In episode 243 we welcome our guest, Doug Ludlow, CEO of MainStreet. In today’s episode, we’re talking about saving meaningful money.
We kick off the conversation with MainStreet’s launch of an incentive campaign that would pay people $10,000 to leave the Bay Area. As a result, they received an influx of local and state governments reaching out to inform them of their own incentive programs.
This caused MainStreet to shift the product vision to serve the small business and startup community as a government relations and finance team, making it easy to gain access to the same tools and incentive programs being used by sophisticated corporate finance groups. Better yet, the average company is saving around $50,000 per year!
We dive into the user experience of integrating MainStreet into HR platforms, and even get into some of the tax credits out there, some of the qualifications to access them, and the success-based business model the team has implemented.
All this and more in episode 243 with Doug Ludlow.
In episode 242 we welcome our guest, Ham Serunjogi, co-founder and CEO of Chipper Cash. In today’s episode, we’re talking cross border peer-to-peer money transfer.
We walk through the reality of limited access to easy and seamless money interaction available to many people outside of the US and other more developed regions of the world. We chat path the road Chipper Cash has taken to develop an easy-to-use P2P money transfer platform in Africa, which has the highest cost of sending money in the world.
We even get into the thinking behind launching the product, resisting the urge to go 0-100 right out of the gate, and taking time to process high-value feedback in order to continue to develop and improve the offering.
All this and more in episode 242 with Ham Serunjogi.
In episode 241 we welcome our guest, Doug Ramsey, Chief Investment Officer of The Leuthold Group. In today’s episode, we’re talking markets.
We jump right in with a walk through of Leuthold’s sober 10-year market forecast. We talk about valuation spreads between growth and value, and Leuthold’s thinking about how to be positioned based on takeaways from their research.
We get into thoughts on the US dollar, commodities, the opportunity in foreign markets, and the fallout in earnings power from the recent downturn.
All this and more in episode 241 with Doug Ramsey.
In episode 240 we welcome our guest, Stefan Batory, co-founder and CEO of Booksy. In today’s episode, we’re talking about helping folks in the hair and beauty industry get organized and get their time back when it comes to scheduling customers.
We discuss the headaches and time-sink these professionals experience when it comes to scheduling; the majority of them are still using some type of manual or non-digitalized solution when it comes to scheduling. We cover launching and growing the business, the fragmented nature of the industry, and the massive opportunity for Booksy as they address the market, which represents hundreds of billions of dollars in services globally.
As we wind down, we even touch on some memorable moments of gratitude the Booksy team has received from customers that have achieved a better and healthier work/life balance.
All this and more in episode 240 with Stefan Batory.
In episode 239 we welcome our guest, Chris Fernandez, co-founder and CEO of EnsoData. In today’s episode, we’re talking all things sleep.
We walk through the origin story of EnsoData, from the founders’ initial idea followed by 12 pivots to arrive at their flagship product, EnsoSleep. We talk about analyzing sleep data, solving hard data analysis problems with AI, and boostrapping enough data into the EnsoData ecosystem to build and validate the product.
We get into the long-term vision for the company, and even the potential for transferability of their algorithms and AI into other areas outside of sleep.
All this and more in episode 239 with Chris Fernandez.
In episode 238 we welcome our guest, Mark Straub, co-founder and CEO of Smile Identity. In today’s episode, we’re talking user authentication and biometric checks.
We kick off the episode with some observations from Mark about the evolution of startup fundraising as he’s traveled the world. We get into some of the efforts that have been in place by organizations in emerging economies to prevent fraud, and some of the issues that have resulted as a byproduct.
We discuss the backstory of Smile Identity and the current use case for Smile Identity’s technology. We dive into the nuts and bolts of challenges faced by face recognition technology, and the thought and work involved to implement and train algorithms for biometric checks.
All this and more in episode 238 with Mark Straub.
In episode 237 we welcome our guest, Ryan McQuaid, co-founder and CEO of PlushCare. In today’s episode, we’re getting into a hot topic in this pandemic environment, telehealth.
We start by hearing the origin story behind PlushCare as Ryan shares his personal experience of receiving fully digital support and medical care from a friend who was a Stanford physician, identifying that 1% of Americans can afford the price-tag of a concierge doctor, and pursuing the opportunity to democratize the model, making it widely available to all. We walk through the experience PlushCare provides patients and physicians, and the emphasis on investing a lot on the physician side of the business.
We cover the experience of navigating COVID as a telehealth provider, and the need to increase physician capacity 4X! We get into the state of the industry, and our Ryan’s thoughts about this being the future of patient-physician relationships, and the vision for the company going forward.
All this and more in episode 237 with Ryan McQuaid
In episode 236 we welcome our guest, Stuart Landesberg, founder and CEO of Grove Collaborative. In today’s episode, we’re talking about building a mission-driven business around delivering sustainable home essentials.
We discuss launching Grove on two long term trends, conventional vs. natural products, and the transition from offline to online models. We walk through the highs and lows of operating a company with little capital early-on, and the deep insights our guest gleaned from taking the time to perform simple user tests. We talk about the freedom an online-platform offers when it comes to innovation, and Grove’s goal of becoming plastic free by 2025.
We cover why Grove pursued status as a B-corp, and the opinion that a truly mission-driven business can have a sustainable competitive advantage. As we wind down we talk about the challenges Grove has navigated during COVID, and the jump they had on taking precautions in the early days of the pandemic.
All this and more in episode 236 with Stuart Landesberg.
In episode 235 we welcome our guest, Ajay Prakash, co-founder and CEO of Rinse.
In today’s episode, we’re talking about building and scaling laundry and dry cleaning. We talk about the origin story behind Rinse and narrowing in on friction in the consumer experience and applying technology to old-school industries.
We discuss testing the offering on friends, and building a platform that leverages current industry infrastructure. We then get into future growth plans, the importance of expanding deeper into current markets, and other considerations they’re making to grow and expand the business.
All this and more in episode 235 with Ajay Prakash.
In episode 234 we welcome our guest, Harin de Silva, president and portfolio manager for the Wells Fargo Asset Management Analytic Investors team. In today’s episode, we’re talking factors and long/short investing.
We discuss factors as anything that can help explain return, and the all-important task of assigning weights to factors in portfolio construction. We get into short selling, and some of the challenges that need to be carefully navigated, from risk management to asymmetric return distributions, to the cost of borrow.
As we wind down, we cover the appetite institutions have for factor investing and how they seem to be a lot more interested in general, however, they’re less willing to pay for strategies they can get cheaply.
All this and more in episode 234 with Harin de Silva.
In episode 233 we welcome our guest, Lisa Rich, managing partner of Hemisphere Ventures and founder and COO of Xplore. In today’s episode, we’re talking about tech and the front lines of space exploration.
Lisa walks through her background as an entrepreneur, and her transition as an investor with Hemisphere Ventures as she saw the emerging case for frontier technology. We talk through some interesting case studies of a few portfolio companies, from Axiom Space, building the world’s first commercial space station, to PlanetIQ, focusing on satellite-borne, state-of-the-art sensors to collect data to improve weather forecasting, space weather prediction, and climate analytics. We then jump into her own space company, Xplore.
We chat about space as a service and commercial capabilities, as well as development of their spacecraft, Xcraft. We dive into milestones that include working with NASA on version 4.0 of the Xcraft, planned to travel to the solar gravity lens focal region as the fastest spacecraft ever built in human history.
All this and more in episode 233 with Lisa Rich.
In episode 232 we welcome our guest, Luis Perez, Founder of Remoov. In today’s episode, we’re getting organized. We’re talking about taking the work off your hands of removing all of that unwanted clutter.
We discuss the idea that was prompted by the observation of inefficiency in the college move-in, move-out process. Luis took it upon himself to store outgoing students’ items over the summer, and sell them to incoming students in the fall. He found a market and traction, and today he’s running and growing this model with Remoov. We discuss operations and trying to find efficiency in this capital intensive business through technology and innovative processes.
We get into the logistics of entering new markets and targeting demographics such as baby-boomers that are likely to be downsizing. We talk about how the COVID pandemic has impacted the business, and the ‘on-your-feet’ thinking that led to Remoov opportunistically connecting with downsizing businesses.
All this and more in episode 232 with Luis Perez.
In episode 231, we welcome our guest, Julian Klymochko, founder and CEO of Accelerate Financial Technologies. In today’s episode, we’re talking liquid alts and democratizing alternative strategies that have been tapped by the world’s largest institutions for decades.
We get into the current state of liquid alts and hedge funds, and the standardization and commoditization that has come with increased competition. We talk about merger arbitrage. Julian offers a story about a 2014 trade that went awry when he was running his first hedge fund, adding color to some of the mechanics and risks inherent in the strategy.
We key in on private equity, dig into the lack of mark-to-market appraisal of holdings, and how this strategy can be replicated in public markets. As we wind down, we discuss the opportunity in the future for flows to work their way from complex, high fee alternatives, into low-cost liquid alts.
All this and more in episode 231 with Julian Klymochko.
In episode 230 we welcome our guest, Ryan Lupberger, Co-Founder and CEO of Cleancult. In today’s episode, we’re talking cleaning. Sustainable cleaning products to be exact.
We talk about Cleancult’s origin story, zero waste packaging, and products that actually work. We discuss getting involved with Parallel 18, a Puerto Rican accelerator that was essential to network building, and tapping into the strong pharma, science, and the R&D community that Puerto Rico has to offer.
We dig into the journey of iterations on product and packaging, and the ‘aha’ moment and decision to offer soap refills in milk cartons, the challenge that idea posed, and the custom machinery and technology that helped make that a reality.
All this and more in episode 230 with Ryan Lupberger.
In episode 229 we welcome our guest, Evan Brandoff, Co-Founder and CEO of LeagueSide. In today’s episode, we’re talking about targeted, local marketing through youth sports organizations.
Marketing through youth sports has been going on for a long time, many have played on teams with local sponsors, or have noticed a favorite local business sponsoring a team. Evan talks about evolving that model to offer automated execution through a technology platform that delivers sponsorship of local youth sports to regional and national brands.
We discuss the “aha” moment that led to the founding of LeagueSide, and the evolution of the business. We get into the impact COVID has had on the viability of youth sports leagues, and some of the tactics they are using to navigate these difficult times from a business standpoint and to support youth sports.
All this and more in episode 229 with Evan Brandoff.
In today’s episode of the Cambria Fund Profile Series, Meb discusses the Cambria Tail Risk ETF (TAIL).
Meb walks through the S&P 500’s move from it’s all time high on February 14th 2020 to it’s recent low on March 23rd 2020 that resulted in a decline of 33.7% in just 20 days.
He poses the question: “Is there any way an investor might have been able to mitigate this decline in his or her portfolio?”
He then makes the case for the Cambria Tail Risk ETF (TAIL), a fund engineered to help guard against significant market drawdowns.
As the episode winds down, Meb poses this scenario:
“Is the stock market back on solid footing today? No one has a crystal ball. If I told you a year ago, that unemployment would jump from low single digits around 4% to over 15% today, that Fed interest rates would fall from 2.5% to near zero today, that gold would be up massively, stock volatility would be up, and oil would crash down over 50%, and yet, despite all of this, stocks are up. Would you believe me? Most would not.”
All this and more in this Cambria Fund Profile Series episode, featuring the Cambria Tail Risk ETF (TAIL).
In episode 228 we welcome our guest, Danilo Santiago, founding partner of Rational Investment Methodology. In today’s episode, we’re talking stocks and investment process.
We take a deep dive into Danilo’s fundamental process that is, to a large extent, automated by programs he developed over many years. We chat about circle of competence, and why Rational focuses on a quasi-static group of about 60 companies, and has done so for over a decade.
We even walk through a case study, and talk about how Danilo thinks about the long and short side of his book.
All this and more in episode 228 with Danilo Santiago
In episode 227 we welcome our guest, Alex Smereczniak, Co-Founder and CEO of 2ULaundry. In today’s episode, we’re talking about re-thinking the laundry and dry cleaning business.
Alex cut his teeth in the business with a student-run startup at Wake Forest. We get into what he saw with existing startup models trying to scale the laundry business, and why he thought the model needed to be approached in an entirely different way.
We discuss scaling the business and 2ULaundry’s differentiating factors of pick up and delivery scheduling, vertical integration, and launching in markets where there is little competition, but room to scale.
As the conversation winds down, we cover what 2ULaundry has done to navigate during the COVID-19 pandemic.
All this and more in episode 227 with Alex Smereczniak.
In episode 226 we welcome our guest, Vineer Bhansali, CIO of LongTail Alpha. In today’s episode, we’re talking current markets and tail risk hedging.
We get into what has been going on in markets, and talk about asymmetric portfolio construction. We discuss recent market liquidity, and how it is the worst Vineer has seen in his career.
We cover tail risk hedging, and walk through some examples of how to implement, and how different techniques fare in various environments.
All this and more in episode 226 with Vineer Bhansali.
In episode 225 we welcome our guest, Eric Crittenden. In today’s episode, we’re talking managed futures and trend following.
We get into investor behavior, and the challenges of getting people to allocate to managed futures, despite the data that shows they should. Eric has come up with a creative way to re-frame the conversation around managed futures to help investors break through, and deepen their understanding.
We even walk through Standpoint’s managed futures process. We cover portfolio construction and what the allocation looks like right now.
All this and more in episode 225 with Eric Crittenden.
In episode 224 we welcome our guest, Eric Kinariwala, Founder and CEO of Capsule. In today’s episode, we’re talking disruption of the $425 billion pharmacy industry.
We hear about the experience that sparked the idea for Capsule. We cover the state of the industry, and the feedback Eric received about the poor experience friends and doctors are having with the current pharmacy model.
We then dig into the company, delivering an easier and better way for people to get and manage medications, and the customer experience that is inspired by a loving and overbearing mother.
All this and more in episode 224 with Eric Kinariwala.
In episode 223 we welcome our guest, Steven Jorgenson, Managing General partner of Starbridge Venture Capital. Strap in and let your imagination run wild…In today’s episode, we’re talking about the space industry.
We cover the space economy. There’s a lot more to it than just the launch sector. We dig into microgravity, and the opportunity it offers research and development. We chat about terrestrial market applications, and we even walk through a few investments in the portfolio.
If that isn’t enough, Steven lays out a timeline for the space industry over the next decade and beyond; it may leave you feeling that we’ll be living a sci-fi novel in the not too distant future.
All this and more in episode 223 with Steven Jorgenson.
In episode 222 we welcome our guest, Dakin Sloss of Prime Movers Lab. In today’s episode, we’re talking venture capital and investing in breakthrough scientific startups.
We get into the way Prime Movers Lab thinks about its place in the venture capital ecosystem and why Dakin believes the least useful thing they provide is capital. We talk about assessing entrepreneurs and companies and looking for founders who don’t give up.
Dakin even gives us insight into some of the innovative companies in the portfolio, those executing on ideas from space transit to sustainable aquaponic farming.
All this and more in episode 222 with Dakin Sloss.
In episode 221 we welcome our guest, Chris Davis of Davis Advisors. In today’s episode, we’re talking stocks and investor behavior.
We begin with Chris’s background and transition into some of his early lessons about investing and compound returns. We hit on investor behavior and trying to keep investors behaving in their own best interests.
We discuss current markets, owning durable and resilient businesses, and the thinking behind the fundamental process at Davis. We even get into some thoughts about opportunities in markets today, from financials to energy.
All this and more in episode 221 with Chris Davis.
In episode 220 we welcome our guest, Andrew Beer of Dynamic Beta Investments. In today’s episode, we’re talking hedge funds and replication.
We kick things off with some background that includes Andrew’s start in the industry with Seth Klarman’s Baupost Group in 1994. We discuss replication strategies, what Dynamic Beta is doing to try to outperform hedge fund portfolios, and most importantly, how they are doing it.
We talk about the firm’s equity long/short and managed futures strategies, understanding key hedge fund allocations, and what the funds look like right now. As the conversation winds, down we chat COVID and what the future might look like for liquid alts.
All this and more in episode 220 with Andrew Beer.