20 VC FF 032: Jeff Seibert on Lessons From Being Acquired By Twitter & Box and Now Leading Twitter’s Consumer Product

Jeff Seibert is an experienced serial-entrepreneur and currently Senior Director of Product at Twitter. Previously, Seibert was the CEO of Crashlytics, which he co-founded in 2011 with Wayne Chang. Crashlytics delivered crash analysis tools for iOS and Android apps via an SDK that reached 300 Million mobile devices worldwide. Crashlytics was acquired by Twitter in 2013 for $259m. In 2007, Seibert co-founded Increo and served as its COO and lead architect until its acquisition by Box in August of 2009. He subsequently oversaw the integration of Increo’s document preview and annotation technologies into the company’s cloud-based content platform.

A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today’s show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Jeff made his move into the wonderful world of tech?

 Today we are going to break up your story into 3 chapters:

1.) Acquisition by Box:

  • What was it like going to Sand Hill Road to raise in 2009?
  • How much runway would Jeff advise for a startup and how can companies know whether a strategic acquisition is optimal or whether they should continue building with a further round?
  • Jeff has spoke before about being overly transparent with this team about the acquisition. What are the problems with being overly transparent and how can you balance the two?

 2.) Acquired by Twitter:

  • At what point did Jeff transition to thinking the acquisition by Twitter would be a beneficial and viable and why?
  • A reason for Jeff being favourable to the acquisition was Twitter’s agreement of continued investment in the space. How can founders negotiate and ensure that this occurs with their acquisition? One of the mistakes stated about the acquisition by Twitter was the reporting structure. How can founders ensure that they are speaking to the VPs of engineering, CEOs etc and attain the support they need?

 3.) Life at Twitter:

  •  How life is following the acquisition? What are Jeff’s plans for the future as Senior Director of Product at Twitter?
Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:
Jeff’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: Daring Fireball
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Jeff 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!

20VC: Lessons From Working with Chris Sacca, The Rise Of Mobile Commerce and Improving Push Notifications with Ellie Wheeler, Partner @ Greycroft Partners

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Ellie Wheeler is a Partner at Greycroft Partners where she focuses on investment opportunities in next-generation commerce, consumer mobile, and associated SaaS solutions. Ellie manages several investments for Greycroft, including BaubleBar, Flashpoint Intel, Eloquii, and Plain Vanilla Games (QuizUp). Prior to joining Greycroft, Ellie worked in a similar role evaluating investment opportunities at Lowercase Capital with Chris Sacca. Before working with Lowercase, Ellie worked at Cisco where she was involved in multiple acquisitions and investments, including PostPath, Jabber, Xobni, and Tandberg.

A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today’s show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Ellie made her way into the wonderful world of tech and VC?

2.) What were Ellie’s biggest takeaways from working with the legend that is Chris Sacca?

3.) As an investment focus of Ellie’s, how does Ellie think the mobile commerce space has changed and how consumer behaviours are changing in the space?

4.) What are Ellie’s views on push notifications? What are the Do’s and Don’ts? What can be done to make push notifications more effective?

5.) Do wearables change the push notification space? What are Ellie’s views on wearables with their investment in BaubleBar? Are consumers ready for them?

6.) Talking of wearables, how does Ellie respond to hardware investments? Typically a space VC shy away from? What are the problems for Ellie? What attracts her with hardware?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Ellie’s Fave Book: The Power of One

Ellie’s Most Recent Investment: Blinkist
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Ellie 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!

20VC: Bryan Johnson @ OS Fund & Braintree on Investing In The Operating Systems Of Life & Why VC Should All Be Open Source

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Bryan Johnson is an entrepreneur and investor. He is the founder of OS Fund and Braintree, the latter of which was bought by eBay in 2013 for $800 million in cash. Bryan launched OS Fund in 2014 with $100 million of his personal capital to support inventors and scientists who aim to benefit humanity. His investments include endeavors to extend healthy human life to 100+ (Human Longevity), replicate the human visual cortex (Vicarious), mine an asteroid (Planetary Resources), reinvent transportation (Matternet), and reimagine food (Hampton Creek), among others.

A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today’s show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Bryan made his start in the world of tech and how he has come to the OS fund today?

2.) What was the pivotal moment in Bryan’s career? When was the turning point? What was was the hardest part of the entrepreneurial journey and how did Bryan conquer it?

3.) What is the main motivation behind the OS fund? Which areas does Bryan most want to solve and where does he see significant market opportunities?

4.) Does the longevity of return to Bryan’s exits concern him? Most investments exit with 10 years, human lifespan startups take a little longer! What sort of time frame does Bryan have in mind when investing in these companies?

5.) What does Bryan really perceive synthetic biology to mean? Are we seeing improvements in this sector?

6.) The OS Fund have recently released a white paper detailing extensively their process for investing? Why did Bryan decide on this open source style of investing?

7.) What would Bryan like to see more of? Where does Bryan see a lot of people investing that he thinks is a mistake?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:
Bryan’s Most Recent Investment:
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Bryan 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!

20 VC FF 031: James Beshara @ Tilt on Crowdfunding For A Mobile World, Finding The Perfect Co-Founder & Beer Pong!

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James Beshara is the Co-Founder @ Tilt the micro-crowdfunding platform that allows you to receive funding from friends—changing the way collaborative funding works. Tilt has raised $37 million from 3 rounds of funding from the likes of Andreesen, SV Angel, Alexis Ohanian, Naval Ravikant and Sean Parker just to name a few. As for James Before co-founding Tilt, he studied Development Economics as an undergrad and then went on to build dvelo.org, a site for crowdfunding loans and donations to poverty-alleviation organizations in developing countries. In order to vote for who you think will win James and Harry’s beer pong match, head over to @twentyminutevc on Twitter and vote using our poll.

A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today’s show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) What were the origins of Tilt? How did James go from a micro loans collector in Africa to founder of one of SF’s hottest startups?

2.) What does James make of the current crowdfunding landscape? What will it take for crowdfunding to go mass market?

3.) What are Tilt doing to make crowdfunding more bite sized and consumer friendly? How important is the on boarding process for Tilt? How are Tilt approaching customer retention? What are James’ targets for the year ahead with Tilt?

4.) With investors like Andreesen, SV Angel, Naval Ravikant, Sean Parker just to name a few, what the investment journey like? I heard the first funding took 6-8 months and the series A took 6 days with a16z. What changed to turn it around?

5.) On PH LIVE James stated that founding a company is a destination less journey and although admirable I struggle with that from the investors perspective. How did James sell a startup in a pitch with no exit strategy?

6.) What was it that attracted James to the investors that he chose? What value add was James most attracted to?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and James 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!

20VC: James Cameron @ Accel on Building Great Startup Communities and The Rise of Enterprise and Cyber Security Software

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James Cameron is an early stage investor at Accel where he focuses on enterprise software, security, fintech and marketplace businesses. Prior to joining Accel, he founded and ran BipSync, a SaaS-based research platform for investment management. James also spent time on the tech banking team at Morgan Stanley and as a corporate lawyer at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today’s show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How James made his way into the world of startups and investing?

2.) How does James go about finding the needles in the haystack in the sea of amazing startups? Do James use data to find great companies? Do you think this will be a continuing trend, in terms of algorithmic deal sourcing?

3.) What cool stuff has James been seeing in the enterprise software and security sector? Does James think there are any underhyped or overhyped segments of these markets?

4.) One very dominant eco system for tech in general but specifically security is Israel, how do the UK and Israeli ecosystems differ? Is there anything we can do in the UK to harness the spirit encapsulated by the Israeli ecosystem?

5.) What are the catalysts or drivers of these communities’ growth? Do you agree with Marc Andreesen in saying we shouldn’t think about building “The Silicon Valley of X” because the components that make up SV aren’t repeatable and areas should instead specialize on specific verticals, like bitcoin or security. What do you think about that concept?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:
James’ Fave Book: Crossing The Chasm 
James’ Fave Blog or Newsletter: Adrian Colyer: The Morning Paper
James’ Most Recent Investment: Doctolib
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and James 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!

20 VC: Fred Destin, General Partner @ Accel

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Fred Destin is General Partner at Accel in London where he focuses on consumer and software investments. He is the lead investor and board member at Deliveroo, Pillpack (featured in ep: 89 with Eric Paley) and KNC. Prior to Accel, he was a partner at Atlas Venture where he worked with with companies like Zoopla (public), Secret Escapes, Integral Ad Science, Dailymotion (acquired by Orange), PriceMinister (acquired by Rakuten) and others.

A special thank you to Mattermark for providing all the data displayed in today’s show and you can find out more about Mattermark here! 
In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Fred made his way into the world of startups and investing?

2.) What is it like investing in rocketships like Deliveroo and PillPack?

3.) What are the reasons most startups fail at the seed stage? What are the most common reasons that founders get fired?

4.) Why does Fred believe raising a Series B so tough? Is it the embodiment of the funding barbell?

5.) What are Fred’s thoughts on VC founder alignment? Why does Fred deliberately cause tension between a founder prior to making an investment? In what form does this take?

6.) When I asked Fred for topics he was interested in, he gave me a list and one of them, I have never had suggested before and it is ‘Why are VC’s so schizo’? What does Fred mean?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:
Fred’s Fave Blog or Newsletter: The Atlantic, Tech.eu
Fred’s Most Recent Investment: Deliveroo
As always you can follow The Twenty Minute VCHarry and Fred 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!

20 VC FF 030: Gimlet Media’s Matt Lieber on The Future of Podcasting and Life @ Gimlet

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Matt Lieber is cofounder and President of Gimlet Media. In a previous life, Matt produced radio shows (On Point, Fair Game) and podcasts (Slate Culture Gabfest). He also worked as a management consultant at The Boston Consulting Group, where he focused on media and digital business. Then he chucked it all for Gimlet. He holds an MBA from MIT Sloan. 

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In Today’s Show You Will Learn:

1.) Matt reveals the origins of Gimlet?

2.) What were the dilemmas for Matt in raising Gimlet’s round? What determinant made Matt realize raising was right? What advice would Matt give to founders who are unsure if they should raise or not?

3.) One of the main concerns with raising suggested by Alex Blumberg was that the company would feel like a totally different company, and by different ‘I mean worse’, to quote Alex. So how can a Founder maintain company culture as they grow excessively?

4.) Why did Matt decide to play it cool and not announce to VCs Gimlet were raising? Did Matt expect to get a term sheet as quickly and easily as he did? Were there any hiccups to the funding process? Were Gimlet tempted by any other offers? What value add about Tim O’Reilly made Gimlet most attracted to him?

5.) Question from Matt Hartman at Betaworks: How does Gimlet decide which new shows to create? Is it about creating new shows for an overlapping audience or to expanding audience demographics??

6.) Where does Matt see the future of podcasting going? Many do not believe in it’s potential to be a big business, what does Matt say? What are the challenges, what needs to happen to combat them?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Episode:

Matt’s Fave Book: Great Plains by Ian Frazier

Matt’s Fave Blog: Stratechery by Ben Thompson

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

Likewise, if you would like to see a more colourful side to Harry with many a mojito session, follow him on Instagram here!

matt hartman dyb, alex, surpisingly awesome adam mckay and adam davidson, chis sacca, matt mazzeo

 

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