Earlier this summer, I posted on why I led our investment in Wrapp. I promised as part of that post to circle back around with a post on a seed investment, to compare the two since they’re clearly at different stages. Here then, are my thoughts on Rockpack, and how they relate to my previous posts Three P’s of Venture Capital and Terminal Velocity. Looking at each post in turn:
Three P’s of Venture Capital
1) People. First off, Sofia Fenichell is female. That means, as a tech entrepreneur, she’s already the top 2%. You have to fight hard, and after you meet her, you realize she’s top 1%. Always on, always connected, always pushing, always asking questions. Very intense. She’s managed to assemble a list of rock stars to help her build out her vision. She possesses a rare ability to get in front of people for meetings as well (Stephen Fry, Jamie Oliver) and get them on board with her vision. There is a reason Rockpack has been featured in both the US and the UK App Stores the day after launch, and featured by Wired. That reason is Sofia Fenichell (and the Rockpack team).
2) Product. Simple, clear use case. The company has designed away as much of the interface as they can – but when we invested, there was only a vision of curated content. As I tweeted a while back – “in the age of the infinite, curation is king”
3) Potential. Video is a huge market. If Rockpack can crack it with a great UI/UX, they will be very successful. That, or they will fail. Customers will decide.
a) Lots of funding. $2M seed round, it’s a good start.
b) Office in the US. Not yet. NYC is on the horizon though.
c) Connections. I’m not even going to start- there are too many to list. And they’ve all been drummed up since we invested in December, even though the list of contacts started before then.
d) Chutzpah. I think if you look up Chutzpah in the dictionary, you see a picture of Sofia. She’s charming though… and super smart.
That’s it. I took a view to write a relatively small check pre-product, when there were only mock-ups of what it would look like. The product that launched last in June looks *nothing* like what I invested into. So, that means I invested in People. I realize this post is focused on the CEO vs the team – and that belies the huge effort they’ve put in to make Rockpack a reality. Without them, Sofia would only have a vision… but without Sofia, I wouldn’t have invested.