Some firms prefer to lead.
Others never do.
At some firms, principals can lead deals.
At others, only partners can.
At some firms, everyone is called a partner. Who can lead a deal then?
Sometimes, it depends on the size of the deal. Above a certain amount, more partners need to get involved.
Some funds aren't funds at all. They're family offices.
Some "venture firms" don't have money and never did. They might be brokers or advisors. Others used to have money and spent it on deals already.
How the hell are you supposed to know as a founder how to get a check from this firm?
I just added a "Process" page to the Brooklyn Bridge Ventures website and I would encourage all VC firms to do the same.
It clearly outlines who should pitch and how, what the decision making process is like at the firm--and who can make that decision.
There's no reason for a firm to be anything but transparent about decision making at a firm. Treating every investor at a firm equally in title confuses entrepreneurs when it does not reflect how decisions are actually made. If only Managing Partners can make decisions of over $10mm and you're raising $20mm, you want to know that.
The pitch process is hard enough. Let's make it just a little bit easier by clearly outlining what the path to a check is at your firm.
- What's the best way to pitch the firm? Do I need to know someone you know?
- Who makes decisions and does that differ across stage and size?
- What is the voting criteria like? Consensus? Majority?
- Are you a fund with committed capital? Where is it from, generally speaking? How much is left and when was the last fund raised?
- Do you lead?
- How do I know a "yes" is official?