Oct 13, 2020 • 36M

Roger Ehrenberg of IA Ventures on the craft of building a top-decile firm - Venture Unlocked 003

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Samir Kaji
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.
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Roger Ehrenberg is the founder and Managing Partner of IA Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm based in New York City. In this episode, Roger gives a master class on all aspects of starting and building a venture firm.

IA is managing $475M across four funds, and is currently investing out of its $160M fourth fund. Fund 1 was a $50MM fund raised during the global financial crisis, with a first close of $17MM.

Earlier in his career, Roger served as CEO of DB Advisors, was Global co-head of Deutsche Bank’s Strategic Equity Transactions Group, and was an investment banker at Citibank in derivatives, capital structuring and Mergers & Acquisitions.

Roger currently sits on the Boards of Ethyca, Gospel Technology, Mighty, Octane and TransferWise, and was an early lead investor in both The Trade Desk (NASDAQ: TTD) and Datadog (NASDAQ: DDOG). Formerly, he served on the boards of Buddy Media (sold to Salesforce for $800M), Recorded Future (sold to Insight for $780MM), and Simple Finance (sold to BBVA for $120M).

In this episode, Roger covers the following:

  1. His background from going from M&A banking and hedge to early stage investing.

  2. The opportunity and vision he saw for IA during the global financial crisis.

  3. The amount of diligence he went through for choosing a partner.

  4. How he made some unconventionally sized portfolio bets early in Fund 1 when the fund was still raising.

  5. IA’s philosophy on fund sizing.

  6. How he thinks about portfolio construction and recycling.

  7. How he thinks about staying disciplined on ownership and valuation targets and when to have some flexibility.

  8. The role of pattern matching and how IA tests and re-tests this.

Here are some resources to learn more about Roger: