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What Founders Want

Key Findings

Introduction
Key Findings
The Results
1. Investment Raised
2. Past Experience
3. Geography
4. Gender
Who took the survey
About Frontline

A quick word on methodology

Between 10th May and 13th June 2022, we asked 206 pre-seed and seed founders about their previous experience raising venture capital, the amount of funding they’ve raised at their current company to date, where their company is headquartered, and the gender makeup of their founding team.

Then, we asked them to choose their top 3 factors (from a list of 14) that would be most important to them when choosing between two VCs – all things being equal on deal terms and valuation.

1. SECTOR KNOWLEDGE WAS A CLEAR WINNER

The most popular factor when choosing a VC is the fund’s sector knowledge and understanding of the founder’s business – 53% of participants selected this option.

2. DIVERSITY OF A FUND TEAM WAS THE LEAST IMPORTANT FACTOR

Just 5% of respondents picked the diversity of a fund team and the potential it has to shape diversity on their cap table in their top 3 factors.

0 %
Picked personal relationship and chemistry with the deal lead
0 %
Picked the fund's ability to get the deal completed quickly

3. EXPERIENCED FOUNDERS WERE MORE LIKELY TO VALUE TRACK RECORD

Founders with experience raising VC at previous companies are more likely to choose a fund based on track record and brand, as well as references from other founders, than those that have no prior experience.

4. AMERICAN FOUNDERS TEND TO SEE VCS AS AN EXTENDED SALES TEAM

63% of North American-based founders chose ‘introductions to prospective customers’ as one of their 3 factors, compared with just 30% in Europe.

5. ALL-FEMALE TEAMS TENDED TO PICK 'HERE AND NOW' FACTORS

All-male and mixed-gender founding teams were more likely to value factors that increased the likelihood of raising a future funding round than all-female teams, who put greater weight on factors that indicate a good fit with the current fund team.

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