How Geography Impacts What Founders Want From VCs

Founders from all over the world responded to our survey, from Canada to Australia, Slovenia to Pakistan.

“WHERE IS YOUR COMPANY HEADQUARTERED?”

But by far and away, the majority of respondents were leading companies headquartered in Europe (86%) and North America (9%).

The main difference between founders in these continents, is that those in America rated introductions to prospective customers as the most important factor, and were 2.3x more likely to pick it than those in Europe. They were almost half as likely to rate personal relationships and chemistry with the person leading the deal as an important factor.

As we’ve seen in previous chapters, the amount of investment raised to date impacts what founders want from VCs, and our American respondents were more concentrated in the lowest (<€499k) and highest (€5m+) investment categories than their European counterparts.

“WHERE IS YOUR COMPANY HEADQUARTERED?” / “HOW MUCH INVESTMENT HAS YOUR COMPANY SECURED SO FAR?"

But even when we account for this, and only consider founders that have raised less than €500k, those based in America still rated introductions to prospective customers far higher than those in Europe (66% vs 36%).

“Over the past few years American founders have over indexed towards valuing customer introductions and deal speed, while under-valuing track-record and help with fundraising.

The appeal of customer introductions and speed are understandable, and in a market of abundant capital no one was concerned about where their next round would come from.

However, these are short-term wins in a long relationship. Investor intros is not a sustainable customer acquisition strategy. And over the coming quarters many founders will find themselves leaning heavily on their existing investors for support in the most challenging fundraising environment in over a decade.”


Brennan O'Donnell

Partner, FrontlineX
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