How I think about "Brand" and its relation to fund size
thanks for mentioning us (Homebrew) here. You're absolutely right that we don't increase fundsize based upon LP or founder demand. We raise to a strategy and that strategy has remained consisted across all three funds. Same velocity, same ownership targets. The fund sizes have increased modestly only because (a) we've lengthened our investment periods (more companies per fund over more years) and (b) seed valuation inflation :)
Wonderful read, thanks Craig. I think an interesting follow-up piece could be the importance of allocators' brands. In the same way that funds have to compete for the best deals, allocators have to compete for the best funds/allocations. Just like founders get to "pick" funds, managers get to "pick" their LPs once they've proved out their strategy and model. Our jobs as allocators (assuming we have an early-stage fund mandate) is to find the next First Round's and Susa's of the world when they're still on Fund I or II; by the time they're onto III or IV, it's too late.
Great framework, thanks for publishing. I think an adjacent idea on the deal side is knowing where you sit from a brand perspective, and chasing the correct deals in relation to that. E.g. if you're an emerging manager with a background in SAAS trying to compete with Benchmark to lead a hot marketplace's Series A is probably not a good idea. You needs to read the market correctly to know where to spend your time - and why you're seeing a particular deal. More and more different deals are funneled according to the brand<>deal quality ratio (as you assert). Those of us in the market outside large, branded firms need to be cognizant of it. Of course, given the inherent volatility of startups, the quality at moment of underwriting v. actual results can greatly differ. It wouldn't be as much fun without all the entropy right ;)