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Investor pipeline management for VCs using Streak - best practices from World Fund

Investor pipeline management for VCs using Streak - best practices from World Fund

min read

If you want to be a successful venture capitalist, you need to perfectly organize data and your communication with limited partners (LPs) and founders in investor pipelines. This ensures an effective process until closing of a deal, with frictionless collaboration in the team.

For World Fund, the largest Climate Tech VC in Europe, Streak is the best tool for that. We’ve found that Streak allows us to streamline and automate our workflows – especially those related to investor pipeline management.

World Fund is a VC specialized in backing entrepreneurs building climate tech startups. With a target volume of €350m, World Fund is Europe’s largest climate tech VC.

We invest in technologies within the highest emitting sectors, namely Energy, Industry & Manufacturing, Food, Land Use & Agriculture (FALU), Transportation, and Buildings. The technologies we invest in have the potential to reduce carbon emissions by at least 100Mt CO2e compared to the existing systems and technologies.

Here are some of our best practices.

<a href="#venture-capital-fund" class="anchor-link">What is a venture capital fund?</a>

  • <a href="#designing-process-venture-capital" class="anchor-link">Designing a process to meet the needs of key players in Venture Capital</a>

<a href="#using-streak-for-vc-fund" class="anchor-link">How can Streak be used for raising a VC fund and satisfying LPs?</a>

  • <a href="#stages-in-investor-pipeline" class="anchor-link">Stages in an investor pipeline</a>

<a href="#crm-tools-in-gmail" class="anchor-link">CRM tools in Gmail for Venture Capital</a>

  • <a href="#gmail-integration" class="anchor-link">Gmail integration</a>
  • <a href="#team-collaboration-visibility" class="anchor-link">Team collaboration and visibility</a>
  • <a href="#filtering-pipelines-prioritize-work" class="anchor-link">Filtering pipelines to prioritize work and outreach</a>
  • <a href="#mass-emails-mail-merge-gmail" class="anchor-link">Send mass personalized emails with mail merge in Gmail</a>

<a href="#managing-pipelines-with-streak" class="anchor-link">How to start managing investor pipelines with Streak</a>

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What is a venture capital fund?

Let's first explain what a Venture Capital (VC) fund is and what exactly World Fund is doing: VC is a form of equity financing that focuses on investing in startups with strong growth potential. It allows entrepreneurs and young companies to raise funding even before they have started operations or generating revenue. 

VC is associated with high-risk and high-return opportunities. So, fund managers build VC funds to collect money and then spread the risk across various ventures with the fund investments.
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Designing a process to meet the needs of key players in Venture Capital

But who invests in VC funds?

Common investors, so-called LPs, are individuals, corporations, and asset managers.

At World Fund, we initially worked mainly with “High Net Worth Individuals” (HNWIs). These are successful entrepreneurs themselves, like Verena Pausder and Rolf Schrömgens, other investors, or Family Offices such as that of Mario Götze. But the largest LPs are institutional investors like Fund of Funds, Endowments, Foundations, Banks, Insurances, Corporations, Pension Funds or Asset Managers.

A screenshot of different investor types in an LPs pipeline in Streak
Example of different investor types in an LPs pipeline

Each type of potential LP has their own characteristics and requirements. It’s important for us to take this into account in our process to make it as easy as possible for our team and our LPs. 

For example, HNWIs were mainly introduced via our network or inbound interest through articles or podcasts. They usually don’t perform rigorous due diligence (DD), but rely more on their trust and heart. 

Institutions on the other hand require significantly more time and look into every DD item in much more detail. While HNWIs might decide to invest after one call, institutions take many calls - often starting with more junior members of the team and working up to the decision-makers. 

Because of this, our Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) & Impact requirements as part of the DD at World Fund are different depending on the investor group: institutions usually require a deeper DD in these aspects. 

With Streak, we can create a custom investor pipeline for our workflow, clearly manage each step of the process, and organize the information and documents needed for each specific investor group.

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Using a CRM to manage LP relationships

So, how can Streak be used for raising a VC fund and satisfying LPs? 

At World Fund, we use Streak as our CRM tool for (potential) LPs, Deals, and other processes.
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Stages in an investor pipeline

Our investor pipeline is structured with stages that help us track each step of our process as we build relationships with potential LPs. 

A screenshot of the stages in a pipeline for tracking processes with Streak CRM

Stages in World Fund VC's investor pipeline

  1. Lead: Our pipeline starts with the “Lead” stage, where we add a potential LP. As soon as we get introduced to someone or see someone who might be interested, we add them to our pipeline
  2. In Contact: When the conversation starts to pick up, they get moved to the “In Contact” stage and usually the first call is scheduled. 
  3. Exploration: The next stage is “Exploration”, where we evaluate the mutual fit and the potential LP needs to gather conviction to get an initial commitment for Due Diligence. 
  4. Due Diligence: Once we get their commitment, they get moved to the “DD” Stage in which they evaluate every detail of our structure, strategy, team, etc. to make sure it fits with their mandate. 
  5. Committed: In the “Committed” stage are all those who have decided to invest in World Fund but still need to sign. 
  6. Onboarding: The signing and Due Diligence (e.g. Anti-Money Laundering checks) from our side happen in the “Onboarding” stage. After everything is completed, they become an LP and get moved to this stage in our investor pipeline as well. 
  7. LP: Our “LP” stage is a digital twin of the legal investment and accounting structure to allow effective investor relations. 
  8. Lost: Of course, there is also a “Lost” stage for those who have decided against investing. 
  9. Watchlist: Finally, we have a “Watchlist,” which is like an email list to send newsletters for those who might be looking to invest at a later stage.

This investor pipeline structure allows us to keep track of each potential LP in our funnel and adjust the required next steps for each one based on the investor type. 

Being able to easily see how many potential LPs we have in each stage also allows us to track our fundraising progress and whether we are aligned with our targets.

Since we use Streak as a team, everyone has insight into the current commitments for the next close as well as the expected closing amount at any given time.

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CRM tools in Gmail for Venture Capital

In addition to tracking LPs and Deals in pipelines, Streak includes several tools in Gmail that help us effectively manage our fund.
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Gmail integration

Since Streak is built right into Gmail, it can pull email data into our pipelines, which helps us understand where each potential LP is in our process. 

A screenshot of the email data pulled by Streak from Gmail

Example of magic columns in a pipeline

For example, magic columns in our pipelines automatically pull in email data in real-time.

This allows everyone on our team to see who sent the last email in any conversation and when they sent it. We can quickly see if it’s been a while since the last interaction and reach out to keep the relationship moving forward.

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Team collaboration and visibility

Streak email sharing lets our team see each other’s emails if they’ve been added to a pipeline.

A screenshot of the pipeline in Streak email sharing

Example of LPs being assigned to team members in a pipeline

Seeing email data for all of our potential LPs helps us facilitate communication among everyone on our team while avoiding crossing wires and double-contacting a potential LP. 

Additionally, Streak allows us to assign a team member to each potential LP. That team member is responsible for keeping the process going and managing tasks for each potential LP.

This allows everyone to stay on top of their LPs and also gives us a great information basis for weekly meetings. 
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Filtering pipelines to prioritize work and outreach

Saved views in Streak allow us to filter, sort, and group pipelines to find which work we need to prioritize or locate specific data. 

A screenshot of the filter, sort, and group pipeline functions in Streak

Example of saved views in an LPs pipeline

For example, we can create a saved view to identify the LPs that require follow-up by filtering on how many days they’ve been in a certain stage, or when we last had an interaction with them. 

Filters also allow us to identify LPs in our CRM with low data hygiene so we can clean it up in Streak. 
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Send mass personalized emails with mail merge in Gmail

Streak allows us to send personalized mass emails from our Gmail accounts with their mail merge feature. 

A screenshot of pop-up windows in Gmail's personalized mass email function with Streak's mail merge feature

Example of a mail merge sent to LPs

We use Mail Merge campaigns to contact a large number of potential LPs at the same time with automated follow-ups. This has proven very helpful for messaging about events like our public launch announcement. 

We also use mail merge for investor relations, such as keeping LPs updated on fund information, or requesting information from LPs such as a vote, event RSVPs, or asks for helping our startups. 

The automated follow-up is particularly helpful to efficiently get everyone’s response. 

As a VC it is very important to get your data structure right and make all of the necessary information easily available and easy to find for your team. Streak is a great enabler for these requirements and helps us to serve our LPs and founders best!
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How to start managing investor pipelines with Streak

You can start using Streak to manage investor pipelines by downloading the Chrome extension. Streak allows you to manage workflows right in Gmail and provides clear instructions on defining your own pipeline.

About the authors: Pia Laguna de la Vera is a member of the Investment Team at World Fund VC. Daniel Valenzuela, Head of Investor Relations and Impact at World Fund VC, also contributed to this article.

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