I recently came across the following Twitter reply by Semil Shah, an investor in companies like Instacart, DoorDash, and Navdy.
— Semil (@semil) April 5, 2015
Semil points out that if an entrepreneur is unsure about whether a VC is interested in their startup, the reality is that the VC isn’t interested. I fully agree.
One note is that this assessment is valid pre-investment, but may not be true post-investment. We have some portfolio startups I really like that I haven’t spoken to in over a month. There are two reasons for this. The first is our very large portfolio of over 60 investments and the second is that I don’t want to touch what’s not broken. I believe that when a startup is doing very well on its own, an investor can do more harm than good by being intimately involved.
In the pre-investment phase, if a VC is interested in your startup, the signals will be pretty obvious. We’ll fly to another city to meet you on short notice. We’ll be fully focused and prepared for our meeting and hone in to get your views on each of the key questions that will determine the success of your startup. We’ll ask how we can help out and even if you don’t have a specific request we’ll find a way to offer help. We’ll get back to you with an investment decision within a week of our meeting.
If we’re interested, you’ll know.