20 VC: K9’s Manu Kumar on His Approach To Risk, Valuation & Believing What Other People Don’t

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Manu Kumar founder and Chief Firestarter at K9 Ventures, a pre-seed and seed stage micro-VC fund based in Palo Alto, according to K9 they invests ‘frighteningly early’ and like to be the first institutional capital invested in a startup. K9 is an investor in Lyft, Twilio, Occipital, eShares, and their companies have been acquired by the likes of Linkedin, Facebook, Dropbox, Paypal and more. Prior to K9, Manu was either the founder or co-founder of 4 companies, 3 of which with successful exits and the 4th being the fantastic eshares!

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Manu come to found K9 and what was his route into VC? How does Manu define entrepreneurialism and how did this play out in his early life?

2.) “The best buys are found in things most people don’t understand or believe in.” How does this play out in Manu’s investment strategy?  ?

3.) “The riskiest thing is the belief there’s no risk.” How does risk assessment feature in Manu’s investment mentality? How does Manu transition this to your portfolio construction? ?

4.) Josh Koppelman states “What has to be remembered is the defining role of price.” How much of a role does valuation play in Manu’s investment decision making process?

5.) “An absence of losses can give you a great start toward a good outcome.” As a seed fund how does Manu approach inevitable losses? How does Manu try and minimize mortality rate?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode: 

Manu’s Fave Book: The Cuckoo’s Egg by Clifford Stoll

Manu’s Fave Blog: Strictly VC, Dan Primack: Term Sheet

Manu’s Most Recent Investment: GradeScope

As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Manu on Twitter here!
If you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, you can follow him on Instagram here!
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