How Growth Stage Startups Can Navigate The Current Markets with Margo Wu of Georgian Partners
With the recent market pullback, growth-stage startups have to figure out how to best navigate today’s markets. In this episode, we welcome Margaret Wu, Partner and Lead Investor at Georgian Partners, a Canadian fund that invests in high-growth tech companies. Recently they have focused on the growth of applied AI, investing in Vention, a digital manufacturing automation platform in its $95M Series-C round; and in a $150M Series-C round for global HR software platform Oyster.
Georgian Partners also publishes The Georgian Impact Podcast, runs the collaborative pre-investment CoLab program, and has developed a robust R&D team that leverages AI-driven solutions for its founders. Margo and I discuss how software can be the lifeblood of a well-run organization; how Georgian is currently managing its existing portfolio investments, and the incredible platform Georgian has built to help companies use data to deliver insights to CEOs and startups.
About Margo Wu:
Margaret “Margo” Wu is a Lead Investor at Georgian and is involved in due diligence, deal selection, and board governance for startups exploiting Applied AI.
Prior to Georgian, she was a Product Manager for mobile marketing at Amazon, co-founded a biotech company, and served as COO at OneSpout, a local e-commerce startup. Margaret began her career in technology consulting at Accenture and holds an MBA from Cornell University, as well as a BSc and BES from the University of Waterloo.
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In this episode we discuss:
02:37 Margo’s background in technology and startups and her journey into investing
04:20 How consulting helped Margo understand the building and scaling of companies
06:05 Lessons learned from Product Management at Amazon
10:25 Georgian’s investment thesis and mandate
13:40 How Georgian found deals at the right valuations over the past year
16:49 Thoughts on “Operating during a Downturn” and preparing for a crucible moment
19:47 How Georgian is thinking about profitability and how realistic it is for founders to pursue
23:01 Georgian’s acquisition strategy given the cheap opportunities in the public market
25:04 Advice to founders looking for growth capital but are at risk of a flat/down round
26:49 How Founders are responding to the current market conditions
28:56 Does Georgian Partners time the markets?
30:55 How Georgian manages follow-up investments in later-stage, pre-IPO firms
32:00 How Georgian’s platform has tactically supported founders
34:23 How the CoLab program works
38:13 How the R&D Team can help portfolio and non-portfolio company founders
Wait but Why By Tim Urban
Remote Work/ WFH
Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki
Knowing when to pivot and when to persevere