London-based venture capitalist Paul Fisher today blogs (partly in response to my tweet) that TheFunded, a largely US site which rates VCs on their performance, will ultimately be as tough for entrepreneurs as for VCs. He contends that entrepreneurs will “read the funded.com and either believe it to be truly representative or treat it as proper advice. This is very far away from the wisdom of crowds.”
I won’t go into all his points, which are detailed and worth reading. But it is clear that the European VC scene is going through some big changes, as I have previously blogged.
My general thought is that TheFunded is a highly scientific exercise in its ratings mechanism but it I am wary of a site “rating” a VC as if it was all as easy as applying a slide rule to a human being’s personality.
However, if TheFunded, or a European version, is imported to Europe it will have several effects. A more competitive market – the really bad VCs, in theory, will get “found out” – and Europe could do with that kind of shakeout, mainly at a local/regional level (the quality of the pan-Euro VCs is much higher). As you can see Adeo Ressi, the founder of the TheFunded, got a big reaction when I blogged his talk at The Next Web conference, so there is clearly appetite for this.
But I am also concerned that it may also make the whole scene much more adversarial in a bad way, and import a highly aggressive Silicon Valley style which may not suit us here just yet, given that this is a much earlier, smaller community (or am I wrong?). TheFunded works because there are a lot of VCs in America to rate and review in the first place. It may not work with less than 100 (major) VCs rattling around Europe.
Then again, Angel investors in Europe would also get rated and if there is one thing we could use it’s something that sorts out the Good Angels from the Evil Ones.