Tag Archives: Emerging markets

VC learnings from Fred Wilson

Fred Wilson from Union Square Ventures recently gave the General Georges Doriot lecture, in honor of the father of venture capital, at MIT. In the lecture, Fred talks about his VC experiences, learnings, and insights for the future.

I had three key takeaways from the talk:

1. Two of the most important contributions of a VC to a young company are enthusiasm and appreciation. The corollary to this is that you should only invest in companies about which you can be enthusiastic and appreciative.

2. Fred spent 2 years internalizing the lessons from the closing of his fund Flatiron Partners in 2001 after the dotcom bubble burst. He attributes much of his ensuing success to this challenging period of his life.

3. Many of the best entrepreneurs and resulting wealth creation opportunities in the future will come from emerging markets. That’s where Fred would go if he were 35 years old today.

You can watch the full talk below.


Tala, where we invested through the Female Founders Fund¬†AngelList syndicate, is a mobile banking solution for underserved customers in emerging markets. The company analyzes a customer’s smartphone data to offer its first product, loans, to its customers.

Shivani Siroya, Tala’s founder, talks about Tala in this This Week in Startups interview hosted by Jason Calacanis.¬†In the interview, Shivani shares valuable insights about the signals, including non-obvious ones, which predict loan repayment rates. She also offers some quantitative data about variables like Tala’s loan sizes, interest rates, and repayment rates.

You can watch the full interview below.