NPS for Venture Capital: Measuring Customer Feedback (Part 2)

Jon Snow does know a few things but would know even more by measuring feedback!

I detailed in a previous post how we came to set up a dedicated platform allowing us to get meaningful feedback from founders we meet.

The platform has been up and running for a year now and we collected lots of feedback so I thought I’d share an extract of what we learned so far (1)

Most companies provided feedback
63% of companies which we talked to answered the survey. This is better than we had anticipated but not as good as what we hoped. Because we know founders have crazy inboxes, we’re looking into better techniques to improve participation including rewording the message or changing the time at which it is sent.

We start on time!
Who said French people are always late!! 100% of respondent said they were happy with the meeting start time! This might sound trivial but it all starts with small things like this.

People like coming to our office:
We’re lucky to have amazing offices located in a mews house in South Kensington.
For those who’ve visited us, they know about the traditional photo in front of the ipod museum or the no-shoe policy upstairs and praise the “homey” feeling. We score 4.9 out of 5 for meetings held at our office on “C4 Ventures’ ability to make you feel welcome” but we’d like to think it’s also because we’re nice people ;-)

Consistent rating between team members
We’re not asking founders to rate us individually but when the survey is set up, we detail who was attending on our side. The ratings are actually very consistent between team members so it’s hard to extract any clear learning. Inès is rated slightly higher in her ability to be “straight and to the point” or to the statement: “I see myself working with C4V”. On my side, I am rated a bit higher for being “knowledgeable about [my] sector”.

A large majority of founders would like to work with C4 Ventures
As we always say at C4 Ventures, great entrepreneurs get selected by the best VC but amazing entrepreneurs choose their investors. It’s obviously hard for an entrepreneur to say from one meeting if they’d like to work with us but there is never a second chance to make a first impression so it’s important to measure this first impression. With that in mind, 71% of founders would like to work with C4V and even 16% can’t see anybody better!

“C4 can be a fantastic investor, not only as investment partner, but also driving broad pool of investors”
Semi-conductor startup founder, December 2017

We were surprised by the rating per sector
At C4 Ventures, we only invest in three sectors: Future of Commerce, Smart Hardware and Digital Media Technologies. So it’s interesting to see how they compare.

On average, commerce related companies give the highest mark on the overall impression of the meeting question (4.8 out of 5). We tend to be well known for our Hardware investments (Nest, Netatmo, Graphcore, Anki…) so we thought it’d be higher for Hardware but that’s not the case (4.4 out of 5). Maybe we know hardware so well that we tend to be less prepared and open minded on the long-term vision? We’ll definitively work on that!

“C4 understand disruptive ecommerce. Their team are highly knowledgeable, straight talking & focused on the economics of the industry”
eCommerce startup founder, Aug 2017

NPS’ main drivers
Why was it so important to us to monitor NPS? We know first hand that being recommended by founders is extremely important: we invested in Clippings last year thanks to the recommendation of another great founder even if we decided not to invest in his own company.

Our NPS is currently (end of February 2018) at 55. It’s hard to have a benchmark with other funds. I remember a couple of years ago a Partner at Andreessen-Horowitz telling me their NPS was around 65 but can’t find any public data. That said, it’s clear that the context of the question or the time at which you asked it would have a huge impact on the ratings so rather than comparing, we’ll focus on monitoring our own NPS evolution.

I still wanted to understand a bit more what had an impact on the score that builds the NPS so I looked at the difference in ratings between promoters and detractors for various questions. Fortunately, the number of detractors is not significant so I included the neutral scorers to make the analysis relevant.

Among these questions (which were rated 1 to 5), being knowledgeable about the company’s sector and preparing well the meeting seem to be the key to secure a high NPS. Great! This is why we decided to invest only in specific sectors.

We're monitoring many other factors so there is much more that I could share but I hope this article gave you a glimpse of the way we work at C4 Ventures and we look forward to receiving more investment opportunity and improving on the way we interact with entrepreneurs.

Olivier

(1) All results as of 28/2/2017 and over a 12 months period.