Nov 16, 2021 • 53M

Kindred Ventures Kanyi Maqubela on large firms entering seed, the challenges of rising valuations, and the nuances of portfolio construction

Episode 61

Samir Kaji
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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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Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.

This week’s guest is Kanyi Maqubela, managing partner of seed-stage firm Kindred Ventures. Kindred has $156 AUM, and the team has previously invested in companies such as Coinbase, Blue Bottle Coffee, and Postmates. 

Prior to Kindred, Kanyi served as a Partner at Collaborative Fund, where he was an early advisor to Tala and Walker & Co., and a board member at Buffer, Camino Financial, Spruce, and True Link. Kanyi was also a co-founder at Heartbeat Health, and previously ran growth at One Block Off the Grid (acquired by $NRG). Kanyi has also served as a Lecturer and Adjunct at New York University Tisch School of the Arts, a curriculum adapted from his time as a student at Stanford University.


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In this episode we discuss:

01:54 Kanyi’s view to later stage mega-firms like Sequoia, Andreesen, and Greylock getting into seed financing

05:20 Vulnerabilities and issues new players should think about when entering the seed marketplace

09:13 Who needs to adapt most to today’s seed environment

15:55 How they underwriting ownership and target exit outcomes

19:15 How Kindred mitigates risk pre-investment

23:56 The mental model for picking successful founders at seed

29:09 How Kindred is able to maintain diligence integrity with the speed of market.

33:58 What exactly is value-add?

36:06 How Kanyi looks at winning in competitive situations

44:52 The model of Kindred’s future growth and how they will remain competitive

48:48 Non-obvious investing as key differentiator in early stage investing

50:27 The most impactful advice he’s received as an investor

Mentioned in this episode:

Kindred Ventures

I’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Kanyi. 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