Unlike most traditional venture funds, managers of Rolling Funds (known as general partners or "GPs") can publicly advertise their offerings to grow their investor network and raise money. This makes marketing an essential skill.
Many of the highest-raising GPs on AngelList are skilled at attracting and connecting with investors. We asked some of them to share best practices for marketing a Rolling Fund.
Here’s what they had to say.
Helping is the Best Marketing
“Concentrating energy on backing and helping the best companies solve large problems is my ‘marketing strategy.’” — Jude Gomila, Jude Gomila Rolling Fund
Great GPs remain top-of-mind among founders and investors by helping others. In the small world of venture, GPs who are accessible, transparent, and supportive tend to be the ones who get founder introductions and LP investments.
Build Your GP Brand Before the Fund Launches
“Founders care about more than just the firm that is investing in them—they care about the individual partners and investors who will be supporting their growth. As a new fund, the personal brand of the investors running the fund is particularly important in attracting LPs and founders because the fund's track record will essentially be the sum of the personal track records of the GPs in building companies, supporting entrepreneurs, and finding good investment opportunities.” — Taylor Davidson, Possibilian Catalyst
How you’re sought out as an angel investor will mirror how you’re sought out as a Rolling Fund GP. Even if you're not a household name or possess a large Twitter following, you can build a track record as an active LP or Syndicate lead through AngelList. If you’re thinking about launching a Rolling Fund in the future, increase your investing activity now.
Have a Go-to-Market Plan
“All products require a go-to-market strategy to guide your growth. You may end up changing strategies over time, but developing a point of view on how the fund can grow both its capital base and its investments is important to creating guideposts on how to prioritize and allocate your time and money.” — Taylor Davidson, Possibilian Catalyst
Even the most well-regarded GPs need to announce themselves to the marketplace. Pick a few channels that reach your target audience, and make your messaging clear. Provide your audience with pertinent information about your fund, including your investment strategy, track record, competitive advantages, and target market(s).
Create a Pitch That Resonates With LPs and Founders
“A fund is a mini two-sided marketplace where the central node of the GP attempts to maximize the function of providing portfolio value-add and unicorn selection skill in an iterative loop.” — Jude Gomila, Jude Gomila Rolling Fund
A Rolling Fund GP has two audiences: LPs and founders. GPs need to convince LPs that they have access to quality deals and good judgement to pick the best ones. On the other hand, GPs need to convince founders that they have ready capital and the ability to add value to the cap table. GPs must figure out how to get those messages to both audiences.
Be Generous With Your Unique Knowledge
“When a Rolling Fund manager has a sense of where they're adding the most value for founders, they should talk about that area of expertise more. Spending time freely sharing insights and learnings can be a ‘bat signal’ for founders and co-investors, who will start to associate you with a specific area of helpfulness and expertise.” — Kyle Tibbitts, Paradox Capital
GPs deliver value to founders by helping them build their businesses. They deliver value to LPs by providing access and returns. Beyond those fundamentals, GPs can deliver value by sharing knowledge and leveraging connections. AngelList co-founder Naval Ravikant shared his advice on this topic on the Venture Hacks blog and continues to share knowledge on his podcast and Twitter account.
Naval knows the best way to work with founders and LPs is to form an intellectual connection. To do that, you must lean into your own expertise. If you have strong personal convictions or a unique insight into a market, share it with your network. Providing value LPs can’t get elsewhere will make you irreplaceable.
Go Where Your Audience is
“We have a weekly newsletter, podcast, Clubhouse show, member community, and social media profiles for our fund. Executing in public allows people to see our approach and self-select into the fund. It also drives strong word-of-mouth.” — Jason Jacobs, MCJ Collective
Provide value where people can find it. For venture, this means email, Twitter, Clubhouse, podcasts, and other popular channels. Most successful GPs on AngelList are active on at least a couple of these platforms, sharing thoughts and ideas at a regular cadence. Most established a presence before launching their Rolling Fund. We’ve seen GPs build out large content networks around their funds, complete with a dedicated Twitter account, email newsletter, podcast, online community, and more.
Build a Differentiated Brand
“Your brand is what an investor or portfolio founder would say about you if they were talking to another founder.” — Kyle Tibbitts, Paradox Capital
Your brand as a GP is determined by how you provide value to LPs and founders. No GP can be everything to all people, so it helps to have a niche. A niche can be a sector focus, style of portfolio construction, approach to working with founders, area of expertise, and/or unique point of view that helps you build relationships.
For example, Anthony Pompliano, who runs the Pomp Investments Rolling Fund, brands himself as an expert in Bitcoin. He reinforces that perception with a dedicated newsletter, YouTube channel, and podcast focused on Bitcoin. In turn, LPs seek him out for crypto investments, and founders in the crypto space want him on their cap table.
Creating a Virtuous Cycle
“The beauty of Rolling Funds is that I don’t have to do anything special to market the fund. I just have to live my life as a founder and CEO of a company, and my fund tends to be discovered and grow. Most LPs hear about the fund through Twitter or Clubhouse. Founders who have or intend to start Rolling Funds should help as many aspiring founders as possible and continue building their companies—the rest will take care of itself.” — Sahil Lavingia, Sahil Lavingia Rolling Fund
Great Rolling Fund GPs have taken the time to find their niche, build a brand, and deliver value to LPs and founders on relevant channels. Once invested, they prove themselves indispensable—and their name gets passed on to other founders and LPs.
This can create a virtuous cycle in which founders and LPs find you through word of mouth, receive value from you, and then pass your name along to others.
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