Aug 10, 2021 • 46M

137 Ventures Justin Fishner-Wolfson on why ownership is an overvalued heuristic, building lasting teams, and the current state of secondary markets.

Samir Kaji
Open in playerListen on);
Venture Unlocked is the playbook for starting, operating, & scaling a successful venture capital firm. Samir Kaji, Host of Venture Unlocked has +20-years of experience assisting & advising startups and venture firms. Listen for VC fund guidance.
Episode details
Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.

Today we’re thrilled to bring you my conversation with Justin Fishner-Wolfson, co-founder and managing partner of 137 Ventures, a growth-stage venture firm that provides customized liquidity solutions to founders, investors, and early employees of high-growth private technology companies.

With a total AUM of $1.5B, 137 Ventures has backed some of the most impactful companies of the past decade, including Wish, Flexport, SpaceX, Uber, and Airbnb. 

Prior to launching 137 ventures in 2010, Justin worked on the investment team at Founders Fund.

A message from our sponsor

Anduin is revolutionizing fund management with streamlined fund operations, digitized fund subscriptions, and real-time status updates. 

Traditional, paper-based subscriptions are costly, tedious and error-prone, with up to 80% of submitted documents being incorrect and considered not in good order.

Fund managers lack real-time visibility, facing manual processes, endless back-and-forth and a mountain of emails, documents and spreadsheets.

Anduin’s investor onboarding workflow improves the investor experience, bringing clarity, guidance, and efficiency to fund subscriptions which drastically reduces error rates.

The Anduin platform allows GPs to perform fund operations simply and efficiently with improved data accuracy, freeing up time so they can focus on what they do best... investing.

For more information, or to arrange a demo, visit

In this episode we discuss:

02:10 Justin’s journey into venture capital

03:36 Learnings from Founders Fund

05:52 Differentiating yourself in tangible ways

07:45 How Justin thinks about the sales process

10:34 Fund sizing

14:59 Liquidity solutions for the future

17:42 How efficient are the secondary markets right now?

20:40 Justin’s philosophy on risk

26:00 The considerations of check size and ownership requirements

28:53 What are the toughest things to get right in building a firm?

31:01 Avoiding talent atrophy and ensuring generational succession

32:56 The hardest lesson learned in building a firm

39:47 The most counterintuitive lesson Justin learned in investing

42:19 Learnings from misses

43:47 Justin’s inspirations

Mentioned in this episode
137 Ventures

I’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Justin. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.

Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency