121. Customer-centric Startup Investing Down Under, Part 1 (Niki Scevak)

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Niki Scevak of Blackbird Ventures joins Nick to discuss Customer-centric Startup Investing Down Under, Part 1. We will address questions including:

  • To start off… in your estimation, what are the key factors that make a startup investable?
  • What are your thoughts on a company like Box? At the seed stage the team didn’t seem to have domain expertise, it doesn’t look like a passion project and they were going after a completely different customer set than what they eventually had success with. How would you assess companies like this at Blackbird?
  • You’ve written before about how you look specifically for startups w/ happy customers who come back again and again. Can you expand on why this is such a key focus area?
  • How do you think about early customers, the innovators/early adopters so to speak, vs. the early and late majority… and if those innovators are going to be representative of the mass market?
  • What role does the degree of homogeneity of the customer base play in your assessment of whether an early product can cross the chasm?
  • What are some of the customer-centric metrics that you are looking for when reviewing startups?
  • Do you have a bias toward sales-driven or marketing-driven startups? If so, what’s the bias and why?
  • Do you invest any companies that do not have a SaaS business model? Why or why not?

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