The Startup Playbook

Connecting you to the best entrepreneurs, investors and resources from around the world

Ep152 – Alister Coleman (Co-founder & Managing Partner – Folklore VC) on due diligence, focus and multigenerational funds

My guest for Ep152 of The Startup Playbook Podcast was the Co-founder & Managing Partner at Folklore Ventures, Alister Coleman.

Alister started his career in portfolio management and banking for family offices before going on to become the Co-founder of ShippingEasy in 2011. 5 years later, ShippingEasy was acquired by for $80M.

He is now the Co-founder & Managing Partner of Folklore Ventures, which is a $55M pre-seed and seed stage VC fund.

In this interview we discussed:

  • Lessons from Al’s journey with ShippingEasy including why selling too early is not a great outcome for founders & investors
  • Folklore’s unique investment approach which has led to a portfolio with next to no overlap with other VC funds in Australia
  • A look into Folklore’s thorough due diligence process
  • Alister and Folklore’s vision and approach in building a multi generation fund
  • & much more


  • 1.59 – Alisters’ background and startup experience
  • 2.59 – Lessons learned from working with Shipping Easy 
  • 5.27 – The significance of Shipping Easy in the early days of ecommerce
  • 8.59 – Balancing the investor and founder visions 
  • 11.26 – Hiring the best team to work with you 
  • 13.58 – Acquisition and knowing when it’s the right time to sell
  • 20.55 – Managing stressful times and getting support from your team
  • 23.55 – Hiring for intellect and skills that can’t be taught 
  • 28.04 – The importance of investing in companies that have a positive impact on the world 
  • 34.04 – Folklores’ approach to investment and why the safe option isn’t always actually safe
  • 38.37 – Supporting startups who are doing the ‘impossible’ 
  • 41.40 – Innovation in the drone industry and how it can be used for the distribution of vaccinations
  • 43.42 – Building a mentor-mentee relationship with founders and why that support is so valuable 
  • 48.08 – The future of the Australian startup and investment ecosystem 
  • 51.57 – How to get in contact with Allister and Folklore 

Links Mentioned

Alister’s Links:

People Mentioned

Companies Mentioned 

Special Thanks:

Special thanks to Hannah Field and Eric Peck for their help with research for this interview! 

Feedback/connect/say hello:

[email protected]
@RohitBhargava7 (Twitter)
/rohbhargava (LinkedIn)
@rohit_bhargava (Instagram)
My Youtube Channel


Music: Joakim Karud – Dreams

Other channels:

Don’t have iTunes? The podcast is also available on SpotifySoundcloud & Stitcher Audio Player.

Find all links to the podcast here.

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