Interview with Joe Floyd from Emergence Capital

I had the chance to meet Joe for the first time about three years ago after getting an introduction from Kyle Porter, the founder of SalesLoft. I actually hadn’t heard of Emergence Capital before I met Kyle, but after talking with Kyle about his experience with them I realized, this must be one incredible firm.

I met with Joe at a coffee shop on Market Street in San Francisco a few years ago while we were both at SaaStr. It was clear almost immediately that he was incredibly bright, plugged in, and really cared about understanding our business.

Some VCs are checking their phones or rushing through pitches, not Joe, he was listening carefully, clearly interested, and really took the time to do a deep dive into what we were doing. Since meeting Joe I’ve had the chance to meet more of the team at Emergence and I’ve been equally impressed.

So I was incredibly honored when Joe agreed to be on the podcast and in December I went over to the Emergence offices in SF for the interview. You can listen to the interview below, and scroll beyond it if you’d like to read some of the nuggets before diving in. In the interview we talk about common mistakes founders make when pitching VCs, the problem with raising too much money on convertible notes, what to look for in an investor and much more including a fun fact you probably didn’t know about Joe…but you’ll have to wait until the end to learn it!

Nuggets from my interview with Joe:

  • Financing mistakes that Seed stage startups make – raising small rounds on notes each at a little bump up. Better to not stack convertible notes, at some point, just price the round.
  • What should founders look for in a Seed investor? Someone who will help them in the specific stage they’re at, and with solving the problems they aren’t as good at solving.
  • The biggest mistakes startups make when pitching – exaggerating or stretching the truth because in diligence, those investors are going to find out the truth, and breaking trust at the beginning of a relationship never goes well.
  • Seeing a startup have a Seed 2 round, good or bad? Doesn’t bother Joe, in fact, in some ways he sees it as a sign of maturity.
  • A mistake that many first time founders make – putting up a front that everything is going well. Investors see through this and they would actually rather have everyone come to the table to solve the problem then pretend everything is a-okay.

Thanks for reading and listening!

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