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Relationship Management Venture Capital

How to organize your deal-flow: lessons we learned from top VC Firms

By Shubham Goel
How to organize your deal-flow: lessons we learned from top VC Firms

Successful VC firms manage their incoming opportunities so they do not let a golden deal slip by. While working with leading VC firms, we have picked up some best practices for organizing opportunities. In this article, we will share strategies to get all your inbound deals into one place.

Centralize your inbound dealflow

If you are effectively using your network, chances are your team is getting bombarded with introductions and 1-pagers on companies that are seeking investment. With so many emails, it can be tough to make sure valuable information is not lost. The first half of the battle is to make sure you don’t miss any of these important communications. As we highlighted in a previous post, Affinity offers features so that you don’t miss relevant emails sitting in your inbox.

The other half of the battle is to make sure that when one person receives important information, it is disseminated among the whole team. To effectively manage all the key information, you must create a storehouse where this information can live. Here are a few strategies to successfully organize incoming opportunities into one centralized, accessible location:

(Most effective) Delegate someone on your team to be in charge of all inbound opportunities

  1. Set up a distribution email (something to the extent of deals@yourvcfirm.com); make sure every team member has access to that email address
  2. As soon as anyone on the team gets an inbound opportunity, they should forward it to deals@yourvcfirm.com. This way, not only does everyone on the team get a quick look at the opportunity, but also the person handling deals has real-time access to all inbound information
  3. Either with our chrome extension (if you’re using Gmail) or the “Deal Emails” feature, the inbox’s point person can quickly add all inbound opportunities to Affinity. This ensures all opportunity information makes it into one trackable place

Use the Zapier integration with Affinity to centralize opportunities automatically

  1. Everyone in your firm can simply forward the email to deals@yourvcfirm.com with the subject line of the email containing the deal’s name
  2. This will trigger Zapier to automatically add a new entry for this company in the deals list in Affinity

Everyone on the team allocates a weekly time to share opportunities they are watching:

  1. Go to the “All Organizations” tab in Affinity, which automatically pulls the new companies you talked to this week. Bulk select and add them to your deals list
  2. Look through your inbox for all the deals you saw this week and add them to your deals list

Organize deal notes & attachments

Along with adding opportunities, email attachments and notes that relate to an opportunity (e.g., pitch decks, growth plans, internal conversations, etc.) must be tracked and shared to organize deal-flow as well. Fortunately, Affinity eliminates much of this hassle.

With Affinity’s chrome extension, our Google users can automatically attach any threads as notes and, with one button, add all email attachments to Affinity. Our Microsoft/Exchange users can accomplish the same by using the Deal Emails feature.

Thank you for reading these best practices for centralizing inbound opportunities. We will be back soon to talk about how to manage deals once they become portfolio companies. Stay tuned!
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Relationship Management Venture Capital