1/ This weekend, there was a good discussion about founder/VC relationships. Several great investors discussed the value of getting to know founders while many founders wondered if building relationships was a waste of time.
To help, here's data from the @SusaVentures family..
2/ In the last ~7 years we've made 93 investments. Of those:
- 68 (73%) were founders we had just met
- 10 (11%) were founders we had known for 1-12 mo
- 6 (6%) were founders we had known for 2-4 years
- 9 (10%) were founders we had known for 5+ years
3/ While this is a sample size of one fund, my takeaway is that building relationships is valuable. Specifically, my partners & I had known the founders of 11% of co's for 1-12 mo. Given how few people we know relative to all of the founders in the world, this is a huge fraction.
4/ I.e. if we know 1% of all founders who fundraise (likely a huge, huge overestimate), but 11% of our investments are in founders whom we've known for 1-12 mo, that means getting to know someone over a short time can increase the chances of investment by >10x.
5/ And relationship building doesn't need to consume tons of time. Try to meet 15-20 investors over 3 mo, then pick the 3 or 5 that you really like & catch up with each of them once a quarter. That's a commitment of maybe 40 hours/year. Low downside, high upside time investment.
6b/ And a good follow-up thread:
You can follow @lpolovets.
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