A different type of due diligence.
We reported last fall about the formation of Assemble VC, a Boston-based venture capital firm launched by Michael Skok (ex-North Bridge Venture Partners), John Pearce (former president and CEO of Demandware) and C.A. Webb (ex-executive director of the New England Venture Capital Association).
Today we’ve got three quick updates:
1. Word is that the group has already held a first close on over half of its $75 million target for its debut fund.
2. Before raising money, the firm’s principals conducted interviews with 300 entrepreneurs. Some were old hands with several companies under their belts, some were on their first startup. Most were from the Bay Area, New York or Boston. The goal was to learn about these entrepreneurs’ experiences raising venture capital, and to apply that information to the new firm’s structure and best practices.
Some of their big takeaways were: (a) Most entrepreneurs want to raise money from VCs with entrepreneurial experience; (b) There is a desire for VC firms to foster community; (c) Entrepreneurs want clear communication about how the VC rounds really work, including explicit agreements about where each round of funding is intended to take the company.
3. The partnership structure is a bit unusual. Rather than three “investors,” it works like this: Skok is the investment lead, Pearce is operating lead and Webb is the community lead. It is worth noting, however, that a regulatory filing does not list Webb as one of the general partners.