Meet Anurag Chandra, partner at Fort Ross Ventures

Steven Loeb · May 5, 2020 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/5023

The firm helps its portfolio companies make connections in the Eastern European market

Venture capital used to be a cottage industry, with very few investing in tomorrow's products and services. Oh, how times have changed!

While there are more startups than ever, there's also more money chasing them. In this series, we look at the new (or relatively new) VCs in the early stages: seed and Series A.

But just who are these funds and venture capitalists that run them? What kinds of investments do they like making, and how do they see themselves in the VC landscape?

We're highlighting key members of the community to find out.

Anurag Chandra is a partner at Fort Ross Ventures.

Chandra has been a member of the Silicon Valley tech community for 20 years, as both an investor and operator. At Lighthouse Capital Partners, The Galleon Crossover Fund, and NXT Capital he invested in early to late-stage technology companies focused primarily on enterprise computing, software, and digital media.

His operating experience includes senior executive roles at venture-backed companies that were sold to public companies, including Vice President of Finance at netDialog (sold to Kana Communications) and Vice President of Corporate and Business Development at Intraspect Software (sold to Vignette Corporation). 

Chandra serves on the Board of Directors at Upaya, a social impact venture creating jobs for the ultra poor and is also a Trustee for the San Jose Federated Employees Pension Fund where he also serves as Chairman of the Investment Committee. He was recognized by the Silicon Valley Business Journal as one of the Valley’s “Top 40 under 40.“ 

VatorNews: What is your firm’s investment philosophy or methodology? 

Anurag Chandra: I met Victor Orlovski, founder and managing partner of Fort Ross, for the first time back in 2016; he was launching the second fund for Fort Ross (I was not a part of Fund I). Victor tried to manage Fund I from Moscow, making investments mostly in the United States and Israel. He quickly determined that’s just not feasible, you really have to be on the ground. So, like many immigrants before him, he relocated his entire family to the Valley in August of 2016. Mutual friends introduced us and they told Victor that he really needed to find someone with local experience, a local network, who had done a bunch of deals, been through some cycles, to help him. We hit it off in our first meeting and we continued to have conversations.

One of the things I said to Victor early on was, “Silicon Valley doesn’t need any more money. If I’m being honest, there’s too much money in Silicon Valley, it’s part of the problem, so why are you going to matter? What are you going to do to differentiate? I’ve helped launch a couple of other funds in Silicon Valley in the past, and you really need to have some meaningful differentiation to rise above the noise.” He proceeded to tell me about some of the things that they had done for their Fund I portfolio companies. 

To understand Victor’s strengths and insights, it’s important to talk about his stature in the Eastern European tech market. Victor had built the entire data center and tech infrastructure for Sberbank, which is the largest bank in Russia. It’s the largest bank in Eastern Europe, and it’s one of the five largest banks in Europe, and on a return on capital basis I think it’s the most profitable. They had very little technology to speak of when he joined in the early 2000s, and he built one of the most modern private cloud architected backbones. I think it’s the most sophisticated there is among global financial institutions. It was a pretty impressive accomplishment.

He was voted global CIO a couple of times, and I found out that he was able to bring companies into Sberbank, and make Sberbank into a customer. Not only that, he was such an important player in the region. He was the largest buyer of Cisco, not just in the region but globally at one point, and the largest buyer of Oracle in the region. He knows John Chambers, he knew Mark Hurd before he passed away, he was sort of like a top 20 or 50 tech personality in the region. All of the systems integrators were always trying to sell him products. Sberbank’s B2C presence is pretty impressive too: they’ve got over 60 million mobile users, which  more than all the U.S. banks combined. And Sberbank has been very savvy in offering other digital products to their customers who have their app. Victor was Chief Cigital Officer before he left, and he built several large non financial digital businesses for the bank. The bank had helped Uber with the regulatory framework in Moscow so they could enter the market when they were getting pushback from the local taxi industry. Understanding Victor’s background, I realized, this is something we can work with. We can provide this unique access to a pretty important market. People don’t usually think of Eastern Europe, but it is the fourth largest economic bloc in the world. I certainly didn’t think of this at the time but, as we’ve evolved and I’ve now become part of the team, it dawned on me that startups have to go global faster than ever. I know that personally: I’ve been in startups before I became a VC, and at my second startup, when we were filing to go public, the bankers noted that we did not have an international presence and it would look good to have one for the S-1 registration, so the CEO looked at me and said, “Go to Europe. Pick your favorite city and set up a subsidiary for us there.” 

Today, companies are actually trying to have substantive partnerships and revenue generation globally by Series B and C. I tell entrepreneurs, “You’re not getting into China, ever. Japan is a promising market, but they tend to move more slowly and it takes time and resources. Western Europe is there, but I don’t think you need special expertise to go there or VCs with strategic capabilities. The Western Europe go to market playbook is pretty well known. But there’s this other part of the world that you’ve probably neglected because it’s a bunch of different countries, and there are local language issues and relatedt stuff, but we can help you with that.” 

Coming back to answer the question more specifically, we believe that you have to bring more than just capital, particularly when you’re playing at the mid-stage and later stage. You need to try to help scale these companies in some tangible ways. One obvious one for us is that we  have premiere access to this fourth largest economic region. There’s also a lot of symmetry between the way I’ve done deals in my career and the way Victor thinks about things, which is we want to be good corporate citizens. We want to help people and companies even if they’re not in our portfolio, spread goodwill and hopefully, it redounds to our benefit. I guess you can shorthand it and call it “business karma” or “professional karma.” Weedive into companies, tear into their operations, try to figure out what they could be doing better to leverage either sales and marketing or their R&D capabilities, and then we also try and help them access this new market opportunity.

VN: What are your categories of interest? 

AC: I’ll start by answering what we don't invest in because it’s an easier way to narrow. We stay away from life sciences, that’s not an area where we have domain expertise on our team, and we stay away from cleantech. Largely everything else is fair game, but we primarily like software, and we’re really interested in where AI and ML are going, less from a platform technologies point of view, but rather, actual applications. I think people are going to start selling machine learning models as standalone services or applications, so that’s exciting. We think AI is moving from platform to front office, where it’s helping with workflow and things like that, so that’s also very interesting to us. But generally we love software, whether SaaS-based or infrastructure, SMB or enterprise. We have the expertise to evaluate all of it.

Fintech is another obvious area- with one of our strategic LPs being the large bank that I mentioned. With Victor’s background we have a lot of capabilities to do diligence and help grow fintech businesses. Cloud is very important and another place where we’ve got a lot of expertise in-house. Security is important to us as well; we  invest out of Israel, and obviously there’s a lot of cybersecurity talent there. We added a new partner to the team a couple of months ago, Sharin Fisher, who’s a rock star and she's going to help us improve our presence and deal sourcing in Israel. 

We also do consumer stuff and like marketplaces; the bar’s higher for certain consumer spaces like e-commerce, but if we think there’s a good network effect concept that can also scale where we can help- we’ve got all these digital users that we have access to through our partners in Eastern Europe- we will take a close look. We can help them organically grow their networks faster, those are also interesting opportunities for us.  

VN: Are there specific verticals you like to invest in?

AC: Fintech is a vertical as well as a technology, but beyond that we’re opportunistic in the sense that we’re looking for entrepreneurs to lead us to interesting markets. We’re not so thesis-driven where we say, “We’re only looking for companies in insurtech or proptech.” We just did two proptech investments in the last six months and we’re currently looking at a bunch of insurtech businesses. But we are reacting to product market fit, which is driven by the entrepreneurs. 

On a personal level, I like to follow founders. They’re the ones that are spending their day trying to find signals and find white spaces in interesting verticals. At Fort Ross, I think we’re able to understand any vertical as long as the platform technology is one that we’re comfortable with. 

VN: What's the big macro trend you're betting on?

AC: There are a few macro trends. For example, there’s a 20 percent year over year growth in IT spend in the Eastern European market and cloud spending is continuing to become an increasing part of the equation for them. So, the ability to leverage that market for our portfolio companies is one of our macro trends. 

This is also a very interesting time for what can be built on certain platform technologies. Particularly with AI and ML, we think that’s a 10 or 15 year hyper growth phenomenon, where you’re going to build some category companies, so that’s a second macro trend. A third is the continued digitization of the globe with 5G. That’s also something that we’re excited about. We’re going to have people with more powerful supercomputers in their pocket and it’s going to be interesting to see the types of things we can do on mobile platforms.

VN: What is the size of your current fund and how many investments do you typically make in a year?

AC: The current fund is $235 million We did a first close and second close. We announced the second close in March, but the announcement was about 60 or 75 days after it officially closed; we had already deployed a bunch of the capital through the first close, which happened at the beginning of 2018, so we’re about halfway through the fund.  

Four to six deals a year is the pace we like to have, and we can dial that up. For instance, if we decide this is a good time because valuations are low, we can be opportunistic and  ramp up. Alternatively, we might say, “COV-19 had really made it impossible to predict revenue projections, we’re better off laying low and picking up the pace again in 2021.” But a good rule of thumb is four to six deals.  

VN: What stage/series do you invest in and how much is that in dollar amount for you? 

AC: We’re a mid-stage fund, and typically that manifests as Series B and C and an occasionally D, when we’re doing our top of the funnel sourcing. Private companies don't publish their revenue traction so we try to keep an eye on companies that are approaching B, or just raised their B or C, so we can catch them at B, C or D.  

At any of these stages, we’re looking to write $5 to $10 million checks with additional reserves.  We want to have some diversity in the fund and not be too concentrated.  

VN: What kind of traction does a startup need for you to invest? Do you have any specific numbers?

AC: We're looking for companies that have done $10 million in revenue trailing or greater. What we’re trying to keep an eye on is whether they can demonstrate revenue traction outside of a handful of customers that, quite frankly, may have come from non-arm's length relationships? Most entrepreneurs and startup executives have pre-existing relationships and they’re able to get their first few deals through their personal networks. We want to see something that’s more arm’s length, something that comes out of a structured sales and marketing process. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be repeatable and predictable yet- where you’re humming and all you need is just more fuel. If there’s still some tweaking and tuning that needs to be done, that’s actually where we think we shine, and that’s where we want to come in. For a company that still needs tuning and tweaking at the sales and marketing stage, their presumably going to be valued lower than one where the engines are all humming, and we want to try to get in at that stage, hopefully at a lower valuation, but then roll up our sleeves and help solve some of those scaling challenges.  

I’d call the $10 million threshold a rough rule of thumb. We talked about a bunch of different types of technologies, we also talked about B2B versus B2C, and different verticals; I wouldn’t say the $10 million applies across all of them. That’s probably a good shorthand for software and some of the enterprise technologies, but in consumer it might be different. For instance, several years ago I looked at the adtech space, I wouldn't look at any adtech businesses unless they were doing at least $50 million, maybe even $100m, in revenue. It was very easy to get experimental budgets and grow to that scale without having a good and stable business model. That’s an example by way of illustration to say that it varies. That’s why we describe ourselves as mid to growth stage. We want to see enough revenue traction to know that the market likes your product but not necessarily where you’re approaching unicorn status because you’ve figured out your business model completely. 

VN: You’re a little later than some of the companies I’ve spoken to for this column, and they always say the most important thing is the team. Is the team still important to you at the mid-stage? What are you looking for from them?

AC: I’ve spent time in the early stage, and have also personally done angel investments  and the truth is you just have so little to go on. You’re really buying a vision and you’re buying almost next to no execution, so you really are evaluating the ability of the team to do multiple things, and be really adaptable and flexible while doing those multiple things. They’re invariably going to fail many times and likely have to pivot. So, it really does come down to all of those qualitative issues about the team’s ability to adapt and be nimble. 

For us, the team  is still really relevant; however, the difference is, proportionally, if you think about the amount of time that you’re spending on diligence as a pie, we don’tt spend it all on the team. We have to dig into financials, the product, the way the reference architecture is built to see if it will work well in partnership with some of the relationships that we have. So, it still matters a lot but it’s not the beginning and the end of the work, we do other things. 

The last thing I’ll say about the team is that we can probably deal with an imperfect team a bit more. I’m a basketball fan. There are five players on the court, and if you’re doing an early stage, you want all of the players in each position to at least be excellent role players and you want a couple of superstars. 

In our situation, we can probably be okay with one position being kind of “eh,” knowing that we’ll help find a good replacement. The company’s gotten good growth with maybe a little bit of weakness on the team, and that’s okay. We can maybe flag that and help them. Teams change over the lifecycle of a startup. The people who are best suited to take a company from zero to $10 million aren’t necessarily always the same people who are going to take you from $10 to $20 to $50 million. So we can be more comfortable with a little bit of “needs to improve in certain areas of the team” but I want to make sure that I come back and underscore that it’s not like the team becomes less important; there’s got to be a strong founding base comprised of really strong people who have the typical entrepreneurial drive. They want to move mountains, they’re determined, they have vision, and they won't give up.

VN: This is an interesting time to talk about valuations, now that we’re in a very uncertain time. What do you see happening, especially given what’s been going on with the economy and coronavirus? Have you seen any fluctuation? 

AC: Already, yes. We’ve had pitches where we asked questions of the company and then when we come around to the mechanics of the round and valuation,  the CEO volunteers, “Yeah, we’d be okay with a flat round or even a little bit of a down round would be okay at this time. I just need some cushion to make it through.” I’ve personally been surprised that people have been that transparent. I’m not prepared to give you a percentage because all my information is anecdotal, but it’s not one or two anecdotes, it’s half a dozen, and maybe my partners have similar ones, so we may be approaching a dozen over the last five weeks, where you can already see that sobriety in the voice and tone of the CEO when talking about raising money in this environment. 

It feels like valuations are down 20, 30 or 40 percent, somewhere in that range; I don’t want to pinpoint it right now, but there are definitely people who just want to get a round done and get some cushion capital into their company. Now, it’s debatable as to whether or not it's cushion capital, but that’s certainly the way that they’re all trying to frame it. They want to make it seem like, “We’re still in a position of strength but it would be a good time to raise just to weather the storm. We don’t know how long COVID-19 will last.” 

This is why I personally believe the bar should be really high right now, because I think everyone went through the cycle of reforecasting their projections. They did their annual operating plans for their boards in January or early February, and then had to turn around in mid-March and reforecasted everything down. Well, they did it off of scant information. We’re seeing that every two weeks  the situation with COVID-19 is developing and evolving in meaningful ways. I bet most people didn’t take deep enough cuts with their initial reforecast. I’m not including companies like Zoom, who is crushing it right now, or Scott’s Tissue and toilet paper; I’m talking about companies for whom COVID-19 hasn’t become a tailwind. They’re probably going to do worse than they’re anticipating and they'll probably be coming back to market needing money in Q1 of next year or early Q2, in slightly worse shape from a revenue profile than they anticipated. 

So, valuations could even be better then, because right now my guess is that the strong companies are not looking for money. We tried to get all of our portfolio companies to reforecast in a way where they have at least 18 months of cash, and we were successful with doing that with just about every one of our Fund II companies. So, none of them are going to market right now. The really bad companies probably are but that’s adverse selection and I don’t think anyone’s going to give them money. The others are kind of these tweeners, and unless they’ve got a really compelling story I think it makes a lot of sense to wait. 

VN: There are many venture funds out there today, so how do you differentiate yourself to limited partners? How do you differentiate to your portfolio companies? 

AC: We point to two things: one, we do think this Eastern European angle is unique. So far, the message is resonating really well, and it’s interesting: we’re about to redo our website and I just got off a call this morning after collecting some quotes from our portfolio companies. Not including the Fund I CEOs, it’s really interesting how many of the CEOs in Fund II with whom we have more recent relationships have pointed out that we’ve immediately come in and added value. One of our CEOs said, “We were surprised by the number of introductions we got right off the bat from Fort Ross.Most VCs are gone within moments after signing the check. You never hear from VCs again after that.”

Silicon Valley seems really big but the community gets small really fast; the same is definitely true in the Israeli market. Once you get a reputation for rolling up your sleeves and adding value, entrepreneurs share that with others. When they’re in the bars and at their meetups.  Our fellow VCs talk about us being good board mmebers. These things do percolate up. If you’re sitting outside the ecosystem as an LP, or as someone who observes this market, it seems so huge and massive, but venture is small. I’ve been doing this 20 years and I feel one degree separated, or at most two, from  the partners at a lot of the top firms and micro VCs . People are talking about us and so far we’re building really good momentum because we have an interesting product. We’re not China or Japan. Western Europe doesn’t require a lot of hand holding, but here’s this other region and look you’re not the beta test for us. We’ve already got many examples of companies that we’ve helped expand their sales and marketing by bringing them into the region. We point that out. We don't think there’s another firm with our capabilities, so that’s one of our differentiators.

The other thing we point out to people is that mid-stage is an interesting place because you have financial VCs who are just another venture firm, who typically price Series B or C rounds. What you end up with if you take money from those people, just to be a little cheeky about it, is just another venture guy or gal on your board. You already got that from your seed and your Series A. Hopefully you’re working with a great Series A fund, so you’ve got a good halo effect with a good brand name and a good partner. I would say that you start to see marginal benefit from adding a second or third or fourth venture person. 

The other value-add out there, in theory, isCorporate Venture Capital, the CVCs. I personally have had poor experience with the actual value you ultimately drive from CVCs. But let’s argue for a minute that they provide follow through- they come in at a much later stage and they typically don’t lead rounds. They’re typically follow-on investors. So, we think there’s this unique spot for us as financial VCs who can lead and price rounds or just participate in a strong VC syndicate, and also bring several strategic relationships through our strategic LPs and the broader set of global relationships we have throughout our partnership. 

So with Fort Ross, you kind of get the best of both: you get someone who can price you at B and C, and also start to bring some of those strategic capabilities a lot of sooner. As I already said earlier, companies have to go international much earlier than they’ve ever had to before in their life cycle, so it’s the perfect timing for us to occupy this space. 

We recently had a quote from one of our CEOs who said, “The Fort Ross folksare willing to drop everything on the spot and get on a call any time we have operational issues.” For example, one company was uncomfortable with how things were going with their CTO, and Victor was on the board of the company and dove in and spent a lot of time with the CTO to understand the way his organization had been built. Victor was the CTO of one of the largest banks in the world and was able to give the board visibility that they said they traditionally never get when they’re trying to figure out what's going on in the CTO’s domain. 

I've spent a bunch of my career helping companies understand what it takes to scale from zero to $5 million, then $5 to $20 million, $20 to $50 million; I pick those because they tend to be good breakpoints and require different skills and different go-to-market strategies from an internal operations point of view. We spend a lot of time with our companies internally focused on operations, helping them figure out the best way to improve things like their CAC/LTV ratio. We’re pretty metrics driven as well. 

VN: What are some of the investments you’ve made that you're super excited about? Why did you want to invest in those companies?

AC: Last year we invested in a robotics and automation company called Fetch Robotics. What excited me about the business at first was the team. The founder, Melonee Wise, is a bit of a rock star in the robotics world. What we really loved was the way she was complemented by the COO, Carl Showalter. We’re convinced that robotics and automation in industrial settings is going to happen. 

In fact, there are a lot of reports right now that COVID-19 is probably going to accelerate the pace of that adoption. So, that was one where we liked the big picture, we liked where the market was headed, it's a big growing space, and we liked the team. We had to go back and get a lot smarter on robots, so we spent a lot of time internally doing a market landscape, understanding the players and their different capabilities. Then, when you’re doing robots, you’re talking about hardware as well, and all VCs get a little bit nervous about hardware for many of the obvious reasons, so we had to get comfortable with the idea of a business that has a BOM, carries inventory, and has to worry about cash getting sucked up in those kinds of activities. Ultimately, we got there and we’re really excited: they’ve done a good job of augmenting their team and we’ve been helpful there. 

There’s a proptech company called Roofstock which we closed in December. We really like that one; it’s a marketplace to help institutional and high net worth investors get exposure to single family residence investing. It’s a really cool platform that helps people who buy properties easily rent the properties out and deal with all the service and maintenance you have to do on behalf of the tenant. They have a top-notch team, and we co-invested with some premier Silicon Valley investors. 

Another company that we closed at the end of last year is Rescale, and that really fits our wheelhouse. I’ve spent some time previously in my career in the high performance computing space. It’s been a niche area because it’s very expensive to build high performance computing data centers and infrastructure. The government labs do it, the oil and gas industry does it, sometimes people in animation and rendering, automotive does it. These are people who need really high performance throughput,. But it really has not been mainstream.

Just to help explain: it’s kind of like you have to build an entire hotel before you can rent out the first room; no one’s going to go occupy a room if the hotel is half built, but building the hotel is cost prohibitive so you don’t go into the business unless you know can get your bang for the buck out of it. So, what if you turned high performance computing into a cloud function, where you could just pay by room, you didn’t have to build the entire hotel before you could use it? That’s what Rescale has done. 

It’s interesting because this was one of the companies where Victor, through his background as CTO, saw it immediately. His eyes got wide, and his antenna started twitching. For me, having come more from the startup world, and having invested in HPC (high performance computing) and having tried to spin out an HPC company from Silicon Graphics when it was going bankrupt, my eyes got wide, too. So, we both, from totally different career perches, were able to see the same opportunity. We’re pretty excited about that one. Two things are going to happen: When the dev-ops people come to the CFO at those big companies I mentioned and say, “We’re running out of capacity, we’ve got to build a new hotel,” instead of the CFO pushing back all the time saying, “Really? Can't you get more out of what you got?” she is going to say, “Go to these Rescale guys.” So, that’s huge. And then there’s a whole class of enterprises that have never built high performance computing applications because it just wasn’t in the cards for them to ever have the resources to build the hotel. So, we think it opens a totally new segment of the market. AI and ML will create similar HPC computing needs for a new class of enterprises.  

VN: What are some lessons you learned?

AC: The first thing I would say is that venture capital is not for the faint of heart. If you’re going to do it you’ve kind of got to be committed to being in it for the long term. This is not public market investing, you can’t just decide you want to buy Apple stock today and then sell it tomorrow because it went up 12 percent and that’s a good return. We’ve had market corrections, like we are seeing now, three times over the past 20 years. Those setbacks will, unfortunately, wash out some of the companies. You lose time. In this instance, most people are probably losing the year 2020 in terms of their growth plan, it’s giant divot: you go from 2019 to 2021 with this skip and as a venture capitalist you have to manage to a 10 year funds, maybe an extension of one or two years, but it creates pressure to know that your portfolio has lost a full year. Nonethless, your LPs and you have to have that long term view and patience. I find the people who don’t act like tourists, who do venture capital with a commitment to the long run get rewarded. That’s one of the most important lessons that I've learned. 

Another lesson is that although Silicon Valley has become more transactional (there’s a lot more money in the system), when I started it was a little bit more of a cottage industry, a little bit more collaborative and more collegial andthat is still the right way to do business. It’s still good to invest in relationships and people, pay it forward, and help entrepreneurs whenever you can, even if you’re not going to invest in their company. All of that does come back to burnish your reputation. People say nice things about you, and then other entrepreneurs, where maybe there is a fit with your fund philosophy, are more likely to want to work with you. That’s something that I’ve really underscored at Fort Ross: we’re new, our brand name isn’t yet established, we’re not a household name, sowe have to always do those little things. It seems like a big industry but it’s actually pretty small.

The third thing I’ve learned is, you’ve got to be careful not chasing these momentum markets. Things get really hot and you look at all those companies that achieve unicorn valuations in 2011, 2012, 2013; most of them aren’t that good of a company any longer. You just have to kind of stick with your principles and that’s the hardest thing to do. It’s really easy to get caught up in the herd mentality and the emotion, and be like, “I don't want to miss out on this one.” You have to be mindful of it. For instance, in real estate tech and property tech, we feel like it’s at the beginning of becoming a hype bubble, the way fintech did a few years ago. We may be wrong about that but we actually did underwrite to that because our thought was always, “It’s easier to raise money when there’s rising tide, when a space is getting bubblicious,” but we didn’t invest in a company thinking, “There’s a bubble, let’s get in now and then in two years it will get marked up and we’ll sell it.” We still did all the analytics on the business model, on the long term durability of the business. There’s nothing worse than investing in something that you didn’t have personal conviction in, and then it not working out. It’s much easier to say, “I really believed in it but it didn't work out.”

VN: What excites you the most about your position as VC?

AC: There’s a lot of noise in the culture and because I’ve been around for 20 years I've seen it evolve in some unhealthy ways. You go to work every day and you can start to feel overwhelmed by how your industry has changed, in some ways for the worse, but the entrepreneurs always bring me back to first principles and get me really excited about joining them. We’re getting into the sidecar alongside them on the journey and hopefully we’re adding some value and direction along the way.

I tell founders, “You’re the hero in the story, you’re the world class athlete, and you’re about to embark on the Tour de France. I could never get on the cycle and do as good a job as you. You’re a better athlete than I am, you’re better trained than I am, but I’ve seen this route 10 times in my life. I know when to draft, I know when to scale, I know what to do when it’s raining. Those are the things that I can help you with.” I always make sure that they know that I think they’re the world class athlete and it’s really gratifying to play any small role in their journey. 

VN: Is there anything else that you think I should know about you or the firm or your thoughts about the venture industry in general?

AC: What I would love to have as the takeaway is: we do roll up our sleeves, we do get actively involved in helping our companies operationally and then we bring this really interesting go-to-market capability in a region that we don’t think other people have the same access to. We have some nice proof points thus far and our goal is to build a long term enduring fund based on those principles.

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