20VC: How To Strategically Build The Right Investor Base, Why Startup Timing is Like Surfing & How To Determine Whether Someone is Scaling with the Organisation or Not with Daniel Lewis, Founder & CEO @ Convoy

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Dan Lewis is the Founder & CEO @ Convoy, the startup that really is the future of freight with trucking services powered by technology to drive reliability, efficiency and insights. To date they have raised over $80m in funding from some of the world’s best-known investors and individuals including Y Combinator Continuity Fund, Greylock, Jeff Bezos, Marc Benioff, Drew Houston, Kevin Systrom and leading angels, Ali and Hadi Partovi. Before Convoy, Dan served as general manager of new shopping experiences at Amazon and spent time at Google and Microsoft in a number of logistics-related roles.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Daniel first fell in love with the logistics space as a little boy, made his move into the world of tech with Google and Microsoft and came to found Convoy?

2.) How does Dan truly define the differences between linear and non-linear businesses? Why does Dan believe that startup timing is like surfing? How must founders think about this through the different stages of the business?

3.) What was Dan’s strategy for choosing the right investors and how did he think about board composition? How can investors be used to build customer trust? How does Dan analyze and look to enhance board chemistry? What was a time for Dan when he actively went against the advice of the board? How did that play out?

4.) Why did Dan accept so many investors at the seed round? What changed between rounds that made Dan want to go big with the $62m Series B? Does Dan agree with Reid Hoffman, “if you can raise the money, do”? Why did Dan choose YC Continuity Fund as the lead growth investor of choice? What were the benefits?

5.) Why does Dan believe that scaling the first initial customers is the hardest of all? Why does Dan believe that a culture of experimentation is key across functions? How does Dan think about his own scaling as CEO? How has he seen his role change with the growth of the firm? What have been the biggest challenges of this personal learning?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Dan’s Fave Book: The Stranger by Albert Camus

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