July 17, 2022

UVC: Insik Rhee from Vertex Ventures US on the skillsets, values, and dynamics of a great team, the role of the board, and who should be a part of it & the reason for the current VC funding winter

UVC: Insik Rhee from Vertex Ventures US on the skillsets, values, and dynamics of a great team, the role of the board, and who should be a part of it & the reason for the current VC funding winter

Understanding VC is a deep dive on how venture capitalists work. In this episode, I speak to Insik Rhee, General Partner at early-stage Venture Capital firm Vertex Ventures US. The conversation begins with Insik sharing his journey of working at a startup right after graduating from college which eventually lead to the beginning of his entrepreneurial journey of starting Kiva software along with three fellow engineers. This sparks a discussion about the skillsets and dynamics that make a team great which is followed by a brief discussion about some points that startup founders need to understand about VCs. Later, Insik also talks about the right time for a startup to form its board and other aspects related to it. Furthermore, there’s a discussion about what is an investment thesis and should one come up with one. The conversation ends with a brief discussion about funding winter in VC and why a correction like this is needed for the startup ecosystem.


In this podcast episode, you will learn:

  • According to Insik, what are the values, skillsets and dynamics of a great team? What should be the ideal size of a founding team?
  • What are some things that the startup founders don’t understand about VCs?
  • When should startups think about forming a board, what is the role of the board and who should be a part of it?
  • What is the role of a board member and an advisor?
  • How does Insik assess a company that works with data; for example, a company working on data security for the cloud?
  • What is an investment thesis and how do you come up with it? Do investors really need an investment thesis?
  • What is the reason for the current VC funding winter and why a correction like this is needed for the startup ecosystem?

About

Insik is a General Partner at Vertex Ventures US and is a former founder of Loudcloud and Kiva Software, companies that helped shift enterprise technology categories. At Vertex US, he works with founders who are pursuing advancements in data science and machine learning, enterprise process automation, and real-time infrastructure.

Prior to Vertex US, Insik served as General Partner at Rembrandt Venture Partners where he led investments in A Bit Lucky (acquired by Zynga), CloudOn (acquired by Dropbox), and Ooyala (acquired by Telstra). Before that, he was a Partner at Accel Partners, here investing and advising companies including Cloudera, Couchbase, Facebook, Mochi Media (acquired by Shanda), and Terracotta (acquired by Software AG).

As the Co-founder and Chief Tactician of Loudcloud, which later was renamed Opsware, Insik helped create the cloud computing paradigm and the data center automation software category.

Loudcloud IPO’ed and then was acquired by HP in 2007. His first company, Kiva Software created the Application Server Market market. Enterprises such as E*Trade, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo developed their first online sites using Kiva. Netscape acquired Kiva in 1997 for $180 million.

He is currently on the boards of Testlio, Interana, Zepl, Cyberhaven, Evisort and Upsolver and holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Berkeley and currently serves on the university’s Executive Advisory Board for the College of Engineering.

 

Insik Rhee Profile Photo

Insik Rhee

General Partner at Vertex Ventures

Insik is General Partner at Vertex US and is a former founder of Loudcloud and Kiva Software, companies that helped shift enterprise technology categories. At Vertex US, he works with founders who are pursuing advancements in data science and machine learning, enterprise process automation, and real-time infrastructure.

Prior to Vertex US, Insik served as General Partner at Rembrandt Venture Partners where he led investments in A Bit Lucky (acquired by Zynga), CloudOn (acquired by Dropbox), and Ooyala (acquired by Telstra). Before that, he was a Partner at Accel Partners, here investing and advising companies including Cloudera, Couchbase, Facebook, Mochi Media (acquired by Shanda), and Terracotta (acquired by Software AG).

As the Co-founder and Chief Tactician of Loudcloud, which later was renamed Opsware, Insik helped create the cloud computing paradigm and the data center automation software category.

Loudcloud IPO’ed and then was acquired by HP in 2007. His first company, Kiva Software created the Application Server Market market. Enterprises such as E*Trade, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo developed their first online sites using Kiva. Netscape acquired Kiva in 1997 for $180 million.

He is currently on the boards of Testlio, Interana, Zepl, Cyberhaven, Evisort and Upsolver.

He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Berkeley and currently serves on the university’s Executive Advisory Board for the College of Engineering.