Mike Maples of Floodgate on investing models, how he thinks about exceptional companies, and building a lasting firm - Venture Unlocked Episode 019
We have a special treat of an episode this week with one of the top first generation seed investors in Mike Maples, Jr. of Floodgate. After leading two successful startups, Mike started Floodgate (formerly Maples Investment) in 2006, and has since invested on companies such as Twitter, Lyft, Twitch, and Okta.
As is always the case when I speak to Mike, he provided many nuggets of investing, firm building, and went deep into his early days of Floodgate.
In this episode we discuss the following topics:
04:54 How Mike raised his first fund from Austin Ventures
07:27 Explaining seed investing to LPs in the early days
13:58 Why he decided to bring on Ann Miura-Ko as a partner early on
20:25 His view on what a “Thunder Lizard” is
23:45 Defining the mental models Floodgate uses for Seed Investing
24:40 Why great entrepreneurs are like time-travelers
31:18 How thinking about “Thunder Lizards” helps inform his portfolio construction.
37:38 How he’s changed his portfolio construction over time.
48:00 The lessons he learned from missing out on companies such as AirBnB.
52:15 Who Mike admires most in the VC world
Mentioned in this episode:
I’d love to know what you took away from my conversations with Mike Maples, Jr. 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.