Billion Dollar Moves™ with Sarah Chen-Spellings | Global Venture Capital

Sarah Chen-Spellings

Lead, build, and invest better. Join award-winning entrepreneur and investor Sarah Chen-Spellings as she travels across the globe in search of what she calls the 'unexpected leader'. Every week, we deconstruct the Billion Dollar Moves of unicorn founders & funders; many of them underestimated long before they became iconic. Many of them, unexpected leaders, just like you. This show is about unfiltered conversations about success, failure, fear, and courage in the pursuit of the next big thing in tech and venture. Billion Dollar Moves is proud to be part of the Hubspot Podcast Network with 10 million downloads a month as a group. read less
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Episodes

LP Panel: Deployment in Private Equity w/ Tomi Viia, OP Financial Group & Marko Hara, Decile Capital
3d ago
LP Panel: Deployment in Private Equity w/ Tomi Viia, OP Financial Group & Marko Hara, Decile Capital
Revisiting a clip from the LP Summit co-hosted by Beyond the Billion and Arctic15 in Helsinki in 2023, we have curated this brief but insightful episode for GPs, LPs, or even founders. This week’s guests are two European LP veterans - Marko Hara, formerly the director of Elo, one of Finland's largest employee pensions, and Tomi Viia, currently the head of investments at OP Financial Group, managing assets totaling €14.2 billion. Our conversation delved into the trends and opportunities in private equity and highlighted the winning strategies for LPs during uncertain times. Let’s get started! Timestamps/Key Takeaways 0:00 - Intro 03:57 - Takes on current market conditions; advice for LPs during venture slumps 07:48 - The shifts in portfolio diversity; the weighing in private equity 12:28 - Opportunities in US market for European LPs 15:14 - Advice for LPs and portfolio construction during uncertain times 17:25 - The winning factors in investment opportunities 20:22 - Huge platform shift with the explosion of AI; emerging managers are not off the table 23:02 - Q&A: Where are the best soft skills and hard skills that you are looking for in GPs in this environment? 24:53 - Key takeaway for LPs and GPs - PODCAST INFO: Podcast website: https://billiondollarmoves.com Watch on Youtube: https://tinyurl.com/sarahchenglobal Join the community: https://sarah-chen.ck.page/billiondollarmoves FOLLOW SARAH: LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/sarahchenglobal Instagram: https://instagram.com/sarahchenglobal Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahchenglobal
Bite: Delivering Alpha with Kindness, The Red Helicopter Way w/ James Rhee
Apr 11 2024
Bite: Delivering Alpha with Kindness, The Red Helicopter Way w/ James Rhee
"Goodwill should mean a whole lot more than accounting concept, is earned and cannot be bought; but if done correctly, can be worth a whole lot." As we step into Q2, there's no better time to pause, reflect, and realign our goals for the year ahead. This week, we revisit an episode that continues to inspire, which talks about creating real value with kindness and math, as advocated by James Rhee and his new book red helicopter. In this conversation, we talked about money, reality, true alpha and transformation -- leveraging kindness. This as he saw in his tenure as the unlikely “least qualified CEO” of Ashley Stewart, where he reinvented the company from the brink of bankruptcy. Ahead of your full read, here are some key takeaways from our conversation last year. Enjoy! TIMESTAMPS 0:00 - Intro 02:30 - Takeaway #1: You don't make money with just zeros and ones. 06:07 - Takeaway #2: Kindness is one of the things you never have to hedge. It's never wrong to be kind. 10:14 - Takeaway #3: Don’t underestimate the power of appreciating the quiet leaders. 12:00 Takeaway #4: “I'm more proud of the way we did it than what the result was.” 13:44 - Takeaway #5: The scarcity mindset and why the richest aren’t always the happiest 17:23 - Closing remarks: the red helicopter Full Episode: Leading with Kindness | James Rhee 🎙️Podcast: https://link.chtbl.com/bdm-jamesrhee  🎞️ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YYr6ZRQPdI red helicopter - James Rhee Imagine, a clear path forward told as a deeply felt human story. A poignant and uplifting celebration of humanity, red helicopter—a parable for our times is a tale of struggle and triumph, compelling for its honesty and relatability as much as for the instructions we can all use to balance the books of our lives. Grab your copy here! Learn more about James Rhee and red helicopter:  https://www.redhelicopter.com/ - PODCAST INFO: Podcast website: https://billiondollarmoves.com Watch on Youtube: https://tinyurl.com/sarahchenglobal Join the community: https://sarah-chen.ck.page/billiondollarmoves FOLLOW SARAH: LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/sarahchenglobal Instagram: https://instagram.com/sarahchenglobal Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahchenglobal
Faith, Finance, Technology w/ Fara Abdullah, Bitsmedia
Apr 4 2024
Faith, Finance, Technology w/ Fara Abdullah, Bitsmedia
Muslims are projected to constitute more than 25% of the world's total population this year. To many in the industry, this isn't just a statistic; it represents a vast array of opportunities for the markets. This week, we had the pleasure of speaking with Fara Abdullah, CEO of Bitsmedia, the brains behind the immensely popular Muslim lifestyle app, Muslim Pro.  With a fresh injection of $20 million from its recent Series A funding round, featuring participation from Gobi Partners, alongside continued backing from existing investors CMI Capital Partners and Bintang Capital Partners, Bitsmedia is poised to enhance the faith experience through cutting-edge technologies.  Our discussion today delves into various aspects, including the business landscape, the potential in faith-driven markets, and the interception of faith, finance, and technology.  TIMESTAMPS / KEY TAKEAWAYS 0:00 - Intro 02:52 - Market opportunities in the Muslim community; Bitsmedia’s business model 07:39 - Challenging the misconceptions and templatization of Muslims 10:49 - Thesis behind the 160 million annual downloads of Muslim Pro: faith in challenging times and the modern Muslim lifestyle 15:13 - Bitsmedia’s ideal consumer profile and the growth of user base 20:30 - Business models and the biggest revenue drive for Bitsmedia 24:11 - Decision making and resource distribution as the CEO 26:52 - The role of technology in shaping faith and vice versa 30:31 - The idea of moderation and ethical interpretations with use of technologies 32:41 - Bitsmedia’s role in the interception of faith, finance and technology 34:35 - Observed trends of religious behaviors and attitudes; the socialization of faith 37:01 - Fundraising and choosing the right partners 39:46 - Billion dollar questions ABOUT BITSMEDIA Bitsmedia is a Singapore-based, technology company known globally as the developer and publisher of the Muslim Pro app – a highly-rated and comprehensive Muslim lifestyle app with more than 150 million downloads globally to date. The company is also the publisher of Qalbox, a global subscription video on demand (SVoD) entertainment streaming service aimed at the global Muslim community. About Muslim Pro Muslim Pro's journey started with its inception as a utility app dedicated to fulfilling the daily spiritual and practical needs of Muslims worldwide. Under Fara's guidance, Muslim Pro has undergone a significant transformation, evolving from its original utility focus to become a pioneering platform catering to the diverse facets of the Muslim community. Fara's strategic foresight has been vital to transitioning Muslim Pro into a holistic ecosystem for Muslims. Beyond spiritual and religious guidance, the platform now encompasses educational resources, AI-driven tools, and robust partnerships with key enablers, brands, and organizations within the Muslim sector. - PODCAST INFO: Podcast website: https://billiondollarmoves.com Watch on Youtube: https://tinyurl.com/sarahchenglobal Join the community: https://sarah-chen.ck.page/billiondollarmoves FOLLOW SARAH: LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/sarahchenglobal Instagram: https://instagram.com/sarahchenglobal Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahchenglobal
LP View: Breaking Bias to Drive Returns w/ Joanna Kuang, Illumen Capital
Mar 28 2024
LP View: Breaking Bias to Drive Returns w/ Joanna Kuang, Illumen Capital
“We believe an inclusive and optimal asset management industry will be the cornerstone of an equal and equitable future.” - Illumen Capital While organizations explore ways to embody diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), authenticity and clear, measurable outcomes are essential for effectiveness.  This week, we're joined by Joanna Kuang, Senior Vice President of Product Development and Impact at Illumen Capital. We delve into the significance of impact investing and strategies to ensure tangible efforts are made to drive meaningful change in venture, in our society. TIMESTAMPS / KEY TAKEAWAYS 0:00 - Intro 02:18 - Joanna’s backstory as the daughter of immigrants; living experience in Mississippi Delta that drove her to join Illumen Capital 04:02 - Genesis of Illumen Capital as a fund of funds 05:42 - Study alongside Stanford SPARQ: Race influences professional investors’ financial judgments (2019) 09:16 - Diversity efforts in venture today; DEI policies 13:10 - Quantitative data to drive accountability; best practices to remove biases in pitching and diligence processes 18:06 - Illumen Capital’s stand under the backdrop of many anti-DEI laws 21:19 - Diversity drives performance: investment strategies and performance measurements 24:41 - Established and emerging managers as the next key strategy for Illumen Capital 28:18 - Portfolio construction as a fund of funds and ticket sizes 30:42 - The winning factors versus common mistakes in diverse fund managers; impact washing 32:47 - Looking ahead 2024 private market; advice for fund managers 35:38 - Billion Dollar Questions - About Illumen Capital Illumen Capital is an impact fund of funds addressing systemic inequity by reducing racial and gender bias in investing. Working closely with the world’s leading social psychologists at Stanford SPARQ, they combine investment capital with evidence-based tools and training designed to reduce implicit racial and gender bias in order to unlock latent return and multiply impact. More about Illumen Capital: https://www.illumencapital.com - PODCAST INFO: Podcast website: https://billiondollarmoves.com Watch on Youtube: https://tinyurl.com/sarahchenglobal Join the community: https://sarah-chen.ck.page/billiondollarmoves FOLLOW SARAH: LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/sarahchenglobal Instagram: https://instagram.com/sarahchenglobal Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahchenglobal
Building Billion Dollar Business with Strategic Marketing w/ Ross Simmonds, Foundation Marketing
Mar 21 2024
Building Billion Dollar Business with Strategic Marketing w/ Ross Simmonds, Foundation Marketing
Berkshire Hathaway and the famed investor Warren Buffett himself are often the topic of discussion when it comes to achieving success in the world of venture.  Nevertheless, despite the almost unassuming marketing strategies compared to today’s eye-catching everything, Berkshire Hathaway illustrated incomparable strategic marketing that yielded loyalty and reputation. This inspired today's Billion Dollar Bite, where we delve into the topic of strategic marketing and how us in the venture world can learn a thing or two. Ross Simmonds is the founder of today's leading content marketing firm, Foundation. Ross leads the team at Foundation, specializing in helping B2B and SaaS brands build content marketing engines that generate millions of visits a year, resulting in millions worth of new business. We covered a range of topics from A.I. and marketing reskilling your workforce to breaking down some amazing case studies from billion-dollar businesses like MasterClass and Berkshire Hathaway. TIMESTAMPS / KEY TAKEAWAYS 0:00 - Intro 2:47 - AI for marketer; takes on AI replacing marketer’s job 6:24 - Biggest lessons from MasterClass: building around Google search intent 10:33 - MasterClass’ marketing strategy 12:18 - Glassdoor’s content creation and SEO strategies 13:33 - Leveraging AI, the best approach to expand globally as B2B business 16:36 - Mr.Beast; Berkshire Hathaway; should all businesses be creators? 19:11 - Leaders as the voices on platform like LinkedIn 21:32 - Content creation in leadership position is a waste of time? 23:30 - How do we engage with public reaction on social media? 24:42 - Takes on nonpolitical versus political leader; common mistakes made by companies on social initiatives 28:00 - Billion dollar questions - About Ross Simmonds A marketer, keynote speaker, SaaS & B2B tech investor, writer and the CEO of Foundation. Ross is multitalented and devoted his work to help, inspire and teach the underdogs of the world how to use research, creation, distribution and optimization to unlock new levels of growth and opportunities. Ross’ content marketing agency, Foundation, offers content marketing services to a diverse clientele spanning the globe. We’ve worked some of the most successful SaaS companies in the world and work as partners for multiple publicly traded cloud companies who have redefined entire industries.  More about Ross and Foundation: https://rosssimmonds.com/ - PODCAST INFO: Podcast website: https://billiondollarmoves.com Watch on Youtube: https://tinyurl.com/sarahchenglobal Join the community: https://sarah-chen.ck.page/billiondollarmoves FOLLOW SARAH: LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/sarahchenglobal Instagram: https://instagram.com/sarahchenglobal Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahchenglobal
Unveiling Unicorn Pathways: How to Become a Unicorn w/ Leah Barto, Endeavor Global
Mar 14 2024
Unveiling Unicorn Pathways: How to Become a Unicorn w/ Leah Barto, Endeavor Global
In venture capital, pattern recognition is a valuable skill.  Investors often analyze various pieces of a puzzle, employing pattern recognition to assess whether a company might be on the path to success. This week’s Billion Dollar Bite features Leah Barto, Senior Director of Research at Endeavor Global, who leads a team to redefine pattern recognition through the lens of data journalism. Endeavor has dedicated its mission to uncover unicorns worldwide, employing a data-driven approach and producing a comprehensive study titled “Where Do Unicorns Come From?” We’ve discussed the intriguing findings of this robust research, unveiling the factors that drive entrepreneurial ecosystems to thrive, and challenging stereotypes about what success should look like.  You won't want to miss this! Timestamps/ Key Takeaways 0:00 - Intro 2:15 - Endeavor’s mission, data journalism, “Where Do Unicorns Come From?” & the multiplier effect in startup ecosystems 5:37 - Takeaway #1: Educational backgrounds & debunking the myth of the elite educational pedigree. 6:29 - Takeaway #2: Entrepreneurial experience & age  7:58 - Takeaway #3: Global citizens - mostly with a migration background & advice for funders 9:35 - Takeaway #4: Pattern recognition - backgrounds and innovation made by unicorn founders from US versus emerging markets 11:30 - Takeaway #5: Solution to underrepresentation of female founders 14:33 - Takeaway #6: Hande Cilingir’s success story 16:32 - Takeaway #7: Scaling & paying it forward  About Endeavor Insight Endeavor Insight is the research division of Endeavor that provides data-driven analysis and visualizations showing what makes entrepreneurial ecosystems thrive. Our research team of economists, data scientists, and policy analysts specialize in understanding the needs of high-impact entrepreneurs and evaluating the networks that enable them to scale and pay it forward. Where Do Unicorns Come From? Link: https://endeavor.org/unicornpathways - PODCAST INFO: Podcast website: https://billiondollarmoves.com Watch on Youtube: https://tinyurl.com/sarahchenglobal Join the community: https://sarah-chen.ck.page/billiondollarmoves FOLLOW SARAH: LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/sarahchenglobal Instagram: https://instagram.com/sarahchenglobal Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahchenglobal
Unlocking Venture Capital through Private Wealth w/ Samir Kaji, Allocate
Mar 7 2024
Unlocking Venture Capital through Private Wealth w/ Samir Kaji, Allocate
This week's guest is Samir Kaji, a prolific writer and host of Venture Unlocked, a podcast and blog that dives into the inner workings of venture capital, and the CEO and co-founder of Allocate. With over 20 years of experience in VC and private equity ecosystem, Samir's work has guided many investors, entrepreneurs, and fund managers on how to navigate and succeed in the private markets. Our conversation covers everything from the scale of private wealth funding, venture capital to the explosion of emerging managers and why the track record trap is one we need to be mindful of. Whether you are a GP, LP, or founder tuning in, this episode is full of gems. TIMESTAMP / KEY TAKEAWAYS 0:00 - Intro 2:54 - Who is Samir Kaji? 04:41 - How are banks different moving forward in 2024; interest rate and the end of ZIRP era 09:49 - Allocate: to provide opportunities to private markets & to invest with more visibility and transparency 13:34 - Business model of Allocate; bridging venture gap or beyond? 17:00 - Trends in venture from 2022 onwards 21:23 - How should LPs be thinking about misinformation of performance; portfolio construction as LPs 27:45 - Generating alphas and diversifying networks 32:49 - The track record trap; Pejman, Pear VC  36:54 - Fundraising, building enduring franchise and common mistakes of emerging managers; Kirsten Green, Forerunners 40:55 - Diversity in the realm of venture 42:30 - Predictions for 2024 44:46 - Billion dollar questions - About Allocate Alternative investments have become a growing staple in investor portfolios as investors continue to seek better portfolio diversification and higher returns. However investing in and alongside the most promising venture funds is primarily limited to institutional investors and industry insiders. We are here to change that.  Allocate is a digital investment platform that provides all types of investors with a programmatic and efficient way to discover and invest in high quality emerging and established venture capital funds, while providing fund managers with a streamlined way to access the fragmented private wealth market.   - PODCAST INFO: Podcast website: https://billiondollarmoves.com Watch on Youtube: https://tinyurl.com/sarahchenglobal Join the community: https://sarah-chen.ck.page/billiondollarmoves FOLLOW SARAH: LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/sarahchenglobal Instagram: https://instagram.com/sarahchenglobal Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahchenglobal
Behind the IPO: ACV Auctions & ASV w/ Somak Chattopadhyay & Vikas Mehta
Feb 29 2024
Behind the IPO: ACV Auctions & ASV w/ Somak Chattopadhyay & Vikas Mehta
This week we had not one but two esteemed guests - a funder and his founder of choice to talk through everything from building trust and partnership to getting to that IPO. Featuring Somak Chattopadhyay, founder of Armory Square Ventures, and Vikas Mehta, COO of ACV Auctions. Their paths beautifully overlapped after their MIT days when Somak recognized ACV's potential in B2B automobile marketplaces and recruited Vikas to lead the operation. The rest is history, but in today’s episode, we delve deep into how Somak identifies potential in companies like ACV and, alongside Vikas, continues to drive value and scale to today, one of the most exciting marketplaces that investors are closely watching on the NASDAQ. TIMESTAMPS / KEY TAKEAWAYS 0:00 Intro 3:00 Where the paths crossed: Somak’s journey with Armory Square Ventures; and Vikas’s prior to ACV Auctions 7:55 Takeaway 1: How did Somak identified and surfaced ACV as a tech unicorn 11:34 Vikas saying yes to Somak’s pitch on ACV Auctions 15:31 Takeaway 2: Breaking down business model of ACV Auctions from digitalising to scaling; “it was basically to get a level of trust and transparency on the asset that was previously unimaginable,” 21:07 Takeaway 3: Bringing in mentor who guides and fits well with the team and hiring the best talent 25:10 Takeaway 4: Adding value versus overstepping your bounds as a VC 28:11 Takeaway 5: Navigating through pandemic and building infrastructure under hyper growth 30:57 Takeaway 6: “What else could we do to leapfrog everyone else“; building and maturing a system that fills the industry gap 36:24 Takeaway 7: Vikas’ reflection: be more risk taking and hiring key unlockers of acceleration at early stage 37:53 Takeaway 8: Somak’s reflection: every time frame is different and about false positives on people 39:49 Looking forward #1: the automotive industry in 2024 40:46 Looking forward #2: 2024 as the best vintage year? 42:41 Takeaway 9: Vikas to founders: "How the world is predicted to be is rarely how it ends up being" 43:49 Takeaway 10: Somak: "Don't rely on zoom and teams or whichever tool you have as a crush for everything"  - PODCAST INFO: Podcast website: https://billiondollarmoves.com Watch on Youtube: https://tinyurl.com/sarahchenglobal Join the community: https://sarah-chen.ck.page/billiondollarmoves FOLLOW SARAH: LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/sarahchenglobal Instagram: https://instagram.com/sarahchenglobal Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahchenglobal
[REPLAY] Investing with Penny Pritzker & Building a Robust Venture & Growth Practice w/ Momei Qu, PSP Partners
Feb 22 2024
[REPLAY] Investing with Penny Pritzker & Building a Robust Venture & Growth Practice w/ Momei Qu, PSP Partners
“If you can show strong growth in this environment, that means you’re getting corporate budgets at a time when corporate budgets are tightening.” As we continue to emerge from the belt-tightening era in investment and venture, now is an opportune moment to revisit an episode featuring Momei Qu, Managing Director of PSP Growth. Momei carved her own path in leadership, having worked with one of the trailblazers, the esteemed Penny Pritzker, former United States Secretary of Commerce and American billionaire businesswoman known for family investments in Hyatt Hotels and Marmon Group. Today, Momei, who leads PSP's venture capital and growth equity initiative, shares her leadership lessons, from collaborating with a trailblazer to building a robust venture and growth practice and focusing on the future of B2B SaaS despite the valuation slashes we've witnessed. TIMESTAMPS / KEYTAKEAWAYS 0:00 Intro 0:55 Recognizing the gap in commercializing technology 2:40 Joining Merrill Lynch and stepping into venture 06:01 Skillset as both engineer and venture investor; upbringing and exposure to deals 8:10 Working with Penny Pritzker's private investment group; “If you don't ask for something, you might not get it.” 12:28 PSP’s collaborative strategies: ventures, multi-family and industrial properties, private equity, etc; “I've been pleasantly surprised, the unexpected piece of how collaborative everyone has been, and how much better it has been to unlock the power of the whole platform.” 17:07 Takes on allocation and balancing investments for family offices 19:11 Investing in adversed time and building a robust venture practice; on me too companies 21:28 Solutions that go hand in hand with the market and the focus on B2B SaaS  24:44 Notable patterns in SaaS 27:42 Takes on B2B SaaS application and AI technologies: security and responsibilities 30:50 Takes on founder’s limits and ethics in AI tech innovation 32:45 Diligence as an investor 34:24 Billion Dollar Questions 𝐁𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐃𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐚𝐫 𝐌𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐬 is THE show for the audacious next-gen leaders.  Unfiltered. Personal. Inspirational.  Tune in to learn from world's foremost funders and founders, and their unicorn journey in the dynamic world of venture and business. From underestimated to iconic, YOU too, can make #billiondollarmoves — in venture, in business, in life. PODCAST INFO: Podcast website: https://billiondollarmoves.com Watch on Youtube: https://tinyurl.com/sarahchenglobal Join the community: https://sarah-chen.ck.page/billiondollarmoves FOLLOW SARAH: LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/sarahchenglobal Instagram: https://instagram.com/sarahchenglobal Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahchenglobal
Bite: Driving Returns through Diversity with Erin Harkless Moore, Pivotal Ventures
Feb 15 2024
Bite: Driving Returns through Diversity with Erin Harkless Moore, Pivotal Ventures
Investing in women is the smartest thing you could do right now.  Erin Harkless Moore, Senior Director of Investments at Pivotal Ventures, a company founded by Melinda French Gates to promote social equity in the realm of investment, eloquently expressed this notion with her work. Whereas in numerous regions across the globe today, it's surprising to consider that such a statement could be contentious. However, we must stand firm: progress is never linear. This week, we're revisiting Erin's episode from last year, delving into discussions ranging from the mission of Pivotal Ventures and her investment strategy to understanding why Melinda French Gates continues to invest $1 billion in women. TIMESTAMPS / KEY TAKEAWAYS 0:00 Intro 02:50 Takeaway 1: on Pivotal Ventures and driving societal change 06:43 Takeaway 2: Investment in diversity initiatives under attack - what are the solutions? 11:32 Takeaway 3: Melinda French Gate’s $1B commitment, investment strategies & getting to a 'yes' as an LP Full Episode with Erin: 🎙️Podcast: https://link.chtbl.com/bdm-pivotal 🎞️ YouTube: https://youtu.be/rlnpoq9bgH8 About Pivotal Ventures Pivotal ventures engage in strategic investments in funds and early-stage companies, aiming to accelerate social progress by putting more capital in the hands of women and people of color, unlocking new market-based solutions to social problems, and demonstrating that historically under-resourced founders and investors deliver market returns. Learn more about Pivotal Ventures: Pivotal Ventures | A Melinda French Gates Company Investing | Pivotal Ventures Breaking With Tradition Melinda Gates: Here's Why I'm Committing $1 Billion to Promote Gender Equality - PODCAST INFO: Podcast website: https://billiondollarmoves.com Watch on Youtube: https://tinyurl.com/sarahchenglobal Join the community: https://sarah-chen.ck.page/billiondollarmoves FOLLOW SARAH: LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/sarahchenglobal Instagram: https://instagram.com/sarahchenglobal Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahchenglobal
Surfacing Unicorns in Emerging Markets w/ Allen Taylor, Endeavor Catalyst
Feb 8 2024
Surfacing Unicorns in Emerging Markets w/ Allen Taylor, Endeavor Catalyst
This week's episode features Allen Taylor, managing partner at Endeavor Catalyst, one of the earliest supporters at the Billion Dollar Fund for Women (now Beyong The Billion). Allen also sits on the global leadership team at Endeavor, a mission driven organization focused on supporting high growth companies in emerging and underserved markets. We discuss everything from how Reid Hoffman inspired the design of a rules-based fund that in its beta already made LPs eight times their money on an 8.5x DPI to his personal journey with Endeavor to have grown to support over 2,000 high impact entrepreneurs all over the world. Timestamps/Key Takeaways 0:00 Intro 02:47 The beginning of Allen’s journey with Endeavor 04:49 Takeaway 1: Endeavor’s 501(c)(3) nonprofit business model - top down and bottom up approaches 10:29 Takeaway 2: What it means to build a firm and a franchise 13:32 Takeaway 3: Backing talented founder in emerging markets 19:57 Takeaway 4: Endeavor's rule-based fund & selection criteria 22:48 Takeaway 5: Takes on “copycat models”  26:40 Takeaway 6: The secret formula to making a mark in underserved markets 30:54 Takeaway 7: Emerging markets landscape for 2024  33:16 Billion Dollar Questions - PODCAST INFO: Podcast website: https://billiondollarmoves.com Watch on Youtube: https://tinyurl.com/sarahchenglobal Join the community: https://sarah-chen.ck.page/billiondollarmoves FOLLOW SARAH: LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/sarahchenglobal Instagram: https://instagram.com/sarahchenglobal Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahchenglobal
Rise with Resilience: Becoming a Rare Unicorn Iman Abuzeid, Incredible Health
Feb 1 2024
Rise with Resilience: Becoming a Rare Unicorn Iman Abuzeid, Incredible Health
"It's probably not a good idea to overlook female CEOs or Black CEOs. Because they're driving an enormous amount of value in business. And you overlook it at your own expense." - Iman Abuzeid, Co-founder & CEO of Incredible Health This week's Billion Dollar Bite is from an event held in Austin, hosted by Beyond the Billion and Brown Advisory, among a crowd of family offices and other investors. Featuring Iman Abuzeid, who upon raising her 80 million Series B funding round, valued her healthcare career marketplace startup at $1.65 billion. Iman exists in rarified air: she is one of only a handful of Black female founders to run a company valued at more than $1 billion. And yet! Rejection, inequality, and leadership pitfalls remain a reoccurring theme in her journey. Tune in as we covered a few topics from fundraising, shifting mindsets to focusing on the fundamentals in a challenging environment. Timestamps/Key Takeaways 0:00 Intro 2:08 Takeaway 1: Rejection is the norm 2:49 Takeaway 2: Fundraising tips: be very selective about who you pursue  3:28 Takeaway 3: Fundraising tips: Focus on your vision and mission despite the stats 4:19 Takeaway 4: Financing strategies are personal decisions 5:02 Takeaway 5: Focusing on the fundamentals: market and strategy 7:23 Takeaway 6: A common mistake among leaders: the people - PODCAST INFO: Podcast website: https://billiondollarmoves.com Watch on Youtube: https://tinyurl.com/sarahchenglobal Join the community: https://sarah-chen.ck.page/billiondollarmoves FOLLOW SARAH: LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/sarahchenglobal Instagram: https://instagram.com/sarahchenglobal Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahchenglobal
Breaking Barriers: Why “Taboo” Brands Win with Shama Amalean Skinner (Former COO, Thinx Inc.)
Jan 25 2024
Breaking Barriers: Why “Taboo” Brands Win with Shama Amalean Skinner (Former COO, Thinx Inc.)
From a market that was almost nonexistent in 2015, hitting double digits with a ~25% CAGR by 2018, Femtech and women's health industry have been long underestimated until the rise of Thinx and similar brands revolutionized the industry. Today’s guest is Shama Amalean Skinner, an entrepreneur, a trailblazer in the world of feminine care, and a business leader who has broken barriers and challenged societal norms with her previous position as COO at Thinx Inc. Shama played a pivotal role in transforming Thinx into a household name, ultimately paving the way for the mass adoption of reusable products in an industry dominated by single-use disposables. For the first time, Shama reveals how she would have done things differently from an operator's standpoint and expresses real frustration about how the Femtech market is still grossly underfunded, despite its massive potential. Whether you're looking to finally crack mass retail this year for your product or working through some challenging personal questions and navigating startup life, this is another episode I think you'll love. - TIMESTAMPS & Key Takeaways 0:00 Intro 03:15 Takeaway 1: Three potential opportunities Shama saw in Thinx 04:48 Takeaway 2: Changing consumer behaviour and skepticism regarding period underwear #1: Create a movement destigmatizing periods  06:26 #2: Increase brand awareness with controversial subway ads 08:32 #3: Converting followship into purchases and revenue with product education and word of mouth effect 10:17 Takeaway 3: Changing mind and creating loyalty globally with advocacy work  13:01 Takeaway 4: Business model and revenue numbers for feminine care market 14:05 Takeaway 5: Framework for a successful brand: branding, product, and team 15:32 Takeaway 6: Shama’s take on what should COOs have in mind as priorities 17:13 Takeaway 7: Strategies against supply chain issues 19:44 Takeaway 8: Create redundancy in supply chain 20:27 Takeaway 9: What makes a good COO? 21:40 Takeaway 10: Business opportunities in Femtech and women health 24:33 Takeaway 11: What needs to change for women to progress in the capital spectrum in getting that innovation funding? 25:47 Takeaway 12: Founder’s lens: rejections at funding stage 28:39 Takeaway 13: Key to decision-making as Thinx going into retail 30:22 Takeaway 14: When is right time for founders or top performers to move on? 31:46 Takeaway 15: 3 questions you ask yourself to decide if you were to step away  32:30 Billion Dollar Questions - About Shama Amalean Skinner Shama Amalean Skinner is an entrepreneur and executive working at the intersection of sustainability and consumer markets. She is the former chief operating officer of Thinx Inc, the revolutionary period and incontinence underwear company. At Thinx, she played a key role in launching, growing, and ultimately selling the company to a publicly listed corporation — effectively catalyzing the mass adoption of a reusable product in a category dominated by single-use disposables. Shama is an engaged consultant, board member, and advisor to innovative start-ups, venture funds, and nonprofit organizations. She is deeply committed to advocating for gender equity and helping solve the climate crisis. Shama | LinkedIn - PODCAST INFO: Podcast website: https://billiondollarmoves.com Watch on Youtube: https://tinyurl.com/sarahchenglobal Join the community: https://sarah-chen.ck.page/billiondollarmoves FOLLOW SARAH: LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/sarahchenglobal Instagram: https://instagram.com/sarahchenglobal Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahchenglobal
LP Special: How Emerging Managers can win in 2024 with Adam Street Partners, IFC, Capria Ventures
Jan 18 2024
LP Special: How Emerging Managers can win in 2024 with Adam Street Partners, IFC, Capria Ventures
The global economic uncertainty and a shift in focus towards sustainable growth are widely expected to impact the fundraising prospects for new vehicles, especially those focused on emerging markets or launched by first-time managers.  As Asia continues to present key growth opportunities, how are dynamics between LPs and GPs evolving? In the current environment, how should emerging managers approach LPs? Will the going be tougher for first-time fund managers raising debut vehicles? Will operating across different cycles prove to be an advantage? Key Takeaways/Timestamps 0:00 Intro 3:12 Opening: Tsubasa Suruga (Moderator) 3:46 Takeaway 1: Tendency to just go re-ups & familiarity as part of assessment for investment 6:21 Takeaway 2: Bifurcation between first-time funds  7:40 Takeaway 3: Attributes of successful first-time fundraisers 12:36 Takeaway 4: LP’s view on first- or second-time fund managers 15:05 Takeaway 5: Diversifying strategies and portfolio: 2 types of LPs 17:54 Takeaway 6: Takes on new investors venturing into Asia market 20:04 Takeaway 7: How can GPs differentiate themselves in this current environment #1: Finding your niche 24:15 Takeaway 8: How can GPs differentiate themselves in this current environment #2: Seek diversity in team 26:03 Takeaway 9: Blending private sector capital with DFI capital in emerging market to create sustainable investments 30:32 Takeaway 10: Takes on impact and sustainable investing 32:11 Takeaway 11: How can GPs differentiate themselves in this current environment #3: Relationship building and identifying strengths 33:50 Takeaway 12: Sarah's Takes on US market - This is a snippet from a panel took place at PEVC Summit 2022, titled Backing Emerging Market and First Time Managers in Adverse Time. An insightful discussion was carried out on the VC market trends in Asia, challenges and what it takes for first time managers in this ever changing environment. Speakers: Soo Yar-Ping, Partner, Primary Investments, Adams Street Partners Huai Fong Chew, Regional Lead, East Asia & the Pacific PE Funds, IFC Dave Richards, Managing Partner, Capria Ventures Sarah Chen-Spellings, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Beyond The Billion (launched as The Billion Dollar Fund for Women) Tsubasa Suruga, Staff Writer, Nikkei Asia (Moderator) FULL VIDEO: The LP View - Backing Emerging Managers in Adverse Times | PEVC Summit 2022 - PODCAST INFO: Podcast website: https://billiondollarmoves.com Watch on Youtube: https://tinyurl.com/sarahchenglobal Join the community: https://sarah-chen.ck.page/billiondollarmoves FOLLOW SARAH: LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/sarahchenglobal Instagram: https://instagram.com/sarahchenglobal Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahchenglobal
End of Creator Economy? Monetizing Impact & Influence with Scott Clary, Success Story Podcast
Jan 4 2024
End of Creator Economy? Monetizing Impact & Influence with Scott Clary, Success Story Podcast
While many professionals have in the past belittled the creator economy, according to Goldman Sachs, the creator economy was worth about 250 billion in 2023 and is set to nearly double by 2027.  And that is just one of the myriad reasons why you should tune in to our conversation today with Scott Clary, who is living this very trend. An entrepreneur, investor, author and podcaster today with a combined following of about 2 million! Join us as we dove deep into Scott's journey and the importance of personal brand monetizing influence and the nuances of the creator economy.  Key Takeways 1/ Focusing on things that really fit the “right now”. 2/ Be proud of your own work; and stay long enough to see it through. 3/ Building companies is more than building jobs - think about transfer of power, hiring the right person, and think beyond the face value. 4/ Always validate product market fit. 5/ Trust yourself more. About Scott Scott D. Clary is a Canadian entrepreneur, business executive, author, educator, speaker & podcaster. He is the host of the 'Success Story' Podcast where he interviews inspirational people, mentors and leaders, and the founder of a weekly business newsletter with over 100,000 subscribers. He's sold and marketed to the most iconic F500 / F100 brands throughout his career. His work has been featured in over 100+ news sites and publications. He speaks globally at industry conferences and has had articles and insights featured in Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Hackernoon, The Startup and others. - PODCAST INFO: Podcast website: https://billiondollarmoves.com Watch on Youtube: https://tinyurl.com/sarahchenglobal Join the community: https://sarah-chen.ck.page/billiondollarmoves FOLLOW SARAH: LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/sarahchenglobal Instagram: https://instagram.com/sarahchenglobal Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahchenglobal
[REPLAY] “To Fail in Such A Public Way"—The Cost of Influence & Billion Dollar Ambitions with Vivy Yusof, FV Group
Dec 28 2023
[REPLAY] “To Fail in Such A Public Way"—The Cost of Influence & Billion Dollar Ambitions with Vivy Yusof, FV Group
In light of the nostalgic festive period, this week, we are diving back into one of our favorite episodes this year with the one and only Vivy Yusof. Social media platforms and creator-focused startups haven’t looked too hot coming into 2023, with companies like Meta, Snapchat waging layoffs along with the rest of the tech industry. BUT the creator and influencer economy are more than just buzzwords losing interest among venture capitalists. Despite challenges on a platform level, blogger-turned-entrepreneur Vivy Yusof is a case study of just how retained attention is a currency that will continue to be important in 2023 and beyond. FashionValet.com, an online marketplace that once stocked over 400 brands across Southeast Asia, became a major regional player in the fashion industry but, by 2022, she had wound the venture down, shifting her focus to her own in-house modest fashion brands, dUCK and Lilit. The silver lining? By 2022, Yusof had built a network of 14 physical stores across Malaysia and Singapore and sold more than 3 million scarves from just one of her brands. Today, we unpack Vivy’s journey, the cost of building a brand around herself, her regret on not acting on her gut and her BILLION DOLLAR AMBITIONS for her next decade in the modest fashion industry. Key Takeaways Grow your career by embracing your passion and the support of your loved ones. Engagement and loyalty come from authentic, organic growth with your audience. Fame comes with consequences; it’s a personal choice you made, so pick your battles. Ride the waves when they hit; obsession is really needed to make something successful. Pivot when it doesn’t make business sense. When you find a co-founder, try to find someone who's the opposite of you. Know your niche; never try to be like your competitor. - Originally aired: January 27, 2023 Watch this on Youtube: https://bit.ly/3mPihUI - PODCAST INFO: Podcast website: https://billiondollarmoves.com Build like a CEO: https://sarah-chen.ck.page/ceoseries FOLLOW SARAH: LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/sarahchenglobal Instagram: instagram.com/sarahchenglobal Twitter: twitter.com/sarahchenglobal
The Power of Making Big Bets with Dr. Rajiv Shah, Rockefeller
Dec 21 2023
The Power of Making Big Bets with Dr. Rajiv Shah, Rockefeller
Dr. Raj Shah's journey comprises numerous transformative endeavors, spanning his roles at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, to his current position as President of the Rockefeller Foundation.  In his recent publication, "Big Bets: How Large-Scale Change Really Happens," he illuminates the power of the big bet mindset—a belief that addressing problems boldly, rather than settling for incremental improvements, attracts partners capable of achieving transformational change.  In this week's episode, we had the honor of exploring the significant big bets he made throughout his career. The shared big bet mindset aims to inspire leaders at every level to reimagine possibilities on a grand scale. You won't want to miss this. KEY TAKEAWAYS 3 key elements of big bets: innovative solutions, unlikely partnerships and alliances, and a real focus on data results, measurement, and tracking. It is realistic to be optimistic about grand-scale changes. We know we can be successful, but it takes a big bet mindset to embark on these efforts. Keep taking the risks you took in your twenties and thirties as you get a little older; so that you can give yourself a chance to earn those rewards. Crossing boundaries and taking risks to reach your goals, to make things work. -- PODCAST INFO: Podcast website: https://billiondollarmoves.com Build like a CEO: https://sarah-chen.ck.page/ceoseries FOLLOW SARAH: LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/sarahchenglobal Instagram: instagram.com/sarahchenglobal Twitter: twitter.com/sarahchenglobal
Recap 2023: Redefining Success
Dec 7 2023
Recap 2023: Redefining Success
At Billion Dollar Moves, our ultimate goal has always been showcasing the often untold stories of what it really takes to achieve that coveted ‘unicorn status’ beyond what’s often humble-bragged about; to challenge today’s status quo of what ‘patterns of success’ looks like, that often does not look like you or me. Join us in our latest recap episode as we dive deep into the meaningful conversations that reshape the traditional definition of success. Let's embark on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment as we relive these beautiful inspiring snippets from this season.  TIMESTAMPS Nirvana Chaudhary Inside a Billionaire's Mind: Nirvana Chaudhary, CG Group—Making Your Mark 8:51-9:51 Rachel Lim Coming into her own: Rachel Lim, Co-Founder, Love Bonito 41:47-42:25 Eric Toda Meta's Eric Toda on Building World-Class Brands & Rising with Authenticity 30:55-31:59 Gola Turning Fear into Power: with Gola, Exiled Iranian Singer 21:14-21:39 Nathaniel Harding Investing in the Midcontinent with Nathaniel Harding, Cortado Ventures 44:56-47:29 Jeff Maggioncalda Pivot or Persevere? | Coursera CEO Jeff Maggioncalda 34:50-35:44 Lisa Edgar  Investing in Venture Capital Funds | Lisa Edgar, Top Tier Capital 09:38-10:14 -- PODCAST INFO: Podcast website: https://billiondollarmoves.com Build like a CEO: https://sarah-chen.ck.page/ceoseries FOLLOW SARAH: LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/sarahchenglobal Instagram: instagram.com/sarahchenglobal Twitter: twitter.com/sarahchenglobal