20VC: The On Running Memo: From Swiss Mountains to NASDAQ IPO: The Story of Three Friends Who Built a Sports Giant with David Alleman, Co-Founder @ On Running
31st May 2023
Sameer Gandhi is a Partner @ Accel, one of the leading venture firms of the last decade with a portfolio including the likes of Facebook, Dropbox, Atlassian, Hopin, Spotify and more. As for Sameer, he led investments in Crowdstrike, Dropbox, Flipkart, Spotify and more. Prior to Accel, Sameer spent close to 10 years as a Partner @ Sequoia.
1.) How Sameer first came to meet George, Crowdstrike Founder and CEO? How did a 30-minute meeting turn into a 2-hour discussion leading to Accel’s investment?
2.)The Market: How did Sameer analyze and break down the market at the time of the investment? What hypothesis did he have on market evolution going in? What elements went as thought? In what way did the market evolve in a way Sameer did not expect? How does Sameer think through market timing today? Through what approach does Sameer assess market sizing today?
3.) Financing: How did Sameer build the confidence to lead multiple rounds of financing, one after the other? How did Sameer build the trust and strength of relationship with George to win each round? Why did Sameer advise George to “go shop his term sheet”? What was the rationale? How does Sameer advise founders on taking pre-emptive rounds today?
4.) Execution: What specifically allowed Crowdstrike to move so fast in the early days? Does Sameer believe that speed of execution is the strongest moat a company can have? How does Sameer advise companies today on services revenue? In what shape did this look with Crowdstrike in the early days? What is a healthy proportion of services to product revenue?
5.) The Team: How did George evolve and develop as a leader in the decade Sameer worked with him? What were some of the core inflection points that caused those changes? Who are some of the unsung heroes behind the scenes who moved the needle for Crowdstrike? What is Sameer’s favourite memory from working with the company?