20VC Roundtable: NEW FORMAT: Why the Seed Investing Model is Broken, How to Make Money at Seed Moving Forward; Who Wins and Who Loses, Why Venture Value Add Platforms are BS and Failed and Why There Will be an IPO per Week in H2 2024

Posted on 11th August 2023 by Harry

Sam Lessin is a Co-Founder and Partner @ Slow Ventures with a portfolio including the likes of Airtable, Robinhood, Slack, Solana, PillPack and many more unicorn companies. Prior to Slow, Sam was a VP Product at Facebook having sold his company to Meta.

Frank Rotman is a founding partner of QED Investors, one of the leading fintech-focused venture firms investing today with a portfolio including the likes of Klarna, Kavak, Quinto Andar, Credit Karma and more. As for Frank, prior to QED, Frank was one of the earliest analysts hired into Capital One and spent almost 13 years there helping build many of the company’s business units and operational areas. 

Jason Lemkin is the Founder @ SaaStr one of the best-performing early-stage venture funds focused on SaaS. In the past, Jason has led investments in Algolia, Pipedrive, Salesloft, TalkDesk, and RevenueCat to name a few. Prior to SaaStr, Jason was an entrepreneur, selling EchoSign to Adobe for $100M where it is now a $250M ARR product.

In Today’s Discussion on Why Seed is Broken We Discuss:

1. The Seed Model Was Broken and What Comes Now:

  • Why does Sam Lessin believe the model for seed of a “factory line” was broken?
  • What does he believe will replace it?
  • Why does Jason Lemkin argue that this might not be the case for SaaS and enterprise?

2. Round Construction: YC, Multi-Stage Funds and Party Rounds:

  • Why does Sam Lessin believe we have seen the end of party rounds? Why does Jason Lemkin disagree and we will see more than ever?
  • Why does Sam Lessin believe the factory model of YC churning out companies is over? Where does Jason Lemkin believe the value lies in the YC model?
  • Will the multi-stage funds remain in seed? How has their entrance and deployment changed the seed market?

3. VC Value Add at Seed: Is it BS?

  • Why does Jason believe all talent arms in venture firms have failed?
  • Why does Sam believe that no VCs provide value?
  • Do the best founders really need help? Why do Jason and Sam disagree?

4. What Happens Now:

  • Why does Jason believe that every manager can write off their fund from 2021?
  • Who will be the winners in seed in the next 10 years?
  • Why does Sam believe if you want to bet on AI, just bet on Meta or Microsoft?
  • What will happen to the many companies with no PMF but 10 years of runway?

Want the latest 20VC insights?

Get all of the insights from of our latest epsiodes and more in our monthly newsletter. All venture, no spam.