Jon Sakoda of Decibel on building your fund with founders by your side - Venture Unlocked 005

  
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Jon Sakoda is the Founding Partner at Decibel, a venture firm that was created in partnership with Cisco (but independent in nature) in 2018 to invest in early-stage companies.

Hear how Jon, who describes himself as a “recovering entrepreneur,” started his first company, Imlogic, Inc. which was eventually acquired by Symantec, and then joined New Enterprise Associates (NEA) in 2006 where he served as a partner for 12 years. During his time at NEA, NEA clearly established itself as the largest venture firm in the world and had raised a $2.5B fund well before the current mega-fund boom.

In this episode, Jon and I cover the following topics:

  • Jon’s trajectory from being a technical operator to a VC.

  • The bundling and unbundling of venture capital, and what we should see going forward.

  • Do VC’s really add value? What leads to the belief by founders that they might not?

  • The role of Cisco and how it helps them differentiate and punch above their weight in helping founders.

  • How traditional economic LPs view corporate LPs and how GPs can navigate the discussions.

  • What new GPs often underestimate when starting a fund

Mentioned in this episode:

I’d love to know what you took away from my conversations with Jon Sakoda; 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.