Fundraising: How Wasp tracked 250+ meetings in 98 days to get to the oversubscribed round
At Demo Day Wasp had solid traction, but no monetization yet. Learn how they chased "no's" and got to an oversubscribed round.
If you want to be a successful venture capitalist, you need to perfectly organize your data, pipelines, and communication with your limited partners (LPs) and founders. This assures an effective process until closing of a deal, with frictionless collaboration in the team.
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.
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.
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.
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 workflow, clearly manage each step of the process, and organize the information and documents needed for each specific investor group.
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.
Our LP pipeline is structured with stages that help us track each step of our process as we build relationships with potential LPs.
This 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.
In addition to tracking LPs and Deals in pipelines, Streak includes several tools in Gmail that help us effectively manage our fund.
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.
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 it was sent. We can quickly see if it’s been a while since the last interaction and reach out to keep the relationship moving forward.
Streak email sharing lets our team see each other’s emails if they’ve been added to 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.
Saved views in Streak allow us to filter, sort, and group pipelines to find which work we need to prioritize or locate specific data.
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.
Streak allows us to send personalized mass emails from our Gmail accounts with their mail merge feature.
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!
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.