Greylock's David Thacker on seed investing

How entrepreneurs can tap into Greylocks' $20M Discovery Fund. And, what Greylock is looking for

Investor interview by Bambi Francisco Roizen
November 12, 2010
Short URL:

David Thacker, a venture capitalist at Greylock, is looking pretty prescient right now. He had the foresight to bring Gowalla into the Greylock fold as well as Pandora. Gowalla is one of the leading location-based services startups and Pandora is the leading personalized radio station.

In this interview, first of a three-part series, Thacker talks about Greylock's evolution from classic Series A venture firm to seed investor with its new Discovery Fund. The move to seed investing reflects the changing tech landscape as entrepreneurs access more open-source technologies and require very little to get off the ground, David explained. The $20 million Discovery Fund places as little as $25,000 into startups. The investment decision process is also expedited as partners can make decisions on their own without having all the partners sign off.

If you're lucky enough to sit down with a Greylock partner, you might get an answer within 24 hours. "Rounds come together quickly," said David, referring to early-stage investment rounds.

So, what's David looking for? Davis, as well as his partners, look for a strong team. They're also more inclined to like founders with product-oriented backgrounds rather than sales and marketing backgrounds. They also look for markets that are ripe for disruption?

What are those markets? You'll have to watch the interview to find out.