In many VC firms, someone leads each potential investment. This deal lead develops conviction about the company by learning as much as they can about it. Once they’re convinced the firm should invest, they turn their energy toward convincing others in the firm of the merits of investing.
This effort usually involves preparing an internal deal memo that details what the deal lead has learned about the company and lays out the case for an investment. To those who see them, these memos provide a rare glimpse of how VC firms evaluate a company for investment.
These deal memos are often protected work product that VC firms don’t publicize. Bessemer Venture Partners, though, has made deal memos about some of their successful investments—Yelp, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Shopify, and others—available for public viewing. These memos aren’t recent and likely have been scrubbed, but they still provide a great perspective on how Bessemer’s deal lead evaluated each company for investment.
If you’re interested in reading Bessemer’s deal memos, you can do so here.