The Full Ratchet (TFR): Venture Capital and Startup Investing Demystified

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

  • Ryan Gembala
  • James Currier
  • Jesse Middleton
  • Ramy Adeeb

Each investor highlights a situation where they decided not to invest, why they passed, and how it played out.

Direct download: 4.29_Why_I_Passed.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:18am EDT

Nicole Quinn of Lightspeed Venture Partners joins Nick to discuss The Effect of Technology on Relationships, The 5 Indicators of a True Brand, The Appeal of Love/Hate Businesses, & the Rise of Super Apps. In this episode, we cover:

  • Walk us through your background and path to VC
  • What if anything changed the most from your early days, angel investing on your own to the days you joined the team at Lightspeed?
  • I think a good place to start is with an article you wrote a little over a year ago about your investment philosophy, and how it was shaped by the book, Shoe Dog, by Phil Knight. What was the seminal learning from that book, and how has it shaped your approach?
  • What's the thesis at Lightspeed?
  • What are the consumer behaviors in different regions?
  • You emphasized the importance of hiring and the framework Lightspeed uses for its portfolio companies. Could you give us the broad strokes on that?
  • How did you develop your thesis on Lunch Club, and what makes you so excited about it and kind of the way they're thinking about relationships?
  •  You have such a lens on social and all these things, but how will relationships be affected over time with not being able to achieve that same level of authentic connection with folks when it's just over chat or the internet? 
  • Are you bullish or bearish on Clubhouse?
  • What are the early indicators in a company that signal that a true brand is being built? Are their must-haves vs. nice to haves?
  • Have you ever come across an opportunity where the NPS was? marginal or low, but the repeat rate and referral rate was high?
  • Have you looked at all this? You know, kind of buzzy new way of looking at that the Rahul Vohra Superhuman? How pissed off would you be if this was taken away or something like that?
  • Most of the super apps have been outside of the states, places like China, Latin America. Do you expect the rise of more super apps here? Why or why not?
Direct download: quinn_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

  • Henrique Dubugras
  • Nikhil Basu Trivedi
  • Check Warner
  • Brian Hirsch

Each investor discusses a portfolio company that did not survive and why it was that they failed.

Direct download: is189.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Mike Smerklo of Next Coast Ventures joins Nick to discuss The Sustainable & Temporary Trends of COVID, The Self-Aware Founder, and Writing the Survival Guide for the Mental Aspect of Entrepreneurship. In this episode, we cover:

  • Walk us through your background and path to VC.
  • What's the thesis at Next Coast Ventures?
  • What are 'Next Coast' markets?
  • How do you come up with the themes that drive investment focus at NCV?
  • What are some of the trends emerging now that you are following that may have the most impact on new business creation over the next five years?
    • Which are sustainable and which are temporary? Especially in the post covid world. 
  • The biggest difference in the founder journey from the LoudCloud and ServiceSource days vs. today?
  • What qualities do you look for in founders when investing in the early-stage vs. growth stage?
  • How do you help founders?
  • What led you to write the book Mr. Monkey and Me?
  • Why are you giving all the proceeds for the book to charity?
  • I would love to hear your thoughts on self-awareness w/ entrepreneurs and your approach to it.
  • This question is called three data points. I'm going to give you a hypothetical situation w/ a startup, and you can ask three questions for three specific data points.
    • Let's say you're approached to invest in a Series A Marketplace startup...
    • The company is based in Houston
    • The sector is oil/gas.
    • They launched 24 months ago.
    • and they currently have $500k/month GMV and a 25% take rate ($125k monthly revenue run rate)
    • Again, the catch is, you can only ask 3 questions for 3 specific data points, in order to make your decision. What three questions do you ask?
Direct download: mike_final_v2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

  • Maren Bannon
  • Simeon Iheagwham
  • Ty Findley
  • Paul Martino

Each investor describes the most unusual situation or pitch that they've encountered as an investor.

Direct download: is_188.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30am EDT

McKeever "Mac" Conwell II of RareBreed Ventures joins Nick to discuss Raising a Fund via General Solicitation & Twitter, How Rolling Funds Can Disadvantage LPs, and Facing the Reality of Diversity in VC. In this episode, we cover:

  • Walk us through your background and path to VC
  • What’s the thesis at RareBreed Ventures?
  • Why did you start RareBreed Ventures?
  • Tell me about the fundraise... when did you first kickoff and then start getting momentum?
  • Have you gotten better at raising over time? What have you improved most?
  • What resonates w/ LPs, what do you get pushback on?
  • What's been the biggest surprise in the process so far?
  • Optimistic, pessimistic or neutral on diversity in VC over the next decade?
  • Twitter -- blowing up, what's working so well?
  • Rolling fund vs. not... why?
  • Thoughts on thesis and portfolio construction...
  • What's the ideal fund size for your stage and strategy?
  • Founders... biggest mistake you see early stage founders make
  • Gives us a snapshot of Rarebreed in 3 years... how about 7 years?
Direct download: Mac_ver4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

  • David Goldberg
  • Sach Chitnis
  • Kane Hsieh
  • Reid Christian

Each investor illustrates a critical lesson learned about startup investing and how it's changed their approach.

Direct download: IS187.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30am EDT

Brendan Wallace of Fifth Wall joins Nick to discuss How COVID Has Instigated a Massive Demographic Reshuffling, Accelerating the Transformation of Retail, and Why Real Estate Will Become the Largest Consumer of Climate Tech. In this episode, we cover:

  • The world becomes more flat over time, and w/ mobility tech, like Uber and others, the distance between points shortens over time, which all fundamentally disrupts urban planning of the cities themselves but also the suburbs and beyond... now we're in a situation where a wild card factor comes into play... this pandemic... that has altered how people live and work more fundamentally than ever expected?
  • First off... trends where you will deploy dollars?
  • Do we go back to a primarily in-office environment post-covid? why or why not?
  • Have you seen more value creation or more value destruction, in real estate, from the pandemic?
  • What strategies will cities implement to stay competitive post-covid? 
  • We have a new administration in office... How do you think this affects real estate and your strategy at Fifth Wall?
  • Climate issues and the net carbon effect of construction on the planet... is technology the primary solution to these issues, or is it even more basic than that?
  • Financial side or real estate, construction and AEC side, there's the post-construction in-service opportunities/retrofits for buildings whether residential, commercial or industrial... what part are you spending the most time in and do you feel there's the biggest gap between current state and desired state?
  • What are the most common mistakes founders make when building in this sector?



Direct download: brendan_tfr.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

On this special segment of The Full Ratchet, the following Investors are featured:

  • Ben Casnocha
  • Elizabeth Yin
  • Ed Sim
  • Tim Guleri

Each investor discusses sectors, drivers and/or trends that may have significant impact in the future and are potentially positioned for outsized-returns.

Direct download: Investor_Stories_186.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:04am EDT