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EPISODE 62 64 mins

Raising Funding for Ecommerce Startups w/ Igor Shoifot, Investment Partner at TMT Investments, VC Investor in LeTote, ScentBird, Wanelo

Posted on 2nd February 2016 , by Kunle Campbell


About the guests

Igor Shoifot

Kunle Campbell

Igor Shoifot is an Investment Partner at TMT Investments, board member and shareholder in over 50 startups with combined valuation of $1 Billion. He is also the chairman of the largest internet incubator in Ukraine, Happy Farm (40+ startups) and of Tnation.com incubator in Kazakhstan, and writes for San Francisco Examiner. He lectured at New York University, UC Berkeley, UCSF, and Stanford. Igor has an MBA from Boston University and a PhD from The Russian Academy of Sciences.



You may have heard many of our previous guests on this show, as a founder or co-founder, sharing their insights about raising venture capital from investors. Today, however, we are going to the other side of the table to have a talk with the other side to hear what a successful VC investor has to say about what makes successful a pitch.

My guest on today’s show is Igor Shoifot. Igor is here to talk about his experiences as a VC investor and to offer insights about how to entice VC investors like himself to ‘fall in love’ with your company.

Igor Shoifot is based in Silicon Valley and is an investment partner at TMT Investments who have about 40 companies currently in their portfolio. Independently, Igor is also an investor, a board member, a VC, and a shareholder himself in over 50 startups totalling a combined valuation $1 billion.

In this episode, we explore TMT Investments and analyze three successful e-commerce startups that Igor brought to TMT Investments:  LeTote, ScentBird, and Wanelo. Igor talks about what particularly drew him to each one and explains the combination of factors appeal to an investor.

We also explore some  of Igor’s philosophies such as around disruption and where to look for it, dilution of shares, and exits. And Igor drives home again and again what is of key importance when pitching to an investor: getting specific and focused about your growth.
If you are seeking funding, you will gain a wealth of valuable insights from this episode.

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As a 2X eCommerce listener, you can get to trial Salsify for free at http:/salsify.com/2x 

Key Points in Raising Venture Capital For Online Retail

investments

1: Venture Capital and TMT Investments

TMT Investments is looking for things that are very promising, strategically speaking, in technology. Something that would generate significant gross and would give us an opportunity for great exit. But also really looking for teams that have figured out growth, that have figured out business models, and that can say to us, ‘Hey guys, we know how to grow. Here are specific growth drivers. Give us the money and we’ll scale.’

With LeTote, they literally had me at ‘hello’ because they said we are a Netflix for female clothes.

Specific About the Business

LeTote, ScentBird and Wanelo really had us at ‘Hello.’ Because they said, ‘Well, here we are, this is what we’re doing, here’s how we’re growing, here are the numbers.’ And whenever we talked to them they were so specific, not just vague, but very specific as to how they’re growing, what are the growth drivers, what the vision is, what the business model is, what sets them apart, why they’re needed, how enthusiastic their users, etc. So basically all those checkpoints, all those things that any experienced VC or Angel investor has in his or her mind, they were just check, check, check, check, check, check.

What really turned us on, venture capitalistically speaking, was that they were very clear about their growth drivers.

Specific About Growth

What sets apart successful entrepreneurs, successful startups, successful ventures, is not a great idea or not just passion. What sets them apart is really, this very, very specific knowledge, plan, and results of growth. Here is the first growth driver: search engine optimization. Here is the second growth driver: advertising. Here is how this channel performs, here’s how that channel performs, here’s how to viral the product: when a person orders, the person posts on Twitter, Instagram, etc. Here is another growth driver: partnership with this company. Here are the results for this month that month, and when you listen to this, you just fall in love and you say, ‘Okay, let’s talk investment.’

What We Look For

At TMT Investments we really look for a combination of things when choosing to invest in a company.

  1. The technology needs to be there: it needs to be very promising segment of technology that is not too early and not too late. Like 3-D printing, it’s wonderful, but off at the top of your head can you tell be a great successful 3-D printing company? Too early. Or for example, if somebody’s saying, ‘We have a great search engine…’ Too late. So it shouldn’t be too early, it shouldn’t be too late.
  1. It should be something that is growing: We’re not Angel investors, we’re not investing in a business plan and the first 50 users.
  2. It should be a great team: Great in the sense that they know what they’re doing, they’re very capable of selling. Selling to investors, to team members, to customers, to distribution channels, to the press, to potential buyers of the company.
  3. They need to be very growth focused: companies that are not growth focused do not grow.

2: More on LeTote, ScentBird and Wanelo

Investing in LeTote

  • When they just pitched us, I think they like a dozen people. They had an office which was at the same time the fulfillment facility and it was crazy when we visited. But now they’ve grown. They shipped over $100 million worth of product, they’re huge, really, really big. They’re scaling like crazy. And they’re so proud of what they do
  • Shared Economy Model of Retail: It’s definitely not mature. It’s mature in specific segments. It would be extremely hard to launch yet another taxi company in the US, there is Uber and there is Lyft and then there are three or four smaller guys trying to grow. But there are a whole bunch of segments, for example, education where it’s only starting. I think it’s only the beginning of it because there are new technologies coming to the market that would enable users do a lot more.
  • E-commerce Opportunity: Especially among women, the whole shopping experience is a very social thing, is an experience. For example, there is a huge growth of fashion bloggers, probably 90% of them are women, just talking about the dresses or perfumes or makeup or anything else that they’re buying, they’re thinking about, you know new ways of applying makeup, new ways of looking better. Technologies or companies that could make this shopping experience great, useful, economical, fun, something they could boast about, are companies that could benefit a lot.
  • Subscription-based Models: ScentBird and LeTote are both subscription-based. I wouldn’t say that just by the fact that something is subscription-based would make a huge difference in our decision to invest or not to invest, but definitely subscription is a really, really powerful model. Because you don’t have to chase new users, you don’t have to spend much money acquiring new users. So, it’s a great thing subscription, because a person loves it, a person uses it, a person expects some level of good service, and your business becomes very predictable you run everything and anything by MRR, monthly return revenue. And it’s a powerful magic number and when somebody comes to you and says, ‘Hey, this month our MRR for example are 180,000 and in the previous they were 120, and in the previous 80, in the previous 10,’ ‘Gosh,’ you say, ‘I’d love to talk. Let’s really talk investment.’

Investing in ScentBird: Specifics About Numbers

Maria from ScentBird had one of the best pitches, is one of the best CEOs and startup leaders/founders that we ever met in the sense that she was extremely knowledgeable, extremely clear, very focused on what she is doing, what the numbers are. Everything was by the numbers. Any question, every question we would ask she would have an answer very specific, not vague, but very specific to whatever. ‘How are your users converting?’ ‘At this and this and this numbers.’ ‘What are your gross numbers?’ ‘This and this and this.’ ‘What are your main channels?’ This and this and this. That percentage comes from here. This percentage comes from here.’ It was just such a pleasure. She had very clear, very specific terms of business, positioning, growth drivers, viral marketing. So our excitement to invest was from a combination of great positioning, very clearly attractive offer, ability to grow, ability to scale, attention to detail, and attention to top line and bottom line.

Investing in Wanelo

  • The introduction and was made by a buddy of mine, Jonathan Abrams, the founder of Friendster. And he runs this very exclusive kind of a co-working space/accelerator, it’s called Founder’s Den, which is one of the most sought-after places for start-uppers. He very carefully handpicks who he can have there and I think at any time there is not more than a dozen, sometimes even five or six teams there. And so he handpicked Deena.
  • Deena was an absolutely brilliant founder. She was pre-revenue and she had such a brilliant idea. And back then luckily we were still investing in pre-revenue. She really just explained the vision that she had, saying, ‘Look, women just love to share their shopping experience, they love it. But they don’t have a lot of means of sharing the experience,’ and that was several years ago. Back then Instagram was not that huge and Pinterest was just starting up.
  • Her idea was creating a ‘bookmarklet’ which is a little button on your browser that you can very easily just click and you have a little button added to your browser. And whenever you go to any site and you see, you know, a perfume, a coat, a dress, a pair of shoes, maybe even a lamp, you just click on that. And what that bookmarklet does is cut out a little picture or a big picture of that product and offer you to either accept the description that’s there or to edit it or to put your own and optionally put a price as well. And then you end up with a collection of things that you like. So it’s kind of basically just visual bookmarks, nothing more. But the vision was that you would only do it for shopping.
  • We were the very first investors. It was in the first round, the valuation was just so low, it was I think 4.4 million, and back then they generated no revenue as they had 220,000 unique visitors, it was very little. It was very different actually, the site, the look. The money helped them really clean up the interface, work harder on viral, really develop better viral pass for people to share easier. They started creating shops and right now if I’m not mistaken they have 300,000 shops on Wanelo. And actually starting several months ago you could actually sell on Wanelo, I think using Shopify. So right now they’re working on monetizing this huge traffic of 20 million users and hundreds of thousands of stores.
  • They also have a lot of important strategic relationships, for example. in Nordstrom stores you have big screens of Wanelo. And you can check what your friends on Wanelo choose, you can see what your choices at the store could be. So it’s something really, really brilliant that their doing, something very cutting edge.

3: Philosophies of a VC Investor

At What Stage of MVP To Seek Investment

It should be something that is working. But the faster you can do it, the better. So my suggestion is just be mindful of the time investment and money investment. As much as you can create something bare bones, just do it. Don’t add features.

Disruption: What To Look For

When you are disrupting, you know something, you can do something, you see something that others don’t.

  1. More and more disruption I think is going to come not from just pure technology, but from amalgam of technology, human experience, entertainment, and anything starting with crowd, you know. So crowd-shopping, crowd-sharing, crowd-buying, any of those things they could be great. And any new devices, any new capabilities of devices including the old devices, any capabilities of actual physical retail stores, any uses of location that were not used before, any uses of human ability to do things, to make decisions, any use of artificial intelligence. These are very, superficially speaking, these are the disruptions that I would look at.
  2. So when you are disrupting, you know something, you can do something, you see something that others don’t. So for example, you can do better fulfillment, you can do better delivery, you know something about which users want or do that others don’t, you can create a marketplace that doesn’t exist but there is a need for the marketplace, and you’re using this opportunity to be able to satisfy people better.
  3.  Anything that benefits users, anything that saves money, anything that saves costs, anything that creates this great entertaining wonderful shopping/selling experience, anything that streamlines things, that’s what I would look for in disruption.

Exits

Exit’s such a tough subject. It’s like teenage sex, everybody’s talking about it but the very few had it. The harsh truths for investors, whether of venture capitalists, like myself, or Angel investors is that you really don’t make money until something exits. With an exception of a probability, a possibility of actually just selling your shares to somebody else, but then you rarely make a lot of money. Or a possibility that you have dividends, but that’s very unusual for Silicon Valley. It is in Europe actually, quite a few investors invest with potential dividends in mind.

Exits very rarely happen by themselves. Typically you need to work hard in order to do that. Usually they happen in a few cases.

  1. When you, a startup, have that wonderful, wonderful something for that somebody who has enough cash or has valuable equity.
  2. When you’re so big, it’s really land grab. And in our case it’s more like eyeballs grab, right. When you have millions of users and somebody can monetize them, they are really buying you not on the value of your technology or even your business transactions or your bottom or top line, but their really buying you because you have 60 million users.
  3. You sometimes are a competitor that somebody would rather buy you than let create a danger
  4. Sometimes somebody has so much cash, because you know sometimes companies raise incredible amounts of money or are public companies and they’re thinking, ‘Well, we’d better use that,’ and they’re buying strategically.
  5. And sometimes exits are not acquisitions but an IPO and if you become big enough and if you have this incredible vision that not just the markets believe in, but the bankers can package well, cynically speaking, and the other bankers in the market would believe in, then there is an exit.

Dilution Shares

How do you prevent the dilution of your shares when you get more investors onboard? The short answer is you don’t, you can’t prevent the dilution, you have no means of doing that. So either of two things can occur in a dilution:

  1. Usually if a company is growing, the value of the company is growing. So you invested at 4 – 5 million and then the next round is at 20 million and let’s say they’re you know selling 10% of their equity at 20 million. So on the one hand you have a 10% dilution of your shares, but on the other hand the value just grew several times.
  2. You hate it when a company does not grow, when a company is doing what is called in our world a ‘down round’, a round at lower price than the previous round or rounds. Then you actually aren’t happy, but again you can’t do anything. I mean, the company needs money and you certainly say, ‘Yes, absolutely, sure, raise at a lower price than we invested in because you need the money.’ And sometimes you put the money also at this lower valuation.

You hate it when a company does not grow, when a company is doing what is called in our world a ‘down round’.

4: Parting Advice

When Do You Hire People:

When we fall in love.

3 Indispensable Tools:

  1. Thunderbird is my email client
  2. Google Calendar is my calendar
  3. Facebook is my social network

Best Mistake:

Living in New York City for over a decade

One Piece Of Advice For Raising Venture Capital:

Don’t worry about investors, don’t worry about what they tell you, don’t worry fund-raising at all. Worry about making absolutely sure that your business is growing. That you are very clear as to why and how your business will be growing. As to what sets you apart from others. Worry about building a great team, worry about building a self-propelling growing product or service and everything else will fall into place.

Book Recommendation:

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

AngelList

Very highly recommended, you should all be using AngelList. It’s the best way to get investors.

Key Takeaways

(02:00) Introducing Igor Shoifot and TMT Investments

(08:22) Venture Capital and TMT Investments

(21:49) More on LeTote, ScentBird and Wanelo

(46:42) Philosophies of a VC Investor

(58:09) Parting Advice

 


Transcript

Kunle: Hello guys. Today's episode is about raising VC, venture capital funding, for online retail. And I have an investor, a board member, a VC himself, and a shareholder in over 50, yes, you heard that, 50 startups with a combined valuation of yeah, $1 billion. Right, so he's here to talk to us about VC funding for online retail. His name is Igor Shoifot. He founded and co-founded several successful e-commerce startups, including Fotki, which is a top-500 website in the mid-2000 and had 25 million users and billions of photos to share. He's an investment partner at TMT Investments, it's a venture fund in Silicon Valley. He's also the chairman of the largest Internet incubator in Ukraine, Happy Farm with 40+ startups and Tnation(.co) which is an incubator in Kazakhstan. And he writes for the San Francisco Examiner. He's taught at Berkeley, UCSF, Stanford, New York University, and he has an MBA from Boston University and a PhD from the Russian Academic of Sciences. Igor has in the space of e-commerce, which is what we are very, very specific about, he has successfully funded successful e-commerce startups such as LeTote, ScentBird, and Wanelo. He's here to talk to us about how you can raise funds for your potentially disruptive e-commerce business. Without further ado I'd like to welcome Igor Shoifot to the show. Welcome to the show, Igor.

Igor: Thank you so much. An absolute pleasure to wake up at 8 AM in California, in San Francisco, and to participate in something that hopefully would be useful to some listeners.

Kunle: Brilliant, brilliant. It's 4 o'clock here in the UK, I'm about to close off, you're my last caller or my last interview for the day which is awesome. Could you take a minute or two please to introduce yourself to our listeners?

Igor: Absolutely, but I think after an introduction that you gave me I should probably apply to Nobel Prize committee or something like that. [laughs]

Kunle: That seems like the next obvious step. [laughs]

Igor: I'd always be very careful with... people could just keep collecting medals like I do, you know, chairman of this, investor of that, investment partner of this and the other. One... Thank you very much for the great introduction. One little addition to that is that actually TMT Investments, even though our main investment focus area is Silicon Valley, but we actually are London-based, so TMT investment is, surprisingly, a British company. I'm just the only person who lives here and represents in Silicon Valley and in the US. But we've been very actively investing and the only thing I could add to what you said is we made, like you mentioned, three investments in e-commerce, all three worked out fantastically and we look forward to funding more e-commerce startups. So any of you listeners, [laughs] right away I'll plug this in, any of you listeners, if you have a great e-commerce startup and it has revenues of at least half a million or a million a year, that's our sweet spot. Find me, it's not that hard, pitch me, I'd love to talk to talk to you.

Kunle: Okay, we'll get your details, too. Right, okay, where do we start from...let's talk about TMT Investments. How many countries... you're based in London as you just alluded to, you're the head out in San Francisco, which is very, very necessary for your tech investment. Are there any other countries TMT Investments is active in and why?

Igor: That's a very good question. We actually originally planned to focus on Silicon Valley and New York. And then it just worked out in such a way that a huge majority of our 40 investments is in Silicon Valley, San Francisco and Silicon Valley. There are I think five if I'm not mistaken in Israel. There are three, again if I'm not mistaken, in Estonia. Three in Ukraine and two or three in New York. And everything else, so more than 20, are in Silicon Valley and San Francisco, It wasn't original, like I said, it was a very serendipitous, you know, opportunistic thing. We didn't, if you would tell us that we would be investing in Estonia we would've laughed and said, nah, c'mon man, that's a 1.3 million people country. But we actually did and it wasn't based on any strategy, it was just that we loved the startups that we saw and they're pretty successful.

Kunle: I was in Estonia in April. They're very clever people in that country and they bought Skype didn't they? Before Microsoft, they sold on to Skype. Yeah, so quite interesting. So you're in Israel, Ukraine, Estonia, and New York. And Silicon Valley with London. Okay, right, you've got quite a large footprint.

Igor: That's right.

Kunle: Okay right, now let's talk about what your portfolio looks like in terms of the kinds of companies that are in your portfolio. I would assume tech is predominant. But besides tech, even digging into tech, could you shed some more light on the kinds of companies you work with or you invest in and other kinds of sectors or verticals you're quite active in?

Igor: Sure. I think it would be easier rather to say what we don't invest in. And I really, [laughs] I don't mean it in a funny way because we are rather opportunistic as far as technologies. We definitely are very technology focused, we definitely look for something that is not just significant revenue or significant revenue growth, but for something that is a very promising, strategically speaking, technology. So something that would generate significant gross and would give us an opportunity for great exit. And if you look at the fund performance, we're one of the best performing funds in terms of numbers and that strategy paid off. So we are not investing in medicine, we're not investing in pharmaceuticals, we're not investing in hardware, we are not investing in games, temporarily, at least for now, we’re not investing in HR although we had two great HR investments: 1-Page, which was a pretty big IPO in Australia, and Gild which I think if I'm not mistaken raised 26 million altogether. But other that, really B2B and B2C are our sweet spots and just to give you a sense what we invest in, we invested in all a lot of software as a service, B2B businesses. Pipedrive, which is by the way started by Estonians but based in New York, used to be based in Silicon Valley, a powerful online sales management tool. Backblaze, which is an unbelievable backup software that offers you the same as Amazon S3 but for a fraction of the cost and has thousands and thousands of paying users. Wrike, which is one of the best and fastest growing project management software etc. So I could talk forever and ever about those wonderful things. So, really just opportunistic, looking for B2B and B2C things, but really looking for teams that figured out growth, that figured out business models, and that could tell us, 'Hey guys, we know how to grow. Here are specific growth drivers. Give us the money and we'll scale.'

Kunle: Okay, so they're more or less, just to put this in another analogy, they're more or less, they're spaceships or they're rockets and they're looking to lift off and they're looking for funds to actually fuel them and you you give them the funding to fuel, to go up, to shoot out and launch in a big way to space.

Igor: That would be a lovely metaphor.

Kunle: Right. Okay now let's talk about e-commerce. I have a lot of people who are really looking forward to missing more about your e-commerce investments. There's LeTote, there's ScentBird and then there's Wanelo. So with your permission, can I get into your head as a VC to figure out why they were viable e-commerce investments?

Igor: First thing before before I start answering, let me just tell you that we're extremely proud of our e-commerce investments, not just because we love what we're doing but because all three, we made just three, and all three have been extremely successful. Not just successful, but extremely successful. To answer your question of why, all three of them, when they pitched us they were at different stages. Wanelo was really, really early. We were the very first investors, they barely had 250,000 unique visitors. Right now they have 20 million users, so they grew a hundred times.

Kunle: Right, okay.

Igor: LeTote was at a different stage but it grew many times in just a couple of years. And ScentBird grew, well, it probably in just a few months, my guess would be that they would raise the next round at 10 times what we invested in them. So they had, well at least two of them, but I want to say three, I don't want to say which ones, they really had us at 'Hello,' at least me because right, that's their 'hello,' they said, 'Well, here we are, this is what we’re doing, here's how we're growing, here are the numbers.' And whenever we talked to them they were so specific, not just vague, but very specific as to how they're growing, what are the growth drivers, what the vision is, what the business model is, what sets them apart, why they're needed, how enthusiastic their users, etc. So basically all those checkpoints, all those things that any experienced VC or Angel investor has in his or her mind, they were just check, check, check, check, check, check.

Kunle: Okay, okay. Very, very interesting in terms of getting to the specifics and letting not just the passion be communicated, but with detail. You saw the passion and they got into the detail to demonstrate the opportunity for the growth. Now getting into LeTote, I did check them prior to our conversation, prior to this call. They're a subscription commerce business tailored to the maternity fashion retail segment. So what appealed, what feature appealed most to you when they got into specifics as to how they intended to grow very ambitious business. And what got your attention? Had they had Angel investment initially and then they were looking for more VC funding? So what actually just peaked your interest in getting to be involved?

Igor: With LeTote, they literally had me at 'hello' because they said we are a Netflix for female clothes. That's pretty much it. And I immediately figured out what they are.

Kunle: [laughs] Ah, okay.

Igor: And it's really brilliant, usually people laugh when they say you know, we're Amazon for I don't know, kids toys, or we're Google for agriculture or whatever. And sometimes it is laughable, but in this case, what's there not to love, right? People pay a small subscription fee and they could literally, or theoretically, but maybe practically, have 50 dress for 50 bucks. How could you... I mean you an I we're guys it's hard to seduce us this way but tell it to a woman, 'For 50 bucks you can have 50 dresses,' and and look for a reaction. It's would be like, 'Wow, where do I sign?' So that's pretty much it. But this is in short and to spend another half a minute of this answer, what really turned us on, venture capitalistically speaking, was that they were very clear about their growth drivers. And I can't emphasize that enough and I know I already mentioned it a couple of times, I probably will repeat a couple of times. But what sets apart successful entrepreneurs, successful startups, successful ventures, is not just you know a great idea. Ideas are really the dime a dozen, really. Open any magazine and you'll get a thousand great ideas. But the ability, and not just passion, who's not passionate about their kid, their startup? But really, this very, very specific knowledge and very specific plan and very specific results of growth. Here is the first growth driver: search engine optimization. Here is the second growth driver: advertising. Here is how this channel performs, here's how that channel performs, here's how to viral the product: when a person orders, the person posts on Twitter, Instagram, etc. Here is another growth driver: partnership with this company. Here's another growth driver: partnership with that company. Here are the results for this month that month, and when you listen to this, you just fall in love and you say, 'Okay, let's talk investment.' [laughs]

Kunle: Okay. So this is execution. So they get very detailed in execution for growth. So from a timeline standpoint, what peaks or what turns you on in VC terms? Seeing 10 years ahead in detail of execution for growth drivers or two years or three years? What's, from the over 50 companies you guys have invested, what is the trend from that standpoint, when they demonstrate their growth drivers to you from a time perspective?

Igor: Right. So two things. One right away, there are about 40 companies at TMT Investments. I'm doing other things outside of TMT Investments, so that's why I'm in a lot more than 50 companies. But at TMT, what we do is we really look for a combination of things. One: a very promising segment, a very promising technology. Because sad as it may sound, some things are way too early. They're great, but they're way too early. You know like 3-D printing, it's wonderful, but you know tell me right away at the top of your head a great successful 3-D printing company? You wouldn't. Nobody. It's just way too early and maybe who knows, maybe the next year there will be something great. But it's way too early, so that's one thing. You need to be not too early and not too late. [laughs] I mean right now if somebody's saying, 'We have a great search engine...' 'Yeah I don't know, I mean, maybe.' Or, 'We have a great social network...' 'Really? Right, social network, okay...' Or, 'Microblogging platform...' 'Okay...' So it shouldn't be too early, it shouldn't be too late. It should be something that is growing, we're not Angel investors, we're not investing in a business plan and, you know, the first 50 users and the first 500 downloads. It should be a great team, great not in the sense that you know they're nice people, they know how to talk and how to present. Great in the sense that they know what they're doing, they're very capable of selling, and selling to investors, selling to team members, selling to customers, selling to distribution channels, selling to the press, selling to potential buyers of the company. They need to be very growth focused, you know companies that are not growth focused do not grow. With a few very notable exceptions like Microsoft, for example, they didn't... if you would ask Bill Gates back when he just met with IBM, you know, 'How would you grow?' ...he wouldn't tell you anything too smart, but after they acquired DOS which then became MS-DOS and Windows, they just had this one powerful distributor, IBM. So it's a combination of those things. The technology needs to be there, the segment needs to be very promising, the team needs to be capable of growing, and they need to be very growth oriented. So I would say these are the things that's made us so happy after the very first talk with LeTote. And after that, God I don't know, I probably had a dozen of meetings with them and every time I leave their office, every time I go like, Wow, those guy are just unreal.'

Kunle: Interesting. How big was their team at the time?

Igor: When they just pitched us, I think they were less than 20 people, they were like a dozen people. They had an office which was at the same time the fulfillment facility and it was crazy when we visited because they had a little warehouse in not one of the nicest areas of San Francisco, but it was cheap, and so they were doing all the fulfillment right there. But now they've grown. They shipped over $100 million worth of product, they're huge, really, really big. They're scaling like crazy. And they're so proud of what they do. So if you're looking for somebody really awesome to interview, you know the founders of LeTote would really be my advice. Talk to them.

Kunle: Yes, please, an intro would be terrific, it would be great.

Igor: Absolutely.

Kunle: Just speaking about the Netflix, what other analogies in the industry have you come across? l've hear of Uber, the next Uber for this, I've heard about the Airbnb for this, you know. Does that peak your interest as a VC because these are proven principles on the sharing economy? Does a sharing economy, you know, that mirroring retail, does that still appeal? Or do you think, again, it's mature?

Igor: It's definitely not mature. It's mature in specific segments. It would be extremely hard to launch, probably possible, but extremely hard to launch yet another taxi company in the US, you know. There is Uber and there is Lyft and then there are three or four smaller guys trying to grow. But there are a whole bunch of segments, for example, education where you know it's only starting. I mean, there are several powerful like, Khan Academy, Udemy, etc., in education, several powerful... I don't even want to call them startups... several powerful enterprises, by now… But there are no huge successes yet with crowd-sourcing, crowd-using, crowd-educations sort of things, the wisdom of the crowds. I think it's only the beginning of it because there are new technologies coming to the market that would enable users do a lot more. And we're talking about e-commerce and in e-commerce especially I suppose, being a man, but I suppose especially among women the whole shopping experience is a very social thing. Only a small minority, and that's based on a lot of research, only a small minority of women, as opposed to men, treat shopping as, you know shopping for clothes, shopping for a vacation, shopping for a home, as something that is worrying, something that is a waste of time etc. For a huge majority of women shopping, even sometimes shopping for food, is an experience. And it could be made great and technologies, companies that could make this experience great, useful, economical, fun, you know, something they could boast about, they could benefit a lot. For example, there is huge tendency, huge growth of fashion bloggers, a powerful wave of people, mostly probably 90% of them are women, just talking about you know the dresses or perfumes or makeup or anything else that they're buying, they're thinking about, you know new ways of applying makeup, new ways of looking better etc. etc. So huge opportunities there and I would love to, you know, whoever out there...[laughs] this interview for me I'm just pitching at, so whoever out there, or any of you, if you are growing, if you're at half a million or more, pitch me, I'd love to.

Kunle: Half a million or more users or revenue?

Igor: Revenue. Well, if you have half a million users in e-commerce, that means a lot. I'd be surprised if you have half a million users and are not monetizing that, so yeah.

Kunle: Going back to LeTote, just this final question around their business. So how established had they... how much capital had they raised prior to TMT coming on board? And what kind of revenue were they doing? Because it would have been somewhat established or operational at the time.

Igor: Are you talking about a typical company we're looking for, or?

Kunle: No, no. LeTote.

Igor: If I'm not mistaken, I'll have to look, but I think the raised just a couple of million before we invested. But we're not the first investor, but we were among the early investors a couple of rounds back.

Kunle: Okay, sufficient. Okay, let's move on to ScentBird. That was another subscription-based business, this time for perfumes. I see a trend here. Subscription, SaaS, you know, retail as a software, sharing, subscription-based. Is that another sort of signal that peaks your interest?

Igor: I would... definitely yes... I wouldn't say that just by the fact that something is subscription-based would make a huge difference in our decision to invest or not to invest, but definitely subscription is a really, really powerful model. A lot of our successful companies, Wrike, Backblaze, a whole bunch of others, they are subscription-based because you don't have to look for one-offs, you don't have to chase new users, you don't have to spend much money acquiring new users. Somebody subscribed, then they are just loving it, they're using the business, it's a pretty old proven business model, even in the digital world. I guess America Online was probably the first biggest billion-dollar pluses, they would right now say unicorn, although nobody did that back then called AOL a unicorn. But they didn't invent it, they were just really, really, really great at marketing, working at numbers, acquiring smaller companies, and just rolling out this huge multibillion dollar monster that was really, mostly, was based on subscription. So, it's a great thing subscription, because a person loves it, a person uses it, a person expects some level of good service, and your business becomes very predictable you run everything and anything by MRR, you know, monthly return revenue. And it's a powerful magic number and when somebody comes to you and says, 'Hey, this month our MRR for example are 180,000 and in the previous they were 120, and in the previous 80, in the previous 10,' ‘Gosh,’ you say, 'I'd love to talk. Let's really talk investment.'

Kunle: Okay, good stuff. So ScentBird, could you give us a bit of an insight into how they approached you and how you started to work with them?

Igor: So, that was unusual because the founder is my old friend and we never, well, we probably met a few years ago, but we never really talked about her business. You know, we share a lot of interests in books, in science, in philosophy so always had conversations. And then this year actually, this spring, we were talking about this and that and she said, 'Well you know, remember I had a startup and it's actually growing.' And I said, 'Well, I know you're a brilliant person but you know, your startup, talk to me about it.' And she talked about it and I said, 'Look, you know this is really, really something that we would love.' And she's based in New York and the team and I'm in San Francisco and my partners were coming here and so I said, 'Why won't you come to San Francisco and let's talk.' And she said, 'Well, you know, it's a long flight, I'm not sure, I'm really busy.' And I said, 'Come on. Seriously, it's a great opportunity for you. Don't you need the money?' And she said, 'Well, I kind of do but how likely guys are you guys to invest?' I said, 'If you ask me, we're very likely. I can't guarantee but I know you're a brilliant person and you know, send me the plan. Let me talk to my partners, see what level of interest we have.' And we talked and, 'Well, we're really interested,' and I said, 'but it's just a round-trip ticket. Come over, let's talk.' And we met for breakfast and it was two of my business partners at TMT and myself and when we finished we just, my partners and I looked at each other, like, wow, we're definitely investing. She was one of the best pitches, one of the best CEOs, one of the best startup leaders/founders that we ever met in the sense that she was extremely knowledgeable, extremely clear, very focused on what she is doing, what the numbers are, everything was by the numbers. Any question, every question we would ask she would have an answer very specific, not vague, but very specific to whatever. 'How are your users converting?' 'At this and this and this numbers.' 'What are your gross numbers?' 'This and this and this.' 'What are your main channels?' This and this and this. That percentage comes from here, this percentage comes from here.' 'What sets you apart from those guys?' This, this, this, and this.' Like, it was just such a pleasure. If everybody would be like Maria, whom I think you should interview as well [laughs]

Kunle: [laughs] The guest list is growing.

Igor: [laughs] I think I'm just growing your list of people you should interview, but believe me, you would love it. And she's a brilliant and very charming person who really doesn't talk in vague terms of, you know, great ideas, but talks in very clear, very specific terms of business, positioning, growth drivers, viral etc. etc. So it was a combination. The reason we were and are and will be excited about that, it was and is a combination of great positioning, very clearly attractive offer, ability to grow, ability to scale, attention to detail, attention to top line and bottom line. And the team actually, not just Maria, but her cofounders whom I met as well. They're just the CTO and the COO, they're as brilliant, very specific, very clear, very great work ethics, you know I just watched on Facebook at midnight they post stuff from their office and you know I comment, 'Hey guys I'm so absolutely certain that this investment is going to work out, if you're at the office at midnight, things will work out.'

Kunle: I'm on their Instagram page and the level of detail I could see like subscription boxes, not just plain old subscription boxes but with some heart on it and the colors of the bottles, the packaging, there's a lot of detail and for $15 a month, it's a no-brainer for a certain segment of female market.

Igor: Yep. And the interesting thing, sorry to interrupt you but the interesting thing, it's not just perfumes, it's actually the best, the most sought-after designer perfumes. It's not the cheap stuff. It's the stuff that women, once they get it, they say, 'Holy moly… This is just great, this is just amazing.'

Kunle: Gotcha, gotcha. And are they extending to men or?

Igor: Yep.

Kunle: Okay, all right. Because I see colognes actually, yes they are, and gifts.

Igor: Right, they launched just a few months ago and the growth there was even faster than in female segments. They did the god-damn metrosexuals which is definitely myself, I don't know if you're in for it, but...

Kunle: Half and half. I have my days. [laughs] That's good to know. But it's quite interesting that when we think about perfumes and scents, they're in a way replenishables. So if I'm out of supplies for particular aftershave, I'm in the shops trying to buy it or I'm online trying to buy it, to replenish. But you know, having a proposition in which there's diversity and its property curated to my taste and my liking and I have options and I could actually test and experiment via a scent, I could see the appeal there from a growth standpoint and also from a consumer standpoint. Right, so how much capital did you put into ScentBird, did TMT put into ScentBird?

Igor: If I'm not mistaken but I'll have to look, I think the total is half a million dollars, but it's pretty easy to google but think it's half a million.

Kunle: Could be on the Angel list I suppose. Okay, so you were Angel investors for them or? With the capital in there you were Angel investors?

Igor: I would say we're venture capitalist rather because... It's a very fine line between Angel and VC. It should be a whole separate, I'm even afraid to start talking because it's at least another one hour-long conversation, but definitely it was a VC investment.

Kunle: Okay.

Igor: But the line there is very blurred right now between what Angel investors and what VCs do these days.

Kunle: Okay, so long as you see the growth and you're on it.

Igor: Yep.

Kunle: Okay, now finally, Wanelo. Social commerce, so they don't actually have stock or sell products. You said you got in there when there were 250,000 visits and they're 20 million users today. So could you kind of tell us what it looked like when they approached you at their initial size? And what growth has been? And why you said it was so successful, because you did allude to this earlier in our discussion?

Igor: Yep. Right, so I think the introduction and was made by a buddy of mine, Jonathan Abrams who is the founder of Friendster and who I don't know if you remember Friendster but that was the pre-Facebook Facebook. And Jonathan is an amazing guy and he runs this very, very exclusive, I don't even want to use the term, I don't know what it is, it's kind of a co-working space/accelerator, I don't know, it's called Founder's Den, which is one of the most sought-after places for start-uppers. He really very carefully handpicks who he can have there and I think at any time there is not more than a dozen, sometimes even five or six teams there. And so he handpicked Deena, who is a fellow Siberian. I was born in Siberia and so was she, hence the choice of the warm Californian weather. So I think I asked him, 'Anybody cool in e-commerce space?' and he said you know there is another Siberian fruit just like you, you should talk to her. And we met, I think we met at some cheap sushi place which was my choice for whatever reason and she was just like absolutely brilliant founder, she was and is really young, I think she was in her late 20's back then. And she didn't have startups before but she had such a passion and she had such a brilliant idea and back then we were luckily investing in pre-revenue, she was pre-revenue. Right now we don't, that was several years ago. And she really just explained the vision that she had, saying, 'Look, women...' and she has 95 or 97% of users that are women, 'women just love to share their shopping experience, they will love it. But they don't have a lot of means,' and that was several years ago. 'They don't have a lot of means of sharing the experience.' And back then by the ways Instagram was you know, people used it but it was not that huge and it was not specifically for shopping. And so her idea was creating a 'bookmarklet' which is a little button on your browser that you can very easily, you don't have to be technical, you can just click and you have a little button added to your browser. And whenever you go to any site and you see, you know, a perfume, a coat, a dress, a pair of shoes, maybe even a lamp, you just click on that and what that bookmarklet does is cutting out a little picture or a big picture of that product and offering you to either accept the description that's there or to edit it or to put your own and optionally put a price as well. And then you end up with a collection of things that you like. So it's kind of basically just visual bookmarks, nothing more.

Kunle: Shopping bookmarks.

Igor: Yeah, exactly. But the vision was that you would only do it for shopping because for everything else there was Pinterest. And by the way, interestingly, a lot of people started saying, 'Oh, so Wanelo looked at Pinterest and they created their own.' No, because they believe it or not started at the same time as Pinterest, so nobody knew about Pinterest back then.

Kunle: I remember seeing an interview on TechCrunch with her while Pinterest was just starting up, so they started up the same time. I clearly remember an interview with Deena on TechCrunch, it was on a disrupt event or thereabouts.

Igor: By the way, admittedly we had a chance to invest at Pinterest and we didn't [laughs]. The valuation back then was 50 million, so that was probably the biggest little mistake. Like who knows, they still didn't have enough...

Kunle: But they're still not really generating that much revenue as a company.

Igor: Right, right. But they're like top 20 website on the internet these days, so.

Kunle: Yes, just consider them a unicorn.

Igor: Oh, they're mega unicorn.

Kunle: Okay, so quite an interesting... so I'm actually on the Wanelo AngleList page and their first round capital. There are recognizable names here, Tim Ferriss on here, Andy Dunn is here from Bonobos, and Forerunner Ventures. Yeah, I can see some recognizable names: Slow Ventures, Floodgate. It's huge, it's massive. So how has the capital helped them grow and be established as the social commerce platform for a certain demographic of shoppers?

Igor: So to make absolutely sure, we were the very first investors. It was in the first round, the valuation was just so low, it was I think 4.2 million or 4.4 million, which you know, back then they generated no revenue as they had 240 or something, 220,000 unique visitors, but it was very little. It was very different actually, the site, the look, etc. The money helped them a lot, I think, not just the money but also the connections. Naval Ravikant, who is I think chairman and cofounder of AngelList, one of the top angel investors, one of the top visionaries in Silicon Valley, he is the board member and investor there. I think his influence is tremendous there, his connections, his vision, his understanding of what's happening. In terms of how money helped, it definitely helped them in many, many ways. At first it was really just a team of two people Deena and her sister, and they outsourced it to India and once they raised money they created a technical team here. They got an office here, at first it was just a tiny little office for just a few people, the kitchen was the size of pretty much the rest of the office, and they did a brilliant job. But I think the most important stuff that they did is they started creating shops and right now if I'm not mistaken they have 300,000 shops on Wanelo. And actually starting several months ago you could actually sell on Wanelo, I think using Shopify, you can actually sell on Wanelo. So right now they're working on monetizing this huge traffic of 20 million users and hundreds of thousands of stores. But what had helped them with is it helped them really clean up the interface, work harder on viral, really develop better viral pass for people to share easier, and have a bunch of, I guess, I'm not operationally involved there, I'm not on the Board of Directors of Wanelo, but my guess would be that they had a lot of very important strategic relationships, and they do have a lot of important strategic relationships, for example in Nordstrom stores you could have those big screens of Wanelo and you can check what your friends on Wanelo choose, you can see what your choices at the store could be etc. so it's something really, really brilliant that their doing, something very cutting edge.

Kunle: That, I can imagine it would be a real growth drive, being in the shopping floor over Nordstrom.

Igor: Yep.

Kunle: Okay, okay. That makes sense. Okay, just wrapping up and being mindful of your time, I'm going to just breeze through a few things I was hoping to discuss with you, which was your philosophy on prototyping and MVP and when would be a good time to...to what stage do you prototype to? To what stage do you MVP before you start to think about Angel investors or even perhaps VCs, skipping Angels altogether.

Igor: It should be something that is working. But the faster you can do it, the better. So my suggestion is just be mindful of the time investment and money investment. As much as you can create something bare bones, just do it. Don't add features, that's the shortest I can give.

Kunle: Okay, okay. And what about disruption? What's your philosophy on disrupting and industry? Particularly in retail. Where do you think in retail, because in retail there are various sub-segments in retail, where do you think? I spoke to Julie Frederickson, she's the founder of the quite a disruptive cosmetic line, direct to consumer, which is Stowaway Cosmetics. Basically their value proposition is cut the size of cosmetics to half because there's a lot of waste and sell it for half the price. So they want to hit the cosmetics industry, which is just dominated by about 10 companies, basically, with half the price. So take their margins and then sell direct to consumers. And they're growing their fast-growing business with funding, they've raised about 1.5 million dollars so far. And so they're disrupting an industry in cosmetics which has not been touched since the 1950s.

Igor: Right.

Kunle: So from your perspective, what other industries do you think is right for disruption, particularly in retail? It might align with what some of our listeners are thinking about.

Igor: So first of all, disruption for disruption's sake is not... it's like you know growth for growth's sake. It's, somebody said, it's the philosophy of cancer cells, you know, just grow for growth's sake. There should be growth for the sake of something. So when you are disrupting, you know something, you can do something, you see something that others don't. So for example, you can do better fulfillment, you can do better delivery, you know something about which users want or do that others don't, you can create a marketplace that doesn't exist but there is a need for the marketplace, you can do certain things with your mobile that before you couldn't and you're using this opportunity to be able to satisfy people better. But more and more and more disruption I think is going to come not from just pure technology, but from amalgam of technology, human experience, entertainment, and anything starting with crowd, you know. So crowd-shopping, crowd-sharing, crowd-buying, any of those things they could be great. And any new devices, any new capabilities of devices including the old devices, any capabilities of actual physical retail stores, any uses of location that were not used before, any uses of human ability to do things, to make decisions, any use of artificial intelligence. These are very, superficially speaking, these are the disruptions that I would look at. Anything that benefits users, anything that saves money, anything that saves costs, anything that creates this great entertaining wonderful shopping experience, wonderful selling, actually also as well, experience, anything that streamlines things, that's what I would look for in disruption.

Kunle: For the core benefit of users. That's really powerful. And going beyond tech and thinking about the human experience, entertainment. Crowdfunding, or wisdom of the crowds. That's really interesting stuff. So it seems really quite expansive, with one core objective which is improving humanity, really, the way we do things.

Igor: Absolutely.

Kunle: Interesting. Okay, right. So what about an exit? From a VC standpoint, in the context of an exit, what does an exit look like from your perspective?

Igor: It's such a tough subject. Everybody, you know it's like teenage sex, everybody's talking about it but very few had it. [laughs] So exits very rarely happen by themselves. Usually they happen in a few cases. One case is when you, a startup, have that wonderful, wonderful something, that somebody who has enough cash or has valuable equity. One. Two, when you're so big or at least a perception of you is so big, you know, when you're becoming you know, Pinterest is a little bit too big for quite a few companies to acquire right now, but for some it probably still is not. So the second thing is, it's really a land grab. And in our case it's more like eyeballs grab, right. When you have millions of users and somebody can monetize them, they are really buying you not on the value of your technology or even your business transactions or your bottom or top line, but their really buying you because you have 60 million users and they're thinking, 'Well, you know we can probably make $10 on each of your users, so why won't we buy you for $120 million.' And there are several other cases, you sometimes have this amazing technology that somebody wants, you sometimes are a competitor that somebody would rather buy you than let create a danger, sometimes somebody has so much cash, because you know sometimes companies raise incredible amounts of money or some companies are public companies and they're thinking, 'Well, we'd better use that,' and they're buying strategically. And sometimes exits are not acquisitions but an IPO and if you become big enough and if you have this incredible vision that not just the markets believe in, but the bankers can package well, cynically speaking, and the other bankers in the market would believe in, then there is an exit. But they rarely, rarely happen by themselves. They do, because you know these guys were totally clueless little start-uppers that Sergei Brin saw and said, 'Well, this is great. I'm buying them.' But typically you need to work hard in order to do that. The harsh truths for investors, whether of venture capitalists, like myself, or Angel investors is that you really don't make money until something exits. With an exception of a probability, a possibility of actually just selling your shares to somebody else, but then you rarely make a lot of money. Or a possibility that you have dividends, but that's very unusual for Silicon Valley. It is in Europe actually, quite a few investors invest with potential dividends in mind. So I don't know if I answered the question, but that's...

Kunle: You have, you have. Quite extensively. There's so many avenues to explore. You could be purchased by user base, just by the sheer size of number of people you reach. A competitor might just want to shut you down, buy and shut you down. It could be IPO or strategic. Yeah, these are really, really interesting stuff to get my head around. Okay, right, finally, I just wanted to ask one more question with regards to exits, actually, it's at the back of my head, which is dilution. The challenge with dilution. So you're a early-stage investor, you're a VC, and you have maybe 5% and there are new, bigger investors. How do you prevent the dilution of your shares when you get more investors onboard?

Igor: The short answer is you don't, you can't prevent the dilution, you have no means of doing that. The only thing you can do is you can invest more and buy more shares and then you'll loan more. So usually if a company is growing, the value of the company is growing. So you invested at 4 - 5 million and then the next round is at 20 million and let's say they're you know selling 10% of their equity at 20 million. So on the one hand you have a 10% dilution of your shares, but on the other hand the value just grew several times. So you hate it when a company does not grow, when a company is doing what is called in our world a 'down round', a round at lower price than the previous round or rounds. Then you actually aren't happy, but again you can't do anything. I mean, the company needs money and you certainly say, 'Yes, absolutely, sure, raise at a lower price than we invested in because you need the money.' And sometimes you put the money also at this lower valuation. There is very little you can do. So the short answer is you can't do anything, the longer answer is if the company is growing, you love the dilution because you are diluted by a small percentage, you know 5% - 10% etc. but you grow 4, 5, 10 whatever times.

Kunle: That makes sense, so the growth outpaces the shrink rate. Okay. Right, good stuff, good stuff. So now's the time for our lightning round, the evergreen questions I ask almost all the guests who come here.

Igor: Okay.

Kunle: How do you hire people?

Igor: When we fall in love.

Kunle: [laughs] You like them and then you hire them.

Igor: I'll try to answer with one sentences.

Kunle: All right, fine. What are your three indispensable tools for managing your businesses?

Igor: Thunderbird is my email client. Google Calendar is my calendar and Facebook is my social network.

Kunle: Awesome. Okay. What's been your best mistake to date? By that I mean a setback that's given you biggest feedback.

Igor: Wow. Living in New York City for over a decade. [laughs]

Kunle: Really?! [laughs] Right, okay.

Igor: And I love New York, I love New York.

Kunle: Okay. But you're a West-Coaster now.

Igor: Yes, I should have lived here.

Kunle: What one piece of advice can you give to listeners looking to raise capital for a potentially disruptive e-commerce venture?

Igor: Don't worry about investors, don't worry about what they tell you, don't worry fund-raising at all. Worry about making absolutely sure that your business is growing. That you are very clear as to why and how your business will be growing. As to what sets you apart from others. Worry about building a great team, worry about building a self-propelling growing product or service and everything else will fall into place.

Kunle: Well done. If you could choose a single book or resource that's made the highest impact on you view building a business and growth, which would it be?

Igor: The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz.

Kunle: You're the third fourth fifth person. Okay, okay. Finally, could you let our audience know how best to find and reach you?

Igor: It's easy to google me, I'm the only Igor Shoifot in the world, surprisingly, so if I ever commit a crime, it would be so hard to to avoid being arrested. LinkedIn is there, AngelList is there, Facebook is there. Facebook is more for personal use so you know, LinkedIn is better, AngelList is better. Also on AngelList you can see clearly what I invested in, what TMT invested in, what the networks are, what people say about us. So I very much hear, you know once again... by the way, if you would tell me what is your first tool, that would definitely be AngelList. Very, very highly recommend, all of you guys, you should all be using AngelList, it's awesome, it's the best, best, best way to get investors.

Kunle: Yeah, I also use it for the podcast to really find high-caliber interviewees. I've just sent you a LinkedIn request by the way.

Igor: Awesome.

Kunle: Okay. Thank you so, so much, Igor, for sharing your knowledge in investing and VC. It's been an hour, I appreciate your time and expertise here, and our guests will definitely, definitely be quite enlightened about investments from VC in online retail in general. Thank you so much, Igor.

Igor: And I would say was an absolute pleasure, it was definitely worthwhile waking up much earlier than I usually do. [laughs]

Kunle: Brilliant. You did say something earlier about the difference in culture between San Francisco and Silicon Valley. You said one part gets up earlier than the other, could you remind be, please?

Igor: So in Silicon Valley, which is Palo Alto, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, etc. etc., people go to bed really early, 8PM, 9PM, seriously, I'm not joking, and they wake up at 5. One of the companies where I'm an investor, and I live in the city in San Francisco, one of the companies where I'm an investor, I say, 'Well, come over to San Francisco and let's have breakfast.' And they said, 'What time works for you?' And I said, 'What time works for you?' They said, 'How about 7?' And I was like, 'Excuse me?' They're like, '7AM.' I said, 'Wouldn't you have to wake up in San Jose at 5?' They're like, 'Yeah, but we usually do.' I said, 'There's no freakin way I'm having breakfast at 7, I'll wait for you at 9.'

Kunle: [laughs] What time do you guys get up at San Fran?

Igor: Different people do it at different times but there is definitely a culture I think very much like in other big cities of going out, staying up to like 10 - 11 -12. So you typically I would say go to bed at midnight, sometimes even 1 AM and wake-up probably 8-ish 9-ish. But I don't know, people usually work hard here. It's totally, totally normal for somebody to be at the office or at the desk at midnight and working and then just going to bed and sleeping and waking up at like 8 or 9 and saying, 'Well, what a great working night it was.'

Kunle: [laughs] You do give the hours somehow. Thank you, thank you again.

Igor: You too.

Kunle: All right. Cheers.

Igor: Cheers. Bye-bye.






About the host:

Kunle Campbell

An ecommerce advisor to ambitious, agile online retailers and funded ecommerce startups seeking exponentially sales growth through scalable customer acquisition, retention, conversion optimisation, product/market fit optimisation and customer referrals.

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