One Multifamily Office’s Approach to Start-up Investing

I listened to some folks from a multifamily office explain how they help clients (wealthy families or family offices) invest in tech start-ups. It works like this: The client tells the multifamily office they want to invest in tech start-ups. The multifamily office then talks to various venture capital fund managers that match the client’s parameters (stage, sector, etc.). The multifamily office sends the fund docs to the client for review or sets up meetings between the fund manager and client. If the client likes the manager, they invest and hope to invest with them for a number of funds.

As I was listening to this, I thought about the various layers:

family > multifamily office > venture capital fund manager > start-up

This process to match a tech start-up with the capital from a family seeking to invest in start-ups is inefficient and highly relationship driven. This is just one example based on one conversation, but it’s a good example of the inefficiency endemic to matching capital and start-ups.