Friday Letter: With coronavirus, there’s more to do than wash your hands

Take our survey! Plus, more reflections on the coronavirus impact in VC from Denis Barrier of Cathay Innovation.

Over the last week, I’ve reached out to a number of people in the venture community to ask how the coronavirus is impacting their operations.

Overall, venture firms are encouraging employees to work at home and annual LP meetings are switching to virtual events. Teleconferencing with entrepreneurs and others is likewise increasing. You can read the story here.

I suspect this won’t be the last time we cover the topic. Although everyone I spoke with is dealing with it with aplomb, it’s likely the economic impact will become more adverse over time. There’s a survey we’re conducting, too, and you can see it embedded below.

What I didn’t include in my story but is worth mentioning is what Denis Barrier, co-founder and CEO of Cathay Innovation, told me his firm is doing.

Cathay Innovation invests worldwide and has operations in North America, Europe and Asia.

Denis Barrier

Barrier noted that several of the firm’s corporate and institutional investors have already participated in collecting more than 820,000 sets of medical supplies (such as masks, protective clothing and gloves) which were shipped to Wuhan and other epidemic areas. He said several of the firm’s French and Chinese LPs have also donated to the local branches of Red Cross, charity foundations and medical NGOs.

“As investors, we believe that we are uniquely positioned at the intersection of global corporations and startups and have mobilized our resources all over the world in a coordinated effort to provide aid,” Barrier said.

He added: “It’s a tough situation and the real heroes are all the medical professionals in hospitals working 15 to 20 hours a day to treat patients and care for the people.”

He offers a good reminder that although travel plans and some conference activities may be in limbo, there are actions firms can take on a humanitarian level.

I would love to hear from you about your thoughts on the coronavirus and how your firms are dealing with it and if you anticipate it adversely impacting venture capital.

You can reach us on our contact page. You can also leave us an anonymous tip on our website by clicking here.

I’m based in the San Francisco Bay Area and happy to meet folks in person and talk about anything else you’re interested in.

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