The Startup Playbook Podcast

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

Ep183 – Howard Leibman (Founder & General Partner – EVP) on being the “founder whisperer”

My guest for Ep183 of The Startup Playbook Podcast was the Founder of EVP, Howard Leibman.

Howard is the Founder and General Partner of EVP, a VC fund focused on investing in B2B software companies in Australia and New Zealand.

In 2023, they raised $100M for Fund 4, taking its total funds under management to $300M.

EVP takes a very hands on approach with their investments including taking board seats in their portfolio companies. Howard currently sits on the board of portfolio companies such as Practice Ignition and Deputy which in March 2024 became the first Australian company in 2 years to hit the $1B valuation status.

This is Howard’s first ever podcast interview and in this rare interview he opens up about:

  • His career and journey
  • EVPs framework to assess potential investment opportunities
  • Managing changes in executive leadership as companies scale
  • Being the “founder whisperer”
  • & much more!


  • 2:00 Howard’s career background
  • 13:23 How his early career shaped his investment lens for EVP
  • 17:20 Early investment into Shippit
  • 20:18 How he builds conviction in founders and market opportunities
  • 22:09 Early stage vs later stage investing
  • 27:33 What he looks for in investment opportunities
  • 30:57 EVP investing frameworks
  • 35:06 How the role of the founder can evolve over time
  • 41:04 Taking an active role in companies they invest in
  • 45:20 How founders can build deeper relationships with their investors
  • 48:12 How EVP thinks about optimal fund size
  • 54:01 How he approaches hiring and people at EVP

Our partners

A big thank you to Justin Lipman and Guy Pearson for their help with this interview!

Also a big shout out to our partners for the show:


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Links mentioned

Howard’s links

People mentioned

Companies mentioned

Feedback/connect/say hello:

[email protected]
@RohitBhargava7 (Twitter)
/rohbhargava (LinkedIn)
@rohit_bhargava (Instagram)
My Youtube Channel


Music: Paycheck

Other channels:

Find all of the links for the podcast on Linktree here