48 episodes

Host Bill Griesinger brings an informed, unbiased and unique historical perspective to the venture capital and high-tech world. Drawing on over 20 years in venture finance, working with tech companies and venture capitalists, he offers an unfiltered and transparent view of the venture capital & high-tech universe.

Distilling Venture Capital Bill Griesinger

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 7 Ratings

Host Bill Griesinger brings an informed, unbiased and unique historical perspective to the venture capital and high-tech world. Drawing on over 20 years in venture finance, working with tech companies and venture capitalists, he offers an unfiltered and transparent view of the venture capital & high-tech universe.

    Episode 027 - Jonathan Hung, Angel Investor - Los Angeles, CA

    Episode 027 - Jonathan Hung, Angel Investor - Los Angeles, CA

    Introduction
    Welcome to Distilling Venture Capital.  I am your host, Bill Griesinger; Distilling VC is a visionary podcast that provides an insightful and informed view of the key trends affecting the VC and tech startup world.  It is your podcast for Fintech, Decentralized Finance, Blockchain and Smart Contracts, Digital Banking and all the frontier technologies that are changing the financial landscape globally.  Episode Introduction:
    Welcome back everyone.  We have a fantastic program for you today.  I am excited about today´s conversation because I have the pleasure of welcoming to the podcast Jonathan Hung; Jonathan is a successful and accomplished angel investor based in Los Angeles.  He is considered one of the most active angel investors in Southern California.  In addition, he serves as Co-Managing Partner at Unicorn Venture Partners and Senior Venture Partner and Head of Due Diligence at Expert Dojo.  We´ll get into that and a lot more.  Jonathan, thank you for making the time to be on the podcast today;  
    So, before we dig into the meat of your work as an angel investor and venture partner, we typically begin by having you provide your background and details about your journey, more broadly, that led you into technology and angel investing…  
    In addition to providing venture capital funding and advisory support, Jonathan also provides business mentorship based on his experience running U.S. and China offices as the President of United Overseas Textile Corporation.  Jonathan was also a Managing Member for his family office fund, J Heart Ventures, which made investments in start-up companies such as Gyft, ChowNow, Miso Robotics, Clover Health, Bitmain, etc.    
    He also leverages various degrees from the University of Southern California, London School of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
    Topic Areas Covered with Jonathan
    Your investing history in So. Cal and types of sectors, companies you look for; Jonathan and his team target investments in US companies that have global market potential with a focus on long-term growth expansion to East Asian markets. I´d like to highlight some of the Blog topics you cover on your website with respect to: Covered liquidity runway (cash) and monthly cash burn rate Gross Margins Monthly Recurring Revenue Operating Income/Net Income Web 3.0 and its role in future of startups; touching on blockchain, smart contracts, DeFi etc.  10 key metrics you look for in evaluating prospective investment Alternative funding strategies SPACs and SPVs;  Distinguish between the two.  Also, particularly since SPACs were all the rage in 2020-2021 but as a sector haven´t done well as public companies Your views on Leadership and Successful team building Other areas you would like to cover;  
    Closing Remarks:
    Jonathan, thank you very much for joining me today on the program…
     
    Jonathan, how can those who are interested in learning more about you and your practice in So. California get in touch?
     
    Contact Information
    Website:  jonathanhung.com Social Media (if applicable):   Or, Linkedin: Jonathan Hung  
    Thank you for joining me for this edition of DVC.  I hope you found today’s discussion with Jonathan Hung interesting and it gave you some additional insights into the state of angel investing in So. California and beyond.  
     
    Stay tuned for my next Episode of DVC…thank you.

    • 46 min
    Episode 026 - Alex Branton, Partner Sturgeon Capital, London

    Episode 026 - Alex Branton, Partner Sturgeon Capital, London

    Introduction
    Welcome to Distilling Venture Capital.  I am your host, Bill Griesinger; Distilling VC is a visionary podcast that provides an insightful and informed view of the key trends affecting the VC and tech startup world.  This is your podcast for Fintech, Decentralized Finance, Blockchain and Smart Contracts, Digital Banking and all the frontier technologies that are changing the financial landscape globally. Episode Introduction:
    Welcome back everyone.  We have a fantastic program for you today.  Today, I have the privilege welcoming back to the podcast Sturgeon Capital, when we did an interview early part of 2021 Sturgeon Capital is a London-based investment firm with a very interesting, and successful, I might add, geographic strategy; Sturgeon was established in 2016 to specifically to tap into vast opportunities its team has identified in Central Asia;  So, think of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and in adjacent regions such as Bangladesh, Egypt, Turkey;  We´re going to get into all of that and a lot more.  To help me do that I have the pleasure of welcoming Alex Branton, a Partner at Sturgeon.  Alex, thank you very much for making the time to be on the program today. Before we get into the meat of what Sturgeon Capital is doing, I find it useful for listeners if you could provide your background, and your journey, more broadly, that led to the founding of Sturgeon;  Alex Branton Bio:  Over a decade of investment industry experience with a blend of direct investment experience and fundraising expertise. Studied, lived and worked in emerging markets (most significantly China and Central Asia) on and off for 15 years. Whilst maintaining a vital role on the investment team, spends significant time working with companies on their fundraising and strategic partnerships. Before Sturgeon, part of a 4-person team, that helped build a tech-focused asset manager called Columbus Point with the co-founder of Cantillon in the capacity of head of business development, raising approximately $200m, building the operational infrastructure and working with the investment team. Prior to this, was an Associate Investment Director at Cambridge Associates working in the emerging markets team, advising on direct co-investment deals, economic consulting, financial modelling, and portfolio advisory and discretionary management.  Alex holds a BA in Industrial Economics from the University of Nottingham (during which time he also spent time studying finance at Hong Kong University) and an MSc in Development (specialism in Development Economics) from the London School of Economics. He is also a chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA) and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese having studied in a post-graduate in Shanghai and has taken R programming courses at UCL.
    History of Sturgeon, why founded with this vision for frontier markets in Central Asia?  What is a “frontier market” according to Sturgeon?  Your website indicates “we reject traditional definitions of ‘frontier markets’ – expand on this…  Sturgeon invests at an early stage (Seed and A round) in technology across huge untapped geographies ~$275m AuM across our venture fund and inaugural growth equity mandate Raising our second early-stage VC Fund Sturgeon Opportunities II ($50m) The TAMs in our addressable markets are so big you don´t need an Excel spreadsheet. Our companies target massive addressable markets that are highly fragmented or otherwise dominated by bad (or often non-existent) incumbents that are not capable of technological innovation.  We don’t speculate on “frontier technologies”, rather we focus on tried and tested business models in ``frontier`` markets. You are now raising capital for the Sturgeon Emerging Oppor. Fund II.  Target of $50MM 80% of the portfolio will be comprised of companies from emerging tech capitals in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt & Central Asia representing well over 500 million people. When including adjac

    • 31 min
    Episode 025 - João Zecchin, Founder Fuse Capital

    Episode 025 - João Zecchin, Founder Fuse Capital

    Introduction
    Welcome to Distilling Venture Capital.  I am your host, Bill Griesinger, Distilling VC is a visionary podcast that provides an insightful and informed view of the key trends affecting the VC and tech startup world.  This is your podcast for Fintech, Decentralized Finance, Blockchain and Smart Contracts, Digital Banking and all the frontier technologies that are changing the financial landscape globally.  
    Episode Introduction:
    Welcome back everyone.  I am really excited about today´s conversation because we`re going to chat with a very innovative investment firm, known as Fuse Capital, based in Rio de Janeiro, that is changing the Inv. Fund Model for investing in early-stage and growth stage technology companies with an interesting approach, and has also created a new fund that provides dedicated exposure to DeFi (Decentralized Finance) for institutional investors.  We´re going to get into all of that and more… To help me do that, I have the pleasure of welcoming to the program, João Zecchin, Founder at Fuse Capital.   João, thank you very much for making the time to be on the podcast today…  
    So, before we dig into the meat of all the innovative structures Fuse Capital is offering to its investors and the market, I usually find it useful for our listeners to understand a bit about your background and your journey, more broadly, that ultimately set the stage for founding of Fuse Capital.  Tell us a bit about your journey that led you into technology, investing in tech companies…    
    Topic Areas Covered 
    Talk about the origins of Fuse Capital and then the how you arrived at the strategy that led to Fuse Capital I Fund – 1st hybrid fund, offering not only equity to early stage companies but a venture debt product, as well.  This a unique approach to someone like me who spent 20 years+ in the venture debt space. Can you give some examples of venture debt deals you´ve done?  I understand most or all of the debt deals you´ve done are not portfolio companies where you have an existing equity investment, correct? Mix in the Fund - When one looks at Fuse Capital I Fund, what is the % of Fund assets are made up of Venture Debt vs Equity? What´s the typical structure of a venture debt deal?  Term Loan, advance based on multiple of MRR? Return profile for venture debt deals?  Provides current income to investors thru monthly P&I pmts.? Risk management and portfolio management processes for the debt deals? Target sectors, target geographies for venture debt deals?  For debt deals, talk about that deal process and how you credit underwrite and diligence deals  
    Let´s talk about the newly created fund, The Wasabi Fund, which provides exposure to DeFi for Inst. Investors;  When was the Fund launched?  Thinking/Strategy that led to the offering? Tell us how you define DeFi and what does exposure to DeFi mean or entail?  Mechanics, details of how the fund is structured and works… You don´t actually provide exposure directly to stable coins themselves, right? Main Strategies Offered;  Liquidity staking, Lending, Futures, Leverage; Anticipated yields – Examples (20% - 40%) Risk mitigation features and strategies? I had a question about one of your Regulatory Risk mitigation strategies:   Underweight allocation to centralized stable coins;  Is this referring to USDT, USDC?  Given the some of the negative blowups recently (e.g., Terra-Luna; UST debacle), how do you assess and diligence what projects to include in terms of DeFi projects and protocols?   Because this blow-up has broken trust in the sector – even though there are many solid projects that are decentralized… The DeFi Fund is structured such that it does not necessarily include direct exposure to the underlying stable coins of projects, is that correct?  
     
    Closing Remarks
    What is a good way for those seeking additional information about Fuse Capital to get in touch?  Website – www.fuse.ca

    • 53 min
    Episode 024 - Slater Victoroff, Founder & CTO Indico

    Episode 024 - Slater Victoroff, Founder & CTO Indico

    Introduction
    Welcome to Distilling Venture Capital.  I am your host, Bill Griesinger, Distilling VC is a visionary podcast that provides an insightful and informed view of the key trends affecting the VC and tech startup world.  This is your podcast for Fintech, Decentralized Finance, Blockchain and Smart Contracts, Digital Banking and all the frontier technologies that are changing the financial landscape globally.    
    We will start here -
    Episode Introduction:
    Welcome back everyone.  I am really amped and excited about today´s conversation because I have the pleasure of welcoming to the program Slater Victoroff, Founder and CTO of Indico. Indico is the leading machine learning, and AI platform that has developed technology to unlock the value of unstructured data, about 85% of all data, providing enterprises with the ability to automate heavily time-consuming tasks and derive value from unstructured docs like emails, images, texts and more. The Indico Platform uses AI and ML technology to automate the intake and understanding of unstructured documents, emails, images, videos, audio files, and much more, giving structure to this unstructured data. As a result, enterprises get much more value from their existing structured data only software and technologies — including RPA, CRM, ERP, Analytics, and more.  
    We´re going to get into that and more…Slater, thank you for making the time to be on the show today…  
    Before we dig into the meat of what Indico is really all about, I thought it would be useful if you could tell us a bit about your background and about your journey, more broadly, that ultimately set the stage for founding of Indico…  
     
     
    Topic Areas Covered with Slater Victoroff 
     
    Talk about your training, background and work in SW and computer engineering that led to the development of the technology and Indico Talk about the technology development from SW engineering standpoint to achieve this breakthrough related to being able to analyze, automate unstructured data.  In the past (2016), you previously stated that Indico is `` like a co-pilot in some ways`` indicating ``We´re not automating away the person but taking the grunt work out of processes, allowing them to do much more what they enjoy doing, which is critical thinking.``   Expand upon what you mean by that.  
    Let´s talk about some of the actual use-case applications of the technology.  You serve major, marquis customers in the Insurance, Financial Services, Real Estate, Legal, Marketing, Retail, and other huge verticals.  Discuss some client use cases.  MetLife, etc. Why have you succeeded where others have failed?  How has Indico been able to beat out juggernauts such as IBM, Google, AWS, that spend billions on projects?  
    I wanted to talk for a moment about your martial arts training and background.  In the past you indicated that Entreprenuership and martial arts training have parallels.  What do you mean by that? At the end of 2020 Indico closed a $22M Series B round.  You´ve raised about $34M in total.  How do you view or see the need regarding additional capital?  
     
     
    Closing Remarks
     
    Slater, what is a good way for those seeking additional information about Indico to get in touch?  Website – www.indicodata.ai Other contact methods?  
     
    Thank you for joining me for this edition of DVC.  I hope you found our discussion today with Slater Victoroff and Indico interesting and it gave you new insights and things to think about regarding machine learning, AI and its application to unstructured data.  I look forward to joining you on my next edition of DVC.  Thank You…

    • 45 min
    Episode 023 - Jeremy Neilson, Founder & CEO Assure

    Episode 023 - Jeremy Neilson, Founder & CEO Assure

    Introduction
    Welcome to Distilling Venture Capital.  I am your host, Bill Griesinger, Distilling VC is a visionary podcast that provides an insightful and informed view of the key trends affecting the VC and tech startup world.  This is your podcast for Fintech, Decentralized Finance, Blockchain and Smart Contracts, Digital Banking and all the frontier technologies that are changing the financial landscape globally.  
    We will start here -
    Episode Introduction:
    Welcome back everyone.  I am really excited about today´s program because I have the pleasure of welcoming to the program Jeremy Neilson, Co-Founder and CEO of Assure Assure specializes in Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) and Fund Administration for the private investment marketplace, simplifying the deal process and fund administration so funds can focus on finding deals and building relationships.  We´re going to get into that and more…Jeremy, thank you for making the time to be on the show today…  
    Before we dig into the meat of what Assure is really all about, I thought it would be useful if you could tell us a bit about your background and about your journey, more broadly, that ultimately led you to co-founding of Assure.  
     
    Topic Areas Covered with Jeremy Neilson
     
    Talk about the Assure business model, when and why it was created, how it has evolved over the years, etc. Talk about the service offerings, SPVs, etc. Why SPVs?   What is it, how does it work, who utilizes SPVs? Expand on your competitive advantages and differentiation in the marketplace;   No other service provider can match Assure’s expertise, speed or cost-effectiveness in delivering SPVs to the private investment community.  How do you assess or look at the competitive landscape for Fund services?   Who else is doing this…?  
    Assure acquired BoomStartup and also launched both Glassboard Technology and Assure Syndicates.   When were the acquisitions done? What is the function of each entity? How do they broaden your services and offerings?  
    Jeremy, in addition to Assure and its services I´d love to hear your thoughts and remarks on other topics in the VC and priv. investment landscape in general if you are open to opining on them;
    How do you look at SPACs and explosion of SPAC activity over the last 18-24 months How has the VC model and landscape evolved and changed over the last 10-15-20 years? How do you see what´s going on in DeFi broadly affecting the VC model?    In terms of the many options for how start-up companies can raise capital today, ? Other opinions and remarks you have on DeFi are welcome.   Open to other areas you would like to discuss that are important to describing Assure and the industry.  
    Closing Remarks
     
    Jeremy, what is a good way for those seeking additional information about Assure to get in touch?  Website – www.assure.co Other contact methods?  
     
    Thank you for joining me for this edition of DVC.  I hope you found our discussion today with Jeremy Neilson and Assure interesting and it gave you insights into SPVs, fund administration services and their importance in the marketplace to VCs and private equity.  I look forward to joining you on my next edition of DVC.  Thank You…

    • 40 min
    Episode 022 - James Bianco, President & Founder; Bianco Research, Chicago; DeFi – Decentralized Finance

    Episode 022 - James Bianco, President & Founder; Bianco Research, Chicago; DeFi – Decentralized Finance

    Episode Introduction:
    Welcome back everyone.  I am really excited about today´s program because we are going to do a deep-dive and explore DeFi – Decentralized Finance, a topic you hear much about but may have little insights into what this frontier technology is all about and what its true impact will be on the future of global finance. To help me do this I have the pleasure of welcoming to the show Jim Bianco who is the President and Founder of Bianco Research, LLC in Chicago.  Jim is someone I consider a visionary thought leader on the DeFi sector.   Jim, thank you so much for making the time to be on the podcast today… So, before we dig into the meat of what DeFi is really all about, I thought it would be useful if you could tell us a bit about your background and about your journey, more broadly, that ultimately led to take a bullish stance toward DeFi.  Mainly because you have this traditional Wall Street, I-bank research background.  Tell us how the long-time, traditional finance guy goes actively pro-DeFi… Topic Areas to be covered
    After introduction and you provide your background, I´d like to get into the following…
    In prior commentary, you stated you came to the realization that DeFi is a `brand new financial system.´  Expand on this revelation and what drew you to this conclusion. You have previously stated, Existing financial system is slow, cumbersome, has way too many permissions required,  ´I basically have to beg my broker to do stuff´, it´s a series of toll booths´ ´Current system is in trouble.  Many in financial world don´t get it and they don´t want to get it.´ ´You are going to look like a bunch of taxi drivers in a ride-sharing world.´ I tell people about DeFi;  ´It will come here and completely flatten you.´         Jim:  DeFi is also about fairness…You and I don´t get the Warren Buffet deals.  With DeFi we get exactly the same deal Jim discusses ´qualified investors´ if you have over $1M net worth, `what an insult´ You´ve previously segmented your clientele in two broad categories, ´Young and Old´ discuss what you mean by this with respect to understanding the impact of DeFi. Why does Warrant Buffet call crypto rat poison squared? Regulatory issues:  Impact of central bank´s own digital currencies…expand on what you see going on here and why it´s not really DeFi… Jim:  ´A CBDC, if done correctly, presents a financial threat to the existing financial system´…and in the end, they won´t do that b/c it bypasses the current banking system all together Jim:  ´It´s not about technology or whether we have the design right – it´s about policy – how much do we want to disrupt the current banking system?´ Regulation:  Problems regulators have, they don´t understand what´s going on in the DeFi industry…´It´s a Cambrian explosion of ideas End of the day, I don´t know what regulators can do except regulate the ´On-and-Off Ramps´ (Uniswap, Kracken, etc.)  i.e. – how do I get dollars to crypto and crypto back to dollars To the Regulators, ´what are you trying to do?´   I see where we are going and it´s exciting and an explosion of ideas… Closing Remarks
    James, what is a good way for those seeking additional information about Bianco Research to get in touch?  Website – www.biancoresearch.com Thank you for joining me for this edition of DVC.  I hope you found our discussion today with Jim Bianco interesting and it gave you better insights into what DeFi is really all about and what it means for the future of finance globally.  I look forward to joining you on my next edition of DVC.  Thank You…

    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
7 Ratings

7 Ratings

stephen•ph ,

murkiness made simple and clear

Great VC explanations and advice communicated in simple and clear fashion. Includes references and further reading/viewing. Thankfully doesn't include ads; fluff; or long, loud guitar solos.
Bring us more please.

StarkMR ,

Powerful Tool for Entrepreneurs

One word. Wow. Mark King has quickly amassed a dynamic and diverse library of entrepreneurial wisdom...from raising and structuring venture capital to assembling teams and boards to recognizing critical market signposts, this is the new must have reference "podcast" for any early stage CEO looking to enhance their chance of success. bravo.

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