April 18, 2022

#26 On Making a Career in Venture Capital with Abhi Maran

#26 On Making a Career in Venture Capital with Abhi Maran

Good morning Graduates!

Welcome to episode #26 of Graduate Theory. Venture Capital is an interesting place to work, one that you don't usually expect young guns to be operating. This week, we uncover what it takes to work in VC and how you can set yourself up for success.

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Abhi Maran is an Investment Analyst @ Folklore Ventures. Out of hours, he is Co-Founder of Web3 group called DAO Under, Co-Founder of Brown Baddies - an NFT collection representing South Asian women in the Metaverse and Writer at Superfluid - tech newsletter focused on web3 and DeepTech.

👇 Episode Takeaways

Write About Topics You Enjoy

One of the big mistakes people make when starting to write and learn in public is that they write about something they feel they 'should' write about, rather than things they are actually interested in.

Abhi shared with us that this particular point is something he thinks is really important.

I always say like do things that you like doing. So if you really like writing about or talking about something, then just do that because it will make it easier to stick to that consistent schedule and you're more likely to follow it through

Pick something you like, and follow through.

The Vertical in VC (and how to be the best)

When we spoke to Abhi, I asked him about what skills he thought were important to have as a VC and what he was doing to upskill himself in these areas.

He said that VC has three main verticals.

VC has verticals to your skillset, like the community building side,  the public facing side, there's also the investment thinking side

The investment side includes working out what is actually a good investment and being good with the numbers. For this vertical, Abhi likes to read about other people's investment decisions and try to learn about the mental models involved in these decisions.

Public presence is all about building up your social profile. This helps VCs find out more about the industry and get better access to deals. Abhi says a lot of it is just doing stuff and trying stuff out. He's doing this by being active on Linkedin and Twitter while keeping up with his newsletter.

Community building is the final vertical. Being accessible to founders you are working with is important so that you can help them to grow their businesses. A win-win situation. Abhi is improving this by improving his abilities to give feedback, and always learning about different industries and processes to provide unique insights.

The main thing about each of these is that there is no one course you can do, no one place you can find all your answers. Practice in the real world is what is important.


Your early career should be all about experimentation and trying new things to work out those few things that you enjoy and can get paid for.

Abhi had this to say when reflecting on his own career 👇

For my career, I think what I should have done back then is probably talk to a lot of people in the ecosystem and figure out ways to get involved. Even if it didn't seem like I'd be able to get involved from the outside, I should have been a bit more proactive, I think.

Get out there and start experimenting, get the breadth of experience necessary to help you find and succeed in something truly special.

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🤝 Connect with Abhi

https://www.linkedin.com/in/abhishekmaran/ https://twitter.com/AbhishekM__10 https://abhim.substack.com/ https://twitter.com/dao_under email: ahbi AT folklore.vc

📝 Content Timestamps

00:00 Intro 00:55 Abhi's University Experience 07:32 What different strategies do VC funds have? 10:40 The difference startup experience makes as a VC 13:06 Skills You Need to Be a VC in Australia 18:03 How does Abhi upskill himself as a VC 21:14 What is Deep Tech? 23:05 Where does Abhi go to learn about new technologies? 24:18 What is Abhi's advice for people thinking about learning in public? 26:56 Abhi on DAO Under 30:59 Where does DAO Meet Community? 33:48 Advice for people discovering web3? 37:34 Who does Abhi look up to? 39:17 Abhi's advice for Graduates 42:23 Where to connect with Abhi 43:24 Outro