September 30, 2015
The following is a Q and A with Richard Kerby, Vice President at Venrock.
Richard, could you introduce yourself and tell us about your background?
I’m Richard Kerby, I graduated from Georgetown University back in 2008 and started my career at Credit Suisse as an Investment Banking Analyst. I’ve been following everything related to venture capital; I had this routine where I used to keep track of companies raising capital. In September 2010 I joined IVP (Institutional Venture Partners) as an Associate where I had the opportunity to work with startups such as Dropbox, Popsugar among others. In August 2012, I joined Venrock where I focus primarily on identifying and evaluating early-stage investments. My latest include: 6Sense, Beckon, Burner, Luxe Valet, Trumaker and Amino Apps.
When was the last time you made an investment?
My last investment is Amino Apps, a mobile-first platform that enables people to discover, develop, and express their interests and passions.
What is your typical investment size?
It varies depending on the stage of the company whether it’s a Seed round, Series A or more. The typical check size is somewhere between $250K to $10M.
Richard, what is your process like? How do you make a decision?
I look at the team does the founders have what it takes to make their venture succeed? Do they have expertise in their domain? What do they understand that others are missing? The second level is where I have few questions that I need answers to, I can talk directly with founders but I can also reach out to partners and hear their thoughts. If I’m satisfied I move forward and present the company to the partners and then we start the formal process and talk deal terms.
Do you lead investment or co-invest?
We’re lead investors at Venrock.
Which startup(s) if you can name or sector(s) you’re excited about?
I’m excited about the video space, I’m both interested by consumer products and services and SaaS solutions. Specifically the analytics space where companies are using data to solve very particular pain points.
To entrepreneurs out there what would be your best advice Richard?
Try to find a real point and make sure you believe in it even if most people don’t. Focus on building the team, building a product and understanding your market.
How do you interact with founders after investing?
At Venrock we take board seats so we are long time partners to companies and we help our companies with anything they’d need help with from staffing to strategic partnerships to finding verticals.
Image credit: Bigstock.com, Venmo website
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