Ganas Ventures: How We Source, Select, and Support Startups
How venture capital funds source deals, select and support startups is still opaque in the industry and we want to change that at Ganas Ventures. We believe that to build community we need to be transparent in our processes and build in public because we want to keep it real, stay accountable, and bring you on our journey. So, in this post, we’re pulling back the curtain for you to peek into who we are and sharing our approach to sourcing, selecting, and supporting startups.
What is Ganas Ventures?
Ganas Ventures invests in pre-seed and seed Web 2 and Web 3 community-driven startups in the US and Latin America. We believe that companies with community at the center of all that they do will become unicorns and produce outsized returns.
We write $100K checks to founders with ganas and a big vision to address big problems in growing markets thru a sustainable go-to-community strategy.
We help our portfolio companies with sales, community, and fundraising strategies by leveraging our expertise, proprietary tools, WhatsApp, and our Ganas LP, mentor, and support community.
We’re on a mission to produce outsized returns con ganas! And, while we’re at it, we’re changing the narrative of who VCs are, who we invest in, and how companies become unicorns by just being us.
💬 I launched the fund after investing in +90 startups as a scout/angel/VC, post co-founding my first fund The Community Fund and nurturing a community of +70K founders, funders, and friends over the last +6 years.
How do you define community-driven?
We define community-driven companies as companies where…
- 🙋🏽♀️ customers identify as members
- ✨ members are able to create value for other members
- 💸 members start the marketing and sales flywheel
And a community-driven company can have the community be its product or have a community built around its product and come from any sector and can be either B2B (e.g., MongoDB, Salesforce) or Consumer (e.g., Peloton, Glossier).
💬 To learn more about community-driven companies read our post on Community-Driven Companies: What They Are and Why We’re Investing in Them, check-out this thread, and access +400K community-driven founder resources on our Ganas Ventures Resources page.
How do you think about Community ROI and metrics?
When we think of community-driven companies and their ROI, we think about how community as a go-to-market impacts typical business metrics. For example, community helps increase revenue and LTV, while it decreases CAC. Community helps with operational efficiencies, recruitment and retention. It also provides product development insight.
- R — rev → 🔽CAC 🔼LTV
- O — operations → 🥇talent 🔼retention
- I — insight → ⚙️ product improvements
💬 Community-driven companies will leverage the strength of community differently, depending on their industry, stage, and ethos. We understand that and do not expect all of the above metrics to be at play from day one.
What’s Ganas’s sourcing approach?
We invest in community-driven companies and we are also community-driven ourselves. So, sourcing (AKA finding the companies we’ll invest in) comes primarily from community!
Here’s our sourcing breakdown:
- 🤩 Lolita’s platform of +70K underestimated and underrepresented founder, funder, and friend community [hyperlink]
- 🙌🏽 The Ganas family of +300 scouts, +180 mentors, and +70 LPs, which is diverse in ethnicity, gender, industries, and business acumen
- 🗳 Inbound startup submissions at ganas.vc
TBH, the benefit of leveraging the power of community is having a broader reach than other funds and seeing companies that Silicon Valley funds are not seeing. Our deal flow is definitely differentiated.
What’s Ganas’s selection approach?
The Ganas investment selection process is simple but effective. We select companies that we believe will become unicorns as a team.
- Companies submit this initial form. We review every company submission and if your company doesn’t fit our thesis at all, the form will let you know on the spot.
- Ganas will score the company based on market size/growth/trend, team-startup-market-fit, community-led strategy, and product. If the average score is a 4 out of 5 or higher, a call request will be sent out to the founder.
- A call will be held where Ganas and founder(s) will get to learn more about each other. There will be additional characteristics that Ganas rates (e.g., vision, selling skills, recruiting skills, desire to build a unicorn/decacorn, ability for Ganas to help founders) and if the average score is a 4 out of 5 or higher, we will move onto due diligence.
- For due diligence, Ganas will request info from the founder(s), put a memo together, continue Q&A, and do a minimum of 3 reference checks.
- If there is high conviction, at the end of this process, we will invest.
In our selection process, the Ganas community gets involved. If a scout brings in a deal, they will form part of the due diligence team. If the deal is originated by Ganas, then we tap into our network for industry, sector, and operational expertise.
For more details on how we work at Ganas Ventures, visit our Ganas FAQ page.
What does Ganas’s support and value-add to startups look like?
To us, stewardship is all about how, we as investors, support founders post-investment. The support the Ganas team and community provides our portfolio includes the following.
- 24–7 support — you will have access to Lolita and the Ganas portfolio family on WhatsApp 24–7
- Fundraising war room — we will be happy to hop on a call and figure out your fundraising strategy, give pitch deck feedback, and make double-opt-in intros
- Operational support — when you need support, we will tap into our extended Ganas mentor and expert family and connect you
- Self-serve support — you will get access to a community, resources, and tools
- Perks library of +80 discounts with a value +$600K in savings
- Mentor access to +180 experts. Mentors come from founders, (e.g., Drift) funders (e.g., Sweater Ventures), and operating roles (e.g., Freshbooks) backgrounds; provide mentoring in sector (e.g., future of work) and function (e.g., software development) expertise; and currently represent 52 sectors and 19 functions.
- Platform reach — tap into Lolita’s +70K community and network of community-driven founders, funders, and friends.
Is Ganas focusing on particular community-driven sub-thesis?
Yes! We look at everything and yet are keeping a close eye on how we make and manage money in community. Some categories include: future of work, creator economy, e-commerce, and fintech.
Learn more about Ganas’s sub-thesis here.
What’s the best way to learn more about and pitch Ganas Ventures?
You can learn more about the community-driven thesis in this thread. You can learn more about Ganas Ventures on our site and in our FAQ. And if you’re a community-driven company that wants us to review your company for investment consideration, let us know here!
About author: Lolita Taub is the child of Mexican immigrants and grew up in the hood. Her parents taught her to dream and her community taught her strength in numbers. Now, she invests in community-driven companies as GP at Ganas Ventures where she invests in pre-seed and seed community-driven companies in the US and Latin America and aims to create generational wealth in community.
Overall, Lolita has 15 years working within the Silicon Valley ecosystem, has made 90+ investments as an angel investor, was previously a VC at both Backstage Capital and The Community Fund and has a community of over 70 thousand founders, funders, and ecosystem friends.
Forbes and Inc Magazine have featured her as a woman promoting investment in underestimated founders. She has a BA from the University of Southern California and an MBA from the IE Business School. Most importantly, she is a dog mom to the cutest Dachshund mix, Choco.