Our friends over at VentureHacks, who’ve made it their business to help founders parse the arcana of term sheets, have gone soft. Recommended is a new site feature through which Venture Hacks community members endorse founders and their ideas to potential investors. Our beloved hackers are now matchmakers.
Here’ show Nivi and Naval introduced it yesterday:
The most common question we hear from entrepreneurs is, “Can you introduce me to investors?” Yes we can. We’re going to recommend startups on Venture Hacks. Investors are invited to subscribe to our recommendations. And everyone is welcome to recommend startups here. Request an invite if you want to help test the Recommended feature before we open it up—it’s also open for browsing in the meantime.
Here’s how it works… The VH community is made up of smart people who are themselves typically serial founders or connectors like Nivi and Naval (they cofounded Epinions). Some are investors. You get the people you know in the community to recommend your company, and then anyone who subscribes to your recommenders’ feed will hear about you.
“All startup deal flow is done by email and phone now — a push model. This is like a pull model,” Nivi explained. “Investors can pull deal flow from whom they like. I don’t know if investors are interested in the ideas I want to share with them, but now I don’t have to call and bug them. They get my recommendation(s) feed and decide for themselves.”
“Simple and stupid” maybe, but this will be a great accelerator for both sides of the startup market.
* Investors are always competing for good deal flow from great middlemen.
* Founders no longer need to spend weeks or days lining up reference calls for potential investors: just hand over the url of your Venture Hacks profile, and voila!.
Nivi thinks this will democratize the middleman layer, “which is really ad hoc now. There are a few people who have access to good startups and good investors, but [we] believe that the judgement of finding good startups is everywhere. Our job is to find those good [recommenders] and bring them to the top.”
You can still read Venture Hacks for Nivi and Naval’s funding advice, under Hacks. For more, read Nivi’s early Found|READ series on Vesting Hacks:
Vesting Hacks: Part I
Vesting Hacks: Part II
Vesting Hacks: Part 3
Vesting Hacks: Part 4