Home » Episode #463: Navigating Early Stage Investments-Kiva Dickinson Discusses Signals for VC Backing

In this episode, host Pete Moore dives deep into the VC (venture capital) world with Kiva Dickinson, Founder of Selva Ventures. Kiva began his career in investment banking before joining TPG. He received top-notch training there and developed a keen interest in the dynamics of the consumer world, particularly in ecommerce and health and wellness. His focus shifted to earlier stage opportunities, particularly in the better-for-you products sector.

Kiva shares valuable insights from his TPG and CircleUp days before launching Selva. He sheds light on the process of raising capital, evaluating investment opportunities, and the key factors that drive successful investments in early-stage companies. The conversation also delves into the "5 M's"  approach for evaluating potential investments and the strategy behind exiting investments at the right time.

Regarding raising capital he states, "Identifying the company is incredibly important, but building a tight investment process both pre and post investment, not only to select the right ones, but also to support them afterwards. To have a value creation plan that ultimately helps these companies reach their potential is a huge part of private investment."

Some key moments: 

  • Transitioned from investment banking to private equity.
  • CircleUp facilitated investments, raised their own fund.
  • Invested in early stage companies, focusing on value.
  • Invest in creating a strong consumer impression.
  • Focus on value proposition, study successful brands.

A few key takeaways:

1. Venture Capital Insights: Kiva provides valuable insights into the world of venture capital, including the process of raising funds and the challenges faced when evaluating potential investments.

2. "5M's" Methodology: A structured approach to evaluating investment opportunities, which includes assessing the matter (problem being solved for consumers), megatrend, management team, momentum and metrics, and market size.

3. Investment Criteria: The ideal size and makeup of a company suitable for consideration by Selva is centered around companies doing approximately $5M in the last 12 months sales and exhibiting rapid growth.

4. Mission: Kiva explained that the name "Selva" means rainforest in Spanish, representing the company's commitment to incubating and supporting ecosystems that bring about healthy solutions. The symbolism and principles behind the company's name align with its investment philosophy of seeking out truly exceptional opportunities.

Click here to download transcript

Resources:

Kiva Dickinson: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kiva-dickinson/ 
Selva Ventures: https://www.selvaventures.com/ 
Prospect Wizard: http://www.theprospectwizard.com
Promotion Vault: http://www.promotionvault.com
HigherDose: http://www.higherdose.com 

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