20VC: LinkedIn’s Head of Corp Dev on Why and When Startups Should Start Relationship Building With Corp Dev, What The Structure of M&A Traditionally Looks Like & How To Mitigate The Biggest Risk of M&A, Integration Risk

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Emilie Choi is Head of Corporate Development @ Linkedin where she has led 40+ acquisitions, acquihires or investments. In terms of acquisitions, Emilie led the acquisitions of Lynda, Bizo, Newsle, Bright, Pulse, SlideShare, and Rapportive just to name a few. On the strategic investment side, she led Linkedin’s investment in Cornerstone On Demand and G2 Crowd. Before Linkedin, Emilie enjoyed roles such as Director of Digital Business Strategy and Operations at Warner Bros, International Strategy and Ops @ MySpace and Corp Dev and Strategy @ Yahoo. Emilie has also sat on the Naspers board for the last 10 years.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Emilie made her way into the world of M&A and came to lead over 40+ game-changing acquisitions for Linkedin?

2.) In 2016, M&A made up 95% of startup exits, how does Emilie evaluate the current state of exit environments? What 2 reasons have caused the drop in startup M&A? How does Emilie view the rise of PE and strategic investors to the acquisition markets?

3.) Paul Graham said ‘startups should only talk to corp dev when they are doing really well or really badly’. What are Emilie’s thoughts on when is the right time for startups to have conversations with Corp Dev teams? When does Emilie you most like to begin the relationship? How does Emilie like to work with VCs in this relationship building?

4.) Paul Graham also described the structure of M&A as “grueling”. Does Emilie agree with this? How does Emilie map out the structure of a typical M&A deal, from start to finish? How much of a role does price play in her evaluation of a deal? How does Emilie measure the success of an acquisition?

5.) Matt Switzer @ Hootsuite stated the biggest M&A risk to be integration. What does smooth integrations look like for both consumer vs enterprise? Why do they differ? How can this integration work be de-risked and front loaded?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Emilie’s Fave Book: The Bonfire of the Vanities 

Emilie’s Most Recent Investment: Heighten

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

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

NatureBox Unlimited snack plans offer all you can eat snacks for one fixed price per employee. Naturebox use simple ingredients you can trust to create bold flavors you can’t find anywhere else. All NatureBox snacks are free from artificial junk and variety is endless with options from sweet or savory to vegan or gluten-free. Simply choose the plan that fits your team’s unique snacking habits and select any of NatureBox’s time-saving add-on’s. And beyond Unlimited snacks, you’ll receive perks such as free kitchen setup, no contracts, a dedicated account manager and more. Simply click here to and use the offer code VC20 to get 20% of your first Naturebox month.

Leesa is the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Leesa have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is ordered completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10-inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com to start the New Year with better nights sleep!

 

 

20VC: Why Risk Is Misunderstood In Entrepreneurship, Why Acquisitions Are Cheap For Incumbents Today & 3 Strategies To Improve Diversity In Your Team with Henry Davis, President & COO @ Glossier

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Henry Davis is the President and COO @ Glossier, a New York brand that has taken the beauty world by storm. To date they have raised close to $35m in VC funding from some of the best in the business including past guests on the show Kirsten Green @ Forerunner, Index Ventures, IVP and our friends at Thrive. As for Henry, prior to entering the world of beauty and brands with Glossier, he sat on the other side of the table as a VC with Index Ventures in London. Before that, for his sins, Henry spent time in the world of corporate finance with Citi Group.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Henry made his way from rising star in London VC with Index to President of New York’s hottest beauty brand, Glossier?

2.) From a personal security standpoint, was it tough to move from a more secure role in VC to startups? Why does Henry believe the nature of risk is forgotten in entrepreneurship? Why does Henry believe the best entrepreneurs risk mitigate?

3.)What does branded e-commerce really mean to Henry? Why does Henry believe that Amazon have already won multi-brand? What 3 dimensions does Henry present for how Amazon has changed a consumer’s expectations of e-commerce? Have Amazon done more to make the market than destroy it?

4.) Why does Henry not believe that brands have as much brand loyalty as they think they do? With that in mind and many recent acquisitions, is this not a market of consolidation? Why are acquisitions cheap for incumbents today? How does this compare to the supply of capital available to startups, ultimately, altering their willingness?

5.) Henry has stated before that there are 3 strategies that can be done to improve diversity in the workforce, what are they? How must your hiring process be structured? How must your culture be structured? Where do most people go wrong in hiring diverse teams?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Henry’s Fave Book: Anna Karenina

Henry’s Fave Blog: Human Rights Watch 

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Henry on Twitter here!

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

NatureBox Unlimited snack plans offer all you can eat snacks for one fixed price per employee. Naturebox use simple ingredients you can trust to create bold flavors you can’t find anywhere else. All NatureBox snacks are free from artificial junk and variety is endless with options from sweet or savory to vegan or gluten-free. Simply choose the plan that fits your team’s unique snacking habits and select any of NatureBox’s time-saving add-on’s. And beyond Unlimited snacks, you’ll receive perks such as free kitchen setup, no contracts, a dedicated account manager and more. Simply click here to and use the offer code VC20 to get 20% of your first Naturebox month.

Leesa is the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Leesa have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is ordered completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10-inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com to start the New Year with better nights sleep!

20VC: 3 Key Differences Between US and Asian Tech Markets & With Such Large Incumbents Chasing Early Acquisitions, Is There A Market For Later Stage VC with Crystal Huang, Investor @ GGV Capital

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Crystal Huang is a Principal @ GGV Capital, one of the world’s leading venture firms partnering with entrepreneurs in the world’s largest markets, the US and China. At GGV Crystal led the firm’s investment in Wigo (acquired by Cinemagram) and attends board meetings at Tile and Flightcar. Crystal is also a board member @ NextGen partners, the organization representing the future General Partners within the bay area. Prior to joining GGV, Crystal worked as an analyst in Blackstone’s Technology M&A Advisory Group and due to her immense promise and success already, Crystal has been named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Venture Capital.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Crystal made her way into the world of VC from Tech M&A with Blackstone?

2.) How does Crystal view the ongoing debate of operator vs non-operator experience? Does Crystal agree with Pat Grady that the rate of decay on operating experience has never been greater? What elements of operational experience, applied to VC, do stand the test of time?

3.) What does Crystal believe are the 3 key differences when comparing the US and Asian tech markets? How do deal sizes change across geographies? What does this do to the unit economics of the businesses? How does vendor engagement and sales cycles differ?

4.) In a world of Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent quickly acquiring or copying innovative ideas, is there a market for true later stage VC in Asia? Where are the market opportunities? How does incumbent power in Asia differ to incumbent power in the US?

5.) How does Crystal fundamentally see distribution models vary between the US and Asia? Has Asia enjoyed the same rise of the “self-service model” enacted by many in the US? What does this mean for internal org structures and unit economics?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Crystal’s Fave Book: The Code Book

Crystal’s Most Recent Investment: BitSight

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Crystal on Twitter here!

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

NatureBox Unlimited snack plans offer all you can eat snacks for one fixed price per employee. Naturebox use simple ingredients you can trust to create bold flavors you can’t find anywhere else. All NatureBox snacks are free from artificial junk and variety is endless with options from sweet or savory to vegan or gluten-free. Simply choose the plan that fits your team’s unique snacking habits and select any of NatureBox’s time-saving add-on’s. And beyond Unlimited snacks, you’ll receive perks such as free kitchen setup, no contracts, a dedicated account manager and more. Simply click here to and use the offer code VC20 to get 20% of your first Naturebox month.

Leesa is the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Leesa have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is ordered completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10-inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com to start the New Year with better nights sleep!

20VC: Why This Is Just The Start for Consumer Mobile, 3 Lessons China Taught About How To Invest Better In The US & How To Think About The Opportunity Cost of Capital Deployment with Hans Tung, Managing Partner @ GGV Capital

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Hans Tung is a Managing Partner @ GGV Capital, one of the world’s leading venture firms partnering with entrepreneurs in the world’s largest markets, the US and China. Evident when looking at Han’s incredible investments in the likes of Wish, Poshmark, musical.ly, Slack and OfferUp in the US and then Xiaomi, Forgame, and Domob Ads in Asia. Previously, Hans was with Bessemer Venture Partners, where he helped global players such as Skype expand into China. Hans was also a founding member of two pan-Asian internet startups that were subsequently sold to telcos. Due to his incredible success, Hans has been ranked as a top VC on the Forbes Midas list since 2013 and was recognized by The Founder and CBN News magazines in the past as a Top 10 most entrepreneur-friendly VC in China.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Hans made his way into VC with Bessemer having founded and exited 2 prior startups?

2.) Why does Hans believe that the globalisation of consumer mobile companies is the biggest trend in his career? Why is Hans still so attracted to consumer with lacking distribution channel availability and incumbents like Amazon? Have Amazon already won?

3.) What were Hans’ biggest lessons from investing in China that have allowed him to invest better in the US? How does Hans evaluate prior US companies entering strategies into China? How does he analyse Uber’s entering into China?

4.) Hans has backed some of the hottest companies in the business from Airbnb to Wish, how does Hans respond to price sensitivity and having to pay up to get into the round? How does Hans think about the opportunity cost of capital deployment?

5.) Why does Hans remain so bullish on the globalisation of tech? In a world of Trump and Brexit are we not in ever more atomistic times? How does Hans see the convergence of millenial consumers when comparing the US and Asia?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Hans’ Fave Book: The Information, Stratechery

Hans’ Most Recent Investment: iBotta

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Hans on Twitter here!

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

NatureBox Unlimited snack plans offer all you can eat snacks for one fixed price per employee. Naturebox use simple ingredients you can trust to create bold flavors you can’t find anywhere else. All NatureBox snacks are free from artificial junk and variety is endless with options from sweet or savory to vegan or gluten-free. Simply choose the plan that fits your team’s unique snacking habits and select any of NatureBox’s time-saving add-on’s. And beyond Unlimited snacks, you’ll receive perks such as free kitchen setup, no contracts, a dedicated account manager and more. Simply click here to and use the offer code VC20 to get 20% of your first Naturebox month.

Leesa is the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Leesa have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is ordered completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10-inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com to start the New Year with better nights sleep!

20VC: What Is The Right Drone Investing Strategy, The Catalyst That Will Take Drones to 100s of Millions & Will Amazon and Google Win The War of The Airspace with Ben Marcus, Founder & CEO @ AirMap

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Ben Marcus is the Founder & CEO @ Airmap, the startups that provides everything one needs to unlock and scale drone operations in the ever-changing world of airspace. They have raised over $40m in funding from industry heavyweights Sony, Rakuten, Qualcomm, Airbus Ventures and then also many friends of the show including Semil Shah, Lux Capital, Microsoft Ventures, General Catalyst, BullPen Capital and David Waxman at TenOneTen, just to name a few. Prior to AirMap, Ben co-founded and was CEO of the world’s largest light business jet sales company, Jetaviva and before that started his career as a flight instructor and later became a flight test engineer. Fun fact, Ben is also an FAA-certified Airline Transport Pilot and Flight Instructor with over 4,500 hours of flight experience.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Ben made his way into the world of startups and drones from being a pilot and flight test engineer?

2.) What does Ben think is a strong investment strategy when investing in the drones? What 4 categories present nascent opportunities to Ben? What elements of the tech stack should potential investors further drill down on with potential investments?

3.) Question from Hemant Taneja: How does Ben assess the presence and desires of Amazon and Google with their pre-existing mission to win the airspace? Question from Semil Shah: Does this lead to a world of consolidation and startup M&A by incumbents?

4.) What does Ben believe are the core catalysts that will take drones to 100s of millions of people? How does Ben assess the similarties and differences in serving enterprise vs consumer drone markets? Does Ben agree with Jonathan Downey in his expression that enterprises like “boring” offerings?

5.) How does Ben evaluate the hardware vs software paradigm in the drone market? Does Ben see the commoditisation of drone hardware in the coming years? How does Ben evaluate the likes of DJI with their prominence? Does the weaponisation of drones cause significant alarm for Ben?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Ben’s Fave Book: The Wealth of Nations

Ben’s Fave Blog: Social Capital Newsletter

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Ben on Twitter here!

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

NatureBox Unlimited snack plans offer all you can eat snacks for one fixed price per employee. Naturebox use simple ingredients you can trust to create bold flavors you can’t find anywhere else. All NatureBox snacks are free from artificial junk and variety is endless with options from sweet or savory to vegan or gluten-free. Simply choose the plan that fits your team’s unique snacking habits and select any of NatureBox’s time-saving add-on’s. And beyond Unlimited snacks, you’ll receive perks such as free kitchen setup, no contracts, a dedicated account manager and more. Simply click here to and use the offer code VC20 to get 20% of your first Naturebox month. 

Leesa is the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Leesa have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is ordered completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10-inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com to start the New Year with better nights sleep!

 

 

20VC: Why VC Is A Game of Maximising Serendipity, How VCs Can Characterise Their Approach To Working & Product Lessons from Jack Dorsey & Sonos’ John MacFarlane with Kevin Thau, General Partner @ Spark Capital

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Kevin Thau is a General Partner @ Spark Capital, one of the best performing funds of the last decade with a portfolio including the likes of Twitter, Slack, Oculus, Medium, PostMates, Cruise (acq $1Bn) the list goes on. As for Kevin, he has led investments in Medium, LOLA, CTRL Labs, Aura and Haven. Prior to Spark, Kevin enjoyed an incredible 7 years at Twitter, when he joined they had less than 20 employees and 1m users and he carried roles such as Director of Mobile Products and VP of Business & Corporate Development. Before Twitter, Kevin was employee number 7 at Software.com (which became Openwave) where he helped ship the first mobile browser, mobile messaging services and mobile websites.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Kevin made his way into VC with Spark having spent years in operations with Twitter and Silicon Graphics?

2.) What were Kevin’s biggest lessons from watching the hyper-scaling of Twitter? What are the most prominent challenges companies face at this stage? What were his takeaways from working with product visionaries like Jack Dorsey & Sonos’ John MacFarlane?

3.) As an operator turned investor, how does Kevin characterise his approach to working with portfolio companies? What were Kevin’s early VC learnings from his discussions with Fred Wilson and Bijan Sabet on VC profile and psychology?

4.) Why does Kevin believe that VC is a game of “maximizing serendipity”? How does Kevin assess personal time allocation, today as a VC? What has Kevin found most challenging since making the move to VC from operations?

5.) How does Kevin assess the consumer landscape at present? Does Kevin agree with Kirsten Green that “Amazon does more to make the market than crush it”? Why does Kevin find Instagram such a special tool for evaluating brands? What does he look for in the Instagram profiles of these emerging brands that really excites him?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Kevin’s Fave Book: Moneyball: The Art of Winning An Unfair Game

Kevin’s Most Recent Investment: CTRL-Labs

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Kevin on Twitter here!

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

NatureBox Unlimited snack plans offer all you can eat snacks for one fixed price per employee. Naturebox use simple ingredients you can trust to create bold flavors you can’t find anywhere else. All NatureBox snacks are free from artificial junk and variety is endless with options from sweet or savory to vegan or gluten-free. Simply choose the plan that fits your team’s unique snacking habits and select any of NatureBox’s time-saving add-on’s. And beyond Unlimited snacks, you’ll receive perks such as free kitchen setup, no contracts, a dedicated account manager and more. Simply click here to and use the offer code VC20 to get 20% of your first Naturebox month. 

Leesa is the Warby Parker or TOMS shoes of the mattress industry. Leesa have done away with the terrible mattress showroom buying experience by creating a luxury premium foam mattress that is ordered completely online and ships for free to your doorstep. The 10-inch mattress comes in all sizes and is engineered with 3 unique foam layers for a universal, adaptive feel, including 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of a really cool latex foam called Avena, design to keep you cool. All Leesa mattresses are 100% US or UK made and for every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one to a shelter. Go to Leesa.com to start the New Year with better nights sleep!