On raising from VCs

Experienced entrepreneurs know this well, so the notes here are more for first-time founders:

  1. It's all about momentum.
    If you don't see the VCs actively following up with you after the first discussion, that means they didn't feel impressed or triggered enough. You're not out yet but mentally you're lower priority now. Keep in mind that good VCs see tons of pitches every week. Even if they don't mean to ignore you, they get so much noise coming in constantly that it's easy that your good startup is drown out. If you think certain VCs are your perfect funding partners, you should really get the 1st conversation right, not expecting them to focus 100% on you and find out "how good your startup is".
  2. Don't call VCs out of the blue
    We hate that. We have packed schedules and calling without an appointment is very rude. If you're already in my portfolio, feel free to call me anytime. I'll pick up the phone even if it's in the middle of the night whichever time zone I'm in. But for a startup that's still pitching, it's not a good idea to do this. It's more often annoying than impressing.
  3. There's a quota for investments quarterly and yearly
    Some founders think that the investible amount by a VC is limited by the fund size. That's not the case. Usually there's an investment quota for the year, if not for the quarter. Sometimes it's stipulated in the GP-LP contract. This is for investment discipline. If a startup is exciting enough, the partners will of course go all the way out to fund it even if they have already hit the quota. But more likely you want to get commitment from the VCs you want earlier than later. It's possible that while you negotiate or play among several VCs, the quota is consumed by other deals either by the said VCs or by their partners in the same firms.

On Doppler Labs' downfall

More on convertibles – wording matters