Some investors turn to cutting fully remote checks while sheltering in place

By March 16, founder Janine Yancey was tired of playing the waiting game. After watching the stock market take yet another unprecedented nosedive due to coronavirus, she called up a potential investor.

“If this isn’t going to happen, let’s call it now,” Yancey said, referring to the close of her Series A round, the first capital her culture tech company, Emtrain, would have accepted in 14 years. “At that point, I put my nose to the grindstone; I didn’t have a lot of bandwidth in engaging in conversation that wasn’t going anywhere.”

She had the conversation on Monday, and the deal closed on Friday. “I remember thinking, ‘this is the only deal that is happening this month,’ ” she recalled.

As lockdowns extend to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, investors and startups are searching for new ways to connect with each other. At this moment, deals are happening between screens instead of over drinks at The Battery or coffee at The Creamery. A number of investors have already cut fully remote checks, saying it impacts everything from the due diligence process, to appetite, to who gets to access capital in the first place.