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Keith Grose on the importance of grit, trust and communication
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Keith Grose on the importance of grit, trust and communication

Dread tomorrow's morning commute? Fear not, we've got you covered with an interview to light up your week 🔥

For the second Super Angel episode launched on eu.vc we’re excited to welcome you to Keith Grose, COO of Sequence, the Billing and Payments stack for B2B companies. Keith was previously Head of UK & Europe at Plaid, has scaled Google's hardware (Pixel, Home, Nest) as well as fintech products (GPay, Wallet). As so many of us, a reformed consultant but more notoriously in 2023; still a true crypto nerd. Which, tbh, means he’s not just a tourist like so many others.

Read on for the TL:DR (or I guess, TL:DL? 🎧)

Keith’s Journey Into Angel Investing

Keith's journey catapults us back to the hallowed halls of his high school days, where his ardor for early-stage tech took root. Surrounded by a realm brimming with ceaseless exploration of the latest technological marvels, Keith's fascination blossomed like a wildfire.

Post-university, he embarked on a daring pilgrimage to the technocratic haven of Silicon Valley, igniting his career with the illustrious Google. Amidst the vibrant tapestry of Silicon Valley, Keith's intrigue in fintech and infrastructure gained momentum, gradually shaping his path.

With heartfelt candor, he shares his invaluable experiences at Google, the crucible that laid the bedrock for his subsequent ventures. Destiny's capricious winds then guided Keith to Plaid, where he played a pivotal role in expanding their European dominion. Showing true founder qualities, Keith has ceaselessly shown that he aces the intricate complexities of birthing new entities, scaling teams, and navigating the labyrinthine fintech landscape.

Finally, finding his home in supporting kindred spirits facing similar trials, Keith's celestial flight into the upper echelons of angel investing has taken glorious flight, casting him as an unwavering champion for audacious founders to partner with and one of the most memorable guests on eu.vc

Keith’s Investment Thesis & Strategy

In his distinctive voice, Keith underscores the significance of harmonizing his net worth with his angelic endeavors, viewing it as an opportunity to construct an unparalleled tapestry of connections around him.

YoU hAvE InSuFfIcIeNt FuNdS : r/totalwar
I cannot count the number of angels I’ve met angels who find themselves six, ten, or twelve investments in and out of mana. Listen to the episode to hear how Keith modeled his strategy out.

Cognizant of the slim odds of astronomical returns, Keith channels his resources judiciously - monetary as well as temporal.

When it comes to allocating cash, an often-heard piece of advice on the pod is defining your ticket size and never wavering from it - if your model says 30 investments of 5k€ over the next 5 years, don’t put in 20 because “you loved the founders!”

Considering time allocation, every investor’s different. But you wanna pay attention to what your superpower to founders is and what got you angel investing in the first place. If you promise strategic advice and operational support, you better think twice before building a huge portfolio. If your main offer is your network, get growin’. If you got into the game for the close interactions, make sure your putting bets where that’s on the table.

In the episode, Keith describes how and why he focuses on the founder's qualities and dedication with a keen eye to evaluating where he can make the most meaningful impact. Keith's approach mirrors his belief that angel investing is about more than just financial investment; it is about sharing knowledge, experience, and building long-lasting relationships.

Keith’s Core Learnings from Angel Investing

Learning #1: Prioritize founders who demonstrate grit and resilience. Recognizing that a founder's determination to overcome challenges is often the key to success, Keith advises against ignoring doubts about the founder, even if the market or problem seems enticing.

Learning #2: Leveraging your own strengths and experiences to provide founders with a competitive advantage. By sharing his insights and helping them navigate their journey, Keith aims to accelerate their path to success while minimizing potential pitfalls.

Learning #3: Never underestimate the role of effective communication and finding alignment with founders. Understanding their preferred communication styles and make sure you can be a supportive partner in the way they want you to be. Only by being aligned can you create successful angel relationships that lead to mutually beneficial outcomes.

🔫 The Quickfire Round 🔫

Question: What is the most counterintuitive thing you've learned since you started Angel Investing?

Answer: Founder over Market. Simple as that.

Question: What’s your top tip to Angels wanting to do more international investments?

Answer: Be present and embedded in that international ecosystem where you want to do investments. Do people in that ecosystem actually know you? Do you know that ecosystem? You literally, physically have to be there and spend the time getting there.

Question: What advice would you give your own ten year younger self?

Answer: Take more risks and trust your gut. I think for people that have a certain view of being like a high achiever in their career, it can be easy to see the yellow brick path, but it's a lot more fun to go off the yellow brick path. Honestly, I always tell people to take more risks.


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