20VC: Benchmark's Sarah Tavel on Why Chasing GMV Will Lead To The Wrong Direction, The 2 Crucial Tipping Points For Marketplace Adoption, Why UGC Plays Are Like Marketplaces & How To Determine Between Existential and Non-Existential Risk
Play • 37 min

Sarah Tavel is a General Partner @ Benchmark, one of the most successful funds of the last decade with a portfolio including the likes of Uber, Twitter, Dropbox, WeWork, Snapchat, StitchFix, eBay and many more. As for Sarah, prior to joining Benchmark, she was a General Partner at another globally renowned firm, Greylock, where she led deals in Sonder and Gixo. Pre-Greylock, Sarah was the first PM @ Pinterest where she led three acquisitions, launched Pinterest internationally, and was responsible for closing their $100m Series C financing.

20VC: Benchmark's Sarah Tavel on Why Chasing GMV Will Lead To The Wrong Direction, The 2 Crucial Tipping Points For Marketplace Adoption, Why UGC Plays Are Like Marketplaces & How To Determine Between Existential and Non-Existential Risk

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Sarah made her way from being the first PM at Pinterest to being a General Partner at one of the world's leading venture firms, Benchmark?

2.) What does Sarah mean when she says, "the small things are not the big things"? How does Sarah determine between existential vs non-existential risk? How does this impact the type of board member Sarah is? How has Sarah seen the best board members engage? Who are they?

3.) Why does Sarah believe that in marketplaces, chasing GMV will lead you in the wrong direction? How does Sarah think about good vs great when it comes to 1.) Average order values? 2.) Repeat purchase rates. 3.) NPS? 4.) Net revenue retention? How should they change with time?

4.) In marketplaces, what is a tipping point? What are the 2 crucial tipping points to be aware of? How can marketplaces ensure demand brings further demand? What can they determine from how demand engages with different suppliers? How does Sarah feel about feedback systems?

5.) Why does Sarah believe that UGC plays are like marketplaces? What lessons can be drawn from TikTok to suggest this? How does Sarah think about her biggest lessons when analysing the growth of DoorDash? What do many not see that is important to recognise?

Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode

Sarah’s Favourite Book: Pachinko: The New York Times Bestseller

As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

Acquired
Acquired
Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal
Bitcoin
We had to do it. After 12 years and 3,000,000x appreciation, we kick off Season 8 with the best investment of all-time and our biggest episode ever: Bitcoin. From the first bitcoin transaction of 10k for two Papa John's pizzas (worth about $350m today!!) to $40k+ BTC and maybe the moon beyond, we cover the whole crazy, improbable journey of how a single 8-page PDF document changed the world of money — and perhaps the world itself — forever. If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and live access for big events like emergency pods and book club discussions with authors. We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/ Sponsors: * Thanks to Tiny for being our presenting sponsor for all of Acquired Season 8. Tiny is building the "Berkshire Hathaway of the internet" — if you own a wonderful internet business that you want to sell, or know someone who does, you should get in touch with them. Unlike traditional buyers, they commit to quick, simple diligence, a 30-day or less process, and will leave your business to do its thing for the long term. You can learn more about Tiny here: http://bit.ly/acquiredtiny * Thank you as well to Vouch and to Capchase. You can learn more about them at: * http://bit.ly/acquiredvouch * http://bit.ly/acquiredcapchase The Bitcoin Playbook: (also available on our website at https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/bitcoin ) 1. Technological paradigm shifts are ideal opportunities for attacking incumbents. * The traditional finance system worked fantastically well for 500 years, but it wasn't built for the internet. The fact that sharing your bank account or credit card number is required in order to transact, but there's no really robust way to protect against fraud when doing so, provided the perfect seam for a new entrant. Bitcoin and its creators saw this shortcoming and created a new form of money that worked like email. 2. In the early days of a network-effect system, usage matters more than use-cases. * Because the value of a network grows as a function of Metcalfe's Law (value = # of engaged participants squared), in the early days simply growing the number of engaged participants matters more than the specifics of what those participants are actually doing. As the network's value grows, it will become attractive to successively more groups of users and use cases. * Bitcoin started as the domain of researchers and fringe libertarians, then illicit transactions (Silk Road), then speculation (the ICO boom) before finally reaching adoption by the mainstream investment community. Each wave built enough monetary value in the network to make it attractive to the next set of users. Similarly Facebook went from sharing photos of attractive undergrads to how billions communicate, and Airbnb went from ratty airbeds to ~10x larger than any hotel chain, all within a few short years. 3. Distributing network value out to its participants creates large incentives for adoption. * Rewarding miners with bitcoin itself created a huge incentive for participants to join and stay in the Bitcoin network. Although this dynamic got a bad rap during the ICO bubble when it was overused and overpromised by grifters and scammers, it remains a powerful strategy and will likely be used more going forward. * Perhaps most excitingly, this incentive unlocks massive new potential for open-source software development: people who work on open-source software (or provide other functions) can now receive direct value for their contributions, without being employed in any traditional sense. 4. Just HODL, baby. (aka let your winners run) * You can get rich quickly by getting in early on a winning investment. But you can only get really rich by holding a compounding asset for an extended period of time. Sequoia learned this lesson painfully with its Apple investment in the 1970's: selling its entire position for just a ~$6m profit within a few years. Similarly, anyone who bought 1,000 bitcoin for $10 a piece in 2012 could have sold them for $1m four years later in 2016. But four years on from that, they're now worth $35 million. If you continue to believe Bitcoin has a bright longterm future (which, to be fair, you may not!), what could they be worth in 2024? 5. We're only just realizing the implications of digital scarcity. * For its entire existence before Bitcoin, computing and the internet was all about turning scarcity into abundance. (via infinitely replicable + easily distributable software and other digital goods) For the first time in history, Bitcoin and its underlying blockchain have introduced the opposite: scarce, non-replicable digital assets. Native digital currency (Bitcoin) and smart contracts (Ethereum) are the first big outcomes of this advancement, but there may be many more seismic shifts to come. Links: * Satoshi's Whitepaper: https://www.bitcoin.com/bitcoin.pdf * Matt Huang's "Bitcoin for the Open-Minded Skeptic": https://www.paradigm.xyz/Bitcoin_For_The_Open_Minded_Skeptic.pdf * Nellie Bowles's "Everyone Is Getting Hilariously Rich and You’re Not": https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/13/style/bitcoin-millionaires.html * Square’s $50m investment in BTC: https://images.ctfassets.net/2d5q1td6cyxq/5sXNrlEh2mEnTvvhgtYOm2/737bcfdc15e2a1c3cbd9b9451710ce54/Square_Inc._Bitcoin_Investment_Whitepaper.pdf Episode Sources: * Full list of episode sources available here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/16QCDNm2qzG3Bn5h1j1KXisxL_JGT7egDx7czX9ThHLY/edit?usp=sharing
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Wharton FinTech Podcast
Wharton FinTech Podcast
Wharton Fintech Podcast
Fractional Trading 101 with Apex Chief Product Officer Dustin Kirkland
What happens after you hit “buy” on that $300 order of Shopify stock (worth over $1,100 as of the day of the episode)? Fractional trading has become one of the hottest product features in Fintech, democratizing access to expensive shares (AMZN, BRK-A, CMG, etc.) to everyday investors. In addition, they allow more precise and comfortable investing and budgeting, as people can designate a notional dollar amount toward a purchase. But how exactly do you buy .3 of a share? Enter Apex Clearing, a PEAK6 company, one of the most innovative and digital-first clearing and custody platforms in the world. Apex powers the fractional capabilities of many companies you may use today, including Stash, M1 Finance, broker-dealers, major banks, and RIAs. They also powered Robinhood up until recently. In today’s episode, Ryan Zauk sits down with Apex’s Chief Product Officer, Dustin Kirkland, to learn about: - Dustin’s unusual path to FinTech (2:00) - What Apex does (8:00) - What is clearing & custody (9:00) - Clearing & Market Making (11:00) - The nuts & bolts of Fractional Trading (15:00) - Crypto trading and how it will disrupt equities (20:18) - And a rapid-fire round including the best Austin BBQ and some shared love for the Grateful Dead For more insights and analysis from FinTech leaders, follow us below: Medium: medium.com/wharton-fintech WFT Twitter: twitter.com/whartonfintech Ryan's Twitter: twitter.com/RyanZauk LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/wharton-fintech-club/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/whartonfintech/ Instagram: www.instagram.com/whartonfintech/ Apex Clearing is a custody and clearing engine that’s powering the future of digital wealth management. Our proprietary enterprise-grade technology delivers speed, efficiency and flexibility to firms ranging from innovative start-ups to blue-chip brands focused on transformation to capture a new generation of investors. We help our clients provide the seamless digital experiences today’s consumers expect with the throughput and scalability needed by fast-growing, high-volume financial services businesses. Founded in 2012, Apex Clearing is registered with the SEC, a member of FINRA and a Participant in SIPC.
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Equity
TechCrunch, Chris Gates, Alex Wilhelm, Danny Crichton, Natasha Mascarenhas, Grace Mendenhall
Checkout wants to be Rapyd and Fast
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture-capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. We’re back on this lovely Saturday with a bonus episode! Again! There is enough going on that to avoid failing to bring you stuff that we think matters, we are back yet again for more. This time around we are not talking Roblox, we're talking about ecommerce, and a number of rounds -- big _and_ small -- that have been raised in the space. Honest question: do y'all plan to release news on the same week? Are trends a social construct? From Natasha, Grace, Danny, and your humble servant, here's your run-down: * Webflow raised $140 million in a round that it says it did not need. This is not a new thing. Some startups are doing well, and don't burn much. So investors offer them more at a nice price. In this case $2.1 billion. (Webflow does no-code * Checkout.com raised $450 million. The rich really do get richer. In this case the founders of Checkout.com, whose company is now worth around $15 billion Checkout.com does, you guessed, online checkout work. Which as Danny explains is complicated and critical. * We also talked about this Bolt round, for context. * And sticking to the ecommerce theme, Rapyd raised $300 million at around a $2.5 billion valuation. There is infinte money available for late-stage fintech. * Early stage as well, it turns out, with Tradeswell raising $15.5 million to help businesses improve their net margins. * Finally, ending with a chat on infrastructure, Nacelle closed an $18 million Series A. And now we're going back to bed.
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Invest Like the Best
Patrick O'Shaughnessy
Oliver Hughes – The Secret FinTech Giant – [Founder’s Field Guide, EP.16]
My guest today is Oliver Hughes, the CEO of Tinkoff, the leading online commercial bank based in Russia. I found this conversation fascinating and think it will be essential for anyone who wants to understand online financial services or the next generation of fintech. Our conversation touches on how Tinkoff used direct mail campaigns to become the largest online banking provider in Russia, their last-mile delivery platform that combines couriers with door-to-door salesmen, and how they build profitability into every aspect of the business. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Oliver Hughes. For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content check out https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes/72486324/hughes-the-secret-fintech-giant This episode of Founder's Field Guide is sponsored by Klaviyo. Klaviyo is the ultimate marketing platform for ecommerce. With targeted segmentation, email automation, SMS marketing, and more, Klaviyo helps you create your ideal customer experience. See why Klaviyo's trusted by more than 50,000 brands, like Living Proof, Solo Stove, and Nomad to help them grow their business. For a free trial check out https://www.klaviyo.com/founders. This episode is also sponsored by Vanta. Vanta has built software that makes it easier to both get and maintain your SOC 2 report, at a fraction of the normal cost. Founders Field Guide listeners can redeem a $1k off coupon at vanta.com/patrick. Founder's Field Guide is a property of Colossus Inc. For more episodes of Founder's Field Guide go to https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes. Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here - https://www.joincolossus.com/newsletter. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag Follow Colossus on Twitter at @JoinColossus Show Notes [00:02:44] – [First question] – The origins of Tinkoff [00:06:18] – How they started and stayed profitable, and lessons learned [00:08:18] – Bringing Visa to Russia and what he took with him to Tinkoff [00:10:02] – Overall Credit card and Tinkoff's specifically business model [00:12:35] – Running an effective direct mail acquisition campaign [00:15:45] – Branching off from the original core credit card business into other spaces [00:18:45] – How he thinks about when to make competing investments [00:21:00] – Embedding into new businesses and how it goes wrong [00:24:50] – How they became a large door-to-door business in Russia [00:27:55] – Why that door-to-door business makes it hard to compete with them [00:29:38] – Challenges in the payments business [00:32:25] – Using content to help them grow their business [00:35:29] – Competitive frontiers for Tinkoff and how often they shift [00:38:45] – What the future of Tinkoff might look like and the Russian business environment [00:41:55] – State of the market in Russia today [00:45:27] – Recruiting talent and building culture [00:47:55] – What he enjoys most about his job [00:49:14] – Failures and lessons from them [00:52:00] – Kindest thing anyone has done for him
58 min
Fintech Insider Podcast by 11:FS
Fintech Insider Podcast by 11:FS
11:FS
494. News: Could the 2020s be THE decade for fintech?
Our expert hosts, Simon Taylor and Sarah Kocianski, are joined by some great guests to talk about the most notable fintech, financial services and banking news from the past week. This week's guests include: Shamir Karkal - Co-founder and CEO of Sila, former Co-founder and CTO of Simple Bradley Riss - Chief Commercial Officer, Checkout.com We cover the following stories from the fintech and financial services space: BBVA says that it is shutting down banking app Simple, and will transfer its users to BBVA USA London’s Checkout.com becomes Europe’s most valuable fintech at $15bn Plaid and Visa end plans for their monster merger, almost a year after it was announced Online lender SoFi to go public through merger with SPAC FCA sounds alarm bell over high risk crypto assets as banks won’t accept transfers from crypto wallets Two guesses left to access £175MILLION bitcoin account This podcast is brought to you by Jack Henry Digital (https://hubs.ly/H0w__kt0) the pioneer and creator of personal digital banking that helps community financial institutions strategically differentiate their digital offerings from those of MegaBanks, BigTechs and FinTechs. This podcast is also brought to you by Mitek (https://bit.ly/3bAy2HL)(NASDAQ: MITK). Mitek is a global leader in mobile capture and digital identity verification solutions built on the latest advancements in computer vision, artificial intelligence and machine learning. Mitek’s identity verification solutions enable an enterprise to verify a user’s identity during a digital transaction, which assists businesses operating in highly regulated markets to reduce financial risk and meet regulatory requirements while increasing revenue from digital channels. Financial services, marketplaces and other organizations around the world use Mitek to reduce friction creating the digital experiences their customers expect. Mobile Deposit® and Mobile Verify® are used by millions of consumers for check deposit, new account opening and more. The company is based in San Diego with offices in New York, London, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Paris and St Petersburg. Learn more at www.miteksystems.com. Banking as a Service is deconstructing the banking stack. It's enabling brands to embed finance more easily, and to tailor financial products to specific customer needs. This is presenting new opportunities for specialised providers and offers banks extra revenue streams. Download our report for a comprehensive, no BS view of what Banking as a Service is and what it means for the industry. Head to bit.ly/bankingasaservice (https://bit.ly/bankingasaservice). Fintech Insider by 11:FS is a podcast dedicated to all things fintech, banking, technology and financial services. Hosted by a rotation of 11:FS experts including David Brear, Simon Taylor, Jason Bates and Sarah Kocianski and joined by a range of brilliant guests, we cover the latest global news, bring you interviews from industry experts or take a deep dive into subject matters such as APIs, AI or digital banking. If you enjoyed this episode, don't forget to subscribe and please leave a review Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/fintechinsiders where you can ask the hosts questions, alternatively email podcasts@11fs.com! Special Guests: Bradley Riss and Shamir Karkal.
58 min
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