Jeff Clavier of Uncork Capital on being one of the earliest seed stage VC's, lessons in fundraising during a downturn, and building a multi-generational firm
Jeff started investing in seed full time all the way back in 2004 well before the Micro-VC moniker was even conceived (back then we called them Super Angels). Today the firm is one of the most active seed funds in the market with over $500MM in AUM and having invested in companies such as Poshmark, Fitbit, Eventbrite, and Molekule.
In this episode is a broad conversation covering the history of VC, raising in a downturn, his thoughts on the hardest things about building the firm, and trends that are influencing the future of venture.
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Frank Rimerman works with almost 500 VC groups from over 20 states across the USA with 350 fund groups during their first year of existence, making them one of the leading providers in the country to emerging managers.
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In this episode we discuss the following topics:
01:54 Jeff’s start as an investor with $250k of his own capital, and his first investment
03:01 The decision to start a fund with third party capital
06:10 Fundraising in the global financial crisis of 2008
09:01 The strategy shift in fund III and the questions it raised from LPs
12:10 Why Uncork has kept funds smaller thus far
16:45 Thoughts on the service provider model VC’s need to embrace
19:16 Building a multi-generational firm with brand recognition
21:36 How to attract high-quality talent
23:46 The day-to-day challenges of running a firm
25:56 Maintaining culture with remote work
30:56 The future of VC after the pandemic
34:48 The amount of firms and innovation in the market today and what it means
39:24 How the future is so hard to predict
40:38 The best advice he’s gotten as a VC
42:51 His biggest miss and the lesson he learned from it
46:19 The advice he would give to a new manager
Mentioned In This Episode:
We’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Jeff! Follow @SamirKaji and give your insight and questions using 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 a direct message on Twitter.
Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency