I regularly receive emails from entrepreneurs sharing the business plan of their company which is in direct competition with one of our startups. It wouldn’t be right for us to fund a startup competing with an existing portfolio company for two reasons.
First, helping one company would hurt the other. This wouldn’t be fair to the entrepreneur running the company that we don’t help.
Second, we would be exposed to information from both companies. Although we could refrain from sharing this information in theory, it would be much more difficult to do so in practice. While we wouldn’t share the actual information, it would inevitably influence our thinking and recommendations for the strategies of each company. Taking this a step further, armed with this knowledge, entrepreneurs would be motivated to stop sharing information with us altogether.
Because of these reasons we don’t invest in startups that are in direct competition with an existing investment. Entrepreneurs pursuing such a business therefore don’t need to waste their time by applying to us for funding.
To see if your business is in competition with one of our companies, you can browse our investments on our website. A very small fraction of our startups request to be kept private and the remaining 95%+ are public.
Also published on Medium.