While The Durant Company has made about 30 investments to date, Kleiman and Durant were hesitant to call it a VC firm. Instead they likened it to a private equity fund that takes stakes in startups like Postmates, but also hospitality companies and really anything that the duo thinks would be a good investment.
The pair declined to say if there were any outside LPs or investors in The Durant Company, but said that Durant understands the risk associated with startups and “isn’t putting 50 percent of his net worth” into the sector. Most Angel investments are between 50,000 – 250,000, with Series A investments typically being $250,000 – $2 million.
“We’d never have been introduced to a drone startup in Oklahoma City.”
When asked how moving to San Francisco from Oklahoma City has changed how Durant does business, he explained that the best part of living in San Francisco is being entrenched in the tech world.
Investors and founders come to all of the Warriors games and being in the Bay Area has introduced the pair to a whole new group of companies to invest in that have elevated The Durant Company’s portfolio. “We’d never have been introduced to a drone startup in Oklahoma City,” they quipped.
Kleiman usually handles the incoming deal flow, and the two only invest in companies that make products they “could utilize in their own lives,” or otherwise have a really impressive executive team.
And, as you may expect, The Durant Company doesn’t chase startups. “If a startup doesn’t take us seriously, or doesn’t see the benefits of a strategic partnership, we don’t feel the need to chase a deal down,” explained Kleiman. “It needs to feel natural from both sides.” Although Kleiman said they broke their own rule once, when a famous VC, whom he declined to name but called “the Michael Jordan of startup investing,” told him he had to pitch the founder and get a stake in a certain company.
At one point in the talk Durant was asked to explain what happened on Twitter yesterday when his account tweeted some negative things about his former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder. Because the tweets were written in the third person, some thought that Durant had meant to post the tweets from a second account.
Without acknowledging that he uses separate Twitter accounts, Durant said he regretted taking it too far and “childishly” calling out his former coach. But at the same time, Durant said in general he loves using Twitter to engage with fans, and doesn’t regret “clapping back” and defending himself.