June 21, 2004
Tangible evidence in a recovery in Venture
Mondays are very special days for VCs. Usually it is the only day all week that you can catch most of the firm together since it is traditionally the Partner Meeting day. In the meeting we split time between portfolio company updates, office administrative, EIR updates, new company presentations and new investment discussion/votes. Meetings can be 15 minutes to all day events. It is a fairly accurate shorthand for how busy a Venture Capital company is by how long the meetings are and the mix between internal issues and new investment discussions.
Two years ago, I would guess our meetings were running 1-2 hours with about 90% of the time spent on the current portfolio. We had 2-3 new company presentations a month. This time last year, the meetings were about the same length, but the amount of time spent on new investments had risen slightly. Maybe 70/30 portfolio/new investment time and probably 3-5 new companies a month. Six months ago the meetings started to lengthen to 2-3 hours and the mix was more 50/50 with 4-6 new companies a month.
Today, we had a 6 hour partner meeting that was 95% new investment discussions with 5 new companies presenting in one day! Now, granted we skipped one meeting last week due to lots of people out of the office, but the level of activity is still extradornary when compared to the last two years.
Overall I would say that the number and quality of deals we are seeing has picked up significantly over the last six months, much like it has in the Valley. There are studies that track this kind of thing on a regional basis and when the update comes out, I will post it. Bottom line: Now is a good time to start a company and the VCs are actively listening!
Posted by Martin at June 21, 2004 10:16 PM
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