20VC: Why Every Successful Company Pivots and Good Companies Get Funded in Good & Bad Markets with John Frankel, Founding Partner @ ff Venture Capital
John Frankel is the founding partner of ff Venture Capital and has been an early-stage investor since 1999. He has served on the boards of more than 35 companies and has led investments in more than 80 companies, including Cornerstone OnDemand (CSOD), Indiegogo, Ionic Security, Unikey, Socure, Skycatch, Plated, 500px, Distil Networks, and Bottlenose. Prior to founding ffVC, John worked at Goldman Sachs for 21 years in a variety of roles that involved technology development, reengineering and capital markets. At Goldman Sachs, he worked closely with some of the world’s leading hedge fund managers and developed a keen understanding of emerging technologies and portfolio risk/return management.
1.) How did John make the move from Oxford grad to NYC venture capitalist?
2.) How has the massive decrease in startup costs affected the seed funding environment? How does David identify the startups he invests in with the plethora that are now available?
3.) How much of an extent is portfolio a branding tool for VCs? In recent years we have seen the rise of the operational VC model with the likes of Andreesen, will this continue as a prominent model in VC?
4.) How as a seed investor does John advise his founders when chasing a valuation that will only lead to a down round? What is John’s views on the dreaded down round?
5.) Many companies pivot in the process? Does John like to see pivots? If pivoting what is it important for founders to remember and focus on?
Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: