The Robot Brains Podcast


Mike Volpi on why VCs are investing record amounts into AI startups

Season 1, Ep. 14

In episode 14 of The Robot Brains Podcast we sit down and chat with Mike Volpi of Index Ventures. Index is one of the largest and best known VC firms in Silicon Valley. Mike joined Index Ventures in 2009, helping to establish the firm's San Francisco office which has become one of the largest parts of their business today. Mike invests primarily in infrastructure, open-source, and artificial intelligence companies and he's currently on the boards of Aurora, Cockroach Labs, Confluent, Elastic, Kong, Sonos, Starburst, Wealthfront, and Covariant. He has been involved in the funding of some of the biggest AI companies on the planet, so he knows more about the business of AI than practically anyone. In his chat with our host, Pieter Abbeel, Mike explains what a VC does, why VCs and investors should be so excited about AI in particular, and gives his advice for startups who want to get their big idea funded. Host: Pieter Abbeel | Executive Producers: Ricardo Reyes & Henry Tobias Jones | Audio Production: Kieron Matthew Banerji | Title Music: Alejandro Del Pozo

More Episodes


Mike Fisher of Etsy talks AI and E-commerce

Season 2, Ep. 2
In the second episode of Season Two of The Robot Brains, Pieter Abbeel interviews the Chief Technology Officer of Etsy, Mike Fisher. Etsy is a global online marketplace, where people come together to make, sell, buy, and collect unique items. It was founded in 2005 as an accessible listing site for DIY crafters and artists to sell their wares before blossoming into a widely-respected and mainstream online shopping site.It still maintains its whimsical brand balanced by its listing on the NASDAQ and in 2021, it generated an impressive $1.7B in revenue. The CEO recently shared with Forbes that he's determined to keep growing bigger. One of his strategies? Using AI and machine-learning to keep improving the 1:1 selling and buying experience its so well-known for.Mike sat down with Pieter to share the transformation the site has gone through starting with rebuilding its search engine capabilities all the way to designing more intelligent algorithms to provide better and more accurate recommendations. With the same number of items equivalent to 2500 grocery stores and inventory that changes every day, the site processes a lot of data!Mike shares how Etsy manages it all and continues to innovate in the e-commerce space.| SUBSCRIBE TO THE ROBOT BRAINS PODCAST TODAY | Visittherobotbrains.aiand follow us on YouTubeTheRobotBrainsPodcast, Twitter@therobotbrains, and Instagram@therobotbrains.| Host: Pieter Abbeel | Executive Producers: Alice Patel & Henry Tobias Jones | Audio Production: Kieron Matthew Banerji | Title Music: Alejandro Del Pozo