20VC: Mark Suster on The Biggest Fundraising Lessons for VCs, Why the Correction in Venture is Still to Come, Why Private Equity Will Replace IPOs and M&A as the Exit Path & The Woke Left and a Trump Administration; What Happens?

Posted on 1st May 2024 by Harry

Mark Suster is a General Partner @ Upfront Ventures, one of LA’s leading early-stage venture firms. Prior to leading Upfront, Mark was a serial entrepreneur having founded two software companies, selling both with the last selling to Salesforce.com. Mark is also a prolific writer and one of his favourite pieces, Lines Not Dots is one for the ages.

In Today’s Episode With Mark Suster We Discuss:

1. From Serial Entrepreneur to Leading VC:

  • How Mark made his way into the world of venture having sold two prior companies?
  • What does Mark know now that he wishes he had known when he started in venture?
  • What advice does Mark give to all young investors starting their career today?

2. How to Raise a Fund:

  • What are Mark’s single biggest lessons from 15 years of fundraising for funds?
  • Should managers look to institutions or friends and family first?
  • Are LPs sheep? Do institutions anchoring funds lead to many others jumping in?
  • What is the right amount to do a first close on? What is the right way to message the first close?
  • What are the single biggest mistakes Mark sees managers make when raising?

3. Exit Environments are F******: What Now:

  • Why are IPOs not the liquidity events that everyone thinks they are?
  • When does Mark believe IPO windows will open again?
  • How does Mark evaluate the M&A landscape today?
  • With little M&A and IPO activity, why does Mark believe private equity will step into their shoes?
  • With the change to private equity being the buyer, what does that mean for the sale price of the assets? What does that mean for the future of venture returns?

4. Trump, The Woke Left and The World Around Us:

  • Is Mark concerned about the potential of Trump winning the election?
  • Would Mark rather a Biden administration as the alternative?
  • Why is Mark so worried by the woke left?
  • Does Mark always believe there has been this deep-seated anti-semitism in the US education system? What can be done to remove this from our education system?

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