20VC: Andy McLoughlin on The Benefits of Backing Unsexy Businesses with Non-Obvious Founders, How To Distinguish Between A Good Bridge Round and A Bridge To Nowhere & Whether VCs Really Do Add Value?
Posted on 8th May 2018 by Harry
Andy McLoughlin is Partner @ Uncork Capital, formerly SoftTech and one of the leading early-stage funds on the West Coast. In their incredible portfolio, they have the likes of Fitbit, SendGrid, PostMates, Front, PoshMark, Eventbrite and many more. As for Andy, he loves to invest in “unsexy ideas” with stellar teams and has led deals in the likes of Postmates, LaunchDarkly, Human Interest (previously Captain 401), and Focal Systems just to name a few. Prior to VC, Andy co-founded Huddle, an enterprise collaboration platform which raised more than $80M in venture funding before its acquisition in 2017. Andy also has a stellar angel portfolio with the likes of Buffer, Intercom and Pipedrive all angel investments.
1.) How Andy made the transition from Founder of one of the UK’s hottest startups to one of the leading early-stage VCs in Silicon Valley?
2.) Why did Softtech decide to make the big decision to rebrand to Uncork several years into the journey? What is core to successfully relaunching a VC brand to the ecosystem?
3.) Andy likes to back “non-obvious founders” building “non-sexy businesses”. What does Andy mean by “non-obvious founder”? How do they tend to behave differently to more seasoned serial entrepreneur founders from the valley? What does a “non-sexy business look like to Andy”? Why does he see such inherent opportunity within these segments?
4.) How does Andy evaluate the challenge of immensely long sales cycles within these industries? How can these be mitigated and measured against? How does this affect Andy’s thinking on the right amount of runway to raise for? How does Andy assess the often issue of regulation? How does Andy distinguish between viable/ non-viable?
5.) How does Andy assess VC value add? Where does Andy believe he can provide the most value to his portfolio? Why does Andy believe startups are not just competing against other plays in their space but every startup in the valley?
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