47 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 026 - Alex Branton, Partner Sturgeon Capital, London

    Episode 026 - Alex Branton, Partner Sturgeon Capital, London

    • 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
    Episode 021 - Oddup; FOCUS ON FINTECH; James Giancotti, Founder & CEO

    Episode 021 - Oddup; FOCUS ON FINTECH; James Giancotti, Founder & CEO

    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.  My mission is to cut through and go beyond the hype that tends to dominate the tech landscape.  And provide you with information you can use. Episode Introduction:
    Welcome back everyone.  I am excited about today´s program because I have the pleasure of welcoming to the show James Giancotti who is the Founder and CEO of a really interesting company called Oddup.   Oddup is a provider of a data-driven, intelligence platform that helps users more efficiently evaluate and understand the startup ecosystem and for digital assets it includes a proprietary Cryptocurrency Rating System.  Oddup provides users with powerful tools and proven methods of data collection and insights for making investment decisions in a more efficient manner…[My attempt at describing the co. and what you do…feel free to give me the succinct, company-preferred version] And, we´ll get into all of that in greater detail…. James, thank you for making the time to be with me on the podcast today… So, before we dig into the meat of what Oddup is and its key offerings, 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 the formation of Oddup… Topic Areas Covered:
    AI and data driven approach, what was the impetus, thesis for developing this into a company in the first place? What is the end-product offering actually and how has it evolved over time? Is it investment research on steroids…or how would you best describe it? Talk about the offerings in more detail;  What is the Startup Rating System, other offerings and services, i.e., Crypto-custody?  Talk about major Customers:  Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg, Google, etc. Key Partners? How would you assess the competitive landscape?  There seems to be a number of newer startups entering this space in different ways Competitive advantages of Oddup offering…Key Value proposition? ´Our main advantage is we have been right often on our valuation assessments which has given our tools and platform credibility as a go-to source.´  Particularly, more recently, we have been very accurate at assessing and valuing crypto and digital asset sectors. How do you get access to all of the detailed information and analysis for what are mostly private companies? Let´s discuss Forge Global, a major private exchange allowing investors to trade shares and evaluate secondary offerings of innovative private companies.  They also offer custody, tools and data in addition trading.  They announced a public offering via a SPAC in September.   Do you view them as an enabler, competitor or other? Is there an interesting story behind the company name? Discuss your recent equity round - $12.8MM Series C  We actually raised the round a year ago.  COVID and pandemic related factors kept us from announcing it until recently.  However, we used the proceeds to build really innovative and quality data analytics tools, especially in the crypto and digital asset sectors. Future plans for capital? Closing Remarks
    James, what is a good way for those seeking additional information about Oddup to get in touch?  Oddup website:  www.oddup.com Other contact methods you would like to include; Thank you for joining me for this edition of DVC.  I hope you found our discussion today with James Giancotti and Oddup interesting and it gave you things to think about regarding your ability to evaluate, analyze and invest in new economy companies.  I look forward to joining you on my next edition of DVC,  Thank You…
    Bio:
    James Giancotti, CEO and Co-founder Oddup
    James Giancotti is the founder and CEO of Oddup, an early-stage startup ecosystem rating system. James began his career in investment ba

    • 37 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.