20VC: How To Think Through Portfolio Construction and The Business Model of VC, Why You Cannot Grow Ownership In Your Best Companies Over Time & How To Make The Space for Serendipity To Strike in VC with Adam D’Augelli, Partner @ True Ventures
Posted on 16th December 2019 by hstebbings1
Adam D’Augelli is a Partner @ True Ventures, one of the West Coast’s leading early-stage funds with a portfolio including the likes of Fitbit, Peloton, Hashicorp, Tray.io, Ring, Automattic (makers of WordPress) and many more amazing companies. As for Adam, he has spent close to 10 years at True where he has led investments in Hashicorp, Ring, Splice and Namely, just to name a few. Prior to joining the world of venture with True, Adam was an instructor at The University of Florida in Business Finance. Before that Adam was the Founder of Perfect Wave Records, a donation-based record label – helping bands better monetize the relationships with their fans.
1.) How Adam made his way into the world of venture with True and how that start came about?
2.) How does Adam think about portfolio construction today with True? Is it still possible to get 20% ownership on first check? Does Adam believe you can build ownership in subsequent rounds? Does this mean we are seeing the end to rounds being co-led? What does Adam make of pre-emptive rounds? How do True respond to them today?
3.) How does True think about initial vs re-investment decision-making? How do the decision processes differ? Does Adam believe it is possible to stack rank companies and allocate capital accordingly? What is the right way to tell a founder you will not be re-investing? How does Adam think about risk maximisation at a company level?
4.) As a partnership, how does True look to create an environment of safety where both conviction and concerns can be expressed? What should partnerships not do? Why is attribution so dangerous to this EQ of the partnership? How does the partnership work with the companies at a company level? How does True view board seats? How does True think about when is the right time to roll off boards?
5.) What were Adam’s biggest takeaways from leading Ring’s seed to their acquisition by Amazon? How does Adam think about the importance of market vs the importance of people when investing? How does Adam think about company failure, post-mortems and subsequent next steps?