The bull case for cold-calling VCs

Liron Azrielant
The Startup
Published in
4 min readJun 18, 2020

Cold-calling/emailing/LinkedIning is never said to be recommended for founders. I’ve heard advice from multiple investors saying to always ask for an intro and avoid reaching out cold at all costs.

For a long time, I thought I was the only one who responds to (and likes!) cold-emails. However, it seems that an increasing number of investors are growing more fond of cold-outreaches. And so, I believe it’s not the cold-outreach itself that’s wrong, its how most founders do it.

Email is best, LinkedIn is second best

I mostly read my emails on my computer during the workday, which is also how I prefer to review startups. Sending a LinkedIn message is also nice and professional, but I’m much more likely to view a LinkedIn message on my phone — increasing the chances I’ll miss it or read it with little attention.

Any platform that is considered more social than professional — Facebook, Whatsapp, Telegram or text messages will feel intruding on the investor or even creepy so best to avoid them.

Twitter mentions are a cute way of grabbing someones attention, but it will be hard to move from the investor thinking “oh, she is funny” to “let’s take a serious look at her business” and therefore less likely to get you what you want.

I’ve intentionally left out phone calls as an option since no one really answers their phone anymore.

Do your homework!

I think the biggest problem with cold-emailing is that it is easy to do in mass, and as such, can be very overwhelming for investors. I also believe this is why investors work so hard to discourage cold-emailing — if everybody did it, we’d be forced to manage thousands of emails a day.

For the investors’ sake, as well as for other founders who are hoping to get investors’ attention, try to avoid emailing investors that are clearly not relevant for you. For example, I invest only in Israeli-related startups at the seed and pre-seed stages, it should be pretty easy to understand that from looking at my LinkedIn, asking people who know me or browsing through our fund’s website. I wouldn’t expect a founder to email me about a business not based in Israel or not raising a pre-seed/seed round.

Liron Azrielant
The Startup

Venture Capitalist, productivity enthusiast, recovering mathematician and a newly-minted mom