My guest for Episode 159 of The Startup Playbook Podcast was the Co-founder & General Partner of Blackbird Ventures, Niki Scevak.
Blackbird Ventures is one of the leading Venture Capital funds in Australia and NZ, counting companies such as Canva, Culture Amp and Safety Culture as part of its portfolio.
Niki and previous podcast guest, Rick Baker, Co-founded Blackbird in 2012 with an initial $29M. That initial fund proved to be hugely successful, with the fund selling 40% of fund 1 for $100M. The sale provided a guaranteed 3x return to all 96 investors who contributed to fund 1, while retaining an interest in the 12 portfolio companies with a carrying value of $6.50 per $1 invested.
In this interview we covered the story behind how Niki and Rick Baker first met and decided to launch Blackbird together, how the power law shapes Blackbird’s investing philosophy and how their approach to raising the ambition for their portfolio led them to change their own strategy from building the “Craigslist of VC” to growing from 4-60 people and raising Australia’s first $1B fund.
A big thank you to our podcast partners for this episode
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We’re Scendar, an accounting and advisory practice better described as Finance as a Service (FaaS). We’re focused on founders, funders and startups. Clients that are ever-changing and adapting. We like fast movers. And as you might have guessed, we’re not your basic accountancy. We can take care of tax and the books whilst building a syndicate fund and a multimilliondollar exit strategy. At Scendar, we’re empowered by our client’s potential. Find out more at Scendar.com
Dovetail Studios operates a venture studio and VC to transform ambitious ideas into unstoppable businesses. On top of being a renowned product development partner for startups like Afterpay, they also operate a VC fund to invest in early-stage companies that go through their venture studio program. So if you’re a non-technical, early-stage founder looking for a talented team to help supercharge your success, check out dovetailstudios.com
Special thanks to Rick Baker, Nick Crocker, Rayn Ong and Rory San Miguel for their help with research for this interview!
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