Apr 12 • 52M

Satya Patel and Hunter Walk on learnings from building Homebrew, moving to an evergreen model, and launching Screendoor VC to back underrepresented fund managers

Episode 106

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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.
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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.

On this week’s show we’re fortunate to be joined by Hunter Walk and Satya Patel, founders of Homebrew, a seed-stage firm founded over a decade ago that’s backed companies such as Chime, AngelList, and Gusto. Just over a year ago, Homebrew announced that it was moving away from a seed-focused traditional LP-backed fund to an open-ended evergreen structure that is funded from the proceeds of prior investments.

Additionally, they are also leading up efforts of Screendoor, a fund of funds focused on supporting underrepresented fund managers by offering capital and counsel. 

Satya is coming back on the show for the second time, and it was fun to have Hunter on with him this time, as we dove deep into their learnings from building homebrew, what they look for when back fund managers, and their view on what makes a great partner for founders. 

This was a fun one, and we think you’ll really enjoy hearing their thoughts. Let’s now get right into it!

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About Satya Patel:
Satya Patel is a Founding Partner of Homebrew and Co-Founder of Screendoor. Prior to Homebrew, he was VP Product at Twitter, building and leading the Product Management and User Services teams. Before Twitter, he was a Partner at Battery Ventures, where he co-led the seed and early-stage investing practices. He joined Google in 2003 and was responsible for AdSense product management and partnerships.

Before heading to Silicon Valley for Google, he worked for DoubleClick, in venture capital, and as a strategy consultant.

He has a BS in Finance and a BS in Psychology from The University of Pennsylvania.

About Hunter Walk:
Hunter Walk is a Founding Partner of Homebrew and Co-Founder of Screendoor. Prior to Homebrew, Hunter led consumer product management at YouTube, starting when it was acquired by Google. He originally joined Google in 2003, managing product and sales efforts for AdSense, Google‘s contextual advertising business.

His first job in Silicon Valley was as the founding product and marketing guy at Linden Lab.

Before graduate school, he was a management consultant and also spent a year at Late Night with Conan O‘Brien. He has a BA in History from Vassar and MBA from Stanford University.

In this episode we discuss:
(03:32) The decision to move to an evergreen fund structure with Homebrew
(07:32) The biggest constraints when early-stage fund sizes balloon
(17:34) How to survive a down market and become a force multiplier on a cap table
(24:58) The inspiration to start Screendoor
(33:33) The type of managers they are looking to back at Screendoor
(37:54) Patterns they’ve seen in great investors
(42:13) The most important question they ask GPs
(44:42) The biggest lessons from their time as investors

I’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Satya and Hunter. 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 by Agent Bee