New venture capitalists find strength in numbers

New venture capitalists find strength in numbers
From TechCrunch - October 22, 2017

The large number of new venture capital funds may hint at broader structural changes in the startup ecosystem, but for the young and eager partners at the helm of many of these funds, all the rush of money means is more competition.

Ian Rountree, the twenty something captain at the helm of Cantos Ventures, an SF-based micro-fund, is characteristic of a new breed of venture capitalists in techa group of small funds looking to go toe-to-toe with some of the valleys most entrenched seed funds like First Round Capital and SV Angel.

Rountree is experimenting with a strategy so antithetical to the venture ethos that most of the perceived tier one funds wouldnt even consider it. Alongside about thirty other investors,Rountree is operating what amounts to a decentralized venture capital fund over, wait for itSlack.

Yeah, ok, everyone uses Slack and decentralized sounds like orgastic crypto jargon. Valid. But whatRountree is toying with aligns surprisingly well with techs overall ambition to become more inclusive.

What started off as a networking hack has grown into a collaborative online community of venture capitalists from a mishmash of upstart funds.VC 3.0, asRountree refers to the group, is a small contribution helping to crack open the typically exclusionary world of venture.

Instead of keeping other investors at an arms length to savor the best deals in the name of self indulgence, the investors that are a part of the VC 3.0 group regularly share notes on startups, split up events like demo days and collaboratively hunt to fill open roles at each others portfolio companies.

This stands in contrast to the natural relationship that investors at competing funds have with one another. Sure, early stage investors spend a lot of their time networking with other funds to hunt for deal. But that relationship, at least when on the clock, stops at a warm cup of coffee and perhaps a few even warmer intros.

Varvara Russkova, a venture partner at GVA Capital, is an active member of VC 3.0. Though GVA is a larger fund with its own gravity,Russkova is building her own network as she raises her own fund to cover early stage health tech investments.

What usually happens is Ill be looking at something and ask if anyone has heard about X company, Russkova explained to me over tea. I can reference check with people in the group.

But what makes VC 3.0 compelling isnt Slack or even the young investors in it. Rather, its the idea that a more professional group like VC 3.0 provides greater inclusiveness to new investors than traditional backyard BBQs and house parties.


Continue reading at TechCrunch »