Tl;dr; Collection of VC investment memos to invest in tech startups that have been made public by the GPs of the firms. Some are full and others are commentary as that’s the best that I can find.
If you are a startup and venture capital nerd, you have a list of cool things you’d love to know about. The problem is that particularly on the VC side very little is shared. Whether it is startups sharing pitch decks, or VCs sharing investment memos or their thesis, everyone deep down is shy. They’re worried about being judged. Frankly, it’s easier to look smart by writing a few lines in a Tweetstorm than sharing your analysis.
There’s more of course. Larger firms are just that. No one can just share something, they need to get approval from the committee and there are more than a few Dilbert comic opportunities there. So taken by the general fear of sharing, it takes someone special to push through to share their ‘soul’.
I’ve been able to find 32 investment memos in total to date. I use that term broadly as a few of them are just commentary on excerpts of their investment memo. Given the dearth of investment memos, I’ve tried to share as much as possible.
Why aren’t there more memos? Michael Dempsey tweeted this:
IMO VCs on average don’t share (and you know I’ve tried) because it’s a lot easier/safer to sound smart in 3 talking points than it is in a well reasoned memo that recognizes downside possibility and leaves you vulnerable.
Interestingly Steve Schlafman tweeted:
I’m a big believer in letting founders review the investment memo on their company before pitching the partnership. Both sides benefit.
Reading on investment memos
Here are all the blogs pertaining to investment memos I can find, including the occasional template.
If you can something to add, shout out in the comments and I’ll add it.
- 50 angel deal memos This is a random one. Muhan Zhang is investing $10k across 50 startups and has written v short memos on each
- Investment memo template by Steve Schlafman
- A Template for Startup Executive Summary or Investment Memo for VCs
- What do we base our investment decisions on? Open source Deal memo Template– Point9 share a template and thoughts on how they make investment decisions
- The Investment Memo by Next View Ventures. Also might find this interesting How a Seed VC Makes Investment Decisions
- What We Talk About When We Talk About Companies by Rob Go at Next View Ventures
- How to Write the Perfect Investment Memo
- Investment Memo by Y-Combinator
- The VC Memo: Lessons For Entrepreneurs
- Startup investment memo by Koor and Associates
- Investment Memos for VC Interviews
- VC 201: The Investment Memo by AWS
- Michael Dempsey Investment Memo Template – September 2019 by Michael Dempsey at Compound
- Thoughts on Investment Memos by Michael Dempsey at Compound
- The Investment Memo by Tim Devane at Inception Capital
- A quick guide to writing an early-stage biotech investment memo
- A Memo About Writing Investment Memos
- How To Underwrite An Industrial Deal & Create Investment Memos Lp’S Love – This is about property not VC, but there are still things to learn. They share their underwriting process. They also have a memo template. Again, not “VC” but worth having a look at.
- Here’s my investment memo template – Michael Dempsey wrote a blog that has some thoughts and a template. I looked at the template and he seems to have not changed settings so random people have killed it with edits
VC investment thesis’
Venture capital investors typically (hopefully) have an investment thesis. It’s what they agree with their limited partners (LPs) as to what they are going to invest in.
You’d think that investors will share these, but well, they don’t. I’ve collected all the ones I can find here: Investment Thesis Collection from Venture Capital Firms
Venture Capital Investment Memo Collection
You can click through to the 32 investment memos here:
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