By all accounts, I was a successful emerging manager. I raised $65 million with fewer than 25 LPs, including an institutional fund of funds and a sovereign wealth fund. I was not a spin-out manager from a name brand fund. Hell, I didn’t even have a VC or tech background.
Still, I spent a good chunk of my fundraising period wrestling an unrelenting sense of self-criticism I couldn’t ignore. Fortunately, listening to that critical inner voice instead of ignoring it led to my success.
While there’s no one right way to go about fundraising, there are a few wrong ways — and failure is a wonderful teacher. Here’s how I learned from my failures in order to succeed as an emerging manager:
LPs don’t care about the same things you do
As a systematic fund that spent thousands of hours unearthing unique insights through deep research, I assumed that my LPs would care to know exactly what that research process looked like, what insights were uncovered and how they applied to our investments.
Instead of holding a rolling close, let the momentum build up and use that to create FOMO to force a formal closing.
To my surprise, they really didn’t care about any of that. At least not to the extent I thought they would.
By over-explaining how I was going to make them money, I committed the same mistake I’ve seen many technical founders make: talking incessantly about perceived superiority without gauging my listener’s actual interest in the topic.