My guest for Ep169 of The Startup Playbook Podcast was Jax Vullinghs, Partner at AirTree Ventures.
Jax has had a fascinating career to date.
She studied History at University before making the non-obvious leap into the world of investment banking at Merrill Lynch.
After 2.5 years she decided to join an early stage startup called Listable (before rebranding to Kalo). Kalo went on to raise significant funding rounds by some of the world’s biggest VC funds.
In 2018 she moved to Australia and joined AirTree Ventures, one of the leading VCs in Australia, as a Partner of the fund.
In this jam packed episode, you will see why I’m personally over the moon about having Jax join The Playbook Angel Network, our new angel investment syndicate, as an advisor. We will be investing in early stage, high growth tech companies and we’re stoked to have Jax’s in our corner.
In this episode we covered a variety of topics including;
How Jax and AirTree assess seed stage opportunities and determine a valuation
What makes companies valuable over the long term
AirTree’s investment committee process
Jax and AirTree’s bet on Milkrun
The important role of angel investors
& much more
03:50 – Jax’s background
08:34 – Why Jax made the decision to leave banking for the startup world
09:14 – Lessons from raising $25 million at Listable
11:14 – Advice for founders raising capital in the current financial market
12:12 – How AirTree approaches evaluating potential seed stage investments
13:24 – How Jax approaches understanding analytics, spreadsheets and models
16:10 – How founders can present their analytics to best tell their story
17:36 – What Jax looks for in a seed stage investment
19:57 – How to effectively tell the story of a company when pitching to investors
22:26 – AirTree’s Investment Committee process for deciding whether or not to invest
25:38 – How Jax thinks about building founder/investor relationships
28:00 – Supporting women and other underrepresented founders within the startup ecosystem
31:03 – What made AirTree invest in Milkrun
34:14 – The Playbook Angel Network, and the importance of angel investors in the startup ecosystem
Playbook Angel Network
The Playbook Angel Network is a syndicate comprised of “friends and guests” of the podcast who invest in early stage, high growth tech startups.
A big thank you to Maxine Minter and Matt Keeley for their help with this interview. Also a big thank you to our partners for this episode.
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