A few years ago someone wrote a post along these lines:
“every VC thinks the investors investing earlier than them is a gambler, and everyone after them is a quant, sleepy investor”
The statement gained attention as early stage investors claimed rigor and the later stage investors claimed excitement. I know my sweetspot- investing post technology risk and at the inflection of commercial adoption. It is where I can gain a competitive advantage and the stage where my “CRO” mindset can help out the most. This is also where Energize Ventures naturally invests: late Series A to Series C.
For a host of different reasons, I made my first SUPER early stage investment yesterday. The entrepreneur was a spin-out from one of our portfolio companies and a number of his colleagues (and our portfolio company CEO!) also invested. The product is surprisingly commercially advanced but definitely way earlier than the Energize risk profile. I don’t intend to make these early stage investments often and I don’t have a pattern for consistent evaluation yet. What I do know is that ultimately I made the investment almost exclusively due to the entrepreneur and seeing his product skills at our portfolio company and his scrappiness with the new endeavor. Maybe that is the framework at this stage: entrepreneur 90%, big market 10%. I will keep you posted. And yeah, it is a little crazy.