“The purpose of the startup community is to take a tiny amount of human and financial capital and create a single product, usually, a single thing, an insight that, through incredible intensity, can be used to break open a market and achieve unusual skill.” – Rishi Garg
Rishi Garg (@rishigarg) is co-head of the Consumer Investing Practice at the Mayfield Fund, a seed and Series A focused venture capital firm. Before joining Mayfield, Rishi co-founded FanSnap, which was acquired by Nextag. He has led business and corporate development for Google, Square, MTV, and Twitter, and has invested in companies such as Quilt, Grove Collaborative, and Projector.
To hear Rishi's bonus episode, including the daily habits that keep him focused, click here.
For more, explore the transcript of this episode.
Chapters in this interview:
- Rishi’s background and work at MTV, Square, and Twitter
- Defining business development and the core skills needed for the role
- Managing M&A as a founder
- On joining Mayfield and returning to the VC world
- The “people first” culture at Mayfield
- The importance of trust between founders and investors
- Big waves in internet investing, from Netscape to digital identities
Links from this episode
- Connect with Rishi Garg: Twitter | LinkedIn | Mayfield
- What Series A Investors Look For (Panel)
- M&A Strategies: How to stay sane while selling a company (Presentation)
- Highland Capital
- Paul Maeder
- Jack Dorsey
- Chase Paymentech
- Y Combinator
- Geoff Ralston
- Mark Zuckerberg
- Grove Collaborative
- Flow Club
Rishi has great advice for founders who are considering M&A, even early on in their company’s lifecycle:
If you're in an ecosystem that has big, well-funded competitors, people that you think may be useful to talk to as potential acquirers, then it's a good idea to start building those relationships far ahead of time.
As you're going through an M&A process, be looking for clarity of strategy. Be looking for escalating meetings, and be looking for increased pace because those things together will give you a sense if the buyer is actually really interested in what you're doing. Then you can trust that it's actually real insight there. You can use that to start to get other buyers to the table, which is always the greatest leverage in any M&A process as a seller.
Big companies are full of executives that are doing stuff with small companies. Executives change all the time. Strategy changes all the time. So, when you have these relationships