3 Things I Learned While Building a Investment Firm
I can’t believe it’s been a year since we announced the closure of our first fund. At times it feels surreal to be in a position to wire large sums of money to Black entrepreneurs.
In a future entry, I will expound on some of the following ideas, as this is far from exhaustive. Here are three things that I’ve learned while building an investment firm.
- During fundraising, we emphasized that our operator backgrounds would prove to be helpful for our portfolio. So far, we’ve been right. Many of our founders have found comfort and wisdom in the General Partners while building their companies. Some of the areas experience operators are most helpful include team leadership dynamics, go-to-market strategies, and fundraising.
- Diligence is a highly subjective task and grossly inconsistent. Throughout various deals, I’ve found that we have one of the most thorough diligence processes in the industry. It may be a bit annoying and time-consuming for founders; however, many of them will benefit in the long run. Inconsistencies in company formation, malformed agreements, and other legal matters cost companies time and future deals. I genuinely believe that our process puts founders in the best position to succeed.
- Personally, my background in building marketing agencies and development agencies has proven to help us make a world-class portfolio support organization. Approaching each investment like a client allows us to go deeper into some of the problems and identify how things are interconnected. For example, some operations function affects sales just as much as marketing spend. As a pseudo agency, we approach each portfolio company and provide a comprehensive approach to problem-solving and finding new opportunities to grow the business. It’s a very creative process that I hope to expand.
I’ll share more in the coming weeks as we continue to celebrate our fund’s journey and the support of 22 amazing Black-led companies.
More to come.