Updated: Nov 6
I'm geeked for this week's Riff with my co-investor, friend, and #1 angel investor in the world, Fabrice Grinda. Fabrice started his entrepreneurial journey in his early 20's when he co-founded and took the role CEO of Aucland, which grew into one of the largest auction sites in Europe. I met him in his early days at OLX which became another marketplace market leader. As a leading investor and entrepreneur, Fabrice has served as CEO for three multinational companies and has over 150 exits on 500 angel investments under his belt.
Fabrice and I originally met at a party of a mutual friend and co-investor in Buenos Aires well over a decade ago. We were co-investors in Sonico, a social media turned dating app acquired by IAC and RecargaPay the leading mobile payment wallet of Brazil. I recall a fellow founder introducing me to one of his investors at La Red Innova in Punta de l’esta as the "the female Fabrice." I was caught off guard being compared to a tall slender Frenchman, but I took it as a high compliment since he's super smart and so well respected as an entrepreneur and investor. Fabrice is a prolific investor to say the least. He’s focused on marketplaces while I've dabbled in that space with my investment in eaze and other investments. We were also both active kite surfers. I chucked it in after defeating death in a dangerous situation in the Canary Islands and he's mastered the sport. We both love padel. I suspect he'd kick my ass at that too, but alas I won’t be traveling to Turks & Caicos any time soon!
Fabrice now runs the startup studio and venture fund FJ Labs and is a frequent speaker on technology, emerging markets, and investing. Check out his highly informative weekly livestream series, Playing with Unicorns for more insights on startups, entrepreneurship, and venture capital. Thank you to those of you who showed up for the livestream.
Highlights from this episode:
2:40 - Fabrice’s life rhythm
5:35 - Four nonfiction books Fabrice recommends
6:20 - Impact of COVID-19 on tech startup ecosystem
10:10 - Fabrice’s approach during the pandemic
10:57 - Fundraising during quarantine?
11:34 - what bubble is happening right now?
13:45 - Fabrice’s live show, Playing with Unicorns
18:33 - FJ Labs model and approach
21:05 - What FJ Labs looks for from entrepreneurs
22:05 - What makes an amazing entrepreneur?
23:40 - What are good unit economics for Fabrice?
26:30 - Investment thesis
28:13 - Mootral
30:10 - Beckley Psytech
30:57 - Angel’s reasons for starting the Riff video series
32:55 - What can investors and founders do to increase diversity and why is this important?
35:29 - why it’s easier now to raise money as a minority woman
39:15 - The future depends on entrepreneurs
41:10 - Effectiveness of cold emails
43:32 - Challenges Angel sees within digital entertainment
44:38 - What Fabrice loves about Twitch’s model
46:38 - Why Fabrice wouldn’t want to be building a pure content business right now
49:00 - What changes Fabrice thinks might happen as a result of the election 52:35 - Clear trend over history toward liberalism
54:30 - Corporate appetites toward acquisitions
55:35- How Fabrice views SPACs
57:56 - SPVs vs. funds
59:25 - Investing platforms like SeedInvest, Patreon, and Kickstarter
1:02:20 - Why Angel began investing over twenty years ago
1:03:25 - Fabrice’s advice to angel investors
1:05:09 - Fabrice’s thesis around the future of food
1:12:30 - What Fabrice is most grateful for
1:13:33 - What Fabrice is looking forward to
1:16:30 - Fabrice’s life philosophy