Addie Lerner of Avid Ventures: Analytical Rigor in Venture Capital (Outlier Academy, Ep. #36)

Addie Lerner is Founder and Managing Partner of Avid Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm investing in fintech, consumer internet, and software companies. In this episode, Addie and Daniel discuss seeing both upsides and downsides to opportunities, the future of fintech, and the privilege of investing.
Last updated
July 14, 2021
5
Min Read
Addie Lerner is an active leader of All Raise’s New York City chapter, helping to promote and advance women in the venture capital and technology fields.
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“I think this whole job is such a privilege. When you zoom out, you get to work with and spend time with the smartest people in our industry—in the world—on a daily basis. You get to explore brand new ideas and industries.” – Addie Lerner

Addie Lerner (@addielerner) is Founder and Managing Partner of Avid Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm investing in exceptional founders building transformative fintech, consumer internet, and software companies. Prior to starting Avid, Addie worked with investments at General Catalyst, General Atlantic and Goldman Sachs. She was named one of NYC Fintech Women’s “50 Inspiring Fintech Females” in 2020 and was featured in the 2019 Forbes “30 Under 30” Venture Capital list.

To listen to Addie's bonus interview and learn more about the secrets to her success, click here.


For more, explore the transcript of this episode.


Chapters in this interview:

  • Addie’s background with Goldman Sachs, General Atlantic, and General Catalyst
  • Investing in international founders 
  • Fighting imposter syndrome
  • The Avid Ventures investment framework
  • De-risking opportunities
  • Seeing both the upsides and downsides of opportunities
  • The future of fintech

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Terminology

Key Takeaway

We loved Addie’s thoughts on balancing the upsides and downsides of opportunities:

“You really have to be a little bit crazy to believe the teeny tiny upside percentage potential; real enough that you can go make a bet to try to make it happen, but then you also have to be realistic. I think about the downside. And when you map out the downside, it often turns out it's not as bad as your brain is really telling you.”
“You also have to be careful, because I often can end up making the upside case of a scenario my target case. And once you're underwriting that the teeny tiny upside probability is what you're striving to, you're literally just setting an expectation that you're, probability-wise, not going to hit.”
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