1,184 episodes

The Twenty Minute VC (20VC) interviews the world's greatest venture capitalists with prior guests including Sequoia's Doug Leone and Benchmark's Bill Gurley. Once per week, 20VC Host, Harry Stebbings is also joined by one of the great founders of our time with prior founder episodes from Spotify's Daniel Ek, Linkedin's Reid Hoffman, and Snowflake's Frank Slootman.

If you would like to see more of The Twenty Minute VC (20VC), head to www.20vc.com for more information on the podcast, show notes, resources and more.

The Twenty Minute VC (20VC): Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch Harry Stebbings

    • Business
    • 4.4 • 152 Ratings

The Twenty Minute VC (20VC) interviews the world's greatest venture capitalists with prior guests including Sequoia's Doug Leone and Benchmark's Bill Gurley. Once per week, 20VC Host, Harry Stebbings is also joined by one of the great founders of our time with prior founder episodes from Spotify's Daniel Ek, Linkedin's Reid Hoffman, and Snowflake's Frank Slootman.

If you would like to see more of The Twenty Minute VC (20VC), head to www.20vc.com for more information on the podcast, show notes, resources and more.

    20Sales: Biggest Lessons Scaling Hubspot from $0-$100M in ARR, The Framework for How Startups Should Scale into the Enterprise, How to do Channel Partnerships Right and How to Construct Sales Comp Plans Early On with Mark Roberge

    20Sales: Biggest Lessons Scaling Hubspot from $0-$100M in ARR, The Framework for How Startups Should Scale into the Enterprise, How to do Channel Partnerships Right and How to Construct Sales Comp Plans Early On with Mark Roberge

    Mark Roberge is a Co-Founder and Managing Director at Stage 2 Capital and a Senior Lecturer at the Harvard Business School. Prior to these roles, Mark was the founding CRO at HubSpot, where he scaled ARR from $0 to $100 million and expanded his team from 1 to 450 employees. Mark was ranked #19 in Forbes' Top 30 Social Sellers in the World. He was also awarded the 2010 Salesperson of the Year at the MIT Sales Conference.

    In Today's Episode with Mark Roberge We Discuss:
    1. Biggest Lessons Scaling Hubspot to $100M in ARR:

    What are Mark's biggest lessons in what worked in their sales strategy in scaling to $100M in ARR? What elements of Hubspot's sales strategy did not work? What would he have done differently with the benefit of hindsight? What does Mark know now that he wishes he had known when he started at Hubspot?
    2. How the Best Startups Scale into Enterprise:

    What are the single biggest mistakes startups make when scaling into enterprise? When is the right time? What do founders get most wrong on timing of scale into enterprise? What do you need to have in place both from a team and product perspective to make the transition?
    3. Second Product and Second Channel:

    When is the right time to launch the second product? Why does Mark believe that you should be turning down customers in the early days? Why is not every customer right for your company? How does Mark think about channel diversification? Does Mark agree you only need one channel to scale to $50M in ARR and two to scale to $100M in ARR?
    4. 99% of SaaS Founders Do Partnerships Wrong:

    What are the single biggest mistakes founders make when doing channel partnerships? What can and should they do to set channel partnerships up for success? What do the channel partners need to have to be equipped to sell the partner solution? What level of buy-in and from who on the channel partner side is needed for the partnership to be successful? What did Mark learn from Hubspot's partnership with Salesforce scaling to 10% of Hubspot's revenue?  

    • 40 min
    20VC: ServiceTitan Would Not Be the Success if We Raised VC Earlier: How to Build a Dominant Vertical SaaS Business, How to Master Going Into Enterprise, When & How to Launch Second Products with Ara Mahdessian, Co-Founder @ServiceTitan

    20VC: ServiceTitan Would Not Be the Success if We Raised VC Earlier: How to Build a Dominant Vertical SaaS Business, How to Master Going Into Enterprise, When & How to Launch Second Products with Ara Mahdessian, Co-Founder @ServiceTitan

    Ara Mahdessian is the Co-Founder and CEO @ ServiceTitan, one of the great vertical SaaS business of the last decade. Today the company powers over 11,800 trade customers and has raised over $1.4BN from some of the best including Bessemer, Battery, Index, ICONIQ and more. Their latest valuation pegged the business at a reported $7.3BN.

    In Today's Episode with Ara Mahdessian We Discuss:
    1. We Did Not Want To Raise VC Money:

    Why did Ara not want to raise VC funding in the early days? What convinced Ara to change his mind? Why did he choose Byron and Bessemer? Does Ara believe that ServiceTitan would have been the success that it is, if it had raised in today's market, a $5M on $25M seed round? What would they have done differently?
    2. How to Master Going Upmarket:

    What are Ara's biggest lessons on what it takes to go upmarket? How does the product need to change? How does the org of the company change? When is the right time to go upmarket? What did ServiceTitan get wrong in their move into enterprise? What did Ara learn from this?
    3. How to Build a Brand in SaaS and Have Premium Pricing:

    What are some of Ara's biggest lessons in how to build the best brand in vertical SaaS? What works in brand building in SaaS? What does not? What would he do differently? What have been Ara's biggest lessons on pricing? ServiceTitan is 3x their competitors, how does Ara think about what is required to have such premium pricing?
    4. How to Master the Second Product & Be the Best at Customer Success:

    When is the right time to do a second product? Why is it too late to wait for PMF with your first product to do the second product? What product did ServiceTitan wait too long to release? What did they learn? What product did they release too early? What did they learn? What are the two core reasons why customer success is the most important element in a business?
    5. The Core Pillars of Great Leadership:

    Why do product builder founders have such an increased chance of success in startups? Why do you have to have expertise in the domain you are hiring for to hire the best? What does truly great leadership mean to Ara today? How has his style of leadership changed? What has Ara learned from soccer that he has applied to being a CEO?  

    • 51 min
    20VC: The Sequoia Investment Process | Investing Lessons from Doug Leone, Roelof Botha & Alfred Lin | Sequoia's Framework for Analysing Founders | The True Benefit of Having Sequoia on a Cap Table & Sequoia's Biggest Threat with Pat Grady

    20VC: The Sequoia Investment Process | Investing Lessons from Doug Leone, Roelof Botha & Alfred Lin | Sequoia's Framework for Analysing Founders | The True Benefit of Having Sequoia on a Cap Table & Sequoia's Biggest Threat with Pat Grady

    Pat Grady is one of the most successful growth investors of the last decade. As the Head of Sequoia's growth investing practice, Pat has invested in companies with a combined market cap exceeding $250BN. Among Pat's immense portfolio is Hubspot, Snowflake, ServiceNow, Okta, Amplitude, Zoom and Qualtrics. Pat is also one of the best acquirers of talent in venture hiring Andrew Reed, Matt Huang, Julien Bek.

    In Today's Episode with Pat Grady We Discuss:
    1. The Sequoia Investment Process:

    What is the Sequoia investment process today? How has it changed over time? What could be improved about the process? Where is it weak? What is the biggest strength of the process? How do Sequoia remove politics from the investment decision-making process? Are the best deals "contrarian"? What does Pat mean when he says you do not "get extra points for being contrarian and right"?
    2. What Sequoia Look for When Investing:

    What is Pat's framework for assessing founders? How does it differ when investing early vs late? Team, traction, TAM, how does Pat rank the three when investing? What have been Pat's biggest lessons on market sizing? Does Pat take market timing risk? How much weight does Pat place on "traction" when investing? How sustainable is PMF?
    3. The Three Core Pillars of Venture:

    Sourcing: What does Pat rank Sequoia for sourcing? Who is the best at sourcing in the firm? Selecting: How does Pat rank Sequoia at picking? How has it changed over time? What could Sequoia do to improve their picking ability? Servicing: What does Pat give Sequoia for their "value add"? To what extent does Pat truly believe that venture investors do add value?
    4. Pat Grady: AMA:

    Pat has hired some of the best in the next generation of venture investors; what are his biggest lessons in what he looks for when hiring investing talent? What is his single biggest takeaway from working with Alfred Lin, Roelof Botha and Doug Leone? What are his biggest takeaways from working with Hubspot, Snowflake and ServiceNow?  

    • 1 hr 8 min
    20VC: Turning a $15M Investment in Monday into $1.5BN in Cash | The Strategy Behind a 37x DPI $45M Fund | The Three Step Process to Selling Positions that has Netted Top Percentile Returns with Avi Eyal, Co-Founder @ Entrée Capital

    20VC: Turning a $15M Investment in Monday into $1.5BN in Cash | The Strategy Behind a 37x DPI $45M Fund | The Three Step Process to Selling Positions that has Netted Top Percentile Returns with Avi Eyal, Co-Founder @ Entrée Capital

    Avi Eyal is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Entrée Capital, an early-stage VC fund with a portfolio including the likes of Monday.com, Stripe, Coupang, PillPack, and Snap. From their $15M investment into Monday, Entrée distributed a whopping $1.5BN, one of their $45M funds is a whopping 37x DPI. Avi is one of the greatest venture investors you might not have heard about.

    In Today's Episode with Avi Eyal We Discuss:
    1. The Biggest BS "Rules" in Venture Capital:

    Why does Avi believe that it is BS for every deal to need to be a homerun and return the fund? Why does Avi believe that signalling is real and it is BS to suggest otherwise? Why does Avi believe that it is BS that ownership is crucial to make mega venture returns? Why does Avi believe that you do not have to win every deal to be one of the best in venture? Why should venture investors not manage the positions of their companies when they go public? Why is it BS to think they have asymmetric information when the company goes public?
    2. What Makes the Best Founders:

    Does Avi prefer first or second time entrepreneurs? Why? Would Avi rather back a founder that is an expert in a market or one that is new to a market and has the naivety to not know what is hard? Are the best CEOs the best fundraisers? How does Avi rank the following when investing; team, market, traction and technology? When Avi has misread a founder, what was it that he missed?
    3. The Biggest Hits and Biggest Misses:

    Monday: How did Entrée build such a large position in Monday over time? How did a Series A lead dropping out leading to a $1.5BN gain for Entree? Stripe: Entrée has now 50% of his Stripe position. Why? What is the three step process for Avi in selling positions? How does he know when to and what is the right amount? PillPack: Entrée made $15M from PillPack's exit. What did that teach Avi about ownership? Cazoo: How was Entrée the only one to make money from Cazoo? How did Entrée's sell strategy help him make millions when everyone else did not sell?  

    • 58 min
    20VC: LLMs Are Reaching a Stage of Diminishing Returns: What is the Next S Curve | The Bull & Bear Case for China's Ability to Challenge the US' AI Capabilities | How AI Changes the Future of War & How Agents Will Reshape Society with Matt Clifford @ EF

    20VC: LLMs Are Reaching a Stage of Diminishing Returns: What is the Next S Curve | The Bull & Bear Case for China's Ability to Challenge the US' AI Capabilities | How AI Changes the Future of War & How Agents Will Reshape Society with Matt Clifford @ EF

    Matt Clifford is the Co-Founder of Entrepreneur First (EF), the leading global talent investor and incubator. EF has incubated startups worth over $10bn, including Cleo, Tractable and Aztec Protocol. Matt is also Chair of ARIA, the UK’s Advanced Research and Invention Agency, and advises the UK government on AI and in 2023 served as the Prime Minister’s Representative for the AI Safety Summit at Bletchley Park.

    In Today's Episode with Matt Clifford We Discuss:
    1. The Most Important Questions in AI:

    Are we seeing diminishing returns where more compute does not lead to a significant increase in performance? What is required to reach a new S curve? What do we need to see in GPT 5? Why does Matt believe that search is one of the biggest opportunities in AI today?
    2. The Biggest Opportunities in AI Today:

    How does Matt see the future for society with a world of autonomous agents? What is the single biggest opportunity around agents that no one has solved? Is society ready for agentic behaviours to replace the core of human labour? How does warfare change in a world of AI? Does AI favour states and good actors or criminals and bad actors more favourably when it comes to offence and defence?
    3. China and the Race to Win the AI War:

    Does Matt believe that China are two years behind the US in terms of AI capability? What are Matt's biggest lessons from spending time with the CPP in China working on AI policy? In what way is the CCP more sophisticated in their thinking on AI than people think? What is the bull and the bear case for China in the race for AI? What is the core impact of US export controls on chips for China's ability to build in AI? Does a Trump vs a Biden election change the playing field with China?
    4. What Makes Truly Great Founders:

    Does Matt agree that the best founders always start an entrepreneurial activity when they are young? What is more important the biggest strength of one of the founders or the combined skills of the founding team? What did EF believe about founders and founder chemistry that they no longer believe? Does Matt believe that everyone can be a founder? What are the two core traits required?  

    • 1 hr 2 min
    20VC: Raising $126M Across 3 Rounds in Just 6 Months, Being the Youngest Founder of a Unicorn Company | But Everything Was Not as it Seemed: The Real Story of Vise: The Regrets, Mistakes and Mis-Hires with Vise's Samir Vasavada

    20VC: Raising $126M Across 3 Rounds in Just 6 Months, Being the Youngest Founder of a Unicorn Company | But Everything Was Not as it Seemed: The Real Story of Vise: The Regrets, Mistakes and Mis-Hires with Vise's Samir Vasavada

    Samir Vasavada is the Co-Founder & CEO of Vise, a technology-powered asset manager. Samir and his co-founder, Runik founded Vise from the Midwest at 16 years old. They bootstrapped the company before dropping out of high school and raising $128M in just 6 months from some of the best including Sequoia Capital and Founders Fund. The company achieved unicorn status when the pair turned 20 years old, making them the youngest founders of a $BN company at the time.

    In Today's Episode with Samir Vasavada We Discuss:
    1. The Biggest Hiring Mistakes That Broke Us:

    Why is hiring people who come with a playbook one of the most damaging things you can do? Why is it impossible to build a remote company that performs the same as in person? Why is it the worst thing to hire people who have a reputation they are obsessed with maintaining? Why do you never want to hire people who join because of who your investors are? Why does Samir regret not firing people faster? How much time is enough time to know? Why is hiring in a hot market one of the most dangerous things you can do?
    2. Fundraising: 3 Rounds and $126M in 6 Months:

    Does Samir regret raising so much money so soon in the company life? What did Samir do that he regrets doing, having had so much money so early? How did the need for free food at an event lead to a term sheet and $50M from Sequoia? Did Samir feel that he could talk to investors when things were going really badly? Why does Samir believe that liquidation preference matters more than valuation?
    3. The Depression, The Pressure and Wisdom From Jensen Huang:

    What did Jensen Huang teach Samir when it comes to wealth and leadership? How did Samir deal with the pressure of raising $126M in 6 months and being the youngest unicorn founder, ever at the time? Was Samir hurt when people he thought were his friends, no longer stuck with him when the company was no longer "hot"? What was Samir's darkest time? How did he overcome and get out of it? Does Samir blame his parents for the pressure they put on him from such a young age?  

    • 59 min

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152 Ratings

ExamStudyExpert ,

Phenomenal advice for founders and start ups

An incredible line up of guests, skilfully interviewed to extract the secrets of success to building a high growth start up today.

TheAlchemist01 ,

Everything wrong with tech today

Privilege breeding Privilege…this guy has no clue about the work it takes to build a business from the group and even less of start-ups…

BizBoz415 ,

host gives me a headache

I get a headache listening to the host. maybe there’s some good content but i couldn’t get that far

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