Guest Series On StrictlyVC: Q&A With Limited Partners In VC

** UPDATE ** I’ve added links to each specific interview posted on StrictlyVC with each of the LPs:
-Sarah Anderson @ Cintrifuse – click here
-Susan Chen @ UTIMCO – click here
-Atul Rustgi @ Accolade – click here
-Amit Tiwari @ INVESCO – click here
-Hunter Somerville @ Greenspring – click here

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As longtime readers may recall, for the past few summers (2014, 2015, and 2016) when Connie Loizos from StrictlyVC takes off for a few weeks in the summer to meander around coastal Maine with her kids and family, I get the lucky opportunity to write some columns and share some interviews in her absence. This year, like the recent heat wave, the summer will arrive early — starting this Friday and for the week of Memorial Day, I will step in for Connie and share some Q&As with folks from the limited partner (LP) community — the money behind the money of VC.

From what I gather (as I haven’t been investing too long), the LP community was typically a quiet crowd, rarely making public statements or sharing their views openly. That has certainly changed in the short time I’ve been investing. Now LPs blog, tweet, share videos, speak at conferences, and even start directly investing in companies, on occasion. I reached out a small handful LPs I know personally and invited them to participate in this special series — while some politely declined on account of their investment group’s unstated rules of remaining out of the public eye, we were lucky enough to recruit five (5) LPs to share their views on five (5) different questions, with each LP receiving the same question. The group of five LPs composes of four (4) Fund of Funds, which aggregate capital to invest in VC and PE funds, among other types of funds, and one (1) university endowment; there are two (2) women among the group, as well. Each LP will share their views about their current view of the Bay Area ecosystem, how LPs are investing directly into companies, how they monitor VCs on social media, and much more. [Please note that I do not personally have a business relationship with any of the LPs who will be in this series.]

As a newer investor trying to learn, I find this trend of LPs sharing their views and being more public as good for the ecosystem. I believe founders should have a better understanding of the source of where the money comes from — this isn’t to say that they should delve too deep into it (it’s not that exciting!), but I believe it’s important to never take for granted where the money does come from. I want to support efforts to shine a spotlight on LP thinking, such as the podcast series by Notation Capital (“Origins”) or when Harry Stebbings (“20 Minute VC”) has an LP on his show. I’ve now followed and interacted with a small handful of LPs on Twitter over the years, as well, and many of them have gone out of their way to help me get better at what I do. So, thanks to all the LPs who participated in this mini-series (which starts this Friday, May 26), and to Connie, who gets a well-deserved break a bit earlier this year.

Haystack is written by Semil Shah, and is published under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license. Copyright © 2017 Semil Shah.

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