Friday Letter: This will be a summer like no other

The investment community is gearing up for more in-person meetings, which should make fundraising fruitful for the emerging managers. But what will those in-person meetings look like?

We’re approaching that time of year when we typically see a slowdown within the venture community. Activity tapers off a bit in June as the days get longer, summer is glistening around the corner and everyone sees their kids finish the school year.

Then we see bigger dips in July and then another quiet period in August right before the kids go back to the classroom, as investors take time off from offering term sheets and pause their own fundraising efforts.

But this is going to be a summer like no other.

A year-and-a-half into the pandemic, GPs are LPs are vaccinated or getting vaccinated and they’re mapping out their returns to office (RTO). What I’ve heard from many investors is that they plan to open up their office doors later this summer or perhaps early fall, mostly under hybrid operations, which combine remote work and in-person at desks. I’ve also heard from some firms wanting to host gatherings in their offices, though that’s a lot easier to pull off for those with access to large outdoor settings.

Venture Capital Journal reporter Connor Hussey reported last week that this summer will be the start of a boon for emerging managers. There’s no denying that first-time fund managers in venture took a hit amid covid-19 lockdowns. The numbers bare that out, and anecdotally we heard that many extended their timelines to raise since they couldn’t get in-person meetings with LPs.

But the re-opening of much of the economy this summer is expected to result in more face-to-face meetings with LPs, and therefore more chances for emerging managers to nail down their commitments.

I also heard from one large international advisor that placement agents themselves are expected to see a boon in their business, as emerging managers are scheduling trips for their roadshows and are looking for all the edges they can muster up.

As the advisor told me: “Under covid restrictions, there were no in-person meetings, just introductory calls over Zoom, and fundraising stalled for first-timers. But now that more people are getting vaccinated, investors and fund managers alike are saying, ‘Let’s meet.'”

The advisor said it’s now time to rethink the roadshow. Likely, fund managers and LPs already had introductory virtual calls and pitchdecks were already shared.

“Video is helpful to get things started, but it will be interesting to see how people transact these in-person meetings on the road,” the advisor said. “Should be an interesting summer to watch.”

Let me know what you’re planning this summer and how are you are preparing for your RTO and in-person meetings. You can drop me a line at, and I’m happy to chat and meet in person.