The Berkshire of Software, with Savneet Singh – [Invest Like the Best, EP.79]

My guest this week is another in a recent series of people that makes me want to work harder, learn more, and do more for others. His name is Savneet Singh, and he has already accomplished a remarkable amount in the worlds of business and investing. He’s preferred to keep a bit of a low profile, but I’m hoping, for everyone’s sake, to change that a little bit (so see the show notes for where you can read him and follow him). Follow him on twitter here.

Savneet has invested in unique things like Spanish real estate, famous startups like Uber, cryptocurrencies before they were cool, and even websites. He founded and built a fintech company. And now, he both a partner at the wide-ranging investment firm CoVenture, with my previous guest Ali Hamed, and the co-founder of Tera Holdings, which is trying to become the Berkshire Hathaway of software companies.

To say this conversation is wide-ranging is an understatement. What’s neat is that my favorite parts aren’t even on investing, but are instead on principles for living.

Savneet is one of the best people I’ve met in this journey. I’ve had several other conversations with him with shockingly low overlap with the one you are about to hear—a testament to his active and curious mind. I hope you enjoy learning from him as much as I have.

 

Links Referenced

Ali Hamed podcast episolde

The VERY simple bear case for bitcoin

Owl Mountain

 

Books Referenced

Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist

The Gorilla Game: Picking Winners in High Technology

 

Show Notes

2:30 – (First Question) – How Savneet started thinking about Spanish real estate.

 

4:29 – Why Airbnb could be the most impactful and interesting of the companies like this

 

5:25 – Savneet’s early entrepreneurial ventures

 

6:42 – His big investing influences

7:02 – Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist

 

7:40 – What did Savneet learn in his two years on the sell-side of Wall Street

 

8:50 – How the financial crisis impacted Savneet

 

10:11 – The entrepreneurial journey and GBI

 

11:40 – Savneet’s observations on the FinTech space and investing in it

 

14:59 – How we can use FinTech to get into an actual new business

 

16:22 – His thoughts on venture capital style investing

 

18:36 – Transition out of GBI into his partnership with Ali Hamed

 

20:46 – What Savneet took from his tennis career

 

22:13 – The impactful things that his parents did for him

 

23:23 – How Savneet thinks about justice in his life

 

24:39 – Most memorable trip Savneet took

 

25:50 –  Why you have to take action

 

26:19 – Why value investing struck a chord with Savneet

 

27:22 – How culture plays an important role in the compounding companies he would invest in

 

28:14 – Defining the proper long-term mindset when starting a company

 

29:44 – Back to culture of successful compounding companies

 

31:21 – Knowing what he knows now, what does he think about Berkshire today

 

33:22 – The strategy behind Terra and how it came together

 

35:00 – His checklist for deciding to invest in a firm

 

37:31 – How do they think about the defensibility of the companies they invest in

 

39:58 – The importance of cyclicality in the customer base of companies they invest in

 

41:38 – Why does Savneet think this is the space he wants to remain in for the long-term

 

44:39 – How they are thinking about pricing a company they invest in

 

47:03 – Lessons learned in sales and marketing that he can and will bring to the software world

 

52:05 – What Savneet has learned from Constellation

 

54:39 – What does Savneet’s funnel for bringing in new companies look like

 

56:31 – What helps to drive a lot of conversion for them

 

59:08 – What lessons has Savneet learned about taxes in their company structure

 

1:00:32 – How does Terra think about diversification

 

1:02:13 – How they think about capital sourcing

 

1:05:08 – His balanced view on crypto as an asset class

1:05:18 – The VERY simple bear case for bitcoin

 

1:09:45 – Savneet shares the Sikh philosophy with Patrick

 

1:11:43 – What Sikh traditions does Savneet take part in and what are their significance to him

 

1:13:21 – A look at Owl Mountain

1:15:59 – The Gorilla Game: Picking Winners in High Technology

 

1:16:42 – Any other areas that people are underestimating

 

1:17:22 – Kindest thing anyone has done for Savneet