Q: What are the main responsibilities of an average venture capitalist?
Let’s break it down a bit.
General Partners at VC firms have to:
- Raise capital. Yes, VCs themselves have to raise the money they invest. If you are top tier firm, with a long track record, this often can be done easily. If you aren’t though, it can take years. And so this can consume anywhere from 5%-50% of your time.
- Manage their LPs. This doesn’t take a massive amount of time, but it does take time. VCs have to manage their own investors, the “LPs” or Limited Partners. This includes an Annual Meeting (which can take a lot of prep), quarterly reporting, audits, and more. This is probably 5% of your time.
- Manage existing investments. This can take a lot of time, especially if you are on a lot of boards. Many VCs end up spending 40%-50% on 15+ boards, and sort of become professional board members. In addition, in some cases VCs spend a material amount of time interviewing executives and others for portfolio companies. And startups that fail often take a fair amount of time and drama to wind down. And then there are founder issues. All together, this can take 50% of your time or more.
- Networking (sourcing) and marketing. One way or another you have to source deals. This can be by meeting with earlier-stage investors. Or frequent co-investors. Or talking with top angels and CEOs they know. Or attending demo days. Or doing marketing — blog posts, digital events, etc. etc. One way or another, it’s sales. So you have to find a way to soruce the best deals.
- Internal management and related internal management overhead. All of Monday is often taken up with partner meetings and pitches. Add other internal work, and internal work can take up 15%-20% of your time.
You can see already this can add up to 100% of your time — and that’s without finding, sourcing and winning even 1 new deal.
So best case, most established general partners with a full plate of existing investments spend < 50% of their time on their own new deals.
Often < 30%.