The FORT Podcast: Apurva Mehta – Managing Partner of Summit Peak Investments – Deep Dive Into Current Venture Capital Landscape

Apurva Mehta is the Managing Partner of Summit Peak Investments.  Apurva graduated with a B.B.A in Finance from The George Washington University. From 2001 to 2004, he was a Senior Investment Analyst for Citi Institutional Consulting in Washington D.C, where he focused on asset allocation and manager due diligence for endowments, foundation, and pension funds.

From there, Mehta went on to become a VP at Lehman Brothers in the Investment Banking and Investment Management Divisions, focusing on Global Business Planning and Strategy until 2008. For the next three years, Mehta was the Director of Portfolio Investments at the Juilliard School in New York City. For the next eight years, he was the Deputy Chief Investment Officer at Cook’s Children’s Health Care System in Fort Worth, Texas, where he oversaw the management of the portfolio across all asset classes, including strategic and tactical asset allocation, investment manager selection, manager performance evaluation, and operational oversight. Additionally, he led the buildout of the Private Investment portfolio and spearheaded the Venture Capital program.

Moreover, in 2012 and 2013 Mehta was named one of the “Top Forty Under Forty” by CIO Magazine and recognized as “Fresh Talent at the World’s Largest Asset Owners”. He was also named a “Rising Star” of Foundations and Endowments and a “Rising Star” of Hedge Funds by Institutional Investor in 2013. Currently, alongside being a  managing partner at Summit Peak, Mehta is also on the board for Interstride.

In this episode, Chris and Apurva discuss venture capital’s current market environment and analyze Summit Peak’s strategy for investing in Pre-See, Seed, and Series A Managers. They also discuss what will matter for startup’s going forward and how valuations will be set, Paypal Mafia stories, and more. Enjoy!

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(2:32) – What was your experience working at Lehman Brothers in 2008?

(6:06) – Apurva’s career and founding Summit Peak Investments

(7:40) – How have you chosen to approach Venture?

(16:04) –  What qualities do you look for in early-stage investors?

(24:07) – What’s happening in the market & VC in your opinion?

(39:55) – How often do companies need to renegotiate capital agreements when markets become volatile?

(44:54) – Do you predict investors will only look for the most logically profitable businesses going forward?

(49:39) – What’s happening in the world of Series-A, Seed, and Pre-Seed investing?

(55:25) – What factors would determine a phenomenal seed company in this market? 

(58:33) – Thoughts on the PayPal Mafia

(1:03:12) – What is your mindset heading into the next 5 years?

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