Kanyi Maqubela (Kindred Ventures) – Why There’s Been an Explosion in Seed and Late Stage Funds, Diversity Amongst Investors & Market Risk, and Why he’s interested in Learning Why Something Is Not Fundable

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Kanyi Maqubela is a Managing Partner at Kindred Ventures. Kindred Ventures is a seed-stage venture capital fund, whose mission is to back visionary and dedicated founders who want to solve the most important problems and vastly improve peopleโ€™s lives around the world. Some of their investments include Uber, Poshmark, Otis and Blue Bottle Coffee.

Prior to Kindred, Kanyi was a Partner at Collaborative Fund and co-founded Heartbeat Health. He previously ran growth at One Block Off the Grid and was an early employee at Doostang.

A couple of books the inspired Kanyi are The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn and Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy by William Janeway. A book that inspired him personally is 

I highly recommend following Kanyi on Twitter @km. You can also visit his website Kanyi.me to read his articles and listen to some of his other interviews. You can also follow your host, Mike, on Twitter @mikegelb. You can also follow for episode announcements @consumervc.

Some of the questions I ask Kanyi – 

  1. What compelled you to drop out of Stanford, founding Doostang and what initially attracted you to technology and entrepreneurship? What were some of the mistakes you made as an entrepreneur? What compelled you to switch to the other side and become an investor? How has venture capital changed? How has venture capital and domain expertise changed? How do you filter inbound opportunities and your due diligence process?
  2. What are qualities that a founder needs to have or milestones a company needs to reach in order for you to be interested? What do you most pay attention to when analyzing an opportunity and what do you pay least attention to? For entrepreneurs building a company in a market that may not exist yet, how should they think about market sizing?
  3. CoronaVirus is very top of mind. Has this impacted how you invest? Are you more focused on current portfolio companies rather than new investments?
    1. How are you adjusting to new work protocols?
    2. Is it harder to establish conviction in founders since you are meeting them remotely rather than in person?
    3. Has COVID changed how you think about investing in fully distributed teams or teams that are located in secondary markets?
  4. How should founders think of pivoting at the early stages? Can founders pivot too quickly?
  5. Whatโ€™s some advice for founders that live in secondary and tertiary markets? Or maybe simply donโ€™t have a network of VCs?
  6. What are some consumer trends that you are focused on?
  7. Has CoronaVirus changed how you invest at Kindred?
    1. Are you starting to see discrepancies in valuations?
    2. Are VCs starting to pull back in order to focus on their current portfolio companies?
  8. Whatโ€™s one thing that you would change when it came to venture capital?
  9. Whatโ€™s one company on your anti-portfolio?
  10. Whatโ€™s your most recent investment and what makes you excited about it?

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