Originally from Hungary, Csaba studied economics which basically led him to explore the world of investments. He is fortunate enough to have built and managed 3 hedge funds to date. Around the 2012 – 13 mark, he came to the realization that public markets are being dominated by quants and computers. He shifted his focus to private markets – due to the inherent inefficiencies owing to them being extremely fragmented.
“I’ve made about 25 tech and tech-enabled investments,” which led him to meet Blair along the way. Along with their third partner, they “automate(d) access to private markets, investment opportunities.”
COVID a Catalyst for Multiple Businesses
Csaba simply went ahead and shared how it is, “insanely fortunate timing for us because we can help so many entrepreneurs by providing alternative funding sources to them. So typically, when you see volatility and sort of economic downturn, and when unemployment rises, traditional sort of investors who don’t have dynamic real-time data access, they might become more conservative and just tighten their investing or lending standards. And basically, since we build dynamic access to data so we can evaluate and monitor the performance of companies in real-time. We’re able to be a lot more advantageous and provide funding to various businesses. So it’s not only great for us, but I think this is also great for a wider entrepreneurial community out there”
Hedge Fund and Investment Banking – The Evolved World
When asked about raising funds via Zoom and whether raising funds would have to go back to the “old normal” Csaba stated that technology is creating a lot of efficiencies in our daily life.
“So I was just having a chat with a friend of mine. I said, ‘Look, I think the number of coffee meetings I’m going to be taking in the future is going to decrease dramatically’; at least coffee meetings for business purposes because I can be just as effective through a Zoom call or Google hangout call. And I don’t have to commute anywhere, and I don’t need to drink any more coffee. Still, I’m going to enjoy taking coffee meeting socially, etc.”
He also acknowledges that onsite due diligence is not the same as conducting it through online calls.
“So either processes from large allocators and investors have to change, and I think that will be governed by fear of missing out, Supply/Demand of opportunities, and their own mandates.”
In such a situation dynamic ongoing monitoring of any private investment will reduce the need for more in-person and onsite interaction. So monitoring information can be done remotely.
Efficiencies in Capital Raising for Young Entrepreneurs
“This pandemic is more of an amplifier and it amplifies the good and bad.”
Investors would be more selective, however, there would be little to no change to businesses that are pre-revenue stage. Money is still chasing new ideas in his opinion and companies that are growing faster will garner more attention. As investors are looking for sure bets in this momentum-driven market.
Managing Remote Teams
Csaba aptly states that the pool for finding talent has significantly increased. As long as you can manage time zones and preferably have them overlap, you are good. Clear instructions in writing, checking in constantly with the team, be detail-oriented, and document everything along the way even include happy hours and game nights, would keep the team motivated and works wonderfully.
He leaves off saying, “This is where we have significant muscle memory.”