L.D. Salmanson is a repeat entrepreneur who has been through spinoffs and acquisitions, and is now building his biggest company yet. His new venture, Cherre, has attracted funding from top-tier investors like Mark Schwartz, Glilot Capital Partners, Trustbridge Partners, and Navitas Capital.
In this episode, you will learn:
- Taking down the NYSE
- How VCs work
- Market makers
- The pre-IPO market
- His top advice for entrepreneurs
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For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks
Moreover, I also provided a commentary on a pitch deck from an Uber competitor that has raised over $400 million (see it here).
Remember to unlock for free the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
About L.D. Salmanson:
As chief executive officer and co-founder, L.D. Salmanson leads the direction and growth of the real estate software company Cherre, working with investors and the board of directors.
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Read the Full Transcription of the Interview:
Alejandro Cremades: Alrighty hello everyone and welcome to the dealmakerr show. So I’m very excited of our guest Today. We’re gonna be talking about all the good stuff that we like to hear building scaling financing. You name it even you know acquisitions. So I guess without further ado. Let’s welcome. Our guest Today. Ld Salman son welcome to the show so you were originally born in the states but then and all of a sudden you know you ended up being raised in Israel so give us a little for walkthrough memory lane. How was life growing up.
L.D. Salmanson: Thank you, It’s great to be here.
L.D. Salmanson: I yeah, so no one ask my opinion about where we’re moving at that age. But um, yeah, originally from providence Rhode Island even I didn’t spend a lot of time there. It’s um, it’s for those little states that most people outside the us don’t know that exist. It’s kind of on their way to Boston they drove through it and think about it too much. Um. But it’s a fun little place. Um, and we move pretty quickly thereafter and I spent early years in the states and then my family decided to move to Israel and my parents really and ended up starting school there. A lot of back and forth in the early years but still, um, basically in Israel at that point and. Ah, met Ben who’s today. My co-founder again and we’ve done a lot of work together over the years across multiple firms and um, grew up in a kind of weird environment so Jerusalem and Israel is ah it’s a strange place. It’s kind of a real mixing kind of culture right? You have very religious people very secular people. Um, all religions are represented It’s just a very strange place to grow up very neighborhood oriented yet you kind of know everyone from your age group across the entire um city because it feels big but it’s really only you know, maybe a million and change people and then when you start breaking it down to the groups of people you might. Know or or be like um, it’s a lot smaller pool all sudden. Um, but yeah, really great education very fortunate. Ah the education system in Israel is a public education system and it’s it’s deteriorated a bit since then I’ve heard but at the time it was still a very good system. Um.
L.D. Salmanson: Israel went to this really weird experiment. We had this yeah million Million Half russians immigrated to Israel over the course of you know, less than a year and um, when the iron curtain came down all a sudden people who were extremely educated showed up in Israel overnight and um, it just complete boost to to the to everything right? Our teachers were all. Former professors of you know mathematics and physics and then teaching you know Seventh grade math right? So we were extremely privileged even though we didn’t appreciate it time because you’re in high school or whatever. Um, but then we were also very lucky Ben and I you know, um to be able to start working together around then but um, we start our company. Kind of fixing computers when we were about thirteen fourteen I can’t really pinpoint the age but I was completely by accident. We were really fortunate went to fix somebody’s computer and then there’s like something along the lines of hey how much should we pay you and then start thinking about it wait a minute we didn’t really get the question. They’re like oh they they need to pay us. It’s not a favor. Um I don’t know and then they offered us some money we’re like yes, great and as you’re walking out kind figure out you get paid for this like we can build a business by doing this so and we didly build a pretty big business out of that that we ended up selling or merging after a few years.
Alejandro Cremades: So what? what? what was? what was that business because I mean you guys saying that up selling that business before you went into the army. So so what was that business and you know you guys were quite young. So how is that? yeah.
L.D. Salmanson: Oh we were really young. We made. It’s funny. The the amount of stories how many stupid things you did I mean like you do you do stupid things starting companies always because that’s just kind of the the nature of starting companies. You have no idea where you’re doing but add like the fact that you’re 14 or 15 really have no clue what you’re doing so you don’t know what life is like forget what building companies are like so we were complete degenerat um, but that being said, you know we were inquisitive. We liked learning new things. Um, there’s the early days of kind of so right today we don’t really think about hardware but remember. You know back in the day hardware was a big thing you know and spending a lot of time and getting hardware right was really hard so there’s a big business around that what today we call it? Um, and it’s a big you know not really sexy business by the time it was kind of that that sexy forefront of businesses and and the building server farms for you know, large organizations and. We also kind of transitioned to building some websites and things like that. So the time again 90 s websites were cool. Um, so building websites was a big thing and being able to translate them into hebrew at the time which was like a really tough challenge because the the letters are going the wrong direction nobody in html really gave a a crap about what happens in Israel in their lettering system. So. A lot of money doing that and so it was really really great experience. But then 2 things happen one is you have to go to the army in Israel and you never really give a lot of thought to things that happen as a teenager and you never even thought the business would take off but then all of a sudden you have you’re sitting there with a serious business and and you just can’t continue. You just have to go into the army and.
L.D. Salmanson: The army has all these programs that help you if you’re you know you’re an athlete or you know some serious academic. You know you can get deferred or completely or partially right. But there’s nothing for somebody who just runs a company right? You you just have to stop and that’s it. This’s really surreal situation especially in Israel. It was like this high-tech you know beast of a country and all a sudden you know. You’re shutting off innovation at a young age but that is the case so you have to sell the company. Um and we ended up merging down into another company. Um and deploying a business there and it was a good financial outcome for us. So I don’t regret it in that sense because you. Yeah, everything’s life changing every time it happens again. So at the time it was definitely life changing for us but sounds me we wanted to do. It’s something we had to do and just kind of gone through that experience a story of a part of lot of companies I went through my life unfortunately, ah 1718 something like that 18.
Alejandro Cremades: How how old were you guys when you sold the business and what disability did I give you on going through the cycle.
L.D. Salmanson: So I don’t know that it gave us anything because remember you know you’re 18 you’re a moron like you don’t know anything about anything and which is kind of funny because then you go into the army right? So give me a gun if I don’t know how I’m doing right? that makes perfect sense. But um, yeah, of course only an 18 year old is dumb enough to go into the army too right? because.
Alejandro Cremades: Now.
Alejandro Cremades: Right.
L.D. Salmanson: You’re an adult you realize a really horrible idea and you would never do it. But um I didn’t give it much thought right? I didn’t I don’t think any other sale process looks like that because you have to sell not for money. Not right? So it’s very rare that you have a company that generates cash that you just have to sell. Happens when you know the the patriarch dies sometimes and you have to kind of sell it off. But even then you know you could still run the business for a while on its own right? But here there was business. It wasn’t designed to continue on without those people and then we had to. We had to stop it right? So or give it off so I didn’t learn a lot from that. Um. I wish I could even tell you I learned from the mistakes. But I made most of those mistakes at least once or twice again later. So and I’m trying not to make them 4 or 5 times but 2 3 for sure.
Alejandro Cremades: I hear you So then obviously you going to the army you know I’m sure that that gave you great discipline because even though you know it’s painful to go to the Army. You know it’s like a bunch of time you know that that you’re spending there. You know you come Out. You know I heard from other Israelis You know you go as ah. As ah, as ah, you know, kind of like as a boy and you come out as a man. No like out of an experience like that. So I guess you know in your case, you know you finished and and then you actually you know went back at it. You know on the business front. You know with the helping you know with the spinover of an Hr company. So So what was that about.
L.D. Salmanson: I.
L.D. Salmanson: It’s fine I’m gonna tell my commanders in the army that you that you think I learned discipline. There. They’d probably have a different opinion about that. Um, yeah I definitely did at the end but I’d say in the early days. It took me a while to kind of find my stride and I was in a unit. It was very very demanding. 1 of the mostite units of the army and I definitely struggled there in the early you know months trying to define my footing. It took me a while to that discipline problem was because you go to the army you’re like you’re this punk kid and also I had a lot more money than other people that and I thought I thought I knew something about life and. Really appreciate. They’re just ridiculously lucky. Ah, but when you you confuse that luck with you know with something real and there really was it was just very just luck. Um, but yeah, by the time I was I mean I was also a captain at the end spend more time than I had to in a service so I clearly chose to be a little more engaged there. But. But yeah I mean we went to school afterwards way too many degrees between the 2 of us and then um Ben had gone so ah, a good friend of ours. Um with his wife had built this really great company. She started and he joined it. Um and really scaled it up around. You know. Hr but for really highly regulated. Industries. So think you know industries like the the railroad industry aviation. You know those industries have a lot of certification and it really matters who’s allowed into certain places at certain times and there’s a lot of logistics around. You know the the details of that and.
L.D. Salmanson: It’s also a business where the margins are still very small for the operators. So if you screwed something up, you’re you’re losing a lot of money like if the guy showed up late and you get a little fine that fine might erode away the entire you know margin you had on that shift and you’re losing money. So. Um, they’d recognized. They were doing a really good job competing there and they recognized if they built some type of software platform to manage their own internal. You know workloads. You know that somebody leaves for a shift will they get there in time remember this in the year before before we had real good control over you know smartphones and I could tell you where people are exactly the Gps right? So talk about like. Calculating sms messages from the street they’re at or something like that things like that and then what certification they have you know manchaging that in something like salesforce which seems kind of silly to be ah, a novel thing at this point but that was very novel for them back then they did such a good job. They were just winning these massive contracts. Yeah like ticket match. They just really really big contracts. Um, that they ended up spinning off that software into another company and um, we you know Ben was obviously more integral part of that I came to help get that done but it was a really really incredible spinoff. There. The company just unbelievable success and in really regulate industry. You knowlympics you know and in London and the railroad industry right? So’s really really massive success and then and that company was ultimately acquired by a company called bullhorn which is ah a very big hr software company. Um, they used to be owned by inside or side by by vista equity. Yeah when that’s been off started and now they’re owned by by vista.
L.D. Salmanson: Or sorry by inside I should say confusing my private equity firms here but I’m still very very successful spinoff and I’m very very proud of what that team was able to achieve right.
Alejandro Cremades: So it sounds like you were already on this path of um of really pushing you know on the business side again. So you know obviously you were getting like some really nice momentum and and really lessons learned you know, especially from going through another you know story like that. So why? not you know, keep going and and and why did you take like that the hiatish you know to go and do your Mba at wharham.
L.D. Salmanson: Oh so I started saying at 28 I’m retired. It doesn’t sound very well when you say that um people get a really bad visceral reaction when you say you’re retired at 28 it’s not like I was a billionaire at 28 right like we had much more successful exits after that. But it was a lot of money still for me at the time. Obviously everything’s all relative. But um, it I was just ready to retire mentally. Um, but you can’t say that. But if you say you’re going to get an Mba which is essentially retirement wayss. Um, people don’t have oh he’s going to get an Mba that that makes sense in a career progression. Um, and I really wanted to go to wharton my wife was like you know you have to apply and you know write some essays and do all these things like oh yeah, I’ll do all those things like it wasn’t from some maybe maybe there was some hubris but I don’t think it came from the core here I came from actually pure stupidity I had no clue what you needed to do to get into an Mba um, nobody told me I never asked. Anyone. And’t realize how much work you have to do just to apply to an Mba program and I also didn’t realize that I had already missed the first two rounds. So I’m applying third round there are very few seats left and I have to get this gmad and essays all done in like two and a half weeks to to get the deadline. Um so I was extremely lucky again to be able to even get into her and. Um I made the dumb mistake while I was waring to start another company. What I should have done is just spend 2 years at Wharton like everyone else did which is party that would been amazing. Um, it also mean that school’s really easy because if you’re not doing anything else.
L.D. Salmanson: Andbas are not very hard hard to get into but the actual curriculum isn’t usually very hard. It’s usually very interesting. It’s very informative. It’s educating but it’s not designed to be extremely hard. You have to put in some work right? We’re not I mean get some ivy league school ah shit show but like no one’s expecting you like in law school to like you know morning through night you know, reading books I went through that it sucked right. You know, just not expected to work that hard. But um I made the mistake of starting a company. So then it became really hard. It’s also have very little time to do everything but I I did have a makeup session. So my wife went to hbs afterwards for her Mba to Harvard. Um, and that was after we had sold that company so I was basically. Free a lot more time than I had during my imba so I spent a lot of time with her class who are really good friends of mine. Um, some are even investors of ours lottas investor in the last round. So um, really really great people I’m happy I got the the do over over there. But yeah, that’s how I ended up at war and. Um, a really good time honestly, it was a great time at Warren I don’t regret it.
Alejandro Cremades: Yeah I mean the the community there is fantastic. But as you say you know tough to get in. But then you know like once you’re in you know you can just have a good time and and and really enjoy the community there. So so.
L.D. Salmanson: Yeah I mean you can’t completely slack off because Wharton does have like ah an lt designation like the the lower 10% so every single class you have to you know as a professor given lt at the bottom you know to kind of weed it out so it does generate some kind of like bottom pressure that you can’t be the worst in the class. But.
Alejandro Cremades: Yeah, absolutely now now in New York in your case, you know you were talking about green crest capital you know so this is the company that you did you know on the side and you did this.
L.D. Salmanson: Ah, yeah, getting into the hard part.
L.D. Salmanson: And.
Alejandro Cremades: You know, really kind of like under the the umbrella of of night Capital You know I mean that was the the one that you know sponsored you know, pretty much all the funding. So I Guess what were you guys doing there and why did you? you know, get. Just one you know to sponsor the whole thing.
L.D. Salmanson: Yeah, it’s an interesting question think the company didn’t evolve. Um, yeah there there wasn’t a rephraseing. There wasn’t a lot of planning in that company of you know what? what could be multiple visions. There was a really good insight in that the late stage pre- ipo market. And this is an insight that I shared but I didn’t think of first right I joined as a founder essentially to a firm that was kind of getting off its feet. You know in the really early seconds and um, what the concept said is hey. Given that there’s so many pre ipo companies today companies are staying private way longer than they did before remember this is the height of the Facebook Twitter private era and given that today they’re not going public like they used to when they hit that kind of 100000000 ed million mark and there’s so much value here. There’s got to be a way to trade these entities in an earlier stage before they hit the public market and there has to be a need for that at the institutional level because if I’m a fidelity or tiro or Putnam I’m going to buy Facebook at the ipom I have to not just because I want to maybe I want to as well in some of my funds. But. I have to buy it across multiple funds because if I don’t buy a stock at least to its market weight on the index I’m essentially shorting it by definition because I’m getting benchmarked against the s and p so if I don’t have this as part of or S And P Or Nasq whatever your benchmark is or maybe some other more specific one. Whatever I’m benchmarked against and that public you know.
L.D. Salmanson: And that public indicecy is going to have that Ipo. So if I don’t buy that ipo I’m shorting I don’t want to short it I don’t even know if I have opinion about this like so I have to buy my market but here’s the problem when I go to that public offering now for the first time there isn’t enough allocation for all of us. Used to be the case that everybody who wants to get allocation will build a book and get to that number and go raise today. It’s I know how much I’m going to raise upfront. Usually we can go up and down in this range. But and I kind of know what the allocation could be but here we have a situation especially during those years where I couldn’t get my allocation and if I can’t get my allocation. I have to buy this in the private market just so I don’t short it later and you know what it turns out that if I buy in the private market I usually get a discount so I could actually make some money here in the private market in that delta along the way and that was the insight I think was always very true building that is really really hard. Because that means going to companies like Facebook again, it’s not the Facebook of today but it was still a very big company back then and convincing them to work with us to be able to buy shares from them in a programmatic way and then being able to to sell them later on and so there’s a lot of capital required to run that on a day-to-day basis for those aqui these are multi hundredred million dollar acquisitions right? so.
Alejandro Cremades: And.
L.D. Salmanson: There’s a lot of money that’s required to fund that it’s going to be sometimes for very short periods of time so that very much looks like a market making type activity if you think about it from a strategy standpoint. Um, there’s also some other concepts here that we always felt that you know given that there’s enough data this is essentially a data place so we had collected. Ridiculous amounts of data way before anybody thought about data in private I remember Cbi was still a newsletter that came out with chubby brain signed at the bottom and pitchbook was still this platform to so to you know to do online pitchbooks kind of like um like a doc send kind of thing with powerpoint right? So this way before they were collecting form and ds and giving you. Analytics and other companies like us and us were very involved in making pushing them in that right? Direction. So incredible business. They built I wish I wish I was smart enough to invest in those businesses back then not that Cbi would have even been open to a pitchbook probably would have been at the time but wasn’t smart enough to recognize how good they were going to be um so we had a lot of data and a lot of ability to trade that. So. Night capital actually made sense in that context because largest market maker in the world of time I think there probably are still today under the Vertube brand but multiple different m and a along the years for fun reasons. Um, but again, biggest market maker in the world technical and you know. Engineering proress to be able to do almost anything you wanted really good high touch sales team at the top. Amazing leadership up until a certain time and then a company hadn’t lost money a day in its existence for like you know 1520 years so
L.D. Salmanson: Like the most sound capital partner that you could ever want. They understand short-term financing of everything they were excited about our business and they promised a lot of things that made sense so you know but for whatever you know, happened with night down the road I think they would have been an incredible partner but you know sometimes things happen. They are a little out of our control and.
Alejandro Cremades: So then I mean there was an algorithm that they actually you know destroy the whole operation. How is that possible. So.
L.D. Salmanson: Learn a valuable lesson.
L.D. Salmanson: We destroyed the whole stock market on just the operation. Um, yeah, it was um, it’s such a crazy story when you think back I’m still shocked that nobody wrote the book about it. Maybe the people were still afraid to go to Jail but um, it was just really incredible to witnesses at the point of time.
L.D. Salmanson: Think the most visceral memory was you know? Ah, after everything happened I’ll I’ll tell you what happened in a second but after everything happened Tj was yeah the the Ceo and founder in time you sitting on a conference call for a lot of people and I’m sure this pressed it was leaked in somehow because you know it’s always the case in these big things and this is the the height of. Everybody was talking about this over the weekend. It is like over the weekend as the deal’s being fixed before we open on Monday and then everybody’s trying to figure out like who’s how do we fuck it up who’s responsible like who’s yeah and then like I heard it’s a kid. It’s some 24 year old programmers on the call and Tj was like this is on me right. If a 24 year old programmer is trading you know engineering glitch brought down the company. How the hell could that kid be at fault think how many layers of of shit show would have had to be in between you and paraphrasing. Um for that to go wrong. We failed this organization I failed as a leader and there’ll be no, you know, naming and shaming here. This is on us on leadership and. Just incredible lesson in leadership from someone who’s watching his entire life fall apart in front of him everything he worked so hard for like falling apart over a coding glitch and still standing there like taking responsibility just this unbelievable experience I’ll never forget, but um, unfortunately what happened at night is. We were so the way night capital and this is like a lot of quote unquote market makers work is the job is basically to buy the the order flow right? So I want you to do the order flow on our dark pool exchange and maybe I don’t use the word dark pool maybe just call it market maker and given that I all do all the deals here.
L.D. Salmanson: I can close that deal with the the exchange or whatever it is that I’m trading on the other side of the counterparty and still make a little money in between right because I’m basically I’m getting your order a little faster when everybody else is getting their order and I’m kind of clearing those trades a little faster. There’s a great book on it by the way night capitals in that book called Flash Boys. So.
Alejandro Cremades: Yes, great book.
L.D. Salmanson: Anybody Michael Lewis is incredible. Author it’s a really really great book on that. But what happened is yeah we were one of those firms doing everything that that book describes and we had never lost money for a day. That’s why because nobody’s taking risk the the algorithm works. Um, but what happened was that we were getting order flow from the big retail firms like um. Td ameritrade and get code and all the not gett I was a competitor time um like answer those names like so those more retail oriented investment shops so you buy those orders from retail then you sell that you know that data downstream for for those transactions and The New York Stock has exchange would come out with this program where said hey. We don’t want you to route your orders tonight who iin’t route them directly to us. So for a certain number of stocks. We’re go]’’ransact directly with us and not go to night which is willing to give you basically 0 fees because we’re selling your data down street right? That’s that’s how they made money and Knight was like okay. With all due respect to New York Stock Exchange we have more money than the New York stock exchange right? So we can just outbid you on everything and put you put your program out of business and and make you not make any money out of it and they built this ridiculously complex program that was really brilliant when you think about it to you go to Wargan’s New York Stock Exchange right um and it would have been successful. But for the fact that some of the test code was left in by accident when it went live and this program went live with some test code instead of buying a certain number of stocks in a certain way. It was buying the whole market and what happens when you buy the whole market is a you run out of money.
L.D. Salmanson: Pretty fast right? So you get a capital qual from your your capital partners pretty quickly because you’re out of money right? You literally can’t buy anymore. Um, and you also have another problem which is you’re affecting the market. You’re buying enough stuff that you’re you’re changing the entire market trajectory in real time. Um.
Alejandro Cremades: Yeah, yeah.
L.D. Salmanson: And that’s exactly what happened we were hitting circuit breakers the entire market crash. Do you remember 1 those flash crashes it goes like 0 for a millisecond. Well this is this is the one this is how it happened and we got to see that live which was incredible experience then um, after that happened we were in a whole you know, many billions of dollars that we traded back from some of it live which is also pretty incredible story. Maybe that’s what people don’t want to tell but someday people will tell with less legal restrictions around that story maybe um and then we tried to reverse the trades. But unfortunately um, scc kind of said you’re on your own. You know you’re so intertrying with the industry. This isn’t retail min. We get lost kind of figure it out on your own which was ah a tough blow. But I think probably a fair blow in retrospect and they worked so Goldman Sachs bought that book you know something cent on a dollar I don’t remember the exact number and put in money together with Jeffries which just went through their own restructuring. Ah, too long before that so they were really trained at doing that a really great fig bankers really a lot of credit to the Jeffreys and Goldman Sachs bankers who put that package together and then getco merged into that and some money from some of the the retail partners and by Monday morning this whole thing opened up again as a new entity instead of called night capitals called night capital group. Was it. It was a brand new company Monday morning a lot of people walked out of those offices with big brown boxes. Um, but not us we had to sell to another firm unfortunately, but that’s a different story.
Alejandro Cremades: So you guys say sold you know in this case, you know to Oppenheimer but but I’m sure that you know that whole experience really armed you for what you’re doing today. You know what you’re doing today. You know you guys are in this rocket ship. But I guess for the people that are listening to really get it. You know. What is the business model of cherry. How do you guys make money.
L.D. Salmanson: Yeah, so um, we saw a platform that allows large asset managers banks insurance companies and other technology firms to connect all their disparate real estate or spatial data to 1 place to be able to have very advanced insights into either acquiring assets or managing assets. Acquire and we charge our clients for the platform and they have separate fees the data vendors and applications they consume and we charge a saas fee to be able to use that platform to be able to make all that data speak to each other.
Alejandro Cremades: And also you guys have raised quite a bit of money from great people. How much capital have you guys raised in total and what has been that experience like.
L.D. Salmanson: Yeah, so he raised about 75000000 so far. Sorry one suck I’ll reset on that question. So.
L.D. Salmanson: Yeah, so we raised about 75,000,000 so far. Um, one thing I’ll say it’s a lot easier to raise money as a repeat founding team. Um I’m not sure that the statistics say that a second time founder is more successful than the first. But I’m pretty sure that if you’ve succeeded twice the likehood of being a successful third and for you tends to be very high right? So if you’re able to build the the initial 0 to one successfully multiple times you clearly know how to do that. You may never be able to take it from one to a hundred or from or usually it’s 0 to 2 to ten ten to Hundred we’re in that 10 to 100 range right now as a company but um, usually if you can do 0 to 1 a few times. There’s a pattern recognition and I think that vcs. They won’t say this right? they’ll they’ll give you some really long cynical smart answer because they are smart people and there’s more truth than what I’m oversimplifying to death right now but at its core fundraising is is very very simple vcs want to hear this is massive. It’s going to change the world right. Why because if it doesn’t change the world. A I don’t care. We’re not going to make enough money right? It’s a proxy for how much money you need to make because in vc land right? if I have ah to be a top quartile fund after it turn 3 4 x on capital so if I raise the $100000000 fund just to be in that top quartile I have to return at least 30400 to my.
L.D. Salmanson: Investors and if by the time I get to an exit if I’m an early stage investor I only have what on average 10% you know holding it you know early? Maybe I had twenty five thirty and I dilued myself down 10 because at some point I can’t follow I don’t have enough capital to do that delay around so that exit has to be I have to have at least three four billion dollars in exits. Just to return $100000000 fund and be able to raise my next fund. That’s really really hard to do because how many three four billion dollars worth of exits are there so that’s not an easy thing to achieve and most of my my most of my portfolio is going to be right offs anyway. So I only care about something that could be massively successful so it has to change the world. You know, maybe not some altruistic change the world necessarily but has to change the world I also need to be able to answer is this gonna be something that the Vc is Goingnna go home and tell their friends about meaning it’s interesting. There’s a there’s a story to be told here and I know that sounds stupid cynical but I promise you it’s correct. If a Vc walked home and told his wife or his partner or their friends at the bar. Yeah yeah, hear this company I taught I met them yesterday. They’re working on this really really cool thing. So um, my my buddy works on this thing that’s growing insects to be able to replace proteins um to be able to be fed um to other types of livestock. Let’s say chickens right? So. Chickens are buying a lot of proteins and that’s ridiculously expensive and also it’s destroying the the environment and he’s a staunch capitalist. You know, sold the company very successfully and says yeah I want to fix the world but I’m a staunch capitalist I want to put money into these insects that are and replace protein I’m going to grow them in India because it’s stupid cheaps I can actually grow this protein cheaper than the proteins are today and I’m saving earth.
L.D. Salmanson: Same time. That’s really cool that you’re changing the world. It’s unbelievable story. It’s impressive I’m also going to be able to go home and tell I just told you about it right? All the listeners are here about this cool idea. It’s a really really cool. You know concept. You know how how incredible they are changing the world and so that test matters right? because if I to come home and like I met this company. Don’t really care to tell you about it’s just not that interesting to tell you about I’m not going to invest in that right? So it has to have that that element of ah of a story is as well and I have to believe that you this founders are going to will this shit into existence right? because is the hardest thing to do in the world I mean I’m sure the roofing in July and August as Bill Bur would say is probably harder. But. It’s a really really hard job to build a successful company and hire people and scale it and I have to believe that this person or people are going to will this into existing against all odds if you could answer those 3 checkbox though you could raise capital and you could be anyone you could be of any you know ethnicity race color creed like. Religion if you can answer these 3 questions where I think you’re going to change the world. It’s that massive of way a lot of things go wrong. I’m not asking that if everything went well, you’re going to be able to change the world and it is gonna be something cool that I want to tell my friends about how interesting this is and I believe that you can will this shit into existence. You can raise money and you. You have to tell that story still right? I don’t change on that I obviously really believe in it. But um, it’s easier to tell that story when you’ve built a few companies in your past. So we’ve been very fortunate um to bring a pretty eclectic group of really really smart investors some on the hardware side of the house who can kind of think about.
L.D. Salmanson: Building compute platforms that have done that for many many years um some on more of the data side of the house who’ve been building high frequencyqu trade data excuse me platforms for many years um some of our board members as well. You know built data companies are part of building capital iq and you know blackstone’s technology arm and. Or Julie over you know, president of of Microsoft’s development division. So people who really understand data really understand building really influentially massive companies. Um and companies that are also really hard and complex to build right? So the building cherry is an extremely complex problem. Um. It’s not one of those things where you just kind of swip some code together and put in a frontend it works and we have to build relationships with you know, hundreds of data and application vendors that are very very complex from a business standpoint and from a technical standpoint. We have to build ways of getting data consistently out of all those places and and a lot of challenges. Into 1 place and resolve that data to each other and we have to make that data accessible and all that has to happen really really fast, right? So it’s a really really hard organization to build both from the business standpoint and a technical standpoint. Um, so I’m extremely appreciate of the partners that we have along the way. Um, and obviously the.
Alejandro Cremades: So in terms of vision that you know you shared with him you know with with with with them with all the investors with employees with anyone else that you’ve onboarded. You know, let’s let’s talk about here The future. Let’s say you were to go to sleep tonight and you were to wake up in a world where the vision of Cherry is fully.
L.D. Salmanson: Cliche but we couldn’t done it without them.
Alejandro Cremades: Realized what does that world look like.
L.D. Salmanson: Yeah, so um, it’s funny that you say because we drew that on a napkin in 2018. We’re working our way to that right? So unlike previous companies where maybe some of them kind of evolved this one. We gave a lot of thought to when we started. We really wanted um, real estate to look like financial services right? So the same. Same idea where I can know think about you and I you arguing about where Apple stock was yesterday. You’d say well you know, alllthough you’re mad I’ll just go look at the ticker and that’s the number you know that you can have an opinion. Great. But I don’t care. Um, that’s real estate I just described real estate too. We’re arguing about where Apple stock was yesterday because nobody knows. Um, so there are a lot of core challenges in our industry. So but if you can wave a magic wand and and deliver on our vision. Um, all data is ubiquitously connected and uniformly delivered to client. So that means that I can go to 1 place and answer all those complex real estate questions and make all that past you know completely. Uniform acrossand so that becomes commoditized the ticker data quote unquote and then on top of that you start seeing this emergence of alternative data within the real estate industry so real estate. It’s core is understanding what availability of capital what the demographics look like and trying to find the arbitrage is there right? So once all that becomes commoditized. Now. It’s what other data can I bring can I bring in car data can I bring in you know foot traffic data can I bring in weather patterns or what type of stores are opening up and maybe that will give me all the indication right? all that advanced type of information gets really cool and then you start building models on top of that but buying and selling real estate becomes less and less of a storytelling business.
L.D. Salmanson: And becomes a lot more of ah hey I know what I feel about those assets you know like some of the sfr folks who are buying assets in real-time or close to real time at least in our industry. Um and having this really a data-driven Environment. So if we did everything right? real estate looks like financial services. Technology Infrastructure. You start seeing exchanges you start seeing advanced data platforms buying that you start seeing quote Unquote Hedge funds. Um, you know heavily involved in this industry and in buying you know, based on data. Um, and you see Cherry at the base of all.
Alejandro Cremades: I Love it. So um, so to wrap it up here I Want to ask you? You know the last question is you know if I was to put you into a time machine and I bring you back in time to that moment that maybe you were like I don’t know I think that on the 14 year old side of things you probably were a little bit young so you wouldn’t Listen. You know our younger self. Don’t listen that much. But let’s say to that moment where you were coming out of the army thinking about you know what will be next you know maybe getting into business. Maybe even starting your own your next company and you were able to give that younger Ld ah a piece of advice for starting a business. What would that be and why given what you know now.
L.D. Salmanson: Yeah, it’s interesting I’m really bad at giving advice I don’t even listen my own advice that I give most of the time. So it’s take it for what it’s worth. Um I think everything’s risk in life and I think most people are petrified from taking risk are about taking risk and. The reason is there’s a massive stigma of failure in your mind because in your mind if you tried something and failed at it. You’re a failure and you’re embarrassed and your friends will laugh at you and your family will be upset that you maybe lost some other money that you collected. Um nobody will ever remember your failures. Ever. They only remember your successes so long as you have successes. Um, and if you try enough, you’ll succeed just the way the world works and my core belief is that willingness to take risk is a number 1 differentiator from of founders and non-founders. That’s all it is just a willingness to take risk and I appreciate. That’s a very privileged statement to say because a lot of people can’t take risk. So even if they wanted to. They can’t they come from backgrounds where they’re supporting their families or their educational environment doesn’t you know, tell them they can do that or they from you know, abject poverty right? there. There are a lot of reasons why somebody can’t take risk and surely can’t take risk to to an equal degree as I’ve been able to so I feel very privileged and and fortunate to be able to do that but still for anybody who’s in a position where you can take risk I would highly recommend that you do so nobody will hold those failures against you so long as you succeed down the road only your success is.
L.D. Salmanson: Should liberate you and understand that investors who give you money are being paid to take risk. That’s okay, let them pay to take the risk and you take their risk for them and always be honest and open about that journey and even in your failure. You will be successful in the long so have fun.
Alejandro Cremades: I Love it So Ld for the people that are listening that will love to reach out and say hi. What is the best way for them to do so okay.
L.D. Salmanson: I. So if you want to see me shit posting. That’s probably Twitter nothing smart I will ever say on Twitter um, but I’m there at at sits that SysstepsYSTEp you can also just look up my name on Linkedin. Follow me, there. Mostly charts and graphs about things is about data that interest me.
Alejandro Cremades: Amazing. Well Hailie thank you so much for being on the deal maker show today. It has been an honor to have you with us.
L.D. Salmanson: Thanks for having me it Wass great! Thank you.
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