[00:02:00] BEN: Thank you for joining us today….We’re gathering members once a month around the topic that generates genuine conversations and a lively debate. It’s very open. It’s like an Ask Me Anything type of thing.
[00:04:00] BEN: So the topic today is love and money in 2021…we’ve managed something that is a bit more LP friendly.
So quickly, who is Sheel Mohnot? Sheel’s the co-founder of Better Tomorrow Ventures in San Francisco. They are a $75 million fund that leads pre-seed and seed rounds and fintech companies globally. On top of that he’s on the investment committee for the Catalyst Fund – an initiative to support entrepreneurs, building financial solutions for the underserved in India, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, and South Africa – and a general partner of the fund that started FinTech funds.
But that’s not all. Sheel was also on the livestream show of the Zoom Bachelor of a two series 12 female contestants were in various challenges to win Sheel’s heart over while it was being live streamed. Yeah. So Zoom Bachelor was mostly for fun and laughs, over only a few weeks, the show fundraised almost $97K for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
[00:05:00] BEN: That’s my introduction for you Sheel, tell us a bit more about yourself, your work and what you’re up to in 2021.
[00:05:21] SHEEL: Thanks for that wonderful intro. Let’s see, I’m in beautiful Mexico. I’m in Todos Santos Mexico right now. Just getting away. It’s been obviously quite a year, the past year. I mostly stayed put in my place. I live in San Francisco most of the time and I’m really excited for 2021. Hopefully it’ll be better than 2020! In terms of what I do, last year I spent a lot of the year fundraising for the fund. Took about six months to raise the money.
It’s been, you know, it’s been an interesting time to raise. We raised primarily during the pandemic, which itself was a little bit weird, but actually it wasn’t that bad. Most people say, you know, when you raise a fund, you’re on a plane all the time, traveling around the country, in the world. I didn’t have to do that. I lucked out 😉
[00:06:29] BEN: I was wondering actually how that was in it’s part of the thing that we’re to discuss with you today is how you make this relationship of online dating for money. Working, you know, if you had for us, I hope we can talk about it because you had to date those LPs to get their fund.
And I guess that you have startups, founders, you know, sort of dating you online now to get your money as well.
[00:06:51] SHEEL: Yeah. Everything, everything is happening via Zoom now.
[00:06:57] BEN: You managed to close the fund in six months without traveling. Tell us a bit more, like I mentioned that it’s pre-seed seed, in the FinTech space. Anything more you want to say about what is exciting, you know, in that space for you currently like in 2021 again? [00:07:16] SHEEL: We invest sort of globally, anything in FinTech. And when we say FinTech, we take a pretty broad view. So there’s a lot of stuff like vertical SaaS applications that we think will add payments and lending in the future.
So think about something, if you’re a small business owner, let’s say you own a yoga studio, there’s some software you’re going to use to manage your studio. It’s going to have scheduling, payments, marketing and other stuff. And we think that this product is actually at its core offers a lot of value in financial services.
So we’re particularly excited about these like business-in-a-box businesses for small businesses. Aside from that, I think everybody’s excited about FinTech infrastructure. We’ve seen pretty good exits recently, particularly Plaid, although that may not go through, it was a $5.3 billion exit. That’s supposed to happen to Visa.
[00:08:00] The U S government may block it, for competitive reasons. They basically say it’ll give Visa a monopoly, which I don’t believe, frankly, but it is what it is. Maybe the new administration will be different..
[00:08:58] So I think there’s an entire generation of FinTech products yet to be built and they need this infrastructure to build on top of. And so we’re really excited to invest in this infrastructure.
[00:09:12] BEN: What are the typical sort of ticket size? Again, I’m not going to speak only about this, but I really want to get a sense of what is it that you’re building now with this new fund? So what is the typical ticket size that you’re doing?
[00:09:28] SHEEL: …round sizes of up to three and a half million. So we’re looking for at least 10% ownership done.
[00:10:22] BEN: Anything crazy that you’re seeing, you know, in your space, because let’s be honest FinTech – and the previous guests we had, you know, a month ago, I was working with Klarna in the U S and we were telling her banks are boring, they don’t look cool and doing good, you know?
So is there anything really sexy and exciting in that space that you can tell us about? You know, maybe a company we should watch and invest in?
[00:10:50] Yeah. I mean, what’s exciting is in America, people are so financially unsavvy, there’s a lack of education.
You know, people spend all the money they have and then some it’s happening elsewhere too in Europe. But I think more so here. So I think one of the things that’s exciting is not having to think about money. If your paycheck comes in and you don’t have to pay any bills, they’re automatically paid for you and any debt you have, we automatically pay based on which ones you should be paying off first, highest interest first or whatever.
And so I think that future is very close and I’m excited to see it.
[00:11:00] BEN: Got it. When talking about FinTech, I have to ask about Bitcoin. Any insights to share with us? Do we believe JP Morgan is going to be 140K at some point this year?
[00:12:00] SHEEL: Nobody can really say. And in fact, them putting out that statement makes it more likely to be true because then everybody’s listening to it and buying Bitcoin. I own Bitcoin and I am excited about it as a stored value, as a hedge. I think a lot of the use cases that people have been talking about for years have not materialized yet. And the more excitement there is about it, the more likely it is to be the stored value.
So, I’m long Bitcoin. But I do think it’s weird that now 10 years into its life, we still don’t have very many great use cases for crypto.
[00:12:51] DAN: What do you mean, I buy all my drugs with it?
[00:12:56] SHEEL: Actually that’s an interesting point, Dan. So I think we need to build a payments network, like in our lifetime, there haven’t been that many payments, new payments networks. So there were the card networks, Visa and MasterCard, like 50, 60 years ago. And then there was a new card called Discover, launched in the 80s and Discover is an interesting one because it became very popular.
It’s the 3rd largest card network in the U S and what they had was they offered for the first time rewards on your card. So when you swiped, you got money back. They offered lending and they offered exclusivity and exclusivity is actually the most important thing. And I’m going to tie this back to drugs.
So, the reason that the Discover card made sense was that the world’s largest retailer at that time was Sears and Discover was the only way to pay electronically at Sears. So if you wanted to shop at Sears and use a card, you had to use a Discover card. So now, Dan, what you’re saying is, “Hey, I want to buy drugs on the internet.”
[00:14:10] And the only way I could drive up and buy drugs on the internet is crypto. So what you said is actually relevant, makes sense; exclusivity is really important.
[00:14:28] BEN: I’m pretty sure a lot of the first users of Bitcoin were actually, you know, doing it to buy stuff online, whether it’s legal or not. I’m also wondering in terms of what you see in Europe. What’s exciting in that space in Europe? Like in the money, payments, FinTech space.
[00:15:00] Yeah, one thing that’s interesting is the regulations are so different in Europe. In fact, the regulations are actually more friendly to FinTechs in Europe. So you see all these neobanks started in Europe and now we have a few in the US but the way they make money in the US is very different.
They’re not actually licensed banks. N26, Monzo and Revolut did really well for a long time. Now they’re not doing as well. There’s actually a big difference between the neobanks in Europe and the US; in the US the entire goal of the bank is to become your primary card.
So basically they don’t give a shit about you unless you are the primary card. And the way you measure a primary card is if that’s where your direct deposits go from your job. So Chime is entirely focused on getting direct deposits, but N26, Monzo and Revolut are often a secondary card.
So you use it for travel, for example, and in 2020 there just wasn’t that much travel. So those guys all got hammered. But the ones in the US as a primary bank account actually have done really well because the competition is going to a bank branch, nobody’s going into a fricking bank branch.
So Chime did really well, Current did really well, but N26 Monzo and Revolut didn’t didn’t do as well. Hopefully this year things will get better, a lot more people traveled… It didn’t answer your question though. I’m still excited about a lot of the infrastructure stuff that we have here.
[00:17:00] It is more challenging because in Europe, you know, you have the EU, many people like to start building in the UK. So there are different regulatory frameworks to deal with. But I think that a lot of the infrastructure that is currently being built will be useful for the next wave of FinTech companies to build on.
[00:17:16] BEN: Got it. I wanted to ask earlier, just quickly, are there crypto’s that we should be looking at so we can, you know, leverage the next wave, like Ethereum or other things.
SHEEL: I personally only have Bitcoin and Ethereum.
[00:17:50] DAN: 60% Bitcoin, 20% Cordano 10% Ether and 10% Celsius. Sheel, how’s that sound? Am I on the money?
SHEEL: I like it. Yeah. So you’re earning on Celsius, right?
DAN: Define earning.
[00:18:18] SHEEL: Are you using the Celsius network to earn money?
PAUL: I sold all my shit coins to buy only Bitcoin. I’m a hundred percent Bitcoin now that’s it.
RALPH: No more playing around, just full on long Bitcoin. And I’m actually so long that I’m not even checking the amount that I have right now, it’s just going, wherever it goes. We’ll see. In a couple of years where it is.
[00:19:00] DAN: Speaking of Bitcoin though, Sheel, you were an advisor to Coinbase. Coinbase has locked up my shit for the past week. What advice would you have for them today?
SHEEL: Not an advisor, just an early small investor. But I might be able to connect you to somebody. Let me, let me see who..
DAN: I’m opening it right now. Just to see if that’s still for me.
SHEEL: Yeah. We’ll shoot a note out.
DAN: Account under review. Bullshit.
SUZANNE: What?! Are you in trouble?
DAN: Everybody’s in trouble on Coinbase right now.
SHEEL: Too many drugs, Dan; too many drugs 😉
DAN: Story of my life!
[00:20:04] BEN: Okay. It’s a nice transition for my next topic. What about love in 2021? What happened with that Zoom Bachelor thing, like what was the story there? Did you end up dating one of these ladies?
SHEEL: So the backstory for those of you that don’t know, there was something called the Zoom Bachelorette first. I was one of 12 men competing for this one woman’s affection on the show. And, I lost, I didn’t do that well, but I was an audience favorite. So, they invited me back to be the Bachelor. And then there were 12 ladies vying for my affection. And along the way, something kind of interesting happened, which was, during the Zoom Bachelorette one of the guys watching is the manager for Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande. His name is Scooter Braun and he and I were interacting and he said, “I’m going to put you in this Justin Bieber music video.” So I have a very small three second spot in a Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande music video called Stuck with U.
[00:22:08] I’ll share the link here. I think it’s somewhere around the two minute mark, maybe like a little bit before I’m like, I’m easy to find – I’m in an unmistakable spot.
So that, that was really interesting. That was sort of an outcome from the Zoom Bachelorette. And then they did a Zoom Bachelor, and we raised, you know, the whole goal was just raising money for charity. So we raised, like Ben said about $90,000. Actually we, we raised, I think we raised a hundred thousand, but we had two different organizations where it’s $90,000 for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and $10,000 for Give Directly.
It was a fun journey, choosing between these 12 women. The person who won her name is Anna. We went on a few dates, but nothing materialized. I actually met somebody else along the way. Now I’m in a relationship and she’s here with me.
[00:24:13] BEN: And how was it? Do you have any tips, you know, for dating online with Zoom?
SHEEL: Yeah. I think, you know, it’s just really important to be yourself and just be like, I would say I don’t try to hide anything. Like, you know, video makes it easier to hide stuff. I don’t, I’m just like, this is who I am and that’s always worked really well for me; flaws and all.
[00:25:15] BEN: That’s a good transition for a bunch of questions I had around how the work of dating with a VC is as a founder or with LPs as a VC has changed with this Zoom-only, or mainly-Zoom type of interaction.
Do you have any tips, advice, and I’m asking this also to others in the call, either on the VC side (Ralph) or on the founder side. Any tips that we should consider if we have to engage online with those investors to get their money.
[00:26:00] SHEEL: So we’ve been very active, obviously everybody has now done a lot of deals without meeting people in person.
I think It’s critical. Because you can’t meet, meet people in person or even more raising follow on rounds Series A, Series B, Series C. They know us better than they know that company. And so they’re spending a lot more time with us than they were before, or because they can’t spend as much time with the founders.
And we’re doing the same. So we’re getting a lot more references on founders than we ever used to, talking to anyone in their past. Before we make an investment decision, we tend to talk to five to 10 people who know that person to get a better sense; and our LPs did the same.
[00:27:51] BJORN: You know, Ben, speaking of online dating, I recently came across a Norwegian sex tech startup. So uniquely they focus on, or they have at least one product right now. One of the co-founders used to design and weaponize drones for the Norwegian military. And then designed his own male sex tech product. The first product they’re coming out with, women-oriented products, but they have right now, just a male sex tech product, which, is wifi enabled. So it can be remote controlled from either like a partner that you meet on Tinder or say you’re separated from your relationship. And then it also, with the videos that you may or may not be watching that like a very impressively, low latency sync with the videos.
So it mimics the actions of, of whatever you’re watching, in real time.
[00:29:08] BEN: What’s the name of the company?
BJORN: The tech company is called Sweet Tech and the first product that they have is called “The Handy” – It’s quite interesting and a very, interesting and fun team. The COO is a woman, like it’s pretty, gender-balanced. I think it’s about 30% women, surprisingly on a product team like this. Really cool people, doing a really good job, like quite early stage, no external investment yet.
It’s all self-funded and the team is already 14 people. So doing some really cool stuff and I’m right now just helping them enter the Japanese market.
SHEEL: That’s a good market.
BEN: I wanted to ask you, Ralph, if that falls under the C4 ventures investments?
RALPH: You had me at sex drones, dude. Yeah, no, but we’re still looking at hardware. We’re a lot more into the components phase, so maybe it could be interesting, you know, small devices as well.
[00:30:47] Now to go back to the RTO compensation, what’s interesting on the European side, I was getting out of a call just now with a major LP in Canada. So they’re talking, you know, trillions and we’ve been talking to them for about six, seven months, which is, you know, first contact really. But they’ve known us for two years and they are a typical sort of institutional LP who would look into investing in VCs with a long-term relationship building, but they changed their strategy because of COVID and they decided that they would split their investment in 2.
[00:31:26] They decided that 80% will go to existing commitments, existing managers, typically the ones they’ve already invested in and the others would be new managers that they would only do with co-investments. And I’m sure Sheel, you’ve seen your share of the people that tell you that, right?
RALPH: “I’m OK to invest in a new manager, but you need to show me the money. I need to show me what you do. You need to show me a couple of deals that we could do together that you’re capable of not only sourcing, but also getting the right people in place.”
So I think that’s something that has drastically accelerated over the last six to eight months, due to the pandemic situation where people do have an occasion to invest directly in companies without having to meet the founders. But when it comes to investing in VCs from an LP standpoint, it’s a little bit harder. Because that’s a ten-year-old relationship building there. Right. So it takes a bit more.
[00:32:16] SHEEL: Yeah. We have a bunch of VCs sort of like that too who liked to co-invest. One of them said, why don’t we start the relationship by investing in one of your existing portfolio companies, through an SPV, which is nice. Because we get carry on it, but then they put an equal amount into our fund.
RALPH: That’s good. We’re looking into a couple of those right now. The difficulty is because we’re a mid and late stage so you don’t get access to those deals as easily as any early stage things. Right. So finding the right sweet spot takes a little bit longer until the due diligence and others, but anyway, that’s getting too technical for the audience.
[00:33:00] BEN: Okay. I think we’re like learning, you know, a shit load of things right now. Like what are these guys talking about?
RALPH: Let’s go back to something that you guys might understand without talking about the sex just yet. ESG and sustainability. Is that something you’ve seen sort of the core of your strategy as well? Because FinTech of course is a little bit of concern, but is that something that you’ve seen as a necessary sort of discussion?
SHEEL: Yeah, absolutely. So, our name is Better Tomorrow Ventures for a reason. Like we’re investing for a better future. And we think that financial services is a great entry point. It impacts everyone’s lives. And what better way to impact people’s lives and make it easier to get money, use money. So that’s sort of what we’re in it for. And then in terms of ESG, we think, we think about it a lot from the lens of all of our companies should be bettering the world.
Like there’s a lot of shit out there that just doesn’t excite us. We’re not exclusively in ESG fund by any means, but we do think that our fund should make the world a better place.
RALPH: We’ve started doing something on our side, which is when we registered the fund in France, the MF guys, in case you don’t know, as the regulatory body in France, that allows you to be a fund and actually, you know, use your money to invest professionally in companies.
And so you’ve got the FCN the UK, you’ve got the MF in France and you’ve got the US counterpart, the equivalent right over there. We decided to be very clear about the ESG. So we decided that every quarter we would report on the impact of every single one of our portfolio companies, massive mistake, because none of them have a clue.
And, and of course, because they don’t, then we don’t either. So we’re, we’re stuck with a regulatory sort of obligation without having the right data to do it. So now we try to force companies to report on how much of the goals they have. Right. But it’s becoming a key element of everything.
In case you hadn’t seen – the European Investment Fund, which invests in many of the funds in Europe have from this year onwards made an obligation to report on the ESGs for every new fund that it would invest in.
[00:36:04] …so it’s been an interesting conversation. I know a lot of funds are struggling with it. So how do you see that in the US?
SHEEL: I think there’s a lot of dollars dedicated to ESG, but I don’t think it’s the same. We don’t have anything like that. Like there’s no big funder that mandates ESGs and our LPs are sort of a Motley crew of folks.
We tend to have a lot of funds. So these are folks that collect money from endowments and pensions, put it together and invest in new managers. The only fund that we have that has any restrictions is a pension fund. We have money from the California state teacher’s retirement system. And, they have particular mandates on, you know, we can’t invest in guns and marijuana and you know, stuff like that. We can invest in a company that deals with money from marijuana. We just can’t invest in a company that – which we wouldn’t anyway, we’re a FinTech VC – we’re not going to invest in a company that grows marijuana.
So that’s the only restriction we have. Otherwise we’re free to do whatever and we don’t do these audits. I think, you know, the EIF is good and bad. Good in that it’s a bunch of capital into European VC but it’s bad in that there’s all these stipulations and stuff that makes it difficult to access.
[00:37:58] And the timelines are crazy as I understand it.
RALPH: Yeah. Reporting is mad as well, but yeah, that’s what it is. That’s why we decided for C4 not to get any public money by the way, but enough funds discussions as it is for this audience who’s slowly getting into a coma right now.
PAUL: Hey Sheel, can I just add something about ESG because I work with private equity guys in Africa and in Asia, including China when I say Asia. And for instance, if you talk about Helios?, one of the biggest private equity / they act like a VC for a lot of African companies, especially in FinTech, actually from Nigeria, originally HQ here in London.
Every time you get a Series A by them, the ESG is a mandate. They will ask you. And not only they will ask you like diversity. Within six months of the investments, you have to guarantee diversity of the board, diversity of the executive team. And this is Africa and then China, which I forgot the name of the fund I was talking to two weeks ago. We’ve mentioned the same. They require because now their LPs are requiring that. So it’s a cascading event and it has nothing to do with European legislation or African, whatever that would mean. Legislation is really simply a drive. When you hear companies like BlackRock, which is the largest investor in the world, are actually now pushing for sustainability is just that it’s a cascade.
Whether or not we like it. And I do like it. It will come down to funds. And of course then startups, you have especially post Series A you have to have mandates… it’s interesting that it’s coming from emerging so-called emerging countries or emerging continents more so than the US & Europe.
[00:39:46] SHEEL: Yeah, for sure. It does seem like a tidal wave; and the other thing we’re seeing is we’re invested in a company called Ethic. They help financial advisors match people’s portfolios with their values. And, they’re doing really, really well. And what they’re seeing is financial advisors.
Like when people inherit, a bunch of money, they often leave their financial advisor. And especially this next generation of people getting the money, they really care about their values. And so this is a tool that those folks are using to keep that money, to keep that wealth. And it’s been really phenomenal.
And they’re seeing this year, much more than last year, just people care about this. And so I think like you said, Paul, it’s the future.
RALPH: I’m going to share with you and the group. It’s probably not for everyone, but, JJ, who’s a good friend, as well as a Lubomilla who’s created Planet A – FinTech for sustainability – they’re having a quick conversation with the head of the global chief innovation officer of Societe Generale, I think tomorrow is it?
BEN: I know that Dan recorded a podcast interview with Lubomilla.
DAN: Yesterday, and as long as we’re talking about podcasts, how do I get Gimlet’s attention?
SHEEL: Backstory is about five years ago, I started a podcast called The Pitch. What happened was I was watching Shark Tank on TV. Have you guys seen Shark Tank? So yeah. I was watching it and I was thinking, “Hey, this is bullshit.” Like Shark Tank is a towel with a hole in it.
[00:42:00] Nobody gives a shit about this. it’s not a venture investable company. Now Shark Tank has changed and gotten better by the way. But, they were selling a lot of shit on there. I was thinking, what if we just make a podcast? It’s like Shark Tank, but real. And I just hit record when founders are pitching me and just see how that conversation goes, that might teach people a thing or 2 about how venture capital works.
And so we started with that and then it evolved over time to something a little bit different where it’s actually kind of more similar to Shark Tank, where the founder pitches us and then there’s a panel of investors. In 2017, the beginning of 2017, Apple featured us as the number one podcast.
So if you were launching the podcast app on your phone, on the top panel, you see a picture of me and my co-founder with a microphone. And that just really skyrocketed us; before that we had somewhere in the 10 to 15,000 subscribers per week. And then after that we had like a hundred thousand subscribers listening to every to every episode.
And shortly after that, Gimlet reached out to us and said, “Hey, we noticed you guys are rising in the rankings. Would you like to be part of a larger group? We have an advertising team, we have editors, we have a studio. Why don’t you just join us?”
So we did, we did get paid some money for it, but it’s not about the money. Like the money is actually insignificant. It was really much more about just being a bigger platform and they promote us and all that other stuff too. And then Gimlet of course, got acquired by Spotify.
It’s been a good experience actually, but one thing that’s kind of funny is Gimlet and Spotify actually don’t get along. So, basically all these podcasts nerds aren’t cool enough for the music people. So like they’re always fighting and stuff, but it’s kind of cool to be part of the Spotify family.
[00:45:36] SUZANNE: What about your outlook in investing? Since you’ve begun, have you found yourself a little bit more, more adventurous, a little bit more, cautious or, restrained? SHEEL: It’s such an interesting question because I do, I was just reflecting like kind of like end of the year, you have to do, you know, you have to do your audits and all that stuff.
So I was looking back at my investments from when I started investing; I did a bunch of angel investing starting in 2012, 2013, but really I started to fund in 2016 and I was just thinking back and like all these companies that are now successful, I’m just thinking like, would I have invested in this company today?
[00:46:15] And for a lot of them, the answer is no! These companies that turned out to be phenomenally successful. Now knowing what I know, I was really naive then, and that naivete helped me.
SUZANNE: So you’re more cautious now.
SHEEL: I’m more cautious now. I’m more selective now. I think that pays off in other ways. An example is I invested in this company called Albert it’s a personal finance manager and now there’s so many of these damn things and there were back then too. Why did I invest in that one?
But it’s more than a hundred X return already. But if I was investing today, I would not invest in that same thing. And what that helped me realize though, is it’s basically the founders, I invested in that founder and that founder found a way to make it work even in a crowded product category.
So that sort of led me to believe that basically just find the best founders and give them money. And that’s, that’s what we do.
[00:47:47] RALPH: But it’s timing as well though, Sheel, because I remember it was pretty early on. Right. You invested, there was not that crowded at the time.
SHEEL: Yeah, that’s true. That’s also true.
So there are some spaces that are so crowded that it’s really hard to break out. I was just talking to your friend, basically there’s this compliance software a lot of people use to get these compliance audits and we’ve seen like six companies in this space and then, if you’re a company that they’re selling to, you’re just playing them off each other and you know, everybody’s margins get eroded and it’s just not a fun business to be in.
So, yeah, you’re right. Being early can be very good.
RALPH: Well the other counter example that I have on this – and I’m sure it would relate to everybody in a sense is Hopin; the online system to get conferences, which has been a mess this year, because so many systems evolved and popped out on the map, but then Hoppin out of nowhere in six months, got a 2 billion valuation. I’m on the side talking to Swapcard who’s been there for six years and struggling, but doing well as well. But clearly now they’ve been like, you know, satellites. So the crowded space can be accelerated, but also can be concentrated.
We’ve seen a lot of acquisition, right. So interesting to see how things evolve very quickly, based on, as I said, timing, right? Timing and events.
[00:49:08] SHEEL: Yeah, it is interesting. The Hoppin thing, especially for you guys, a lot of you guys, I know you from the conference circuit and, I really hope in 2022, at least, or maybe the end of 2021, I’ll get to see your faces in person and share some drinks together.
But the valuation for Hoppin, I don’t get; because it seems like, of course right now it’s been an amazing time for them and I’m sure they’ll do well, but a $2 billion valuation?! That I really don’t get.
RALPH: You and I both, we’re not the only ones by the way.
BEN: Actually, Ralp