Same model, different geography

We recently invested in Poshmark, the leading second hand female clothing marketplace in the US. We’re also investors in Modacruz that applies the same model in Turkey.

In fact, this is the fourth time that we invested in the US equivalent of a company pursuing the same model in Turkey. Our investment in prepaid debit card Ininal was followed by an investment in Card.com, our investment in ride sharing startup Volt was followed by an investment in Lyft, and our investment in on-demand delivery network Kapgel was followed by an investment in Postmates.

There are two ways to look at these investments.

The first is that they represent a conflict of interest because both companies are pursuing the same model. We don’t believe that a conflict exists. This is because although the companies may be pursuing the same model in theory, there is close to no probability that these companies will be directly competing with each other in the future. Our Turkish investment is very unlikely to expand to the US, and our US investment is very unlikely to expand to Turkey anytime soon.

The second lens through which to look at these investments is as an opportunity to exchange best practices across companies. Since both companies are pursuing the same model, there’s a lot that they can learn from each other.

Depending on which company is further along in its growth, it’s likely that the exchange of best practices will take place from the more mature company to the earlier stage startup. This means that Volt will be inspired by the more mature Lyft, Ininal and Card.com will both learn from each other, Modacruz will be inspired by Poshmark, and Kapgel will be inspired by Postmates.

It’s this second lens through which we look at these investments. There’s a lot of knowledge that can be transferred from one company to the other.

Note: An earlier version of this post was updated to include our investments in Kapgel and Postmates.