBC and Intuit, they are likely one of the biggest and best startups you might not have heard of. As for Christian, he is one of the most visionary European entrepreneurs of the last decade having grown from digitising invoices in Denmark when he was at Uni to working on digitizing the EU later.

CLICK TO PLAY

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Christian made his way from Denmark to founding one of the hottest startups in Silicon Valley?

2.) What does Christian mean when saying, “we should be discussing the globalization of technology”? How will we see the evolution of manufacturing over time? What is the bottleneck for automation?

3.) Christian has previously stated that his competitors have ‘hostages not customers’. Why does he say this and how does that affect his view of competition and customer service?

4.) Christian has raised over $200m in varying fundraising climates, how did the rounds differ? What were Christian’s keys to fundraising success? What does he know now that he wishes he had known in the beginning?

5.) How does Christian approach networking in a very unconventional style? What are the benefits of doing so? What does Christian advise startup founders looking to expand either their founder network or their investor network?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Christian’s Fave Book: The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck

Christian’s Fave Blog: SaaStr

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

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

But before we dive into the show today, there are some products that you simply cannot remember what life was like before them—for me that is x.ai. They bring you Amy and Andrew, the AI-powered personal assistants who schedule meetings for you. The beauty of Amy or Andrew is that you interact with them just like you would any other person, in plain English. You hand over meeting scheduling, and they get the job is done. Which means that you can avoid the tedious hours of email ping pong usually required to schedule a single meeting. Even better though, there is no sign in, no password, nothing to download. All you do is cc amy@x.ai Beautiful! And you can check it out now on https://x.ai/20vc/ It really is a must!

Code for your first month free: 20VC

Workable is the all-in-one recruiting software for ambitious companies. From posting a job to tracking and managing candidates, Workable provides everything you need to hire better. Transparent communication, organized candidate profiles, structured interviews and a full reporting suite gives hiring teams the information they need to make the best choice. Workable is available for desktop and mobile and you can find out more on workable.com where you can try it for free.

20VC: How Every VC Firm Is A Marketplace, Why A Large Amount of Promise in AI Today Is Impossible & Entrepreneurs 3 Main Pain Points of Fundraising with Alex Mittal, Founder & CEO @ Funders Club

FullSizeRender 150

Alex Mittal is the Founder & CEO @ Funders Club, the company that uses software and networks to provide investors with access to the world’s most promising startups. Their portfolio includes the likes of Slack, Greenhouse, Shippo and Flexport just to name a few. They are backed by some of the world’s leading investors themselves with the likes of Andreessen Horowitz, Y Combinator, Felicis Ventures and First Round Capital. Prior to starting FundersClub, Alex was the founding CEO of Innova Dynamics, a VC-backed touchscreen hardware company, leading the company from university laboratory to securing design-in collaborations with today’s major consumer electronics companies. Previously, he was the founding CTO of Crederity, a VC-backed identity and credential verification enterprise software company.

CLICK TO PLAY

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Alex made his way from YC founder to revolutionizing seed stage investing with Funders Club?

2.) Why is Alex still so bullish on the on-demand space? How does Alex evaluate on-demand startups? What metrics are attractive in the space? What do good unit economics look like for on-demand startups?

3.) Does Alex agree that we are experiencing a AI bubble? Where are the shortcomings in the current state of AI and machine learning? How does Alex expect the space to play out and what does Alex advise entrepreneurs in the space?

4.) What does Alex make of the rise of investing in hard science startups? Why does he get concerned to see traditional software VCs investing in the space? How should VCs view the rise of nontech businesses both in hard science and consumer?

5.) You have said before that ‘the API is not in the past but is still to come’. Why are you so bullish on the continued expansion of APIs? Where do the inherent oportuities and use cases remain?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Alex’s Fave Book: The Art of War by Sun Tsu

Alex’s Fave Blog: Eric Newcomer, Mattermark Daily

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

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

But before we dive into the show today, there are some products that you simply cannot remember what life was like before them—for me that is x.ai. They bring you Amy and Andrew, the AI powered personal assistants who schedule meetings for you. The beauty of Amy or Andrew is that you interact with them just like you would any other person, in plain English. You hand over meeting scheduling, and they get the job is done. Which means that you can avoid the tedious hours of email ping pong usually required to schedule a single meeting. Even better though, there is no sign in, no password, nothing to download. All you do is cc amy@x.ai Beautiful! And you can check it out now on https://x.ai/20vc/ It really is a must!

Code for your first month free: 20VC

Workable is the all-in-one recruiting software for ambitious companies. From posting a job to tracking and managing candidates, Workable provides everything you need to hire better. Transparent communication, organized candidate profiles, structured interviews and a full reporting suite gives hiring teams the information they need to make the best choice. Workable is available for desktop and mobile and you can find out more on workable.com where you can try it for free.

20VC: SaaStr’s Jason Lemkin on The 3 Things You Want From Your LPs, Why Most VCs Do Not Add Value & Why The Best VCs Know How To Package Startups For The Next Round

unnamed-6

Jason Lemkin is the Founder @ SaaStr, now with the $70m SaaStr Fund, Jason has paved the way for the new wave of VC in what I describe the ‘platformification of VC’. Jason has led or sourced the first VC investment in some of the fastest growing SaaS companies of today with the likes of Algolia, TalkDesk, Rainforest QA and PipeDrive. Prior to being in VC, Jason was the Co-Founder @ Echosign, leading to the very successful acquisition by Adobe where he oversaw Jason oversaw the growth of Adobe Document Services ARR from $50m in 2012 to $100m in 2013.

CLICK TO PLAY

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jason made his way into the world of VC from being a $100m+ exit founder to founding SaaStr and SaaStr Fund?

2.) What is it like for Jason having his own fund vs being part of a bigger fund? What does the investment cheque size say to founders about the fund? Should they be concerned if the investment represents less than 1% of the fund?

3.) What was the fundraising process and environment like for Jason with SaaStr? Is all LP money the same? What differentiated value-add elements can LPs provide fund managers?

4.) Does Jason agree that most VCs do not add value? How does Jason look to add value with his 3 pronged approach? Where does Jason believe that most startups need help and advice?

5.) How does Jason evaluate the micro-VC stage at present? Where does Jason see opportunity? Where does he believe the space is over-heated?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Jason’s Most Recent Investment: Automile

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

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

But before we dive into the show today, there are some products that you simply cannot remember what life was like before them—for me that is x.ai. They bring you Amy and Andrew, the AI powered personal assistants who schedule meetings for you. The beauty of Amy or Andrew is that you interact with them just like you would any other person, in plain English. You hand over meeting scheduling, and they get the job is done. Which means that you can avoid the tedious hours of email ping pong usually required to schedule a single meeting. Even better though, there is no sign in, no password, nothing to download. All you do is cc amy@x.ai Beautiful! And you can check it out now on https://x.ai/20vc/ It really is a must!

Code for your first month free: 20VC

Workable is the all-in-one recruiting software for ambitious companies. From posting a job to tracking and managing candidates, Workable provides everything you need to hire better. Transparent communication, organized candidate profiles, structured interviews and a full reporting suite gives hiring teams the information they need to make the best choice. Workable is available for desktop and mobile and you can find out more on workable.com where you can try it for free.

20VC: Why Success in Gaming is Like Success in VC, The Key To Building An Enduring Game & Why Few Metrics Matter in Gaming with Kevin Chou, Founder & CEO @ Kabam

FullSizeRender (6)

Kevin Chou is co-founder and CEO of Kabam, a world leader in mobile free-to-play games. At Kabam, Kevin catapulted revenue to $400 million and a valuation of more than $1 billion in 2014. Under Kevin’s leadership, Kabam has raised more than $240 million from venture and strategic investors, including some of the world’s largest entertainment and internet companies such as Alibaba, Google, Intel and Warner Brothers. Before Kabam, Kevin worked at Canaan Partners, Kabam’s initial investor and where he invested in 14 consumer technology and online media companies. In 2014 Kevin was named one Fortune magazine’s prestigious “40 Under 40” and, in 2012, was identified by Fortune as one of the “Smartest People in Tech.”

CLICK TO PLAY

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Kevin came to found the wildly successful Kabam from a life in VC with Canaan Partners?

2.) How does Kevin respond to investors that say games is so challenging as it is so hits driven? What are the requirements to build an enduring and successful games company?

3.) What are the metrics that define success in gaming? Why does Kevin believe that gaming is unlike any other in terms of metrics?

4.) To what extent does Kevin believe it is right to monetise games from the beginning vs the free to play market? What are the features and challenges required for success in the premium end of the market?

5.) How does gaming alter both in terms of design and monetisation when comparing the East to the West? What feature sets are preferrable in both? Why doe the East want to pay for as much up front as possible?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Kevin’s Fave Book: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Kevin’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Dean Takahashi: VentureBeat

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

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

But before we dive into the show today, there are some products that you simply cannot remember what life was like before them—for me that is x.ai. They bring you Amy and Andrew, the AI powered personal assistants who schedule meetings for you. The beauty of Amy or Andrew is that you interact with them just like you would any other person, in plain English. You hand over meeting scheduling, and they get the job is done. Which means that you can avoid the tedious hours of email ping pong usually required to schedule a single meeting. Even better though, there is no sign in, no password, nothing to download. All you do is cc amy@x.ai Beautiful! And you can check it out now on https://x.ai/20vc/ It really is a must!

Code for your first month free: 20VC

Workable is the all-in-one recruiting software for ambitious companies. From posting a job to tracking and managing candidates, Workable provides everything you need to hire better. Transparent communication, organized candidate profiles, structured interviews and a full reporting suite gives hiring teams the information they need to make the best choice. Workable is available for desktop and mobile and you can find out more on workable.com where you can try it for free.

1 2