It’s tempting to think of Venture Capitalists as the top of the food chain, but in reality, we are closer to founders. VCs build an investment thesis and then go test that thesis, both in the fundraising marketplace and in doing their investments. Just like with founders, sometimes the marketplace demands VCs to pivot and change their thesis, sometimes dramatically. And always—always—VCs are held accountable by their investors, known as Limited Partners, or LPs. Our guest today is Jeffrey Rinvelt, his work at Renaissance Venture Capital finds him investing as an LP across many funds. He’s got some great insights into what LPs are thinking, and what the market may hold in the coming months.
About Jeffrey Rinvelt:
Jeffrey Rinvelt is a Partner with the Rennaisance Venture Capital. He was previously part of Ardesta, where he was a Director engaged in sourcing, evaluating, and conducting due diligence on investment opportunities, as well as monitoring and providing assistance to the companies in Ardesta’s portfolio. Prior to joining Ardesta, Jeff was a co-founder of GrapeVINE Technologies, providing Product Management and Marketing for their knowledge management product, eventually resulting in an acquisition by Sun Microsystems. Jeff was also part of the start-up team for MAXfunds.com, an Internet company providing complete coverage of the mutual fund industry, including hundreds of funds not available on any other site. In addition, Jeff spent five years with Ernst & Young’s Information Technology group as a senior consultant.
Jeff is a proud trustee of Western Michigan University and also lends his expertise to a number of local non-profits.
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In this episode we discuss:
02:38 Jeff’s journey into Venture Capital and why he started in Michigan
05:11 How he got through the 2008 financial crisis
06:11 The original investing thesis for Renaissance Venture Capital
08:59 Inspiration and innovations around Renaissance
10:33 What makes a good fund manager
12:20 Red flags for emerging managers
14:52 What’s more important for a manager, track record or technical chops?
17:10 How Jeff works to give value as an LP
19:33 Building a platform as an LP
20:29 What the current market is like as an LP
22:50 Internal conversations around deployment of funds in 2022
24:05 Types of returns they are looking for in the current market
25:38 Are preferred returns required to get LPs
27:15 Advice to new LPs
28:46 Why isn’t there standardized reporting around track record for Venture
30:55 The problems with current 409A valuations
32:55 Thoughts on opportunity funds
34:29 Why Jeff stopped doing direct investments
35:12 Philosophies around co-investing opportunities
36:37 Investment categories Jeff is excited about
38:20 Showing off results from research and investments
39:24 The best career advice he’s ever gotten
📰 - Favorite Newsletter/Blog: Dave Pell’s Next Draft
📲 - Favorite Tech Gadget: Raspberry Pi
📈 - Favorite New Trend: Work from Home and Walk and Talks
📚 - Favorite Book: The Hard Things About Hard Things
🤔 - Favorite Life Lesson: Longterm games with long-term people