Season 2 Episode 9 – David Ephrati of Truesight Ventures

David joins us from his flat in London, to tell us more about his role at Truesight Ventures, a Seed Fund focused on investing in brilliant founders. They are a small team, 4 people in total, based in both London & Stockholm. We discuss & debate over 50 minutes:

The VC industry:
Insights include..
# The nature of VC, is “super sexy” in David’s words and  it is attracting more young people as an the industry
# However, job opportunities do remain scarce and despite the growing number of funds it’s harder than ever to get a job in VC land
# It’s “super competitive” says David which he experienced first hand, after knocking on many doors and lots of no’s… he got a lucky break with a friend who set up a VC in Tel Aviv, to which he quickly hot footed too & his first role
# Attention turns quickly to the topic of Inclusivity, which does seem to be lacking in the world of VCs and LPs, and needs to be addressed in the industry. This is even more necessary, considering many funds are preaching a doctrine of inclusivity in their investment strategies. Our suggestion is for a VC fund called Fair and Equal !
# The power of an extensive network & how its a must for young people is a focus and widely recommended for people entering the industry. But do this sensibly and subtly
# Current market trends remain conducive for smaller, newer funds and their is strong backing for these, at the moment

On Truesight Ventures:
We talk about..
# How it morphed from a small group of angels collectively building out friendships, deal-flow, co-investing into a fund in 2018
# That they now manage $20m and issue tickets of around £100k-£150k, with a new fund being planned in the future
# David and the team have a preference to invest in Software and avoid Hardware, plus Biotech
# 40 investments have been made  from the fund so far, from an incoming funnel where they review 1,000 to 1,500 decks a year
# The team’s focus is founders in the UK and Nordics, which has resulted in some early success already, namely Omnipresent (HR Tech) and Dispatch (Food delivery)

The mindset of a VC:
Some good advice here on the key matrix of VC investing..
# It’s all about lots and lots of research and deep diving. objectively
# When Truesight are close to investing and at final stages, they are always set to “on” rather than “off”. “We want the Founder to nail the final ball”
# VC’s do like channel check their convictions about a founder, with other VCs and investors in the space. “They all talk to each other”
# David really admires founders, admitting he doesn’t have the guts to be one!  “So be bold and strong founders, when presenting the business and opportunity”!
# Final advice…  remember VC’s are human too and if you ever have the pleasure of meeting him. the way to his heart is “Formula 1 and Rick and Morty”

Quotes of the episode:
““We have to all feel a passion and bond with a founder, where the  founder’s enthusiasm and determination to not be derailed from the many set – backs they are bound to encounter, is critical to them investing”
“In this job I am on the phone a lot and listening to people mainly talk about themselves a lot, is not something I want to do when I want to switch off and relax. So Clubhouse really does not work for me at all”