Our Investment Process

Matt Wichrowski
Fly Ventures
Published in
3 min readSep 9, 2020


There’s a lot for founders to hate about the fundraising process and the opaque decision process that funds can have. At Fly we are strong believers in radical transparency. In that light, we’d like to summarize our approach to making seed investments. We hope this sheds light on what we value as a team and provides founders a sense of where they stand if we’re lucky enough to be speaking with them.

Photo by Maxime Montabord on Unsplash

Like most funds we always prefer to meet founders long before they raise. Regular check ins over time allow relationships to form more naturally and provides a better sense of how a team performs as operators. However once it’s clear that founder is actively raising we immediately transition into a three stage process of evaluating potential.

Stage 1: Evaluating

Timeline: 1–3 days

This is a mostly solo activity with a single member of the Fly team building understanding and conviction in an opportunity. A typical journey in this stage is: introduction call (40 minutes) -> follow up questions to the founder (email) -> secondary call (60 minutes) -> deep materials reading if applicable (white papers, case studies, etc.).

Stage 2: Evaluating High Priority (EHP)

Timeline: 2–3 days

This stage transitions from a solo activity to a team-wide effort. The sponsoring investor will partner up with a second member of our team and they will run the majority of the founder-facing effort, though spirited discussion and debate takes place on our end with everyone. There is usually a follow up call and/or email Q&A if needed, but the primary focus is the Onsite.

An Onsite is a ~two hour working session between the founders and sponsoring Partners of a deal. The goal of this session is two fold: 1) work through the 2–3 key areas and reach true investment conviction and 2) test the chemistry between the founders and Fly in a natural working environment. This is the final step for sponsoring Partners to build conviction. Progressing beyond this means those Partners want to formally endorse a company for investment.

(Historically the “Onsite” was performed at the startup’s office but in today’s environment we’re experimenting with a variety approaches)

In parallel we will try to validate our understanding through our network.

Stage 3: Building Investment Proposal (BIP)

Timeline: 1–3 days

The deal sponsors are now properly excited and clear out their schedule to run the final steps of our due diligence. Sponsoring Partners also pull in the rest of the Fly team for our final step, the Full Partner Meeting.

An All Partners Meeting is a ~60 minute meeting (pitch + Q&A) where founders present the company to the full Fly team. All Partners will have been prepped by the sponsoring team and will come well-read on all materials armed with their key questions. Pitches can take any format but usually this is an uninterrupted 15 minutes as we think it’s important to hear the authentic and complete founder narrative. Questions from our end can come from any Partner and we encourage all founders to speak to their specific areas of expertise. We think it’s important for our full team to meet the founders in order to properly vote on a deal. More importantly, we feel it’s critical that a founding team knows all of Fly. As a Fly portfolio company we are all in your corner and serve as your evangelists.

After the Full Partner Meeting we debate internally, vote and provide a final decision within 24 hours (but usually that evening). If we want to invest we will issue our standard term sheet and commit to as fast a closing as possible. Then it’s off to the races of realizing your ambition!

If you’re a (pre)seed stage founder building a deeply technical, enterprise focused startup we would love to meet you. Please reach out to anyone from the Fly Ventures team.