Robust ThemeDec 09, 2019 2020-04-08 7:40
Inside the $200-million fund of Builder VC | Amit Mehta and Simon Severino | Strategy Sprints 162
My guest today is a Partner at Builders VC with headquarters in both the US and Canada builder. Builders VC believes it takes more than great technology to fix an antiquated industry, to truly make lasting and impactful change business with the next entrepreneurs who combined technical acumen and operational expertise. Our guests strive to modernize the world around him by guiding founders of antiquated industries, through growth challenges and speed to series B funding opportunities.
3 Valuable Insights
- Achieving astounding success as a multidimensional and high-performing personality, venture capitalist and physician
- Healthcare industry evolving in these COVID times
- Create things that could be of benefit to others thus improving the human condition coupled with innovativeness.
(00:57) - Simon: What are you currently up to?
(00:57) - Amit Mehta: I split my time, sort of a third, a third, a third in that, I'm a practicing physician. So I'm what's called an interventional radiologist. We do minimally invasive images, guided surgery. So little robots through holes and tubes that go into the body. I'm doing minimally invasive surgery for a host of conditions. Um, so I have a healthcare background and a health care technology sort of bent and proclivity. So with that, I had about nine years ago, I had started a company. So I've been an operator in the clinical trial space. I have a clinical trial company that uses biomarkers for clinical trials. We have, uh, about 400 sites around the world, 6,600 clinics that acquire images for us for clinical trials. And we have various customers that are from big pharma to small biotech companies. And then a third of my time as a partner at builder's VC. So we're a tier-one Silicon Valley fund doing series A investments. We write sort of three to $10 million checks, uh, in growth companies early stage, a little later than seed, but before a massive growth round. And we're on our second fund now, uh, with the first fund doing really well, um, and starting to deploy into the second
(03:00) - Simon: How would you describe from your perspective, what can we expect healthcare to be five years?
(03:49) - Amit Mehta: I think the biggest things I think that are going to change our life is we're going to see a migration of the locus of care away from these big hospital tertiary care institutions that we call them to our home. And how does that happen? That happens with better technology. It happens with telemedicine. It happens with remote sensors.
(04:54) - Simon: I want to know more about your 200 million funds and your investment thesis.
(05:16) - Amit Mehta: What we focus on is we're trying to look for companies that are solving real problems in big antiquated industries. So our focus is in four disciplines. One is healthcare, obviously, which is a trillion dollar business agriculture real estate, and then industrial. I would say the only sector we don't really focus on is in FinTech.
(06:29) - Simon: What about the 200 million? Is that your average fund? Is this a bigger fund than usual? How does this number come together?
(07:02) - Amit Mehta: We've decided to stay that size because it keeps us disciplined in our investments. We're very selective and we have the time and the ability to do due diligence that lets us really stay true to our mandate.
(07:50) - Simon: Let's go to your portfolio companies, how are they doing right now in this funky Q4?
(07:51) - Amit Mehta: All of our companies actually have done really well. We sat down as a fund prior to when COVID was starting and said, you know, how are you going to navigate through this pandemic? Both from a financial perspective, from an operational perspective and a human perspective. And we sat down with each of them and had a game plan, and I'm happy to say that for most of our companies, actually the pandemic accelerated what they were doing, you know, in a thesis where we're looking at technology to amplify antiquated businesses, this was the opportune time because technology became more paramount importance in a pandemic situation where you couldn't meet, meet face to face, or you couldn't do a lot of the, uh, conventional things you would do.
(11:21) - Simon: If there is one person when everybody is zigging, this person is zagging. From your perspective, they're doing the right thing. Who is this person?
(11:57) - Amit Mehta: Elon Musk. And what I like about what he does is he's able to multitask and run many of these businesses at the same time. And that's something that I strive to endeavor to do.
(13:02) - Simon: which books did recently taught you?
(13:14) - Amit Mehta: I have it right here. This is called the link between a little craziness of success in America.
(17:14) Simon: Obsession being relentless, but it doesn't mean being crazy. There is an intensity to entrepreneurship in the first 10 years.
(21:35) - Simon: In order to respect your and their time. What are the prerequisites of who should, who should not bribe and who should rise to you?
(22:27) - Amit Mehta: It's just, it doesn't fit what we do. For example, I told you, we don't invest in FinTech as much. So unless it's a, it's a big idea in FinTech. It's not something that we're typically in, or if it's an agriculture company, we may already have a portfolio company and something, what you're doing. So that's the first type. The second type of people are sort of, um, are looking for skills and advice, mentorship, and that's great. And we have programs for that. And then a third are just sort of the cold calls looking to sell me business stuff and sell wares. The third part, I think we're probably not going to get a response, a lot of, I'm not a big consumer of those kinds of things. So if you're winning the first two categories, please reach out and we'll work with you, um, to help.
(23:07) - Simon: Is there anything I forgot to ask you?
(24:07) - Amit Mehta: I think one cool thing that I am working on now, and, you know, I'm always trying to work on something, as I say is, um, I'm trying to understand better sleep. You know, something, I read a book called why we sleep, and I think this is important for entrepreneurs because you probably don't get a lot of sleep. It's sleep is probably something that most people don't think about it. I mean, you just go to bed at night, you wake up in the morning and it's a black hole of what happens in that time. And it's pretty interesting from a clinical medicine standpoint, what actually happens during sleep and how important it is and how important is to go to bed at a certain time and have a certain number of hours. So, yeah, I think body hacking is one thing that I'm sort of interested now in, and it's something that I think people should, um, you know, as part of, uh, being a good entrepreneur or an operator and investor is also taking care of holistically yourself and the machine that you have. So, you know, that's something I employ people to do is not only work on your company but work on yourself and work on things that interest you.