Ripple Ventures Matt Cohen on individual VC personal brands, Hedge funds in tech, portfolio math and front weighting in seed, and investing in Canada
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 thrilled to bring you my conversation with Matt Cohen, Founder of Ripple Ventures, a seed stage firm based out of Toronto.
As someone who's Canadian myself, I’ve been closely following the Canadian VC ecosystem and have been thrilled to see how it’s grown over the years.
Matt is someone whose story I’ve followed since he started Ripple. He’s an ultimate student of the game, and to help drive thought leadership and to enhance his own learning, he also runs a podcast called Tank Talks which is a great listen for anyone in VC or tech. Like he is on his podcast, Matt was thoughtful and candid about how he views investing and running a firm.
About Matt Cohen:
Matt is an entrepreneur and venture capitalist focused on early-stage technology. He started his career in Banking at RBC and National Bank of Canada and did his undergrad at Dalhousie University.
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In this episode we discuss:
01:04 Matt’s journey into venture capital
03:57 The impact of hedge funds on the venture market now and moving forward
06:48 Will anything reverse the trend of the continued growth of crossover investors?
09:08 How rising valuations have impacted Ripple
12:41 His thoughts on portfolio construction
17:01 Thinking through the pros and cons between a higher portion of the front for initial checks vs. a higher reserve ratio.
22:06 Making portfolio investment exceptions as it relates to ownership and check size. Why make them, and what do you look for?
25:52 Why Matt went with smaller funds and higher GP commits with his early funds
28:04 When Matt started engaging with institutional funds
30:22 How personal branding has become so important in the VC world.
33:15 How being a solo GP has impacted his life and what new managers should think about as they embark on the venture journey
35:29 The advice he gives to people just starting their career
37:38 The character qualities that help drive resiliency in venture
39:53 The advice that helped change his career
Mentioned in this episode:
MegaCycles in Tech & Crypto
I’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Matt. 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