A Downside of Talking to VC’s

While keying away to inbox zero this evening I noticed familiar looking copy in a Google mail ad. On closer look, I realized it was a call to action for a unique feature of our product…but was being represented by a different company.

This company was one I knew about, and one I knew previously didn’t offer this particular feature.

I immediately remembered having multiple detailed conversations with one of their investors from the time we were at TechStars while exploring a capital raise. As our preference is to always be transparent, we naturally shared our features, strategy and vision for the industry with the VC.

They ended up not being a fit because they had a portfolio company in a tangential space. It seems they liked our ideas enough to share them with that portfolio company.

Fortunately, we own 3 of the first 3 results on Google SERP for the term. They have to pay for the Adwords (which makes sense for them having raised over $1 million), but it’s a cautionary tale to be a little more careful when talking to VC’s who have similar portfolio companies.

Having your strategy jacked is flattering because it validates your path, but there’s also some downside to being so open with VC’s.

  1. Bummer. Another thing to watch out for are VC calls from associates. Those are often nothing more than intelligence raids. I made a decision several years ago to never take an inbound first call with an associate.

    1. Totally agree. I took the first 3-4 but don’t take them anymore. Even if you are raising money, the likely-hood it will lead to a successful round is low. One recommendation is to be transparent about your business on the web through content and tell the analyst they can share everything that’s on the web with their partners and if one of them wants to take the call, you’ll carve out 15 minutes.

    2. Totally agree. I took the first 3-4 but don’t take them anymore. Even if you are raising money, the likely-hood it will lead to a successful round is low. One recommendation is to be transparent about your business on the web through content and tell the analyst they can share everything that’s on the web with their partners and if one of them wants to take the call, you’ll carve out 15 minutes.

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