Both Sides of the Table — Medium

Perspectives of a 2x entrepreneur turned VC at @UpfrontVC, the largest and most active early-stage fund in Southern California. Snapchat: msuster

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How Valence Aims to Provide Better Access and Funding for Black Founders & Executives

“I gotta say it was a good day.”I’m so fricking pumped today. Really, truly. Yeah, Valence announced > $5 million in funding led by GGV and Upfront. That IS a big deal, but I’ll get to that. But Kamala Harris was picked to be the Vice Presidential candidate for the Democratic Party. That means she’ll be the first female Vice President of the United...

A Bigger Truth About Restaurant Food Delivery

Photo by Viktor Forgacs on UnsplashI was listening to Dan Primack’s podcast on Pro Rata and he was interviewing Senator Klobucher who is now publicly and vocally speaking out against Uber purchasing Grubhub and has tried to mobilize against this.Her argument is that if Uber buys Grubhub (which itself once merged with Seamless) it would mean that Uber...

Bevy is Emerging as a Leader in Software for Building Virtual Communities — with $15 million to…

Bevy is Emerging as a Leader in Software for Building Virtual Communities — with $15 million to Prove ItThe venture capital world has started firing up a few cylinders again and looking for businesses that it believes will help us all succeed in ways that resonate with new ways of working as we begin to return to work. It’s clear things have changed...

My Thoughts on the Current Market: on 20-Minute VC

Several years ago I made an appearance in a burgeoning new podcast called “20 Minute VC,” which by now needs no introduction. Harry was gracious enough to invite me back so this past week we recorded an episode discussing the current market environment.Please download the episode here, if for no other reason than to make Harry happy :) but I’ve also...

How to Make Sense of the PPP Loan Program for VC-Backed Startups

There is so much confusion and misinformation out there about the government sponsored “payroll protection plan” loans to companies that the heads of every small business CEO in the country must be spinning. We have been advising a lot of entrepreneurs so I thought I’d “open source” some of the advice I have been sharing.I am not claiming to be the...

Hard Decisions Require Empathy

In the past two weeks we have entered perhaps to most surreal experience in any of our lives. I think intuitively many of us believe it may be a more lasting impact than just “60 days at home,” which is why we almost have a nervous laughter when we call (Zoom!) somebody we haven’t spoken to since before the crisis and acknowledge how bizarre we all...

Funding in the Time of Coronavirus

I am due to speak at the SaaStr conference next week: Wednesday, March 11th at 10:45 AM. I had originally signed up to talk about the “VC Market Trends” overall but it seemed inauthentic to speak about VC funding without addressing the virus in the room. So I wrote a brand new deck outlining some Upfront views on what we may see in the funding markets ahead.This...

Why Meg Whitman is Betting on Quibi as“The Da Vinci Code of Content”

Every year, a personal Upfront Summit highlight is getting to sit down with experts in a field I care about. Sometimes that’s venture capital generally (like last year’s conversation with Reid Hoffman) and sometimes it’s in a space where I’ve invested (like mobility and city innovation with Bird’s Travis VanderZanden, one of our portfolio founders.)I’ve...

What Did I Learn From the First VC Check I Ever Wrote?

I became a VC 12 years ago in 2007 when the pace of deals was much slower. I had just left Salesforce.com where I was VP, Products, after they had acquired my second startup. As I was trying to figure out the role I wanted to play in the VC world I decided I wanted to focus on businesses that were building deeply technical products to solve problems...

Some Seriously Great News. No, Seriously …

Some Seriously Great News. No, Seriously …Exactly six years ago today I received an email from my friend Ynon Kreiz introducing me to Andrew Stalbow and Petri Järvilehto. Ynon had been the CEO of Maker Studios and I trust his opinion a great deal so of course I took the meeting.Andrew and Petri had left game developer Rovio (of Angry Birds fame) and...

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