#130 Paul Bassat: Family grounding, Realities of creating success at Seek + Square Peg Capital, Building a legacy & Australia's future!
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Paul Bassat is the Co-Founder of the Venture Capital firm, Square Peg with operations in Australia, Singapore and Israel. Previously, he co-founded the success story that is the online recruitment website, Seek. He was born and lives in Melbourne, Australia.
In this episode #130 w Paul Bassat, learn about:
Paul’s sunrise in Melbourne, Australia with European heritage with his parents coming to Australia as refugees and mum being a holocaust survivor from Poland. Paul shares the influences of his mum, a lawyer and dad an IBM executive, and his two older siblings.
I loved asking Paul about his personality in high school, dreams at age 18, the two catalysts to leave his law career and start Seek in the 90’s (note: startups were not a thing back then) — and he’s candid about various parts of the Seek story that haven’t been shared before including the structure of the co-founding team, competing with large incumbents and market leadership in China.
We dive deep into the transition from Seek to Square Peg, including living in France with his family, the ways in which the founder experience helped and hindered his investor role, the importance of founder’s having awareness of investor conviction in follow on rounds, and his most painful learnings. And we unpack what Paul would do if he was Australian Prime Minister for a year and how he would like to leave a legacy.
🎉 And our 7-star events are back! Yes as many of you know — we are a special series of LIVE fireside conversations in May and June. Tickets are quickly selling out for event #2 with James Tynan, Partner at Squarepeg, get your ticket today HERE! 💥
It’s now time to explore your curiosity. Please enjoy!
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💥 This episode is brought to you by Fullstack Advisory, Australia's top tech accounting firm, designed specifically for innovative tech founders and investors. They provide founder-friendly support across Accounting & Tax, R&D Tax Incentives, Bookkeeping, and CFO Advisory -- so you can focus on what you do best, innovating and growing your business. Get in touch with Stuart and the team today!
02:47 - Where were you born and live now?
03:09 - What was your first job and now?
03:55 - High Flyer in Paul’s life
04:47 - Sense of identity as an Australian and Jewish
06:36 - Smartass or studious as a child?
08:00 - Sporting heroes
08:54 - Success at age 18
10:31 - Being the youngest of 3 siblings
11:41 - Catalysts to start Seek in the 90’s
16:20 - Sponsor message featuring Full Stack Advisory
17:00 - Foundational learnings about team management
20:20 - Three groups of competitors
22:18 - Market leadership in China
25:04 - How did he succeed as CEO
27:50 - Learning about investing as a profession
29:30 - Leaving seek and living in France
35:05 - Sponsor message featuring Full Stack Advisory
35:50 - The birth of Square Peg Capital
38:20 - Realities of transition from founder to investor
40:45 - Raising their first fund
44:18 - Brand awareness and high conviction investing
47:41 - Lack of Founder awareness of follow on funding
50:42 - The VC fund vs the Partner?
52:40 - Most painful learnings to date
55:30 - What should Australia do differently?
57:45 - Decade goals vs yearly goals
01:01:10 - Building relationships, not networking
01:04:10 - Being grounded and relatable despite success
01:06:35 - Final sprint