After what felt like winter, investors say startup deals are back on — although the numbers suggest they never stopped. As Semil Shah of Haystack VC phrased it in a blog post, “It’s game on, pandemic or bust.”
This is good news for founders and big funds, but the investment landscape becomes more complicated when it comes to up-and-coming venture capitalists. “My impression of the current mood amongst traditional limited partners is that most have slowed down considerably in terms of net new investments, new relationships,” Shah told TechCrunch.
So rebound or not, we’re in a volatile time, and first-time fund managers are looking for unique ways to de-risk themselves.
One route: Put liquidity up high in your pitch deck. Moore Ventures, a new fund focused on investing in diverse teams working on sustainability, is experimenting with an unconventional fund structure. Instead of traditional ventures where returns come from multiple rounds of financing and an exit either through acquisition or IPO, Moore is concentrating on successful liquidity strategies throughout a portfolio company’s life.
Constant commercialization, if it works, could be music to a limited partner’s ears.
“Some will fall into the licensing model, some will be developing the product and then selling the design and manufacturing process to an existing company before expanding marketing and sales. Only if a company has the ability to expand its product base and scale will we plan to commercialize through the traditional company development process,” said Darius Sankey, a general partner at Moore Ventures.