Jan 11, 2022 • 43M

Ripple Ventures Matt Cohen on individual VC personal brands, Hedge funds in tech, portfolio math and front weighting in seed, and investing in Canada

Episode 67

Open in playerListen on);

Appears in this episode

Samir Kaji
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.
Episode details

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.

A word from our sponsor:

Invest in innovation. Allocate is a digital platform than enables investors of all types to invest and manage private alternatives within the technology sector.

Despite the enormous growth of the private markets and the rapid increase of retail demand for private alternatives, investing in the highest quality private assets within the innovation sector remains inaccessible and opaque.

With Allocate, wealth advisors, banks, family offices, and other qualified investors can have a streamlined way to responsibly invest in the highest quality technology centered private alternatives.

Go to allocate.co to find out more and please sign up to the waitlist to learn more and get early access to the platform.

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:
Ripple Ventures
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