There’s finally a way for company founders to get back at VCs when they act like total cocksmiths. A new website called The Funded ranks VC firms based on a five-category system. You need to be CEO or company founder to provide rankings, and if you’re not, membership costs $250 a year. The average rankings are for all to see.
The firms are ranked on a 5 point scale which is an average of a ranking in the categories of Track Record, Operating Competence, Pitching Efficiency, Favorable Deal Terms and Execution Assistance. Members can also comment on their experience with a firm, and do it anonymously. There are private comments that can be posted which only members can read.
The commenters don’t pull punches, even for the most prestigious firms. Some of the comments for Sequoia Capital include:
-Don’t leave a copy of your slides unless you want your competitors to have them
-Be careful these guys eat their own young
-Too much testosterone?
Sequoia is tied for 8th in the rankings with a 4.0. The general consensus with the second highest rated firm Leapfrog Ventures is that the partners are nice, but don’t have a firm grasp of technology. The Luxembourg-based Mangrove Capital Partners is the highest rated fund with a 4.7, with several people commenting on the firm’s refined European sensibilities (apparently that means something, or at least contrasts with Silicon Valley manners).
At the bottom of the barrel you have Longworth Venture Partners with a 1.1 and Bay Partners is second to last with a 1.3.
Not all VCs are taking the scrutiny in stride. One of the most acutely fragile, insecure stung VC gurus is Howard Hartenbaum of Draper Richards (pictured). It appears not everyone hearts Hartenbaum, who mentions in his profile that he's professionally fluent in Japanese. The following comment appears regarding an experience at Draper Dicks:
What a Nutcase! We pitched Howard Hartenbaum. The guy is rude and arrogant. He spent the first 20 minutes of our meeting on a phone call in an adjacent boardroom and then spent time analyzing the most irrelavent parts of our plan. The "at Skype we did this" and "at Skype we did that" made me want to vomit. Steer clear.
In response, Howard soon got everyone he ever worked with on the phone and got them to comment that he was pretty super awesome in the VC process and an overall swell guy.
Web Site Puts the 'Vent' Into Venture Capital [Wall Street Journal]