While VCs rightly demand that their portfolio companies have great marketing, they generally have awful marketing themselves. If you’ve ever been an entrepreneur in fund raising mode, you’ve read some line to this effect a million times on VC sites: “We partner with great entrepreneurs to build world-class companies.” Just try Googling it.
Since I have yet to find the venture firm that openly aims to fund mediocre entrepreneurs to create miserable companies, I’ve always found this a case of stating the obvious. But, believe it or not, there are some cool VC sites worth checking out. Here’s a list of the top five VC web pages. (Note: This does not rank the quality of the firms, just of their sites.)
5. Sequoia Capital’s Share Your Idea Page
The firm that bankrolled Google and YouTube understands how to build a website. This page makes the list for simply using headers like “pain killers” and “inferno”.
4. First Round Capital’s Our Focus Page
It usually takes a mental jargon filter to decipher a VC firm’s “about us” page and figure out what type of deals it likes to do. This page provides a bulleted and clear narrative of how First Round likes to invest (as if their name doesn’t provide enough of a clue).
3. Omidyar Network’s Employees Page
If VC firms are all about people, why not list all of them? In alphabetical order, you can find bios for everyone from the chairman to the administrative assistant. You can even view how their bios have changed over time.
2. Union Square Ventures’s Home Page
While many VC’s have blogs, Union Square Ventures is the first — and to my knowledge only — VC firm to make their home page a blog. Is that a good idea? Just check their publicly available stats.
1. Bessemer Venture Partners’s Anti-Portfolio
Don’t think this firm takes itself too seriously just because they were founded in 1911. In what must be the boldest VC web page ever posted, they list all the now-great companies that they passed on funding, which include PayPal, Apple, eBay, Intel and Google. A clear message to entrepreneurs: Don’t give up hope just because a VC said your company stinks.
What else can VC’s do to liven up their sites? Audio? Video? Wikis? Post some ideas in the comments.