Recently, the restaurant industry has been struggling to hire new workers and retain their current employees. Today's guest is using innovative AI technology to deliver speed and consistency in customer service, and in the kitchen.
On this week's episode we sit down with Krishna Gupta, Chairman and Interim CEO of Presto, one of the largest drive-through automation technology providers in the hospitality industry. Krishna is a founder and CEO of venture firm Remus Capital which he founded as a student at MIT in 2008. Remus partners with visionary founders and management teams to build technology businesses that rewire entire industries. This led him to Presto, which many years later trades on NASDAQ under the symbol PRST. Prior to Remus, Krishna spent time at McKinsey & Company, and JP Morgan, helping several Fortune 100 clients on billion dollar technology transactions.
Krishna is an incessant traveler, and has done business across five continents. Outside of investing, he has a broad set of intellectual interests. He's conducted chemistry research at the University of Chicago, and in Israel. He produced a film on English ancient history, which is used at Cambridge in Oxford, and competed as a finalist in the USA Mathematics Olympia.
- Krishna's start in venture capital and investing (2:57)
- Presto's products and their purpose (4:30)
- How Krishna stepped up as interim-CEO (7:14)
- What makes Presto services unique in the industry (8:05)
- The addressable market for automation (9:40)
- Automating labor and automation ROI (11:18)
- The journey to becoming a public company (13:33)
- Automation duality for customers and businesses (15:15)
- Collaboration with OpenAI and ChatGPT (17:10)
- How AI is implemented in the service industry (18:16)
- Current projects and goals for the future (20:21)
- Managing their P&L (21:21)
- Krishna's advice for beginner entrepreneurs (22:21)
- The state of human-machine convergence (24:03)
- What investors might miss about Presto (26:01)
If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, [email protected].
Altri episodi di "Welcome to the Arena"
Keri Findley, Founder, CEO of Tacora Capital – Structured Credit Secrets: How Tacora Capital carved out a unique approach to business growth
3 giorni fa
33:59When you're a founder, you need creative ways to grow your business. Today's guest recognized that need, and built her company on it.We're sitting down with Keri Findley, Founder and CEO of Tacora Capital. Keri has two decades of experience in structured credit investing at leading firms, and as a private investor. She founded Tacora in 2022, securing a $250 million investment from renowned venture capitalist Peter Thiel.From 2009 to 2017, Kerry ran the structured credit portfolio for Third Point, the multi-billion dollar hedge fund founded by Dan Loeb. She was the first woman and the youngest person to be made partner at Third Point. Prior to that, she held a similar position at D.B. Zwirn, and began her career at Morgan Stanley.Keri currently serves as an advisor to Firework Ventures and 8VC, and is on the boards of Hearth, Karus, Point Digital, and Architect.Highlights: Keri summarizes her introduction to finance (2:51) Falling into the industry, and growing up as a 'math person'(3:22) Keri describes what it was like to begin in the finance industry in the late 2000's (4:28) Types of assets in the payment processing platform (6:10) Leaving her job, and how Keri came to found Tacora Capital (7:21) Working with Peter Thiel, and more about their partnership (9:14) Keri describes the audience, and kinds of investors that are attracted to Tacora Capital (10:10) Tacora's unique approach and structure in venture capital (11:14) Keri discusses whether she would rather Tacora be at a later-stage (12:50) Tacora's reason for focusing on Fintech and Insuretech fields (14:37) Keri gives an example of the opportunities Tacora has provided to one of their portfolio companies (16:00) Where Tacora's pipeline for new deals is sourced from (16:52) How the current financial and economic climate effects the work done at Tacora (18:22) How Tacora avoids risky situations and maintains discipline in their work (20:16) Keri predicts the future of the venture capital market based on recent history (21:37) 'Non-dilutive capital' and Tacora's approach to companies facing down-rounds (25:15) Why Keri decided to settle the company in Austin, Texas (27:07) Keri predicts how the banking model will change in the near future (30:04) Tacora's short-term goals and plans (31:22) Links:Keri Findley on LinkedInTacora Capital WebsiteICR LinkedInICR TwitterICR WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, [email protected].
Warren de Haan, CEO of ACORE Capital – Loan Ranger: ACORE's innovative approach to commercial real estate lending in a shifting economy
34:43As the economy shifts, and interest rates rise, there's an extraordinary opportunity right now for lenders who pay attention and lean in.Today we get to sit down with Warren de Haan, Founder, Managing Partner, and CEO at ACORE Capital. ACORE is one of the largest credit managers focused on commercial real estate lending, with approximately $20 billion of assets under management for the past three years.ACORE originates, acquires and manages first mortgages, bnot, mezzanine, debt, and preferred equity throughout the us. They are ranked in the top 20 of the Real Estate Debt 50, according to private equity real estate, the leading industry trade publication for real estate fund and investment managers. Since its inception in 2015, ACORE has closed almost 500 transactions worth almost $40 billion. Prior to ACORE, Warren held C-Suite leadership positions in the commercial real estate finance industry, and capital markets, including Starwood Property Trust, Countrywide Commercial Real Estate Finance, and Coastal Capital Partners.For the past 6 years, The Commercial Observer has ranked Warren in the top 15 of their annual listing of the 50 most important figures of commercial real estate finance.Highlights: Warren describes his path to the hospitality industry, and what drew him to it (3:16) Warren discusses how the economic climate influenced the buildup to founding ACORE (3:57) The commercial real estate debt market and its current addressable market (6:44) How ACORE scales their business while assuring 'white glove service' to their customers (8:15) Warren describes how the company handles ever-changing regulations and political interference (15:22) How Warren approaches and resolves the complexity, and risk factors in the field (18:22) Warren describes where the opportunity lies in different parts of the real estate market (22:13) The change in capital spending and loan status over time, and the state of the current market (25:18) Warren gives his theory on why businesses should pinpoint their focus on credit (28:11) ACORE's short-term and long-term goals for the future (30:50) Links:ICR LinkedInICR TwitterICR WebsiteWarren de Haan on LinkedInACORE Capital on LinkedInACORE Capital WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, [email protected].
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Len Liptak, Co-Founder & CEO, ProSomnus Sleep Technologies – Silent Nights: Trailblazing with life-changing sleep tech
30:27Sleep apnea affects a billion people worldwide and can cause serious medical problems, and yet its most widely prescribed therapy can be intolerable for many sufferers. My guest today has identified and jumped on a huge need for an alternative therapy.We're sitting down with Len Liptak, founder and CEO of ProSomnus Sleep Technology, which trades under the symbol O S A. He's a board member and the co-inventor of the company's flagship product. Prior to starting ProSomnus, Len was President of MicroDental Laboratories, where he led the commercialization of multiple award-winning products and directed the expansion of the company's digital supply chain. During Len's tenure, the company grew three times faster than the industry average and set company records for profitability. At MicroDental, Len was named to Exec Rank's list of Top Executives for privately held companies in 2012 and 2013.Len also spent 10 years at 3M and Stryker in strategic business development, business unit management and product development capacities. While at 3M, he was awarded the company's Golden Step Award, Circle of Technical Excellence Team Award and Global Sales and Marketing Leadership Award. Len has an MBA from University of Minnesota and a BA from Brown.We had a great conversation about the important work ProSomnus is doing to solve a widespread medical problem.Highlights: What ProSomnus does, and Len’s background that started him on this path (3:10) The problem of sleep apnea (5:05) The total addressable market for ProSomnus (7:18) ProSomnus’ flagship product and how it differs from traditional treatments (8:33) How it’s delivered to patients (10:45) The economics of expanding the sales force (12:47) Len shares some fascinating survey data about their market (13:51) ProSomnus’ manufacturing expansion (15:44) How ProSomnus manages quality assurance and their use of AI (18:28) ProSomnus’ partnerships for driving innovation forward (20:39) How they gather feedback from healthcare providers (23:10) Len discusses their growth rate and how that translates through their P & L (25:15) Len talks about the great team at ProSomnus (27:14) Links:Len Liptak on LinkedInProSomnus Sleep Technologies on LinkedInProSomnus Sleep Technologies WebsiteICR LinkedInICR TwitterICR WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, [email protected].
Tom Schadewald, Director, Baird – Mastering the Market: Sound advice in uncertain times
30:17After a couple of turbulent years, there are still a lot of unknowns in the market. But today's guest is sharing his insights based on a wealth of experience, grounded in his firm's excellent reputation. Today we're sitting down with Tom Schadewald, who is a Managing Director working on Baird's Equity Capital Markets Team. Tom is focused on technology and on the technology and services sectors. He joined Baird in 2022 from UBS, where he was a Director in their equity capital markets group responsible for, among other things, growing out the firm's capital markets advisory business.Tom started his career at Deutsche Bank in the Equity Capital Markets Group, focused on financial institutions and permanent capital. He brings a decade of experience and investment banking across both equity capital markets and corporate finance advisory, and he holds a Bachelor's degree in economics from Harvard.Highlights: Tom's background and how the Baird opportunity came to him (2:38) All about Baird, and the value of being employee-owned (3:58) How Tom got into focusing on technology services (7:07) Tom discusses the performance of tech stocks in the past few years (8:14) Tom's playbook for positive market performance (9:44) Commonalities with companies that are lagging (11:10) Indicators that impact tech stocks most today (12:31) Bull or bear? What's in store for the rest of 2023 (14:15) The capital market sentiment today for tech companies (15:51) The increase in demand for IPO's (21:01) Tom's position on where the IPO window is (23:38) When to prepare for going public (24:07) How the election might effect things (25:20) Tom talks about his mentors and the best advice he's gotten (26:26) Links:Baird websiteBaird LinkedInTom Schadewald LinkedInICR LinkedInICR TwitterICR WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, [email protected].
David Pennino, Founder & CEO, LogicSource – Procure and Conquer: Behind the Scenes of Procurement Optimization
29:56For companies with expenditures that run into the billions, strategic procurement can mean millions for the bottom line. Today we're sitting down with David Pennino, President, CEO, Board member and Founding Partner of LogicSource, a purpose-built procurement services and technology provider focused exclusively on indirect or not-for-resale expenditures. LogicSource’s service and technology solutions drive cost reductions and efficiencies for clients across all areas of this spend, which typically add up to 20% of a company's revenue and represent a significant opportunity for profit improvement. David has over 20 years experience in the services and outsourcing industry, including roles as a senior executive at Williams Lea Group, Scient, and Gartner. We had a great conversation about how LogicSource secures big wins for businesses, and what's next for this growing company. Highlights: David explains LogicSource's operations, and what the space is like today (2:45) Why there's a lot of "noise" around the space at the moment (4:35) How LogicSource makes money (5:54) Some specifics about how they unlock savings (8:34) The misconception that a company like LogicSource might slow down operations for companies (10:46) How they differ from consultants (13:17) The sensitive area of cost-cutting through eliminating roles (14:15) The tech LogicSource developed for their clients and services (16:13) David discusses the use of AI in this industry (19:11) What David sees in procurement in the next 5-10 years (22:30) David's aspirations for LogicSource (24:42) The team and culture at LogicSource (26:38) Links:David Pennino on LinkedInLogicSource on LinkedInLogicSource WebsiteICR LinkedInICR TwitterICR WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, [email protected].
Jeff Grass, Co-Founder & CEO, HUNGRY – Feeding Innovation: A visionary app for a thriving food industry
25:11During the pandemic, there was an eruption of on-demand delivery sites and apps focused on consumer convenience. Today's guest has built a strategic service that provides flexible opportunities for both their customers and their employees.This week we sit down with Jeff Grass, Co-Founder and CEO of HUNGRY. It's the first ever platform that connects independent chefs to the catering and corporate food services markets while improving the lives of its chefs, clients, community, and team.HUNGRY now operates in 13 U.S. cities, and is growing at triple-digit rates. The company has raised 60 million in venture capital from its investors, including food industry heavyweights, Walter Robb, founder of Whole Foods, Ming Tsai founder of Simply Ming, Seth Goldman's Beyond Meat and Honest Tea, and Dan Simmons of Founding Farmers Restaurant Group. From the entertainment industry, Jay-Z, Usher, and Kevin Hart, are also investors, and HUNGRY's venture capital investors are Sands Capital Ventures, Motley Fool Ventures, Evolution VC Partners, and Marcy Venture Fund.Jeff was also a chairman and co-founder of LiveSafe, a fast growing venture-backed mobile safety and anonymous communications platform, which crowd-sources safety insights and actionable intelligence that safety and security professionals can leverage for better situational awareness, evidence gathering, and emergency response. LiveSafe was acquired in 2020. He's also Chairman and Co-Founder of BuySafe, a VC backed online trust company enabling businesses to rapidly increase customer trust and make online shopping safer for buyers, and more profitable for online merchants. Jeff earned his MBA from Wharton and has a BBA in finance and economics from James Madison University.Highlights: Jeff talks about his earliest ventures and idea behind HUNGRY (2:57) The market for HUNGRY, and how they are disrupting the industry (4:13) Jeff talks about the structure of HUNGRY, how it works, and the pain point is addresses (5:39) How HUNGRY helps chefs (8:07) How they are able to offer this service so cost effectively (9:25) How Jeff put together such an impressive investor team (10:43) Their carbon-neutral delivery program (12:17) How HUNGRY has navigated the pandemic and inflation (14:09) HUNGRY’s locations, and their plans for future expansion (17:46) The team, and the company culture (18:59) The company’s growth rate and milestones (20:15) Jeff’s advice for other entrepreneurs (21:52) Links:Jeff Grass on LinkedInHUNGRY on linkedInHUNGRY websiteICR LinkedInICR TwitterICR WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, [email protected].
Alison Lange Engel, Partner at Greycroft – From the Ground Up: Managing and maintaining business partnerships in venture capital
30:21Starting any business is a highly complicated endeavor. In the start-up space, where stakes are higher and more competitive than ever, businesses need guidance to survive and stand out from the crowd. Today's guest draws on her vast career experience to provide expertise to businesses at pivotal phases in their development.This week we sit down with Alison Lange Engel, a partner at Greycroft. Greycroft is a venture capital firm that invests in early and growth stage technology companies, primarily across consumer enterprise software, FinTech and health-tech. They manage over 2 billion in capital and made more than 200 investments, including household names like Venmo, The Real Real, Goop and Bumble.Alison joined Greycroft in 2019 and focuses on early stage companies in FinTech and their active investments include Cardless, Clasha, Spectrum Labs, and Toggle, among others. She has 20+ years of experience leading, structuring, and scaling high-growth businesses.Prior to Greycroft, Alison held positions as the VP of Marketing at LinkedIn, where for six years she had a broad impact on their advertising business unit, and then as the first chief marketing officer at Stripe. Before that, Alison was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, focused on media, entertainment, and consumer sectors. Her media background includes HBO and the CBS television network, where she worked in sales and programming roles. She holds a BA in communications from UCLA and an MBA from Wharton. Highlights: Alison's background, and variety of career experiences (3:04) How Alison got the opportunity to work at Greycroft (4:37) The characteristics that distinguish Greycroft from other venture capital firms (5:12) Greycroft's approach to client relationships (7:05) Alison explains what surprised her during her first year at Greycroft, and how it differed from previous work (7:44) Alison describes one of Greycroft's start-ups that aligned perfectly with her prior career experience (9:47) The importance of a strong senior team, and diversity in their experiences (12:11) Alison describes how Greycroft sifts through crowded spaces to find their partners (13:09) Common mistakes founders make when meeting with a venture capital firm (17:25) Alison describes the relationship and the level of activeness of investors in their companies (20:27) Alison's opinion on the biggest challenge in venture capital currently (22:20) How to stay grounded and maintain discipline during a booming market (25:10) Alison's advice for women entering the venture capital space (26:55) Links:Alison Lange Engel on LinkedInGreycroft on LinkedInGreycroft WebsiteICR LinkedInICR TwitterICR WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, [email protected].
Sarah-Marie Martin, VP, Corporate Development & Capital Markets at Uber – Drivers of Growth: Changes and challenges from investment banking to early-stage companies (re-broadcast)
30:11This week we're re-sharing a really fun interview from back in April, with the unstoppable Sarah-Marie Martin.It's pretty inspiring to hear from people who climb huge heights, and then go looking for even bigger challenges. And that's exactly what today's guest did. On this episode we're sitting down with Sarah-Marie Martin, who joined Uber in 2022 as Head of M&A Investor Relations and Capital Markets, after a successful 25-year career in investment banking. At Uber, Sarah-Marie helps optimize and finance Uber's portfolio of businesses. Before joining Uber, she was the first CFO of Yumi, a digitally native, organic children's food company. Previously, in her time as an investment banking Sarah-Marie was a partner at Goldman Sachs, and also worked at Credit Suisse for 20 years. In the early days of her career, Sarah-Marie worked in the high-yield and equity capital markets groups, as well as Latin American corporate finance. She earned a BA from Stanford in Quantitative Economics, graduating with distinction. And she got her MBA from Columbia Business School, where she was valedictorian of her class.Sarah-Marie serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of The Door, an organization that empowers disconnected youth in New York City. She's a board member of Easy Point, a pre-IPO shipping software company. And in her spare time, she's the mom of five kids. We had a great conversation about her fascinating career, and the exciting direction that Uber is headed.Highlights: Sarah-Marie's education, how she got into investment banking, and what led her to Goldman-Sachs (3:05) What it was like being a woman in such a male-dominated field (6:25) Why Sarah-Marie decided to pivot after 25 years in banking (8:21) What the transition was like going from banking to Yummi (10:50) How she ended up at Uber (12:46) Sarah-Marie's priorities (14:16) Sarah-Marie talks about Uber's situation when she joined (15:51) What Uber's focus is right now (17:00) Diversity and inclusion at Uber (19:26) Sarah-Marie's experience at the World Economic Forum in January 2023 (22:05) Corporate employees driving for Uber (24:25) Tips for getting your Uber rating up (25:54) Sarah-Maries top product recommendations for Uber (26:53) How Sarah-Marie balances her career with having 5 children (27:33) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteSarah Marine-Martin on LinkedInUber on LinkedInUber WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, [email protected].
Lee Pacchia and Joan Vollero, Managing Directors of Special Situations, ICR – Mastering Crisis: Navigating High-Stakes Shifts with Legal and Communications Expertise
24:31When it comes to high-stakes strategising for businesses undergoing challenging shifts, the incredible value of legal training mixed with communications expertise can't be overstated. Today's guests know all about that.On this episode, we welcome two of ICR's finest, Joan Vollero and Lee Pacchia. Joan and Lee are both Managing Directors in ICR's Special Situations practice group.Joan advises companies and individuals on a wide range of matters relating to crisis and litigation. For more than 11 years, she ran communications and external affairs for the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, where she served as the Director of Communications and a Senior advisor to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. Earlier in her career, Joan worked as a journalist at New York One News. She's a graduate of Tufts University and received her masters from the Med Hills School of Journalism in Northwestern University. Lee is also in ICR's Special Situations practice, where he works on a range of corporate crisis matters with a focus on advising, financially distressed businesses, exploring strategic alternatives, restructuring, or chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.Previously, Lee served as a Senior Executive at a boutique restructuring advisory firm, providing financial, operational and communications advisory services to companies in crisis, restructurings, or bankruptcy. After completing his Law Degree at New York Law School, Lee clerked for the US Bankruptcy Court, before joining Bloomberg as a journalist covering bankruptcy in the legal industry.Highlights: How Joan was introduced to litigation communications (3:03) Cases and matters Joan handled during her time at the Manhattan DA Office (3:41) Common mistakes made by companies involved in high-profile court cases (4:23) Lee's previous work and how it led him to his current consultation position (5:45) Self-awareness and denial when creating internal solutions for management teams (8:15) How management teams can be prepared, and what internal functions need to be concerned about (9:51) Scenarios when management teams need experts like Joan and Lee for guidance (10:56) Misconceptions about the term bankruptcy, and what it means for a business (13:03) What has stayed the same, and what has changed in the litigation world in recent years (14:27) How Joan approaches sensitive situations when management teams are experiencing turbulent litigation situations (15:08) How ICR's array of clients attracted Joan to her position (17:14) Recent interesting developments, and working with management teams in the emerging technology space (19:24) A recent public case that Joan would have liked to litigate (21:15) A recent public case that Lee would have liked to litigate (22:25) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteLee Pacchia on LinkedInJoan Vollero on LinkedInFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, [email protected].
Gregg Nabhan, Chairman of America's Equity Capital Markets for Bank of America – Staying Afloat in the Economic Current: Navigating the post-COVID economy with financial foresight
25:37In the developing post-pandemic landscape, the discussion of a possible recession has been the latest ongoing hot topic, leaving businesses in a difficult position for decision-making. Today’s guest is sharing his expansive career knowledge to inform businesses about the reality of the current market. We're sitting down with my only two-time guest, Gregg Nabhan. If you tuned in to the first episode with Gregg, you'll remember that he's Chairman of America's Equity Capital Markets for Bank of America, as well as Managing Director of the Consumer and Retail Team.Gregg is responsible for the origination, IPO valuation, structuring, book-building, price discovery, allocation trading, and aftermarket performance of the equity transactions. He has 35-plus years of experience on Wall Street, and during the last 20 of those years, Gregg has led over 400 transactions raising over 265 billion dollars for companies around the world including 115 IPOs.Prior to joining B of A in June of 2008, Gregg worked at Morgan Stanley for 13 years where he was an MD in their equity capital markets group. On this week's episode, we talked about the reality of the current economic market. Highlights: A brief overview of the current economic market (2:44) How Gregg sees the current economic landscape, and its rate of potential risk (3:40) Gregg breaks down how to understand the perspective of market fluctuation and trends (5:02) Current events affecting the economy, and economist predictions (7:16) Understanding the context of the current IPO market (8:38) Areas of focus for management teams maneuvering the economic climate (10:24) Industries of focus for investors looking to put their money to work (12:42) Analyzing past IPO market trends and predicting the potential future of the space (13:53) What made an investment like Kenvue so successful for investors? (15:37) Insight on dividends and buybacks (17:55) Techniques that issuers are using to navigate the current market (18:55) Adjusting focus from daily changes to long-term planning (21:55) Gregg's biggest piece of advice to listeners and investors (23:34) Links:ICR TwitterICR LinkedInICR WebsiteGregg's first WTTA episodeBank of America on LinkedInBank of America WebsiteFeedback:If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producer, [email protected].