I just returned from vacation. I could blame the snail-like internet access for my VentureBlog absence, but I suspect the beach was as much the culprit. Thankfully, VentureBlog is a group blog so when one of us is distracted the others pick up the slack. I have great respect for bloggers who manage to post day in and day out. It is no small commitment and no small task.
Unlike group blogging, by and large the venture process requires an individual to drive a potential investment from executive summary to termsheet. As I sat on vacation, it struck me that entrepreneurs have a fair beef with the venture community when it comes to raising money in the summer. Conventional wisdom says that you can't raise venture money in the summer. Why? The cynical view is that VCs take the entire summer off to golf and lounge at their beach homes. I think it's fair to say that this objection is overblown. I don't know any VC who takes the entire summer off. In reality, companies do get funded over the summer. In fact, this summer appears to have been pretty vibrant when it comes to venture investment. But, by and large, it's tough.
Venture capital partnerships tend to be consensus driven. Which means companies need to meet with everyone in the partnership before the partnership is able to come to a collective decision -- even those partnerships that don't require unanimity around a deal, tend to require that everyone has at least had a chance to meet the company and voice their opinion before making the investment. While, during much of the year, a company may be able to meet a full partnership in a matter of a couple meetings, in the summer the process tends to be much more protracted. Companies tend to get introduced to the partnership one GP at a time. The result is that what could take a few weeks can take a summer.
It's good to be back from vacation and working on the deals I had to put on hold. Luckily for those folks looking for funding, the entire venture capital world is back as soon as school starts -- back to business as usual. And I have a feeling that this fall is going to be an excellent time for startups to raise money.