“Predictions are hard, especially about the future.”

— Yogi Berra —

“I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.”

— Wimpy —

“If you stop at general math, you’re only going to make general math money.”

— Snoop Dogg —

About PVC

Practical Venture Capital (PVC) is a Silicon Valley VC firm focused on venture capital secondary. We buy LP and GP interests in early-stage venture funds, and direct secondary in breakout portfolio companies. Our investors get discounted access to top-performing funds with established winners and unicorns, and we cut the typical 10-15 year VC holding period in half.

Our “Skip the J-Curve” strategy buys venture portfolios and companies when they are 5-10 years old, after winners have emerged and losers are marked down or written off. The first 5 years of most VC funds are usually high-risk with many failures. However, in later years portfolio value is more stable and concentrated in fast-growing companies, with exits and IPOs likely in 3-5 years.

impractical

Q.

How do you make a billion in Venture Capital?

A.

Start with 2 billion...
then wait 10 to 15 years.

Venture Capital isn’t practical.

Most startups fail. Most companies aren’t Facebook. Most VC funds don’t return 3x or 20%.

Over the past 20 years, we have started and managed more than 20 microVC funds and invested in thousands of startups in over 50 countries around the world. Around 2% of these companies succeeded beyond our wildest dreams and generated returns of 100X or more. Another 20% did well and returned 5-20X. About half of them returned nothing.

IPOs take forever.

Venture Capital is a challenging asset class for most investors, primarily because it takes so damn long. The average IPO takes about 9 years start to finish, and VC funds often take up to 15 years or more to exit completely.

While it’s great to see startups grow into unicorns and IPOs, it’s less exciting if your hair turns gray (or falls out) while waiting for them to get there.

Skip the J-Curve.

Venture Capital is a high-risk game, especially in the beginning. Most startups fail within 5 years, and most VC funds end up with ZERO unicorns. However, after the first 5 to 7 years, you can usually tell if a fund is going to do well (or not).

What if you just show up at halftime and bet on the winner? 

That’s the core strategy of venture secondary: Skip the J-Curve. Avoid the early risk and uncertainty – just buy the funds and companies already doing well. 

Some fans need to leave the game early. Why not take their seat?

Unicorns on Sale.  

Successful funds usually end up with just a few big winners — companies that get traction, grow faster, and (hopefully) turn into unicorns and IPOs. Often one unicorn may end up driving most of the value, in what is called a power law distribution

Some investors may want liquidity before the fund terminates (which may take 12 to 15 years or more), and they'll sell at a discount to exit early.

Fund secondary is a buyer’s market because it’s tough to determine valuation and because there are usually fewer buyers than sellers. Downturns and uncertainty increase discounts even further. 

Money Back Faster.

It may sound obvious but when you arrive at halftime the game just seems to go a lot faster. The same is true in venture capital — after the fund gets past the first 5 to 7 years, exits and distributions happen faster as well.

If you buy into a fund after distributions are starting to happen, it takes less time to get back your principal and less time for the fund to generate returns.

Just cut the VC fund in half — get your money back faster.

Team

Aman Verjee

General Partner

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Aman Verjee

General Partner

Aman Verjee headshot

Aman has more than 15 years of financial and operational experience from both private and public technology companies. He has been a member of the management teams at some of the most successful companies in the world, including PayPal, eBay, and Sonos.

Prior to PVC, Aman was the COOof 500 Startups, which during his tenure was the world’s most active VC firm, measured by the number of investments made. Aman managed 500’s global fundraising team, the seed accelerator team, and the Series A growth programs. He also managed the Investment Committee for the firm’s global funds ($500MAUM).

Aman led the strategy teams at both PayPal and eBay Marketplaces and served as the divisional CFO of eBay’s North American Marketplace business, which generated over $2B in revenues and nearly $1B in operating profit.

As CFO, Aman has guided his companies to over $1B in debt and equity financings from family offices, HNWIs, VC/PE funds, banks, and public markets.

Nerd Cred
  • CFA since 2000
  • Financial Analyst at Lehman Brothers, Associate at McKinsey
  • Taught Economics at Harvard University
  • JD, Harvard Law School
  • BA, Economics and Public Policy, Stanford University
Street Cred
  • PayPal Mafia: wrote the first draft of PayPal's S-1 in the winter of 2000.
  • CFO at two different unicorns: Sonos, Inc. (NASDAQ: SONO) and CAN Capital

Dave McClure

General Partner

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Dave McClure

General Partner

Dave McClure headshot

Dave has been a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and investor for over 25 years. He has invested in hundreds of startups around the world, including 5 IPOs and more than 15 unicorns (Credit Karma, Twilio, SendGrid, Lyft, The RealReal, Talkdesk, Grab, Intercom, Canva, Udemy, Lucid, GitLab, Reddit, Stripe, Bukalapak).

Prior to launching PVC in 2019, he was the founding partner of 500 Startups, a global VC firm with >$500M AUM that has invested in over 2,500 companies and 5,000 founders across 75 countries. Dave created 20 VC funds under the 500 brand and invested in 20 other VC funds around the world.

Dave began his investing career at Founders Fund where he made seed-stage investments in 40 companies, resulting in 4 unicorns and 3 IPOs. He led the Credit Karma seed round in 2009 (acq INTU, >400X return). His $3M portfolio returned >$200M (~65X) in under 10 years.

Before he became an investor, Dave was Director of Marketing at PayPal from 2001-2004. He was also the founder/CEO of Aslan Computing, acquired by Servinet in 1998. Dave graduated from the Johns Hopkins University (BS, Engineering / Applied Mathematics).

Nerd Cred
  • Forbes Midas List, top 100 global VCs (2016, 2017)
  • Largest multiple on invested capital: Talkdesk @ >1200X
  • Largest realized return on invested capital: Credit Karma @ >400X
Street Cred
  • Dean’s List (2X), Johns Hopkins University
  • Academic Probation (2X), Johns Hopkins University
  • Slept through final exam, Circuits & Systems (oops)
Stephanie Shorter

Stephanie Shorter

Investor Relations

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Stephanie Shorter

Investor Relations

Stephanie Shorter headshot

Steph has been active in the startup and venture capital ecosystem of Silicon Valley for several years. Prior to PVC, she was a consultant with dozens of startups building both digital and hardware (smart home) products. She focused more on communications strategy and building evidence-based positioning as she veered toward venture capital communications.

Career 1.0 involved spending 15 years in the trenches of neuroscience labs – as in full-on mad scientist dropping electrodes into brains. She published research in sensory systems (3D motion perception), attention control, eye movements, decision-making, and error correction, while also teaching courses in behavior change and behavior-focused research design at Vanderbilt University and Washington State University.

Steph has also worked with major health care companies in the US, Africa, and Asia on health behavior change projects ranging from scripting a diabetes management chatbot to designing science-backed incentive structures for wellness programs. She previously was a mind-body wellness researcher.

Nerd Cred
  • Former editor of several professional journals and books
  • Former professor (Vanderbilt University). Went rogue.
  • Has done brain surgery on several species
  • PhD, Experimental Psychology, Washington State University
Street Cred
  • Always did those surgeries wearing Doc Martens. Because practical shoes.
  • Trained in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Enough to know a few mean submission holds.

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