Qualifying Inbound Venture Capitalists
Updated: Oct 5, 2020
The best sales come from outbound teams. They know their target, how to reach it, and how to close it. In fact, that’s how Bessemer Venture Partners, our Series A lead investors, found us.
As you run your business, investors are bound to reach out in order to get some time with you. Most of them are doing so with the good intension of learning about your business and seeing if there’s a possibility to partner with you. Some, however, may be doing so as part of their due diligence on another investment or to get competitive intelligence for a portfolio company.
Here are the questions I ask before accepting a call with inbound VCs whom I have pre-qualified as potential partners in the future:
Who else will be joining us on the call? What are their titles?
This is important because it signals to the associate that you want them to include their high-level (usually partner) colleagues (or that you’re at least thinking about it.)
What in you investment thesis is making you interested in speaking to me? Is [sector] a strategic segment for your team? Why or why not?
This question helps you understand why they reached out in the first place. Some VCs try to have one investment in specific industries (e.g. hospitality), others invest in specific business models (e.g. marketplaces), etc.
What companies do you have in your current portfolio from our space? Do you have any companies in your portfolio that I might consider competitive?
This question ensures that they are not just trying to dig up intel for another company. It also tests to see whether competition may become an issue as you move through their process.
What questions have you used when qualifying inbound VCs at or around the A stage?