It’s a known fact that not all venture firms are created equal. Cambridge Associates, an advisor to the Limited Partners that invest in venture capital firms, says that only about 20 firms – or 3% of all firms – generate 95% of the industry’s returns.
Those 20 firms remain pretty consistent over time. Sequoia, NEA, Accel, etc. have figured out the secret recipe for generating consistent premium returns. That recipe centres around getting into the big outliers; The unicorns that make or break fund returns.
There’s a funny thing happening in today’s venture market: The fear of missing out is bigger than ever. Success (i.e. traction), when it comes, comes faster than ever. The best venture firms have highly tuned radar screens, proactive early stage scouting programs, demo day attendance and many other tactics to make sure they get access to back the winners.