Friday Letter: Getting back to work in a brave new world

One year into the pandemic, GPs and LPs alike are looking ahead to a way of working that combines the best of what they learned about virtual working, coupled with an in-person touch.

We’re approaching the one-year anniversary of when the World Health Organization declared covid-19 a pandemic on March 11.

Shortly after, many of us went into shelter-in-place mode and started working from home. Having covered business, tech and venture capital since the 1990s, I’d say folks in the VC community are some of the most positive people I know. But when the pandemic escalated, and in the year since then, I have heard many stories from VCs and LPs alike of how dire they felt last spring. Many have told me of their fears for themselves and their families, as well as their ability to transact business in quarantine.

Fast forward to one year later, and the venture world has seen fundraising, liquidity and deployment at or near all-time highs.

And now the vaccine is rolling out and investors who were nervous or unsure a year ago are looking forward to the future.

That brings me to Venture Capital Journal’s latest cover story: “Venture looks ahead to a hybrid approach to work post-covid.”

In the US, a return to normal isn’t just hopeful thinking; it’s based partly on the Biden administration and the rollout of the vaccine. Just this week, the administration said that the US will have enough vaccine for every adult by the end of May.

As more people roll up their sleeves and get their shot, I wonder how the future of work looks for GPs and LPs. Without a doubt, the professionals in this industry have figured out the best parts of virtual meetings. And that ban on travel has made everyone more appreciative of their work-life balance.

But as the vaccine rolls out, I wonder how GPs and LPs will get back to work.

The answer, it appears, is a hybrid approach: conducting a ton of virtual meetings and outreach at the onset, followed by in-person meetups to close on deals and fundraisings. At least that’s what our reporting found out.

The hybrid approach is certain to have a profound and lasting impact on dealmaking for years to come. The cover story showcases what GPs and LPs think of that approach – and, yes, the VC optimism is coming back.

Let me know what you think. You can drop me a note at agoldfisher@buyoutsinsider.com.