Future of Allocations: Emerging Partners with Samir Kaji

About Samir Kaji: Podcast (Venture Unlocked)and Blog: Ventureunlocked.substack.com Twitter: @samirkaji Angellist: Samirkaji

Samir is currently CEO and founder of Allocate. Allocate is a platform that makes private fund investing more accessible by providing investors of all sizes curated discovery, analytics, and access to high quality institutional firms.

Previously, Samir was a Senior Managing Director at First Republic Bank, where is started and built a 40+ person group focused on private funds and venture backed startups. During this time he worked with over 700 private equity and venture capital firms, and provided strategic guidance to emerging managers.

Prior to joining First Republic, Samir spent 13 years at SVB working in various capacities, with his first 10 years being focused on providing early stage growth capital and working capital financing to venture and non-Venture backed software and Hardware companies of all stages. Companies he worked with at the early stages of their development included LinkedIn, Aruba Networks, Meraki, Yodlee, and Shutterfly.

As part of the senior leadership team on SVB's venture group, Samir worked with Venture Capital and Private Equity firms covering firms such as Sequoia Capital, Francisco Partners, Lightspeed Partners, IVP, Formation8 Partners, Venrock, and Founders Fund.

He has completed over $12.0B in debt transactions with 700+ companies/firms."

Below are the She-VC topics we discussed:

  1. You have been in the venture industry for over 20 years and now leading a large group at First Republic focusing on Venture Capital/Private Equity/tech banking efforts. You started around the dot com bubble. Over the past several years, you have a particular focus on the early stage venture landscape, primarily Micro-VC & seed/Series A start-ups. How has Venture Capital changed over years? Let’s talk about from the capital deployment stand point.

  2. You wrote an amazing article on rolling funds. There are newer vehicles and platforms that are emerging to promote funds for emerging fund managers. If someone is raising a first time fund now, what advice do you want to give him/her. Do you think twitter followers are an important criteria to control the fund narrative?

  3. Do you see further movement in the emerging fund manager space as more micro and pre seed funds are becoming institutional asset classes?

  4. Do you see non-institutional investors moving into fund investment since the small cap public equity marketing is shrinking?

  5. It is said that venture capital is all about identifying patterns in time. Yet some of the bigger ideas are unpredictable and sometimes those investment decisions can be non-consensus among Partners. To invest in such unpredictable big ideas one has to learn and see things differently, analyze markets that others don’t necessarily find exciting. Now that more LPs including family offices and institutional funds want to get into direct deals, how do you think they look at the direct investing market?

  6. Unlike a hedge fund, private equity, liquidity has been an issue for some investors for a long time. During an unusual time like this, how do you approach the liquidity question to incoming LPs, especially the individual investor who may be more averse to illiquidity? How important do you feel time-diversification /vintage year is when thinking about a venture-oriented portfolio?

  7. By recycling, GPs are extending the capital pool to deploy. Can you elaborate on how this strategy benefits LPs? What is your take on distributing cash vs distributing public securities? In your view, what benefits LP more?

  8. What is the biggest misconception you are seeing about venture firms currently, particularly smaller venture firms?

  9. You are now a podcaster about venture capital. Why did you start one, and what is it about?

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