Venture capital is often referred to as an apprenticeship business because so much important learning comes from day-to-day experiences. Yet, as an article published by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) explains, you can shortcut the learning process by learning from experts: “Your learning curve can be shorter—and your results better—if you learn from pros who’ve already mastered key … ... read more
How to set up your portfolio companies for success: lessons we learned from top VC firms
In our last post, we talked about how to streamline your inbound opportunities so you can build your ideal portfolio of investments. The next step is to help set them up for success. In this post, we’ll offer some insights on how to develop your relationships with your portfolio companies, learn about their needs, and provide them value.
How To Keep In Touch
Your role in your portfolio’s future starts by ensuring that you keep in regular contact. Once you develop a strong relationship, you can support them as time goes on.
One of the best techniques to keep in touch that we’ve seen some of our customers implement is dividing companies into three different priorities. Companies in Priority 1 are the most important to you, and you will want to talk to them every two weeks. Priority 2 should be contacted every quarter, and so on.
You can easily create a column on your Deals List in Affinity called “Priority” and label each company with an appropriate priority level. To make sure you are maintaining contact with your entire portfolio, you can create three saved filters called “Priority X companies that require follow up.” These saved filters can quickly indicate which companies need attention, and the best part is that anyone on the team can build this!
How To Understand Their Needs
Once you’ve set the cadence and are strengthening these relationships, you need to know where you can support your portfolio. Our research has shown the top areas in which portfolio companies use their investors are as follows: recruiting, finding service providers, business development, and future fundraising.
Recruiting Executive Talent and Recommending Service Providers
Oftentimes portfolio companies rely on their investors for recruiting executive talent or connecting them with top service providers. A strong VP of Sales or an exceptional security audit firm aren’t easy to find.
When you touch base with your portfolio companies, note down which positions or services they are looking for and track this in fields called “Recruiting Needs” or “Service Needs” on your Deals pipeline. You can also automatically collect this data by asking companies to fill out a Typeform and piping that data directly into Affinity through Zapier. These tactics will provide you with a comprehensive view as to which positions and services your portfolio companies need.
Once you know what they are looking for, you can start building lists of your contacts who are VPs of Sales, security audit firms, etc. Then you can make the matches between your portfolio’s needs and these great people and providers!
Business Development and Fundraising
As a VC, you have an extensive network, which your portfolio companies should be able to leverage for raising capital, closing business opportunities, etc. With Affinity’s Alliances platform, you can offer your companies direct, passive access to your network. In particular, they can see the names of contacts and organizations that you’ve interacted with and how well-connected you are to them.
On Affinity, you can connect with your portfolio companies with the click of a button. Alternatively, you can contact us and get your portfolio company set up with Affinity, and they can request to connect with you. Either way, “ally” with your first company today!
Sign up here to learn more about Affinity’s platform. We’re onboarding new teams every day, and we would love to have you!