E104 - Matt Allen, Tractor Ventures


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Today's episode features one of Australia's best and most prolific angel investors, Matt Allen. Matt's portfolio includes companies like BuildKite, Practice Ignition, Spaceship, Kasada, Donesafe, Pin and Goterra. At one point or another Matt has been a software developer, founder, technical recruiter, investor and now, a CEO. Most recently, Matt launched Tractor Ventures, a new vehicle for investing that offers founders revenue-based financing. Matt and his team at Tractor Ventures are grounded in the belief that secure founders make better business decisions; venture capital money simply isn't the right fit for every business, so Tractor Ventures is filling a funding gap for ambitious founders who want to grow their businesses at a pace that suits them.

In this chat with Ian, Matt talks a lot about his journey as an investor and his approach to angel investing. He explains how making a pretty big bet on Xero got him started with investing, how he collaborates with his wife Aprill on investments and the importance of trust when backing a founder. Matt goes on to share advice for people who want to start angel investing, discussing the what the right check size looks like, the value of syndicates and how to find the sweet spot between individual expertise and interest when building a portfolio. Matt also discusses why his team started Tractor Ventures and how the business works, his experiences working with Startmate, why he never answers emails about blockchain and the story behind his iconic blue cap.

Reach Matt on Twitter @mattallen and check out Tractor Ventures.

Quickfire Recommendations
-Book: Turn the Ship Around! by L. David Marquet
-Podcast: Out of Beta
-News Source: AFR
-Favourite Tech CEO: Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar
-App: Slack, Mailplane
-Productivity Tool: Summit
-Ted Talk Topic: The balance between hungry and starving founders

If you're an early-stage startup in Australia, apply to pitch at the _SOUTHSTART x Innovation Bay Startup Showcase in Adelaide this May: https://bit.ly/southstart_showcase

133 episodes