on May 22, 2012
This book does not only expose all the intricacies of the venture capital industry and how to navigate it, but is also a clear demonstration of the author's experience and expertise in the industry; I always prefer books that are able to bring study and practice together.
I am one to make notes inside my books as well as use tabs and by the end my book looked like a highly decorated war general. I am sure I will be referring to it through many years to come. I would highly recommend "The Business of Venture Capital" to anyone who comes close to the VC Industry and even more so to anyone who would like to be a player in it.
on October 6, 2011
The Business of Venture Capital covers the entire spectrum of the VC Business from fund raising, to developing the investment strategy, deal terms, portfolio management and exits. The author is obviously a strong practitioner writing for present and future practitioners with lots of useful, real-time, and up to date examples and quotes from many of the leading VCs and Limited Partners etc. It's the kind of book you will find yourself referring to over and over again if you pursue a career as a VC, but it also a must read for one planning to be a VC. Look at it as a place you can go to get the best answers from the well-versed VCs on all the finer points of this business. This is probably not a read for entrepreneurs, though it may be interesting to some, but it may well become the new Bible for the VC profession.
on October 2, 2012
This book is not only a must-read for those aspiring to a career in venture capital, but also for entrepreneurs seeking to raise venture capital. Entrepreneurs (myself included) ordinarily do not appreciate the challenges unique to VCs, namely the struggle involved in raising a fund, appraising opportunities across a wide-range of technologies, and overseeing portfolio companies. The Business of Venture Capital does an excellent job in terms of helping entrepreneurs understand those challenges. Again, I think it is an invaluable resource for those in the start-up community, regardless of which side of the table you sit on!
on March 21, 2012
I devoured the book in a weekend, and loved the way it gives a complete and very clear picture of the business.
Besides effective explanations of main technical topics, all practical examples and eclectic quotations (from Tolstoy to Saint'Hexupery) give the feeling of how important is personal attitude and open-minded approach in this business.
A precious and essential book for every professional involved in VC business, on both investor's and entrepreneur's sides, or simply for who is wondering "how does this work?"
Quoting the author: "as in life, much can be taught by books but most is learned on the battlefield, where a few earn the honors, most become martyrs, and the rest carry the scars for a lifetime"
...I would bring this book with me on the battlefield, just in case...
on February 22, 2013
Mahendra lies out the foundation of the entire venture capital industry, not just fund level operations. Everything from landing your first position as an emerging VC to advice on selecting investment bankers and underwriters for an exit is covered. Fueled by interviews with leading VCs and examples of successful venture backed companies, each chapter remains as interesting as the last with a touch of sense of humor over the strained relationships between entrepreneurs, VCs, and investors. That said, this is not a must have for every VC. This book is well suited for those trying to break into the industry or transactional attorneys trying to understand the VC art form leading to the transaction. Much is left to the imagination like sourcing and due diligence. The basic information needed is discussed but not much is said about reliable sources of information or other details.
on January 1, 2012
In the fall of 2010 Mahendra Ramsinghani reached out to me by email about a new book he was working on called The Business of Venture Capital: Insights from Leading Practitioners on the Art of Raising a Fund, Deal Structuring, Value Creation, and Exit Strategies. He asked for two things: (1) some of my time for him to interview me and (2) intros to other VCs and LPs. I made a pile of intros and didn't think much more of it.
A few months later Mahendra send me and my partner Seth Levine an early draft of the book. We each gave him a bunch of feedback. I was deep into writing Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and VC with one of my other partners - Jason Mendelson - and it was neat to see how Mahendra's book complimented ours. I also appreciated how much work a book like this was and tried to give substantive feedback.
In June 2011 Mahendra sent me and Seth a final draft of the book. I read through it and thought it was really good. When the book came out in October Mahendra sent us final copies. I turned the pages, smiled, and then went about my business.
I finally met Mahendra in Ann Arbor when Jason and I spent the day there in November, prompting my post College Is Like A Sandbox. Manendra and I spent some time talking about an idea he had for a new book and I agreed to help him with it (more on that later this week in another post.) In the mean time when I got home I dug up The Business of Venture Capital, put in on the top of my infinite pile of books to read, and figured I'd get to it soon enough.
If you are interested in becoming a VC, are a junior VC, an associate, a principal, or even a partner who is relatively inexperienced, this book is aimed directly at you. If you are an angel investor working with VCs, this book is for you. If you are an entrepreneur who wants to know a lot more about venture capital, this book is for you. It's thorough, covers all aspects of the venture capital business, has many interviews and pithy quotes and thoughts from a wide range of experienced VCs who were interviewed by Mahendra, and is incredibly readable for a 350 page book about "venture capital."
My review of it is really simple: "I wish I had this book in 1994 when I made my first angel investment, and then again in 1996 when I made my first VC investment. Wow - it would have saved me a lot of time, energy, confusion, and grief."
The book is expensive, but if you are a VC, you can afford it. It'll pay for itself many times over.
on May 15, 2013
There's a lot to read if you're going to invest in startups. Sometimes it seems like I rarely do anything except read (and meet with entrepreneurs.) But this is the only book that concisely and completely tells you what it's like to be a venture capitalist, how venture capitalists think, and how to do what VCs do. You could piece this information together through long research and hundreds of journal articles and blog posts, or you can read this book. I recommend the latter.
on June 17, 2014
Mahendra's "The Business of Venture Capital" is a rigorous howto for all venture capitalists, and those who love them. Obviously, it's valuable for entrepreneurs. But that's not where it's true value lies, in my opinion. Many books exist for those looking to be founders, or for founders who want to understand the mind of a GP or LP. What about for emerging venture capitalists (GPs)?
Budding vcs will find BVC as an invaluable reference. It details how to raise a fund, and walks through the investment process, regularly embedding war stories told directly by some of the most trusted investors in the game. Ramsinghani brings academic level analysis to the often impenetrable world of vc and makes it accessible to those without MBAs or who don't work in finance.
I've marked it up the way I would a coursekit, and have had to return many times over to dive in. So much information contained in his book isn't found in peer texts--it feels like you're playing "inside baseball."
on October 25, 2011
EVERYBODY wants to be a venture capitalist. Who wouldn't? It seems so easy... just find the next Google, invest a little money and bingo... you're rich. Raise a fund? That'll be easy too. After all, you know lots of rich people, and they'll definitely want to invest in YOUR fund. And, even if you can't find the next Google, collecting a 2% management fee on your $100 million fund will be awesome.
If you think this is all it takes to be a VC, just stop reading. If, however, you understand that in the real world there will be lots of hurdles, twists, and turns, stop reading AND buy this book. Ramsinghani lays out what those hurdles are and gives concrete examples from the lives of some of the world's most successful venture capitalists on how to overcome them. It's a long road, but this book is the insider's guide on how to navigate it.
on September 16, 2013
The Business of Venture Capital takes you inside the VC industry and gives a detailed walk through of the key processes, activities, and considerations of a (real) VC. The book is full of real and helpful insights from the top practitioners. Mahendra is an excellent communicator. He is super smart and thoughtful and he uses the vocabulary of VCs, but it is all very digestible. I can't express how happy I was with this book. It should be mandatory reading for every new or aspiring associate, as well as entrepreneurs who want to better understand the motivations and mindset of a VC.
As an aside, I recently had the good fortune to meet Mahendra at a investing conference in San Francisco. I had already read his book and was excited to meet him and I am happy to say that he was very approachable. Really an exceptional person! A real asset and model to the industry.