The tech entrepreneur who raised the largest seed round in Europe this year. The restaurateur behind Paris' favourite group of Italian restaurants.
Victor Lugger is the co-founder and CEO of Big Mamma Group and Sunday App. Being at the head of 26 very popular Italian restaurants across Europe, including La Felicità on our campus, Victor is embarking on a new FinTech adventure with his Big Mamma co-founder, Tigrane Seydoux, and their new partner, Christine de Wendel, to reinvent the way that people pay in restaurants. The trio recently announced a $24 million seed round for their new company Sunday App.
In this episode, we catch up with Victor to learn more about what it means to have raised the largest seed round in Europe this year and how Big Mamma Group keeps launching restaurants that people cannot stop raving about. We'll talk about company culture, logistics, trends in the restaurant space, and a lot more!
00:22 — Introduction with Roxanne Varza and Cindy Yang
01:53 — Victor Lugger on raising the biggest seed round in Europe
02:17 — The origin story of Big Mamma Group
05:47 — The importance of company culture for Big Mamma's success
16:12 — On choosing a co-founder
19:44 — The beginnings of Sunday app
23:00 — How Sunday works
24:53 — Sunday's technology 🌍
26:17 — Innovations in the restaurant space
27:26 — On being a BCorp company
28:48 — Scaling logistics at Big Mamma Group 💡
31:03 — The importance of pursuing ideas that are not easy
32:35 — Victor's favourite Big Mamma restaurant 😉
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Altri episodi di "STATION F: The Podcast"
Interview with Emmanuel Straschnov, Founder of Bubble
25:02Emmanuel Straschnov is the founder of Bubble, a leading company in the no-code movement.Founded in 2012, Bubble was launched before the term "no-code" had even been coined, with the ambition to help anyone build web applications without any knowledge of code. It has since helped many entrepreneurs launch their companies without a technical co-founder.The company recently announced a $100 million Series A round and, in this episode, we discover that it's only the beginning for them. We dive into the early days of Bubble with Emmanuel, how he bootstrapped for 7 years, his vision for Bubble, and a lot more.Topics:00:23 — Introduction with Roxanne Varza01:40 — Emmanuel Straschnov on the rise of No-Code04:00 — Emmanuel's skepticism towards general code education05:41 — What Bubble does07:10 — How Bubble helps non-technical founders build businesses09:31 — Bubble's fundraising strategy: from bootstrapping during 7 years to raising $100M14:30 — Bubble's ambition as a company15:40 — Going public vs. getting acquired?17:18 — What's next on Bubble's roadmap for the next two years20:12 — What Emmanuel finds exciting in the No-Code spaceThis episode is supported by TikTok, hosted by Roxanne Varza, produced by Cindy Yang, and edited by Grégoire Duhourcau. Art is by Gaëtan Lefebvre. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Future of AI with Kai-Fu Lee, CEO of Sinovation Ventures and NYT Bestselling Author
30:47After the success of his first book AI Superpowers, a New York Times best-seller examining the role of the US and China in the future of artificial intelligence, Dr. Kai-Fu Lee is back with a new book! Co-authored with award-winning science-fiction writer Chen Quifan, his latest book is called AI 2041: Ten Visions for Our Future. AI2041 presents a roadmap to educate and explore the opportunities and challenges presented by AI over the coming decades. Kai-Fu has spent more than three decades at the cutting edge of artificial intelligence research, development, and investment in both the US and China. He is the chairman and CEO of Sinovation Ventures, a leading venture capital firm focused on developing the next generation of Chinese high-tech companies.In this episode, we discover how Kai-Fu became a leading voice in AI around the world, discover his new book AI 2041, and learn about how he invests in AI and DeepTech companies.Topics00:22 — Introduction with Roxanne Varza01:44 — How Kai-Fu Lee got into AI02:54 — Milestones in Kai-Fu's career: from his studies at Columbia University; to his work at Microsoft, SGI, Apple, and Google; to launching Sinovation Ventures.06:47 — His new book AI 2041: why this title, why 2041?07:27 — The format of AI 204108:31 — How AI 2041 paints the future of AI-based technologies09:40 — The possible dangers of AI12:53 — Kai-Fu's favorite part of AI 2041 (includes quantum computers, bitcoin, and robot romance!)15:00 — Possible solutions against AI's dangers17:55 — The link between Kai-Fu's two books: AI Superpowers and AI 204119:10 — How Kai-Fu invests in AI and DeepTech at Sinovation Ventures24:23 — Most exciting companies in Kai-Fu's portfolio25:45 — The trends that Kai-Fu's most excited about on the global landscape28:27 — Kai-Fu's vision for the future of AIThis episode is supported by TikTok, hosted by Roxanne Varza, and produced by Cindy Yang. Art is by Gaëtan Lefebvre. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Interview with Aaron Rasmussen, co-founder of Masterclass and founder & CEO of Outlier.org
49:48Co-founder of Masterclass. Founder and CEO of Outlier.org. Aaron Rasmussen is most known for founding these two phenomenal EdTech companies but he is a very prolific builder who has successfully started and sold companies in the gaming, robotics, and consumer packaged goods industries. With Outlier.org, a company that creates beautifully shot online college courses, Aaron has for mission to create the world's best online college courses. The GV-backed company has been named as one of TIME's Best Inventions of 2020 for its work in making education accessible. Students enrolled in Outlier.org courses earn real, transferable college credit for $400, which is approximately one-sixth the cost of a traditional college course in the USA.Aaron is a fascinating entrepreneur, inventor, — and artist with a huge TikTok following. In this episode, we talk about how he started Masterclass and Outlier, discuss the future of education, and could not help but ask about what he is doing on the popular social media platform with over 130k followers!Topics00:22 — Introduction with Cindy Yang 01:17 — Aaron Rasmussen’s background and beginnings into the entrepreneurial journey03:34 — How Aaron ventured into the EdTech space06:17 — The beginnings of Masterclass: How Masterclass managed to get access to high-level speakers as an early-stage company10:23 — Fascinating things that Aaron has learned while building Masterclass 14:19 — Why Aaron left Masterclass 17:28 — How the idea of Outlier came about19:30 — Outlier’s model for online education based on educational psychology21:44 — Working with the University of Pittsburgh and their shared vision of making education more accessible23:41 — How online classes work on Outlier25:20 — Aaron on online vs. in-person education29:58 — How Outlier finds the best teacher for each class32:40 — Outlier’s long-term vision36:67 — High-level thoughts on education: the university vs. the anti-university model, the purpose of education, and more.42:29 — Aaron’s TikTok with 130k+ followers 👀45:34 — Aaron’s advice for early-stage entrepreneursThis episode is supported by TikTok, hosted and produced by Cindy Yang. Art is by Gaëtan Lefebvre. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Interview with Mathilde Collin, co-founder & CEO of Front
33:54Mathilde Collin is the co-founder and CEO of Front. Since starting Front in 2013, Mathilde has raised over $138 million with an impressive roster of investors including Sequoia, Initialized, and the founders of Slack, Zoom, Atlassian, and more. She is known for her values-driven leadership style and for championing top-down radical transparency. From lessons in leadership to tips on fundraising, this episode is filled with invaluable tips for CEOs!Topics: 00:22 — Introduction with Cindy Yang 01:18 — Introduction of Mathilde Collin 02:23 — Mathilde’s background and mission to make “work happier” 04:48 — The importance of measuring what you want to improve in your company and how Front measures employee happiness 06:36 — Use cases of Front: Shopify, Lydia, Sennder 08:45 — Surprising use cases: political campaigns and #CovidListe, COVID vaccine lists! 10:22 — Fundraising tips for CEOs: the importance of mindset, storytelling, and focus ⚠️ 16:06 — Building between Paris and San Francisco at Y Combinator 16:32 — The tech ecosystems in France vs. the US 18:14 — On sharing her learnings on her blog and on writing to clarify thoughts 20:28 — Mathilde’s most important lessons in leadership 23:56 — Good transparency vs. bad transparency 25:47 — On vulnerability28:15 — Startup spaces that Mathilde is excited about: mental health and asynchronous communication31:33 — Gender diversity in entrepreneurshipThis episode is supported by TikTok, hosted and produced by Cindy Yang. Art is by Gaëtan Lefebvre. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Interview with Alex Bouaziz (co-founder & CEO of Deel) and Anish Acharya (General Partner at a16z)
36:48Back in 2018, Alex Bouaziz and his co-founder Shuo Wang picked up on the trend of remote work and founded Deel, a startup that helps companies of all sizes compliantly hire and pay talent remotely all around the world. Over a year into COVID, it's clear that remote work is here to stay and has become a new norm, particularly for tech companies. With this shift in work behaviour, Deel has seen their business explode with 20X growth in the past year, reaching a $1.25 billion valuation after a $156 million Series C funding led by the YC Continuity Fund and existing backers Andreessen Horowitz and Spark Capital.In this episode, we dive into the story of the newly-minted unicorn with its co-founder Alex and one of its first investors, Anish Acharya of Andreessen Horowitz. We discuss the future of work, learn about their VC-founder encounter, and —with Alex and Anish both having founded successful companies— pick up lots of founder wisdom along the way.Topics:00:23 — Introduction with Cindy Yang01:24 — Alex Bouaziz on the origin story of Deel03:16 — Anish Acharya's macro-analysis of work and employment04:14 — How Alex and Anish met through Ryan Hoover (Product Hunt, Weekend Fund)06:34 — Growth and unicorn status07:10 — Trends in remote work: contractor vs. full-time09:13 — Best practice for cross-timezone collaboration11:16 — How to find the best talent geographically12:10 — Working in a physical office vs. in remote14:01 — Anish and Alex on the future of work20:04 — The relevance of starting a company in Silicon Valley today23:15 — Anish's investment scope at a16z23:58 — Alex on how VCs perceive remote teams23:27 — Anish on FinTech and FinTech-adjacent companies25:32 — Alex on how Deel falls into the FinTech spectrum26:04 — How Deel helps companies compliantly employ and pay talent in so many countries28:15 — What Anish looks for in founders at a16z and what struck him about Alex and Shuo29:44 — Companies that Anish and Alex are excited about32:09 — Advice for early-stage foundersThis episode is supported by TikTok, hosted and produced by Cindy Yang. Art is by Gaëtan Lefebvre. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Investing in Students with Jamie Macfarlane, founder & CEO of Creator Fund
42:01Jamie Macfarlane is the founder & CEO of Creator Fund, an early-stage VC fund that invests in student-led companies with student investment partners. Having studied both in the UK and in the USA, he started Creator Fund based on the observation that some of the world's most successful technology companies —like Facebook and Google— have been started in the dorm rooms and laboratories of American universities. Europe has universities of equal caliber but these have not yet managed to spin out as many tech champions. With the Creator Fund, Jamie hopes to support more student-led innovation and the creation of tech-driven companies across the continent. To do so, he has also designed a very unique student-focused model.In this episode, we talk to Jamie to learn more about how their model works, what are some of the most exciting companies currently being built in universities across Europe, and what Europe can do to encourage more DeepTech companies.Topics: 00:23 — Introduction with Cindy Yang 01:07 — How Jamie first started investing in students 02:29 — Creator Fund's investment model (and its secret sauce 🌶) 03:50 — How they recruit their student investment partners 05:02 — Why they're not called "ambassadors" or "scouts" 07:16 — The difference between investing in students in the US vs. in Europe 08:20 — What Creator Fund looks for in companies 12:16 — The advantage of getting investment from Creator Fund: talent network and follow-on investment 15:34 — The ideal founding team and the example of Touchlab 19:56 — Trends and companies that Jamie is excited about: Baseimmune and RecyclEye 23:44 — The technology behind vaccine company Baseimmune 28:10 — The limits to Creator Fund's investment model 31:44 — How IP works in universities 33:16 — What Europe can do to encourage more DeepTech companies 37:00 — Jamie's piece of advice for student entrepreneurs This episode is hosted and produced by Cindy Yang. Art is by Gaëtan Lefebvre. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Interview with Victor Lugger, co-founder & CEO of Big Mamma Group and Sunday App
34:43The tech entrepreneur who raised the largest seed round in Europe this year. The restaurateur behind Paris' favourite group of Italian restaurants. Victor Lugger is the co-founder and CEO of Big Mamma Group and Sunday App. Being at the head of 26 very popular Italian restaurants across Europe, including La Felicità on our campus, Victor is embarking on a new FinTech adventure with his Big Mamma co-founder, Tigrane Seydoux, and their new partner, Christine de Wendel, to reinvent the way that people pay in restaurants. The trio recently announced a $24 million seed round for their new company Sunday App.In this episode, we catch up with Victor to learn more about what it means to have raised the largest seed round in Europe this year and how Big Mamma Group keeps launching restaurants that people cannot stop raving about. We'll talk about company culture, logistics, trends in the restaurant space, and a lot more!Topics:00:22 — Introduction with Roxanne Varza and Cindy Yang 01:53 — Victor Lugger on raising the biggest seed round in Europe 02:17 — The origin story of Big Mamma Group05:47 — The importance of company culture for Big Mamma's success16:12 — On choosing a co-founder19:44 — The beginnings of Sunday app23:00 — How Sunday works24:53 — Sunday's technology 🌍26:17 — Innovations in the restaurant space27:26 — On being a BCorp company28:48 — Scaling logistics at Big Mamma Group 💡31:03 — The importance of pursuing ideas that are not easy32:35 — Victor's favourite Big Mamma restaurant 😉This episode is hosted and produced by Cindy Yang. Art is by Gaëtan Lefebvre. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Sarah Guo (General Partner at Greylock) on SaaS and the Future of Work
47:13A few years ago, Sarah Guo became the first female and youngest General Partner at one of the leading Silicon Valley venture capital firms, Greylock. Sarah has led investments in companies like Figma, Clubhouse (not the social media 😉), and Sqreen. She is bullish on SaaS and openly shares on her website the types of companies for which she's keeping an eye out. In this episode, we discover the vast landscape of SaaS with Sarah, dive into the future of work, and learn more about being an investor in this space.Topics: 00:23 — Introduction with Roxanne Varza01:12 — Sarah’s background prior to joining Greylock and becoming their first female and youngest partner02:58 — Greylock’s investment strategy08:15 — The story behind Sarah’s investment in Sqreen (acquired by Datadog)15:51 — Identifying areas of investment before finding the companies16:18 — Post-mortems and learnings on missed deals: Twilio & Benchling23:02 — Investing in a company called Clubhouse26:35 — Companies that Sarah is excited about: deep dive into the SaaS landscape30:21 — Service companies that are becoming SaaS companies: Rippling & Scale.ai31:50 — The impact of COVID on the future of work: the rise of remote & hybrid37:42 — Mistakes that companies are making about the future of work40:57 — Sarah’s advice for early-stage entrepreneurs This episode is hosted by Roxanne Varza and produced by Cindy Yang. Art is by Gaëtan Lefebvre. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Interview with Zach Sims, co-founder & CEO of Codecademy
26:13Zach Sims is the co-founder and CEO of Codecademy, the leading online learning platform for technical skills. Since its founding in 2011, Codecademy has helped over 50 million people from 190+ countries learn how to code. The company has raised over $82M from investors like Union Square Ventures, Naspers, Owl Ventures, Y Combinator, and Kleiner Perkins, supporting its vision to close the technical skills gap and transform people’s lives through engaging, flexible, and accessible online education. Zach and Codecademy have been recognized by reputable thought leaders as technology pioneers, appeared on numerous 30 under 30 lists, and won many awards. Yet, behind all the hype, things were not always smooth sailing. In this episode, we talk about the story of Codecademy with Zach and dive into some of his key learnings throughout the journey: the difference between building a movement vs. building a business, the industry's attitude towards VC fundraising, the future of education, and more.Topics00:22 — Introduction with Roxanne Varza 01:05 — The background and growth stories of Codecademy 05:08 — Key learnings around VC funding from the early days of Codecademy 06:50 — Codecademy in a few numbers 08:06 — The type of people that Codecademy addresses 08:51 — How Zach learned to code 09:46 — The evolution of coding since 2011 11:00 — The importance of coding education and no-code 12:08 — How Codecademy keeps up with the no-code trend 13:14 — Life-changing stories from Codecademy learners 15:16 — Code education for kids 16:11 — Countries that are leading the way in code education 17:17 — The future of education 19:18 — The user experience on Codecademy 21:00 — The importance of community on Codecademy 22:20 — Zach on what he finds exciting in the education space 24:46 — What to expect from Codecademy in the coming months: international markets and Codecademy for Business This episode is hosted by Roxanne Varza and produced by Cindy Yang. Art is by Gaëtan Lefebvre. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Why Startups Shouldn’t Raise Funds Just Because They Can
25:02Fundraising has become a rite of passage for any startup that claims to be ambitious. It is perceived to be a must by many founders, especially those who are building SaaS products that need to grow fast and want to acquire a large market share. However, fundraising is not always the only way for such a company to succeed.In this episode, we catch up with Guillaume Moubeche, co-founder and CEO of Lemlist, who bootstrapped his company with $1000 to reach $5M ARR in less than 3 years. Guillaume recently turned down a $30 million offer from a private equity that included a $15 million cash-out for the three co-founders of Lemlist. That meant saying "no" to receiving $5 million straight into each of their bank accounts. What was the thinking behind this decision? Listen now to learn more.Lemlist is STATION F alum, part of Zendesk program alum and our list of Future40 companies in 2019.Topics: 00:22 — Introduction with Roxanne Varza 01:13 — Guillaume on why he publicly turned down €30 million 02:22 — Investment offers that Lemlist received from VC and PE funds 03:34 — The background and growth story of Lemlist 04:15 — Guillaume’s approach to company building: focusing on customers rather than fundraising 05:40 — Why he recently went after fundraising 09:18 — When fundraising is relevant for a company 10:26 — The advantage of having constraints on building product 11:31 — The number of offers that Lemlist got 12:23 — Growth strategies: how Lemlist turned $1000 into $5M ARR in three years 15:27 — Things that went wrong and learnings 18:47 — On selling vs. not selling 23:05 — What can we expect to see from Lemlist in the coming months This episode is hosted by Roxanne Varza and produced by Cindy Yang. Art is by Gaëtan Lefebvre. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.