Real talk on fundraising for a small fund

I don’t really have a particular goal with this post. I’m just sharing.

When I started leading deals at First Round Capital, I sourced investments in 8 companies. GroupMe, Singleplatform and Backupify all had really good exits, especially if you’re just looking at the multiples of the pre-seed/seed rounds, which is what I’m focused on now. I found GroupMe at the Techcrunch Disrupt Hackathon. Singleplatform was a referral from an IT consultant who was trying to sell me stuff—which was pretty much the most random source ever, and Backupify was actually my own idea built by someone far more capable than I was to see it through. Moat, the biggest exit out of the bunch, was sourced when I met Mike Walrath at a tech event. We started talking about cycling and electronic shifters (which I definitely couldn’t afford) when he mentioned this new company. I knew he was a big fish, and rather than try to beg my way into the round as a lowly Principal, I checked my ego at the door and immediately called Josh Kopelman from the event to give him a heads up that he needed to ring up the team to try and get us into the round. I have no idea whether Mike even connected the call from Josh to the cycling chat, but we got in and Moat sold for $850mm.

Honestly, I felt pretty smart after my first two years at First Round. I had two of those exits within those (Read more...)