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VCs eating our own dog food: Using technology and analytics to make better investments

(To see the video above, please click the image, and then click on the Play button.) Private equity and venture capital investors are copying our sisters in the hedge fund world: we’re trying to automate more of our job.  When I was single, I registered for (a lot of) dating websites. When I met [...continue reading]

Use agile budgeting to manage your cash

Instead of budget approvals, monitor key metrics and give managers more flexibility Traditional budgets can be destructive and a huge waste of time. How should a growth company manage their budget?  Does the annual budget approval process even make sense in a fast-moving firm? My friends who are [...continue reading]

Who is building the Renaissance Technologies of Private Markets?

The AIR Summit ("Alpha Innovation Required") just posted the video and slides from my keynote on, "Who is building the Renaissance Technologies of Private Markets?" (To see the video, please click the image below, and then click on the Play button.) I wrote a detailed paper on this here. [...continue reading]

Should your new VC fund use Revenue-Based Investing?

You’re working on launching a new VC fund; congratulations!  I’ve been a traditional equity VC for 8 years, and I’m now researching Revenue-Based Investing and other new approaches to VC. The question I’m asking myself: should a new VC fund use Revenue-Based Investing, traditional equity VC, or [...continue reading]

In Venture Capital, Should You Be a Momentum or a Value Investor?

  As a venture capitalist, should you be a Momentum or a Value investor? To simplify, there are two classic approaches to public markets investing.  The first is Momentum Investing, “a strategy to capitalize on the continuance of an existing market trend”, which usually meaning that the [...continue reading]

Checklist for Launching a New Venture Capital Fund

I posted a while ago my syllabus on how to manage and invest a VC fund.  As a prequel, here are some of the resources I’ve found helpful in launching a new fund: What it takes to start your own venture capital fund Strategic Considerations For Start-Up Private Equity Fund [...continue reading]

Limited partner due diligence on VC and private equity funds

As a VC, I have a standard due diligence list for companies I’m reviewing.  Similarly, our limited partner investors have their own due diligence standards, and we manage our firm to keep in line with their standards and expectations. The biggest risk for many VC and private equity funds is team [...continue reading]

How to scale a VC (or private equity) fund

Managers of VC funds typically want to grow their business aggressively, just like the founders we back.  But, we normally have a clear ceiling on how high we can grow AUM, before hitting practical limits to deploying capital within the traditional VC model.   My Partners at HOF Capital are [...continue reading]

How to get superior returns in VC

A friend of mine interviewed for a job with massively successful hedge fund manager Steven A. Cohen.  My friend sat in the conference room, and Cohen walked in. He looked at his resume, and asked just one question: “What’s your edge?”  My friend got the job because his answer was differentiated, [...continue reading]

Venture capitalists eating their own dog food: How private equity investors are using technology and analytics

I just published a guest essay in AlleyWatch on Venture capitalists eating their own dog food: How private equity investors are using technology and analytics (as of Sep. 2017). As of Dec. 2019, I posted an updated version here. [...continue reading]

How to negotiate a partner role at a VC or private equity firm

It’s hard enough to get a job at a venture capital or private equity firm; it’s even more complex to join as a Partner.  I thought it would be helpful to put together some notes on market norms and issues to consider in negotiating a partnership at an institutional investment firm.  These are many [...continue reading]

What content should you promote where?

Your company typically has seven layers of content marketing. Here are tips for each layer. What content do you use in marketing your firm? And what content should go in which place? Your company (or your fund, if you’re a VC) typically has a 7-layer stack of marketing content. In descending [...continue reading]

First-ever survey of VC tech stacks

We think one of the industries with the greatest room for improved use of technology is venture capital itself.   Blue Future Partners, a fund of funds, and PEVCTech.com are now running what we believe is the first-ever large-scale survey of VC firms’ technology stacks. Filling out this survey [...continue reading]

How to scale support of portfolio companies

As I’ve worked to build out HOF Capital’s portfolio acceleration platform, the #1 question I think about is: how do we scalably support our companies?  Large private equity funds like KKR can afford to pursue a consulting model (Capstone), typically with associated fees, but that doesn’t normally [...continue reading]

How VCs structure a syndicate and recruit coinvestors

When I meet with other VCs, family offices, and other institutional investors, the most common question I get is: “What are the highest-potential companies in your portfolio which are raising now?”  I thought it might be helpful to provide transparency on how we and many of our VC peers think about [...continue reading]

How to identify technology trends for macro investors

I recently spent time with a hedge fund manager who asked for counsel on how he could identify macro trends (especially technology macro trends) which he could use to generate investment ideas.  The deck below summarizes my recommendations.  This overlaps with my research on origination for private [...continue reading]

Artificial intelligence in financial services

I’ve presented at a few conferences lately on AI in financial services, particularly on how investors are using AI.  I’ve posted here an expanded version of my slides.  I provide an overview of why AI is a tool that so many people are exploring; what I think increases the odds of success for [...continue reading]

Microcredentials for the effective VC or private equity investor

Historically VC has been an apprenticeship business.  That said, I’ve identified quite a few microcredentials, conferences, and other learning opportunities which will help train you to be a better investor.  I’ve also published research here on private equity, venture capital, hedge funds and [...continue reading]