Leo Polovets @lpolovets General Partner @SusaVentures (seed investor in @RobinhoodApp & @Flexport). Before: @Caltech → 2nd non-founding engineer @LinkedIn → @Google → @Factual. Aug. 19, 2019 1 min read

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.

6/ Here's the original discussion with great commentary from @semil, @fredwilson, @infoarbitrage, @Markgher and many others:

6b/ And a good follow-up thread:

You can follow @lpolovets.


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