Emerging Manager Insights Starting a Fund

Cash Flow Management for Emerging Managers

Best practices for emerging managers as they approach capital calls and distributions

You may have heard the lifecycle of a venture fund compared to a farmer tending a crop cycle — a period of seeding, a period of watering and a period of harvesting the fruits of their labor. In this analogy, strong cash management lays a foundation for a fund manager to plan and predict from seed to harvest.

The questions a fund manager asks are similar:
  • How much should I invest per crop (startup)?
  • How can I prepare to weather future storms (market cycles)?
  • How and when can I yield a large enough harvest (return) for the entire partnership to share?
Strong cash flow management is integral to an emerging manager’s success because it tells a compelling story to limited partners (LPs). Cash flow directly affects a fund’s performance, so LPs are naturally likely to focus on backing general partners (GPs) who have proven cash management skills. From an LP’s perspective, cash flow metrics shed light on whether they can minimize the amount of uninvested capital held in reserve while maximizing returns.

But LPs aren’t only focused on when funds deploy the uncalled capital on their balance sheets. They also typically want to know how best to manage capital that they’ve committed but has yet to be called. Because they typically want that capital to continue to appreciate while staying liquid, GPs tend to prefer a holistic cash flow strategy that encompasses both capital call strategies and distribution strategies designed to show LPs exactly how they intend to deliver the best possible results.

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From an LP’s perspective, cash flow metrics shed light on whether they can minimize the amount of uninvested capital held in reserve while maximizing returns.

Natalie Fratto
Managing Director, SVB Emerging Manager Practice


Review these Capital Call and Distribution templates

Click on each topic below for a deeper dive into how fund managers should think of cash flow management, as well as strategies for balancing the needs of GPs and LPs alike when mapping out plans for capital calls and distributions.

Read The First Component:

Cash Flow Management Considerations
Considerations for managing cash flow throughout the fund cycle.

Learn More

Read the following three components to complete the Cash Flow Management article


Cash Flow Management Considerations

Component 1 of 4
Learn how to think about cash flow management to help ensure your fund’s health. Learn more

Capital Calls

Component 2 of 4
Considerations when determining your capital call strategy. Learn more

Capital Call Lines of Credit

Component 3 of 4
Review the considerations Emerging Managers should be aware of before putting a capital call line of credit in place. Learn more

Fund Distributions

Component 4 of 4
Learn the dynamics of distributions and what to consider when planning for your distributions schedule. Learn more

Read the other articles in this Emerging Manager article series

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Because the venture capital space continues to be very competitive, it’s important that first time fund managers communicate how they stand out from the rest of the crowd. Learn some best practices for making a first-time fund stand out helping to reduce the risk LPs take when investing in these new funds.
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