84 episodes

The Podcast About Growth Startups. Co-Hosted by James Pringle, VC @ Portfolio Ventures and Hector Mason, Partner @ Episode 1 Ventures. Riding Unicorns dives into the operational side of building tech unicorns through interviews with the best founders and investors in the venture space. A must listen for any founder or aspiring founder.

Riding Unicorns Riding Unicorns

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

The Podcast About Growth Startups. Co-Hosted by James Pringle, VC @ Portfolio Ventures and Hector Mason, Partner @ Episode 1 Ventures. Riding Unicorns dives into the operational side of building tech unicorns through interviews with the best founders and investors in the venture space. A must listen for any founder or aspiring founder.

    S4E10 - Katie Marrache, Partner @ JamJar Investments

    S4E10 - Katie Marrache, Partner @ JamJar Investments

    Katie Marrache is a Partner at JamJar Ventures, a VC firm founded by the people behind the hugely popular Innocent drinks. Katie is the definition of a go-getter. Whilst at University she secured an internship with Dragons’ Den investor, James Caan, which saw her manage the entrepreneurs portfolio of consumer investments. After a short stint working in television Katie joined Innocent drinks as a category manager, which once again saw her manage an investment portfolio. In 2017 she made Partner and with it became Europe's youngest ever female venture capital partner.
    Speaking to Riding Unicorns Katie reflects on her career to date, how she as a VC quantifies the size of a market and the benefits of focusing on product. In what turned out to be a discussion full of fascinating insights and opinions James, Hector and Katie also go on to discuss the trends that most excite them in the consumer space and the marketing strategies they feel are most effective when going to market. 
    Make sure to like and subscribe to the Riding Unicorns podcast to never miss an episode. Also don't forget to give Riding Unicorns a follow on Twitter and LinkedIn to keep on top of the latest developments.

    • 37 min
    S4E9 - Kevin Diestel, Partner @ Sapphire Ventures

    S4E9 - Kevin Diestel, Partner @ Sapphire Ventures

    Kevin Diestel is a Partner at Sapphire Ventures, a venture capital firm that primarily invests in Series B technology companies. Before moving into private equity Kevin worked as an Analyst for Merrill Lynch. After two years working for the Investment Bank Kevin began working for Shamrock Capital Advisors, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm. During his time there he was responsible for evaluating investments in the media, entertainment and communications sectors. Having joined Sapphire in 2012 Kevin now focuses his time primarily on innovative consumer businesses and vertical software applications. Kevin holds a board seat at a number of companies including Culture Amp, Current, Degreed, project44, and Sun Basket. 
    In this episode Kevin starts off by explaining his role at Sapphire Ventures, his approach to investing and how he and his team deal with downturns in performance. Kevin also goes on to detail how he strikes a balance between intuition and data when investing. Finally James and Hector quiz Kevin on how he avoids bias during the decision making process and what the ultimate goal is for his career. 
    Make sure to like and subscribe to the Riding Unicorns podcast to never miss an episode. Also don't forget to give Riding Unicorns a follow on Twitter and LinkedIn to keep on top of the latest developments.

    • 42 min
    S4E8 - Freddy Ward, Co-Founder & CEO @ Wild

    S4E8 - Freddy Ward, Co-Founder & CEO @ Wild

    Freddy Ward is the co-founder of D2C cosmetics company, Wild. Freddy started his career at Hello Fresh and is actually credited as being its fifth ever employee. After working his way up to Marketing Director Freddy decided to start his own company, Wild, with lifelong friend and former Director of Fly Hiring, Charlie Bowes-Lyon. Wild is best known for its refillable deodorants and range of exotic fragrances, which customers seem to have really warmed too. In fact the company has already sold over 300,000 deodorants in little over 18 months. The company is hoping that by focusing on natural ingredients and by cutting down on plastic waste it will be at the forefront of a new wave of environmentally friendly consumer products. 
    In this episode Freddy explains what marketing means to him, how he went about starting Wild and how he later developed its brand. The episode also covers how one should go about experimenting with new marketing channels, the thought process behind launching new products and what value Freddy believes he brings to the business. 
    Make sure to like and subscribe to the Riding Unicorns podcast to never miss an episode. Also don't forget to give Riding Unicorns a follow on Twitter and LinkedIn to keep on top of the latest developments.

    • 40 min
    S4E7 - James Routledge, Founder @ Sanctus

    S4E7 - James Routledge, Founder @ Sanctus

    James Routledge is the Founder of Sanctus, leading providers of mental health coaches. After starting his first business at University James was hooked by the idea of being an entrepreneur. His first business venture, MatchChat, a social media app would however ultimately go on to be unsuccessful. As is often the case in life there is a silver lining to all supposed failures. James would ultimately go on to reflect more deeply about the stress he felt around this time and how it affected his mental health. Spurred on by this experience James launched Sanctus in 2016 and the company has since partnered with some of the biggest brands to help them transform their mental health culture. In November 2022 James took the difficult decision to step down as CEO but as he mentions during the episode he continues to have a very strong relationship with the company to this day. James now spends much of his time writing and is in fact a best selling author. His first book, Mental Health at Work, shares his stories, learnings and guidance on the topic of mental health. 
    Riding Unicorns invited James on the show to discuss the highs and lows of working on MatchChat and the inspiration behind launching Sanctus. Mental health was of course a huge topic throughout the episode. James went on to share some practical advice on how to improve mental health in the workplace. 
    Make sure to like and subscribe to the Riding Unicorns podcast to never miss an episode. Also don't forget to give Riding Unicorns a follow on Twitter and LinkedIn to keep on top of the latest developments.

    • 36 min
    S4E6 - Paul Murphy, Partner @ Lightspeed Venture Partners

    S4E6 - Paul Murphy, Partner @ Lightspeed Venture Partners

    Paul Murphy (@paulbz on Twitter) is a Partner at Lightspeed, a global venture capital firm focusing on multi-stage investments in the enterprise technology, consumer, and health sectors. Prior to his stint at Lightspeed Paul worked at Microsoft, Betaworks, Giphy and Northzone to name but a few. Paul also has extensive experience as an entrepreneur having set-up several companies namely Mobile Games Studio, Dots and calendar app, Katch. Paul is now sharing his knowledge of what it takes to build a successful business with the next generation of founders and helping Lightspeed identify the game changing businesses of the future. 
    Paul spoke to Riding Unicorns to shed some light on the decision making process behind his career moves, the lessons he has learnt from incorporating businesses and how his experiences in business has informed his approach to investing. The guys also go on to probe Paul on why Europe is becoming attractive to U.S funds, what common traits successful founders share and what he aims to achieve moving forward. 
    Make sure to like and subscribe to the Riding Unicorns podcast to never miss an episode. Also don't forget to give Riding Unicorns a follow on Twitter and LinkedIn to keep on top of the latest developments.

    • 39 min
    S4E5 - Julie Chen, Founder & CEO @ The Cheeky Panda

    S4E5 - Julie Chen, Founder & CEO @ The Cheeky Panda

    Julie Chen is the Founder and CEO of The Cheeky Panda, makers of a range of Bamboo toiletry products including traditional toilet paper, facial tissues, kitchen towel, wipes and nappies. The idea for the company was born out of a family trip to China. While in China, Julie and her husband couldn't help but notice the abundance of Bamboo, which is of course one the world's fastest growing plants. It was there where Julie spotted the opportunity to create an environmentally friendly alternative to tree based tissue paper we use in the west. The company finally launched in 2016 and has since reached B Corp status with many of their products now available in over 25 countries. The hope is to continue to grow the company so that one day it is in the position to be able to go public. 
    Julie joined us to explain what inspired her to launch the brand, detail some of the challenges she has faced in building Cheeky Panda and what she hopes to achieve in the coming years. James and Hector also quiz Julie on her approach to crowdfunding, what it is like running a business with her husband and her thoughts on the importance of increased opportunities for underrepresented founders.  
    Make sure to like and subscribe to the Riding Unicorns podcast to never miss an episode. Also don't forget to give Riding Unicorns a follow on Twitter and LinkedIn to keep on top of the latest developments.

    • 29 min

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