20VC: Why Few Firms Are Doing True Early Stage Investing Today, Why Founders Should Spend Time with Analysts When Raising & The Rise of Pre-Empting Rounds and How To Know When To Engage vs Wait with Anna Khan, General Partner @ CRV
Posted on 14th August 2020 by Harry
Anna Khan is a General Partner @ CRV, one of the pre-eminent firms of Silicon Valley stretching over what is now an incredible 18 funds. In their portfolio they have the likes of Airtable, Doordash, Postman and PillPack to name a few. As for Anna, prior to joining CRV, she spent an incredible 6 years at Bessemer investing in the likes of Intercom, NewVoiceMedia, TSM and Zylo. If that was not enough, Anna is also the Founder & CEO @ Launch X Ventures, offering female entrepreneurs an immersive opportunity to learn how to raise capital for their businesses.
1.) How Anna made her way into venture as an analyst with Bessemer and how that led to her scaling the venture ladder to now being GP @ CRV?
2.) How does Anna feel about the importance of analysts in venture? Should founders spend meaningful time with analysts? How should they determine which to spend time with? What were the biggest lessons Anna learned about venture and people from being an analyst at Bessemer?
3.) With the rise of rounds being pre-empted, how does Anna determine when to lean in and move on a deal vs when to wait? How does Anna determine when to stretch vs be disciplined on valuation? Why does Anna believe very few firms are “doing real early-stage investing” today?
4.) Why does Anna believe that there are so much fewer women in venture? How does Anna respond to the suggestion that it is a “pipeline problem”? How would Anna advise an all-white male partnership looking to truly change how they work? How does carry come into showing commitment?
5.) What advice does Anna give to people on developing your early network? Why does Anna believe VCs spending time with VCs is antithetical? How has Anna’s investment decision-making process changed over the last 9 years? How does Bessemer’s compare to CRV’s?