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20VC: Ash Fontana on The 5 Core Characteristics That Make Data Valuable, What VCs Can Learn From Italian Craftsmen and Howard Marks & The Importance of Vertical Integration In Scaling Today

The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch

Release Date: 11/18/2019

20VC: Howard Marks on How COVID-19 Impacts Our Economy, Liquidity and National Debt, Why The Theory of Falling Knives and Market Bottoms is Wrong & Why The Best Investors Are Fundamentally Unemotional show art 20VC: Howard Marks on How COVID-19 Impacts Our Economy, Liquidity and National Debt, Why The Theory of Falling Knives and Market Bottoms is Wrong & Why The Best Investors Are Fundamentally Unemotional

The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch

Howard Marks is the Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of , a leading investment firm with more than $120 billion in assets. Prior to founding Oaktree, Howard spent 10 years at The TCW Group, where he was responsible for investments in distressed debt, high yield bonds, and convertible securities. Previously, Howard was with Citicorp for 16 years, where he served as Vice President and senior portfolio manager in charge of convertible and high yield securities. Howard has also written two books, most recently , and it was Warren Buffet who said, “When I see...

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20VC: How To Solve The Chicken and Egg Problem in Marketplaces? How Important Is Differentiated Supply? How To Prevent Leakage? How to Create Marketplace Defensibility and more with Alyssa Ravasio, Founder & CEO @ Hipcamp show art 20VC: How To Solve The Chicken and Egg Problem in Marketplaces? How Important Is Differentiated Supply? How To Prevent Leakage? How to Create Marketplace Defensibility and more with Alyssa Ravasio, Founder & CEO @ Hipcamp

The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch

is the Founder & CEO @ , the startup that allows you to book unique camping experiences on over 300,000 campsites, cabins, RV parks, public parks and more. To date, Alyssa has raised over $41M in funding from some of the best in the business including Benchmark, a16z, Brad Feld, Dave Morin, Sam Shank @ Hotel Tonight and more. Prior to founding Hipcamp, Alyssa enjoyed numerous diverse roles including being Director of Sales & Marketing @ Revel Systems to working on International Information and Communication Policy in the US State Department. In Today’s Episode You...

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20VC: Multi-Stage Funds Investing At Seed Are Option Value Investing, Why The Biggest Enemy For Venture Firms Is Group Think and How Running Companies Changes Your Investment Mentality with Manu Kumar, Founder @ K9 Ventures show art 20VC: Multi-Stage Funds Investing At Seed Are Option Value Investing, Why The Biggest Enemy For Venture Firms Is Group Think and How Running Companies Changes Your Investment Mentality with Manu Kumar, Founder @ K9 Ventures

The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch

is the Founder @ , one of the leading seed firms of the last decade with a portfolio including the likes of Carta, Lyft, Twilio, Auth0 and Lucidchart to name a few incredible companies. Prior to K9, Manu was either the founder or co-founder of 4 companies, 3 of which with successful exits and the 4th being the fantastic Carta. Manu also has an incredible model with K9 where he not only invests in companies but also founds them and is currently the founder and CEO @ HiHello, the company that allows you to network smarter providing digital business cards designed to help you curate and...

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20VC: How To Assess Risk and Value Creation, Why It Would Be Better If VCs Had Smaller Portfolios & How To Optimise Internal Decision-Making with Misha Esipov, Founder & CEO @ Nova Credit show art 20VC: How To Assess Risk and Value Creation, Why It Would Be Better If VCs Had Smaller Portfolios & How To Optimise Internal Decision-Making with Misha Esipov, Founder & CEO @ Nova Credit

The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch

is the Founder & CEO @ , the startup that allows you to use your international credit history to apply for credit cards, apartment rentals, loans and more. To date, Misha has raised over $69M with Nova from some of the best in the business Kleiner Perkins, Index, First Round, Pear and Core Innovation Capital to name a few. As for Misha, prior to changing the world of credit history, he spent over 5 years in the more traditional world of finance including time at Apollo in the world of private equity and then also Goldman Sachs in the world of investment banking. If that was not enough,...

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20VC: True Ventures' Toni Schneider on How Being CEO @ Automattic (Wordpress) Made Him A Better Investor, The Biggest Lessons from Automattic on Running Successful Remote Teams and The Right Way For Investors To Show Founders They Have Their Support (Note show art 20VC: True Ventures' Toni Schneider on How Being CEO @ Automattic (Wordpress) Made Him A Better Investor, The Biggest Lessons from Automattic on Running Successful Remote Teams and The Right Way For Investors To Show Founders They Have Their Support (Note

The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch

is a Partner @ , one of the valley's leading early-stage firms with a portfolio including the likes of Peloton, Hashicorp, Fitbit, Automattic (Wordpress) and Tray.io to name a few. As for Toni, he has spent 14 years as a Partner @ True but during that tenure, he was also the CEO of Automattic for 8 years where he helped WordPress.com become a top 10 global internet destination with close to a billion monthly visitors. Before that, he was a VP @ Yahoo post their acquisition of the company he was CEO of Oddpost, much of their work formed the basis for Yahoo mail.  (Note: Recorded...

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20VC: 3 Addictions Of Early-Stage Startup Founders, How Founders Should Strategically Think Through Unit Economics From Day 1 & Why Micromanagement Can Be Beneficial In The Early Days with Adena Hefets, Co-Founder @ Divvy Homes  show art 20VC: 3 Addictions Of Early-Stage Startup Founders, How Founders Should Strategically Think Through Unit Economics From Day 1 & Why Micromanagement Can Be Beneficial In The Early Days with Adena Hefets, Co-Founder @ Divvy Homes

The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch

is Co-Founder @ , the startup that turns your monthly rent into a down payment allowing you to get on the property ladder, sooner. To date, Adena has raised over $189M with Divvy from some of the best in the business including a16z, Ray Tonsing @ Caffeinated, Max Levchin, DFJ and Threshold Ventures to name a few. Prior to founding Divvy, Adena was an early-stage fintech investor at DF. Before the world of venture, Adena was part of the original team that started Square Capital and grew the product to over 10,000 advances ($50M) within 1 year. Finally, before that, Adena started her career in...

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20VC: Matt Mochary, Coach To Silicon Valley's Leading VCs & Founders on How To Deal with Imposter Syndrome and Self-Doubt, How To Manage Fear and Anger & Why Board Seats Are The Death of Investors show art 20VC: Matt Mochary, Coach To Silicon Valley's Leading VCs & Founders on How To Deal with Imposter Syndrome and Self-Doubt, How To Manage Fear and Anger & Why Board Seats Are The Death of Investors

The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch

coaches some of the world's leading venture capitalists and founders helping them to build the best organizations possible. On the VC side, Matt has worked with Peter Fenton @ Benchmark, several Sequoia Partners, Hemant @ GC and Mamoon @ Kleiner to name a few. As for founders, Matt has worked with the founders of Brex, Coinbase, Plaid, Reddit, Flexport and more. Prior to coaching, Matt began his business career as an investor with .  He then co-founded eventually sold to MCI/Verizon.  In his own words, Matt went on to have fun (making the Academy Award short-listed documentary )...

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20VC: Why Most Founders Do Not Structure Their Fundraise Correctly, The Pros Of Having An MBA As A Startup Founder & How To Manage The Psychology Of Being CEO and Overcome Self Doubt with Iman Abuzeid, Founder & CEO @ Incredible Health show art 20VC: Why Most Founders Do Not Structure Their Fundraise Correctly, The Pros Of Having An MBA As A Startup Founder & How To Manage The Psychology Of Being CEO and Overcome Self Doubt with Iman Abuzeid, Founder & CEO @ Incredible Health

The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch

is the Founder & CEO @ , the startup that connects hospitals with nurses and other high shortage healthcare professionals to dramatically speed up the hiring process. To date, Iman has raised over $17M with Incredible Health from some dear friends of the show including NFX, a16z, Charles Hudson @ Precursor and Obvious Ventures to name a few. As for Iman, prior to Incredible, she was a medical doctor, a McKinsey alumnus and led product management at AliveCor, a Khosla-backed health tech startup. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn: 1.) How Iman made her way into the world of startups...

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 20VC: Index Ventures Partner, Mark Goldberg on The Questions Founders Must Ask A Multi-Stage Fund Before Taking Their Money At Seed, Why Most Angels Will Lose Their Money & Why We Will See Our First $100Bn Neo-Bank Shortly show art 20VC: Index Ventures Partner, Mark Goldberg on The Questions Founders Must Ask A Multi-Stage Fund Before Taking Their Money At Seed, Why Most Angels Will Lose Their Money & Why We Will See Our First $100Bn Neo-Bank Shortly

The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch

is a Partner @ , one of the leading venture firms of the last decade with a portfolio including the likes of Dropbox, Revolut, Supercell, Plaid and Transferwise to name a few. As for Mark, since joining Index he has largely specialised on all things financial services and sits on the board of Plaid, Nova Credit, Intercom, Pilot and more incredible companies. Prior to Index, Mark spent 3 years in BizOps at Dropbox where the company increased tenfold during his time there. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn: 1.) How Mark made his way into the world of venture with Index having spent...

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20VC: Gusto Co-Founder, Tomer London on Why Most Founders Approach Fundraising With The Wrong Mindset Today, How To Construct A Values/Motivation Alignment Test To Determine The Right Investors For You & Why Delight Is So Crucial To The Success of Any Con show art 20VC: Gusto Co-Founder, Tomer London on Why Most Founders Approach Fundraising With The Wrong Mindset Today, How To Construct A Values/Motivation Alignment Test To Determine The Right Investors For You & Why Delight Is So Crucial To The Success of Any Con

The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch

 is the Co-Founder @ , the people platform for small businesses providing one place to run payroll, manage benefits, and support your team. To date, Tomer and the team have raised over $520M with Gusto from some of the industry's leading investors including General Catalyst, CapitalG, Kleiner Perkins, T Rowe, Fidelity and more and then individuals including Shopify Founder Tobias Luttke, Sam Altman, Max Levchin, Matt Mullenweg, Kevin Hartz and Elad Gil to name a few. Prior to Gusto, Tomer did a PHD in Electrical Engineering at Stanford and before that was Founder and CEO @ Vizmo,...

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Ash Fontana is a Managing Director @ Zetta Venture Partners, the fund that invests in AI-first companies with B2B business models. As for Ash, prior to Zetta he started the money side of AngelList, where, he launched online investing, created the first startup ‘index fund’. He also ran special projects like AngelList’s expansion into Europe and the UK. Simultaneously, Ash led syndicates and made investments in Canva, Mixmax and others. Before AngelList, Ash co-founded Topguest, a Founders Fund-backed company that built customer analytics technology and was ultimately sold in an 8 figure transaction 18 months after the company was founded.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Ash made his way into the world of venture with AngelList and how that led to his joining Zetta today, investing exclusively in AI? What did Ash's time working on his family farm teach him about vertically integrated businesses? What were his biggest takeaways from AngelList and working alongside Naval?

2.) What does AI-first really mean to Ash? How crucial is it for companies to have proprietary datasets today? Are data moats truly defensible and real? What are the 5 characteristics that determine the level of defensibility of a dataset? How does Ash analyse the quality of a dataset? What does Ash do to determine if they are predictive of value?

3.) We often hear the term, "system of record", why is Ash so much more excited by the "system of intelligence"? Why is the basis of competitive advantage shifting from SaaS today as a model? How do the margin structure vastly differ when comparing AI-first companies to SaaS companies? How does that mean one should view capital efficiency?

4.) What does Ash believe drives business model quality? What are the commonalities in the business models of those that have made it big? Why does Ash believe it is difficult for incumbent companies to become AI-first? How difficult is it for incumbents to acquire smaller AI-first firms and integrate their policies and technology?

5.) Why does Ash love Howard marks and what has been his biggest learnings from studying him? How has Ash applied these learnings to his investing today? What has Ash also learned from the Italian masters of design? How has this study helped Ash as a VC? What has Ash optimised lately? What is Ash's favourite optimisation?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Ash’s Fave Book: The Strategy of Life: Teleology and Mechanics in Nineteenth-Century German Biology

As always you can follow HarryThe Twenty Minute VC and Ash on Twitter here!