When we announced the formation of The TechCrunch List last week, we had no idea what response we would get to our proposal for founders to recommend their “first-check” investors. While plenty of founders over the years have told us that they wanted such a database to rely on or to refer to other founders who are raising for the first time, there is always something nerve-wracking about launching a new product and waiting for feedback.
Well, the TechCrunch community came through, since in just a few days, we’ve already received more than 500 proposals from founders recommending VCs who wrote their first checks and who have been particularly helpful in fundraising and getting a round closed.
If you haven’t submitted a recommendation, please help us using the form linked here.
The short survey takes five minutes, and could save founders dozens of hours armed with the right intel. Our editorial team is carefully processing these submissions to ensure their veracity and accuracy, and the more data points we have, the better the List can be for founders.
We’ve gotten quite a few questions about this new initiative, so we wanted to answer some common queries.
First check into each round: We want to know who wrote the first check that helped catalyze a round at each stage of a startup. So it’s okay to submit a name for each round.
Only one recommendation per early-stage round: We are holding the line on only allowing one name per round though. We realize that party rounds are not uncommon at the angel and seed stages, but a list of 30 people who all “led” a round is precisely what we are trying to avoid with the List. So keep the recommendations to one name, please, or if you can’t, it’s best not to recommend anyone at all.
Deadline: There is no single deadline. We intend to publish a first draft of the list in the next two-three weeks, so earlier submissions are more likely to be processed in time for the draft list. Our goal with The TechCrunch List is to make it an up-to-date and living product, and so we intend to update it regularly with new information as we learn it. So it’s a rolling deadline.
Founders only: While we certainly appreciate VCs offering to humbly submit their own names for consideration, we really want to hear from the founders themselves who did the fundraise. Feel free to reach out to your founders to submit — many firms have already done so if our early data is any indication.
People not firms: We are obsessed about moving beyond firm brand names and instead identifying individual partners on recommendations, since ultimately, founders work with a person and not a brand.
Weighting: We’ve been asked how we are “weighting” the submissions. The simple answer is that we are (mostly) not weighting them. In addition to fact-checking and verifying each submission, our main consideration is a basic assessment of a startup’s quality — what was the size of the round, has it raised any follow-on financing and any other public displays of performance. The TechCrunch List isn’t assessing investor quality (there are plenty of other lists in our industry for that), but rather assessing the willingness of an investor to write a “first check.”
Keep submitting those names, and reach out to us if you have any questions.