Meeting Companies at the Earliest Stages of Their Formation

One of the patterns I see in venture capital is fund managers, especially emerging managers, drifting downstream to invest at a later stage as they have success. Managers naturally invest at a later stage as they raise larger funds. More on that here and here.  I understand venture fund managers' desire to raise larger funds, but I see things differently.

Meeting companies at the earliest stages of their formation is a massive opportunity for outsize impact and financial returns. It helps accelerate the success of founders, whose solutions can have a positive impact on society and address overlooked problems. When investments at the time of company formation are successful, they generate outsize returns for founders, employees, and fund managers and their limited partners. Those returns are, hopefully, recycled into other early-stage investments.

Raising larger funds and benefiting from the additional resources generated from increased management fees makes sense, but I think that doing so must be balanced with the risk of not being at the fountainhead of company formation.