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

Tsune Shirota of World Innovation Lab joins Nick to discuss Tech Competition between China, Japan, and Korea, Why IT is King in Japan, and When American Tech Should Expand to Asia.

Other topics include the transition from manual services to software, B2B buying behavior in the US vs Japan, determining the shape of your S-Curve, and best markets - determined by need and distribution.

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The host of The Full Ratchet is Nick Moran, General Partner of New Stack Ventures, a venture capital firm committed to investing in the exceptions.

To learn more about New Stack Ventures by visiting our Website and LinkedIn and be sure to follow us on Twitter.

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Direct download: TFR_Tsune_Shirota.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EDT

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

  • Reid Christian
  • Glenn Rockman
  • Spencer Maughan
  • Billy Libby

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

Direct download: IS198.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EDT

Ben Sun of Primary Venture Partners joins Nick to discuss Distribution vs. Product, Founders vs. Markets, and Winning Deals in a Hyper-Competitive Seed Market. In this episode, we cover:

  • Can you tell us a bit about your founder journey? 
  • What are your thoughts on the major differences and challenges now versus when you started a Community Connect?
  • Is there a bias at Primary toward consumer investments?
  • What region focus does Primary have?
  • Is Miami a viable tech center or is this hype?
  • What is the thesis at Primary?
  • What areas does the Primary team focus on (strategic, sweat equity, talent recruitment)?
  • How collaborative is that formative ideas stage between Primary and the entrepreneurs? I imagine, some of them come and they're ready to raise, and if it's a great fit, you invest, but in other circumstances, ideas may not be fully fleshed out. How much of a role do you play?
  • We've had many folks on the program that say, it's all about the market. The team is important, but there's sort of a base level of competence. Then many others say it's just all about the team and the best teams will find their way to the best markets. Where do you stand on that, and how does that square with kind of the way that you look at talent? 
  • Ben, you wrote this tweet, quote, there is no longer such a thing as proprietary deal flow in VC. It's now more about winning a deal versus picking a deal. You know, I'm curious, what has changed? Is it supply side of capital at seed? Is it other factors? What prompted the tweet?
  • So put you on the spot, what is the win rate at Primary? And why do y'all win, going head to head against other firms?
  • What do you know you need to get better at?
  • What is the best way for listeners to connect with you and follow along with Primary?
Direct download: TFR_Ben_Sun.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EDT

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

  • Nicole Quinn
  • Niko Bonatsos
  • Niki Pezeshki
  • Shawn Carolan

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

Direct download: IS197.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EDT

Amy Nauiokas of Anthemis Group joins Nick to discuss Embedded Finance, Community-based Fintech, the Demise of Legacy Institutions, and Driving Returns with a Diversity Investment Mandate. In this episode, we cover:

  • Tell us a bit about your background and your path to venture.
  • Anthemis. What is it? Tell us a bit about the thesis and what you guys do?
  • So where do you find yourself spending most of your time? 
  • Amy can you give us a quick primer on the difference between FinTech and tech fin?
  • What is your quick take on regulation? Are there still major obstacles that need to be overcome?
  • We've seen large tech in some ways abuse opportunity before in FinTech and in other areas, that I'd be curious to hear what your take is on sort of the established incumbent large legacy financial institutions. How do you see them adapt in order to capture value and attempt to maintain their position as well as direct access to customers?
  • Let's talk more about embedded finance. How do you think that may affect wealth management, investing brokerage going forward?
  • Let's talk a bit about banking as a service. Can you give us an overview of some of these banking as a service platforms and maybe an example of a non financial company? And, you know, maybe the initial offerings that they are incorporating to improve user experience for customers?
  • Is Anthemis looking at virtual assets?
  • What is Anthemis doing to promote diversity and underrepresentation in venture?
  • I suspect there's also a belief that investing in underrepresented folks in women can outperform not doing so is that is that part of the thesis or not?
  • There's been a lot of changes in dynamics going on in venture capital from Spats to huge players in the late rounds and non-VC and financial players entering. There's also the mega-rounds that are now entering early-stage investing. I'd love your quick take on any of those sorts of phenomena that are occurring in venture capital.
  • What do you know, you need to get better at?
  • What's the best way for listeners to connect with you and follow along with Anthemis?
Direct download: TFR_Amy_Nauiokas.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EDT

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

  • Paul Martino
  • David Goldberg
  • Maren Bannon
  • Neil Sequeira

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: IS196.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EDT

Billy Libby of Upper90 joins Nick to discuss Non-Dilutive Financing Options, Fintech is Eating the World, Digital Asset Aggregation, and Quants Investing in VC. In this episode, we cover:

  • Walk us through your background and path to VC.
  • What’s the thesis at Upper90?
  • On the website, it says "We are not looking to finance major technology disruptors but rather the derivative businesses being created around them." Can you explain what you mean by that?
  • How do you underwrite and assess the risk of some of these platform-dependent technologies (channel choke)? If you build businesses that are dependent on top of Facebook, for instance, or on top of Slack, or businesses related to the Amazon ecosystem, like Thrasio, how do you think about the risk of the platform deciding they no longer want to play nice with you?
  • What is the split of your fund - the equity versus the debt component?
  • And the terms of the debt, are there multiple different forms and different terms, or have you standardized that?
  • Do you do some debt in non-dilutive financing options for non-portfolio companies? Or is it always an investment plus the credit?
  • Do you include rights in some of those agreements to convert into equity should you choose?
  • We've seen a lot of players, sort of FinTech startup-ish players, springing up providing access to capital for working capital needs and credit needs. Like Pipe and Lighter cap and CapChase and all these players. How are you similar and different from them? And how do you think about that?
  • Is there ever a conflict, you know, when you're making an equity investment, but you also have debt in these companies? If they get in a tight situation? potential for conflicts?
  • You said that you'll enter at seed. Are there certain metrics or revenue levels that you're looking for other structural dynamics, whether it be collateral or SAS subscription revenue? What's too early would be another question.
  • There are a number of market makers here in Chicago that have entered sort of the VC asset class, what skills or strategies from your experience in your background? What do you think lends well, no pun intended, to driving top returns in venture?
  • Can we get your thoughts on big drivers and opportunities in FinTech over, let's say the coming three years.
  • What do you know, you need to get better at?
Direct download: TFR_Billy_Libby.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EDT

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

  • Eric Collins
  • Gigi Levy Weiss
  • Tim Guleri
  • Ben Casnocha

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

Direct download: IS195.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EDT