Schrödinger’s Fundraise
Photo by Chalaphan Mathong

The month of December is a strange month for VCs and Founders. 2022 is no different and I have always found the discussions and chatter around it to be extremely confusing. On the one hand there are a number of things happening, deals getting done, M&A, capital being deployed and general fury of activity. On the other hand you can’t have a coffee catch up in NY or SF with a founder and not hear the constant references to “pencils down” and “everyone is done until next year” and “things aren’t happening right now”. I call this general period Schrödinger’s Fundraise.

I think the same window is commonly accepted at the end of the summer – lets call it August – where people reference things happening that while true, aren’t always the norm. The “hurry up and wait” mentality that a lot of people experience right now is very real. Every year is different than the next, but 2022 feels especially guilty of having this dead month cast upon us.

I was talking with a company I work with earlier in the week who is going through a fundraise now and summarizing the advice they have gotten. About half the people have said close on the capital you can now – get the money in the bank – and recognize that nobody is going to be doing anything for the duration of the year. The other half have said stay the course, continue to fundraise, and get back to building once you have closed your target goal.

My view is that people are in fact active. The ebb and flow of fears in the local markets and the macro markets will always continue. There are fund vintages to deploy. There are deals to be made. There are email inboxes to be zeroed out and work to be done. I think that taking advantage of this so called slowdown is in order, embracing this period, and keeping people accountable to the task at hand.

A few examples to keep the inboxes flowing

Everyone assumes things aren’t happening right now, which means I could be one of the few emails in your inbox right now.

Others believe that investors aren’t deploying capital right now, but I believe that good deals get done in any climate and any month.

My assumption is that things are quiet for you right now which is what its a great time to share…

my personal favorite the NNTR I have been heads down working on the following and wanted to share it – no need to reply as I am sure you are busy through the new year but I wanted to put it on your radar

Defaulting to action has served me well. This mentality has kept me and clients share and I wanted to weigh in here. Of course some people are totally checked out and thinking about what is next – but that will be the case throughout life. In the meantime lets keep the cat alive and assume positive outcomes for fundraising, hiring, and operational work.

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