Secrets To Building A Winning Portfolio

This is the second in an occasional series on how the most successful early investors build their portfolios. And, of course, our take.

Upfront Ventures has its own ways of doing things.

Fortunately, its managing partner, Mark Suster, has a blog. So we can get a very good idea of how Mark – and, through him, Upfront – thinks.

By the way, Mark’s posts are thoughtful, balanced and refreshingly practical. When he talks about a particular problem, he always offers a solution or several solutions. His blog isn’t called “Both Sides of the Table” for nothing!

Before Mark got into investing, he was a successful entrepreneur. He founded BuildOnline, a European SaaS company that was acquired by Sword Group. Then he founded Koral. When bought it, he became the VP of Product Management at Salesforce.

He joined Upfront Ventures in 2007.

I recommend following him. Some of his posts are for founders and some are for investors. As an investor myself, I prefer those meant for his fellow venture capital brethren. But I learn a lot from all his posts. Click right here if you’re interested in signing up for his blog.

One of the Best

Upfront Ventures has one of the best portfolios around. It boasts 15 IPOs and 20 acquisitions, including its latest big winner – AlphaDraft.

AlphaDraft’s fantasy sports site targets electronic sports games. The company rides two big trends. Betting real money on fantasy sports. And more and more people playing online games like SmiteThe Battleground of the Gods.

Upfront invested in May. AlphaDraft got acquired in September. Not bad.

Other major exits include TrueCar (IPO) (TRUE), Bill Me Later (bought by eBay) and Caribou Coffee Company (IPO).

So, how does Upfront do it? What does it look for in startups? And what are the no-nos?

Four Reasons to Like Skurt

Broadly speaking, Upfront favors big, crazy ideas. The crazier the idea, the crazier the potential, says Suster.

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Author: Travis Esquivel

Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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