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Sand Hill Road

Sand Hill Road

By Sand Hill Road
A place to talk about startups, venture capital and tech. For a full download, double-click on sandhillroad.io
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E36 Running the world's largest trust experiment with Couchsurfing founder Casey Fenton
ln this episode, Erasmus Elsner is talking to Casey Fenton, founder of Couchsurfing and Upstock, about the early days for Couchsurfing when Casey was pioneering what has since become known as the “sharing economy” and how is is now bringing the sharing economy to the cap table with Upstock.     00:00​​ Intro  01:13 The Couchsurfing proof-of-concept  02:46 The first Couchsurfing stay  03:49 501(c)3 non-profit status  06:34 The mechanics of the benchmark Series A  06:34 The mechanics of the benchmark Series A  08:27 The Couchsurfing MVP  10:38 The donation-based model  11:58 The demand side monetization model  15:34 The chicken-and-egg question  17:11 Casey’s philosophy on ego hacking  21:11 Building for the internet without ego  23:57 Upstock  28:34 Ideal customer moment  30:20 Switching costs  31:09 Competitors and integrations  33:40 Milestone-based equity kickers  35:03 Following Casey’s work
36:16
January 08, 2022
E35 Launching a startup acquisition marketplace with MicroAcquire founder Andrew Gazdecki
In this episode, Erasmus Elsner is talking to Andrew Gazdecki, founder of MicroAcquire. The episode was recorded when MicroAcquire was still a fully bootstrapped one person company. A few weeks later MicroAcquire announced that it had raised a $6.3m Seed round led by Bessemer Ventures.   00:00 Intro  01:09 What is MicroAcquire?  02:55 Buying a micro-SaaS as a learning experience  05:15 Andrew’s own founder path  10:40 Key bootstrapper metrics  14:53 Solving the chicken-and-egg problem  19:17 Supply side: company profiles  20:24 Marketplace discovery vs. transaction facilitation  22:45 Microacquire marketplace monetisation  26:51 Microacquire as a curated marketplace  30:12 Dealing with inflated seller asks  33:25 Disrupting the business broker industry  35:45 Competitor marketplaces  36:50 Scaling Microacquire  38:10 Raising venture capital vs. bootstrapping
40:26
November 28, 2021
E34 Tackling the formalwear industry with Queenly co-founders with Trisha Bantigue and Kathy Zhou
In this episode, Erasmus Elsner is talking to Queenly co-founders Trisha Bantigue and Kathy Zhou about building a consumer marketplace and tackling the formalwear industry.   00:00 Intro  00:56 The Queenly Elevator Pitch  01:52 Launching Queenly during lockdown  04:04 The pageant dress market   08:06 Formal wear resale market microstructure  10:16 The Queenly minimum viable product  12:37 Go to market strategy  14:56 Queenly marketplace metrics  16:36 The Queenly fundraising journey  20:40 Raising $6.3m From Andressen Horowitz   22:58 Solving the marketplace chicken and egg problem  24:58 Unlocking supply  27:02 Offering power seller tools to boost supply  28:15 Cracking the demand side  29:12 Facilitating Marketplace Transactions  31:36 Marketplace take rate  32:43 Competition And Playbook  35:16 Formal wear Price dynamics  38:22 The Queenly Vision
41:28
November 16, 2021
E33 Catching the perfect privacy wave one consent at a time with Didomi co-founder Jawad Stouli
In this episode, Erasmus Elsner is talking to Didomoi co-founder and CTO Jawad Stouli about building consent management platform Didomi for the perfect privacy wave.   00:00 Intro  00:46 Early days of Didomi  03:29 Fighting a US patent troll  08:14 Building the Didomi MVP  12:18 Developer-centric platform approach  14:46 Early costumers: self-service vs. SDRs  18:22 Didomi data architecture  24:02 Bootstrapping Didomi  27:43 Raising the Series A  30:37 Raising the Series B  33:35 Scaling up  35:55 Competition  41:29 Call to action
44:01
October 06, 2021
E32 Incubating a space factory at Founders Fund with Delian Asparouhov
00:00 Intro  00:24 Welcome to Miami  01:08 Operators Podcast  03:21 Finding the right guests  06:54 Delian’s founder/operator  08:22 Cohort analysis with Keith at Square  10:30 Nightingale   12:24 Operating experience at Teespring  14:24 Varda Space  17:45 Splitting time between Varda and FF  19:45 Varda Space incubation  23:50 Delian as an investor at Founders Fund  27:07 Faire  30:56 Tiger Global and the rise of crossover funds  35:31 Hyperscaling  36:45 Moving to Miami   39:45 Keeping up with Delian
40:07
September 22, 2021
E31 Building the future of remote work with Remote.com founder Job van der Voort
In this episode, Erasmus Elsner is talking to Remote.com founder Job van der Voort about building the future of remote work. 0:00 Intro  00:49 The first two years of Remote  02:19 Preparing for the perfect Storm at Gitlab  06:17 Leaving Gitlab  10:47 Business model  14:10 Legal war chest  15:20 Fintech-payment layer  16:20 SaaS layer  17:52 Pricing  19:47 Competitive landscape  24:12 Seed round  25:42 Series A  28:37 Remote best practices  31:52 Enabling random bump ins  34:07 The remote company handbook or “bible”  35:23 Remote company stack  36:20 Asynchronous vs. synchronous work  40:19 Remote for startups
41:08
September 03, 2021
E30 Fintech investing with Better Tomorrow Ventures co-founder Sheel Mohnot
In this episode, Erasmus Elsner is talking to Sheel Mohnot, co-founder of Better Tomorrow Ventures about his journey as a founder, angel investor and co-founder of Better Tomorrow Ventures.   00:00 Intro  01:11 Guest appearance on a Justin Bieber/Ariana Grande music video  03:16 The “pronoia” mindest  03:16 The “pronoia” mindest  05:04 Sheel’s background  07:56 The Pitch  12:12 Investing with founder authority  14:16 500 Startups fintech fund  18:25 Fintech thesis and sector evolution  22:09 Fintech backend  23:43 Better Tommorrow Ventures  29:24 Differentiation  32:52 Reserve capital  34:52 The good, the bad and the ugly investments  37:40 Sheel-defining investment  41:10 …the bad and the ugly
43:50
August 23, 2021
E29 "Billon Dollar Loser" author Reeves Wiedeman on the epic rise and fall of WeWork
In this episode, Erasmus Elsner is talking to Reeves Wiedeman, author of "Billion Dollar Loser: the epic rise and fall of WeWork".   00:00 Adam's intro  01:11 Intro  01:38 Adam Neumann  04:11 Adam's art of persuasion  05:41 Book title  08:10 Writing process  13:01 WeWork evolution and business model  16:21 Tech vs. real estate company  19:25 WeWork community  22:01 WeWork funding journey  25:11 JPMorgan round  26:50 Masa and the Softbank round  30:39 Acquisitions and side businesses  33:16 Valuation and comps  36:59 Public persona and IPOs  38:50 WeWork today  40:07 Staying in touch with Reeves
41:23
August 08, 2021
E28 Inside DCM’s Record IPO Streak with Kyle Lui, Partner at DCM
In this episode, Erasmus Elsner is talking to Kyle Lui, Partner at DCM, about the recent IPO roll that DCM has been on. The Menlo Park-based firm has generated a 61x return on investments that have gone public in the past two years. Kuaishou is the standout, with its market cap to entry valuation at 2,000x.   00:00​​ Intro  00:50 Who is Kyle Lui  01:33 Intro to DCM   03:30 DCM IX and the A-Fund   05:36 Differentiation through US-Asia angle  07:45 DCM's Japan strategy  08:48 DCM's recent roll  10:00 Biggest winner Kuaishou  11:07 All three sides of the table  14:01 Choicepass  15:36 First 5 years at DCM  18:52 Docsend investment  21:47 Lime investment  23:57 Him’s and Hers investment  26:05 D2C unit economics  28:13 Keeping up with what Kyle is up to  29:33 Kyle's investment focus areas
31:05
July 28, 2021
E27 Replacing PDF attachments one Docsend at a time with founder and CEO Russ Heddleston
In this episode, Erasmus Elsner is talking to Russ Heddleston, founder of Docsend. The episode was recorded one month before the announcement that DocSend would be acquired by Dropbox for $165m.   00:00​​ Intro  00:37 What is Docsend  01:51 Selling Pursuit to Facebook in a talent acquisition  04:12 Leaving Facebook and starting Docsend  07:03 Product idea  09:00 Fundraising for Pursuit  12:53 Fundraising for Docsend  14:17 Series A  17:34 Docsend product  20:39 Initial startup client segment  22:29 Docsend fundraising network  25:20 Expanding from initial client segment  29:51 Docsend Spaces  33:07 Pricing strategy  37:50 Next steps for Docsend  39:50 Competing with Intralinks  41:00 Scaling up Docsend  42:29 Remote work at Docsend  43:29 Call to action
45:03
May 29, 2021
E26 Deciphering Super Founders with author and DCVC partner Ali Tamaseb
In this episode, Erasmus Elsner is talking to Ali Tamaseb, partner at DCVC, about his recently launched book "Super Founders: What Data Reveals About Billion-Dollar Startups".   00:00​​ Intro  01:00 Who is Ali?  03:02 Spark of motivation for the Super Founders book  05:49 Primary data collection  08:13 Data set: timeframe and selection criteria  10:28 The age of super founders  13:04 Optimal number of co-founders  16:12 Founder education  17:45 Did all of them go to Stanford?  19:38 Pre-founding work experience  21:08 Definition of the "super founder"  25:38 Painkiller vs. vitamin products  27:14 Startup competition  29:50 Defensibility factor  31:44 Venture funding vs. bootstrapping  34:41 Capital requirements  35:46 Startup fundraising  37:15 Time to hatch
39:26
May 20, 2021
E25 Bottoms-up product and go-to-market strategy with product leader and investor Vivek Saraswat
In this episode, Erasmus Elsner is talking to Vivek Saraswat, who has been a venture investor at Mayfield at the time of the recording and previously a product leader at Docker/VMware/AWS. Since recording this episode, Vivek has joined Immersa as a founding VP of product.     00:00 Intro  00:56 Who is Vivek?  03:12 Joining Mayfield  05:07 Portfolio companies  07:08 Covid impact on commercial open-source  10:17 Go-to-market (GTM)  14:13 Managing product roadmaps in open-source  17:10 Dedicating to bottoms-up GTM  20:49 Hooks and upsells  24:54 Optimal lines between community and commercial  29:22 Firewalls between community and commercial   31:51 Inculcating community-commercial in the organization
35:04
May 17, 2021
E24 Bootstrapping from zero to $1m+ in ARR with Justin Jackson, mega maker of Transistor.fm
In this episode, Erasmus Elsner is talking to Justin Jackson, co-founder of Transistor.fm about his journey as a mega maker, bootstrapping his podcast hosting and analytics platform to $1m+ in ARR in less than 3 years.   00:00​​​ Intro  01:55​​ Getting Real  04:30​ Business is like surfing  7:43​ Selling ice cream on a busy beach  11:33​ Why your business idea matters  14:17​ The nature of the megamaker  19:46​ Grow slow, grow real  24:53​ Success is gradual, then sudden  31:10​ VC attention to podcasting  38:00​ Podcast hosting and analytics space  44:20​ First version of Transitor.fm  50:45​ Dealing with depression as a solopreneur  54:48​ Finding out more about Justin
56:21
April 30, 2021
E23 Insights from building a VC firm in public with Initialized Capital founder Garry Tan
In this episode, Erasmus Elsner is talking to Garry Tan, co-founder of Initialized Capital about his journey as a content creator, founder and managing partner at Initialized Capital.   00:00 Intro  02:02 Garry's Twitter game  06:00 Keeping up the content cascade  08:12 Getting started on YouTube  10:50 Paying it forward at scale  14:45 Respecting the audience  18:00 Content creation is like building a startup  21:13 Garry as a founder  25:14 Founder "what ifs"   28:26 Garry as a VC
33:08
April 23, 2021
E22 Engineering the atomic cockroach of databases with Cockroach Labs co-founder Spencer Kimball
In this episode, Erasmus Elsner is talking to Spencer Kimball, co-founder and CEO of Cockroach Labs about building a database unicorn backed by some of Silicon Valley's top venture firms, incl. Benchmark, Sequoia Capital and Index Ventures. After recording the episode, Cockroach Labs raised $160m on a $2bn valuation in January 2021, reflecting the explosive growth and product innovation of 2020.   00:00​ Intro  00:56 Cockroach Labs elevator pitch  04:29 Getting the band together  09:24​ Exit to Square and paddling back into the startup surf  11:44​ First version of CockroachDB  14:17​ Open core model  20:43​ Relicensing Cockroach DB  25:39​ Open source as top of the funnel tool   30:25 Series A from Benchmark and Sequoia Capital  35:15 Series A extension from Index  37:01 Late state startup life at Series D   39:44 CockroachDB technology  48:11 Synchronous replication and CockroachDB  53:50 CAP Theorem and CockroachDB   58:10 CockroachDB and Kubernetes   1:01:10 Spencer's workout regime
01:04:36
April 13, 2021
E21 Building a distributed warehouse network one parcel at a time with STORD co-founder Sean Henry
In this episode, Erasmus Elsner is talking to Sean Henry, co-founder and CEO of STORD about building a digital warehouse and distribution startup backed by some of Silicon Valley's top venture firms, incl. Susa Ventures, Kleiner Perkins and Founders Fund from Atlanta, Georgia.   00:00​ Intro  01:11 Announcing the Series B led by Founders Fund   02:57 What solution does STORD offer?   04:27​ Sean Henry's entrepreneurial journey from childhood  13:00​ STORD business model  19:50​ Solving the two-sided marketplace problem  25:35​ Competitive landscape  28:55​ Software-enabled marketplace: Software as a wedge to get supply side  35:15 STORD pricing   38:50 STORD as a distributed logistics and storage systems  45:15 Acquisition of Cove Logistics in summer of 2020  48:31 Raising money from Silicon Valley as an Atlanta based startup  54:45 What's next for STORD
56:49
March 05, 2021
E20 Unpacking growth with Andy Johns, Partner at Unusual Ventures
In this episode, Erasmus Elsner is talking to Andy Johns (@ibringtraffic), Partner at Unusual Ventures about his growth journey at Facebook, Twitter, Quora and Wealthfront.   00:00​ Intro  00:37 Growth at Facebook  03:50​ Growth at Twitter  05:31​ Growth at Quora   09:25​ Growth at Wealthfront  12:11​ Unusual Ventures  16:25​ A balanced approach to growth  21:16 Shipping the org chart  24:29​ Running experiments  28:05​ Product development for innovation  31:40​ Wonderschool  35:22 Ride Report  38:22​ Finding out more about Andy
38:50
January 08, 2021
E19 Moving from the monolith to a microservices architecture with effx founder Joey Parsons
In this episode, Erasmus Elsner and Cameron Weibel are joined by Joey Parsons, founder of effx to talk about moving from the monolith to a microservices architecture.   00:00 Intro  03:05 From rockstar engineer to found  06:02 Building early social network PicRave   $07:30 Taking the plunge with wife 5 months pregnant  09:00 Founder focus as a young father  10:06 Transitioning from Airbnb to Kleiner Perkins  12:03 Daily life as an entrepreneur in residence  13:46 Defining microservices  14:53 Explaining microservices to a kid  16:28 Microservices vs. structured programming  19:55 Functionality of microservices  22:20 User microservice example   24:15 Starting out: monolith vs. microservices architecture  25:42 Microservices teams: UI, middleware, DBA specialists   28:38 Data layer of microservices  30:56 Microservices vs. monolith debate  34:36 Moving to a microservices architecture at Airbnb  37:59 Managing microservices at Airbnb  42:12 effx and Kubernetes  43:44 Go to market strategy at effx  46:07 Raising the $3.9m Seed round
49:08
December 24, 2020
E18 Looking for the next Cal moonshots with Caroline Winnett of UC Berkeley's SkyDeck
In this episode, Erasmus Elsner is joined by Caroline Winnett, Executive Director at UC Berkeley's accelerator and incubator SkyDeck.    00:00 Intro  01:51 What is SkyDeck?  02:57 Demo days during Covid-19  03:35 Caroline's founder journey at NeuroFocus  05:24 Joining SkyDeck and setting up the SkyDeck Fund  07:23 Berkeley SkyDeck carry split  08:35 Berkeley SkyDeck LP base  09:50 SkyDeck vs. YC, 500 Startups, Techstars  12:11 Cohort profile and eligibility requirements  14:37 Accelerator milestones  15:22 Breakout success stories  16:26 Berkeley within Silicon Valley ecosystem  18:33 Future of SkyDeck
20:31
December 08, 2020
E17 Migrating lawyers to the cloud with legal technologist Richard Mabey, co-founder of Juro
In this episode, Erasmus Elsner is talking to Richard Mabey, co-founder of London-based legaltech startup Juro, backed by Union Square Ventures.   00:00 Intro  02:01 Magic circle years at Freshfields  03:35 Catching the entrepreneurial bug  05:15 Transitioning to legaltech via LegalZoom  07:26 Meeting co-founder Pavel Kovalevich  08:43 The Juro Minimum Viable Product (MVP)  09:54 Getting the first customer  13:15 Finding customer pains and building the core product features  15:06 Core feature set: painkiller vs. vitamin  17:05 Early pricing  18:34 Selling Saas to corporate lawyers  19:59 Tech stack of Juro  21:11 Seedcamp accelerator  22:40 $750k Seed Round led by Point Nine Capital  24:24 $2m Seed extension round  25:15 $5m Series A led by Union Square Ventures  26:15 Getting a warm intro at USV  27:01 Deploying the Series A  28:12 Navigating through the Corona pandemic
31:17
September 17, 2020
E16 Unpacking marketplaces and modern food delivery wars with Mike Ghaffary from Canvas Ventures
In this episode, Erasmus Elsner is talking to Mike Ghaffary, GP at Canvas Ventures. 00:00 Intro  02:21 Swiss army knife of education  04:04 Business school after Dotcom bubble burst   05:06 Founding Stitcher  06:14 Focusing on news  08:03 Becoming CEO of Eat24  09:39 Growing Eat24 to $700m top line  10:45 Food delivery wars  11:55 Grubhub Partnership that never launched  13:12 Jeremy Stoppelman and Steve Jobs on search on mobile  14:30 Becoming a successful angel investor  15:35 Making the most expensive iPhone app ever  16:37 Angel investment in Strava  17:20 Angel investment in Superhuman  17:50 Joining Social Capital  19:58 Mike’s experience at Social Capital  20:28 CloudKitchens investment  21:30 HubHaus investment  22:37 Joining Canvas Ventures  24:04 Flyhomes investment  27:52 Marketplace Deep Dive  28:27 Lenny Rachitsky: focus on supply or demand side?  30:06 Thomas Eisenmann: Two-sided networks  30:57 Uber: demand side vs. supply side subsidies  32:09 Local vs. global network effects  33:24 Sarah Tavel (Benchmark) on unlocking new supply 34:21 Local delivery war zones  35:36 Uber Eats entering the market  37:04 Public vs. privately held delivery war contenders  38:54 Marketplace take rate  40:38 Out-of bound marketplace take rates  41:57 Zero percent take rate 
45:12
August 29, 2020
E15 Building a cloud unicorn for developers with Digital Ocean co-founder Moisey Uretzky
In this episode, Erasmus Elsner is talking to Moisey Uretzky,  co-founder of Digital Ocean. Digital Ocean is a cloud infrastructure unicorn built for developers and headquartered in New York City. In this episode we journal the founder journey from getting into Techstars to scaling the company with venture debt to a recent unicorn valuation.  00:00 Setting the scene  03:55 The Uretzky family  05:22 Roots of intellectual curiosity  07:15 Mathematics and first principles thinking  09:18 Startups before Digital Ocean  14:16 Finding co-founders on Craigslist  19:16 Digital Ocean MVP  23:12 First major Product Iteration: 5$ SSD Plan  29:36 Getting into Techstars  32:35 Raising the Seed from IA Ventures  37:19 Raising the Series A from a16z  42:28 Using venture debt to scale up  47:19 Scaling up Digital Ocean  54:22 Competition with big tech cloud providers  59:00 Running Digital Ocean during the Corona pandemic
01:04:59
August 08, 2020
E14 The great hits and misses of venture capital with Brendan Wales of e.ventures
In this episode, Erasmus Elsner is talking to Brendan Wales, general partner at e.ventures on investing in data infrastructure unicorn Segment at the Seed and passing on TikTok (then Musical.ly) at the Series A. 0:00 Sand Hill Road Intro  2:10 First job running a Golf shop while at college  3:20 First job out of college in 2009 and entrepreneurial ambitions  4:29 'I gotta get to the Valley' finding Zozi's on Crunchbase  6:06 Joining e.ventures in 2012  7:52 History and roots of e.ventures   9:53 e.ventures current fund and global footprint  11:10 Investing in Segment.io at the Seed along with Kleiner Perkins  15:08 Consumer-tech perspective on Segment  16:02 Passing on Musical.ly/TikTok  17:30 Warm introductions vs. metric-based discovery (digital exhaust)  20:30 Metrics requested from Musical.ly/TikTok founding team / key consumer social metrics  22:17 Machiavellian founder perspective on Musical.ly/TikTok consumer retention  24:35 Ex-post reflections why they passed on Musical.ly/TikTok  26:35 Comparison to the recent Clubhouse a16z-led Series A  28:50 Venture capital returns over the lifetime of a fund  31:10 Pattern matching for early markups  32:58 This Week's Seed Companies  35:24 EVA Growth Index / X-Factors  37:37  Nacelle: headless CMS for Shopify stores, backed by Index and Accomplice  39:05  Most recent investment: Airvet, $14m Series A led by Canvas Ventures
42:23
July 21, 2020
E13 Uncoding the ‘Coding VC’ Leo Polovets, Co-founder and General Partner at Susa Ventures
In this episode, Erasmus Elsner is talking to Leo Polovets,  co-founder and general partner at Susa Ventures. As a partner at Susa, Leo focuses on investments in enterprise software, developer tools, technical products and logistics and supply chain. In this session we discuss his journey from being the second engineer at LinkedIn to starting his own venture firm. We discuss some of his notable  investments in breakout companies, such as Robinhood and Flexport, as well as his most recent investment in Scalyr. As Leo is an icon on the VC twitter, we also dig into some of his previous tweets and try to draw lessons that go beyond the 280 character limit.
48:15
April 02, 2020
E12 Exploring the latest in data science with Sarah Catanzaro from Amplify Partners
In this episode, Erasmus Elsner is talking to Sarah Catanzaro from Amplify Partners. As a partner at Amplify, Sarah focuses on startups that apply technological advances in machine intelligence and enterprise infrastructure to solve real-world problems. In this session we discuss her journey from data scientist to venture capital, her take on recent data sciences trends and her most recent investments, including OctoML, InterVenn Biosciences, Maze and Bayes.
37:58
March 19, 2020
E11 Investing in the next frontier of open source with Bryan Offutt from Index Ventures
In this episode, Erasmus Elsner is talking to Bryan Offutt from Index Ventures, which is an active investor in the open source vertical, having invested in the likes of Hortonworks, Confluent, Elastic, Kong, Cockroach Labs and most recently Starburst. In this session we talk about  the next frontier of open source, such as the open sourcing of pre-trained ML/NLP models (such as BERT) and distributed design. We also cover Index Venture's most recent COSS investment in Starburst, an open core company built around Presto, a distributed, open source query engine that has originally been developed at Facebook. Check out the Youtube version on: https://channel.sandhillroad.io
32:60
February 01, 2020
E10 Pioneering the gig economy with TaskRabbit co-founder Brian Leonard
In this episode, Erasmus Elsner talks with Brian Leonard (@bleonard), the technical co-founder of TaskRabbit, which has pioneered the gig economy alongside Airbnb and Uber. In the session, they talk about the journey from the early days of TaskRabbit when it was just a few hundred Taskers to how they scaled it to one of the largest gig economy marketplaces that was eventually sold to IKEA. Check out the Youtube version on: https://channel.sandhillroad.io
26:08
January 23, 2020
E09 Investing in vertical SaaS and marketplace companies with Trinity Ventures Principal John Lin
In this episode, Erasmus Elsner talks with John Lin, who is a Principal from Trinity Ventures about his key learnings from being an entrepreneur himself and his transition to VC at Trinity. We take a deep dive into his portfolio companies Branch, Grow, Squire and Side. Check out the Youtube version on: https://channel.sandhillroad.io
39:35
December 06, 2019
E08 On financing hard tech with Root Ventures partner Lee Edwards
Venture capital used to be about 'financing what would not otherwise be financed'. This is exactly what Root Ventures is all about. In this session I talk to Lee Edwards about his journey from CTO at Teespring to venture and about financing deeply technical founders who are tackling interdisciplinary engineering problems. Check out the Youtube version on: https://channel.sandhillroad.io
35:57
November 29, 2019
E07 Simmer co-founders Richard Wu and Vaibhav Verma on challenging Yelp through dish level reviews
Simmer is a recent Y Combinator company that is challenging Yelp's restaurant discovery through dish-level reviews. In this episode, Erasmus Elsner is joined by the co-founders Richard Wu and Vaibhav Verma about their startup journey so far, which challenges they have had to overcome so far and how they are planning to change the way in which foodies discover the best cuisine. Check out the Youtube version on: https://channel.sandhillroad.io
35:59
November 21, 2019
E06 Investing in open source software with Patrick Chase from Redpoint Ventures
Patrick Chase is an investor with Redpoint Ventures who specializes on investments in the open source vertical. In this episode, I talk with him about the different business models in open source, challenges around defensibility and open source software moving from the backend to the application layer. Check out the Youtube version on: https://channel.sandhillroad.io
30:02
November 14, 2019
E05 Pioneering version control for data science with Pachyderm co-founder and CEO Joe Doliner
5 years ago, Joe Doliner and his co-founder Joey Zwicker decided to focus on the hard problems in data science, rather than building just another dashboard on top of the existing mess. It's been a long road, but it's really payed off. Last year, after an adventurous journey from their seed round, they  closed a $10m Series A led by Benchmark. In this episode, Erasmus Elsner is joined by Joe Doliner to explore what Pachyderm does and how it scaled from just an idea into a fast growing tech company. Check out the Youtube version on: https://channel.sandhillroad.io
46:24
November 02, 2019
E04 Open sourcing code and companies with Gitlab co-founder and CEO Sid Sijbrandij
Gitlab is a unique tech unicorn. Last valued at $2.75bn, the company is fully remote. The two co-founders worked fully separately on the company for more than a year, knowing only each others avatars. As such, Gitlab is defying not only how code is deployed, but also how companies are run. So far, Gitlab has raised $436m from the likes of Khosla Ventures, August Capital and Google Ventures. In this episode, Erasmus Elsner is joined by co-founder and CEO Sid Sijbrandij to talk about their founder, product and financing journey. Check out the Youtube version on: https://channel.sandhillroad.io
36:17
October 27, 2019
E03 Exploring chaos engineering with Gremlin co-founder and CTO Matthew Fornaciari
Gremlin is a fast growing company in the chaos engineering space founded in 2016. The company has pioneered the space by offering failure-as-a-service. So far, Gremlin has raised almost $27m from the likes of Amplify Partners, Index Ventures and Redpoint. In this episode, Erasmus Elsner is joined by co-founder and CTO Matthew Fornaciari to talk about their founder, product and financing journey. Check out the Youtube version on: https://channel.sandhillroad.io
28:17
October 23, 2019
E02 How open-source software is eating software with Joseph Jacks from OSS Capital
In this episode, Erasmus Elsner is talking to Joseph Jacks, founder and general partner at OSS Capital, the first and only VC fund exclusively dedicated to supporting commercial open-source software founders.  We discuss the definition of commercial open-source software (COSS) companies and how open-source software is eating software. Check out the Youtube version on: https://channel.sandhillroad.io
01:03:31
June 14, 2019