20VC: CapitalG Founder David Lawee on Why People Overvalue Diversification in Venture, Why Investment Clubs Are More Successful Than Investment Partnerships & How Growth Funds Think About Portfolio Construction, Loss Ratio & Reserves

Posted on 8th October 2020 by Harry

David Lawee founded CapitalG, Alphabet’s independent growth fund, in 2013, drawing on his experience both at Google and as a serial entrepreneur. Since then, he has helped transform high-potential startups into some of the most highly valued businesses of our generation, including Airbnb, Lyft, Snap, Robinhood, Credit Karma, Oscar, Lending Club and Thumbtack. Prior to CapitalG, David played a pivotal role in Google’s growth story–first as Google’s Chief Marketing Officer and then as the instrumental VP of corporate development where his group spearheaded over 100 acquisitions for the company.


In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How David made his way into the world of startups, came to be the first CMO @ Google and how that led to his founding CapitalG?

2.) Having operated and invested through both the dot com and 08′, how has seeing the booms and busts impacted David’s investing mindset? How does David think about temporal diversification today with CapitalG? Why does David believe diversification is largely overrated?

3.) How does David think about portfolio construction today, given CapitalG is a growth fund? How does David compare early-stage to growth today? How does David think about loss ratios at growth? How does David benchmark good vs great from a multiple perspective at growth?

4.) How does CapitalG approach investment decision making today? How does David avoid consensus thinking/following the crowd when it comes to deals? Why does David believe investment clubs operate much more successfully than partnerships? How does that change the structure for CapitalG?

5.) How has David seen himself evolve and develop as a board member of the years? What type of board member would David say he is today? How does that change with the founder? Who is the most memorable board member David has sat on a board with?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

David’s Fave BookBorn A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood 

David’s Most Recent Investment: Albert

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