Interview with Venture Capital Firm Co-Founder and Managing Partner Avichal Garg of Electric Capital
AvichalGarg is Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Electric Capital. He worked on search and ads ranking at Google, was CTO at PrepMe (acquired by LON: DMGT), and CEO of Spool (acquired by Facebook). At Facebook he was Director of Product Management for the Local product group. Avichal is also a successful venture investor and was a part-time partner at YCombinator. He is an investor in crypto companies and protocols such as Anchorage, Bitwise, Celo, Coda, Dapper Labs/Cryptokittes, dYdX, Lightning Labs and many technology companies outside of crypto such as Color Genomics, Cruise, Boom Supersonic, Newfront Insurance, Optimizely, Threads, and Notion.
1. What is Electric Capital and how did you get into it?
Electric Capital is a venture capital firm focused on digital assets, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain companies.
2. How can young individuals get into Venture Capital if that is their desired path?
I believe the best early-stage investors have significant operating experience. Understanding how to actually build a company from scratch is important and increasingly founders want to take investment from people who have value-add operating experience (as a founder or executive).
3. How should young entrepreneurs approach VCs for funding? (What approaches you like/dislike)
Be honest, transparent with data, and communicate clearly. I prefer information-dense, data-oriented approaches, where the founders clearly understand both their users and the market dynamics.
4. What is your investment strategy when you invest in startups?
The strongest signal in early-stage investing is a founder who teaches you something counterintuitive about the world. If you and most of the world believe X, and a founder walks into your office and presents data that proves X is not true but Y is true instead, that is very compelling.
5. What is the future of VC and Startups for 2020?
More startups will be started every year as the tools and knowledge to start companies becomes even more widespread. In addition, VC will continue to specialize — crypto VCs, fintech VCs, biotech VCs, etc. — because we have started to apply software to so many areas where investors must have domain expertise in addition to software expertise.
6. What advice would you give to young budding entrepreneurs?
Most entrepreneurs focus on finding a problem to solve, build a good product, and then work to figuring out how to take this product to market. Investors tend to think in the reverse, from the market dynamics back — what has changed in the market, why is it possible for this startup to exist now vs. 5 years ago, what is the strategic advantage this company has in the market vs. others, how will the company get distribution, etc.
We would like to thank Avichal for speaking with us.
Jake Russell is the owner and founder of A Nibble of Business. Since its creation in 2015 it has been funded and operated solely by him. Jake is currently running the website along with being a student. View all posts by jakerussell