Jan 18 • 59M

QED Investors' Frank Rotman in breaking down the venture market today, determining how to compete today, and how QED makes decisions.

Episode 68

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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 I’m absolutely thrilled to bring you my conversation with Frank Rotman, Founding Partner of QED Partners, one of the top Fintech firms in the world. Founded in 2007 alongside Nigel Morris, QED has invested early in companies such as Credit Karma, Klarna, SoFi, and Nubank. They currently have $3B in AUM.

As many of you that follow Frank on twitter, and if you don’t you should right away, you’ll know he’s one of the most insightful thinkers in the industry. As such, I wanted to take this opportunity to have a more global dialogue about the state of the venture market today, including a close evaluation from both a risk and return perspective.

About Frank Rotman:
Frank was one of the earliest analysts hired into Capital One and spent almost 13 years there helping build many of the company’s business units and operational areas. With two decades in consumer & small business finance, Frank is widely known in the industry as a Credit Risk and Portfolio Management Expert.

His responsibilities have included turning around underperforming business units, building new businesses from concept to market leadership positions, overseeing the credit performance of Capital One as a whole, and creating a Student Lending company after leaving Capital One in December 2005. Frank graduated from the University of Virginia with degrees that included Applied Mathematics (BS) and Systems Engineering (MS).


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In this episode we discuss:

01:45 Frank’s journey from banker to investor

05:23 What the current investing market looks like from QED’s perspective

09:10 How should investors be underwriting to future exits?

13:50 Assessing how liquidity has fueled the market, and what it means for startups.

18:28 Predicting narrative violations and who the winners will be in the next 10 years

22:58 The maturation of financial markets for technology

32:32 How the QED model has adapted to respond to higher pricing and faster decisions

39:20 Signals Frank looks for when evaluating a new investment

44:56 The problems entrepreneurs face when raising at a higher valuation

48:41 Risks that VCs can help entrepreneurs mitigate against

54:38What would Frank do if he was the CIO of an endowment? How would he build his VC portfolio?

I’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Frank. 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 byAgent Bee Agency