"Democratizing Private Investing: The Role of Emerging Fund Managers in Venture"

Samir Kaji

Jeremy Neilson

Assure presents What's Going on in Venture with Samir Kaji.  Samir has spent over 20 years in venture capital and is at the forefront of thought leadership on innovation and the future of the space. Samir and Jeremy discuss the past, present, and future of venture capital, painting a picture of the current trends and the role of emerging fund managers in the democratization of private investing.



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Find a Partner to Handle the Backend

"It’s a lot of work. A lot of people have this culture shock when they actually start a fund and realize that, “I invest in companies, and that’s great, but at the end of the day, I have to run a firm, and I need a fund admin, and I have to work with a lawyer, and somebody has to do the K-1s, and there’s an audit." Now, fortunately, there are avenues. Even the SPVs, I have to create an SPV for allowing my LPs to invest in a follow-on round to which my fund is too small to actually take it. Well, it requires a lot of administration on the backend. I’ve done some SPVs myself, and I made the early mistake of trying to do everything myself, including the filings and setting up the SPVs, working with lawyers, doing the K1s, and it’s a lot of work. Fortunately, there’s folks like [Assure], that have made it easier for managers to administer, so they can focus more on what they should be doing, which is investing in companies, finding those companies, and helping those entrepreneurs.
On Building a Track Record with SPVs
"It’s a great way to use deal by deal to build up a track record. And also to give those investors some agency of what they’re investing in. Unlike investing in a fund, which is a blind pool completely, where you don’t know what you’re investing in. Many times, people actually want to see the company, they want to know what they’re investing in, and those deal by deal opportunities allow people that don’t have a long track record to do maybe 20 deals, to raise $500,000 to a $1 million or more through those deals, and then use that experience and that track record, to then actually create a blind pool fund."


About Samir Kaji

Samir has 20 years of experience banking in the venture capital industry.  Most recently at First Republic where Samir was a Senior Managing Director leading the bank Venture Capital team. Prior to First Republic, Samir spent 13 years at Silicon Valley Bank, also in the venture capital space.  

Companies Samir worked with, at the early stages of their development include LinkedIn, Aruba Networks, and Shutterfly.

Samir also worked with the following Venture Capital and Private Equity firms covering firms such as Sequoia Capital, Francisco Partners, Lightspeed Partners, IVP, Formation8 Partners, Venrock, and Founders Fund.

He has completed over $5.0B in debt transactions with 500+ companies and firms.