Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.
This week we are joined by Shuly Galili, Founding Partner of UpWest, an early-stage firm founded in 2012 with her partner Gil Ben-Artzy to invest in seed-stage founders from Israel that are seeking to expand into the US market. UpWest has 4 funds under management and has invested in nearly 100 companies at the early stage that today have a collective market cap of over $20B.
A word from our sponsor:
Privately owned and headquartered in New York City, Grasshopper Bank is built to serve the business and innovation economy. As a client-first digital bank, Grasshopper combines the best of banking technology and years of industry expertise to deliver best-in-class experiences with trusted security and unparalleled support. Grasshopper's digital solutions are tailored for venture capital and private equity firms, startups and small businesses, fintech-focused Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) and commercial API banking platforms, and more.
Serving clients globally, Grasshopper provides flexible, firm-focused lending solutions, as well as a dedicated Relationship Manager committed to meeting the unique needs and strategic focus of your firm across all entities, including funds, general partner and management companies. Grasshopper is a member of the FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender.
About Shuly Galili:
Shuly is a Founding Partner at UpWest, a Silicon Valley seed fund investing in startups at the Israel-US technology junction. UpWest portfolio crossed $2B in VC funding and includes companies such as SentinelOne, HoneyBook, Stampli, CyCognito, Imubit, and more.
She helped found the California Israel Chamber of Commerce (CICC), a business platform for ongoing tech exchange serving a network of over 10,000 companies. Under Shuly’s leadership as Executive Director, CICC had a significant impact on its members’ success in securing millions in venture capital, establishing US/Israel offices and R&D Centers and branding Israel’s emerging tech industry in Silicon Valley.
In this episode we discuss:
(02:23) What gap they saw they wanted to fill in 2012
(08:45) How the go to market strategy is different in the US vs. Israel
(10:51) What their first fundraise was like with a new strategy
(14:03) The strategic support UpWest received from its early LPs
(15:39) The realization that they needed to grow to realize their vision
(18:10) How Fund II changed their investing strategy and approach
(21:50) When do you know it’s time to raise your fund size?
(25:42) What early-stage investors should optimize for
(30:32) Defining a healthy venture GP partnership
(33:57) UpWest’s decision-making process
(35:20) How Shuly and Gil maintain their partnership
(38:14) Advice to her younger self
I’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Shuly. 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.