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VC Panel: Community is Eating the World

Community is the Future of Business

Listen to a seasoned venture capitalist discuss the increasing trend of new companies focusing on a community to win hearts, minds, and markets. Our fireside chat will feature different perspectives around community trends, and the effect the community industry will have on core business products.

Kobie is a partner at Upfront Ventures, the largest and longest-running venture firm in Southern California. He joined the firm in 2016 and has led investments in companies including TheWaveVR, Cordial, Bevy, The Mighty and MetaCX. Kobie is also the founder/creator of Valence, a networking platform aimed to unite the combined global power of black professionals. He has deep experience in SaaS businesses, marketing technologies, and emerging technologies including VR and AR (he was an early personal investor in Oculus which was acquired by Facebook for $3BN).

VC Panel: Community is Eating the World

Kobie joined Upfront from Accel, where he was involved in investments including Campaign Monitor, UserTesting, AdRoll, and Invoca. Prior to Accel, Kobie was the Chief Marketing Officer at REVOLVE, one of the largest global fashion ecommerce players based in Los Angeles. Earlier in his career, Kobie helped found OpenView Venture Partners and was an investor at Insight Venture Partners where he sourced notable early investments in Exact Target (acquired by Salesforce for $2.5B) and Instructure (NYSE: INST.) Kobie received an AB in Economics from Harvard University where he was also captain of the track team and a multi Ivy League champion.

Derek Andersen is the co-founder and CEO of Bevy. Bevy powers C2C (customer to customer) communities for Atlassian, Twitch, Slack, Atlassian, Duolingo, and others. Derek also co-founded Startup Grind, a community of 650 Chapters in 120 countries designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs. He previously worked at Electronic Arts. Derek lives in Palo Alto CA with his wife and four children.

You can find all the CMX Summit 2019 talks here, and get ready to CMX & Chill.

Quotes and Notes from Kobie Fuller:

At the best companies, community is the lifeblood.

20x plus growth in terms of revenue – can we link that back to the community efforts? When we invest, we’re looking for you to have the ability to leverage high growth or community.

For any company that is creating a movement (like Peloton) it’s hard to attribute X amount to community. But really, it’s the core to success.

As a VC we look for authentic, amazing founders. The founder of the Mighty has a real passion and authenticity around “why should this community exist.” At some point in our lives, we will all be there. Target market: literally everyone.”

It’s rare to find companies with meaningful economic returns and could actually change the world, when we do, it’s a no-brainer.

At REVOLVE, other marketing efforts stopped working. So, we started trying to create a community of Influencers, we brought them together in social events . We found they connected to each-other and our brand in authentic ways.

VC Panel: Community is Eating the World

Unfortunately, not seeing enough pitches coming in that have community at their core. Bird, Goat, The Wing, The Mighty—all have explosive growth because they’re using community.

“People are finally starting to wake up that community isn’t a final step, it should be layered into the plan from the start.”

Wanted to build a black-centered professional community—authentic, data rich, beautiful solution to the pipeline issue. Valence is currently an incubator

The future of community—while VC’s rep 100’s of millions of dollars, but community builders represent 100’s of millions of people. Let’s use that in a big way and take it seriously.

Check out all the talks from CMX Summit 2019. Get ready to CMX & Chill.
*This post was authored by the CMX Community in the CMX Summit 2019 Collaborative Notes
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Beth McIntyre
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Community & Events Marketing Manager at Bevy! Passionate about building our in-person community and connecting with members. When I’m not writing on the Bevy Blog, I’m writing about my global travels!