[S1,E5] Sitting on both sides of the table. Angel investor and founder of Fabric builds interest driven discovery network

In today’s episode I am very happy to be joined by Jon Vlassopulos — angel investor, entrepreneur and founder of Fabric — a platform to discover new movies, shows and songs with people who share your taste. This week, Jon also launched Fab.fm — a platform to build and share music playlists in the simplest and easiest way. Jon has spent majority of his career in the film and music industry, gaining experience in Asia, the UK and the US. Now, he is an angel investor and runs his own startups in San Francisco.

Does Jon see himself more as an investor or as an entrepreneur? Why connecting through interests and tastes is more fun than connecting through friends? How much of the knowledge that he shares with founders does he implement into his own businesses? Does being an investor give him extra credibility when raising money for his startups? What advice does he give to startup founders, being able to actually wear both hats? We talk about these and other amazing topics as we admire the stunning view of San Francisco downtown.

Time stamps:

[column size=one_half position=first ]– Entrepreneur vs. Investor 0:25
– About Fabric 1:18
– About Fab.fm 4:46
– Earlier career 7:39
– Marketing and getting first users 15:05
– Raising money while being an investor 17:57[/column]
[column size=one_half position=middle ]– Tip #1 for startup founders 19:58
– Raising money for Fabric 23:26
– Investing in female founded startups 25:30
– How to reach out to an angel investor 29:31
– Tip #2 for startup founders 31:36
– Plans for Fabric 33:49[/column]


Here are a couple of highlights from the interview:

  • Jon suggests that social networks have lost their charm in sharing interests between people:

    “We all started a number of years ago with social networks based around people (…) As both these networks [Facebook and Twitter] have grown, and people have onboarded more and more people, the signal of interest has been dilluted.”

  • It may be worth considering releasing a product on a browser only instead of creating an app for it:

    “There is an obsession with apps (…) We want to test the extension of Fabric in a browser, see if we can do a swipe in a browser, and then see how it works.”

  • Social networks became too noisy:

    “I think right now there is a little bit of frustration with Twitter. There is a lot of noise, so people want personalization, higher value.”

  • Investors pay attention to whether you are really head over heels about your product and your business:

    “Having a perspective and being very passionate about whatever you are doing — I think investors recognize that. Obviously, as an entrepreneur, you got to be really driven by what you’re doing.”

  • It’s worth to know the background of each investor that founders are reaching out to:

    “Do your research on who looks at what from an investment perspective (…) Do your homework in the beginning and investors will respect that.”

  • The amount of help may not go in line with the amount of money being invested:

    “Some of the smallest investors have been the most helpful. It is not necessarily the biggest check that is the biggest help.”

  • Female founders need stronger representation:

    “In the Valley, where we are investing in the markets worldwide, women are underrepresented and I don’t think it’s a good thing (…) I hope we can connect and strengthen numbers.”

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