Featured: 10 Must-Meet Technical Investors

VC Guide

Building For Founders

Anonymous fund & investor partner reviews by founders for founders.
Net promoter scores for VCs.

September 2021 Edition

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We allowed Canaan to join our pre-seed round, because as a young company having the Canaan name attached seemed worthwhile. Even though it was a very small check, Laura promised to be involved, deploy pro-rata rights, be helpful, make introductions, look at our seed round, and Series A seriously, and actually give us the time of day. Instead after the pre-seed funds were wired, Laura ghosted us with every single ask. Laura did not give us the time of day for the seed round, or Series A capital raise. She did not deploy pro-rata in the seed, and refused to even take a pitch for the Series A. The business has significant traction, raised a Seed from a Tier 1 fund, and has multiple Tier 1 funds circling the Series A. Our team is more confused than anything by Laura's rather bizarre behavior. Having Laura or Canaan on your cap table is not worth it, they add no value, the name means nothing, and Laura is a ghost that doesn't give you the time of day. They are not founder friendly, nor do they care about founders they invest in. Waste of time. Stay away.
We allowed Canaan to join our pre-seed round, because as a young company having the Canaan name attached seemed worthwhile. Even though it was a very small check, Laura promised to be involved, deploy pro-rata rights, be helpful, make introductions, look at our seed round, and Series A seriously, and actually give us the time of day. Instead after the pre-seed funds were wired, Laura ghosted us with every single ask. Laura did not give us the time of day for the seed round, or Series A capital raise. She did not deploy pro-rata in the seed, and refused to even take a pitch for the Series A. The business has significant traction, raised a Seed from a Tier 1 fund, and has multiple Tier 1 funds circling the Series A. Our team is more confused than anything by Laura's rather bizarre behavior. Having Laura or Canaan on your cap table is not worth it, they add no value, the name means nothing, and Laura is a ghost that doesn't give you the time of day. They are not founder friendly, nor do they care about founders they invest in. Waste of time. Stay away.
We allowed Canaan to join our pre-seed round, because as a young company having the Canaan name attached seemed worthwhile. Even though it was a very small check, Laura promised to be involved, deploy pro-rata rights, be helpful, make introductions, look at our seed round, and Series A seriously, and actually give us the time of day. Instead after the pre-seed funds were wired, Laura ghosted us with every single ask. Laura did not give us the time of day for the seed round, or Series A capital raise. She did not deploy pro-rata in the seed, and refused to even take a pitch for the Series A. The business has significant traction, raised a Seed from a Tier 1 fund, and has multiple Tier 1 funds circling the Series A. Our team is more confused than anything by Laura's rather bizarre behavior. Having Laura or Canaan on your cap table is not worth it, they add no value, the name means nothing, and Laura is a ghost that doesn't give you the time of day. They are not founder friendly, nor do they care about founders they invest in. Waste of time. Stay away.
Verified Investor Response:
Helps Founders:
10/10
Saves & Gives Founders Money:
Yes!
Needs to be Profitable?
Nope!
Is This For Real?
13/10
Founder Guarantee?
Nope!
Fees?
Unlimited cards. Zero fees.
Spend Control & Transparency?
13/10
Built to Save Founders Monay?
Yes!
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0

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so untrustworthy!!! We pitched Tony at Petri a few times and he shared our deck with a competitor and completely ghosted us at the end. seems like an investor who cares more about their twitter persona than actual customer service. Recommend to all bio founders to avoid him
so untrustworthy!!! We pitched Tony at Petri a few times and he shared our deck with a competitor and completely ghosted us at the end. seems like an investor who cares more about their twitter persona than actual customer service. Recommend to all bio founders to avoid him
so untrustworthy!!! We pitched Tony at Petri a few times and he shared our deck with a competitor and completely ghosted us at the end. seems like an investor who cares more about their twitter persona than actual customer service. Recommend to all bio founders to avoid him
Verified Investor Response:
I am truly sorry, I would never want to leave someone feeling this way. Could you reach out to me so that we can talk about this?
Helps Founders:
10/10
Saves & Gives Founders Money:
Yes!
Needs to be Profitable?
Nope!
Is This For Real?
13/10
Founder Guarantee?
Nope!
Fees?
Unlimited cards. Zero fees.
Spend Control & Transparency?
13/10
Built to Save Founders Monay?
Yes!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

0

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Among the best people I know. Can't recommend more highly.
Among the best people I know. Can't recommend more highly.
Among the best people I know. Can't recommend more highly.
Verified Investor Response:
Helps Founders:
10/10
Saves & Gives Founders Money:
Yes!
Needs to be Profitable?
Nope!
Is This For Real?
13/10
Founder Guarantee?
Nope!
Fees?
Unlimited cards. Zero fees.
Spend Control & Transparency?
13/10
Built to Save Founders Monay?
Yes!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

0

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TX led our first round (a $1M pre-seed) and was the key person in making our second two (a $5M seed and $15M series A) happen. When we first met I liked him but didn't really know what to expect — he's a buttoned-up guy and seemed like a typical VC. In working with him, though, I've been just blown away: he's the hardest-working person I know and went to bat for us in SUCH a big way at every stage: quarterbacked our funding rounds, arranged venture debt on amazing terms, closed key hires, etc. When I told him I wanted to have kids before long he encouraged me to sell some shares in secondary so we could afford it and helped me negotiate to make it happen. When I thought we might need to haircut Fika's pro rata to get a great investor at Seed, TX was *incredibly* kind about it and volunteered to do it (while smaller investors were jerks). Every Series A investor in America seems to know and love him (I've had partners at a16z/Sequoia/etc. sing his praises) and he's also just a wonderful guy on a persona level. Absolutely could not recommend more highly.
TX led our first round (a $1M pre-seed) and was the key person in making our second two (a $5M seed and $15M series A) happen. When we first met I liked him but didn't really know what to expect — he's a buttoned-up guy and seemed like a typical VC. In working with him, though, I've been just blown away: he's the hardest-working person I know and went to bat for us in SUCH a big way at every stage: quarterbacked our funding rounds, arranged venture debt on amazing terms, closed key hires, etc. When I told him I wanted to have kids before long he encouraged me to sell some shares in secondary so we could afford it and helped me negotiate to make it happen. When I thought we might need to haircut Fika's pro rata to get a great investor at Seed, TX was *incredibly* kind about it and volunteered to do it (while smaller investors were jerks). Every Series A investor in America seems to know and love him (I've had partners at a16z/Sequoia/etc. sing his praises) and he's also just a wonderful guy on a persona level. Absolutely could not recommend more highly.
TX led our first round (a $1M pre-seed) and was the key person in making our second two (a $5M seed and $15M series A) happen. When we first met I liked him but didn't really know what to expect — he's a buttoned-up guy and seemed like a typical VC. In working with him, though, I've been just blown away: he's the hardest-working person I know and went to bat for us in SUCH a big way at every stage: quarterbacked our funding rounds, arranged venture debt on amazing terms, closed key hires, etc. When I told him I wanted to have kids before long he encouraged me to sell some shares in secondary so we could afford it and helped me negotiate to make it happen. When I thought we might need to haircut Fika's pro rata to get a great investor at Seed, TX was *incredibly* kind about it and volunteered to do it (while smaller investors were jerks). Every Series A investor in America seems to know and love him (I've had partners at a16z/Sequoia/etc. sing his praises) and he's also just a wonderful guy on a persona level. Absolutely could not recommend more highly.
Verified Investor Response:
Helps Founders:
10/10
Saves & Gives Founders Money:
Yes!
Needs to be Profitable?
Nope!
Is This For Real?
13/10
Founder Guarantee?
Nope!
Fees?
Unlimited cards. Zero fees.
Spend Control & Transparency?
13/10
Built to Save Founders Monay?
Yes!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

0

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Playfair had a strong intake process via Jeevan (Associate) and Khushi (Analyst), whose insightful two-way dialogue distinguished Playfair as a potential partner. However, the investment committee session with Chris’s partners was a one-way dialogue, in which the founders (including an English-as-a-second-language founder) were ‘grilled’ instead of productively engaged. The rejection email from Chris offered no constructive feedback and included a blunt statement that the session was “a little odd”. When we asked him to expand constructively, Chris stated that we appeared to lack enthusiasm in the final segment of the 3-hour Zoom session, and that we inquired too much about Fede (Playfair’s founder and sole LP). While this may not be everyone’s experience, we did arrive at these four conclusions: (a) Chris and his partners on the IC may not have figured out yet how to productively engage companies in a virtual setting; (b) Playfair’s stated decision-making process is dependent upon emotional impressions instead of business fundamentals, which is inconsistent with its ‘institutional’ branding; (c) the founder and sole LP of Playfair is unavailable or off-limits to founders doing their own due diligence; and (d) Chris’s feedback demonstrated an arrogance and/or unintentional lack of care for Playfair’s reputation, and stands in contrast to the professional communication standard of other funds and more junior members of Playfair. These conclusions are in conflict with Chris’s public advice for startups, particularly around founder due diligence and relationship building: https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrissmith1/2021/04/27/5-ways-to-avoid-buyers-remorse-when-raising-venture-capital/?sh=5a4786e64253. We ultimately closed the round, and with hindsight, Playfair was the least constructive engagement in the investment process. Chris’s communication standard, as the current leader of the fund, causes us to recommend that founders focus on raising elsewhere to make best use of time (~6 hours of meetings, ~4 hours of research, plus private data sharing). If strong investor communication is a priority, you will find a better partner for your company.
Playfair had a strong intake process via Jeevan (Associate) and Khushi (Analyst), whose insightful two-way dialogue distinguished Playfair as a potential partner. However, the investment committee session with Chris’s partners was a one-way dialogue, in which the founders (including an English-as-a-second-language founder) were ‘grilled’ instead of productively engaged. The rejection email from Chris offered no constructive feedback and included a blunt statement that the session was “a little odd”. When we asked him to expand constructively, Chris stated that we appeared to lack enthusiasm in the final segment of the 3-hour Zoom session, and that we inquired too much about Fede (Playfair’s founder and sole LP). While this may not be everyone’s experience, we did arrive at these four conclusions: (a) Chris and his partners on the IC may not have figured out yet how to productively engage companies in a virtual setting; (b) Playfair’s stated decision-making process is dependent upon emotional impressions instead of business fundamentals, which is inconsistent with its ‘institutional’ branding; (c) the founder and sole LP of Playfair is unavailable or off-limits to founders doing their own due diligence; and (d) Chris’s feedback demonstrated an arrogance and/or unintentional lack of care for Playfair’s reputation, and stands in contrast to the professional communication standard of other funds and more junior members of Playfair. These conclusions are in conflict with Chris’s public advice for startups, particularly around founder due diligence and relationship building: https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrissmith1/2021/04/27/5-ways-to-avoid-buyers-remorse-when-raising-venture-capital/?sh=5a4786e64253. We ultimately closed the round, and with hindsight, Playfair was the least constructive engagement in the investment process. Chris’s communication standard, as the current leader of the fund, causes us to recommend that founders focus on raising elsewhere to make best use of time (~6 hours of meetings, ~4 hours of research, plus private data sharing). If strong investor communication is a priority, you will find a better partner for your company.
Playfair had a strong intake process via Jeevan (Associate) and Khushi (Analyst), whose insightful two-way dialogue distinguished Playfair as a potential partner. However, the investment committee session with Chris’s partners was a one-way dialogue, in which the founders (including an English-as-a-second-language founder) were ‘grilled’ instead of productively engaged. The rejection email from Chris offered no constructive feedback and included a blunt statement that the session was “a little odd”. When we asked him to expand constructively, Chris stated that we appeared to lack enthusiasm in the final segment of the 3-hour Zoom session, and that we inquired too much about Fede (Playfair’s founder and sole LP). While this may not be everyone’s experience, we did arrive at these four conclusions: (a) Chris and his partners on the IC may not have figured out yet how to productively engage companies in a virtual setting; (b) Playfair’s stated decision-making process is dependent upon emotional impressions instead of business fundamentals, which is inconsistent with its ‘institutional’ branding; (c) the founder and sole LP of Playfair is unavailable or off-limits to founders doing their own due diligence; and (d) Chris’s feedback demonstrated an arrogance and/or unintentional lack of care for Playfair’s reputation, and stands in contrast to the professional communication standard of other funds and more junior members of Playfair. These conclusions are in conflict with Chris’s public advice for startups, particularly around founder due diligence and relationship building: https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrissmith1/2021/04/27/5-ways-to-avoid-buyers-remorse-when-raising-venture-capital/?sh=5a4786e64253. We ultimately closed the round, and with hindsight, Playfair was the least constructive engagement in the investment process. Chris’s communication standard, as the current leader of the fund, causes us to recommend that founders focus on raising elsewhere to make best use of time (~6 hours of meetings, ~4 hours of research, plus private data sharing). If strong investor communication is a priority, you will find a better partner for your company.
Verified Investor Response:
Helps Founders:
10/10
Saves & Gives Founders Money:
Yes!
Needs to be Profitable?
Nope!
Is This For Real?
13/10
Founder Guarantee?
Nope!
Fees?
Unlimited cards. Zero fees.
Spend Control & Transparency?
13/10
Built to Save Founders Monay?
Yes!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

0

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Wants lots of meetings but never commits to anything. Never has any objections to our company just seems like he wants to hang out with us but not actually invest. Seems like a 1st time investor.
Wants lots of meetings but never commits to anything. Never has any objections to our company just seems like he wants to hang out with us but not actually invest. Seems like a 1st time investor.
Wants lots of meetings but never commits to anything. Never has any objections to our company just seems like he wants to hang out with us but not actually invest. Seems like a 1st time investor.
Verified Investor Response:
Helps Founders:
10/10
Saves & Gives Founders Money:
Yes!
Needs to be Profitable?
Nope!
Is This For Real?
13/10
Founder Guarantee?
Nope!
Fees?
Unlimited cards. Zero fees.
Spend Control & Transparency?
13/10
Built to Save Founders Monay?
Yes!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

0

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Very, very down to earth, super honest and genuine person. Would highly recommend getting in touch :)
Very, very down to earth, super honest and genuine person. Would highly recommend getting in touch :)
Very, very down to earth, super honest and genuine person. Would highly recommend getting in touch :)
Verified Investor Response:
Helps Founders:
10/10
Saves & Gives Founders Money:
Yes!
Needs to be Profitable?
Nope!
Is This For Real?
13/10
Founder Guarantee?
Nope!
Fees?
Unlimited cards. Zero fees.
Spend Control & Transparency?
13/10
Built to Save Founders Monay?
Yes!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

0

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Misha has been a great partner and is everything a founder could ask for in a VC. He is always there for executive introductions and strategic brainstorming but is also willing to get into the weeds when we ask for help. I sleep better knowing that Misha/his firm is on our cap table and that we have their full support. Would recommend Misha to any early-stage entrepreneur looking for a long term partner.
Misha has been a great partner and is everything a founder could ask for in a VC. He is always there for executive introductions and strategic brainstorming but is also willing to get into the weeds when we ask for help. I sleep better knowing that Misha/his firm is on our cap table and that we have their full support. Would recommend Misha to any early-stage entrepreneur looking for a long term partner.
Misha has been a great partner and is everything a founder could ask for in a VC. He is always there for executive introductions and strategic brainstorming but is also willing to get into the weeds when we ask for help. I sleep better knowing that Misha/his firm is on our cap table and that we have their full support. Would recommend Misha to any early-stage entrepreneur looking for a long term partner.
Verified Investor Response:
Helps Founders:
10/10
Saves & Gives Founders Money:
Yes!
Needs to be Profitable?
Nope!
Is This For Real?
13/10
Founder Guarantee?
Nope!
Fees?
Unlimited cards. Zero fees.
Spend Control & Transparency?
13/10
Built to Save Founders Monay?
Yes!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

0

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Seema was really diligent in terms of reaching out & building a relationship with us. We haven't worked formally together, but she's been incredible at making helpful introductions for us!
Seema was really diligent in terms of reaching out & building a relationship with us. We haven't worked formally together, but she's been incredible at making helpful introductions for us!
Seema was really diligent in terms of reaching out & building a relationship with us. We haven't worked formally together, but she's been incredible at making helpful introductions for us!
Verified Investor Response:
Helps Founders:
10/10
Saves & Gives Founders Money:
Yes!
Needs to be Profitable?
Nope!
Is This For Real?
13/10
Founder Guarantee?
Nope!
Fees?
Unlimited cards. Zero fees.
Spend Control & Transparency?
13/10
Built to Save Founders Monay?
Yes!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

0

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
He is a cancer on our business. He constantly is causing drama among our investors. He requests an immense amount of busy work from my team because he refuses todo any work himself. If you are talking to his firm, do yourself a favor and stop. My biggest mistake is working with Steve.
He is a cancer on our business. He constantly is causing drama among our investors. He requests an immense amount of busy work from my team because he refuses todo any work himself. If you are talking to his firm, do yourself a favor and stop. My biggest mistake is working with Steve.
He is a cancer on our business. He constantly is causing drama among our investors. He requests an immense amount of busy work from my team because he refuses todo any work himself. If you are talking to his firm, do yourself a favor and stop. My biggest mistake is working with Steve.
Verified Investor Response:
Helps Founders:
10/10
Saves & Gives Founders Money:
Yes!
Needs to be Profitable?
Nope!
Is This For Real?
13/10
Founder Guarantee?
Nope!
Fees?
Unlimited cards. Zero fees.
Spend Control & Transparency?
13/10
Built to Save Founders Monay?
Yes!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

0

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

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