Data Room Component 4 of 9

Emerging Manager Investment Memos & Market Map

An investment memo is like a time capsule that allows an LP to see your thought process as an investor at the time when you made an investment. Reviewing an investment memo can provide tangible evidence of your views of a certain market, as well as the depth of your assessment of a team and product. Ideally, it also displays your ability to accurately predict the future—both for a market and for a company’s success.

If you do not have any historical investment memos (as is often the case for angels-turned-fund-managers, since you likely didn’t need to convince anyone but yourself), you don’t necessarily need to create one from scratch. Instead, consider pointing LPs to your public thought leadership in the form of blog posts, articles or even Twitter threads. Atelier Venture’s Li Jin’s writing on the passion economy (a term she coined herself) is a perfect example. The goal is to demonstrate your thesis and conviction in action. You can achieve this in many formats.

LPs may also appreciate market maps, particularly if your fund is focused on a less-common industry / sector or if you have a unique take on a sector that they see often.

What are they?

Investment memos may differ from one manager to another based on their space, stage, and investment approach. Most include:

  • An overview of the company and the market from your perspective
  • A risk analysis: A framework that shows your rigorous decision analysis and your understanding of the market/company/product/founder risks involved. Clint Korver, GP of Ulu Ventures, has shared a great decision analysis template
  • A competitive analysis: Your view of the broader market and your perspective on the company’s place in it
  • Your investment decision and rationale
Market maps show overviews of the entirety of the market you’re serving, categorized by theme or sector, and highlighting any companies in which you have already invested.

What matters most to LPs?

Your thought process as an investor.

Reading an investment memo may be the closest an LP can get to doing a ride-along on your firm’s investment process. The way you outline your thinking about the opportunities and risks can provide fund investors a detailed look at what matters most to you. We think it’s one of the best qualitative insights they can receive.

If you have multiple GPs with distinct domain expertise or focus areas, consider sharing memos or content from both perspectives.

The depth and breadth of your knowledge base.
Your pitch deck can provide LPs with a thesis and strategy that are based on where your strengths lie. Memos and market maps can provide a window into that strategy in action.

A returns focus.
Unsurprisingly, many LPs look for your ability to size a market and your view on the company’s capacity to return capital.
Memos and market maps provide a window into your strategy in action.
Natalie Fratto
Managing Director, SVB Emerging Manager Practice

Review two Investment Memos and one Investment Map

Read About the Next Component:

Due Diligence Questionnaire
A living document that LPs may use to compare your fund with others and answer typical questions that arise during the due diligence process.

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Read Main Article
Building a Comprehensive Data Room
The nine key data room components LPs need from emerging managers
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Read the following eight components to complete the Building Your Data Room article


Data Room Best Practices

Component 1 of 9
Overarching principles to keep in mind as you develop your data room. Learn more

Fundraising Pitch Deck

Component 2 of 9
One of the main qualitative documents LPs may use to vet your fund. A compelling fundraising pitch deck entices an LP to review the rest of your data room. Lear more

Investment Track Record

Component 3 of 9
A quantitative spreadsheet detailing the key financial metrics for your previous investments. Learn more

Due Diligence Questionnaire

Component 5 of 9
A living document that LPs may use to compare your fund with others and answer typical questions that arise during the due diligence process. Learn more

Limited Partnership Agreement

Component 6 of 9
A document covering legal terms that may govern your relationship with limited partners. Learn more

Fund Model

Component 7 of 9
A forward-looking financial spreadsheet that translates the investment strategy you’ve set forth in your pitch deck into a hypothetical portfolio demonstrating your fund’s performance potential. Learn more

Reference List

Component 8 of 9
A list of founders, venture capitalists and limited partners excited to share their positive experiences partnering with you. Learn more

Fund Contact List

Component 9 of 9
A comprehensive list of contacts for the partnership and the back-office support team. Learn more