My guest for Ep166 of The Startup Playbook Podcast was Dan Krasnostein, Partner at Square Peg Capital.
Dan began his career in management consulting before making the switch to joining Seek in strategy roles.
After spending 4 formative years at Seek, Dan was ready for a change and despite in his own words not knowing too much about Venture Capital, ended up joining Paul Bassat and the team at Square Peg Capital as their first hire.
Fast forward 10 years and Square Peg is one of the leading Venture Funds in Australia with over $3B in funds under management and a stellar portfolio of companies including the likes of Canva, Airwallex, Fiverr and Stripe to name a few!
Square Peg is one of the few Australian VC funds with a global presence and focus, having investment teams based in Australia, Israel and SE Asia.
In this episode we dug into Dan and Square Peg’s investment approach, covering topics such as:
How Square Peg assess founding teams for cultural and team fit when making investment decisions
Their conviction based strategy approach (i.e. larger cheques into smaller deals)
Their approach to building companies over the long term
Dan’s common thread of teaching throughout his career
What founders can learn from global operators
The challenges and opportunities in the current global financial climate
& much more!
3:57 – Dan’s background, journey into venture and why teaching is at the heart of Dan’s career
11:08 – Dan’s lessons from Seek on the importance of people and culture within an organisation
14:15 – Strategies for developing great culture
17:30- How Square Peg assess the culture of a team before investing
21:25 – Good questions to ask potential employees or co-founders
23:12 – The two extremes of how venture funds can operate, and where Square Peg sits on the spectrum
30:58 – Different approaches for investing domestically vs internationally
37:12 – Commonalities in the global startup community which Australian founders can learn from
41:34 – Valuing long term growth over short term metrics
47:19 – The challenges and opportunities of the current economic climate
A big thank you to James Tynan, Dan Adams and Tim Harley for their help with this interview. Also a big thank you to our partners for this episode.
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