Aumni Spotlight: Maggie Po, VP of Data Operations
Our latest Aumni Spotlight is all about Maggie Po, VP of Data Operations. In this Q&A, she discusses her professional journey—including the unique perspective she has gained as an entrepreneur and founder of several companies. She also offers her advice to VCs looking to adopt new technology to propel their business forward, and she shares her take on Aumni’s core values including which value resonates most with her and why.
Q: Can you share a bit about your professional background and what led you to Aumni?
I came to Aumni as an accountant and data analyst by training, having spent the first half of my career in the role of CFO or Head of Finance at both corporate and startup companies. After those early successes, I decided to be more thoughtful and more courageous about what I was capable of achieving. In response, I started a management consultancy, an outsourcing company, and a promotional products business away from the hustle and bustle of big city living. In the four years that followed, I shifted from finance to operations, juggling three different types of businesses while keeping all of them profitable. This leadership and business experience led me to focus on building organizations for startups that needed to scale quickly.
In 2018, I met Tony (Lewis, Aumni Co-founder and CEO) and Kelsey (Chase, Aumni Co-founder and President) through a shared acquaintance in the VC ecosystem. At that time, Aumni was still in stealth mode and hadn’t yet built the full product application. I was invited to source and manage a team that would drive the entry of transactional data into the Aumni data architecture at the highest data fidelity possible. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity; the vision that Tony and Kelsey shared and the opportunity they proposed -- to help build an entirely new way of analyzing and aggregating private market data -- was too good to pass up.
I am extremely lucky and honored to have seen Aumni grow from a four-person team to hundreds of employees. Early on, when there were very few of us, I helped the leadership team manage the books, being an accountant by training. As Aumni’s organization expanded, my role became more focused on building and managing the data operations team. I’m proud to say that at the start of 2021, I took an indefinite founder’s leave from my own companies and joined Aumni full-time to manage the data team I assembled to empower Aumni’s business objectives.
Q: As a founder of multiple start-up companies, you have a unique perspective on the VC space, and how VCs work with startups. Can you share what you find to be most exciting about Aumni's technology? How does it enhance the VC/founder relationship?
In the last decade, data analytics have been changing the way most companies ideate and operate, but we haven’t had much progress in the VC space until recently, thanks to companies like Aumni. The VC space can surely benefit from a much more meticulous and organized approach to data. I’m proud of the role my team plays at Aumni and our relationship to modernizing the collection and analysis of private capital market data. Our work lies at the forefront by taking what is already available in the market (i.e. our customer’s executed legal documents), extracting key data points and leveraging AI software to structure them in our proprietary data analytics engine, and then presenting the information to customers in a much more organized and insightful format.
As a result, our VC customers can access their unique portfolio metrics and view aggregate market data for comparison, which is a unique and powerful capability of our platform. This highly efficient data analytics engine allows our customers to act with information that benefits all parties -- we can answer questions and explore benchmarks in ways that haven’t been possible.
Q: Can you describe your responsibilities as VP of Data Operations?
I manage the team that is responsible for the data fidelity of the thousands of deal transactions that are entered into Aumni’s data system. We do this by carefully extracting various data points from our customer’s legal documents and optimizing our system’s capability of running fidelity audits. Simply put, my team is the human component in the AumniSphere model, with the other end being our proprietary AI-enabled software. It is an exciting, authentically rewarding, and quite challenging role because our technology continues to evolve, and we are always making sure that we are at the top of our game while keeping the work-life balance of each of our team members at the forefront.
Q: What makes Aumni's data model unique?
There has been shared sentiment in the VC space regarding the lack of access to organized market data around VC deals. Aumni is addressing that challenge. On behalf of our customers, we have analyzed and structured thousands of anonymized data points from executed legal contracts to provide insights into their portfolios and the broader trends found in deals across the venture capital space. The best part? This information can be evaluated and explored in Aumni’s application with the utmost ease and confidentiality.
Q: What advice would you give to Aumni customers as the private market begins to adopt new technologies, like Aumni's?
I believe that a data-driven approach can positively impact the investment process and the validation of an investment thesis, so I would say that I think they’ve already made the first great step by leveraging Aumni technology. While nothing can completely replace diligence and relationship-building skills, data can ground those skills in accuracy and can make the time spent much more efficient, which frees everyone involved to focus on innovation and growth.
Q: Which of Aumni's five core values resonate most with you and why?
The first value we chose collectively as a company is Put on Your Oxygen Mask because it enables us to exercise the other four. For me personally, I am all about No Mediocrity. To practice No Mediocrity means setting consistent expectations about quality, which in turn allows me to take care of myself, to show up and care for my team, to act with integrity in all my dealings, and to be a force multiplier in and out of the office.
Striving to be the better version of ourselves creates a continuous, active, and positive momentum. I am a firm believer in self-motivation and Aumni has successfully developed a working environment that fosters that. Acknowledging and appreciating excellence fuels self-motivation, and this can only happen when you practice No Mediocrity in all that you do.