Venture capitalists spend almost every waking hour on the hunt for the next big opportunity. They constantly meet with entrepreneurs and review pitches and proposals. The average venture capital firm reviews approximately 1,200 businesses in order to make just 10 investments. To maximize exposure, venture capitalists source new opportunities from as many domains as possible - 1-1 meetings, events, personal network introductions, in-bound inquiries, referrals from portfolio companies, etc. It’s incredibly difficult and cumbersome to manage and keep track of so many relationships.
Here are three tips to improve relationship building:
1. Ensure nothing falls between the cracks
According to Crystal Huang at GGV Capital, “Every associate knows the frustration of seeing a fundraising announcement from a company that he/she jotted down on a ‘to-do’ list but never made the time to contact.” Venture capitalists live in a world where one missed opportunity can turn out to be the next Facebook. The most successful venture capitalists ensure that no connection gets lost in the weeds. They track and manage all investment opportunities and relationships.
Affinity's automatically captures all your communication data which allows users to easily track relationships and eliminate communication silos amongst team members. It will even send you a reminder if you forget to reply back to an important email or if you need to follow up with someone who has not emailed you back.
You can set up Affinity's smart reminders to keep relationships warm with logic like:
2. Consistently nurture relationships
For venture capitalists, cultivating strong relationships with entrepreneurs is critical. Strong relationships help venture capitalists keep abreast of the latest happenings and help ensure they are informed of the next big opportunities before other investors. At Affinity, we recognize that maintaining strong relationships with startups and portfolio companies is key. That’s why we use machine learning and natural language processing to help venture capitalists determine whether any of their relationships are at risk (for example, whether they have unread emails in their inbox that warrant a response).
3. Surface intelligence quickly
In the world of venture capital, time is of the essence. Investors don’t have time to scour a CRM system for information about their network. They need this data at their fingertips. That’s why they gravitate towards AI-driven tools like Affinity’s omni search tool. The omni search tool allows venture capitalists to ask Affinity questions about their network in plain English that couldn’t be answered without hours of research. When preparing for an upcoming business trip, they can ask Affinity which companies they should meet with. Or, in preparation for a quarterly business review, they can ask Affinity which companies they’ve met with over the past quarter.
Business opportunities don’t fall out of thin air. A venture capitalist’s most important asset is his or her network. Building and maintaining a strong network can mean the difference between raising a next fund or not. Thankfully, the process need not be scary.