Launching is easy; fundraising is harder. I’ve been fortunate to be a Partner at two different VC firms over the past 9 years, and we’ve grown AUM 10X both times. If you take the fifteen steps below, you’ll have the core of a high-performing fundraising and investor relations function.
- Build the firm as much as possible before you solicit limited partners.
The more baked you are, the more investable you are. The best possible move is to invest in and warehouse some special purpose vehicles that fit your strategy. However, that may distract you from the larger goal of raising a fund, not just a Special Purpose Vehicle.
The next best move is to build your core team, e.g., recruit an Advisory Board, Venture Partners, and EIRs. For ideas, see How Executives Can Work from Home with Private Equity and Venture Capital Funds.
Lastly, gather feedback. Yohei Nakajima, Founder of Untapped.vc, said, “Before pitching LPs and building my firm, I talked with over 50 people I knew to get feedback.”
- Set up the basic marketing toolkit: deck, website, accurate online databases, and social media accounts.
It’s virtually mandatory to develop a detailed, data-backed deck, and ideally a video pitch. Your materials should ideally meet the expectations of the Institutional Limited Partners Association, even if you’re not targeting institutions. Keep these documents constantly up to date, so all team members are aligned on key numbers, e.g., total dollars raised so far. You’ll look unprofessional if you’re not coordinated. For (Read more...)