E1: “Angel” Podcast Premiere: Cyan Banister, angel investor now Founders Fund VC, shares portfolio hits/misses, deal flow strategies, finding founder-product fit & backing startups that change human behavior




about this episode

Welcome to the first episode of the “Angel” podcast. In this series, Jason interviews angels about their investment strategies and pulls back the curtain on how early-stage startups get funded. In E1, Cyan Banister, former angel investor (Uber, Thumbtack) now Founders Fund Partner, shares with Jason her portfolio successes & brutal losses, her formula for choosing successful startups & founders, and her journey from angel investor to VC. Thanks to Audible for sponsoring this podcast.


0:29 What is Angel Podcast about?

1:26 Introduction to Cyan Banister!

2:24 What attracted you to Angel Investing?

3:52 How Cyan deals with her founders.

4:47 Cyan explains her transition from Angel Investor to Venture Capitalist.

5:41 How deals work at a Venture Capital firm.

6:52 How did you find deal-flow as an Angel Investor?

8:34 How do you deal with the overload of emails as an Investor?

9:17 What are some RED flags with deals?

9:56 Cyan explains Y-Combinator’s manufactured pressure to Investors.

11:35 Why Cyan stopped leading investment rounds.

13:14 Simple but overlooked process in due diligence.

14:04 Why you should look at the cap table during due diligence.

16:03 What makes you excited about a founder v. concerned.

17:53 How do you deal with founders without passion?

20:23 What factors do you look for in an idea?

21:49 Jason couldn’t wrap his head around Snapchat.

23:19 Cyan missed out on a $50B company.

24:18 Why the secondary market is important.

25:34 Thank you Audible for sponsoring the Angel Podcast. Go to http://audible.com/angelbook

28:38 What Jason is listening to on Audible.com.

30:54 Cyan talks about a portfolio company that made her sad.

32:59 Should founders listen to investors?

35.00 Why it’s important to listen to the warning signs.

36:24 Cyan’s talks about her most brutal investment.

41:25 Cyan talks about her “solid” wins.

42:02 Cyan: ”Apple is so good at being secretive”

43:46 Cyan’s first interaction with Uber.

49:18 Cyan’s first interaction with Thumbtack.

51:29 Proud to be an investor in Uber.

52:35 Why isn’t there enough good news in the world?

53:57 What it’s like to meet 25 entrepreneurs a week.

55:14 Jason does his Forrest Gump “Shrimp” imitation.

55:26 Cyan & Jason explain their recent investment into a BioTech startup.

58:44 Will flying cars ever happen?

59:13 Thank you Cyan Banister for sharing everything you’ve learned.

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