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Podcast: Startups Of 2020

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Tom Chavez built two successful ad tech companies (Rapt and Krux) and sold them to two large strategics (Microsoft and Salesforce). In this episode, he talks about those experiences and his new venture studio, Super{set}.

Super{set} is not a traditional VC firm. The company calls itself a “venture studio.” Its idea is to use its $65 million fund to build startups from scratch. Chavez himself has been CEO of three portfolio companies in the last year.

“We want to be there at formation and we want to have dirt under our fingernails as we’re helping to get the company built,” he says. “We didn’t want to show up at board meetings every two months and critique somebody else’s craftsmanship.”

Among Super{set}’s six portfolio companies is a marketing technology startup that Chavez says has an opportunity to solve for two looming challenges in ad tech: rising complexity and the escalation of privacy.

“We’ve manufactured a lot of complexity for ourselves in the ecosystem. The complexity management aspect itself gives the basis of a very compelling mar tech play,” he says.

On privacy, Chavez adds, “A lot of the data management and CDP infrastructure that’s out there is facing a pending meltdown in the reactor core because they’re not taking seriously the privacy and data security dimension. The evolving global privacy regime creates a new set of rules. You can’t staple it on. We think you need to design it from the studs up.”

Also in this episode: Latinx founders, recurring patterns in technology.

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