Venture Unlocked: The playbook for venture capital managers.

Venture Unlocked: The playbook for venture capital managers.


Venture Unlocked is the playbook for starting, operating, & scaling a successful venture capital firm. Samir Kaji, Host of Venture Unlocked has +20-years of experience assisting & advising startups and venture firms. Listen for VC fund guidance.

Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.

This week we are joined by Joanna Drake, co-founder of Magnify Ventures, which just completed an oversubscribed $52MM Fund I. Prior to Magnify, Joanna invested through her firm Core Ventures Group, and as part of the Broadway Angels group.

Joanna is also the co-founder of RAISE Global, the leading emerging manager summit whose mission is to accelerate the next generation of fund entrepreneurs by both connecting them to LPs and providing the necessary education around building a firm.

I’ve been part of its summit since it began in 2015, and I’m thrilled to see the impact and growth it’s created.

Given Joanna’s background as a two-time fund entrepreneur and RAISE co-founder, we went deep into raising a fund and building partnerships. For anyone starting a firm, this is a must-listen, and I Hope you enjoy this conversation with Joanna.

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About Joanna Drake:Joanna Drake is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Magnify Ventures. For the last decade she has advised and invested in high-caliber founders solving important problems with technology, as General Partner of Core Ventures Group and a member of Broadway Angels, a world-class all-female investor collective. She is also the Co-Founder of RAISE Global.Prior to venture investing, Joanna was a serial entrepreneur and company builder, including serving as COO for the Western operations of DeNA, and founding executive of Current TV, the Emmy and Peabody-award-winning cable network known for its early innovations in interactive television and social media. Other executive roles were with market pioneers Moxi Digital (precursor to Apple TV) and ReacTV (personalized video newscasts). She began her career as a strategy consultant with Booz Allen, working with the world’s leading media and technology conglomerates.

In this episode we discuss:

03:09 Joanna’s journey to become a venture capitalist04:34 Characteristics and traits that Joanna was looking for in a partner08:23 What healthy partnerships look like and commonalities of partnerships that haven’t worked well12:02 Steps you can take to ensure a healthy partnership14:37 The origins of RAISE Global19:17 What she learned from organizing the conference and how it helped with her recent raise for Magnify26:14 Advice to emerging managers that may not hit their initial targets on how to adapt and adjust29:00 How afraid of negative signals should managers be?31:12 Other levers managers can use with LPs to get a quicker close35:23 How managers without deep networks of LPs can start a raise38:40 Joanna’s personal experience of fundraising43:10 The difference between generalist funds vs. sector-specific in their ability to win deals46:06 Ensuring portfolio companies can get downstream funding in a tougher market

I’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Joanna. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.

Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee Agency

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