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
& 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
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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