Decoding VC Speak

In an earlier post I wrote on various "Tips to ptich before vc". Today let me point you to some very useful insights on decoding the what VC's speak. In very much a similar way, VC's are as difficult as a girl to understand. However, the advantage with VC's is some of them give you insights into their working.

"I will partially reproduce here a post titled "Translating VC Speak" by Sanjay Anandaram. All too often hopeful entrepreneurs approach venture capitalists (VCs) and then keep approaching them with the same set of slides. After a while, disappointment sets in. ‘VCs in India are risk averse’, ‘They do not understand my business plan’, ‘None of them have operating backgrounds so they cannot appreciate the position’ are some of the common refrains. It is, therefore, worth understanding the language used by VCs during the meetings. “Interesting but…..” The word ‘interesting’ has many meanings but almost certainly never means that the VC is excited. The meaning of the word varies from ‘OK, nice’ to ‘intriguing’. It is also used as a place-holder or a punctuation mark. The ‘but’ that follows is dangerous. Means the VC is not positively inclined. “Who else have you talked to?” This is not a general innocent question. This is a way for the VC to know who else is looking at the deal and therefore, how he or she should pace the decision-making process. If a lot of VCs have been approached without much progress, the red flag goes up since VCs do compare notes about the deal among themselves. Usually, VCs work in syndicates and want to know if the other VCs being approached are people they would like to work with on the deal in question. In some cases, it can mean that the deal is getting hot and therefore, they need to move fast."

Please go to the post for more such tips.

[pErson pRofile]
Sanjay has over two decades of experience and belongs to the been there, seen that and done that breed of Indian techies. Some of his achievements as below.

  • A Corp exec at Wipro he was involved in setting up various new businesses.
  • Co-founded a VC backed startup in Silicon Valley, which got acquired.
  • Started India's 1st e-zine for entrepreneurs in 1999-00.
  • Co-founded JumpStartUp pioneering early stage VC fund focused on deals across the Indo-US corridor.
  • An active mentor/advisor/angel to startups.
  • An advisor to funds.
  • Regular speaker and writer on startups and entrepreneurship
  • His current engagements include, writing on startups at the blog "Startup Journey"and Financial Express (every other Friday), teaching a biz plan workshop elective at INSEAD (S'pore) campus and at IIMB, work with TiE and Nasscom to drive entrepreneurship.