Craft Ventures Bryan Rosenblatt on Angel investing and the current VC landscape

  
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On Today's show, we talk about angel investing, the current venture landscape, and how the later stage investing world is being disrupted with Partner at Craft Ventures, Bryan Rosenblatt. Bryan brings a deep operations background to his investing from working at companies like Twitter and Reddit where he helped with customer acquisition. He soon added angel investing as a side hustle and was able to get into competitive rounds in later-stage companies like Lamda School, Slack, and Carta. It’s a great conversation.

About Bryan Rosenblatt:
Bryan is a partner at Craft Ventures, focused on building the firm's east coast portfolio. Prior to joining Craft, Bryan led Reddit's New York office and revenue team, cultivating partnerships with brands like Google, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, P&G, and HBO. During his time at Reddit, the revenue organization grew 10x while scaling revenue to a $100m+ annualized revenue run rate. Bryan was an early member of Twitter's New York team where he worked with brands like Peloton, Harry's, Bonobo's, Casper, and Under Armour on their acquisition marketing efforts. Bryan has been an active investor both personally and via Riverside Ventures, which he founded in early 2017. His investments include Carta, Citizen, Bonobo's, Slack, and Dapper Labs. In 2018, Bryan was named to Forbes 30 Under 30 list for Marketing & Advertising. He was also recognized by Ad Council for championing nonprofit advertising that builds awareness around topics including mental health and diversity & inclusion. In 2021, Bryan was named to Business Insider's Top 100 Seed Investors.

Bryan is a mentor for Backstage Capital, helping advance underrepresented founders and entrepreneurs.


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In this episode we discuss:

02:42 Biggest lessons he learned in his early career at Reddit and Twitter about customer acquisiton

04:34 How he evolved from a qualitative perspective to a quantitative perspective on marketing

05:49 The experience of building a sales team at Reddit starting in 2015

07:41 The importance of brand story and opportunity when there is a strong userbase

10:14 How Bryan was able to get into competitive later rounds as an angel investor

12:07 The importance of momentum and building on wins to secure dealflow

13:26 Bryan’s early due-diligence process

14:18 Why a founder’s character is important at early stage investing

15:05 The learning value of losing money as angel investor

16:04 Early personal risk when investing

16:39 The biggest loss and biggest wins as an angel investor

18:54 Training yourself to know when to listen to your gut

20:34 Ways he needed to step up his game when joining a marquee firm like Craft Ventures

22:15 Early lessons he learned from the senior Craft Ventures partners

24:01 What was the hardest thing to learn in his transition to venture investing

25:18 How the market has evolved since becoming a VC

27:16 The importance of conviction in growth when investing

28:12 The SaasGridQA.com tool Craft just launched for founders to help analyze and predict growth

29:10 How Bryan helps foster and grow partnerships within his portfolio

30:55 Will companies like Pipe.com ultimately destroy the VC model?

32:25 Bryan’s tips for founders who are pursuing a product-led growth strategy

34:33 The best way to onboard new customers

35:44 Craft Venture portfolio companies that have nailed the product-led growth strategy

37:18 The part of the Craft platform Bryan would recommend to every founder

38:53 How Craft views the market in general

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