In a world where most investors' first question is, "Who else is in?", the hardest thing for a raw startup to find is someone with the conviction to write the first check. They've built their whole firm on being willing to bet on companies before other investors do.
Later on, when things get tough--and eventually, things always get tough--you want somebody who's been in the trenches, knows how it feels, and can help you guide the company between Scylla and Charybdis. Garry and Alexis have been there, and they do that.
If you're starting a company and looking to raise funding, I'd strongly recommend you speak with Initialized. There's a lot of talk in venture. Garry and Alexis walk the walk.
The closest the story comes to expounding on this that the firm has their own CRM software and that they "value doing our own research." A succinct summary of the article may be the paragraph leading "Like most VCs, Initialized says it isn't like the other VCs."
Facebook, Amazon, and Google all use it to power various aspects of their back end, and yet start up culture folks continue to turn their nose up at it, while begrudgingly paying for their sales team’s licenses.
What’s up with that? Why does this community seem to hate the company that built a great product that everybody needs and established SaaS as a thing?
The problem is the expectation that it’s going to function like one trick consumer tech tools out of the box. To see the value, each company must make it their own. They should be creating the UX themselves, and a different one for every type of user according to their role.
People say the same thing about every piece of business software they’ve never invested time to truly understand.
Salesforce gives you the Model and the View, some basic Controls and the ability to customize all 3 with both clicks and code + APIs. Sales Cloud is an app built on it. Salesforce is a PaaS.
Want to be different? Run a VC firm like a startup: build proprietary technology to outcompete incumbents and scale in a way not possible without technology. It does’t even sound like they have a FT engineer.... Imagine investing in a startup that didn’t have a FT engineer! But that’s exactly what they (and most VCs) are asking of their Limited Partners! Sounds like a puffy and carefully managed PR piece with a complicit journalist to prime the raise of their next fund without triggering a Reg D 506c registration..
They may have great returns, smarter than most, and have higher conviction, but it’s pretty much same old same old of catching the wave of good deal flow from your celebrity network. Nothing innovative here.
Are you guys doing anything to vet startups minus the referrals?
I built one of the first in-house VC research platforms at Index Ventures back in 2012 (+am now starting a new early-stage VC firm in Europe where we're building our own tech to aide sourcing/workflow).
Since 2012 most of the top VCs (or at least those with the management fees to afford it) have evaluated/experimented going down this route to some extent with varying degrees of success.
Some like Social Capital have been relatively open about it (at least in parts) but generally most have kept a low profile to avoid giving away techniques they use to get a competitive edge.
Agreed on what you said, change doesn't come unless there's a burning bridge. If the firms have a current process that gets them to where they are today, they will just keep doing what they are already doing.
Perhaps a business opportunity to target the small VCs to help give them an edge.
There's a huge bias in the Valley (and obviously on here) towards hiring rockstar engineers and then trying to figure out problems to point them at. Isn't it way better to actually figure out a valuable problem first, and then hire the right mix of people (including engineers, but all the other skills also) to solve that problem?
Just in case you think I'm anti-engineer: I have been a software engineer my whole working life. My father is a chemical engineer and his father was a mechanical engineer. I love engineers, but sheesh - not everyone has to be an engineer, and not all value is created by engineers.
New and ambitious would be attempting to beat YC at its own game. Competing head-to-head with YC for startups and trying to create a version of YC that was meritocratic and scaleable. For the good of the world, startups, and for profit.
Someone could create a version of YC that funds any startup that meets a certain level of traction for example. Or it could do funding by directly measuring the team's technical or other abilities. It could use a blind admissions system that doesn't rely on judging founders in 10 minute interviews.
YC funds just 3% of the founders that ask for funding. It's entirely likely that they fund the wrong 3% and/or ignore a huge percentage of potentially great startups.
There's only a few people in the world able to the raise money necessary to compete with YC and they all seem afraid to even try.
SV invests more in startups than the rest of the world combined. It’s the only place in the world where people put big money where their mouth is.
I’d love to see YC definitely grow in other places but it boils down to a couple of things. A high concentration of capital, talent and a good business support.
Not a lot of places that have that or willing to cultivate that.
The incestual promoting among the startup elite is a bit nauseating.
Of course, whether it's good or not is something else entirely.
In retrospect, it's perfectly normal to promote your friends' startups, funds or books.
This is the moment when I first saw her: https://www.instagram.com/p/BP09-HFA-mb/
I wish you had the courage to re-post your previous comment. But more to the point -- this is Hacker News in 2018?
I get that you have a reaction to stuff that you see on TV, but so does everyone. This kind of weird celebrity gossip just has no place on this site and so we need you to please stop now. We're not here for that.