It’s time for another San Francisco PandoMonthly and our guest in July is the very tall, very Texan, and very well known VC Bill Gurley of Benchmark.
Gurley is one of my favorite VCs to grab a meal with, because he’s always outspoken and consistently thinks differently than the crowd. When everyone else was screaming about the problem with the public markets, Gurley was saying, “What problem?” And while so many other venture firms were launching China funds, seed funds, and growth funds, Benchmark has resolutely refused to veer from its classic, small firm, early-stage venture capital knitting.
Benchmark was in some ways the Andreessen Horowitz of its day, launching in 1995 with the idea of doing things differently: A completely equitable partnership of just a few partners. It was put on the map with its 1997 investment of $6.7 million in eBay — a stake that turned into some $5 billion just two years later. Of course it had a big dot bomb too: Webvan. The same company that Index’s Danny Rimer told us was the biggest flame-out of his career.
It was that up and down experience of the bubble that enforced such discipline in Benchmark today. For those of you who like to talk venture economics, Valley history, and the state of the IPO markets, this is the PandoMonthly you will not want to miss. We will also ask about some of Benchmark’s better known investments including Twitter, Yelp, OpenTable, Nextdoor, Quora, Uber, and Snapchat.
Also, as his former partner Andy Rachleff has noted, Gurley sounds a bit like Elvis.
[Image courtesy b_d_solis]