The Startup Playbook Podcast

Insights and lessons from the world's best entrepreneurs and investors

Ep167 – Justin Lipman (Partner – EVP) on metrics, focus and valuations

My guest for Ep167 of The Startup Playbook Podcast was Justin Lipman, Partner at EVP.

Justin started his career in Finance working inside organisations like Credit Suisse, EY and Investec before taking the plunge to join EVP in the very early days of the Venture Fund.

The team spent the first year advising startups before raising $25M for their first fund. Fast forward 7 years later and EVP now has over $250M in funds under management.

Unlike other funds that open their investment mandate as they grow, EVP has doubled down on it’s focused investing approach by only investing in B2B software and marketplace businesses.

This focused approach has allowed them to build a fantastic portfolio which includes the likes of Siteminder, Deputy, Ignition and Shippit.

In this episode we covered a range of topics including:

  • EVP’s unique investment approach to investing focus and portfolio construction
  • The metrics and benchmarks that EVP tracks when making investment decisions
  • Justin’s views on whether the power law is as powerful as it was a few years ago
  • Managing imposter syndrome
  • Startup valuations
  • & much more!


  • 03:31 – Justin’s early career and starting EVP
  • 06.53 – Transitioning from a large corporation to small VC fund
  • 09:18 – Scrappy early days of EVP
  • 11:42 – The ways EVP has changed, or stayed the same, as it has grown
  • 15:20 – The decision to specialise in early stage B2B software investing, rather than diversifying 
  • 19:10 – How EVP think about portfolio construction 
  • 26:26 – The importance of data in EVP’s investment approach
  • 32:48 – Specific metrics that founders in B2B SaaS startups should keep a close eye on
  • 38:48 – Benchmarks for expected win rates for sales in early stage companies
  • 40:06 – Advice for founders building companies in the current economic climate
  • 44:38 – How founders should approach valuation discussions with investors
  • 47:43 – Imposter syndrome, and strategies to handle or mitigate it
  • 50:54 – Navigating the founder-investor relationship

Our partners

A big thank you to Matt de Boer, Dan Szekely and William On for their help with this interview. Also a big thank you to our partners for this episode.


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