5 min read
This story originally appeared on Cheddar
Prior to the pandemic, investor Kamran Ansari spent much of his time jetting back and forth between New York City and San Francisco to meet with startup founders and management teams. Sometimes these meetings were more formal. Other times they started as 30-minute lunches that sprawled into 90-minute conversations.
Now he rarely leaves his home in Virginia and holds most of his meetings over Zoom or Google Hangouts with the occasional masked coffee-walk thrown in for good measure.
“It’s just become more acceptable to back businesses where you’re not physically meeting the CEO or management team face-to-face,” says Ansari, a partner at venture capital firm Greycroft.
Still, in-person meetings need to remain a big part of the business, he says. Early stage companies offer limited hard data, leaving investors to rely on their sense of the founder’s background and experience to inform their decisions.
“The biggest thing that you miss over Zoom is the rapport-building, really understanding somebody’s background,” Ansari says. “When you’re doing a Zoom or Hangout, it tends to be right down to brass tacks.”
Remote communications have made the process more “transactional,” he adds, but not impossible. Last week, for instance, Ansari signed a check for a company after meeting with the founder online just a month ago. The difference now is that he’s doing more background research and due diligence.