20VC: AngelList CEO, Avlok Kohli on WTF is Going On in Venture Capital; Seed Round Pricing Will Remain High, Series B & C Has Gone Completely, Downrounds Are Coming | Why Defensibility is BS on Day 1, Why Market is More Important Than Founder & Why Being First To Market Doesn’t Matter

Posted on 24th April 2023 by Harry

Avlok Kohli is the CEO @ AngelList. Under his leadership, Avlok has taken AngelList from an SPV provider to a company that is becoming the software platform for the entire industry. Today, AngelList supports over $15BN in assets and 40% of US unicorns have had a GP invest in them through AngelList. Prior to becoming CEO @ AngelList, Avlok founded 3 companies, all of which were acquired including by the likes of Square and eBay.

Episode Transcript

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In Today’s Episode with Avlok Kohli We Discuss:

1. From 3x Founder to Scaling AngelList to $15BN in AUM:

  • How did Naval convince Avlok to join AngelList and be CEO?
  • Does Avlok believe in startups having defensibility in the early days?
  • How important does Avlok believe it is for companies to be “first to market”?
  • Why does Avlok believe all the last-mile grocery delivery companies will go bust in the downturn?

2. What is Going On in Venture: New Funds, LPs, Secondaries:

  • Are we seeing the amount of net new funds reduce in the downturn?
  • Are we seeing the size of new funds being raised, being smaller?
  • Is the time to first close increasing in time?
  • Does AVlok agree that the fund segment hit hardest by the downturn is micro fund managers?
  • Which LP class has pulled back from fund investing most significantly?
  • Why does Avlok believe institutions have returned to fund investing more than ever right now?
  • Are we seeing an increase in fund secondary positions?

3. What is Going on in Startups: Rounds, Valuations, Party Rounds

  • Are we seeing the number of startups able to close their round reduce?
  • Are we seeing the size of startup funding rounds reduce? How does this depend on the stage?
  • What are we seeing for startup valuations? Why is seed as high as ever? What is the most hit?
  • How is the composition of funding rounds changing? More or fewer party rounds?
  • When does Avlok believe we will see down rounds and pay-to-play, really come into effect?

4. The Business of AngelList and its Future:

  • What are the margins on AngelList products today?
  • What is the best margin AngelList product? What is the worst?
  • What product did AngelList do that in hindsight, Avlok wishes they had not done?
  • Why did AngelList back out of Europe? Was it a mistake?
  • How does Avlok think about AngelList’s fierce competition with Carta today?

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