Episode 024 - Jackie Vullinghs - Venture Capital & Investable Businesses - NOT The Rob Bell Podcast | Limeworks

Episode 024 - Jackie Vullinghs

Venture Capital & Investable Businesses

In this episode of Not The Rob Bell Podcast, Jackie takes us through the world of Venture Capital.

She's worked in startups but is now Investment Manager at Airtree Ventures, an Aussie VC firm which has invested in Prospa, Canva, and so many more.

We chat about misconceptions around Venture Capital, how Venture funds are looking for investable businesses, just as much as businesses are looking for investors.

It's an insightful discussion and lifts some of the mystery from how Venture Capital works - check it out!

Connect with Jackie: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jvullinghs/
Jackie's website: www.jvullinghs.com
Airtree Ventures: https://www.airtree.vc/

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Transcription

Please note, while an effort is made to provide an accurate transcription, errors and omissions may be present. No part of this transcription can be referenced or reproduced without permission.

Rob: So I've got Jackie Vullinghs, Investment Manager at AirTree Ventures joining us on the show today. Thanks so much for the chat, Jackie.

Jackie: No problem. Looking forward to chatting.

Rob: It's gonna be a great one for sure. And so people have probably already picked up on a bit of a British accent there. And so I don't suspect don't suppose that you are native Australian. Can you give us a bit of an understanding of where you started your professional journey?

Jackie: Sure. I have an incredibly thick British accent, so I can understand how that came through. I grew up born and raised just outside of London in the UK. So, yeah, I went to school, the university outside of London as well in Cambridge and studied a history degree, which I think is pretty rare for the kind of people on this side of the world. People tend to be a bit more vocational and their degrees. But back in the UK, you can still kind of chase your interests without having to worry too much about what you're going to do with your job afterwards. So did a history degree and then made the kind of natural jump across to equity derivatives and selling

Rob: Totally natural.

Jackie: Selling those on the trading floor at Citigroup. So, yeah, that's why I started my grad grad job. And that was kind of everything that you expect with trading for your hundreds of people in one room standing up, shouting. I had six screens and all of that. And then I did that for five and a half years between Citi. And then I went and ran the desk at Merrill Lynch selling European equity derivatives to US hedge funds and institutions and some of the biggest funds in the world. And that was kind of a wild ride. But I worked out around the age of 26. I just wasn't on the right path. I think you can kind of be running very fast in one direction and then realise that you're running in the wrong direction. And so I knew I didn't want to be my bosses when I grew up. And at the same time, I was kind of finding myself more and more interested in understanding the fundamentals of business and how these companies worked on a kind of. Fundamental basis. And so I decided to kind of take a big leap and do my own kind of personal real life in MBA by quitting my job and going and joining a high growth startup and at the same time reading all the all the business books that would give me all the theory that an MBA might be able to give me. I went into that and I spent a couple of years at a B2B saas startup, based out of London, doing building software for businesses that work with a lot of freelancers. So almost like your H.R. system. But for all the freelancers you work with everything to onboard, manage and pay them. And we had customers like Netflix for their videographers and Airbnb for their photographers. And it was kind of an amazing, amazing experience. I kind of learnt more than a couple of years and I'd learnt in six years in banking

Rob: Sure.

Jackie: Yeah, it was it was great, great fun. And we joined them at seed stage, raised venture capital from some of the biggest investors in the world, hired a bunch of people, move the company of San Francisco. And kind of at that moment, it was probably the right moment for me to make the decision. I wanted what I wanted to do next. I did well. My partner didn't want to move to San Francisco. I wasn't particularly sold on the idea myself. And I kind of missed elements investing as well. So it's kind of ready to make a big decision and do something. You and my partner and I decided to kind of take take another big risk and then move over to Australia. And so I landed here about two and a half years ago and moved on to the investing side of startups.

Rob: Awesome. See you before we get to the investing side. So this company that you're working at is Kalo from what I understand,

Jackie: Yeah Kalo.

Rob: Kalo.

Jackie: Yep.

Rob: Okay. I did check about how to pronounce pronounce it. And I think I got two versions. I had to just pick one. But that's okay. So. So your time there culminated as being chief of staff and no doubt had quite a lot of aspects to it as well. But. So they took on quite a lot of investment around sort of six months before you exited. Was that investment what catalysed the entire move for them to San Francisco and ultimately your exit? Or was there some other factors at play there as well?

Jackie: Yeah, I think, um. It was all the kind of result of us showing some early product market fit. So we raised a seed round. And the idea was with that money to essentially get a number of customers who are all buying the product for the same reason and spending more and more money with you. And we started to show early signs of that. That was when we signed Netflix. We had Expedia and we had a few other customers. And it was starting to look like we were onto something. And so Valar Ventures, which is a big fund out of New York backed by Peter Thiel. He their fund decided to write a big series A check into us. And so we took that money. And part of what that money was to do is I think it's kind of a natural thing often for B2B saas companies when they start scaling to move your go to market office over to the US and so, while, we kept R&D in London. We moved a lot of the go to market function over there to be able to kind of be in the same timezone and the same country as customers. And so the money enabled us to do that. But it was kind of part of the timeline that it was likely to happen anyway.

Rob: Because I mean, in in sort of that that start up culture, there is a almost a gravity of its own right towards San Francisco, but it feels like there is there was more of a it was more of a strategic move for Kalo in terms of the client base that you were developing.

Jackie: Yeah, I think so many of the customers that we had with people who are using freelancers more or more and that in their organisations, and that's often led by the tech sector, it was tech, and it was also media. And so many of those companies are based in the US. And so and it was really a strategic move to be able to be really, really close to customers.

Rob: Yes, certainly, it certainly sounds like it makes a lot more sense than just a hands in the air. Ah, we'll go to San Francisco and it will probably work out if we if we do that. So you find yourself moving to Australia and you've gone back into the finance sector. Was that's sort of a planned move or was it just trying to to make that transition to an entirely new continent?

Jackie: It was probably, you know, we wanted to move to Australia first and foremost, I think, and I'm partner's parents live there and my mum's Kiwi. And so I'd actually been through to Sydney on my way to New Zealand a fair bit as a kid. And we came here one Christmas time. And just was that moment of when you're when you have to get home anything. Why are we going home again? This place is so much better than where we come from and where we're living today. Why don't we just not leave next time? And so, yeah, we really wanted to move here. And then. I you know, I kind of went through a process of trying to work out what I wanted to do. And to be honest, I didn't really know if I wanted to do startups or investing. When I when I came here initially and I thought I couldn't find the company that I wanted to go join from my initial research. And I thought, I'll try out Venture Capital, it seems to be the kind of thing that would suit my interests it offers kind of a level of breadth that I think is really interesting for a curious person. And you get to kind of interact with startups and founders every day. And so I. Liked the sound of it. I have no idea if I'd actually really enjoy it. And so I applied for a job. Fortunately, got that job and then kind of got started in at NAB's Venture Capital Fund. And that was good fun. But it was it was still working in a corporate. Having done the startup life, I think it was it's very, very hard to transition back into

Rob: Sure.

Jackie: a corporate, and so when I got offered the chance to work at Airtree, which is obviously such a brilliant fund, I um kind of jumped at that chance.

Rob: That's very cool. And so you made the jump to Airtree, as you mentioned. Can you give us a bit of a rundown about Airtree ventures as a fund and how that really is distinct from something like NAB Ventures?

Jackie: So Airtree is one of the largest venture capital funds in Australia. Now we have just over half a billion dollars under management and our most recent fund which we raised at the kind of tail end of last year and is 275 million dollars. And so we raised that money from a mix of superannuation funds and high net worth individuals. You give us that money with the goal of getting three to four times that money back in seven to 10 years time. And that's kind of different to say what NAB's doing when NAB is they're kind of investing the banks own money in things that are strategic for the bank in the long term. And so there very

Jackie: And what Airtree really is looking to do is, Airtree was set up by Craig and Daniel in 2014. And they saw this opportunity where technology was developing from something that was really to do with kind of computing to something that was touching every sector of the economy and an opportunity for that was huge. And at the same time, they saw, you know, what Australia's future going to be and what do we want Australia's future to be? And know I think their belief was, and our believe still is that the future of Australia lies in innovation. And if we can be part of helping create those new jobs and build new companies from here in Australia, that would be. A very worthwhile purpose. And so that's what we're looking to do. Now we we invest in early stage technology companies, usually kind of seed series a stage. And hopefully we can continue investing in these companies as they grow, as they create jobs and eventually, hopefully IPO and become public companies themselves.

Rob: Amazing. And you guys have had some some really key success, your investors in Prosper. Investors in Canva and like some of those really big Australian success stories. How? I think as someone starting a business, I think they are really hunting down venture capital, if that's the route that they're going. But how much is is it in reverse as well where the VC's are hunting down the right founders as well?

Jackie: Yes. Well, absolutely. Our job is to hunt down the great founders that we are. There aren't many great success stories and we want to be part of every single one of them. So it's it's crucial for us to kind of run down those founders. But I think it's also worth highlighting to kind of small business owners that Canva wasn't Canva when Canva was Mel, Cliff and Cam years ago. They got turned down by, I think, even over one hundred VC's before they got their first round of funding. And it always seemed small and it was seems non obvious at the start. And if you have a great insight in the market, you really understand you can build something from something very small to where Canva is today where it's it's a huge global company and it's just at the start of it's journey.

Rob: I think it's an interesting points and and certainly, as you say, with something like Canva, where it's, you know, reached over billion dollar valuation, great Aussie unicorn story, you know. But you say it's it's not obvious at the time. And it's that that I do have, which I think you gave our producer, Linda, is that you may meet a thousand people in a year, but only invest in perhaps ten of them. And like, how how challenging is that from a venture capitalist side to go through so much data and so many pitches and to try and pick out those founders that you really believe will be successful and still may ultimately be wrong?

Jackie: Yeah, I think it is very difficult. I think, you know, this this kind of inherent tension and so much of what we do in the team kind of pattern matching. And what we see is what does it what does a great founder look like? What is a great market look like? What's a great product look like? One of the metrics that they have, as well as kind of the other side of that tension, which is how is this different? What, could this be doing in a different way that may not have been done before, but could still open up a huge market or address the problem in a very unique way? And it's hard and it's why do we get it wrong all the time? But hopefully, you know, we get it right enough times to have some huge winners in there.

Rob: Well, I suppose if it if it was really straight forward, then they would be like then everybody would be doing it.

Jackie: Yeah, yeah, exactly. I think. It's a I mean, there are lots of reasons why you can't do it. One being access to capital, to being access to people and a whole bunch of other factors, as well as just being able to make decisions. But making good decisions is definitely a hard part as well.

Rob: Yeah, of course. And so I suppose part of the role is like as a venture capitalist, he's not only finding those good that good founders, but validating what they're presenting. And are there any challenges doing that when they are on that bleeding edge of technology and maybe that, you know, the traditional use tests don't apply?

Jackie: Yeah, I think we never pretend. We'll try to be experts in every single subject, but it's it's it's silly and it wouldn't work. What we're really trying to understand is, does this person know more about this market than anyone else? Have they seen something that other people haven't seen before? That's a change is happening in the world or something. That technology has made possible that wasn't possible before. And are they the person who can exploit that by building a great product and by bringing a team onboard who compliments them in terms of skills? And is there a business or a potential business model that could. That could eventually make enough money to kind of scale this company globally. And I think that's what we're really looking for because we're never going to be able to understand the kind of in-depth details of every single sector and every single technology.

Rob: And I suppose while you don't have to validate it yourselves, you know, is there an effort to to try and still do that due diligence from a technology perspective so that it doesn't end up down the route of something like Theranos, where it was basically just vaporware and fabricated stuff?

Jackie: Absolutely. I think we will. We would try products ourselves if it's that kind of product. If it's a a specialist product in the sector and we often get experts to come and help us to do our due diligence, I think that those those experts are a crucial part of what we do in cultivating those networks so we can get a specialist in who can help advise us on the more technical details, whether that's from a technological perspective or sector perspective, to understand if what this company is doing both works and is unique.

Rob: Sure. And obviously, we talk about our founders being investible at but also their ideas being investible. Is there times where they have the most exceptional idea, but you just can't see the founder as being investible for one reason or another?

Jackie: Yeah, I think we have them. We have a whole heap of lenses that we try and go on this question, I think integrity is very important. So if we have a doubt, someone's integrity. That's a quick no for us. And we've had to make those decisions before.

Rob: Sure.

Jackie: I think we often want to want to believe that the person is coach-able. That they understand what they know better than anyone else and also understand where they need complementary skills around them and when they need advice and help from others. And the best founders are very coach-able. And, you know, I think nobody you're not ever expecting someone to be the full package of a kind of billion dollar company CEO. When they first get started, you'll wanting to believe that they can grow into that over time. And a big part of that is, you know, do they have it learning mentality? Are they hungry to understand and deepen their knowledge across a whole range of areas? And being a CEO of a big company, entails. And I think another big part, isn't it? Do people want to work for them because they are they the kind of person who build a great culture at their company? Will, the kind of best people in the world in their particular area's want to come in and rally behind this person and work for this mission. That's all really important to us.

Rob: Yeah, of course. I mean, we hear about funds who only want to invest in certain that, you know, or look for certain attributes in who they're investing in. And that may be that they're co-founders and there's more than one founder or that they've had some sort of failure before. At some point, do you does Airtree kind of abide by a bit of a checklist of that kind of thing? Or is it really just a case by case assessment?

Jackie: It's very much case by case. I think there's no way of really applying stereotypes in this business because every cofounder, every business started by several co-founders. There's an amazing story of a solo founder who managed to do it themselves. You can apply that across all of these attributes. I think, you know, the. The founders that we think. Are often the make the best teams is when you have within the founding team a great mix of product and product vision, technology capability and growth and business model capability. I think having a team, whether that's several people or even it, could all exist in one person. You want it kind of understanding of those three different areas. I think all our best founders are completely obsessed with product. And completely obsessed with their customer and that kind of comes first in every interaction. That's really important. And I think, you know what you're saying about failure. I don't think we explicitly require our startups or our founders to have gone through some kind of crippling failure at some time in their lives. But I think you want to get a sense that the person has the resilience to make it through setbacks, because that will be so many of them on the journey and it would be so easy to give up. And you want to kind of believe that they have something. That's what they need to prove. And they really, really care about making this product in this company reality.

Rob: Yeah. So you really looking for resilience more so than just an explicit test of failure at some point. And

Jackie: Yeah exactly.

Rob: Interesting. And so you mentioned something about looking for obsession with product as being a real powerful investible trait. Is there a balance there between, like, an absolute moonshot, say, like a meteor mining vs, you know, just coming up with, you know, AI technology or something? It's a little bit more tangible.

Jackie: No, I think whatever the product is, it's just them being obsessed with solving the problem for the customer with that specific product. Based on their kind of unique insight into what's changing in the world, what's uniquely possible today. And that could be anything to do with mining meteors or um kind of a new consumer app.

Rob: Yeah, of course. And so if if there was someone out there who is sort of working on their start up in some kind of technology space. Are there some sort of fairly standardised steps that they can take in terms of positioning their company for approaching a v.c and like sort of some checkboxes of doing their homework before they sort of start making those phone calls?

Jackie: Yeah, I think the big question, I think that's the most important one that people maybe don't spend enough time on is understanding whether or not you really want to raise VC. I think there's been so much kind of hype in the media today about startups and founders and billion dollar businesses that people often think that now that VC is the only way to start a company. And I think you need to have a very specific idea for the kind of company that you want to build for VC to be the right decision. I think there are, you know. If you are keen to build a kind of very large company in a very short period of time, then that absolutely makes sense. But if you would like to focus on. Cash flow and freedom and supporting your family and spending time with the people you love more so than you able to in your current nine to five. That's a different set of reasons, I think, to starting a company and maybe requires a different kind of funding. And I think people often don't spend enough time thinking, you know, is it v.C or is it some kind of debt funding or is it some kind of alternate form financing or is it a kind of friends and family around to get me started and then I get to profitability? And I think so I think that's really important. I think if you do choose to go down the VC route, you want to treat it like a sales pipeline. I think people are often a little. Adhoc with the whole process, and I think as you what you want to do is be very structured and you want to say, OK, who are the funds that invest in my particular sector? My particular stage, who actually has money still to invest often funds, you know, maybe just five years ago, but haven't raised the funds since then. Kind of getting in touch with them would be a waste of time.

Rob: Sure.

Jackie: And then you kind of say, OK, I'm going to do this over a two month period. And you meet all those companies, all those funds quickly. And do your first meetings and then follow up regularly and kind of treat all those conversations as if you're taking it through a sales pipeline. And, you know, I think we understand that the process itself can sometimes feel quite opaque. And so I highly recommend any at any founders or thinking about fundraising. And Airtree has a section of our website called Open Source VC and what we're trying to do is make it everything to do with raising capital as accessible as possible. So we have our standard seed stage term sheet on there so that you can see what the terms of for a clean financing. Often founders will get kind of deceived early in the journey and by kind of signing on terms with a early stage investor that actually. That hamper the company's growth in the long term because it's an investor taking advantage of the fact that the founder isn't an expert in these kind of legal aspects of financing. So we have a clean time sheet that we have Aesop Docs to help you get your employees as owners of the company as well. We have an are school that's exactly written by by Aleesha and my colleagues on how to manage this financing process how to how to build your pipeline of investors. I wrote an article on on the Airtree specific investment process. So there's kind of a lot of information there on how to kind of prepare yourself and and what standard what a standard seed stage financing should look like. And so I think starting there and then kind of making sure it's a structured process is probably the right. The right route.

Rob: So so it's in part really educating founders and about the process and what to expect so that they're not going in so blind. Is that sort of a do you find benefits there where it basically saves everyone time or all on all facets of coming together because they already know what to expect and maybe don't get in touch if it's not the right fit to start off with?

Jackie: Absolutely. I think that's exactly what we're trying to do, and I think we're also just trying to, make the whole thing a little less scary. I think um you know, sometimes raising capital like the, the people with the money can seem like the gatekeepers to your future. In some respects. And really, the kind of the people who are starting these businesses are the people who are taking the risks and the people with the passion, the people who are building the future. And really, we're just the enablers. And we kind of want to enable a world where these founders with these incredible visions have a much easier route to getting the money they need to build those businesses. And if that's making information accessible, then that's one of the ways we want to do it.

Rob: Yes, I certainly think that information is certainly power in this aspect and certainly from the outside looking in for someone who hasn't been through a VC process, perhaps a, you know, a shark tank or a Dragons Den or something is about as close as they've come. And like, how different does that process? Obviously, that's made for TV and they're looking for it for good television as much as anything else. How does does that provide a bit of a skewed perspective when some founders come in to try and raise money?

Jackie: To be honest, I'm I'm not the best. I haven't seen those shows and probably about 10 years.

Rob: They haven't changed.

Jackie: So I'm probably not the best person to ask. I think it's it's a longer process for sure than than what you see on those TV shows. I think we're not making a decision at the end of our first meeting. We go away and we talk with each other and we do research and we talk to experts like I was mentioning before. And so, you know, some in some cases that process can take years. Yeah. Acloudguru, which is one of our favourite portfolio companies, we new them for years before we invested. The same with Quillo, which we recently invested in. You know, these things are relationships and we're kind of investing based off at a deepening relationship with a founder who we believe in and who we watch execute. Time after time versus kind of this kind of one off transaction that is yes or no, kind of the thumbs up or thumbs down at the end of the meeting. Something like that.

Rob: So, yes, certainly it's going to take a little bit more time, and I know that you guys have a bit of involvement in sort of start up incubation and get involved in some of those in terms of speaking and and that sort of thing. Is that really about fostering that grassroots, you know, very, very ultra early, not even thinking about money yet stage so that when they are ready, they do come to you. And there's already some sort of relationship there.

Jackie: Absolutely. That's exactly it. The more companies we can help get started and kind of get over those early obstacles that the that sit in their way, the better. And I think those kind of incubated accelerates is so good at that. So good at making those early stages much easier for founders.

Rob: Yeah, sure. And so this is more of a question about your history and sort of contrasting Airtree and sort of your time with like earlier finance trading and that sort of thing. Is there like obviously you came in to the finance sector post GFC and it was probably an interesting sort of world, especially in the U.K. at the time. But what sort of is there any surprising differences between, like working in regular mainstream finance sector and in something that's almost on the cutting edge of venture capital?

Jackie: Yeah, I think so, firstly, yeah, graduating into the GFC was not the most fun I've ever had. I remember applying to graduate schemes where we knew that they didn't have any roles. They were just pretending to have a graduate scheme so that the press wouldn't realise how much trouble they were in.

Rob: Sure. yeah.

Jackie: I remember that very clearly. I actually think what I do today is so different from what I used to do that it's almost entertaining. They both sit within finance. You know what I. What I did at Merrill was I kind of enabled these large invest institute big trades in kind of complex financial instruments and it was very intense and it was. It was for me unfulfilling because so much. It felt like moving numbers around and and, to a degree it wasn't it didn't even really feel like moving money around because the numbers were so big and so intangible that. Yeah it didn't feel like I was contributing a lot much the world. Whereas what I feel like today is really we're in a human business much, much more so than a numbers business. And a big part of what we do is kind of it's very human. It's kind of it's giving people capitol, but it's also making introductions for them and hopefully providing counsel for them and shoulder to cry on and hard moments and all of those things that are so much more human. And so and you can kind of you know, there's a much more tangible and clear vision of what you're enabling as well and creating jobs and solving problems that that can be great for the world. Like, you know, one of our great companies in the portfolio is Bright and they're doing and financing for solar panels and that kind of enabling families all over Australia to put solar panels on their roofs move to renewable energy future. And that's deeply fulfilling that we can pay a small part in that journey.

Rob: Awesome. Yeah. So I suppose what I take away from that is that really you're in a very business building, purpose driven human organisation and the money sort of comes second.

Jackie: Yeah. I like to think so. I think that's kind of often a view of VC is very kind of white men in suits doling out cheques, hopefully I'm at least a representation that that's not always the case.

Rob: Absolutely. And so what do you think we can do in terms of the efforts that can come from the VC world in terms of enabling founders to do their thing, in terms of supporting more incubators, startup hubs, startup events, anything like that?

Jackie: We try to do as much as we can in all of those respects. I think we kind of lend support in the form of mentoring and speaking on panels and having one to one to the founders as much as we can across the major incubators, accelerators, co working spaces, universities and areas like that, we can always do more. And if anyone listening to this has any great ideas I'm Jackie@Airtree.VC and we'd love to hear about it.

Rob: Awesome. So we're coming up on time but I do have a few quick questions that I'd love to get out before we wrap it up as well. If you had to think about your entire VC's only been a short time of your career. But, are what's the most surprising lesson that has come out of working in the venture capital space?

Jackie: Surprising lesson. I think really that it is a human business, that so much of the success of these businesses is both the resilience of the founder. The ability to build culture. I think, you know, I learned it in VC, but I also learnt it when I was working at a startup that ultimately company culture drives everything because you have a happy workforce and a team that's driving towards something you're pace of execution is so much faster. And given, you know, all startups really have speed over the incumbents by having a much happier workforce, you get so much done so much quicker and you're able to grow so much faster. And I think, you know, I learned that lesson of the boss on the Kalo and have been seeing that kind of echoed across the forty nine companies in our portfolio isn't.

Rob: Culture, culture is absolutely the driver.

Jackie: Yeah.

Rob: Interesting. And so I talk about Kalo as well. Is there something that stands out that perhaps you had a an impression around the venture capital work world while you were in the startup that maybe got totally back flipped or changed when you came across the venture capital?

Jackie: You know, I think it was just it was. I really had no idea what venture capital meant when I was at Kalo, and I think it's almost interesting. There are so many species out there blogging and so much content marketing on the Internet. And yet, to a degree, it still feels relatively closed world to people who aren't within it. And so. I guess that was probably the most interesting lesson was was just kind of getting a deep understanding of what actually means to be in venture capital. What does that job actually? Would you actually do in that job? And what are the how do you spend your time and those kind of things?

Rob: And so your biggest tip for a founder looking or potentially pondering the idea of venture capital, is it? Just do their homework? Or is it something else?

Jackie: I think your job really, if you if you're looking to raise capital, your job is to reduce risk for the investor. So they want to. You know, all the investors is assessing is OK. They think this is a exciting product in a new market. What are the risks? What what could go wrong here? And the more you can reduce those risks, whether that's around the team or the market or the product, the engagement metrics, the central business model, the more you can reduce the potential risk that they highlight, the more likely you are to get to a Yes. And so I would say I would say almost look at with a critical eye at your business and think about how you can bring data, bring people in or find other ways of kind of reducing those potential risks as a way of kind of getting that investor to a yes.

Rob: And is there anything in terms. I know you were talking about being obsessed with product as well. And is there anything that Founders' can do to really validate product with a bit of a VC mindset before they come and talk to a venture capitalist?

Jackie: I think we would love to see people when they have an early MBP that they've already tested with some customers and those customers have loved using it. And I think that's the best time to speak to an investor for the first time, because realistically, we're almost never the market for that product. Your customers are the market. And so we can only really understand if if that product is going to be successful by the customer reaction. And so if you've got some initial early customers using it and saying amazing things and willing to act as references, then that is the validation we need on the product side.

Rob: And so they can really be on on that absolute minimum viable product, as opposed to sitting there refining their product for for years to come and missing the opportunity.

Jackie: Absolutely.

Rob: Awesome. And so anything exciting happening at Airtree ventures or anything, you'd love that our audience to understand about you or what you're doing.

Jackie: Yeah, well, look, I think, you know, I think we are very fortunate to have raised a fund at the end of last year, and so we have lots of capital still to invest and nothing about this. The year that is 2020 is slowing us down. So we would love to meet great founders at the earliest stages. Twenty five percent of our investments are made pre revenue. So there's no time. It's too early. And we would love to kind of hear from any investors who are any founders who want to speak to us.

Rob: That's awesome. And so where do they go to find the resources that you've mentioned? And how do they get in touch with you guys?

Jackie: So if you go to Airtree.com, you can find our website. And one of the tabs in the menu is open source, VC. And in there you can find all those resources I mentioned earlier and get in touch with me directly. I'm jackie@airtree.vc I'd love to hear from you.

Rob: Awesome. Sounds easy enough, Jackie, Vullinghs from Airtree ventures. It's been a fantastic chat. Thanks so much for your time.

Jackie: No problem. Lovely chatting to you.

Rob: Thank you. There you have it. I hope you really enjoyed this episode. And if you did, please like it, share it or leave us a review on your favourite platform. It helps us show more of this content to people just like you.


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