Investor via @Haystack_Fund focused on seed-stage investments // Venture Partner w/ @LightspeedVP
In this episode, we are getting a behind the scenes look into the thought process of a VC. This is the perfect episode for young entrepreneurs and startup founders. Today we have Semil Shah, the founder of Haystack a seed stage VC fund. Semil was an early investor in DoorDash, Instacart, HelloSign, Giphy and others. He’s also known for being a prolific writer, sharing his thoughts on VC and tech. During this interview we dig into what he looks for in startups & founders. And some of his successes and some investments that didn’t pan out. If you’re a founder, this one’s for you. Enjoy.
Semil Shah is the Founder & General Partner @ Haystack, one of the valley's leading seed funds of the last 5 years with a portfolio including the likes of Instacart, DoorDash, Carta, OpenDoor, Hashicorp and more $Bn companies. Alongside his role at Haystack, Semil is also a Venture Partner @ Lightspeed Venture Partners. Prior to founding Swell, Semil was on the operating side as an early advisor and employee at (Swell), acquired by Apple in August 2014. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn: 1.) How did Semil make his way into the world of venture from his start writing about startups and financing rounds? How did that also lead to his role as Venture Partner @ Lightspeed today? 2.) What does Semil mean when he says, "the most talented founders are bypassing seed firms and seed rounds"? How does this mean that seed funds need to respond? For founders, what are the pros and cons of taking a multi-stage fund at seed? Will they really get GP time with such a small check? How should they also think about potential signalling risk? 3.) Does Semil share Harry's concern with regards to pricing today? What do multi-stage funds investing at seed do to pricing? Why is staying disciplined on price the biggest challenge for Semil? How does Semil assess his own price sensitivity and when to stretch? Does Semil believe that ownership is built on first check or overtime? 4.) How does the strategy for Semil change moving from a $25m fund to a $50m fund? Why does Semil think that temporal diversification is such an important element to bake into a portfolio? What are the benefits? How does Semil think about effective reserve allocation today? What does that investment decision-making process look like the 2nd time? 5.) How has Semil seen the ecosystem for VC fundraises change over the last 5 years? What would Semil like to change about the ecosystem of LPs? What blanket rule does Semil believe that LPs should introduce for new managers to ensure discipline? For Semil, how did the fundraise differ for the latest $50m fund compared to the prior $25m fund? Items Mentioned In Today’s Show: Semil’s Fave Book: Reboot by Jerry Colonna As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC and Semil on Twitter her
This week on the Sales Hacker podcast, we speak with Semil Shah, General Partner at Haystack and Venture Partner at Lightspeed.  Semil has made a name for himself as an “observational leader”; someone who shares what he sees on the ground and passes it on for people to respond to, benefit or learn from. He’s also one of the most well known and well respected writers on venture capital and early stage investing.
Semil Shah, Founder at Haystack & Venture Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, talks about his journey to becoming a successful Venture Capitalist. Semil founded Haystack in 2013 (An Early Stage Investment Fund). Some successful portfolio companies in Haystack include DoorDash, Instacart, Carta, Giphy, and Wag. Some Questions answered by Semil in this Podcast - 1. What are his learnings for people who want to become a VC? 2. How to choose the kind of Investor you want to become? Do you want to sit on the Board or do you want to be Growth & Network Driven? 3. Is there any other path to become a VC other than an Ivy League college followed by some experience as a Consultant? 4. What should a 23-24 year old be doing fresh after college, to enter this Ecosystem? 5. What was his First Fund size? How did he convince his first 5 LPs to put in the money? 6. How did he happen to join Lightspeed Ventures? 7. What are the Key Elements he looks for while investing? 8. How much of his time does he dedicate to raise funds vs time spent on deploying it? 9. What habits does he attribute for his success as a VC in such a short time (which generally takes others 10-15 years to achieve)?
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13 hours, 23 minutes
Podchaser Creator ID logo 353752