20VC: 500 Startups’ Dave McClure on Whether Unicorns Are Necessary For Venture Returns & Why Ownership Is Not The Math To Think About When Investing

Posted on 15th August 2016 by Harry

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Dave McClure is the founding partner of 500 Startups, who have made over 1500 investments in the likes of Twilio, SendGrid, Intercom and Makerbot just to name a few. Prior to 500 Dave was on the investment team at Founders Fund, he also led the Facebook Fund Incubator and was Head of Marketing @ Paypal pre IPO.



In Today’s Episode with Dave You Will Learn:

  • How Dave made his way into VC and came to found 500 Startups?
  • Do you need unicorn exits to have significant venture returns? What is the 500 view with regards to the hit ratio of finding unicorns?
  • How much ownership does 500 typically take? Does this allow Dave enough of a right to follow on in further rounds with such a small initial slice?
  • How does Dave and 500 avoid the inherent signalling risk involved with their fund and accelerator? How prominent is signalling in today’s market?
  • What did Dave think of Sam Altman’s statement on YC not accepting companies from other accelerators? How does Dave view YC companies?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Dave’s Fave Blog and Newsletter: Brad Feld, AVC, Mark Suster

Dave’s Fave Book: Guns Germs and Steel, The Mystery of Capital

Dave’s Most Recent Investment: Markhor

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

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

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