20VC: Investing; A Game Of Access Or Picking, Why Technical DD At Seed Is Irrelevant & Why A Contrarian Mindset Does Not Always Lead To Optimal Returns with Leo Polovets, Co-Founder & General Partner @ Susa Ventures

Posted on 19th April 2017 by Harry

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Leo Polovets is a Co-Founder and General Partner @ Susa Ventures, one of the west coast’s most exciting new seed funds. They have investments in the likes of previous guests RobinHood, Flexport, Andela, LendUp, and Qadium, just to name a few from their stellar portfolio. As for Leo, Prior to Susa, Leo was one of the first engineers at LinkedIn in 2003, then worked on payment fraud detection at Google, then designed and built the data cleaning and deduping engines at Factual. He is an angel investor in over a dozen companies, including DataFox, Boomtrain, Lumoid, and Momentum Machines.



In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Leo made the transition from the world of operations with LinkedIn to co-founding Susa Ventures?

2.) How does Leo evaluate the supposed success that comes from investing with a contrarian mindset? This that the only way? Is investing merely a game of access without picking?

3.) If one is to follow the crowd, there is often a high price? What is Leo’s approach to valuation sensitivity? At what stage does price become unreasonable? How does Leo instill a sense of disciple and rigor in maintaining this mindset?

4.) How does Leo react to founders who raise large sums of capital on slowly increasing caps? How central should dilution be to the mindset of founders when raising?

5.) Why does Leo think there is very little valuable to be gained from engaging in technical due diligence at seed? What else does need to be examined pre-investment?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Leo’s Fave Book: Traction: A Startup Guide To Getting Customers

Leo’s Fave Blog: Mattermark Daily, 25IQ

Leo’s Most Recent Investment: TalentIQ

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