Rethinking the traditional VC model with Bryce Roberts of Indie.VC
Jan. 22, 2019, 9 p.m.
Bryce Roberts is co-founder and managing director of a different kind of VC firm, Indie.VC. He recently announced v3 of their fund model which is focused on backing revenue-generating companies that are seeking financial independence from the traditional VC rat race.
Prior to starting the fund four years ago, Bryce invested in seed stage startups in the mid-2000's out of O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures (OATV). Portfolio companies include Bitly, Chartbeat, Codecademy, Foursquare, Hipcamp, OpenX, and a bunch of others. He joins me all the way from his home base in Utah.
In this episode:
- We talk all things venture capital, including how it's changed over the past decade and where it's going in the future. We've previously talked a bit about distributed teams on the startup side, but here we also talk about distributed teams when it comes to investing, including when Bryce moved from the Bay Area to Utah in the middle of a fund.
- How founders can be more honest with themselves about what they really want, and why so many want to quit chasing venture funding that they don't really want, and which leaves them in an escalating cycle of constantly reaching for the next funding milestone.
- We talk about which geographies in Bryce is most bullish on for startups, besides the Bay Area.
- We also get sidetracked talking about Bryce's membership in the “first name club” on Twitter (his username is @bryce) and whether we might be seeing any of the videos he's created on TikTok anytime soon (we won't).
We also talk about some of Bryce's favorite products, including the Apple Watch, a headband that is supposed to help you sleep, and why TikTok is so addictive.
We’ll be back next week so be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Breaker, Overcast, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts. Also, big thanks to AngelList and FreshBooks for their support. 😸
Quotes from This Episode
“Part of the idea behind Indie.VC was, what kinds of companies, ideas, products and founders could exist in the world and could have their ideas and company cultures embodied in the world through technology? How would it be different or what would it look like if they didn’t have to keep asking investors for permission to exist or if they didn’t have to keep contorting and forcing themselves into the box that looks like it has a stamp on it that says 'fundable?'” — Bryce
“If you look at where funding goes, if you look at the fact that 90% of it still goes to one gender, if you look at the fact that 75 to 80% of it still goes to essentially three cities, that starts to highlight the idea that if that next milestone isn’t necessarily funding, how could you invest differently? If you could support founders who had an aversion to raising venture money because they’ve been burned by it in the past or they wanted to do things that didn’t necessarily fit that mold or people in places or who don’t look like what VCs have traditionally funded, the best way to ensure those ideas exist in them world in the short term at least is to not necessarily rely on that next fundable milestone mindset that that I think is more prevalent in venture maybe than we’d like to admit.” — Bryce
Companies and Products Mentioned in This Episode
Apple Watch — The most powerful and advanced smartwatch yet.
Bevel — A complete shaving system.
Domo — A digitally connected business, right on your phone.
Dreem — A solution that acts on your brain to enhance sleep.
Freshly Picked — Quality mom and baby products.
Pluralsight — World's largest tech and creative training library.
Qualtrics — Leading research and experience software.
TikTok — A creative music video clip maker.
Walker and Company — Making health and beauty simple for people of color.