What a crazy few years. To join the partnership at a fund like AirTree is a dream come true. To do it alongside Elicia and know I’ll get to learn from her for the rest of my career is too lucky to imagine.

I feel so grateful for the trust the partnership is putting in us and for the opportunity to continue building on the strong foundations they’ve laid.

You all already know me well, so let’s talk about Elicia….

In September 2020 we announced our Diversity Pledge alongside the launch of our Explorer Program. In this pledge, we commit that for every investment we lead, we will bring at least one investor from an underrepresented group on to the cap table, provided the founder is ok with it.

Our goal with the Diversity Pledge is to open up access to startup investment opportunities to those who have the capital to invest but don’t have the network to meet these founders, and to open up access for founders to a broader range of talented investors and senior execs to advise…

How Square cracked the fintech playbook and positioned itself with an accumulating advantage at the centre of commerce

Published 13th June 2020 on jax.substack.com. Subscribe to receive new posts in your inbox.

If you spend enough time in fintech a playbook emerges:

  1. Get Unit Economics Working (this is very hard in fintech)
  2. Become a Daily Habit
  3. Bundle
  4. Proprietary data + ML = New Lending Opportunities

Square is one of the few fintech companies globally that has succeeded at all four, and they’re just scratching the surface of the impact they could have in rethinking how people interact with their finances. …

Published 13th June 2020 on jax.substack.com. Subscribe to receive new posts in your inbox.

With all the news, I decided to do my own work on Spotify

I’m not the first to write the bull case for Spotify, but I wanted to do the work on whether to invest and if I’m going to do the work, I may as well write about it.

What I found is an underestimated market opportunity, where Spotify has a unique product advantage, the potential to improve every lever of unit economics and can build in a sustainable competitive advantage. …

We all know that diversity of thought leads to better decision-making.

Diverse thinking happens when you bring people together from a range of backgrounds and experiences, which is why we include an inclusion clause in our standard term sheet.

We know that engaging with diverse networks outside of our own immediate circles can be challenging sometimes.

To make it easier, we want to help raise the profile of diverse talent in the startup ecosystem by open-sourcing this spreadsheet of experienced startup and tech industry talent.

We encourage referring to this list when looking for an advisor for your early-stage startup…

This blog was originally posted on my Substack newsletter, to read more of my writing, sign up here

“Customers don’t want a bank. They want services that minimize their time on financial management so they can maximize their time running their business” 11:FS

The Problem

The average micro business spends 15 hours a week on financial admin, time better spent running their business or enjoying time with friends and family. If the tools are available to automate 90% of this work, why haven’t the traditional banks improved their UX?

Inertia reigns because larger businesses have finance teams and accountants to handle this…

An edited version of this post was published in StartupSmart on January 15th 2020.

As investors, we look for waves of change that startups can ride.

When the world changes and startups are early to a new, fast-growing market they will be pulled by customer demand.

Within Healthcare there is a tsunami approaching, emerging from the convergence of three interrelated trends: ageing populations, chronic disease and the spiralling cost of healthcare.

The crisis we face

The statistics tell the story…

  • Rising Costs: 10% of global GDP is spent on healthcare. That’s A$10.5 trillion every year. And it’s growing over 5%…

For startups to grow fast, the founder needs to grow faster. But sometimes you don’t know what you’re doing wrong, and your position of power in the company means no one will give you objective feedback.

Recently several of the founders in our portfolio have asked us to recommend a high quality executive coach to help them develop the skills necessary to scale their business.

When the founders in our portfolio consistently ask the same question, we listen. If it’s important to most of our founders, it’s likely a challenge for all founders. …

What separates a good business from a great business?

A good business solves a painful problem in a delightful way for customers. Think about your favourite coffee shop, or that vintage clothes store you love.

A great business does all this, plus it has an unfair advantage that makes it increasingly difficult for competitors to challenge them over time.

This post exposes the ways a business can build structural advantage into their business model from the very beginning.

“The key to investing is not assessing how much an industry is going to affect society, or how much it will grow…

At AirTree, we’re trying to demystify venture capital and help entrepreneurs through the most opaque parts of the process, regardless of whether you are taking financing from us or others. We call this Open Source VC, and we openly share various resources including template term sheets, financing documents, ESOP and cohort templates on our website (this is growing to include offer docs and more soon). We want to take away some of the pain of starting and scaling a business, saving you time and money in the process. …

Jackie Vullinghs

Subscribe to my Substack Email Newsletter: jax.substack.com

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