The Top 9 Books on Venture Capital

It’s the start of the year, which means it’s just the right time to start searching for new books to learn about startups and the world of investing. I’ve put together a brief list of the best books for those interested in launching a new career in venture capital, or for those who are simply looking to learn more about the process behind VC investments. Many of these books are also suggested reading for those joining Rebel One where I lead the investment team.

Some of these might be familiar to many of you, such as Peter Thiel’s Zero to One, while other’s might be completely new. Below I’ve given a brief description of each book, and why I believe they are important in learning more about the world of VC:

The title of this book is actually much longer and gives a thorough idea of the content it covers. In this book, Ramsinghani, a VC investor himself, covers all topics related to VC, including best practices for raising a fund, to structuring investments, to evaluating exit strategies. This book is specifically directed at current or aspiring venture capitalists– it is not directed at entrepreneurs who are raising a round. This book is great because it covers all of the bases in this field, and explains complicated jargon in plain English without coming off oversimplified, but is more of a ‘text book’. In addition, Ramsinghani years of experience shines throughout the book, leaving behind essential wisdom for getting started in this field.

Purchase the book here: The Business of Venture Capital: Insights from Leading Practitioners on the Art of Raising a Fund, Deal Structuring, Value Creation, and Exit Strategies

2. Venture Deals by Brad Feld & Jason Mendelson

While The Business of Venture Capital gives you a full overview of the venture capital world, Venture Deals zeros in on one of the most crucial and often misunderstood parts of VC investments: the term sheet. Authors Felds and Mendelson have over 20 years of experience in venture capital financing, and while they’ve often sat on the side of the investor, with this book, they demystify some of the more complex jargon in term sheets for entrepreneurs hoping to get a good deal — and layer in some humor where they can. Although this book is great for entrepreneurs raising capital, it also features invaluable information on setting fair terms for both investors and entrepreneurs and learning how to spot bad deals.

Purchase the book here: Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist

3. The Entrepreneurial Bible to Venture Capital by Andrew Romans

Another book written by a seasoned VC investor, The Entrepreneurial Bible to Venture Capital is a great read for both current & aspiring venture capitalists, and for entrepreneurs raising a round. The book gives a general overview of the world of VC investments, including how to raise angel and VC funding, how to build value in companies, and how to exit with maximum value for both founders and investors. If you had to pick one book from the list that gives thorough, practical advice on how to get started, then this is the pick for you.

Purchase the book here: The Entrepreneurial Bible to Venture Capital: Inside Secrets from the Leaders in the Startup Game

4. Mastering the VC Game by Jeff Bussgang

Another book written by a seasoned VC investor and Harvard Business School Senior Lecturer, Mastering the VC Game is a great read for current venture capitalists and founders. Jeff Bussgang shares the story of his entrepreneurial journey and profiles several leading investors and founders. The book is a great pick if you are looking for an overview of the industry and insight into personal stories of leading investors.

Purchase the book here: Mastering the VC Game

5. Raising Venture Capital For The Serious Entrepreneur by Demot Berkery

Berkery’s book gives a thorough overview of the venture capital industry, with an in-depth look at raising capital and deal terms. What makes this book unique is its practicality: aside from including useful case studies, it includes charts and term sheet exercises for aspiring investors and entrepreneurs to test their knowledge of various financing scenarios. If you want to actively practice what it would be like to evaluate a deal and set negotiate terms, then this is the right book for you to get started with.

Purchase the book here: Raising Venture Capital For The Serious Entrepreneur

6. The Innovation Blind Spot by Ross Baird

The Innovation Blind Spot is a great book for those passionate about making for-profit impact investments and are passionate about advancing the field of venture capital. The author, Ross Baird, is co-founder of Village Capital, a global social impact fund, that has taken strides to develop new tools, methods, and networks to better support founders launching startups focused on creating a social impact. In the book he details what he details the flaws and opportunities in the traditional venture capital model along with sharing the steps Village Capital has taken to make access to capital more equitable for founders of all backgrounds and origins. An excellent book for those interested in venture capital and impact.

Purchase the book here: Innovation Blind Spot

7. The Startup Playbook by David Kidder

If the previous books on this list gave you a thorough look into the world of VC, the rest will focus on what it takes to build a successful startup. After all, to evaluate good deals, you must understand the process of creating value in companies. The Startup Playbook is a great book, not only because it’s a fun, relaxing read, but also because it provides key insights into how some of the world’s most iconic organizations (PayPal, LinkedIn, AOL, TED, Flickr, etc.) were built. This book is great for entrepreneurs looking for key advice in building their companies, and for investors interested in learning more about how it works on the founder side.

Purchase the book here: The Startup Playbook: Secrets of the Fastest-Growing Startups from Their Founding Entrepreneurs

8. Zero to One by Peter Thiel

When you hear the name Peter Thiel, two things probably come to mind: the book Zero to One and a little something called the PayPal Mafia. Indeed, Thiel is both infamous and also incredibly experienced in the world of both building companies and VC investments, which makes his book an essential read for investors and entrepreneurs alike. In this book, Thiel challenges would-be entrepreneurs to push against the bounds of today’s technological advances to create something that no one has seen before. He presses that tomorrow’s greats will not have competition, because they will be building something entirely new, effectively going from zero to one. All in all, Zero to One is insightful, and it’s also a quick read, for those looking for a quick book.

Purchase the book here: Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

9. The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

Horowitz is the co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of the most famed investors in Silicon Valley. His book is an essential read because he discusses some of the harder parts about building a company that others are reluctant to talk about– firing friends, poaching competitors, and all of the small but crucial decisions founders have to make every day. Whereas many glamorize the world of startups, Horowitz gives a straightforward and often painful account of the lessons he’s learned throughout his career as a VC investor and entrepreneur. This one is great for anyone building a business, and anyone hoping to learn about some of the more difficult aspects of building a company.

Purchase the book here: The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

Like this list of book suggestions and are looking for more content on this space? Follow me to stay tuned for some of my other suggestions, including top podcasts, movies, and newsletters that you check out as an aspiring and emerging investor.

By Sergio Marrero & Alana Matos, The Economist

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