Investment Thesis 101 - Part 2: Our Case

Tomas Kindl
Air Ventures
Published in
4 min readMar 3, 2020


This article is a second part of the “Investment Thesis 101” series. Please, check out our previous article if you haven’t done so yet. In this part, I am going to focus more on our own investment thesis and what is the rationale behind each section of it. Please, do not hesitate to grab a copy of our investment thesis HERE.

Let’s get to the core of the poodle, I should start with a brief rationale behind investment thesis so I can refer to my previous article: “Investment thesis is a cornerstone or a code of conduct for every venture capital fund because it gathers and represents the beliefs of all parties concerned from limited partners and partners to analysts to help with marketing of the fund and mainly with the decision making process”.

I have one important remark to make. I forgot to mention that one of the most important aspects of every investment thesis is availability. VCs should make their thesis available to a wide audience. Why? Because it can save a lot of time for both parties involved. Founders should think about funding as their biggest distraction towards the goal. I usually urge founders to not think about an investment as prize money or some sort of reward rather than one of their biggest liabilities in life. Therefore, it does not make any sense for founders to “spray and pray” all of the investors with lengthy pitch decks because not every startup founder and not every VC fund is aligned in terms of the preferences = investment thesis. So this so-called “distraction” (funding) can save a plentiful of time when founders try to search for the investment thesis or they look in the investor’s portfolio.

Our investment thesis starts with coverage of the basics: stage, industry (domains) and geography. I am sure that most of the readership is aware of these terms, nevertheless, we are doing these articles to educate all of the readers who stumble upon our series. Let’s start with the stage, why Seed & Series A? We believe that these stages are quite frequent in our geography and also we identified them as stages where we can boost market adoption, business development, founder mentorship, and hiring. Why is staying industry (domain) agnostic important for us? Simply the funnel gets bigger and naturally, we are opportunists but as you can see it has many caveats to it. We do not welcome companies where guns, gambling or “fear” (usury) take any part of their business activities. Lastly, every fund needs to settle on geography they want to cover, this can be identified by the partners or it can be dictated by limited partners. In our case, the limited partner structure is open to every geography so I along with the partners have pinpointed a few geographies which represent the best opportunities.

The more important part of our investment thesis is “specifics”. We tend to think about 8 areas of importance that need to be apparent in every startup.

The potential of “ecosystem” creation is the most important one, at least in my opinion. This creation can be explained as a particular tool or service that becomes a vital part of our daily agenda or part of our habit. Habit or routine can be created by products being versatile. Versatility lets users tweak the tool or service to their biggest benefit. How can startups let users tweak their solution? The answer is interconnection, think Slack, in Slack you can integrate your Google Drive with a Microsoft Outlook and it will work seamlessly. This part of our “specifics” is hard to find in our stage and geography preference but it is essential to get the grand vision out of the founder’s head prior to the investment.

The potential of going upmarket, as well as the potential of high lead sales velocity, is very straightforward and we have not reinvented the wheel here. Therefore, I would love to suggest you readings put by almighty Tomasz Tunguz: Sales Velocity, Going Upmarket. The Product/Solution stickiness is tightly interconnected to going upmarket. More precisely, what makes the solution superior to others in terms of product/market fit is the ability to upsell and cross-sell existing customers and keep their attention and use of the solution for the longest possible time.

Large but not apparent market, well now we are coming to the nitty-gritty. We have borrowed a quote from Jason Lemkin's article:

“Your growth defines your TAM. Your TAM doesn’t define your growth”

This quote symbolizes the fight of every founder on how to predict the total addressable market and consequently how to behave on the market and more importantly how to price. We think that market sizing should be always done in a bottom-up approach way which forces you to think about existing customers and the competitive landscape rather than a top-down approach where the market is very much finite.

Last but not least, founder commitment is the number one differentiator for investors because it is essentially playing a safe game for the investors to spot incredible “owner-operator” founders with prolific commitment to build world-renowned startups. Startup investing is a journey where the best investors have to cross the river rubicon to spot the founders who are possibly better than them!

Dear readers, as always, please do not hesitate to reach to us via my email ( or via our Typeform.



Tomas Kindl
Air Ventures

Venture Capital at Air Ventures

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