Yelena Shkolnik — Jump Capital

Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Another great Series A fund in LA!  
 
Yelena Shkolnik is a partner at Jump Capital.  Jump may be most recognized for their crypto work, but we have a broad conversation on content, commerce, fintech and how those are converging in today’s ownership economy.
 

Yelena Shkolnik is a partner at Jump Capital where she focuses on investments in media and enterprise software. Jump is a $350 million fund, mostly leading Series A rounds. Prior to joining Jump, Yelena was at Chicago based MK Capital. She grew up in LA and we are glad to have her back! Hello Yelena, good to see ya.

Well, let’s jump in and start talking about Jump. Well, so educate us a little bit about Jump, you know, the check size focus area theses.

Sure. Yes. So jump is HQ’d in Chicago. And the focus for us is leading series A for the most part. So I’d say our sweet spot is probably like that $8-10 million check. And we do lead probably uh, 70 plus percent of our portfolio.

We are the lead and we’re incredibly thematically driven. So sometimes we do meet companies early, right? So say we develop a particular thesis around commerce. We’ll meet companies that are at the seed stage. And it’s a nice opportunity for us to get in a little bit early, build a relationship with those founders and then eventually be a lead.

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Yelena Shkolnik is a partner at Jump Capital where she focuses on investments in media and enterprise software. Jump is a $350 million fund, mostly leading Series A rounds. Prior to joining Jump, Yelena was at Chicago based MK Capital. She grew up in LA and we are glad to have her back! Hello Yelena, good to see ya.

Well, let’s jump in and start talking about Jump. Well, so educate us a little bit about Jump, you know, the check size focus area theses.

Sure. Yes. So jump is HQ’d in Chicago. And the focus for us is leading series A for the most part. So I’d say our sweet spot is probably like that $8-10 million check. And we do lead probably uh, 70 plus percent of our portfolio.

We are the lead and we’re incredibly thematically driven. So sometimes we do meet companies early, right? So say we develop a particular thesis around commerce. We’ll meet companies that are at the seed stage. And it’s a nice opportunity for us to get in a little bit early, build a relationship with those founders and then eventually be a lead.

So don’t exclude early stage opportunities, but it’s with me, we’d like to focus on a, we’ve built an operating platform around. Companies that are kind of at that series a B stage and beyond which includes everything from helping them source talent,

We have folks on our team that could be part-time CFOs that can help the companies do business development or corporate development. So we really thought about kind of building an operating platform

So we publish every year kind of the areas that we’re chasing somatically. And there’s, , a couple of we can dive into for this year, but generally speaking, definitely enterprise software media FinTech has always been quite large for us.

And you guys are pretty vocal in the crypto space.

We are. So we actually have a separate, dedicated fund team , the jump crypto team. We do a fair amount there we’ve actually been in, around investing in crypto for seven years. This point

just kind of

Yeah. If I had to say like jump capital, I think some people would know you first for

crypto.

I mean, the crypto.

community is an active and engaged one. So I think easier to get publicity for, for the work we do in crypto. But in crypto, we’re not just investors, we’re also builders. And so there’s other ways that people engage with us

Great, but you’re not on the crypto side of the house. So let’s jump in and talk about some of your themes. I think media is one of areas where you dig in. Yeah, I think you guys are really interesting angles. We’re always kind of thinking about kind of the future of entertainment. I spend a lot of times there. And there was a really incredible shift over the past decade, which was that transition to streaming. Right. know back when, well, before I was in venture, it was at Dreamworks.

And if you had told people at the time that, going to movie theaters, wasn’t going to be that much of a thing anymore. In fact, home video was pretty much going to be a deadline item and everything was just going to be tightly streaming. We thought that was hilarious because it was probably like 1% of our P and L and totally meaningless.

Right. And that of course is all of it today. So watching all of that, shake out how all of the large studios and how all the small players have kind of found their place in streaming has been interesting. And we had a bet there with Tubi, which is an ad supported VOD platform, which we sold to Fox.

And I think a lot of what we’re thinking. Now we call breaking the fourth wall, which is we think that people are more interested in having their entertainment be somewhat interactive. And there’s been some interesting development on the finance side. That makes that interesting. For example you can now watch video, someone talking about.

Stocks react to these are like markets. And then you could trade on that same platform. Right? We can do embedded finance across a variety of platforms. We can do that. Right. And then same thread. You could watch your favorite creator, talk to you about the sweater or the line of merchandise that they just developed.

And you can transact right there, right? The point of purchase can be right where you’re having that conversation. So that’s interesting because, you know, one thing that we chase a lot is sort of what it means for creators, which are this very large burgeoning piece of entertainment for folks and fascinating, authentic voices, but one thing that it needs for them, as you bring the point of transaction closer to them, they can monetize better.

They can build real careers. Right. But the other thing is really on the FinTech side of the house, we’ve been active investors in consumer platforms that empower the self-directed investor. The fascination for me, there is just how deeply social FinTech is. Right. I mean, the fact that people are really getting so much of their guidance from like a Reddit or a YouTube, right.

And their favorite FinTech influencers. Right. So again, it’s this like really interesting hybrid of. Content that engages me and entertains me. But simultaneously is a way that either I make money fast or that I buy stuff or that I learn or what.

It’s so interesting. Let’s keep going on different models for this breaking the fourth wall, and maybe bring in what’s happening in other countries.

Yeah, So on the commerce side, We look discovery in the U S and just think about like discovery, Amazon, terrible, right? Like it’s not a discovery platform and want to hops on the Amazon to just click around right. You can hop on cause you toothpaste. So think that’s a really interesting aspect that COVID really highlighted for people, which is the fun of physically going into a store, whatever white glove service was there, luxury store or not, right.

Just the interaction and that connection that you have with a sales associate or just seeing the inventory line up as it is. All the work that people do for visual merchandising, just poof. It’s like Don in e-commerce. . And there’s been some interesting improvement there, right? Which is, Hey, you know, we could do some, a lot of really fun stuff with headless architecture on your site? So we can actually do some storytelling.

And by headless, are you referring to like what Shopify type stores enable?

Sorry. Yeah. So like a transition it’s generally people had some sort of monolithic architecture in the back for their site. Right. So like Shopify for Magento, for whatever. There’s a lot of technology now that allows you to break up all the pieces of managing back into your site. And headless means like you can just detach the front end consumer experience to what you’ve got in the back end with.

Processing your transactions, you know, managing your inventory, making sure the fulfillment works you can actually detach those things and your site can be faster. You can also do a lot more with it. You can actually have very separate teams working on it, . It creates a very different environment where people just aren’t as dependent on each other.

And so you can be more flexible. You can also be more?

in theory, scalable. . You know, COVID means that the volume of traffic to your site is TEDx, you can do something a little more different. So there’s a lot of stuff that’s sort of happening in terms of breaking apart, all the functions of what happens in the backend of commerce, what happens that consumers don’t really see, which I think is fascinating.

But I think to your question, right? One of the things that we really thought a lot about was discovery and why it’s terrible and what we can do to make it less terrible. And when you. You know apps in China, for example, that’s true, right? It’s super gamified. There’s a lot of group buying there’s live streaming.

And a lot of things are sold that way. I mean, people buy houses, they buy boats, they buy mortgages, whatever. From what they call a trusted key opinion leaders or groups that effectively are like the consumer reports, but in a human being, in a creator. And you know, this is how buying and purchasing decisions are made.

And so they’re incredibly powerful individuals in that ecosystem. So we definitely thought, Hey, does that eventually happen here? And I think a lot of people did, . There’s been a lot of investment in around that category. But I think the question is, you know, boy, that’s like a significantly more mobile centric environment.

Um, So it’s not a perfect comp you can’t –really just assume. Like for example, if your social app already has your wallet in it, and you’re used to paying through whatever social platform you work, then of course it’s fairly easy for that social app to have a bunch of commerce features. And then to assume that you would kind of transitioned it to that.

Right. That’s not so true here, right? Facebook has long wanted you to have all of your payments move through them, right? That’s certainly their appetite. But it just never really got off the ground , in a meaningful way. Right?

So if that doesn’t happen here, it’s really hard to say one of those major social apps are going to win it, which is why so many startups have been competing. Cause the question is, well, okay. If it’s not a major social app, is it the brands themselves that run all their own live streaming, some are on their own sites?

I don’t know. That seems super fragmented. Where is it? Something else in the middle where it’s a destination. You go specifically there and that’s going to be your experience. And again, we don’t know, but I think in the next few years, something really interesting will happen there.

And what might be different if we had this new destination site that you’re talking about

Yeah, there are a lot of players doing really interesting things with

you know, more flexible checkout or, even just, you know,, driving profitability for merchants that again, like consumers don’t see you don’t care about. Right. And I think all of that is interesting. And there’s an aspect of that that is interesting for the consumer, which I think is sort of a universal checkout, right?

How can we enable something akin to one-click checkout, but actually like a cross carts. So, you know, why is it that I have to check out this brand and this brand? And if I see a listicle and Buzzfeed and I want to purchase something there, why do I click like seven times to purchase it? I mean, we know that people don’t, and then we lose a bunch of them, right?

This is lost money, very meaningful, lost money. I think Facebook has a stat that something like $200 billion is lost in affiliate links because you just, get lost in that universe. So, yes, I do think there’s room for even the checkout experience. If you did the integration right into something really creative, to be really interesting and I’m fans of what you could do for merchants to we’ve invested in a platform that helps merchandise optimization.

Right. All sorts of things that help the end merchant, you know, think about their profitably, but like for a consumer perspective, I think discovery is really the interesting one.

Yeah, just give her, but yeah, I would, I often want to put things into my Amazon shopping cart, but I’m not shopping on Amazon. It would just be easier if I could put it in that shopping cart. Checkout.

I think Amazon would like that too.

Yeah. So many questions on this. tell me more about group buying. I actually don’t really know what that is.

it’s an interesting thing basically. Um, you know, say you wanted to buy a couch. I don’t know if this is gonna be a great example. I’ll throw it out there, right? Like how just the lime green couch looks great would look great in your living room. And then the offer that they make is, Hey, if you buy it and two of your other friends also make this investment, we’ll give it to all of you for a quarter off or something like that.

Right. Catches that probably not what it normally gets used for, but I think you get the point, right? In fact, it gets used for cheaper goods generally. So like, Hey, this dress is nice. If I get the same dress with five of my friends we get discounts. Right. And that actually happens more materially over there.

And there’s some startups trying to bring it here. Do people really purchase like that in the us? I don’t know I mean, to your question, like, can we perfectly apply what happens elsewhere and assume that we’ll migrate. Probably not because the consumption behaviors are a little bit different. The appetites are a little bit different.

And in fact, like, , even just creator, dynamic creators, aren’t key opinion leaders. We don’t necessarily have quite as much blind faith in a creator telling us what to wear, what not to wear the distinction. As a key opinion leader in Asian market might have a team of a hundred people that actually tests products and then tells them that like this product is.

actually certified by us.

And it’s really fantastic. And you should definitely promote it. And this product, not so much creators, we still don’t know. I think the affiliate economy has encouraged a lot of people to shell products that maybe are not the best. Right. They don’t really do a bunch of stuff in the backend to make sure this is the thing that will work for you right by this air fryer.

So that consumer trust, I don’t think quite exists. You know, maybe it is for like merchandise, like yes, buy my hat, buy my shoes, whatever. Right. But I don’t think it exists for like, you’re not going to sell me a mortgage that way around. I’m not buying it because creator XYZ thought like this would be the right mortgage for me.

I think that level of trust is still missing, but it’s an interesting aspect of the, kind of the creator economy that we’re interested in too.

Wait. I’m so fascinated by that. And so you’re saying that those influencers in let’s say China or something might have a whole team.

It’s a different,, they’re the consumer reports person.

Correct. Not all of them, but like, yes, that’s the idea. And think, again, this is like been this really fascinating transition where, you know, Hey, first people sort of showed up to YouTube and developed great content and the monetization wasn’t totally there.

Right. And then the monetization met them and it Was advertising. And so there were people who just monetize better because advertising supported them. Right. So, you know, we were my boy old fund funded MTV, whereas an investor in Michigan emotion and Ms. Gaming content creator sometimes say bad words when they talk about games.

Right. Um, You know, gaming streamers sometimes say bad things. And so that didn’t monetize quite as well with advertising because, you know, L’Oreal maybe didn’t want to be right next to something that was a little bit kudos. Right. But on the other hand, you know, there’s, golf content, yourself, golf clubs short like that monetizes pretty well.

You don’t even need to have that big of an audience for people to sponsor you and kind of get behind that. So anyway the question is, what kind of happens next? I think, first it was that then it was affiliate links and they start to monetize better and they were really just selling everything.

 Again, like where’s the trust. And I think now that we’re bringing transactions closer to creators and they can build a lot of their own business and they’re building a lot of their own lines at the same time, right.

It’s not me pushing product X. Why do you do, because they’re paying me to do it, but in fact, I’ve got my own product. And because I want to continue to build this relationship with you, my viewers and my fans, I don’t want it to be crappy because you’re going to stop talking to me. So I think there is more authenticity and more connection that happens.

And I think you will see increasingly over time if they do start to be kind of our trusted advisors that yeah, of course, they’ll start to build resources to make sure that what they’re sending is

good.

Was there some offline equivalent, like I used to go to a high-end department store and they would tell me in a sense, and like, how does that evolve? Like do the department stores try to get their store associates to this online as well? Or give me some of that offline piece and how that ties in.

I think the truth is I certainly don’t believe e-commerce replaces all brick and mortar.

That doesn’t really happen. There’s some really reasonable brick and mortar experiences. Like you should be able to walk in and just get something and go home. That makes sense. Yeah. As you kind of described luxury actually seemed to fairly quickly after COVID go back to stores. And there’s a reason for that because the white glove experience is very distinct there.

And there’s a lot of stuff that people have been doing for ages, right? we’re investors in a company that really tries to personalize fit online to give you confidence in purchasing cupping. That’s a big hurdle, right? Try stuff on, make sure you like it. But don’t know, know, question that was embedded in what you said, I don’t know where that comes from exactly because Does it come from brands or department stores, right?

Like a department store you know, sort of a retailer, as opposed to a brand retailers got hit pretty hard in COVID specifically, their physical locations got hit really hard and for a retailer to kind of balance what they actually purchased from a brand to have in store, as opposed to what they maybe have in inventory elsewhere that they can fill from e-commerce.

And I think there’s an appetite to run fairly lean on inventory in the store, unless you’re using your stores as fulfillment centers. And there’s a lot of creativity things you can do there. think it’s interesting how those guys will operate. And I think because retailers have been a little slow to pull the DTC movement, there are thousands of DTC brands.

They don’t capture those, their DTC brands, right. They go directly to them. do retailers sort of at a general level, skinny down consolidate there’s just fewer of them because they become a little less relevant. I don’t know, probably, but also are thousands of DTC brands. I think those guys have to consolidate.

I think they will need retailers So I do think something interesting will shake out there, but in the interim, I think brands are the ones that really push that relationship with their consumers and the innovation here.

And do you think that what we buy will change because of all the different changes to the ways that we buy.

Yes.

Actually, one thing that we have been thinking about a lot, you didn’t exactly ask this, but I just, I think it’s a fascinating topic is sort of buying secondhand.

And frankly, that’s another place that influencers have been a really powerful motivator because yes,

Like consignment has existed for a long time. People went into secondhand stores for a long time and found the treasures. Right. But I think to make it as mainstream as they did, I think it’s like something like 30 million people started secondhand in mid COVID that was heavily because one economic pressures, , but to the availability of sites like that in order to do that, and influencers really pushing it, influencers being on the platform, selling their own closets.

Right. You can buy the old stuff if you want to do. So I think that’s really interesting thing that people are now very comfortable with it, but also the brands are very interested it because it’s their stuff. And so it’s, kind of fascinating because you know, you’ve purchased for me, but then you’re, reselling my stuff somewhere else.

I don’t really know what’s going whatever. But that’s sad. cause I, I want you, once you’re done wearing something of mine to maybe sell it, do whatever you want with it, but I’d like you to buy something else from me then. Right? Like, Hey, issues were great. You really liked them. Come back and buy another pair of shoes.

So do brands recapture you at that moment? How did they get in on the action of resale? Right? How do they become part of that economy? I think is a really interesting class.

totally. I’ve worked in, used car sales and we always take the trade in, right.

Exactly. There’s a reason that works. Right. I was telling you something about my team, Right. I have Bose headphones And I always buy bows because I just trade them the old ones and they give you a discount. They buy new ones, right. We have this perennial relationship and on the commerce side, the, one of the things that we are very interested in is just how the dynamic between consumer and vendor changes and that perennial link, right?

Not every time that I want something, do I do this whole new search for something, cause that would be horrible for both the brand and for the consumer. There’s just too much for the consumer. And for the brand customer acquisition has never been more expensive and it’s miserable and they don’t want that.

They just want to retain the people that they have. So how do we build a dynamic where feel linked to me in some way as a brand, right. And you keep coming back and also I think kind of the form factor matters, right? So it’s not just maybe me harassing you with a bunch of like blanket emails. But messaging is really interesting.

And really two way messaging is interesting. Again, like not just translating the aggressive marketing I’ve been doing into a new media, but like really, Hey, I found this shirt. It seems like a really good fit for you. And you can actually respond and say, you know what, let me talk to an associate.

I’d like to see that, call me up, show it to me. Right. I feel like that dynamic of having a vendor be almost like a friend in your contact book creates that dynamic in an interesting way.

just staying on brands. Like anything else that you think are like the active discussions that brands right now, or like almost looking at advice for an emerging brand, I do think it’ll be interesting how the C stuff shakes out. I mean, literally there are thousands of thousands of brands that you know, over the last decade or so have emerged and are competing for attention and because customer acquisition is so expensive. And it’s so prohibitive.

I just really don’t know how a lot of those sustain. Right. we are very interested, I think, not really in how you kind of win over new customers because like, boy, do you have to be creative? And I, don’t even know how to help you in that fight, like good luck, but in how you retain them. So I do think the post-purchase is maybe the more fascinating aspect of it. you could build sort of try before you buy models and, Hey, instead of buying something from me, build trust with me, like, I’ll send you a couple items, you try them on, you can send them, I won’t charge your credit card.

Right.

They also think brands are asking themselves a lot, how to take in the gen Z demographic, because these are folks that clearly respond to story in a different way. So that will be an interesting thing that will either shake out some brands or, , drive the discovery experience to be better because they’ll focus on that storytelling element first.

And I believe you also invest in commerce infrastructure. And I’m really curious what you’re seeing there as all these brands are going multichannel or omnichannel.

There’s a lot of really big challenges to it. Cause when you think about omni-channel right. let’s say I have, like, e-commerce I probably have physical stores. I probably do wholesale as well. Now I have to kind of manage my inventory across all of those. And how do I do that?

Do I think that I’m going to sell more of X or Y and my wholesale channels? Well, then I should produce enough to do that, but then I should probably keep some of my stores and like, should I have completely different types of inventory in my store? In fact, do I sell more of this to Texas and more of this to California?

So I should have the right warehouse over here, over there. And there’s been so much innovation in logistics. Right. And that side of the fence. So how can I drive down the cost there if I’m using a third party. How do I build it for myself? If I think that’s logical, you know, do I run my own trucks?

Like there’s so many really interesting things that of course data is that’s what optimize data to do uh, is to make sure that you send things to where they are going to most efficiently operate for you. So I think those problems are really interesting. And I also think just sort of managing merchandising in like developing new skews is really interesting.

How do I know what people are going to buy it next summer? I don’t, but let me like, kind of think through purchasing behavior before, and let me find a way to work with multiple teams in some sort of cloud infrastructure to evaluate you know, in a way that I historically haven’t. Cause I think historically people sort of like here’s an Excel sheet or some plans I’ll sort of finance.

They say, Nope, can’t do it. I hand this over to marketing. They say, don’t, can’t do it. I try again. Right. I think there’s an interesting way. Collaboratively built. And I think DTC on a backend, like really does move technology forward, right? Because they expect to be on air table. They expect to do in a very different way.

And we do talk to a lot of brands and they have appetite for really interesting technology like that. So. Yeah, that’s the sort of a long way of saying that. The one thing that I think is really fascinating and I don’t know the right play here, but I mean, there are some large players, is it sort of the increasing globalization of e-commerce, And can we make. Easier like cost should fall and duty should fund.

Can we make it much more efficient for even small players to be able to effectively monetize audiences that are far from them. Super interesting. I think I’d be Remis though.

If I didn’t ask you some about crypto and what you’re seeing with brands like a Nike or someone using social tokens or otherwise creating different ownership opportunities,

I think it’s interesting from both a traditional and a crypto perspective, meaning you know, maybe like on the FinTech side of the house, we’re just very interested in this appetite for ownership, which, , if you think about like coming out of.

the recession, everyone’s so focused on the sharing economy, we share bikes, we share houses, whatever.

Right. And now it’s such an appetite for ownership, right? want to own things and I want to make money off of them. And a lot of things have happened in the interim to make that possible. . But one of those definitely has. self-directed investing that we talked about, right.

Democratized asset classes and being able to find anything, but specifically in private capital. Right? Like I used to, you know, have a hurdle with a minimum check to just get in the public markets. Now that’s very easy and that’s a huge chunk of the public markets is retail trade. I think that’s increasingly happening in private markets to kind of see that.

And the interesting thing about that is I think companies, as you’ve described, want to incentivize their customers and actually are happy to have customers on their cap table and happy to have like a really monstrous cap table. And in that way to sort of connect to their consumers. So why not find a way to sort of link, , equity ownership and Nike, for example, right.

With, your purchasing behavior or to your example, why not like tie it together with some sort of token that says like you were an early buyer of this brand or you’re a passionate supporter of this creator. I think all of that is really interesting. I really wonder like how much the end consumer sort of appreciates it and how much the appetite there is.

Like, you know, there are probably 70, a hundred million very active, crypto investors. And so like people that really sort of appreciate it, the number of people that are really interested in maybe like utility tokens that are really active on kind of like NFTs smaller, right. Much smaller.

And again, the bet is that will be bigger obviously, but is it easier for me to sort of incentivize you by saying, Hey, you’re going to have some fractional equity ownership in Nike, or is it easier for me to incentivize you with a social token? I don’t know. Or, you know, do you just kind of sign onto my Patrion and you get special content?

I don’t know. Right. There’s a lot of different ways to connect creators and commerce and the end consumer. But I think that increasingly is all very interesting because yes, you very much want to create that link of I do well and you do well. And so there’s a stake and an ownership in what.

you buy

Yeah, although it’s a little tricky, like if I owned a public stock and was promoting it, it could be, you know, violation of regulatory rules. Whereas I own something in the private markets. I can promote it and not tell you that I own it. It’s a little fuzzy.

This is a fascinating area maybe for another day. But I do think that what the sec does around it look, private companies stay private longer. They have much longer cap tables. They start to look kind of like public companies. The sec has actually come out and said that they’re kind of thinking about that very critically.

 But simultaneously we have headwinds the other way, which is that in fact, you know, Hey, we’ve had this accredited investor designation forever, but we’re making it easier for the average person to become an investor in the private markets and does eventually the accredited investor designation fade away.

And, you know, do we approach that more as like a buyer beware and you guys kind of figure out what it is you want to put in your portfolio. and, you know, at the end of the day, does the consumer’s portfolio, therefore one, whatever, become a mix of, fractional farmland and wine and art and crypto and, and.

I think so. But you know, there’s some highly volatile assets in there and yeah. There’s reasons we worry, but that’s an exciting conversation. Yes.

Yeah. So the accredited investor designation, now it’s something like $200,000 that you have

to make, or,

assets or, something. yeah.

yeah. And so that is in order to buy a private company stock, it doesn’t apply to public companies. But how does that play out? Tell me about like fractional farm ownership or, you know, high-end art.

We’re just seeing a ton of that. And I feel so old school that I still own ETFs. what are you seeing?

Well look, , it’s a really interesting thing from two perspectives. One, the barriers owning that stuff used to just be exclusivity, right? So set aside that you probably didn’t have to check to buy a piece of art, you frankly, would not have been invited to that particular club.

I think one of the interesting things that really buttresses this again is that sort of social dynamic where people talk to each other, because it’s a big thing you’re putting money and you’re putting your savings into something. And the fact that you can lean on a social community. To be an art investor requires a certain level of sophisticated.

Like I grew up always assuming, like in order to buy art, you needed to go through some real training at Sotheby’s or something. And you needed to be a certain level of rich and people needed to explain to you that this was the artist to collect and not this. And like, this is how you collected and this is how you store it.

And right. But fractional eradicates that , I’m not storing the painting. I am not responsible for it. I’m a part owner in it and it makes it just so much easier

And you can be very diversified about it. You don’t have to spend all of your money acquiring a Picasso napkin. Like you could, you could do a lot. I do wonder, what really downmarket does. Do people pull out of this a little bit?

But I, I think our theory is that no, there there’s a very different attitude towards self-directed investing. And in fact there’s some interesting stats that of the households where the head of the household Is over 45. I think something like 70% of those prefer self-directed investing now as opposed to something like 40 before.

So people are really saying bye to their wealth managers So maybe that is really a seismic shift I also think like what you’re talking about with, you know, the rise of retail traders and the rise of the fractional ownership, I think embedded finance probably ties in there as well.

Right. Which is you can do it while you’re doing other flows. it was really interesting in commerce. Right. just think of all the things that you can kind of embed into checkout for example, right? Like one of the things that we’re batting around right now is embedded insurance products. Like, Hey, you’re about to go on this really interesting vacations, Do you want some security on that? Not being bad meaning like. What if the weather’s bad, what if you get hurt? or like any number of other things, right?

Like again, like, you can listen to a podcast and they can clue you into something really interesting and you can buy it and there’s really interesting models doing it for investing sort of around financial influence around the place where you’re getting your advice.

Broadly speaking is very interesting opportunity and, being able to just sort of bring the transaction into wherever it is relevant is interesting. It also creates opportunity for more trust, because when I think about the categories of e-commerce, that haven’t really come on, Like wholesale.

So a lot of wholesale that happens elsewhere, right. For reasons of trust, I think, but if I can bring two parties into e-commerce and then I can do escrows, or I can do lending products, or I can do any variety of other things to make sure that, you know, with some competence that the money is there. And so you can work with this and in fact, it makes it even easier perhaps for you to transact than you would in, real life, because the lending products are sort of seamless and embedded and now it’s, you know, easier for me to factor this product or purchase this from you and pay you back, like whatever.

Right. I think all of that is a really interesting thing to enable commerce riskless transaction, trustless transactions are things we think about a lot.

do you think this ties in some ways to the rise of the solo capitalists that we’re seeing?

I think so capitalism more like solo VC, but there’s an interesting aspect of it too. Right. Which is, it’s so much easier to spin up an SVB today. Right. If I wanted to go in, but I wanted to buy some real estate I’m in the house flipping business. Right. I’m going to go walk around LA and pick up some interesting real estate and local neighborhoods.

I think that’d be a pretty good game right now. I don’t know. You know, do with your friends, right? Get 10 of your friends to buy into this SPV, go out, buy some houses, redo them, flip them, whatever. And because it’s so easy because the legal and the admin of running your own fund. It’s easier. You no longer need quite as much administration. You could do it with a smaller fund because you don’t need as much in management fees to cover it.

And so I think there is the rise of, the solo GP model you existed. But I thinkit’s so much easier to get off the ground and have traction.

It’s interesting. I, started by talking about media, but really the media commerce FinTech for you seem like they’re very interrelated, theses.

Yes, those are all, one increasingly for consumers.

Right? And I think being able to bring so much of that together in social environments and connecting people in a very different way to who their advisors and their guidance on all aspects of this is really interesting. And we didn’t even talk about gaming, Well, for sure. Let talk to me about gaming and what you’re interested in there.

I think one area of gaming that it keeps coming back to creators for us because, one thing that we really are interested in is supporting this emergence of sort of independent creators. And if you think about it, like there was a lot of talk about the contractor economy many years ago, because that was really interesting and novel, right? It’s transitioning from W2’s a lot of people being able to operate as 10, eight nines and B we’re able to do that because marketplaces existed for them to find work think watching people go from W2 to 10 99 now to something which is really like making money off of your couch, right? That’s dream, So, you know, in the gaming space, we’re very interested in how like streamers interact with their fans and build that dynamic.

 I think all of that, either really fascinating angle to that very different kind of employee worker we’re labor.

Right. And we do also think a lot about the flip side of that, which is if more people increasingly quit to make money at home making content, like what happens to the enterprise? And we know, right. It’s, it’s really a tough labor market.

They’re fighting really hard to retain the talent they have. And they’re doing a lot of really interesting. stuff to manage culture and they’re managing employees from everywhere to give them kind of the feeling of being independent creators.

And giving everyone the chance to be sort of their own boss. But I think that this general motif, which I think, you and every sort of VC in the world, but echo is just the opportunity for everyone to be an entrepreneur and, kind of their own destiny.

Yeah. And I think the eSports streamer model is sort of the ultimate making money from the couch. I’m curious if you see the eSports model affecting traditional sports or other verticals.

There’s so much really fascinating stuff there. I mean, traditional sports is a fascinating thing in and of itself because when you talk about kind of the evolution of entertainment, boy, is that a category that’s changed a lot, right? If you think about how Jens use consume content and they do not watch an entire live game, and that is the function of many Yeah. People will claim attention span. I did not think that’s it. I think it is just, I mean, access, right? Like people they’ve cut the cord on cable. So, Hey, maybe I want to watch this game, but I can’t, or maybe I want to watch this game, but I have no idea what of my hundred and 20 channels it’s all on.

You know, or what seems to be happening is that maybe my passion is not necessarily for my home team or a sport, but an athlete, like a really specific athlete and that, profile who themselves, they are a crater, right. They’re building an authentic relationship with me through all their emerged through all their own content, through their social media.

And so I’m actually very interested in their life, on the field, off the field, whatever. And so how do I kind of engage with them? I’m more interested in them than I am in the game, whatever. So think about that enormous challenge for the leagues. And then also for the networks who paid so much money for these rights and like, how do I get you back?

How do I get you engaging? And I, you know, we’re investors one company called buzzer, but there are a lot of others really. How do I kind of capture your attention when it’s really exciting? How do I show you that? How do I give you access to that in this really web of media rights, such that you can see what you want to see when you want to see it, and we can monetize the content that we have, and we can get through this spider web of complexity.

And then when you talk about kind of e-sports what those creators bring, I mean, that’s a very different engagement, but also a terrible monetization. It’s very hard to monetize that audience, I think, particularly because they’re fairly young.

So you think about like the spending there, right? you’re selling them stuff that sort of endemic to gaming, like keyboards and laptops and whatever equipment that’s relevant, but you know, does Mercedes want to target that? MaybeBut that as interesting as like them just sort of going out and direct targeting 25 to 35 year olds , are 45 plus who can buy the car and are already watching the NFL, right. There’s a reason that those rights are super valuable. I think that is a really fascinating. And we’re also investors on the betting side of it, right? So when you talk about that fourth wall and interactive entertainment betting, certainly that, right, you’re watching sports and you’re betting on sports and you make money and maybe you don’t. And we’re investors in an exchange platform called sport trade.

And what is an exchange platform or is that the same as a booky?

Yeah. fundamentally there’s, there’s a good book model, right. Which is, you know, if Angela drafting, so you want to make a bet. let use mods. You should have your back to me. I’ll pay you if you win, I’ll take a huge cut of that. And you have fun, right? And I’ll do a number of other things I can DraftKings and FanDuel, both want to do a number of other things to engage you.

Right. So think increasingly those guys, and I think DraftKings would think of it’s all frankly, as a media player, they’re much bigger sports betting, frankly, for the operators is not that high margin of a thing. it’s never really been that. It was a casino operator, I’d want you to come in and do that, but then on your way out, I want you to hit the slots because that’s really where I’m going to make my money.

And I’d like you to also eat at my restaurant So sports betting is interesting thing because from a revenue perspective, actually it doesn’t monetize it while the margins a little bit tight.

And frankly, you know, for all the enthusiasm about, you know, hundreds of billions dollars of handle, which is the amount of money actually bet the amount of revenue that actually comes back, you know, maybe that’s like, not that this is small, but like $10 billion, you know, 20, like that’s just sort of where we’re headed across the U S and again, really slowly rolling out and for you to be a betting player, All the cost to license all the cost to find like a land based casino partner in the states where that’s relevant so much cost down for a startup to try to compete.

And then you’re competing with guys like draftings who will outspend you like crazy. It’s a very hard market. So I think it’s really interesting, we do also spend a lot of time just thinking about I gaming general. Online poker, not legal those anywhere.

Right. But why not? That be kind of the next thing to fall? It’s quite reasonable. And so you kind of want to acquire people as fast as you can because you make the bet that you can monetize them 10 different ways. Okay. Real quick, before we run out time, I know you wanted to mention that jump is hiring.

Yes, are looking for folks. We raised a vehicle at the tail end of last year. We’re still pretty lightly deployed into It And we are looking for other people to sort of help us run and all of these really interesting opportunities. You know, maybe there’s a really interesting aspect to our culture, which is.

that like thematic investing, we love to passionately debate these topics. That it’s what drives us very little of what we do increasing a little to be honest is opportunistic.

 So we would love to hire some folks in the analyst category or in the VP category, those are the ones that we are looking for.

You were in the venture world in Chicago now you’re in LA, anything uniquely LA that you’ve noticed.

Well, there’s a lot. That’s really amazing about LA. And even back when I was in Chicago, I was here all the time. Probably because of the weather to some degree there were, especially before COVID constant events, constant gatherings and I felt like the LA community was really well connected to each other.

so yeah, it’s a really fun dynamic. lucky to call some of these folks, my friends, it’s a very different and very personal dynamic

totally.

Well, Elena, thank you so much. It was great talking to

you. excited for you and for jump capital.

yes. Thank you for having me. It was a pleasure to chat.