For better or worse, the phenomenon of the Internet makes it a safe bet that every corner of the business marketplace will continue to become more and more open to scrutiny by customers, employees, vendors, and anybody else out there who wants to express an opinion. Lawyers have had to come to grips with the website Avvo.com, for example, consumer products firms have had to contend with public rating sites like Epinion.com, and this month, I’m featuring the latest industry niche to have the cyber-spotlight shined brightly upon it: the venture capital sector.
Designed to increase the transparency of the often-mysterious venture capital (VC) world, TheFunded is a site that encourages entrepreneurs to write and contribute ratings/reviews of the management teams at various VC firms around the globe, including many Pacific Northwest organizations. Contributors not only evaluate the business smarts of each firm, in general, but rank them based on several other factors such as operating efficiency, deal-closing prowess, execution assistance, and the “favorability” of the offer terms each firm tends to extend to the start-up companies they invest in. Visitors to the site can search out fund profiles by specific name or pull up various funds based on geographical location or the typical funding level each firm provides. Paid subscribers get access to additional goodies, as well — although the site actually prohibits venture capitalists (and their representatives) from joining in an attempt to ensure that the data the site contains comes purely from the entrepreneurial side of the house.
All in all, we certainly aren’t in a position to evaluate the accuracy of the site’s data, but we were impressed by the depth of content provided and feel TheFunded is an important tool to be reviewed by any job hunter or business leader that deals with the VC world in a regular capacity. If nothing else, the site raises some thought-provoking questions about how small, starry-eyed entrepreneurial companies should go about acquiring capital — and provides a refreshing view from the other side of the table!